Indie Ale House #20-24

June 8, 2018 Leave a comment

This post is coming up sort of quickly behind the last so hopefully I am cooking with gas!

Visited the Indie Ale House recently and the only disappointment I had was that I didn’t have much of an appetite because the food looked really good too.

Indie Alehouse

On to the brews. This was my first time at this spot and it is definitely a place I want to get back to, for a lot of reasons. First off it has a nice relaxed vibe…and my favourite, they offer flights so you can do lots of  tasting.

On my tour, I went with the following:

Love Triangle
Sphere of Chaos
Broken Hipster

The breakdown (apologies to the Indie guys but I can’t remember the order, I should have taken a pic)

Love Triangle – Getting its name from the fact that three different kinds of hops are used in production, I liked it. I am not sure I could pick those hops out of a lineup but I like that hoppy flavour in general and I could tell that this one was not just like every other thing you have tried. I have since learned that this brew has a limited edition quality to it…I like that a lot too.

Sphere of Chaos – This one was a little bit stronger so I thing you would have to be careful if you were planning to have a few of these. Comparing to the above it was enjoyable but not as much. No complaints, just not as much my thing. Another cool name though.

Broken Hipster – Very tasty and refreshing. I know not all people like that hoppy flavour but I would be surprised if people didn’t enjoy this one. I am sure Indie caters to all types of beer snobbery but this has to be their most popular brew. Easy to drink wheat beer that suits all occasions.Image result for indie ale house broken hipster

Instigator – Like the Hipster this one is probably very popular. If you read online it is identified as being very common in style…and that is OK. I liked it and that is the most important thing. Even though I love trying new stuff that doesn’t mean a take on the familiar is a bad thing. Truly!

Iconoclast – This was a solid selection. I know some don’t like it when their beer has a little fruitiness to it but I am not averse. In fact when you infuse things like apricots, or blueberries or others it can be delish. That is not the case here where it is more subtle. No complaints, just a nice IPA to enjoy.

Dear Indie Ale House…I will be back.

Pop Culture Note:  Still no Avengers Infinity War and I am running out of time. Aggh!!


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#Hoops&Beer #18/#19

May 24, 2018 Leave a comment

I know what you are going to say…catching up again? (Or not because nobody is actually reading this thing and it is just going into the blogo-aether).

Alas I soldier on, hoping and praying that this will matter to anyone other than me.  Someday.

Since I made you wait the least I can do is get a couple of beers knocked out in one post, right?  And they are a couple of classics.

Dos Equis and Bud Light Lime!

Those are an obvious combo right, here is the context. It was March Madness and I had a buddy over for some tacos and some hoops. Since I was providing the food he was in charge of the beer and he brought DX for real, and Bud Light Lime as a joke, but it was my fault for suggesting it – and we weren’t even sure they sold it anymore (that’s how plugged in we are into the flavoured light beer scene).

Now onto the beers….

Dos Equis might have the most memorable commercials in the history of beer marketing but as a beverage it is pretty forgettable. I don’t normally like to be so harsh but there is nothing about it that makes you want to grab another, which kind of sucks because you usually buy beers by the six. Sorry my friends, I was thirsty when I tasted it and am still thirsty afterwards.

Image result for dos equisImage result for bud light lime


As for Bud Light Lime…I have to be honest it was not as bad as I thought it might be. Now you should know that I never drink light beers, and I never drink Bud, so I am coming to this one with some skepticism. That being said I can could see how on a hot day, when you are mowing the lawn you might want to down one of these when you are done. It has a refreshing quality. Plus there is the novelty to it is as well. Is it possible the Bud folks were ahead of the raddler phase.

In summary it was a good night, even if the beers were not the star of the show.

Summer is just around the corner so it is time to do some damage.

Pop Culture Note:  Dying to see Avengers. If you have comments, please no spoilers.


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There’s Such a Thing as Dead Elephant IPA #17

December 4, 2017 Leave a comment

I am about a week behind on this one but my larger absence is because I guess I have been taking it easy lately. It hasn’t been a totally dry period but there just hasn’t been anything new as I still cycle through what was leftover from the “tastening” – case in point the Rolling Rock I enjoyed last night, which really hit the spot.

The venue for this latest imbibing sessions was Union Social Eatery. Not exactly a Toronto hot spot but close to home and I think the food is underrated. It was a Sunday evening and not that you need an occasion to go out but it was Grey Cup (Yeah Argos!!) and me and another dad were on our own for supper so why not round up the kids and hit the local.

One of the features of Union Social is that they have a rotating craft tap, perfect for someone like me who will try almost anything once.  The selection on this day was  Dead Elephant IPA which I went for. Truthfully I probably would have said yes to dead spider, or dead zombie or whatever.

Image result for dead elephant ipa

Dead Elephant IPA is a product of Railway City Brewing in St. Thomas, Ontario. I can’t recall if I have had any of their brews in the past but like the creativity they have when you check out their offerings. There is some sort of orange creamsicle brew I will have to try if I can find it.

Back to the IPA…I really liked it! I know that is a very simple compliment to give but it is simply a very drinkable beer. It has a light hoppyness to it and  it is definitely the kind of beer that you could drink 3 or 4 of on a hot day at the cottage without complaint. Experts would say it is kind of a bit fruity but I didn’t catch too much of that. I guess that is part of what makes it go down so easy though. Not sure what the distribution of Rail City is but I hope to bump into this brewery more in the future.

Pop Culture Note:  If you have yet to see The Punisher on Netflix…see it!! I have liked all of the Marvel series’ on the streaming site but this might be my second favourite after Daredevil.

Image result for the punisher


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Who is Louis Cifer? (#s 13-16)

September 28, 2017 Leave a comment

When I am out with my family I never know if we are going to be at a spot where I can add to the beer repertoire but a few weeks back I was in luck. What started as a jaunt into Toronto Greek Town ended up with us at a previously unknown brew pub called Louis Cifer Brewworks…and I am so glad it did.

First of all it was nice to find a brew pub that was as family friendly as this one. No there were not strollers strewn about but the kids menu was sharp, they give out a little toy (slime which my girls loved) and the family felt really welcomed, especially when the owner spent a few minutes at our table. Not a surprise they are up for a local award for being so kid friendly. They even do movie nights on Sunday’s which will definitely bring us back (when the title is appropriate).

Now on to the beer. Before I get into how anything tasted I have to say I was impressed with the range of offerings and best of all they offered flights, which I always love (it makes it more fun) and they actually had a lot of their own brews, not just a couple to throw into the mix. .

For my flight I decided to try the following original creations:



My strategy for doing flights is almost always two-fold, first try things I have never tried before and try things that are interesting because you can pretty much drink a few ounces of anything, right?

Here are my thoughts (in the order above):

The IPA was nothing special for me. This is becoming standard fare for most and this one just didn’t have anything to it. I like my IPAs kind of hoppy and this one was pretty tame. I prefer a more bold flavour but I realize that it is not for everyone.

The Wheat Beer was also pretty ordinary. These used to be my go to as there is usually something drinkable in this category on tap in most places and I really like where there is a “thing” like an orange wedge or something similar. Like the IPA above there was nothing wrong with it just nothing special either.

On to the radler, a few years ago I tried my first radler on a business trip and was hooked. I know they may not be what a true beer connoisseur would go to but they go down easy and they are perfect in hot weather. I have tried a number that you can buy at the liquor store but there are not a lot of bars I have been to that have them on tap.  This one also stood out for the Ruby Red and the fact that it actually had a decent alcohol content (for future reference). I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure it was sweet but whats wrong with that. This is definitely the kind of drink you can drink all night (just not with the kids around!)

The final beer in the flight was the blond. Similar to the others it was good but not memorable. I do like Blonds (pun intended) but nothing stood out about this one (married a brunette by the way). Similar to the radler I like the different combination but found that it could have been more dominant. The orange did not come through as much as I would have like.

There you have it. There is so much more on tap to get to so I will definitely be back. They do movies on Sunday nights which I think is great fun. I still don’t know who Louis Cifer is but I am will to invest more time to find out.

Personal Pop Culture:  I think that Assassin’s Creed might be the worst movie I have ever seen. Previous worst – Three Men and a Little Lady! (Don’t ask)

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Vacation Interruption (#s 11 & 12)

August 29, 2017 Leave a comment

I know I am just halfway through the beer log for the “great beer tasting birthday bash” but I was on the road this past week so it seemed logical to file a report.  Travelling, is awesome for beer drinkers these days. Pretty much no matter where you go you will find new and interesting choices.  God bless you Craft Beer!

As a point of reference my travels last week brought me to lovely White Plains, New York to visit family. As many of you know may know beer distribution is not regulated the same way in the US as it is in Ontario so there are lots of places to shop. In my case I picked Trader Joe’s (Obviously!). They actually have a great selection and the food there is delish so we always stop by when we are south of the border.

Tasked with getting some refreshments for a family BBQ I picked up the following:

Brooklyn Summer Ale – This was a nod to some family heritage (my NYC relatives grew up in Brooklyn). This is one of their sessional ales and I would say it was just OK. I always like to try things that are not always around so I am not upset about it but nothing really stands out about it either. Very drinkable but very forgettable at the same time.

Brooklyn Summer Ale

That was for the massed but I also picked up a few singles of some brews I found interesting. They were:

Dogfish Head Brewery – 60 Minute IPA

Overall this was very likable. It had the hoppiness I like but I think I prefer the outputs of Ontario a little better. It was not on display at TJS but they also have a 90 Minute and a 120 Minute IPA. I can see how it would be a lot of fun to hunker down and really delve into the differences. Overall my first ever Dogfish experience was pretty good. More to come for sure. I love the creativity I am seeing on their website.

60 Minute IPA bottle and pour

There were also a couple of beers that shall remain nameless. Something with blackberries and an alcoholic root beer that I was not smart enough to scribble down before the bottles hit the recycling bin.

Image result for lesson learned

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Tasting Group #1 (Beers #8, #9, #10)

August 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Residing in Ontario, I am lucky to have access to a plethora of craft beer options. For the tasting portion of the evening I wanted to focus on some local hoppy pale ales in round one and some lighter wheat beers for round two.

Here are the beers for Round #1

Cruiser All Day Pale Ale (Amsterdam Brewery)

Now I have to admit that before I brought this into the mix I was not in the know about All Day Pale Ales, I am not sure it is truly a thing  as this particular brew is also sometimes called a Golden Pale Ale. No matter what you call it it definitely has a big flavour. Starting with it was a great way to kick things off too. I don’t think anyone else in the group had tried it before, which is exactly what I was going for

“Life is too short to drink the same beer over and over”

Canuck Pale Ale (Great Lakes Brewery)

They call this one a West Coast Pale Ale which is also interesting considering the location of the brewery – I think the Great Lakes are in the middle of the continent NO?. Like the Cruiser above it was big on flavour but not as much as a crowd pleaser . I have to agree with that opinion but I did enjoy it. Everything is relative when it comes to taste. This is pretty easy to find and I think I might have had it once or twice before the party.

Crosswind Pale Ale (Lake of Bays Brewing Co.)

Lake of Bays Brewing is hardly a household name, even in Ontario. That is why I have to admit I was a little surprised when I liked this brew the best of this bunch. The plane on the can is nothing to really invite your attention but this highly flavourful beer was an expected treat. Its got the nice citrus notes that a lot of beers in this class have and I have been happy to enjoy the leftovers all season long. It was the first one to go so perhaps I enjoyed it even more than I realized.

When I started this blog years ago I probably would have found the hoppy pale ales listed above as bitter, now they are beautifully rich and flavourful. I know they are not for amateur beer drinkers but for “pros” they are the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening.

Bring on the hops. That is always the way I go now.

Personal PS – Just one episode away from finishing Strike Back Season Five. True to form it is not clear who will survive and who won’t.  IMDB says there will be a Season 6 though. I am afraid to review what they have posted for fear of spoiling it.

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Heinie or Neinie? (#6 & #7)

August 10, 2017 Leave a comment

In planning the birthday beer party I wanted to incorporate a game, in addition to some tastings. Whether it is brilliant or not I came up with Heinie or Neinie?…here is how it goes.

In my estimation Heineken is about as easy to find as any beer in the world, you can find it as easily in Toronto as you can in Tokyo. As such I was wondering if people would be able to pick it from another beer in a sort of blind taste test. Everyone has tried it right?

Image result for heinekenImage result for grolsch

In choosing another beer to pit against Heineken I chose a brand that is also easily found all across the world, it is also Euro in origin, and it also comes in a green bottle…Grolsch.

So the game was simple, take a shot of each and ask people if they can pick out the “Heinie”.  How many people do you think got it right?

Image result for 50% people

Even though this was all a bit of fun, a quick way to get people engaged in the party and get the blood pumping with a couple of shots of beer the results are pretty conclusive. People really can’t tell Heineken from other “standard” beers. That is probably the point and why it is so popular. It doesn’t offend anybody but it is not rocking anyone’s world either.

Tell me what you think and if you have any other fun beer games you recommend.

Personal PS – Does anyone else love the show Strike Back? I am catching up on season 5 (watched) eight of ten episodes already. It is Cinemax so a bit harder to find on this side of the pond. Totally bingeworthy. Love the action and you never know who is going to live or die. You should definitely check it out and having a beer in hand won’t hurt.

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