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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:

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GATES OF ALE IPA
WITCRAFT BELGIAN WHEAT
RUBY RED RADLER
BLOOD ORANGE BLOND

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.

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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?

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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?

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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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Embarrassing Blog Gap

August 8, 2017 Leave a comment

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I suppose that bloggers fall into two distinct categories. Those that are committed from the word go (and never stop) and those that aren’t (or do). When I launched blog this many years ago I was sure I was in the first camp but I guess I was wrong. The cool thing is that I knew I could resurrect this blog at any time, without any penalty (save guilt), and that is what I am doing – RIGHT NOW. It might take some time to build up whatever credibility I had earned before but I am willing to take a shot.

Rest assured I am well prepared to make a some serious hay here over the next little while, not just a post today and then another in 75 days. Last May I turned 40 and hosted a little beer bash for some friends and families. It was essentially a tasting party so I have lots of reports to file from that event.

I know you are probably thinking…when he is going to get to the beer and the good times. I believe I left off with #7…so look for #8 real soon and a lot more to come.

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Bringing Back the Blog

July 6, 2011 Leave a comment

This message may fall on deaf ears because it has been so long since I posted. Still I am happy to announce the re-birth of the Million Beer Blog.

What inspired this renaissance? A combination of time, interest and the consumption of three different beers over the past week. Plus, I will be making a trip before the end of the month so there is some good opportunity to add to the repertoire of reviews.

Hope many will come along for the ride. I am reinvigorated and energized.

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New beer from New Zealand Beer Nut

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

New beer from New Zealand Beer Nut.

 

I suppose it will only be a matter of time before all products in the market place are as green as possible.  It sounds like this is a step in that direction.

Yes…I will look into whether this is available locally

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