On Wednesday September 22nd, in the middle of Toronto Beer Week the Beer Bistro hosted a beer tasting of four Lost Abbey Beers, and two from Port Brewing. Cass Enright from the Bar Towel introduced Matt Tweedy, a Beer Bistro employee, and assistant brewer at Duggan’s Brewery who also spent 8 weeks at the Lost Abbey for a brewing apprenticeship. You couldn’t ask for a better journey through the six beers which Matt had very intimate experiences with. Each unique beer was introduced and described by Matt, who was able to regale us with stories straight from the brewery. The Lost Abbey focuses on Belgian inspired beer brewed in California, and Port Brewing creates classically west coast beers also in California.
The Lost Abbey beers we enjoyed in order were the Avant Garde (French Biere de Garde), Red Barn (Spiced Belgian Saison), Carnevale (Belgian Saison with Brettanomyces yeast), and Lost and Found (Abbey Style Dubbel). The two Port Brewing beers were the Old Viscosity (stong, Stout like beer at 10.5% with 20% aged in Bourbon barrels then re introduced into the beer), and the Older Viscosity (the same as the Old Viscosity but the entire batch is aged in Bourbon Barrels).
The Lost Abbey beers were all exceptionally unique and masterfully created. These wild, spicy and slightly tart beers are madly complex and difficult to brew – The Lost Abbey is one of the foremost brewers of this style in North America. They Port Brewing beers though stole the show, for me at least. The 12.5% Older Viscosity had zero carbonation, reeked of rich bourbon, and was a hugely malty, oaky bourbon flavor. Sipping it slowly was a rich, but gentle treat. Thanks to Cass, Matt, the Beer Bistro, The Lost Abbey, Port Brewing and Toronto Beer Week for making this happen!