Defined: Northern English Brown Ale

September 30, 2010

Aroma: Light, sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty and/or caramel notes.  A light but appealing fresh hop aroma (UK varieties) may also be noticed.  A light fruity ester aroma may be evident in these beers, but should not dominate.  Very low to no diacetyl.

Appearance: Dark amber to reddish-brown color.  Clear.  Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.

Flavor: Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a nutty, lightly caramelly character and a medium-dry to dry finish.  Malt may also have a toasted, biscuity, or toffee-like character.  Medium to medium-low bitterness.  Malt-hop balance is nearly even, with hop flavor low to none (UK varieties).  Some fruity esters can be present; low diacetyl (especially butterscotch) is optional but acceptable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tasting the Cannery Brewery Blackberry Porter

September 20, 2010

Its now Fall, one of the best beer seasons that there is. I know it may seem counter intuitive; most people consider the summer to be beer season. But when the fall comes breweries begin to produce more richly flavored, robust beers with a wide range of ingredients. Spices, pumpkin, berries and more get added into the brew and the beers become unique and warming. I love it.

It is also when the LCBO brings in the best selection of new beers. In this year’s Autumn release came the Cannery Brewing Blackberry Porter, a 6.5% traditional style porter with blackberry flavor added for a hint of sweet complexity. The Cannery has been brewing since 2000 in Penticton BC, and is one of many west coast breweries which I have been excited to try for a long time. The 650ml bottle plainly depicts blackberries front and center on the purple label, so I was expecting at very least a reasonable rush of blackberry in this beer. Read the rest of this entry »


Great American Beer Festival Awards Are Handed Out

September 20, 2010

This past weekend in Denver Colorado the largest gathering of American beer and beer lovers enjoyed a flavor packed weekend of craft beer, great food, and good times. This year 3,523 beers were entered into the Great American Beer Festival brew competition, more than any other commercial beer competition in the world. Winners from the 79 beer categories were just announced over the weekend and Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were handed out. Pizza Port Brewing took an impressive 13 medals, and Firestone Walker to 6. For the full list of winners here is the PDF. Read more for some stats. Read the rest of this entry »


A Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Tasting at the Beer Bistro

September 16, 2010

On Wednesday September 22nd during Toronto Beer Week the Beer Bistro will be hosting a tasting of 4 Lost Abbey Beers and 2 Port Brewing Beers for $25. Both of these Californian Breweries have made a prominent name for themselves amongst brewers and beer lovers. Their products perfume with heritage an passion, and are filled with life and excellence.

The Lost Abbey Beers Features will be the Carnevale (dry hopped saison at 6.5%), Avant Garde (Biere de Garde style malty beer at 7%), Red Bard Ale (a spicy farmhouse ale with roots in rustic Southern Belgium at 6.7%), and the Lost and Found (a trappist inspired Abbey Ale at 7.5%). The 2 Port Brewing beers are the Old Viscosity (nick named the big nasty, this is a 10.5% stout/barleywine/old ale that needs to be tried to be understood) and the Older Viscosity (A bourbon barrel aged version of the Old Viscosity that is up to 12.5%).


Toronto Beer Week is Less Than One Week Away!

September 14, 2010

Ok, I hope by now that beer lovers in and around Toronto already know about Toronto Beer Week (TBW). If not, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the website, contain your excitement, and book off the week to drink beer! This is a week long beer celebration starting on Monday September the 20th, running till Sunday the 26th. Thats only 6 days away!

I was going to post a full list of all the events happening during this week around Toronto, but there must be 100 of them! Check out the TBW Events Page for a full listing of what events are taking place where throughout the week. This is a great chance to enjoy some of the best beer available in Ontario, meet some of your favorite brewers, and mingle with beer lovers, media, and professionals alike. This is going to be a grand week ‘o beer!


Stone’s Vertical Epic 10’10’10 is Announced

September 14, 2010

The Stone Brewing Co. does many things that makes me wish I lived in Escondido California, where the brewery is located. If its not just for their beers, its the festivals, the brew pub, the events, specialty and collaboration beers, and the sheer passion and enthusiasm for beer that the whole teem exudes. One of my favorite projects that they have which has been running since 2002 is the Vertical Epic Ale Series. Each year starting on 02’02’02 (ie. February 2nd, 2002) Stone releases a new beer intended to be aged until 12’12’12 (December 12, 2010), at which time they should be enjoyed ranging from a fresh beer to a 10 year old bottle. Read the rest of this entry »


The Anatomy of a Beer

September 8, 2010

Beer is more than just a pale colored beverage in a glass. It can display a wide and vast range of colors, flavors, aromas and textures. Especially among craft beers, you would be hard pressed to find two beers whose construction came out to yield the exact same beer. All the different variables and procedures that go into crafting a beer make each one unique and special.

Understanding a beer’s anatomy can help you better define its structure, and how its flavors will affect you. See below for a full breakdown of a beer’s final construction and how it affects the flavor and experience you enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »