Let’s Taste the Summer Beer of Mill St.

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This past Friday I was able to get some really fascinating insight from a Mill St. Brewmaster himself — Joel Manning! What a guy, I’d like to make a point to say this man is extremely knowledgeable and was able to convey the stories of each beer in not only a humorous way, but in a way that us, non-brewmaster could understand.

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This summer the LCBO has brought in a Mill St. sampling pack, which contains six different types of beers — all of which are awesome!

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I’ve been a fan of Mill St.’s Organic beer and the 100th Meridian. However, this past Friday I was exposed to a beautiful new selection of Mill St.’s Ginger Cat, Stargazer Summer Ale and the seasonal Lemon Tea.

The Ginger Cat is a ginger beer that ranks a 5 percent alcohol content. The hints of ginger are subtle and delicious. For those who don’t like ginger, might still consider giving this a taste-test before dismissing it! It’s a Belgian-style witbier or “white beer” made with raw and malted wheat along with orange peel and candied stem ginger added in the brewing process.  

The Stargazer Summer Ale is a 4.1 percent alcohol content brew that came with an adorable story about Manning and his (late) father stargazing one night. This was before the beer had a name, and this story is the reason why it’s called what it is. It’s a session bitter and it’s a very drinkable hoppy ale.

The Lemon Tea is the ultimate summer brew. It was created so simply and easily by combining lemonade and beer. The sweet taste of lemonade is such a traditional summer drink that combining it with a cold brew makes so much sense. It’s pleasing to the adult who is really just a kid at heart.

Some major takeaways from the beer tasting:

Always, always, always try new brews. Like Manning said, if you don’t like it now, try something else expand your palette and try it again in a few months, or even next year

Your palette is always expanding.

The first beer always tastes the best.

My favourite part of this entire presentation had to be the down-to-earth tone, the anecdotes and when Manning said talked about beer it wasn’t on a pretentious level, this quote makes me heart smile and it also makes me want more beer…. “you’re supposed to have a couple of beers and laugh your guts out with your friends”

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Mr. Manning Gazing at the Stargazer Bottle – Perfection! PS!! Check out the book on the left hand side of the image. We are so sneaky!

Poster with love,

xxo
Cheers!

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It’s Back! Amsterdam Framboise is now available

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It may have snowed in Toronto last night, but I was in a summer state of mind sipping on a Framboise. It was my first time trying this “strong beer” and it wasn’t what I expected. I find Amsterdam brews beer with a distinctly and obvious taste of ale, hops, IPA – or the like. This beer was different: tart, but sweet and less of a beer-experience, more of a spritzer sensation met my taste buds.

Even those who aren’t drawn to beers as their usual drink of choice, Framboise can appeal to a massive audience of beer enthusiasts, dabblers in coolers, and those searching for a summer refreshment above all others. The bright, welcoming packaging is marketing win for the seasonal approach, and it is, after all, brewed only once a year – for the past 23 years, so…. You get it. Get it.

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When poured, you see the real ruby red colour, white foamy head and a slight pink hue. It has a light-medium body with carbonation of almost champagne-like fizz.

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Brewed in small batches by Amsterdam brewery, with real Canadian raspberries this 6.5% strong beer is the one to try. Without infusing too much sweetness, but rather surging a tartness into the beer, it brings a burst of raspberry and a hint of ale.

“Using an old world recipe, our brewmaster handcrafted this wondrous beer by blending Belgian wheat malt with real Canadian raspberries. In fact six pounds of raspberries go into making every case, resulting in an abundantly obvious ruby red beer with a crisp fruit flavour.”

With relation to my last post of the Shock Top Raspberry White, they’re are some definitely differences, it seems that raspberry beer will be the summer blend to watch out for this year!

Shock Top: Berry Meets Beer

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As berry season is fast approaching us here in North America, I think it’s important to look at what happens when berry meets beer!

This post is dedicated to the one, and only, amazing, Shock Top beer. The traditional, Belgian Style White Ale is a year-round wheat beer. It’s brewed with coriander, orange, lemon and lime peel with barley and wheat. At 5.2% alcohol content, it’s top five on my list of favourite brews. Once Spring and Summer vibes emerge in Canada, so does Shock Top’s seasonal beers – retail speaking!

Most recently hitting the LCBO shelves is the glorious, Shock Top Raspberry White. A 5.2% White ale, with natural raspberry flavour, wheat and barley – it’s a must have, and a great welcome to warmer weather!

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Shock Top Raspberry White & Shock Top Belgian White

An instant nose of raspberry is inhaled. This sweet aroma is nothing like a candy-infused, stomach ache waiting to happen; it’s pleasant, and refreshing, bringing an natural brightness, crisp flavour twist, and smooth finish to an already delicious beer. No, I’m not getting paid to rave about this, but, in my opinion, it’s something worth raving about. Although, it’s brewed year-round, it doesn’t exist at my disposal, so I take full advantage of seasonal opportunity – you should too!

More great things to try from Shock Top:

  • Traditional Belgian White
  • Honeycrisp Apple Wheat
  • Honey Bourbon Wheat
  • Lemon Shandy (Seasonal)
  • Pumpkin Wheat (Seasonal)
  • Shockolate Wheat (Seasonal)
  • Twisted Pretzel Wheat (Limited Edition)
  • Spiced Banana Wheat (Limited Edition)

Not into that? Okay, let’s stick to raspberry, because, berry and beer – it just works! I’m patiently awaiting for the Kawartha Lakes Brewing Co. to start stocking their raspberry wheat beer on the LCBO shelves. However, it’s currently available at the Amsterdam Brewery! I’m advised that the wait time is about two weeks, but, rest-assured, when it’s at the LCBO, I’ll indulge you all in another berry-beer review!

Posted with love,

Ady

PS.

If this didn’t make you want to try Shock Top, I’d strongly advise you to watch these great, interactive, sarcastically tasty ads provided by Shock Top:

Spring Beer Cont’d: Mill St.

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Alright, my obsession/experimentation with the beers of Spring continues. Tonight, I discovered Mill St.’s two new, Spring-inspire bottles:

  1. Portage Ale
  2. Spring Thaw Maple Ale

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I must admit, I was expecting the 5.3% Maple Ale to be way too sweet, and much too intense. Turns out, it was exactly the right amount of sweet, and after my experience with the candy-like beer of Innis and Gunn, it was a nice change in pace. This ale is made with “lightly smoked malt and maple syrup from Madawaska Valley in Ontario.” It’s quite literally the perfect Canadian, Spring beer. The delightful hint of sweet maple sends a cheerful farewell to the tree-tapping season, and a pleasant embrace to the even sweeter seasonal change. Warmth is upon us, and this beer shouts “bring it on” – and not in a cheer-leader kind of way…

The 5% Portage Ale, is a great light beer. It was first made in Ottawa, at the Mill St. Brewpub, located on an old portage route near the Ottawa River, and the name is now obvious. It’s a “thirst quenching Cream Ale, brewed in soft water, Canadian malt, three varieties of hops and cold aged with lager for incredible smoothness.” The easy-drinking beer of Spring is this.

Mill St. distributes these two ales in a Spring six pack (three of each), and can be found at LCBO’s across the province for $13.65

If that isn’t good enough, I highly encourage a trip to this great city of Toronto to visit Mill St. and indulge in their brewery tour! Located in the distillery district aka one of the great treasures of the 416, it will not disappoint!

Innis & Gunn’s Seasonal Spring/Summer Beer

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Maybe it’s my Scottish background, or maybe it’s simply the smoothly crafted beer, but my appreciation for Innis & Gunn is one of few consistency’s in my life. I suppose it helps that their seasonal brews captivate my attention while pleasing my taste buds beyond ordinary delight. Their original Scottish beer, containing hints of toffee, vanilla and oak sets the bar for their entire collection of brews! It’s an appropriate choice for any time of year; a refreshing beverage on a summer’s eve, or a cozy pint by the fire, during the long winter days.

Over this past winter, their variety four-pack, which was new (to me) was completely fulfilling. Accompanied with one of the sturdiest bottle openers I’ve ever owned, the pack held: their original beer, rum finish, toasted oak IPA and, my favourite, the bourbon stout! Couldn’t have been more pleased with the interesting and distinctly different flavours of each bottle.

Today’s beer-run presented me with the opportunity to try two new flavours of Innis & Gunn. Both with green, Spring-inspired labels (based on my last post, it’s safe to say, green is the colour of Spring) I was able to buy their Irish Whiskey Finish (stout), and Rare Oak Pale Ale. The image below captures the new beer, and also shows how legit their bottle opener is – I’d feel safe sleeping with it under my pillow after a horror movie, it packs some weight!

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Both of these smooth, and slightly sweet beers are getting me even more excited to embrace Spring! It might be the beer talking, but I love this Innis & Gunn company! They’re really doing beer right.

The Irish Whiskey Finnish is a 7.4% stout “matured over American oak heartwood that has been infused with Irish Whiskey… a rich, complex beer with a velvety smooth finish and notes of dark chocolate, coffee and treacle.” I couldn’t have said it better, the chocolate doesn’t resistant heavily with my palate, but the charming notes of coffee are perfection.

The 5.8% Rare Oak Pale Ale “has been matured over rare Scottish oak then finished with the addition of Sweet Gale, which grows wild in the Highlands of Scotland and was used traditionally as an alternative to imported hops. Crisp, fragrant and light” – How’s that for an interesting history tidbit? I’d have paid way more attention in class if “hops” was our discussion topic!

Both beers are a gracious reminder that summer is coming, Spring is here and, beer is great. So, cheers to that!

I HIGHLY recommend these choices. Although, they’re on the sweeter side beer, it’s always good to try new things! And, while we might not all have the ability travel across the pond anytime soon, we can all drink Scottish.

Posted with love,

Ady

It’s a Spring Beer

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It’s quite rare for me to be drawn to a beer that isn’t a pale ale, or a pilsner. I like my “light” beer, Steam Whistle, Stella, even Heineken are usually my go-to brews, but this Spring Bock from Amsterdam Brewery really intrigued me!

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The look appeals to the spring vibes, with the wicked green eye-catching label, it’s definitely a marketing win! Then, you see the label tells you it’s a “strong beer” and it is – 7.3%!! Pretty strong, Amsterdam has some of the strongest beer sold at the LCBO. Their Bone Shaker is 7% which is the highest percentage beer sold at my location.

I was also enticed to buy this product because, I’m a total sucker for local anything local (Toronto)! I love supporting Toronto as much as possible, and due to all the fantastic, local offerings here, it’s really not a challenge! This, (and I quote) “all natural, cold-filtered, never heat pasteurized” lager is a refreshing reminder that spring is in the air!

For a casual evening drink, I would recommend this delightful, not-too-heavy (but not light), aged for six weeks lager, to anyone who is ready to appreciate a great brew, and indulge in a little taste of spring!

About Spring Bock:

“Our award winning Doppelbock is brewed in celebration of the arrival of spring. Rich, creamy and full-bodied, this strong lager uses seven types of malt to achieve a deep mahogany colour & bold stature. Vast quantities of hops are added to balance the treacle flavours.”

This beer truly is everything mentioned above.

** I would like to add that, I’m not a huge fan of hops, and if you aren’t either, try this beer! It’s not what you would expect when the label tells you it has “vast quantities of hops” don’t be discouraged. Try something new – it didn’t disappoint me!