As usual, I like to try new things when I go out or am in a drinking mood. I tend to fall back on old favourites when at parties, when I’m not feeling great, or when I’m simply relaxing. This week was a mix of both new and old.
Thursday, May 12
Friday, May 13
I had a pretty annoying night at work, but Jason wanted to go out when he came to pick me up.We were thinking about starting at Flagship Brewery, but they close early. Instead we walked the couple of blocks to Craft House.
Craft House is a really awesome bar/restaurant. They serve creative BBQ and have a fantastic beer selection. They have also started serving liquor since the last time I’ve been there. It was a super sticky/muggy night, so I opted to start the night with some ciders.
Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider is one of my favourite ciders. The first time I ever had it, it was on draft at Craft House. They no longer offer it on draft, but they do have it in bottles.
Appearance: clear reddish purple
Aroma: blackberry, pear
Taste: tart, blackberry, pear
Feel: smooth, easy to drink, light body, low carbonation
Overall: I love this stuff. It’s very straight forward.
Wolffer No. 139 Dry Rose Cider is something I’ve never heard of before I saw it on the beer menu, so I knew I had to try it.
Appearance: clear light pink
Aroma: apple, floral
Taste: follows aroma, strawberry, tart
Feel: crisp, medium carbonation
Overall: At 6.9%, this is one of the higher ABV ciders I’ve had, but you don’t taste it. This was quite a lovely, fruity cider.
Jason really wanted to go to Hop Shoppe since he’s currently obsessed. It’s about a mile between Craft House and Hop Shoppe and the muggy weather totally destroyed my hair during the walk. I was so ready for something light and cold by the time we got there. It was very loud and the lights were turned up high, which was quite weird.
After looking over the draft list, Jason asked for a taste of DuClaw Dirty Little Freak.
Appearance: hazy brown, tan head
Aroma: toasty, coconut
Taste: very sweet, coconut, chocolate, caramel, slightly metallic towards the end
Feel: low/medium body, medium carbonation
Overall: I’m not really a fan. I don’t think there is one coconut beer I’ve tried so far and enjoyed.
I ended up ordering a Free Will Kriek Lambic. Very shortly after I ordered, the bartender pretty much kicked everyone out. Unless we missed last call, I find that kind of rude and it was only around 1:30am.
Appearance: hazy, bright pink
Aroma: sour cherry, slightly funky
Taste: sour cherry, sweet, tart, tangy, slight yoghurt, grains, funky, slightly musty
Feel: medium body and carbonation
Overall: I really liked this beer. I’ve been mildly upset with my sour beer choices lately, but this put me back on the right track. I will be drinking this again.
Saturday, May 14
I love when we get something new on draft that we haven’t had before. We tend to keep the same products on the German taps and repeat things on the craft taps. Our newest addition is River Horse Roly Poly Pils.
Appearance: gold with a thick, lasting white head
Aroma: bready, herbal, light citrus
Taste: follows aroma, the herbal hops stand out but don’t overpower, cereal, light corn
Feel: smooth, low carbonation, light bodied
Overall: I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of pilsner style beers and although this beer isn’t a great example of the style, it was quite nice.
After work, Jason picked me up and decided we were going to join his friends Chris, Tim and Steve at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve only been to BWW twice before and it was relatively quiet both times. There was a fight on Saturday night and the restaurant was so loud! Luckily the fight was over very quickly, (one hit), and it started to die down. I ordered a Henry’s Hard Orange Soda, but they were out and I settled for an Angry Orchard. I didn’t take a picture and also don’t really feel the need to go into detail on such a basic option.
Sunday, May 15
One of the Sunday bartenders gave up his shift and I was asked if I wanted to take his place. I now work a double shift every other Sunday. I don’t really drink while working unless I’m sampling something new on draft. After the dining room closed, there was a bottle of Blue Moon Belgian White sitting in the ice from a customer misunderstanding earlier in day. Rather than let it go to waste, I drink it while being pressured by some of our regulars to have a drink. I also had a small glass of Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin. I really can’t get over how good it is.
Monday, May 16
Monday was my day to bring in beer for our unofficial Monday night beer club. I chose some thing I’ve had sitting in the fridge for a bit.
Greg wanted to start with the Almanac Golden Gate Gose.
Appearance: golden orange
Aroma: citrus, spice, yeasty
Taste: funky, sour, slightly salty, spices (coriander?), light grain
Feel: high carbonation, tons of very small bubbles that stick to the inside of your mouth, refreshing, light bodied
Overall: Why did I leave this alone for so long?! I was very happy with this beer. I wish this was slightly saltier, but overall it’s a really nice beer.
The second beer we split was Maine Red Wheelbarrow.
Appearance: dark copper/red
Aroma: biscuit, bready, hoppy, herbal, light citrus
Taste: bread, caramel, citrus hops, light chocolate, bitter towards the end
Feel: smooth, light/medium bodied, light carbonation
Overall: I thought it to be quite hoppy for a red ale. This beer was quite tasty.
Our last beer of the night was Baxter Ceremony, a session IPA brewed and flavoured with green tea.
Appearance: hazy yellow, large white head
Aroma: floral, resin, tropical fruit, slightly grassy, slightly herbal
Taste: slightly floral, quite fruity, earthy green tea finish
Feel: medium body, medium carbonation
Overall: It wasn’t bad. I think the brewers did a nice job incorporating the tea. This beer is retired.
Tuesday, May 17
Jason is in grad school and Tuesday has been his late day this semester. He goes to work at 7am and isn’t home until around 11pm. It’s the perfect day for me to do whatever I like. This week I decided to finally finish season 6 of Downton Abbey and get some more beer out of my house.
I started with Episode 6 and Harlem Renaissance Wit.
Appearance: hazy dark yellow/light copper, quickly dissipating white head
Aroma: orange, wheat
Taste: slightly hoppy, very heavy coriander, light orange peel, sweet bread
Feel: medium carbonation, light body
Overall: I wasn’t impressed. The coriander overpowers the other flavours.
Episode 7 and Spiked Seltzer Cape Cod Cranberry.
Appearance: clear, club soda
Aroma: vodka, medicinal cranberry
Taste: cranberry vodka in club soda
Feel: light body, medium/high carbonation
Overall: I’ve had this before. It’s quick and easy to pop open if you don’t feel like making a drink. Not my favourite of the flavours offered, but not the worst one.
Episode 8 and White Birch Blueberry Berliner Weisse.
Appearance: hazy pale yellow, small white head that melts quickly
Aroma: blueberry muffin, light lemon, sour
Taste: just like a sour blueberry muffin, unripe blueberry, tart, sour, slightly sweet, wheat, slight lactose creaminess
Feel: light bodied, crisp, moderate carbonation
Overall: This is the third Berliner Weisse I’ve had from White Birch. I like their raspberry better than the blueberry, but this is a fantastic beer.
Episode 9 was the two hour season finale which means two drinks!
Stoudts Pumpkin Fest
Appearance: golden amber, long lasting white head
Aroma: malty pumpkin
Taste: very pumpkin pie, cinnamon, lightly roasted malts, sweet, spice
Feel: lively carbonation, light/medium body
Overall: THIS BEER. This was everything I was looking for in a pumpkin beer in Fall 2015 and never found. It has the perfect amount of pumpkin pie spice and sweetness mixed with a nice rich malty Oktoberfest taste. One of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had and I’ve had a lot!
Downeast Maple Blend Cider
Appearance: hazy/chalky orange, visible carbonation
Aroma: sweet apples
Taste: sweet apple, cinnamon, light maple syrup, light pecan
Feel: smooth, light/medium body, moderate carbonation
Overall: Eh. I’m not a fan of Downeast on the whole. This cider was only okay. I was really hoping that the maple syrup would stand out more.
Wednesday, May 18
Nothing. I drank about 3 pots of tea while writing up some posts though.