My trip to New York

Posted in bars and restaurants, Travel with tags , , , , on June 6, 2017 by beertruckdriver

I should’ve posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t. I went to New York over Victoria Day weekend. We actually stayed in New Jersey and took the train over each day (I don’t recommend this, for many reasons). This wasn’t a “drinking trip,” the way a trip to Northern California, France, Bavaria or Belgian monasteries might be. But we (meaning my old man and I) did stop by the Heartland Brewery’s brew pub near Times Square and had a couple of Cornhusker Lagers (each). I like lagers, but this was more malty than I expected. Still alright though.

We also made it to a New York Mets game. Ballpark beer in New York is better than Rogers Centre/SkyDome, but it is not cheaper. They have your standard tallboys of domestics at $9.50 US a can, “Big Boys” (25 Oz cans) for $12.50 US (I think I saw these at a Jays game last week, but didn’t inquire about prices. But they do offer A LOT more craft beer options than SkyDome (don’t correct me on SkyDome).  I ended up grabbing a pint of Sierra Nevada. It was $12.50 US. You get to keep the Mets-branded hard-plastic cup, but do you want the second cup if you order a second beer?

One other interesting thing I saw in a Sam’s Club:

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A brewery called Blue Point, also has a beer called Hoptical Illusion. I wonder if the guys at Flying Monkeys are aware. Though, according to RateBeer, many brewers have used this name. I didn’t pick up a six-pack, but look at the price. Eight-something.

The Collective Arts Brewery in Hamilton

Posted in craft beer, Travel with tags , , , , , , on April 10, 2017 by beertruckdriver

Yesterday I went to visit a friend in Hamilton, Ontario. We made a trip to to The Collective Arts Brewery.

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Souvenir t-shirt I got at Collective Arts

My friend and I bought a flight each. My flight consisted of Their Collective Project IPA #1 and IPA #2, their pumpkin saison (which is no longer on their web site. Perhaps at the end of its run? I mean, it’s not exactly pumpkin season) and State of Mind. I also hears an interesting story about Stash from the locals. Having a “straight up” blonde ale was put into play due to the local market in Hamilton. When you think Hamilton beer you might think of those big-ass cans of Steeler or brands like Lakeport. I’m stereotyping here, but Hamiltonians are often blue-collar people who want a straight up beer to drink “like Canadian?” so Stash, though a lot more flavourful than Canadian, offers that.

Briefly, one pilsner I’ve been enjoying lately has been Collingwood’s Rockwood. When I first tried it I asked my LCBO clerk about it and he told me he was really picky and did not prefer it to Urquell. Personally, I like it over Urquell, though there’s a little bit of appley sweetness, which is a surprise. I could see this not being for every pilsner drinker, but I find it clean, smooth and definitely drinkable.

Ashton Hop Stravaganza

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2017 by beertruckdriver

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I meant to write about this some time ago, but I’ve been extremely busy with my day job. A friend brought it back from the Ottawa Valley (where the brewer is located). The one disappointment in this American pale ale is it’s called Hop Stravaganza. There really isn’t a lot of hoppiness. This really tasted more like a straight-up ale, like Ex. But don’t let anyone ever tell you there’s anything wrong with drinking an Ex. Ever.

 

Uerige Altbier

Posted in foreign beer with tags , , on March 13, 2017 by beertruckdriver

Uerige Altbier isn’t cheap at $3.95 per 330 ml bottle at the LCBO, but it does come in a really cool bottle.
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It’s skinny and has a very long neck. The clerk at the store commented, “Well this bottle is unique.” The beer itself is alright, though not the greatest beer I’ve ever had, which is what the online commentary would suggest it should be. Uerige pours a chocolate colour with a thick beige head. It’s quite carbonated The flavour has hints of malt and dark chocolate and just a splash of cherry. The finish balances the flavour with its bitterness.

American map of beer

Posted in in the news with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2017 by beertruckdriver

During the Super Bowl this weekend, a map appeared in my Facebook timeline posted by Vox. The map detailed Americans’ favourite beers by state. Note favourite beers might not be the ones people drink the most. This might explain the first surprise to me; Bud Light and Coors Light aren’t bigger than they are on this map. Another surprise is how big a craft beer like Blue Moon is. It’s a favourite from Washington State to New York State to South Carolina. Yuengling is also a big hit in many states. Corona is a favourite to Californians and Hawaiians, but nowhere else does it appear on the map.

Opening a PakTech holder

Posted in Retail with tags , , , on January 4, 2017 by beertruckdriver

If you’ve ever picked up a six-pack of beer or something else and it came packaged with those plastic lid tops that are near impossible to remove, watch this video from Austin Beerworks. The trick is to not pick up the rest of the beer or what have you when removing from the packaging. One other tip, as you can see in the video, letting the beer sit may be best before opening, as when you have to pull so hard you might get the fobbing effect.

Here’s an article that tries to explain the reasoning behind such a stupid invention.

By the way, unrelated to beer, the last couple of nights on Netflix I’ve been watching this film that’s apparently popular in Norway of a train that travels from Bergen to Oslo (in seven hours). It really is not as boring as you would think if you like scenic trips through the mountains. It’s part of a series in Norway called Slow TV, and looks to be a lot like their Fireplace Channel.

 

 

Book Review: 150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels

Posted in Domestic Beers, Retail with tags , , , , , on December 31, 2016 by beertruckdriver

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Over the holidays, I received this book as a gift from a friend. I will say it was really a unique and thoughtful gift. And, this book is amazing.

I50 Years of Canadian Beer Labels, from Touchwood Editions, is an art book, with its art being beer bottle labels. Each folio contains a print of beer label on the right page and a description on the left explaining who brewed it. Most of the breweries are long gone, though a few beers may still exist, but are produced by a macrobrewery (think Lucky Lager). Randomly opening to a page leads us to Cosgrave Export Brewery Company’s Old Munich Lager Beer, which, according to the book, was brewed in Toronto in the early ’30s. The label features cartoon elves at different stages of the brewing process. Old Munich’s disappearance was possibly due to its German name around the time of World War II.

Just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday, you can see its history. In beer labels.