Archive for the craft beer Category

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.

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Maple Butter Tart Ale

Posted in craft beer, Domestic Beers with tags , , , on December 23, 2016 by beertruckdriver

Maple butter tart ale? I found this at the Summerhill LCBO and reluctantly decided to try it. It’s brewed by Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City Brewing Company.

It really is an all right beer as a curiosity. The body is a dark reddish brown with a thin off-white head. From the second I opened the can I smelled the aroma of, well, butter tart. The flavour definitely has a butter tart taste, but a watery texture and a hint of toasted nut to make you not feel like you’re drinking a can of syrup. The finish has a lingering flavour of maple syrup that isn’t too strong. The sweetness is here, but I still feel like I’m having a beer. I don’t regret trying this, but it’s not something I think I would drink on a regular basis.

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A couple of notes

Posted in bars and restaurants, craft beer, Domestic Beers with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by beertruckdriver
  1. I’m as pissed off as many that an indisputably racist pig is the next president of the United States. If you’re going to argue he’s not a racist, I’d like to know your definition of racism.
  2.  That’s out of the way. Now on to beer. I was happy this week to find Driftwood Brewery’s Fat Tug IPA at my LCBO. A few years ago (and possibly still) this was all the rage among beer snobs in BC. It’s a strong beer at 7% and at $6 for a 650 ml bottle, it’s not cheap, but I had to treat myself as this beer is that good. It comes in a really cool bottle too.img_20161113_175942687
  3. Last night I went to the Victory Cafe on Markham St. in downtown Toronto for a bite and tried a pint of Collective Arts Sour Pumpkin Saison. I love pumpkin ales, and this one kind of disappointed as the aroma sets you up for a standard sweet pumpkin ale, but the taste of this is a tart traditional saison. Josh Rubin of the Toronto Star explains how this beer gets its taste here (plus he reviews other pumpkin beers). I have to give Collective Arts bonus points for originality.

Collective Arts Hefeweizen

Posted in craft beer, Domestic Beers with tags , , on November 11, 2016 by beertruckdriver

Yes, I’m reviewing another beer from Collective Arts. A friend brought me a bottle of their hefeweizen from the brewery. Hefeweizens are German wheat beer that will usually have a fruity sweet flavour to them.

It looks how you would expect a hefeweizen to look, with a hazy orange body. The fruity aroma that comes with a hefe is there. What amazed me about this beer is the flavour. Yes, I know a hefe is supposed to have flavours of sweet fruit, but the long lingering sweet banana flavour was much more than I expected, added in with a bit of spice. The surprising and lingering finish reminds me my experience with Stash, the Collective Arts beer I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

Another example of an Ontario hefeweizen is the popular Side Launch Wheat.

Slingshot California Common

Posted in craft beer, Domestic Beers with tags , , , , on October 24, 2016 by beertruckdriver

Slingshot is brewed by Toronto’s Radical Road Brewing. It’s a California Common style beer, better known as a steam beer. According to Beer Advocate:

“The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.”

Probably the most famous example of a California Common is San Francisco’s Anchor Steam.

Slingshot pours with a caramel body with quite a bit of carbonation. The head is thick and white. The aroma is malty with hints of fruits. The taste is quite malty and has an overall creamy mouthfeel. The finish lingers with a bit of spice and bitterness. I don’t have a lot of experience with California Commons, but personally prefer Anchor Steam. This beer’s a pretty good one though.

Collective Arts Stash

Posted in craft beer, Domestic Beers with tags , , , on October 17, 2016 by beertruckdriver

Hamilton’s Collective Arts Brewing has gained a following in the craft beer market in the last few years with its bold and excellent beers, as well as its packaging. Bottles feature prints of art by current artists and independent album covers.

Stash, a “straight-up ale,” is a blonde ale and a departure from creations like the American Pale Ale Rhyme & Reason or the very strong American IPA Ransack the Universe. Stash is not as straight-up as you would think though. It pours blonde yellow with a light head and a grassy aroma. So far, as expected. The palate has a grassy taste, but it’s the finish where this beer takes a sharp hairpin turn like in a police-chase scene in an old movie. I didn’t expect a hoppy grapefruit taste that lingers in a blonde ale. This isn’t quite a straight-up ale, but if you have an open mind, you should like this.img_20161016_194531637