June 3rd, Toronto, ON – Folks at Ontario Craft Brewers have drafted up a new selection of member-brewed ales to make up the OCB Discovery Pack No. 5. The new discovery pack consists of an all-can line-up featuring of my favourite Ontario craft ales: Muskoka Hefeweissbier, Great Lakes Devil’s Pale Ale, Wellington Trailhead Lager, Trafalgar Elora Grand Lager
OCB Discovery Pack No.5 will be available at LCBO locations across Ontario starting June.
With summer just around the corner, it is a great time for brewers to roll out fruit-infused ales. One of the recurring seasonal ales that will be around for the entire summer is Great Lake Brewery’s Orange Peel Ale. This beer is a tried and true option that has been around for a few years now, but this year the folks at GLB have decided to take it up a notch and add orange zest for more “orangy goodness.”
First I should mention that this ale isn’t at all what comes to my mind when I think of anorange infused ale. I actually picture a smooth Belgian-style wheat beer with a fluffy white head and a delicate balance of cloves and orange. And if you were thinking the same, Orange Peel Ale will definitely be a surprise.
The Orange Peel Ale comes in a 650ml brown-glass bottle with 5.3% ABV emphasizing oranges on the label and some orange tin-foil on the neck of the bottle, a nice touch.
May 3rd, Toronto, ON – Rejoice beer fans, Creemore Springs Brewery has confirmed that their seasonal Kellerbier brew will be making a comeback this year. Kellerbier literally means `cellar beer`in German, and Creemore Springs`variation is an unfiltered brew with 5% ABV, a bold hoppy aroma and flavour with a touch of citrus. Creemore Springs Kellerbier will hit the shelves starting May 3rd at a number of and will be available in 473 ml cans. It will also be available on draught at select bars and restaurants.
Soon after writing the stout beer style guide, I was fortunate enough to come across an unfamiliar brew, which attracted me with its flashy cylinder box detailing Kremlin and overused “Russian” font. The perpetrator was a new special reserve, bourbon wood-aged brew – St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout.
The label at the bottom of the cylinder, which said “Extra Strong Stout,” and the 9.1% ABV indication, confirmed that St-Ambroise means business.
Having only tried a few Russian Imperial Stouts – not all of which were good – I was excited to try this new brew. Behind the flashy red cylinder, hides a common brown-glass 341ml bottle with familiar St-Ambroise label.
The pour: As I poured the brew into the glass, the beer’s body looked thick, oily and left an appetizing, fluffy brown head on top of the snifter glass. The color is dark brown without any possibility of letting you see through the brew and the colour remains constant even at the edges of the glass.
Here is a quick look into some beautifully designed beer cans from the early to mid 20th century.
More after the jump
With St.Patrick’s day festivities just around the corner, I cannot think of a more appropriate time to write a stout style guide. No other beer style is personified by a single beer, or rather a single brewery as much as stout.
Stout popularity was achieved nearly single handedly by one man, Arthur Guinness. The name Guinness, as relevant to the beer world, first emerged in 1759 when Arthur Guinness leased a defunct brewery in Dublin. Although Guinness attempted several ales in their early days, they soon decided to focus on one single type of ale most popular at the time and thus, began brewing porter. After decades of successful brewing, Guinness ales gained popularity in England and West Indies and expanded their product line to feature distinct types of porters that would be referred to as “stouts.” Even though the term “stout” was first recorded in the 1630s in reference to strong dark ales, the name was not truly popularized until the invention of Daniel Wheeler’s over malt and barley roasting process, thus allowing more precision when creating the beer’s roasted flavour.
Stouts are a close relative of porters. In fact the relationship is so close that at times it is difficult to tell where porter territory ends and stout begins. One of the more distinct differences between the two styles is that stouts, especially classic stouts commonly referred to as Irish Dry Stouts, are very dry and exhibit a distinct espresso-like bite achieved by roasting barley rather than using roasted malt. Stouts are always very dark, often pitch black with a roasted aroma of coffee beans, roasted barley and chocolate. On the other hand, classic stouts are, surprisingly enough, very light and frequently are the lightest beer you can order on tap.
Grab a case of your favourite light pilsner and some liquid blue food colour.
Note: You could attemt to make green beer with darker brews, but light beer results in a better green beer. Think back to your colour theory classes in high school
Pick a mug of your choice for you and your buddies. Pop it in a freezer for an hour to make sure that the brew becomes nice and frosty after you pour it. If you are a bottle drinker, just make sure your brew is nice and cold. Check out the Beer Fridges and Coolers post to help you decide what fridge you’ll want for your birthday.
After you open your bottle of beer or pour it in your mug, squeeze a few drops of blue food colouring into the brew. Don’t worry the food colouring is vegetable based and does not affect the taste of the brew. Blue food coloring achieves a better green than green food coloring when making Irish Green beer. This happens because beer is yellow, so when you add blue food coloring you will get a greener color than if you use green food coloring.
Note: Don’t be to hasty with adding too much food colouring to your beer. You might find that the blue mixes in a lot quicker with the beer and you could end up with a very very dark green beer.
Porter is one of the most complicated styles of beer to describe. I’m pretty sure that is because Porter was originally a mix of several beer styles. Similar to how you might order a mixed drink or a martini at the bar, imagine that you asked the bartender to mix a few taps for a highly customized brew. This may sound weird to you now, but in London via the 1700s, mixing different ales was all the rage and bartenders would mix as many as five different ales at the request of their customers. This trend kept up until brewer Ralph Hardwood analyzed popular combinations and came up with a brew that mimicked the most popular three-beer mix known as the “three threads.” Ralph Hardwood’s new mix was a strong, dark and tasty brew that received the name Mr.Hardwood’s Entire and eventually became the single most popular brew in London. This style of beer became very popular with a particular group in London’s working class, the dock workers, or “porters.” In time, the beer became associated with the group of people that enjoyed it the most and thus became known as “porter beer” or simply porter.
At the peak of its glory, porter was so popular that it was possible for a brewer to make a fortune just by making porter and giving up all other styles. Eventually the fame of this beer reached beyond London and even outside of England with porter breweries opening up in Dublin, Glasgow and all over the British Isles. Arthur Guinness, who is most known for his stout, was the brewer that made porter popular in Ireland and made a fortune doing so. Porter expansion didn’t end there; it went on to take hold in Baltic Sea countries such as Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Poland eventually evolving into its own style called Baltic Porter, featuring a higher alcohol content typical for beer enjoyed in colder climates.
Although porter has not yet achieved the level of popularity it enjoyed back in England, a few brewers in North America have also taken up brewing this style as it was a favourite of many British colonists. Unlike many other styles of beer brought from the Old World, Porter did not evolve into anything distinct in North America. Once Lager and Pilsner became the next big thing in the world of beer, porter popularity dwindled everywhere and eventually porter became less of a crowd pleaser and more of a treat for the gurus.