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The Vice Report » Beer

Posts about Beer

Trafalgar Ales Smoked Oatmeal Stout

Saturday, October 13th, 2012
Doesn't do well in a bottle.

Doesn’t do well in a bottle.

I was so disappointed with Trafalgar Ales Smoked Oatmeal Stout that I decided it wasn’t even worth my time to apply my shitty writing skills to a full scale review.

Enjoy…..

- from Oakville, Ontario

- dark, looks like Coke

- Smokey, sour

- minimal head for an oatmeal stout which could have been due to bottle

- dogshit, total dogshit

Have a nice day.

Tusker Lager

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Insert caption here
big, beautiful tusker

One of my all time favourite beers, Tusker is a beautiful golden nectar from Kenya. With a light head and a delicious malty caramel aroma, just thinking about it makes my mouth water. This refreshing lager drinks well on it’s own or paired with food – and since it’s not too heavy you could easily make a night of it.

Although it’s only available in 500 mL bottles, after your first bottle you’ll be wishing it came in a larger size. It can be a little hard to find in Toronto, I’ve only seen a few establishments stock it and half the time they’re sold out. Most LCBO outlets are hit and miss – your best bet is to try the larger locations. But you’ll have to get there before me, because when I find it, I buy it. All of it.

Fermentations!

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I think that at lease once, every beer enthusiast should brew a batch of their own beer. With that being said, there are many levels of what one would consider ‘homebrew’ or ‘brew-your-own’ – ie:, a makeshift lab in your damp and dingy basement or through a local wine / beer making service – I’ve done both and with mixed results. Now that I no longer have the time or the space to attempt to create the next aneheuser busch in my basement I rely on others such as the staff at Fermentations! to do it for me.

Realistically, most enthusiasts go through brew your own for one specific reason – to cut costs. Roughly $70 for three cases (for premium beer, others selections are cheaper) of beer ain’t too bad and if the output tastes better than turpentine, you’ve struck gold. I’ve had many a bottles of homebrew or brew-your-own and some have been effen terrible while others have been quite good.

I recently brewed a batch of Dunkle at Fermentations! on the Danforth in Toronto and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of the beer. It was a nice amber as expected with a clean and malty flavour. Head was basically non existent but not a big deal – after all, this is brew-your-own and you can’t set the bar too high.

A few things to think about with the whole homebrew process – green plastic 500ml bottles are the norm for bottling your beer. Some enthusiasts my cringe at the thought of drinking beer out of a plastic bottle or ‘storing and pouring’ from plastic to glass when ready to drink…..big deal, suck it up. I started saving my glass bottles but found that they took up too much space and I was too lazy to thoroughly clean them out pre-bottling. The brewing process takes all of two weeks from start to finish. Your first visit will be to select your beer of choice and empty the yeast into the brew keg. Two weeks later it’s ready for bottling and even better – consumption!. Other brew-your-own services may require or allow you to interact more throughout the brewing process but this was my experience.

If you’re gonna whine because the taste isn’t as traditional or similar to what you would expect straight off the shelf, than this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for the experience, a drinkable beer and to save a little cake, look up your local brew-your-own and give’m a shot.

Bottom line – I was looking for the best bang for the buck and I got it. Three cases of drinkable beer in two weeks and for only $70. Staff was friendly, knowledgeable and we were allowed to sample our beer as we bottled.

Fermentations!
201 Danforth Ave
Toronto, Ontario
416.778.9000
charles@fermentations.ca
www.fermentations.ca

Coors Light

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

It’s all show and no go but what do you honestly expect coming from a light beer?.

You know you can crush at least 12 to 15 bottles without getting completely sauced and brag about it to your friends except the real men will always know you’re drinking to watch your choleric intake so you don’t jeopardize fitting into those trendy jeans you bought on your Saturday shopping spree at Zara.

But the reality is, Coors has the largest brew barn, is the 5th largest brewing company in the world and does almost 3 billion in revenue a year….so…something must be working.

The beer itself is light, clear and slightly crisp but only due to the mandatory coldness required at consumption time. Aroma is paper thin and there’s little if no hoppy feel to the taste.

At the end of the day, and if you’re a calorie counter who could care less about whether or not you’re drinking beer or drinking water, Coors Light is the choice for you. Go take your ‘Silver Bullet’ and have a seat in the corner with the rest of the gym rats.

Mill Street Organic Lager

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I don’t go out of my way to buy anything ‘organic’ but because I’m a fan of other Mill Street Brewery beers, I thought it would only be fair to give their new organic brew a try. In an attempt to fall in line and appeal to the organic movement, this German Pilsner is claimed to be pesticide and herbicide free. Is it? who knows, and in all honesty, who cares. We’re talking beer here. If it tastes good and you like it, drink it.

Right off the bat and uncapped, the presentation is clean and fresh to the eye. The bottle is a reminiscent of Carona because of its transparency but I suppose this is a strategic move by the brewery to emphasize the ‘organic’ and clean feel to their marketing. Bottles come in the standard 341ml at the beer and liquor store but can also be purchased in a 222ml lady size at the Brewery itself. The lager can be found on tap as well at many pubs, restaurants and the Mill Street brewhouse.

Aroma is par for the course with a fresh and crisp taste. This isn’t a heavy lager by any standards and can easily be consumed continuously throughout the night without having to change your drinking lineup mid-festivities due to overpowering aromas or aftertaste. Highly recommended for hot summer gatherings and pairs nicely with anything BBQ.

Mill Street Brew Pub and Store

55 Mill Street, Building 63

Toronto, Ontario

M5A 3C4

P:416.681.0338

F:416.681. 0339

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Beer Porridge

Beer Porridge

The best, a kick in the nuts, beer porridge… whatever you want to call it. I was first introduced to The Draak by Eddie, my fast talking beer slinging tender at my favourite watering hole in Toronto and I’ve been hooked ever since. At 10.5%, this sauce will have you giving the hairy eyeball to everyone in the bar after only three or four bottles. Ideally served in a Tulip or Chalice style glass this Belgium treat is meant for your tasting pleasure and not for pounding (I speak from experience). A strong alcohol aroma is emitted once poured but all forgotten once you take a backhand to the chops from the powerful fruit and coffee explosion. Intake should be monitored as this Dark Triple is definitely one to be reckoned with – if you intend in drinking three or more of these lovely ladies, be prepared for a foggy memory the next day.

Fischer Blonde

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
fischer

Delicious nectar and a nice bottle to boot.

Although the French are known more for their fine wines, they’re no slouches when it comes to beer either. If Kronenbourg isn’t enough to convince the skeptics, then Fischer Blonde should put an end to the argument against French brew-ology. Clear and golden in colour with a large but light head that dissipates quickly, Fischer is nicely carbonated and crisp in the mouth. The mild flavour is very well-balanced for a 6% brew – slightly hoppy with hints of herbs and citrus. Clean and refreshing, this delicious lager would drink well with pretty much anything you barbeque, or as a perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day. Now that summer is almost here, I’ll be making some room in my fridge for this gem. And I’ll need to make a lot of room – did I mention it comes in a nice big 650 ml bottle?

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
This is the stuff dreams are made of.

This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Bacon. Beer. These are the things I dream about at night. At a beer tasting event last night, I was introduced to a German beer that sounds too good to be true. Those who don’t count bacon as a distinct food group might not think that a bacon-flavoured beer would be very good, but believe me, it works! Brewed in Bamburg, Germany for 300 years, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (“rauchbier” is German for “smokebeer”) is a delicious lager with a sweet, smoky flavour that comes from roasting the malt over open fire. Perfectly balanced, the smoke manages to be the dominant flavour without ever overpowering the sweet malt flavours that make this bacony nectar so drinkable.

The verdict? I can’t recommend this beer enough. It might not be the type of beer you’ll want to drink all night (or, it might), but it would be great with a hearty meal – think barbequed sausages or stick-to-your-ribs stews and soups.

Murphy’s Irish Stout

Friday, October 10th, 2008
Pint of the black stuffs cousin, landlord...

Pint of the black stuffs cousin, landlord...

Don’t call it a Guinness wannabe because it’s anything but. Murphy’s Irish Stout has been on the beer scene for some time now but for the most part, has gone unnoticed by most with the exception of your typical beer enthusiasts and tryers-of-something-new. While Murphy’s has a similar 10W-30 look to Guinness, the flavour yields a sampling of rich chocolate with a less bitter but slightly dry aftertaste. The smooth consistency of the head is brown in colour and is a nice introduction to the remainder of the light-bodied pint. Consider Murphy’s as the pre-game warm up to a long night in the pubs.