Twisted Tea

Posted: August 10, 2015 by Kenny in Craft, Imported
Tags: , ,

twisted-tea-original-1pkIt isn’t very often that I write about a beer that isn’t a beer, but considering that in the last 2 weeks, I have consumed at least a dozen of these, I thought I should add it to the list.

The wife and I were at one of her co-workers parties, which also happened to be a chilli cook off (we scored 3rd). Knowing that I was going to be eating chili, I brought along a few Cobblestone Stouts and a Lemon Tea beer to enjoy with dinner.

Before that happened, the kids were all out in the back playing games and jumping on the trampoline while the parents had some snacks and grabbed beer from an old wheel barrow. In said wheel barrow were a bunch of Boston Lager and Twisted Teas. At first, I enjoyed a cold-on-the-bottom-warm-on-top Boston Lager while the wife tried a Twisted Tea.

While my beer was satisfactory, she couldn’t stop saying how good her hard iced tea was. Curious, I decided to try a sip. Wow! That was pretty yummy. But I bet like with all iced tea/cooler type of drinks, they get really sweet the more you drink of it.

Not so! It’s just awesome. It looks like home-made iced tea, it smells like home-made iced tea and, surprisingly, it tastes like home-made iced tea. Well, maybe not home-made, but I found it tasted like the powdered Nestea my Mom used to make in the summer. There is that initial sweetness followed by a dry, powdery bitter that sits there just long enough to be noticed, then disappears.

Everyone we have shared it with since has liked it just as much. We are not on to out third case this summer. This could be the first time a non-beer makes the Top 10 list.

Country of Origin: United States
Alcohol Content: 5%
Sequence: All Summer Long
Finished: Absolutely
Vessel: Bottle, glass

 

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Bell’s Oarsman Ale

Posted: July 7, 2015 by Kenny in Craft
Tags: , ,

oarsmanI recently bought myself some new shoes on Amazon.com and saved about $70 over buying them in the store here. I had them shipped to Blue Water Shipping in Port Huron, who only charge $5 for the service. When they came in, I decided to take a day off work and drive down there with the wife and 4, and pick up a few things from the land of cheap everything.

Our first stop was Kroger so I could take a look at their beer selection. I didn’t find any mixer packs worth picking up, but I did find enough singles to make 2 6-packs (and apparently pay for them with an expired credit card! That’s a fun story for later).

Part of that pack was this Bell’s beer. I really enjoyed Two Hearted when I was in Florida and I know they are one of the more reputable craft brewers in the States. So, last night, after a hard work out, an easy swim with friends and after going to pick up wings for dinner (at 9:30 pm) I grabbed this beer.  There wasn’t much detail on the label, just that it was made with malts and blah and blah and sour mash…wait, sour mash? What the hell kind of beer is this? Turns out, Berliner Weisse.

I’ve had experience with Berliner Weisse before and was none-too-pleased, so had pretty low expectations for this one. It poured out relatively clear for any kind of weisse and smelled malty sweet but lingered with sour. The first (hesitant) taste was smooth and sweet, but then turned a bit sour on the booty. It wasn’t until I checked in that I realized that it was a 4% beer! A session Berliner, what a novel idea.

It worked! I loved that beer. I’ll be looking for it again the next time I’m down there. Well done.

Country of Origin: United States
Alcohol Content: 4%
Sequence:
Finished: First
Vessel: Glass by way of bottle

 

OV (Old Vienna)

Posted: June 29, 2015 by Kenny in Domestic
Tags: , , ,

IMG_20150628_131400_editSo over the weekend, the wife’s side of the family was supposed to have a family reunion golf tournament, like they do every year. This year, it was in Welland. Unfortunately, on Saturday, Welland received so much rainfall that most of the golf course was underwater. Needless to say, we weren’t going to Welland…Or were we?

Turns out, the in-laws had paid for the dinner portion of the weekend and since the organizers are not weathermen and didn’t anticipate this much rain, had no reason to cancel the food order. So, at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, after, what seemed like, 24 hours of straight rain in London, the 6 of us piled into the van and drove 2 hours to go have dinner with the wife’s extended family. Now that’s a fun time!

Jackie was coming down from Toronto to meet us there and we (the wife) decided to meet up at a bar first to a) get the kids some food for lunch before a possibly mediocre dinner (it was) and 2) beer. We got to the golf course, which was deserted, and plugged FOOD into the GPS to see what was close. It found a sports bar called Elbow Room and we were on our way. We called the in-laws, who were in Welland already, and told them that’s what we were doing and they decided to meet us there too with one of the crazy cousins, Maurice. It was also during this call that we found out that Maurice’s wife, Beth, does the books for this bar, and they are now called Tailgates. OK, still a sports bar, I’m happy.

We got to where the GPS said the bar was and saw a Giant Tiger, a Dollar Tree and a parking lot that might as well have been gravel on dirt. The whole area looked rough. We were about to step into a bar-fly heaven!  We walked in the door, 2 nicely dressed adults with 4 kids, and could feel the looks of confusion from the old mustachioed-men sitting at the bar watching the Jay’s game.

We rearranged all the tables in the back section, since we needed the space, and the server came over to drop off the menus and see if we needed any drinks. On the way in, I noticed the Coors Light banners and immediately know it was a Molson bar and could pretty much rhyme off what was on tap….but I asked anyway.
Coors Light
Canadian
Rickard’s Red
Rickard’s White (a craft beer)
Coors Banquet
OV
Creemore
Granville

WHOA! OV? I actually never let her get to Creemore and Granville before I ordered the OV. I haven’t had that since I was a teenager old enough to drink. When it came, it was clear yellow and it smelled like that uncle who drinks too much beer. It was awful smelling. I tried it anyway and you know what? It really wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great, but it was tolerable. It had that tin pilsner taste up front which kinda gives you pucker mouth at first, but then finishes clean and dry.

The server said that it’s a big hit with the younger crowd (read hipsters) and when Jackie arrived and ordered one too, it was confirmed.

Back at the golf course, we met up with Mark and we had another, this time in a bottle. I can tell you this: If you have a chance, drink it on tap, ’cause it’s gross from the bottle.


Country of Origin: 
Canada
Alcohol Content:  5%
Sequence:  First
Finished:  Yes
Vessel: Draught, Bottle

So, you know that one thing that you really want and think that you could never have? That same thing that causes jealousy when you see or know someone else who has enjoyed it? That’s Pliny the Elder for me.

Since the early days of posting on here and checking in through Untappd, I have expanded my knowledge of beer (obviously) and for the longest time, whenever I checked in to an IPA (which is about 1/3 of all the beers I have logged) I kept seeing this Pliny beer. I looked it up because I was curious. Turns out, it is one of the most sought after beers in the craft scene and is in the top 25 of at least three beer aggregate sites.

So when I heard that my brother was going to Southern California, I had only one request: Pliny!

While he was there, he kept checking in to different breweries: Lagunitas, Southern Pacific, Anchor Steam and finally, with a shot at me, Russian River. He told me that he and Teri tried a few beers, but Pliny wasn’t one of them. I didn’t ask if he got me any because that would just be rude.

When he got back, he posted a picture on the Facebook with the caption “So this happened”. Do you see what I see? (other than 4 bags of beans)

PLINY!

PLINY!

I was a little giddy.

It just happened that I was going to be in Toronto the week after he came home, so it was the perfect opportunity to get together and pick it up. The getting together part never happened, but I did swing by his office and pick it up. Turns out, he also got me a Pliny glass and a great Lagunitas mug that has quickly become my favourite outdoor beer vessel.

All around the label was printed such phrases as “Sit on eggs, not Pliny. Drink Fresh” and “Age your cheese, not your Pliny”. So I figured that I shouldaviary_1430356343349 probably drink it soon. I was hoping to find a time that Mark could be there to share (a sip) but between his wife away for work and his sick kids and mine possibly having pink eye, it just wasn’t in the cards.

I decided that the best time to enjoy a long-awaited, supposedly hoppy IPA would be our usual after-training-pizza-night Wednesday. The wife and I made some pizzas and I poured Pliny out into his very own glass. It was a light amber IPA colour and it smelled like sweet grapefruit. The wife suggested I taste it before food, so I can get the full, untainted (she said taint) experience. It tasted very citrusy with the grapefruit standing out in flavour as much as it did in smell.

As I ate and drank and drank and drank, I couldn’t believe that this was a DOUBLE IPA, with 8% ABV. It tasted more like a session beer, it was so smooth and had almost zero bitter after taste. Knowing that it was made with 100% Simcoe hops, I didn’t think that I was going to like it as much as I did. You see, I have been under the pretense that I don’t like Simcoe hops because beers like Lord Simcoe’s Revenge and The Princess Wears Girly Pants. I’m glad to report now, that I was wrong. Simcoe Hops are delicious. This kinda tasted like a far better version of Keith Cascade Hops. Like way better.

I have heard from other people out there, who consider themselves hop-heads (like I do), that the build up and anticipation to drinking Pliny kinda made the beer a little underwhelming. I mean, we have all been spoiled as of late with 100’s of different hop-focused beers coming to market.

I really enjoyed my Pliny, but it wasn’t as mind-blowing as I would have expected it to be. I really hope that Heady Topper doesn’t suffer the same fate.

Country of Origin:  United Stated
Alcohol Content:  8%
Sequence:  First
Finished:  Yes
Vessel:  A Pliny Glass