Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


7 Comments

Beau’s All Natural adds a full time IPA to their lineup

I don’t usually do detailed beer reviews any more, but sometimes I try a beer that makes me feel like talking.

Vankleek Hill’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. is about to release an IPA that will join their roster full time. Appropriately, it’s called Full Time IPA.

Here’s why I dig this: You could argue that the IPA trend in Ontario is on its way out (I mean you could. I probably wouldn’t listen), but we’re definitely ushering in a return to traditional, “simpler” styles like pilsners and lagers. And so Beaus, who are arguably best known for their kolsch-style beer, have decided to to offer a up a full time, hop-heavy beer because, why the hell not? Continue reading


3 Comments

Five great beers for a forced obligatory Halloween blog post

beerc

It’s Halloween, which means our houses will soon be filled with candy–either leftover from trick or treaters that never showed or dutifully collected from the neighbourhood by our own kids–and you know what that means: it’s time to capitalize on this annual event with an article that clumsily attempts to link two things as disparate as candy and beer!

Candy, of course, doesn’t pair very well with beer at all with the possible exception of chocolate and some stouts, but even then eating chocolate tends to negate the “chocolate-y” aspects of stouts leaving you to only taste the bitterness and roasted malt characters of the beer.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to force these things together today with some beer and candy pairings because, hey, web traffic. Continue reading


33 Comments

The Ontario beer state of the union

Ontario Flag

On Thursday, at Beer Bistro in Toronto, awards were handed out to the fan favourites in a variety of categories for Ontario’s beer scene for the 2016 Golden Tap Awards.

The occasion, which likely skews a little too heavily toward Toronto beer bars and breweries, is probably about as good a way as any to take the pulse of the province’s current beer trends, and thus seemed to me like an appropriate time to reflect on the Ontario beer scene generally. Also, yes, I won one of these awards again last night and so I feel compelled to actually contribute something instead of resting on my laurels.

And so I had a few beers and thunk on it, and I’ve concluded that the craft beer scene in Ontatio is great.

But it’s time to get serious. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Haiku reviews: Beau’s All Natural’s Buenos Dias

Haiku reviews is a feature wherein I invoke the brief and impressionistic style of poetry to devote exactly 17 syllables to reviewing a beer.

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company’s Buenos Dias Gruit
The orchard’s soft breeze
Brings salty scents of the sea.
Fucking lovely day.

What they have to say: “Beau’s Brewery is welcoming the long days and long evening shadows of summer with two new beers that play off each other like day and night. Called “Buenos Dias” and “Buenos Noches,” both beers feature organic lime juice, lime and orange peel, and sea salt. While Dias is a day-drinkable 4.5%, Noches is brewed to a bolder, imperialized 9% ABV.

The aroma of Buenos Dias offers pronounced citrus notes, with subtle coriander undercurrents. Zippy lime flavour is accented with a wicking salt edge in the mouthfeel. The finish is quick, clean and dry. The profile of Buenas Noches is similar, but with more intense citrus, and a finish that is slightly warming. Buenos Dias will be available throughout Ontario and Québec, while Buenas Noches is a brewery-only limited release.”

Want to send me a beer for the haiku review treatment? Drop me a line.


Leave a comment

Matthew O’Hara: The Proost Questionnaire

The Proust Questionnaire is a famous questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses once given by the French writer Marcel Proust. Ben’s Beer Blog has co-opted this format in order to provide a revealing look at people making beer and working in the beer industry in Ontario. As such, I’ve renamed it The Proost Questionnaire, since “proost” is the Dutch word for cheers. Clever right?

Matthew O’Hara is the brewmaster for Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and is clearly a man of few words. Today he gets efficiently philosophical with a look at why he lies at bedtime and has no love for The Donald.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being so immersed in a pleasant activity that you forget to think about it or anything else.

What is your greatest fear?

Mirrors.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Earning the love and respect of my daughter.

What is your favorite occupation?

Brewmaster.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Socrates.

Which living person do you most admire?

The Dalai Lama. Continue reading


19 Comments

Contest: Win two tickets to The Craftmas Beer Experience

You checked our shitters, honey?

CONTEST CLOSED: 

Congratulations to Phil for his winning comment and xmas movie and beer pairing:

Die Hard paired with Maclean’s Pale Ale because Yippy Ki Ay Mother Fucker!

Call me a sentimental son of a bitch but a comment that references my favourite Christmas movie, names an Ontario craft beer, and drops an eff bomb seems to me like what the holidays are all about. Congrats, Phil! Enjoy the Craftmas Beer Experience.

This holiday season, the folks who have brought The Beer Experience to Berkeley Church for the last two years as part of Toronto Beer Week are getting into the festive spirit.

The innaugural, aptly (if awkwardly) named winter equivalent, Craftmas Beer Experience, promises much of the same elements that have made The Beer Experience a success the past couple of years–and Ben’s Beer Blog wants to send you and a friend to the event to check it out.

Happening at District 28 near Toronto’s Port Lands on Thursday December 4th, The Craftmas Beer Experiences promises unique and festive beers from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co, Black Oak Brewing, Cameron’s, Creemore Springs, Great Lakes Brewery, Junction Craft Brewing, Kensington Brewing Company, Mill Street, and Wellington, among others. There will also be food provided by Matt Basile’s Lisa Marie Food Truck.

Tickets, which include five drink tokens, can be purchased in advance for $25 each, but for one lucky Ben’s Beer Blog reader Christmas is comin’ early, because we’re giving away two tickets! Ho, ho, effing ho.

In the spirit of the season, to enter, simply leave a comment here letting me know your favourite Christmas movie, the perfect beer to pair with it, and why.

On Monday December 1st, the contest closes and I’ll pick the best/most entertaining entry to receive two free tickets. Preference may or may not be given to people who spread word of this contest via twitter.

(Use your real email address when you comment so that I know how to contact you)