In case you weren’t aware, we are currently in the final throes of “Flagship February.”
Flagship February is an idea that sprang forth last year from the mind of professional drinks writer Stephen Beaumont to give some love to the flagship beers that we often overlook. Beaumont has written a baker’s dozen worth of books on beer and understands the beverage’s history and tradition.
I’ve seen him backhand a bartender for serving him a Kolsch that wasn’t in a stange. He once called in a bomb threat to a bar on St Patrick’s day because he knew they consistently poured pints with the tap nozzle touching the beer. It’s rumoured he once hobbled a server who had never heard of ESB. “You cut the achilles,” he told me once with fire in his eyes. “The limp will ensure he never forgets again.” He’s a man who takes beer seriously.
This February, as with last, Beaumont and a team are preaching the merits of mainstay beers with a series of essays. As Beaumont’s site explains,
a Flagship is the beer that defines a brewery. It’s the one that you immediately think of when you hear the brewery’s name, the one that most people associate with the business. In most cases, it is their best-selling beer and often the one that outsells all their other offerings by a wide margin. A good flagship also allows a brewery to be able to afford the seasonals, specialty beers and the other one-off beers in their lineup.
Continue reading “Flagship February”
What follows is perhaps my most cringe-worthy personal beer story. I have told this story to a few people over the years and some have told me that it would make a great entry for my blog. For reasons that I’m sure will become clear when you read this, I have never written this down before.
Tonight I’ve decided that enough time has passed that I feel…not good…but perhaps…OK sharing it. You will almost certainly think of less me when you finish this. But you might laugh. So here goes. Continue reading “The Utopias story”
In addition to the ol’ blog, some of you might be aware that I write a bi-weekly column for the local publication Our London. About a month ago, I wrote a column detailing the scant places you might find a good beer in town. I thought I’d repurpose it here as it might be helpful to any thirsty blog readers who might be headed to The Forest City soon.
1. Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium
Anyone who drinks good beer in London won’t be surprised to see Pub Milos atop this list. With an owner who goes out of his way to bring unique Ontario beers to his Talbot Street locale, Pub Milos’ 27-tap draught menu is unparalleled in London and is arguably among Ontario’s best. The food is very good, the staff are all either certified cicerones or working to become certified, and it’s right downtown. The place does beer the way I wish all bars would. ‘Nuff said.
2. The Morrissey House
In 2014, owner Mark Serre stopped buying draught from The Beer Store and now deals directly with local brewers. The result is 18 draught options that feature options you can’t find elsewhere in the Forest City, including offerings from London’s breweries and beer from Windsor to cottage country, including regular options from the excellent Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke. There’s an increasingly decent selection of 35 craft bottles and cans and a decent menu. Occupying a converted “London Brick” mansion, “The Mo” offers a somewhat dated ambiance, but is suitably cozy and offers a great patio.
Frequently packed thanks to being the only pub in convenient walking distance for those who live in Old North, the seriously-good burgers and respectable draught lineup are certainly as much to blame for its popularity as its convenience. A welcoming watering hole, Bungalow offers a draught lineup that skews toward craft but won’t frighten the uninitiated. Approachable craft beers like Steam Whistle and Samuel Adams Lager abound with occasionally experimental offerings like Muskoka Brewery’s rotating Moonlight Kettle series or a Beau’s All Natural one-off. The place promises a “neighbourhood hub” and it delivers.
Read the rest of my column over on the Our London site here.
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 “Five great beers for a forced obligatory Halloween blog post”
Back in the day, when your grandparents wanted a beer at home, they couldn’t just crack one open and pour, they had to punch through the flat topped can with a sharp piece of metal. The crude device they used, called a Church Key, has fallen out of fashion in modern times as technology brought us the pull tab in 1959 and then, later, the push tab in the 1970s–essentially the same beverage can technology we use today.
Lately, however, there seems to have been a movement–whether it’s actually necessary or not–to attempt to create a can that pours beer even better. Coors, for example, patented the Wide Mouth Can in the late 1990s, Samuel Adams released their Boston Lager in “Sam Cans” in 2013 that, while they looked just like normal cans to me, actually featured an “opening [that] is placed further inboard on its wide top to allow for better airflow while drinking, which means the beer’s aroma, a major component of flavor, has a little more room to breathe.” Continue reading “The Original Snake Bite: return of the church key”
*I received financial compensation for this post.
To my mind, there are few things more disparate than Chinese food and a Big Mac and, if you were able to somehow bring these items together in one dish, my first guess wouldn’t be that it would end up as much more than a mess.
But that was before I had dinner at DaiLo.
Located in the former home of Grace at 503 College, an area which now boasts La Carnita, Snakes and Lagers, and Bar Negroni and will likewise soon welcome Grant Van Gameren–the guy behind Bar Isabel–right next door at 505 College, DaiLo reunites sommelier/front of house manager Anton Potvin and Chef Nick Liu, a duo that formerly found success together at Niagara Street Café. Continue reading “Beer and sick Asian food at DaiLo”