Beer Subscription Boxes Part 1: OTR Bartending Services

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This is the first part of a series dedicated to exploring the newly popular option of Craft Beer Subscriptions – boxes delivered to your door, usually monthly, filled with craft beer.  The idea behind these are usually twofold: exclusivity (usually beer that one cannot find in the LCBO or TBS), efficiency (breweries from around Ontario or even Canada that one cannot access reasonably), as well as limited-time offerings catered to each month or user.

Reddit is a funny place.

If you have never been to the  r/TorontoCraftBeer sub-reddit, it’s a place where a very small number of Toronto beer nerds hang out and ardently discuss articles, breweries, and events in Ontario.  This was where Adam Kurello and Chris Tarsitano pitched their idea as an expansion to their existing service, On The Rocks Bartending Services; a craft beer-of-the-month club.

In some discussion with OTR, their offerings were originally not exclusive or efficient, and placed the link to the subscription site online for feedback from Toronto’s most savvy beer people, where it was promptly given (probably too much) constructive feedback.  Heading back to the drawing board, OTR sent me a their May Craft Beer of the Month club box for delicious evaluation, and I thought it’d be a great time to kick off a new multi-part series to educate beer drinkers and decipher which of the many beer subscription services in Ontario make their beer tastes and wallets happiest.

The Box

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OTR’s site about the club, while still under construction, is all about letting you know what you’ll get.  I found this system to be the opposite of some other subscription services, where the box remains a mystery until you get it at your door.  While there are benefits to both, I think there’s something positive to be said for the amount of planning ahead it takes to line up this type of brewery-tripping to get beer you can’t get at your LCBO.

OTR says that in each monthly box, you’ll receive two bottles or tall cans from 4 breweries (totaling 8), one each in the four compass directions of Ontario – In the case of the box I got, Stonehammer from Guelph, Brock Street from Whitby, Brimstone from Ridgeway, and Highlander from just north of Huntsville.  You also receive 6 bottles or cans of their Craft Beer of the Month, which is selected by the team at OTR, for your enjoyment, which in this case, was Barnstormer’s Billy Bishop Brown (which, at the time, was not yet in Beer Store locations, I am told).

As one can see from the image, I was not disappointed in the selection – the beers received were unique and not regularly available to me, a great selection of styles, and held up to the promise of the amount of beer I would be getting for what I would pay if i subscribed.  On to the stats:

Cost/Commitment: $49 a month, tax and hand delivery included.  3, 6, 9 or 12 month memberships.  No cancellation fees.

Predicted Value: about $40 for this particular box

Exclusivity: Save for the Barnstormer beer of the month, I would not normally make my way to these breweries from where I am located.  This will evidently vary geographically (for example, Brock St. in Whitby is a 10 minute drive away for me, and I’m sure there will be a point where a person receives cans from the brewery next door, but that’s just the way these things work), but for the cost and predicted value, you are paying so little of a premium that it’s not worth the complaint.  And, of course, these beers are not widely distributed, so you’re likely going to be trying a great majority of new stuff, which is the point, no?

Efficiency:  In a world where there’s tons of terrible craft beer that is often priced at the same as the excellent stuff, boxes like OTR’s give you the chance to try new things from places you may have never been or ever seen.  I find OTR’s box to be of excellent value for a dollar as far as exploration goes; the fun of peeking into your freshly-delivered beer box once a month is something that I really get a kick out of.

Interested in subscribing?  The folks at OTR have let us know that you can get 5% off by using “BottomlessPint” as a promo code here: Sign Up

Stay on the lookout for the next parts of our ongoing Beer Subscription Box series!

Are you a subscriber to a “Beer Box” already?  Have a favourite?  Let us know on Twitter @bottomless_pint!


 

 

BREAKING: Beau’s Sells Brewery to Staff via ESOP, Guaranteeing Independence

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I almost made the title of this article “Beau’s Announces Intent To Sell Brewery”, but then I couldn’t stand the inevitable click-bait accusations.

With a raucous battle cry, Tim and Steve announced to employees on May 16 that, as of July 1, 2016, Beau’s will begin selling the entirety of it’s brewery to its employees via an Employee Share Ownership Plan, or ESOP, and employees will buy shares over time.

With that said, speaking with Steve Beauchesne this morning on an early phone call, it seems he wants everyone to know how proud he is of their brewery, and that he wants it to remain independent and “cement that independence, not for the next 10 years, but for the next 100”, he affirmed.

“It seemed an appropriate gesture for our upcoming 10-year anniversary” Steve explained. “News about craft breweries is dominated in the news by selling out, and not for their beer.  To me, it has been important for me to find a way to give back to the employees, and I feel this is now the time to stand up and say that independence is a viable business.”  Steve has no plans to leave the business.

 

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Late last year, Toronto brewery Mill Street was purchased by Labatt, which shook up the Ontario craft beer world and made a lot of beer nerds and writers alike think, for the first time that this could happen to any of them.

Beau’s was particularly vocal, issuing a press release touting themselves as “Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer” and encouraging Mill Street employees to apply for their open positions.  Independence has always been at the forefront of the Beau’s organization, and this move indeed signals an affirmation of independent existence forever.

Steve went on in our chat to talk about the fans – “The people who have supported us have been the reason for our success, and all they’re asking for is for us to always be around for them the way we are now.  The comments from fans are always, you know ‘please, never sell out!’, and this is how we’re giving back to them.”

Announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDzK4MOJO0

Full text of the press release below!


BIG NEWS BREWING AT BEAU’S ALL NATURAL:

CANADIAN CRAFT BREWERY ANOUNCES INTENT TO SELL

Vankleek Hill, May 17, 2016Yesterday morning, Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer, took centre stage in Ottawa’s ByTowne Cinema amidst the brewery’s employees to announce the news of its imminent sale under an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Since its inception in 2006, Beau’s has experienced rapid growth at a compounded rate of 45 per cent year-over-year, and now employs approximately 150 full time staff. The offering of the ESOP is in keeping with Beau’s legacy as a fiercely independent, Canadian owned and family-run operation. The employees will become co-owners and an even greater part of the Beau’s family, with shared responsibility for the brewery’s future and continued growth as it sets to expand across the country by the end of the year.

“My Dad and I started Beau’s ten years ago with the promise of making excellent, flavourful beer, and using our brewery as a force for good,” says Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “Our success during this time is strongly rooted in the support of our employees and fans, who have always believed in our promise.”

On July 1, 2016, Beau’s tenth anniversary, the company will start the process of selling the brewery to its employees.

ESOP offerings are particularly rare in the craft beer category, with only a select handful across North America, signaling Beau’s fearlessness to go against the grain in order to maintain the integrity and independence of their company.

“By handing the reins over to our employees we are saying this changes everything, because this change is everything,” adds Beauchesne. “We look forward to our expansion and success across Canada, with the help of our new company stewards.”

2016 marks an exciting year for Beau’s. This announcement comes as Beau’s reaches the milestone of ten years, and will be followed by a series of commemorative initiatives – from now through June 2017 – including philanthropic projects, community recognition, merchant appreciation, limited-edition brews, and a fresh new brand look and feel.

 

About Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Founded on July 1, 2006, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company (Beau’s) is an independent, Canadian craft brewery run by a close-knit family and friends. Beau’s is Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer. The Certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) produces certified organic beer including its flagship Lug-Tread, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, and The Tom Green Beer. The company supports hundreds of independent arts and community-building charitable organizations every year. Founded by father and son, Tim and Steve Beauchesne, the independent brewery will be rolling out its portfolio of craft beers across the country, expanding into major markets from the west to the east coast. Beau’s is currently available in Ontario, Québec and New York.


 

ENTER TO WIN: 2 tickets to Collective Arts Series 6 Label Launch Saturday May 14, 2016

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My, we like contests!

So, Collective Arts Brewing has different label series – 5, now, in total – and they’re launching their 6th series at their brewery at 207 Burlington Street East, Hamilton this Saturday, May 14.  Mathew Renda, the @bottomless_pint himself, owner and writer of your favourite beer blog (this one!), was a judge on this year’s panel, and we are happy to celebrate his success and the success of the artists chosen to have their album art or visual works featured on a series of beer labels!

Why would you want to go?  Oh, I don’t know.

$5 Pints?  Skratch Bastid, The Darcys, and Grand Analog are playing.  Food trucks.  IT’S A PARTY IN A BREWERY.

The Bottomless Pint team will be in attendance.  Will you?

(If you live in Toronto, bus transportation will be provided, so you get to hang out with us and the Collective Arts gang!)

Follow the instructions below to find out!

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HOW TO WIN TWO TICKETS TO THE “BASH IN THE BREWERY” SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016

 1. Follow @bottomless_pint and @beermostly on Twitter and Instagram

2. Tweet or Instagram @ one (or both) of us the following:

 – your favourite Collective Arts beer (a picture gets you more points!)

 – tag it #BottomlessBreweryBash

3. We’ll let you know you made it in the draw, to be held this Wednesday evening at 6PM!

(We’ll let you know over Twitter or Instagram if you won and how to claim your two passes.)

Get it?  Good.  get a-tweetin’.

Good Luck!  Hope to see you there!

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PRESS RELEASE: Muskoka’s Summer Survival Sampler pack is back!

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For a while now, Muskoka has prided themselves on being synonymous with summer, boating, sunshine, and of course, cottage season.

They’ve announced for this year their Summer Survival pack, which for the first time, includes Kirby’s Kolsch – described as a crisp Kolsch-style beer, sessionable and with a hint of peach.  I can’t wait to try this, and as usual, the can art is gorgeous.

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See the full press release (and bonus pairing guide) below!


Just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, Summerweiss and the popular Summer Survival Sampler pack are back!

The seasonally brewed Summerweiss is a perfect balance of wheat, barley and subtle hopping. With notes of banana and cloves coupled with a refreshing crispness from the elevated carbonation, Summerweiss is an intriguingly aromatic, flavourful and sessionable summer wheat beer. Available individually in 473 mL tall cans, an eight-pack or the Summer Survival Sampler.

The Summer Survival Sampler pack includes Cream Ale, Craft Lager, Detour, Mad Tom, Summerweiss and for the first time – Kirby’s Kölsch. Available in six packs (with 473 mL tall cans) and twelve-packs (341 mL bottles).

Because nothing goes better with a long-weekend than great beer and food, please see below for an infographic with our favourite cottage inspired foods to pair with these summer brews.

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B-Side Background on Beau’s Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale

Now, when one thinks of a pale ale, there are several that come to mind in Ontario.  The style is certainly not lacking here, with session ales, english and North American hopped pales, as well as english-style malt forward ales; the term has nearly been exhausted and purged of all meaning due to the variety of tastes and experiences that can be found within a Pale Ale.

It seems Beau’s has the same line of thinking – so they brought in Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer to help create one of Ontario’s most unique year-round beers, Kissmeyer Nordic pale ale, a member of Beau’s B-Side beer collection.

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B-Side brewing label was conceived as a “record label” for beer. So, like a record label, Beau’s produces beer for artists. So far, they’ve got two artists on the label, Anders Kissmeyer, and Gigantic brewing. Anders Kissmeyer was the first artist “signed”, and Beau’s have produced two “records”, or beers, with him – The Nordic Pale Ale, for year-round enjoyment, and the Nordic Saison, which was a limited release. [Photo by Pat Bolduc]
In it’s own words, “Kissmeyer Beer is the brand of Denmark’s Anders Kissmeyer aka Kissmeyer Beer; his own, personal one-man gypsy brewing company. Kissmeyer Beer expresses a unique brewing philosophy, based on 30 years in the brewing business: Innovative beers with a distinct personal and unique character, brewed to the an exemplary degree of technical quality, inspired by and often brewed in collaboration with world-class brewer friends and colleagues.”

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Anders Kissmeyer, giving his Nordic Pale Ale the look we all give our beer. [Photo by Pat Bolduc]
Anders doesn’t take his worldwide brewing relationships lightly, either: ““My second-to-none network amongst the greatest brewers on the planet puts me in an extremely privileged position with regard to choosing where to brew my beers. Only those with a personality, competence and karma that I know will add an extra dimension to my beers qualify.”  And so, it would seem, Anders has knighted Beau’s as a worthy collaborator.

The beer itself is quite unique.  Medium-bodied, with a hint of caramel from the malt and some biscuit shining through in the finish, as well as an aroma bursting with a floral hop character (i’m sure complemented by the rose hips, wild sweet gale, yarrow, and dried heather flowers) that I’ve never before experienced outside of Cullen Gardens.  Interestingly, this beer also contains maple syrup – which, in combination with the touch of Rye malt used in mashing, presents a very complex (to me) flavour experience that is just juicy enough without being overpowering.  This is one of the lighter (by ABV, colour, etc) beers I’ve ever had that is an adventure as you go through the glass – warming temperature of the beer, head dissipation, and aromatics all change and mature on your palate as you make your way through.  This is an absolute treat.  Recommended glassware is a Toscana (pretty much a wine glass), which is appropriate for the carbonation and fruity, flowery, pleasant aromas.

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[Photos by Pat Bolduc]

From speaking with the folks at Beau’s about Nordic, it seems they have a bit of a success on their hands.  It’s available year-round in bottles at the LCBO, and carried with quite a bit of distribution around the city of Toronto, including Drift Bar at Dufferin & Bloor and east-end joint Hitch Limited at Queen & Leslie.  I’ve also seen it on tap at least once at Bar Hop (classic).

If you like Beau’s & Anders’ collaboration, let them know!  Here are some people you can talk to on Twitter:

Steve, Beau’s CEO @beaus_steveb
Beau’s Brewers @beausbrewhouse
Toronto Sales, Rob @beaus_stuntman
Events Manager Marybeth @mmmbeth

Cheers!

– Mike

BREAKING: GLB’s Octopus Wants To Fight IPA heads to the LCBO

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The image (or one like it) that inspired the name Octopus Wants To Fight IPA.

 

Well, isn’t this a nice Thursday surprise?  More excellent GLB IPA at your local LCBO!

Troy Burtch of Great Lakes Brewery sent us a note this morning with some excellent news below:

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Octopus Wants to Fight IPA will be headed to LCBO stores all across Ontario! The first run of cans that hit the GLBretail store last week were just for s***s and giggles.

Over the next couple of months, approximately 100,000 units of 473ml cans will be making their way out of the brewery and into delivery trucks destined for LCBO stores. The first such deliveries will start late next week.

Like the Lake Effect IPA release, Octopus Wants to Fight IPA will be sticking around for a while as the GLB team has plans to keep it in the rotation for three months. Bars and restaurants from Ottawa to Windsor, Sudbury to Toronto, will be able to pour draught, crack cans, and generally keep you hydrated with this Fresh new IPA.

 

Read the rest of their blog post and interview with Mike Lackey on the GLB site here.

 

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(L to R) Troy Burtch and Mike Lackey (who ate spaghetti for breakfast this morning (i asked)) had a chat about Octopus Wants To Fight.

 

 

– Mike

NEWS: Folly Brewing and International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day – March 5

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Fresh from the brains at Folly, we’re happy to bring you freshly released news of the International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day to be held at Folly Brewpub on March 5 (sadly ladies, spots are full).  Spearheaded by brewer Christina Coady who has undertaken the problem of sexism in the universe of beer, famously with her article on the Folly blog.  We’re very happy that The Bottomless Pint’s very own Victoria Rombis will be a participant!  Stay tuned next week for her coverage and photos of the brew day.

Full release below.  Have fun, ladies!  We can’t wait to taste it.‎‏


NEWS RELEASE

Folly Brewing and International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day

Collaborative Limited Release Beer for Charity

Toronto – 3 March 2016 – Brewer Christina Coady and the team at Folly Brewpub are excited to be inviting over twenty women to assist in the brewing of a special collaborative brew on Saturday, March 5. This brewday coincides with International Women’s Day (March 8) and International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day (March 8).

International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) falls on International Women’s Day (March 8th). IWCBD allows women to experience brewing in a welcoming space. This year breweries from all over the world will be participating and encouraging women to brew together. Says Coady, “The beer industry is growing in Canada, and there are lots of new and exciting job opportunities. Right now, the brewing industry can feel like a boys’ club. We’re hoping to help change that.”

The women joining the brewday identified themselves as being interested in learning more about beer, homebrewing, and the brewing industry after Coady started a discussion on Folly’s Blog regarding the problematic nature of sexism and objectification within the beer and brewing beer world. The discussion of sexism in beer was met with many positive responses, especially from those working in beer. Coady and the Folly team hope this conversation continues so that more people recognize that sexism and the objectification of women to sell beer is not a welcome practice in the brewing world.

Due to overwhelming interest in participating, the brewday has been organized into two sections to accommodate everyone who signed up. The beer will be released Saturday, April 16 at an official launch event at Folly Brewpub. Folly Brewpub will be welcoming everyone – both women and men – to celebrate with them. Proceeds from the official launch event will be going towards the Working Women Community Centre (www.workingwomencc.org). This centre is committed to providing services and programs to immigrant women in an effort to help them succeed in Toronto.   

About Folly Brewpub

Folly Brewpub features Belgian inspired beers, specifically saisons and farmhouse ales, while providing ‘comfort food’ dishes and a relaxed, social atmosphere. Their focus is on local in both food and beverage, working with Ontario suppliers wherever possible. Folly Brewpub also assumes the honour of being (unofficially) the largest ‘pouring’ whisky bar in Toronto, with 400 unique bottles on their wall.

www.follybrewing.com


 

Royalty in Guelph: Brewery Profile, Royal City Brewing Company

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I have a friend who works for a brewery in Guelph – not these guys – that likes to bring us stuff we can’t get from “the west side of the 400” as he calls it – one-off Wellington, Stone Hammer, and at last gathering, a couple of bottles of the Royal City Hibiscus Saison.  Having heard of but never drank them, we indulged – and loved it.  We found our first Brewery Profile project.

Royal City is located in Guelph, just 15 minutes or so north off the 401 on Highway 6 and into what one would call “downtown” Guelph.  (We’ve been invited to the brewery, so stay tuned for a little tour once we go when winter has released us from her cold and volatile grip).  They do tours, keg sales, have a great bottle shop, and moreover, are a tiny operation:

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Seriously, look at how tiny their brewhouse is. PHOTO BY: Royal City Brewing Co.

I spoke with Royal City rep Avery Jennekens on our ongoing series, and as they are only now making inroads into the Toronto city area, she clamored to get us a range of their beers for us to go over and profile.

Royal City makes four core brands, a “rotating” selection (in their own words: Rotating Brews come off of our main system and are available in our tap room and at select bars and restaurants. They are available until we run out. We strive to have 2 – 3 rotating brews available at any point in time. The rotation is regularly updated with successful pilot batches.), as well as one seasonal beer per season, PLUS their pilot brews, which amount to 10 or so experimental beers, ranging from their Lacto-heavy Berliner Weisse to something called “Kombrewcha”.  With this variety, it’s hard to imagine that this small team is not working around the clock – if they aren’t now, wait until us Toronto folk get a taste of their product!  We’re seriously excited to see Royal City really make a splash in 2016 as they expand distribution and introduce thirsty people all around the GTA to their traditionally produced, small batch, high-quality beers.  Goddamn, I need a Suffolk St.

I know what you’re wondering: Where can I buy them?  As of this moment, only the (award winning) Smoked Honey Ale is available en masse at LCBOs; I’m told distribution is expanding to key LCBO locations this year (stay tuned to our social networks, we’ll be sure to keep you updated – or, just politely but firmly demand their beer from our girl Avery or Royal City yourself).

On tap, for those of you seeking a pint downtown, check out C’est What, Bar Hop, The Craft, Thoroughbred, or Drift Bar – they’ve got a handy dandy list on the interactive map on their site, too.

Let’s go over the beer selection we recieved:

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Dry Hopped Pale Ale (5.2%): Know how most people have a “daily driver”, like your favourite jacket you wear every day, a hat you never remove, or that 1999 Tercel in your driveway that still doesn’t need replacing? This beer could be my daily drinker.  Finely balanced hop aroma is just cutting enough to make you perk up and have another sniff.  A well-balanced, even bodied beer with a hint of hop bitterness at the finish and the floral Chinook shining through in the after taste, this is an amazing introduction to their lineup.  Drink it when: you want something nice and easy to drink that has character.

Hibiscus Saison (4.3%): This combination made my eyes widen.  Frankly, I was just happy to have a bottle of this to myself.  Light and (surprise) floral in scent, but not lacking in flavour in any way.  An ever so slight piercing tartness brought on by the effervescence and the hibiscus follows through with a citrus and yeast ester profile quite unlike any other saison.  Absolutely fantastic, and easily the best of the lot.  Drink it when: the summer sun joins us again and you’d like to have a beer in the backyard with your best beer nerd friend Mike.

100 Steps Stout (5%): A stout.  I have nothing to say about this, except that it’s so faithful to the style that it is like a benchmark on which to judge other stouts.  Roasty, burnt, with an exceedingly high drinkability.  Drink it when: you need to man/woman up and get shit done, like a project, or after cleaning your eavestroughs and need to escape into something absolutely classic.

Suffolk St. Session Ale (4.2%):  For those that donlt know, this is an ESB, which was the first ever session ale before the term “session” was even invented.  With a depth of malt character pleasantly complemented by earthy and grassy hops.  It’s here that I determined that the team at Royal City was seriously about honoring styles of old with really faithful recreations brought back into the light for us all to enjoy.  Drink it when: Ye Olde workday sucked and there’s something warm and meaty for dinner, like a meat pie or stew.

Earl Grey Porter (Seasonal, 5%): I was hesitant to open this.  I like Earl Grey tea in limited supply. I don’t want to be punched in the face with Bergamot or smell like my grandmother’s house for 4 days after drinking a beer.  Surprisingly, there are simply complimentary notes of bergamot and bitterness from the tea they use to make this porter throughout.  It is as enjoyable as a cuppa, and holds body and a slight alcohol burn towards the end of the glass.  Drink it when: You need to drink something most people think is super duper weird OR if you’re so English, it hurts.

Exhibition Session IPA (4.5%): There’s that word again.  In case anyone doesn’t know what “Session” means, it’s what you do when you drink several beers in a sitting.  The Session title is usually attributed to beers of a lighter ABV that enable one to have several of them in a sitting without getting drunk.  With that in mind, this is the perfect Session IPA.  No tongue-crushing bitterness or soul-eating grass flavours here – fruity and floral and just bitter enough, Exhibition leaves you wanting more – which is great, because, you know, Session.  Drink it when: You want an IPA but you’d like to taste the curry you’re eating it with.

Smoked Honey Ale (5.5%):  If you want me to go BJCP on this, it’s technically closest to a Rauchbier, which is a style of German smoked lager.  Except, this fairly dry, fairly different English-inspired ale with a good touch of smoke is as close as you can get to campfire drinkin’.  I’d pair it with brisket, arugula, or just a plain ol’ burger – you’re looking to keep that smoky depth around (it actually intensifies ever so slightly on your way through the glass) but is absolutely never intimidating.  A great beer for any time of year when you’re thinking “I need something different.” Drink it when: You’re intimidated by smoke and honey in or around beer but your curiosity gets the best of you.

Curious about Royal City beers? Check out their website – book a tour, buy some bottles, and support your local brewers!

Until next time, friends.

– Mike

BREAKING: SOBDL to host Canada’s First Ever All Ladies Craft Beer Festival April 1 @ Evergreen Brickworks

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The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies continues their amazing growth with a press release issued just this afternoon, detailing the first All Ladies Craft Beer Festival, on April 1 2016, at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto!

You can bet you’ll find our very own Beth Hughes and Victoria Rombis at this event!  Beer loving ladies, get your tickets!

Check out the full release below!


 

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The brains behind the SOBDL from left to right: Jaime Dobbs, Erica Campbell, Magenta Suzanne, Ren Navarro, and Jen Reinhardt.

On April 1st, 2016 The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies (SOBDL) is marking their 25th Bevy with Canada’s First Ever All Ladies Beer Festival! 


This epic event will go down at Evergreen Brick Works and feature a selection of Toronto craft breweries, food trucks and an Artisan Marketplace filled with craft beer vendors. A $30 ticket will get you in the door as well as 4 drink tokens, a commemorative tasting glass, a Morning After gift bag and a chance to try a unique Bevy Brew crafted by the SOBDL and brewed in collaboration with Junction Craft Brewery. Shuttle buses to and from the festival available for $5 extra.

Over the past 2 years, the five craft beer-loving organizers (Erica Campbell, Jaime Dobbs, Jen Reinhardt, Magenta Suzanne and Ren Navarro) have built a wildly popular, ladies-only, monthly event in Toronto. The Society’s events, held once a month, often sell out hundreds of tickets in a matter of days and feature a selection of local craft beer, a local food vendor and a portion of profits donated to the Canadian Women’s Foundation. 

For media inquires, venue opportunities or general questions, e-mail info@ladiesdrinkbeer.com. 
Visit the SOBDL at www.ladiesdrinkbeer.com for information and to join their mailing list (which announces future ticket sales).

 

Left Field Brewery Celebrates 3rd Anniversary with Two New Beers

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Happy Anniversary to Toronto’s favourite baseball-themed brewery – Left Field celebrates three years of beer-making this month.

Hard to believe, really – My beer-drinking experimentation started around the same time as when Left Field started putting out beer, so they really hold a special spot for me as the little idea that could.  Now, with amazing branding, a killer tap-room (Toronto’s best IMO), and a rotating roster of beers that never disappoint, Left Field has more than established itself as a desirable, quality brewery with a keen eye for community support and creation of a welcoming atmosphere.  Unreasonable neighbours or not, this is one of Toronto’s most celebrated breweries, and with good reason.

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Mandie and Mark Murphy, the power marketing/brewer couple behind this awesome spot, gave The Bottomless Pint a preview of one of the all-new beers to be released on Thursday at 12PM,   Anniversary No.3 Saison, which is dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin (a fruity hop from New Zealand).  Anyone who reads us already knows i’m partial to the farmhand beers, and this is absolutely exemplary in both dedication to the Saison style, as well as an absolutely finely balanced hop-up by the addition of dry hops.  Fruity with the classic spicy Belgian esters up front, dominant flavours include honeydew melon, apricot and nectarine, with a depth of sweetness and aromatics of both grass and faint yet crisp cucumber rind – this is a spring beverage.  Gorgeous and opaque in off-orange colour with some sediment and a rocky, white head.  It kicks your ass ever so slightly at 7.6% ABV, which is a little hefty for a Saison; however, after having Sunlight Park Saison last summer (please bring it back this year), I knew Left Field could do it right, and again, they hit a Jose-esque home run with this.

Check out the press release below – say hi to a couple of our writers that you may find chillin’ in the Left Field tap room this Thursday afternoon, grabbing some bottles and chatting with the team!  Be sure to go grab some, i’m certain they won’t last long!

 

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Today, February 5, 2016, marks 1 year to the day since we brewed our first batch of beer – Lead Off Single – right here in our very own brewery. Most breweries would celebrate this as their first anniversary but for us it isn’t that straightforward. Our story involves making a not-so-common leap from contract brewery to bricks and mortar brewery and because of this, our anniversary date is a bit of a moving target. You see, our first ever batch of beer, Eephus, was brewed under contract at Grand River brewery on February 14, 2013. On top of all that, we gained access to and started construction at 36 Wagstaff Drive on February 1, 2014. Because of all this, we tend to look at the entire month of February as our anniversary month.

Naturally, such an important month in our history deserves a special beer to mark the occasion. With that in mind, we decided to brew not one, but two celebratory anniversary beers for release this month.

Anniversary No. 3 is a strong Saison brewed with a French Saison Ale Yeast and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. A warm fermentation gives layers of tropical fruit and delicate spice, and this unique and audacious hop variety lends complimentary flavours of white wine and gooseberry. Expect this beer to be aromatic, dry, and filled with character.
7.6% ABV / 45 IBU

First & Third is our interpretation of the Berliner Weisse style of sour ale. We kettle-soured a mash made from 50% wheat with our house strain of lactobacillus. We made use of a blend of Belgian and American ale yeasts to produce a beer with light body, nuances of stone fruit, very low bitterness and clean, gentle tartness reminiscent of lemonade. In Berlin these beers are traditionally enjoyed with a sweet fruit or herbal syrup – we look forward to re-imagining this experience on our home turf.
4.0% ABV / 8 IBU

Anniversary No. 3 and First & Third will both be available in our Bottle Shop and Tap Room starting at noon on Thursday February 25th.