Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope each and everyone of you has an amazing Christmas with your friends & family (and some amazing craft beers)! I wanted to thank everyone for their support this year and building Bottomless Pint to where it is today. We don’t exist without the support of our readers, Ontario craft brewers, and fans. Keep your eyes peeled for us in 2016, as we have a ton of new things planned!
I have been thinking about what my top 3 beers of the year have been, and it was significantly harder than I thought it was going to be. 2015 was a big year for craft beer in Ontario. Brewers have been more experimental; using new, exciting ingredients that discerning drinkers have been looking for. We have seen so many new breweries open in Toronto (we’re up to 300 in the province now) and the surge of the ever growing Ottawa market. Being from the Durham area, it was great to see new breweries opening and current breweries expanding. The stage seems to be set for an exciting 2016 in the Craft Beer community in Ontario. Now, down to the brass tacks, my top 3 beers of 2015:
This is a stout you can always find in my fridge during the winter season. At this time of year there are a ton of coffee stouts and porters on the shelves at the LCBO and your local breweries, but being a lover of the coffee bean, this beer seems to combine two of my favorite things. It is a delicious blend of Vanilla and Espresso in each sip. I seem to enjoy it with a nice sweet dessert or with a full-bodied cigar. (Shhh, I have had this beer with my breakfast from time to time, but don’t tell anyone.) If you love stout and you love coffee, be sure to pick a couple of these cans up at your local LCBO, because you won’t be disappointed.
Oast House was a brewery I didn’t really get to explore much in 2015. I did happen to make a trip out to the Niagara on the Lake area in March and was able to swing by Oast House. The brewery known for their Farmhouse ales definitely did not disappoint with Farm Funk. This beer was a Saison brewed with the ever popular Brettanomyces, a strain of wild yeast. This beer was aged for about a year before being put on the shelves. This 6.4% Saison was a nice sour, spicy blend that had your taste buds going on a roller coaster ride. It was definitely a very enjoyable beer, and if you like saisons, get on top of this. I promise you, it is a very unique creation from a very unique brewery. I wish that I could access to their beers on a regular basis, because it seems like whatever I do get my hands on from Oast I thoroughly enjoy. If you are in the Niagara area be sure to stop into the brewery and see what they have. I can’t wait to make another trip there in the new year.
It is very hard not to have an IPA in my top 3 beers of 2015 and it’s even harder not to look at Great Lakes Brewery for a top contender in that category. 2015 was the year of single hop IPA’s. The biggest and newest hop to hit the brewing world by storm was citra. Karma Citra was GLB make on the Toronto Citra world, and they nailed it. This well rounded single hop IPA instantly had the community talking. Lines started to form outside the brewery and the beer was being sold out faster than a new iPhone hitting the market. The popularity continued as the beer hit the LCBO shelves. At 65 IBU and 6.5% ABV you could easily enjoy this flavor bomb on a nice sunny day on the patio. I had a never ending supply of this in my fridge during the summer months. Great Lakes knows how to do a IPA right with Thrust, Karma Citra and their newest Lake Effect. Make the trip to Etobicoke and be sure to stock up because everything the brewery produces (rightly) sells out fast.
This end this Christmas Day Edition of the Best Beers of 2015 with my favorite event of all time, Cask Days. I look forward to this fall classic every year. The perfect setting with easily my favorite style of beer. With seems to be a endless number of casks from all over the world, there is going to be something for everyone there. Cask Days is that one event that you will find people in our beer community obsessing over, from the baller passes being sold to the excel documents of must try beers, the event brings out beer lovers of all kinds. Word of advice: get your tickets early as they are bound to be sold out fast.
From all of us at Bottomless Pint, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.