Review: Spring Bock (Amsterdam Brewery)

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Orgin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Dopplebock

Alc./Vol.: 7.3%

IBU: 30

Malts: Munich, Vienna, Pils, Melanoidin, Caramunich

Hops: Hallertau

Suggested Glassware: Stem Glass, Dimple Mug

Suggested Serving Temperature: 10° Celsius

Availability: Feb – May at The Amsterdam Retail Store and the LCBO and on tap at finer bars and restaurants.

This review features a beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Amsterdam Brewery is located at 45 Esandar Drive Toronto, and also has a Brewhouse in Downtown Toronto. The beer that I chose to review is the Spring Bock. This “Bock” has been aged 6 weeks, which is 3 times longer than a regular lager. The longer aging is what gives a “Bock” it’s strongerbody and greater malt taste than a lager.

The beer came in a 500ml bottom that I bought from my local LCBO, but it can also be found at the brewery or downtown Brewhouse. It is an all-natural beer with no additives, no preservatives and is non-pasteurized. I
used a pint glass for this review, but Amsterdam recommends a dimpled mug or stem glass.

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a deep mahogany colour. You instantly get the smell of roasted malt and caramel. As the beer sits in the glass you start to smell light notes of fig or raisins with a hint of
citrus. This “Bock” has a very sweet smell to it despite it being a strong beer. There is little to no head on the beer, which as I was drinking also left no lacing on the glass. The clarity on the beer is very good, no hazing or clouding.DSC02462

At first taste, you get hit with full bold flavors of sweet bread with hints of dried fruit and caramel. You really notice the malt from the 6 weeks of extended aging. Despite its very bold malt flavors it balances out well with a light amount of citrus and sweet chocolate. At the proper drinking temperature you get this perfect creaminess that acts as a great compliment to the malt and bitters. This “Bock” has an amazing aftertaste that begins with the roasted malt but finishes with a lingering bitterness that sits on the palette. The light carbonation really helps to combine the two very different tastes.

My overall impression of this beer is that it is that is full of very bold yet, balanced notes that complement each other greatly. It was very clean and fresh to the very end of the beer, never tasting bitterer than it should. I feel that it would be a great beer for a cool spring day, sitting on the patio. In addition, with a little age, maybe a year, this beer could really take on character and have a whole different taste profile.

I give this beer an overall score of 41/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.

Cheers!

Make your own Beer Shampoo plus Conditioner

Beer is a shine-inducing volume-amplifying, nutritious supplement for your hair, but you don’t have to shell out the big bucks for the big effect. Just try these recipes to take advantage of all its beautifying effect for a fraction of the price.

Shampoo: 1 cup of regular shampoo plus 1/4 cup of mild scented beer. The alcohol cleans, the beer shines and volumizes and the yeast nourishes.

Conditioner: 1 cup of warm, flat beer plus 1 teaspoon jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is non greasy and will contribute to the moisturizing of your hair.

For best results, the beer should be unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Cutthroat (Tree Brewing Co.)

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Orgin: Kelowna, B.C, Canada

Beer Style: West Coast Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5.0%

IBU: 36

Malts: Pale, Light Munich, Honey, Vienna, Crystal

Hops: Perle, Centennial, Golding, Cascade, Columbus

Suggested Glassware: Chalice

Suggested Serving Temperature: 3-5° Celsius

Availability: LCBO

This weeks beer review features a beer from Tree Brewing Co. in Kelowna, B.C. The beer that I chose to review is the Cutthroat, which is a West Coast Ale and is a beer that is brewed year round.

The beer came in a tall boy can (500ml) that I bought from my local LCBO. Cutthroat is a B.C. Local brew that contains no preservatives and is unpasteurized. It is a 2007 Gold Medal winner by the Canadian Brewing awards and is brewed by Brewmaster Dave Gokiert. Tree Brewing’s philosophy is simple, to brew memorable and flavourful beers regardless of the style.

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a true copper appearance. The head consisted of thin white foam made up of very tiny bubbles which will result in scattered lacing down the glass. The aroma of the beer is a nice pairing of bitter and sweet. At first pour you get notes of sweet malt that has undertones of fresh citrus. The aroma is very fresh with no stale notes.  The beer is very clear with no hazing whatsoever.DSC02440

At first taste, you get hit with full flavour. It starts off with toffee and/or caramel. It is not over powering but very predominant. This is where the beer changes. You
soon start to get very fresh hops and citrus. The IBU is only 36 so the bitterness is not over powering but you can taste the bitter and citrus hop character. It is a very good balance of two very different taste palettes.  Cutthroat is a medium body that is micro carbonated. It is definitely a full flavoured ale that leaves a tartness as the beer settles in your mouth.


My overall impression of this beer is that it is a well balanced, full flavour ale. It is a very drinkable brew, that to me, screams spring with fresh hops and citrus notes. I wish there was a little more in the aroma but that does not take away from the beer at all.  It is a beer I would go back to and drink.

I give this beer an overall score of 43/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and tell me what you think.

Cheers!

Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA (Arch Brewing Co.)

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Orgin: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Red IPA

Alc./Vol.: 6.3%

IBU: 60

Malts: Cdn 2 Row, Maris Otter, Melanoidin Roasted Barley, Carafoam, and Oatmeal

Hops: Selection of North American Hops

Suggested Glassware: Snifter

Suggested Serving Temperature: 3-5° Celsius

Availability: Year Round at LCBO and Beer Store, and on tap at Bars and Restaurant

This weeks beer review features a beer from Arch Brewing Co. in Guelph, Ontario. The beer that I chose to review is the Dinner Jacket, this is Arch’s one and only beer at the moment. Dinner Jacket is Red IPA, which they call O’Red IPA. 

The beer came in a tall boy can (473ml) that I bought from my local LCBO. Dinner Jacket is brewed out of  Wellington Brewery with Head Brewmaster Paul Dickey. The can is a black and grey plaid, with a red and black plaid shirt on the front of it. The shirt symbolizes a Canadian dinner jacket. Arch is a family run company and wants their customers to feel like their extended family. Dinner Jacket is meant to be enjoyed in a Snifter Glass to savour all the aromas and flavours.

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a deep ruby red appearance. The head consisted of thin white foam, which later ended up becoming nice lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma of the beer was a sweet caramel with hints of roasted oats. There were light butterscotch notes that become stronger as the beer warmed to a drinking temperature of 5° CelsiusSONY DSC

At first taste, you get bold bitter hops (60 IBU) which slowly turn into sweet caramel and roasted oatmeal notes. As the beer fills your mouth, you feel the bitter hops across your tounge. This IPA is lightly carbonated and really compliments the bitterness of the beer. There is a great contrast between the bitter and sweet notes in the beer, which is quite enjoyable as you work your way down the glass. Dinner Jacket has a sweet aftertaste which quickly changes to a light bitterness that stays with you until the next sip. The beer is a medium body, which makes the beer very seasonable. There is a slight creaminess in the body that is noticeable as you finish the beer.

My overall impression of this beer is that it is very well balanced from start to finish. The boldness of the IPA makes you want to grab another, once you finish. The hops are what make this Red IPA stand out from the rest. I have had this beer many times and it never seems to disappoint.

I give this beer an overall score of 43/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and tell me what you think.

Cheers!

Ales vs Lagers

In the big world of beer, there are ales and there are lagers. What makes ales and lagers different and are ales and lagers really different? Yeast. And yes. Because the two types of yeasts used in beer making are quite different from each other, the fermentation (the breakdown of a substance by yeast) can take place at different temperatures, which means the attenuation, the process of  covering sugars into alcohol and CO2 (and in beer lingo, just how much of this has occurred), can be a slow, long process or a fast and quick process (creating a not well attenuated or a well attenuated beer respectively), which in turn affects what fruity esters and compounds are left in the beer, the clarity of the beer, and how much carbonation is in the beer.

Ale Characteristics

So, ales are generally fermented quick and warm, which leaves them packed with esters, which gives us the fruity, bold flavors, and are robust, hearty, rich, and complex

 Lager Characteristics

Since lagers are fermented cold over a long period of time, they are often very clear and crisp beers with a smooth finish. They often lack the bold or fruity flavors that accompany ales.

To understand the differences in beers, you have to look past the differences between ales and lagers. You’ve got to look at the varieties of beer that exist. Here are 72 styles of beer that branch from the Ales and Lagers family.

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Beer and Mixology Combine

With Summer coming not that after in the near future, who isn’t thinking about sitting on a patio with a nice craft beer? I know I am, but for some people beer just isn’t their thing. Mixology like craft beer is on the rise in the bar industry. The combination of ingredients to make these amazing cocktails, but why not combine the two worlds together and enjoy some beer cocktails? I happen to find this quick reference infographic to show some of the beer cocktails you can make. If you have any of your own be sure to share them with me by email or tweeting me at @_bottomlesspint.

beer-cocktails

 

Downtown Brown (Amsterdam Brewery)

 

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Orgin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Brown Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5.0%

IBU: 17

Malts: UK Optic, Chocolate, Dark Crystal, Munich

Hops: Goldings, Fuggles

Suggested Glassware: Dimpled Mug

Suggested Serving Temperature: 10° Celsius

Availability: Year Round at The Amsterdam Retail Store, LCBO and Beer Store, and on tap at Bars and Restaurants

This weeks beer review features a beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto, Ontario. Amsterdam Brewery is located at
45 Esandar Drive Toronto, and also has a Brewhouse in Downtown Toronto. The beer that I chose to review is the Downtown Brown, formerly known as Nut Brown Ale. Downtown Brown is a Brit
ish style ale brewed with malts from two regions of the world, Canada and Europe.

The beer came in a tall boy can (473ml) that I bought from my local LCBO. The can has a great design graphic, showing what looks to be a trolley or street car with the name of the beer on street signs.  It is an all natural beer with no additives, no preservatives and is non pasteurized. I used a pint glass for this review, but Amsterdam recommends a dimpled mug.

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a deep chestnut colouring. The head is a thick foam, which later ended up being very thin with little to no glass lacing. The aroma of the beer was a sweet nut with hints of roasted malts. The nut notes are really noticed as the beer warms up to its proper drinking temperature of 10° Celsius.DSC02336

At first taste, you get bold and light bitter hops which slowly turn into sweet caramel notes. The beer finishes off with roasted nut and hints of chocolate. As the beer really opens up, the nut notes become more prominent, which is very smooth and enjoyable. The beer is a full body experience in your mouth with light carbonation. As Amsterdam Brewery says, “Downtown Brown delivers an uncommon smoothness and distinct drinkability.”

My overall impression of this beer is that it is a very well balanced brew that combines all the flavours very well. The nut notes are the ones that shine which was intended by the brewery. This is definitely a beer I would go back to and drink again.

I give this beer an overall score of 42/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and tell me what you think.

Cheers!

The Expiration Date for Beers

It’s easy to tell when your leftovers have mutated and grown into a new life form. It’s more difficult to notice that change in a year-old can of beer. As a handy guide, most beers now have a “pull by” date, which tells the store when to take the beer off the shelf. That date is usually 180 days after bottling, although very strong IPAs will probably start to break down after three months. Other beer have a “born on” date, indicating when it was actually bottled so you can decide for yourself whether you think it’s fresh enough.

I will also be posting an article about aging beer and which beers can be aged.