The Ultimate Craft Beer and Cigar Pairing

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If you’re like me, there is no better pairing than a fine cigar with a complex locally made craft beer. If you agree, then I have a series of events for you!

Victory Cigars (victorycigars.ca)and Bottomless Pint present Craft Beer Saturday’s.  Starting May 30 through August 22, we will be inviting a different brewery to the shop to pair with a cigar supplier for the ultimate pairing. The events will run from 12pm-4pm every Saturday throughout the summer. We will be featuring breweries like Mill St., Steam Whistle and many Durham Region breweries including 5 Paddles, Brock St. and Manantler. Each customer will have the opportunity to sample the beer, with an option to purchase a full beer afterwards. The beer will be expertly paired with a cigar by shop owners Kevin Newell and Julian Luke. They will be selecting the right cigar that matches the flavour profile of the beer. There will be tons of cigar deals and swag for the customers who come to the event.

Why are we profiling craft beer at a cigar store, you ask? Well Kevin and Julian say,

“Victory Cigars customers love experiencing new and bold things, and pairing cigars and beer gives them the opportunity to expand their horizons (and their palates). In the past we have hosted the Durham Festival of Spirits, OktoberCigarFest, wing nights, Scotch tasting … you name it, our customers love it. So presenting a Craft Beer program is a great fit for our client group.”

So bring your friends and come by Victory Cigars 215 King St E, Oshawa from 12pm-4pm every Saturday, starting May 30, to enjoy an amazing craft beer and a perfectly paired cigar!  For the first 5 people who find me at the events and let me know you read this article and there will be a free beer in it for you!!!

UntappedTO Event Wrap Up

For those of you who missed this event, you missed a truly unique experience. UntappedTO was a fundraising event, with all the proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank Foundation, as well as the George Brown Scholarship program. The event was hosted by Special Event Planning students from George Brown College, as the final capstone event. The event took place on Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 7:00 pm—10:00 pm and was located at the Burroughes on 639 Queen St. West. The Burroughes gave the event a rustic loft feel, with beautiful exposed brick, hard wood floors and large windows overlooking downtown Toronto.

Being that this event was the first ever, it was a huge success!  Just after 7:00 p.m., the room was packed with a mix of people wanting to experience craft beer from all over Ontario, as well as student and local entertainment. I asked Shelly Avener, one of the organizers of the event, where they got the idea to organize this event and she told me, “October of last year, we were required to pitch an idea for our final capstone event. Tristan (head of beer sponsorship) came up with the idea to have a craft beer fest because of his love for craft beer. We then formed our group, created a name, and UntappedTO was born.” 

The event featured brewers from all parts of Ontario, which brought some of their main state beers as well as some one off for the event goers to try. The list of breweries included the likes of:

  • Lake of Bays
  • Amsterdam Brewery
  • Junction Brewery
  • Beau’s All Natural
  • Kensington Brewing Company
  • Wellington Brewery
  • Cameron’s
  • Railway City Brewing Co.
  • Black Oak Brewing Co.
  • Brimstone Brewing Co.
  • Brickworks Cider House

The small venue allowed the sold out crowed of 378 people to enjoy an intimate event.  The crowed not only was given the chance to get up close and personal with the breweries but they were also entertained by a DJ, a local duet group and the most impressive, a dance crew made up of students from the school (Watch the performance HERE). When I asked Shelly how she felt the event went she said, “I thought the event went incredibly well. Our rush of people started way before we opened the doors and lasted till about 10:15 p.m. which was already post event. We hit 378 people which was 28 people over our ticket capacity, and that was amazing for all of us. We raised an incredible amount of money for two great causes, we met amazing people, and we brought our ideas, work, and talents to life.”

With a great group of the student organizers, the event was very much a success. Not only were they able to raise money for two great causes, they were able to introduce people to some of the great breweries we have in our province. Be sure to keep your eyes open for possibly a encore UntappedTO summer event. As the event quote says, “We’re here, Drink beer, Get used to it!”

Review: Oktoberfest (Mill St. Brewery)

DSC02713Origin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Marzen/Okoberfest

Alc./Vol.: 5.6%

Suggested Glassware: Dimpled Mug

Suggested Serving Temperature: 5-8° Celsius

Availability: Mill St. Brewery, Select LCBO Locations in Mill St. Fall Sampler

This review features a beer from Mill St. Brewery in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Mill St. is located in Toronto’s beautiful distillery district, where they have two locations, Mill St. Beer Hall and Mill St. Brew Pub. The beer that I chose to review is one of the beers in the Mill St. Fall Sampler, Oktoberfest. This beer is true to the great traditional Bavarian lagers. The beer stays true to its roots by being brewed with German malt, hops and yeast

The beer came in a 355ml bottle that I purchased from the Brock Road LCBO, but it can also be found at the brewery. Like I previously stated, the beer was included in their fall sampler pack. Included in the sampler was 3 bottles of the Oktoberfest and 3 bottles of the Mill St. Nightmare on Mill St. Pumpkin Ale, which I will review next time. For my review, I poured the beer in a dimpled mug, but it can be also enjoyed in a shaker glass.DSC02723

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a copper tone. The beer was very clear with no settlement at all. The beer poured with little to no head. The aroma that I smelled from this beer was sweet, yet had notes of bread and yeast. At first, I noticed the sweet smell of honeyed malts and sugar with a hint of bread in the background. The smell was very light and not overpowering to the nose.

At first taste, the beer had a good balance of sweet and dry. I noticed sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. The beer also had nice characteristics of bread and yeast. It is a very smooth beer that is medium bodied. When the beer was in my mouth, I noticed a high micro carbonation that slowly turned into a creamy harvest taste. The Mill St. Oktoberfest was very true in taste to the Bavarian beer you would find at the Oktoberfest in Germany.

My overall impression of this beer is that it is the perfect beer to drink to celebrate Oktoberfest without having to travel to Germany. This medium bodied lager is very smooth and easy drinking with a well balanced taste that you will enjoy to the very last drop. With the beer sitting at 5.6% it is very sessionable, so make sure you have some pretzels and bratwurst to go along with the beer.

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 let me know what you think.

Prost!

Review: Nightmare on Mill Street (Mill St. Brewery)

DSC02756
Origin:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5%

Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass

Suggested Serving Temperature: 5-8° Celsius

Availability: Mill St. Brewery, Select LCBO Locations in Mill St. Fall Sampler

This review features another beer from Mill St. Brewery in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Mill St. is located in Toronto’s beautiful distillery district, where they have two locations, Mill St. Beer Hall and Mill St. Brew Pub. As many of you already know, it’s pumpkin beer season. There are some people out there that hate pumpkin beers and many wait all year for them. This is definitely a beer that is worth the wait. Nightnare on Mill Street was brewed using the brewmaster’s wife’s pumpkin pie recipe, so let’s just say based on the beer, I really want to try her pie.

The beer came in a 355ml bottle that I purchased from the Brock Road LCBO, but it can also be found at the brewery. This beer is available in the fall sampler from Mill St., along with Okoberfest. Being that this beer is a seasonal beer, if it is something you are interested in trying, don’t delay. The seasonal samplers don’t last long and usually sell out quickly. Having had this beer before, and many other pumpkin beers, I decided to use a tulip glass for my review as I feel it does the best job bringing out all the aromas and notes of the beer. DSC02752

Once the beer was poured in the glass you could see the beautiful dark copper colour. This beer poured with a thick white head, which slowly thinned, and left little to no lacing on the glass. Instantly I noticed all the smells of a great pumpkin pie. You get hit with sweet pumpkin, spices including cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and a touch of vanilla.  The aroma fills your nose as you bring the glass to your mouth.

At first taste, you will notice the bold pumpkin notes, which is the main character of the beer. Even though the pumpkin is the main feature, it does not overpower all the other flavours of the beer. As the sweet pumpkin starts to fade in your mouth, the spice of the beer has some time to shine. You will start to taste the nutmeg and cinnamon, which really bring this beer together. But the Nightmare on Mill Street isn’t finished there. As the beer settles in your mouth, it finishes with the perfect amount of vanilla which gives you a very creamy finish to the beer. 

My overall impression of this beer is that if you like pumpkin beers, then you will love this one. Since the beer is a medium body with little carbonation, you will have no problem having a few of these watching the leaves change or carving your halloween pumpkins. It is a very balanced pumpkin beer that is not overly sweet. Its pretty much the perfect pumpkin pie in a glass.

I give this beer an overall score of 44/50. 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!