by Guest Writer Bobby Cross
What’s better than beer and baseball? The correct answer is: not a hell of a lot. I have the house to myself tonight, so I decided to head out and pick up some brews. $27 later, I’m hoping to seriously quench my taste buds tonight.
I’ve turned into a big craft beer guy the past few years. I went through a phase of buying foreign beer, but then I thought to myself, “Why would I buy beer that has to travel thousands of miles to get to me when I can buy a beer that is brewed right down the street?”. For some strange reason, some people scoff at craft beer drinkers. It’s like they think I’ve turned my back on the pioneers of our great country. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind ‘big beer’ (Molson, Labatt, Bud, etc.). A lot of times when I walk into a busy restaurant or bar and I just don’t know what to order, I’ll just ask for whatever they have a sign of hanging in their establishment. More often than not, it’s Molson Canadian.
Once I made the switchover to local beer, I realized what I’ve been missing out on all these years. I discovered that the beer has a “fuller” taste. More flavour. More… everything. I’ve visited a few local breweries and I hope to start making my own beer at some point. Supporting local product is huge. If you can help a neighbour out, why not?
So like I said earlier, I got myself some beer today. The intention is to type a review of the different beers that I bought. I’ve had most of them before, but I’m guessing that most people have not. I bought 7 beers, all from different breweries. I’ll be writing a review for each one. I’ll do my best to edit my writing as I go, but the further I get, I don’t have any guarantees as to what you’ll be reading.
Beer #1: Sinister Minister (Brimstone Brewery – Ridgeway, ON)
I’ve had this beer quite a few times. When I found out that my local LCBO had some in stock this Winter, I rushed out and got everything they had on the shelf (my apologies to all the other Brimstone lovers in Thorold). It’s a stronger beer, standing in at 7.0% ABV. I’ve had lots of strong beer before and most of it loses a lot of taste after about 6.0%. This beer has great flavour. I don’t think I could have more than 2 or 3 of them though, but I highly suggest picking up a few and keeping them in your fridge. This isn’t the kind of beer that you would drink after you get done mowing the lawn, but it’s great for a nice relaxing evening.
Beer #2: Legendary Oddity (Muskoka Brewery – Bracebridge, ON)
First sip – tastes awful. I’ve never had this beer before. The label says “Brewed with heather tips, juniper berries and sweet orange peel”. To boot, this isn’t a light beer. Listed as 7.1% ABV, you can taste every bit of the percentages. It’s a good thing I got the strongest beers out of the way first because I wouldn’t be able to handle this beer after I’ve had a couple. I don’t want to knock Muskoka Brewery too much because they make one of my favourite beers. I think this one is a failure in my eyes though. I don’t think I’ll be getting it again. **30 minutes later** I’m just finishing this beer now. I’ve kind of gotten used to the taste. Still, I wouldn’t drink more than one of these. Man, has it hit me hard. Two 7%+ beers in a row is not suggested. Not sure I’m going to get through the remaining five beers.
Beer #3: Creemore Springs Premium Lager (Creemore Springs Brewery – Creemore, ON)
When I opened my beer fridge I was thinking to myself, “Come on Bobby, pick something to get your head back in it.” I reached for a Creemore. Ohhh, so refreshing. One of my go-to-beers. It has a light, crisp taste. A very distinct aftertaste that makes you want more. I know there are a lot of people out there that won’t drink heavy beer, IPAs, APAs, malts, etc.. I would suggest this beer to anybody that likes beer in general.
Beer #4: Craft Lager (Muskoka Brewery – Bracebridge, ON)
Another light, easy-going beer. The only problem I have with it, is that it lacks flavour. I find that happens frequently with low ABV beers. This one sits at 4.8%. I think I might have to try this one again when I haven’t had strong beers that will kill my taste buds. I’m about halfway through it and my body just told me that I’ve hit my limit. I’ve been blessed with the ability of knowing when I have had enough to drink. My body tells me. So I’ll finish this beer and write up a conclusion to this post.
Well despite the fact that I didn’t finish all my beers, it was still a good night. I got to watch the Jays play extra innings (lost in 11 innings) and the Leafs are into the playoffs. My wife is on her way home and I’m starting to feel my eyes getting heavy. I hope my reviews will be helpful to someone out there and I also hope that they are helpful to the breweries. Local breweries are fantastic. The people working in them are our friends, family and neighbours. If given the opportunity, check them out. I know that you won’t be disappointed.