Holiday weekend here at home, Victoria Day is the long weekend that usually marks the start of warm weather. The May two-four weekend as it’s often referred to started as a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday, and is usually celebrated with outdoor activities and fireworks. A beautiful warm weekend and what better way to enjoy a hot day is with a cold beer. Elora Grand Lager brewed by Canadian craft brewery Trafalgar, is a dry hopped lager that boasts flavour. A cloudy almost orange colour, I found it pretty good. Refreshing, with a hearty lager flavour and with a dry aftertaste. No watery taste here this one is all it bills itself to be, the can says you’ll thank us later, well thank you Trafalgar this one’s pretty good. So enjoy a cold beer on this long weekend, it’s what Queen Victoria would have wanted.
Okay, I know Ginger Beer isn’t beer, but I’m going to review it anyway. I had never had tried Ginger Beer until my childhood and teenage years friend Ross introduced it to me. Ross’ parents were British and it’s certainly more popular in the U.K. than here. England’s Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer for those of you that have never tried Ginger Beer is very sweet and has a strong taste of ginger. And for those of you that prefer Maryanne to Ginger, you will also enjoy this ginger. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I quite enjoyed it. This one is so sweet it would even make Crabby sweet.Yesterday would have been one of my best friends growing up Ross’s birthday, sadly he died way too young of Cystic Fibrous. Thanks to him for introducing me to ginger beer and being my friend and helping shape my youth, probably the coolest guy I ever met. So I raise a glass in honour of Ross. Give it a try, and if you feel generous you can always contribute to one or both of my two favourite charities, Cystic fibrous and Kids Help Phone. And this one gets a…
Ah yes Headstock, peace , free love, a lot of great bands, I danced and grooved all weekend long, and I avoided the brown acid. Although I’m not oldest enough to have been at the original Woodstock, the psychedelic style of the Headstock IPA can immediately brings Woodstock to mind. An award winner from Canada’s Nickel Brook brewery, I just don’t get it. The best thing about this one is the colourful can and the name. Bitter beyond belief, some bitterness is good but this one was close to being undrinkable. I know taste is subjective and if it’s the bitter not the sweet you prefer then maybe you’ll like this one. Dark in colour, I just couldn’t get beyond the overwhelming bitterness, it dominated the beer, not one I would personally recommend. Second one I’ve had and not liked from Nickle Brook, to paraphrase The Who’s Pete Towsend, who played at Woodstock, I won’t get fooled again.
After reviewing a ‘Scottish” ale brewed in Canada, let’s try a Scottish beer actually brewed in Scotland. Tennent’ s Original Export Lager, claims that it is ‘always brewed with pride in the heart of Glasgow’. Not sure if i’d be overly proud of this one, because if it’s flavour you seek, then you may want to look elsewhere. If you like a very light tasting beer that would be probably best enjoyed on a stifling hot summer’s day as a thirst quencher then this may be the one for you. Not a beer drinker and want something light before moving on then maybe this may be a good start. A light yellow colour typical of a lager, I have mixed feelings about this one, not sure if I liked it or not. When I saw this beer it brought to mind another great Tennant (I know it’s not spelled the same, but it’s not even his real last name) from Scotland. The greatest Dr. Who of all, David Tennant. Would the Doctor like this one, doubt it, I mean he can travel in time and space and has probably tasted some of the greatest beers of all time.
I’m not usually a fan of beers that bill themselves as a certain country style beer but not actually from that country. I drink them with a little trepidation I usually prefer an original not one brewed in that style. I decided to try a Highlander from the Highlander Brewing Company of South River craft brewery of Canada. This beer bills itself as a Scottish Pale Ale, dark in colour, this beer has rich flavour with that hint of toffee or coffee flavour you would expect form a dark beer. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, seems to be the only one they brew. Well if your good at one thing you might as well stick with it, and they’ve found something good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would certainly recommend trying one, even if your not a fan of the darker or red style beers you’ll like this one. So grab your kilt, play some bagpipes and enjoy this little piece of Scotland, Canadian style.
Haven’t blogged in awhile and I have stocked up on a few to sample. But first I want to mention how sad I am at the untimely and way too young death of The Beastie Boys Adam Yauch aka MCA. Not only was he an incredible artist he was also a philanthropist who worked hard for a free Tibet. So I raised a glass of beer in his honour Iron Spike from Canadian micro-brewery Railway City.Iron Spike is an unfiltered Blonde, that is very much is the German style, cloudy, orange and not overly spiced and very refreshing. I quite liked this one and think it is worth a try, would be especially good on a hot day. Being from a small micro-brewery I think MCA would have approved. The taste is not overwhelming and I think will appeal to most tastes. Go out try one, do it now, and keep on enjoying some fine beers. Put on some Beastie Boys, hoist a glass and toast Adam Yauch. And in the words of the great Adam Yauch “I Want To Say a Little Something That’s Long Overdue, The Disrespect To Women Has Got To Be Through, To All The Mothers And Sisters And The Wives And Friends, I Want To Offer My Love And Respect To The End”. ‘Cause You Can’t, You Won’t And You Don’t Stop, MCA Come And Rock The Sure Shot, he’ll be missed.