Happy Hallowe’en! I know I’m a day early, but what the heck. Hope everyone is recovering from Hurricane Sandy and your families are safe. We had some crazy winds here, but nothing like they did along the coast. I resisted the temptation to try one of those wretched pumpkin beers this year. Does anyone actually like them? Decided instead to try one from the always interesting English brewery Wychwood. Thoroughly enjoyed their Hobgoblin so why not try a King Goblin. Like it’s cousin it has a reddish tinge, very smooth and goes down easily. My only criticism is a hint of alcohol taste (6.6%). There is a bitter aftertaste but not overwhelming at all. While I prefer Hobgoblin this Special reserve is worth a try. So put on your costume, or not, and give this beer of limited availability a try.
I just getting ready to write off New Orleans beer completely when I wander into the Crescent City Brewhouse in the French Quarter. A Micro-Brewery run by a German Brewer that adheres to the ‘Bavarian Purity Law of 1516’. They feature four beers and although I ordered a Black Forest the waitress brought me a Red Stallion, must be my Canadian accent. They describe it as ‘ A malty, aromatic and hoppy mixture. Copper coloured this beer is medium bodied and full of flavour. Vienna Style’. Well New Orleans, and the great state of Louisiana, you have redeemed yourself. This is a decent red, flavouful with the right amount of bitterness, I enjoyed this one for sure. Sadly if you want to try one you’re going have to head to New Orleans. This beer is perfect for enjoying after exploring the French Market or the Riverwalk. So if you find yourself in New Orleans and want a decent beer head to the Crescent City Brewhouse.
Okay so my first encounter with beer in ‘Nawlins wasn’t so good, maybe number two would be better. I’m enjoying a delicious meal, and the waiter recommends the Abita Amber. So I think why not. A typical red in colour, not a bad mix of bitterness, but there it is again, a taste that I finally remembered, it reminded me of that swill Banks. Is it sugar cane, who knows but it ruined the beer. There is an interesting phenomenon in New Orleans called the go cup. Basically you can either take a drink to go or if your not finished take it with you, as long as it’s in a plastic container. Now a clue that Abita was bad is I didn’t see anyone walking the streets of the French Quarter with one. Now I can see why rum based drinks are the specialty, because they’re not so good at the beer thing. Will it get better one can only hope. I will let you know. As for Abita once bitten, twice shy. The only good thing I can say is it’s better than Purple Haze. And one more piece of advice be careful of the Hurricane drinks, but that’s another story.
The weather is unseasonably warm here with temperatures in the low 20s. So what better way to enjoy the sunshine than to sit on my patio and enjoy a beer. Red Leaf is red brewed by the Great Lakes Microbrewery of Toronto, Canada, which was Toronto’s first craft brewery, established in 1987, (due to Ontario’s archaic liquour laws which only allowed them as of late). It bills itself as a smooth red and that certainly is a fitting description. Typical of a red in colour I found it went down very easily, smooth indeed. The one thing that I did find was it was a little heavy in carbonation, you could actually notice it on your tongue. It faded a bit towards the last few sips but I found it a bit unnerving. Now would I recommend it, yes I would if you are looking for a smooth, not overbearing red that goes down nice on a sunny day on the patio or deck. Besides how can you not like a beer that says it goes best with hamburgers, ribs or sandwiches.