Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC (Martson’s) Lancaster Bomber – Premium Bitter / ESB at 4.4% ABV | 32 IBU

Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC (Martson’s) Lancaster Bomber Premium Bitter / ESB at 4.4% ABV | 32 IBU (C$3.68 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, best before 31-Jul-2017, acquired 7-Sep-2016, reviewed 11-Sep-2016)

Appearance: clear pale to medium amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, short retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grassy, caramel, light floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Medium body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

It’s really a struggle to find an ESB that’s actually interesting – and this isn’t one. It’s fairly polite and well-behaved, with no significant shortfalls, but it’s just so very, very boring. Try it if you like ESB’s, I guess? (And as an almost completely irrelevant aside, if you ever get the chance, be sure to check out the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, AB, to see one of only four intact Lancasters in the world. Plus a working landing gear you can operate for a dollar.) (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd Goliath – English Bitter at 4.2% ABV

Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd Goliath English Bitter at 4.2% ABV (C$3.68 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, best before 31-Jul-2017, acquired 7-Sep-2016, reviewed 11-Sep-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: nutty, caramel malt, grassy, light fruit. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, mild bitter, light metallic. (5/10) Medium body tending slightly watery, moderate-low carbonation, sweetish short duration mildly bitter finish. (2/5)

Another less-than-impressive Wychwood offering. A bit sweet and a bit watery, with a finish that isn’t so much bitter as astringent, especially as the initial sweetness fades. An unexciting interpretation of an unexciting style. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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2016 Summer Staycation Roundup

2016 Summer Staycation Roundup

Canadian peso still doing too badly to justify international travel, so we visited Montreal, Toronto, and Niagara. Busy with family the entire time, so no detailed reviews, but I did check everything on Untappd, most with photos. A summary follows:

Nuit Blanche – Archibald microbrasserie

Aroma: grapefruit, grassy, caramel, hint of Belgian yeast. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. Medium body, off-dry bitter finish. 7/10

Archibald microbrasserie 8:46 PM 26 Aug 16

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La Ciboire – Archibald microbrasserie

Aroma: pine, earth, pale malt. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter finish. 6.5/10

Archibald microbrasserie 8:59 PM 26 Aug 16

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Désirée – Archibald microbrasserie

Aroma: grassy, light citrus, pale crackery malt. Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. Medium-light body, short bitter finish. 7/10

Archibald microbrasserie 9:30 PM 26 Aug 16

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St-Ambroise Session IPA – Brasserie McAuslan (St-Ambroise)

Aroma: citrus, pine, grainy caramel. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. Medium-light body, off-dry shortish bitter finish.  6/10

Hotel Novotel 9:53 PM 27 Aug 16

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Belgian White – Shock Top Brewing Co.

Meh-tastic. Hey, the wife chose it, I just finished the second half. 5.5/10

Hotel Novotel 10:28 PM 27 Aug 16

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Paienne – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Aroma: crackery malt, light lemon and floral. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-light bitter. Medium-light body, off-dry mildly bitter finish. 6/10

Hotel Novotel 10:47 PM 27 Aug 16

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Rescousse – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Aroma: grainy caramel, mild fruit, faint berry, light earth. Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-light bitter. Sweetish mild bitter finish. 6.5/10

Hotel Novotel 5:55 PM 28 Aug 16

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Centennial – Brutopia

Aroma: pine, caramel, mild citrus, light earth. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. Off-dry moderate bitter finish. 7/10

Brutopia 6:55 PM 28 Aug 16

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India Pale Ale – Brutopia

Aroma: bready caramel, grass and earth, light floral. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. Malty lightly bitter finish. 6.5

Brutopia 6:56 PM 28 Aug 16

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Canadian Pale Ale (CPA) – Old Tomorrow Brewing

Pleasant pale. 7/10

CN Tower 9:54 PM 29 Aug 16

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Stash – Collective Arts Brewing

Pleasant blond ale, especially after a hot morning standing in ride lines with the kids. 7.5/10

Canada’s Wonderland Water Park (Splashworks) 3:00 PM 30 Aug 16

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Headstock India Pale Ale (IPA) – Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Quite a pleasant A/IPA – lots of citrus out in front of a decent pale malt base. 8/10

Canada’s Wonderland Water Park (Splashworks) 3:50 PM 30 Aug 16

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Jutsu – Bellwoods Brewery

Aroma: grapefruit, mango, pale malt, grass, stone fruit. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. Medium body, medium duration bitter finish. 8.5/10

SpringHill Suites Toronto Vaughan 11:13 PM 30 Aug 16

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Donkey Venom – Bellwoods Brewery

Aroma: tart red wine, dried fruit, chocolate, oak, leather. Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. Medium tart finish. 8/10

SpringHill Suites Toronto Vaughan 12:18 AM 31 Aug 16

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Sweetwater Squeeze Radler – Amsterdam Brewing Company (Canada)

Orange juice is a bit heavy to work well as a radler. Sweet and a touch unbalanced. 6/10

Amsterdam Brewing Company 3:30 PM 31 Aug 16

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Parts Unknown – Amsterdam Brewing Company (Canada)

Nicely done SIPA – long on flavour, but a light body and low ABV. Pleasant on a warm patio with lunch! 7/10

Amsterdam Brewing Company 3:39 PM 31 Aug 16

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Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale – Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Surprisingly decent! Hoppy and floral lead the way over a pleasant pale malt base. 7.5/10

Canadian National Exhibition 6:50 PM 31 Aug 16

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Marzen Oktoberfest Lager – Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Fairly typical marzen. Malty and easy drinking. 5.5/10

Canadian National Exhibition 7:09 PM 31 Aug 16

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West Coast Style IPA – Mill Street Brewery

Hoppy goodness with football! 7/10

BMO Field 10:41 PM 31 Aug 16

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Berliner Weisse – The Exchange Brewery 6.5/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:29 PM 1 Sep 16

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Dunkleweisse – The Exchange Brewery 7/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:31 PM 1 Sep 16

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& Oud Bruin – The Exchange Brewery 7.5/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:35 PM 1 Sep 16

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Grapefruit Pale Ale – The Exchange Brewery 7/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:44 PM 1 Sep 16

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#7¹ White IPA – The Exchange Brewery 7.5/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:47 PM 1 Sep 16

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#7 IPA – The Exchange Brewery 6/10

The Exchange Brewery 6:57 PM 1 Sep 16

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Bord Du Lac Saison – Amsterdam Brewing Company (Canada)

Pleasant saison for a late summer BBQ. ABV is a but high for the style but doesn’t make it heavy or hard to drink. 7/10

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake 2:57 PM 2 Sep 16

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Gigantic La Formidable (Beau’s B-Side) – Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

An OK Belgian-style, but nothing special. Slightly disappointing as my first B-Side. 6/10

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake 3:35 PM 2 Sep 16

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Galt Knife Old Style Lager – Grand River Brewing

Woof. Not very good. 4/10

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake 3:36 PM 2 Sep 16

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Konnichiwa Peaches – Niagara Oast House Brewers

Pleasant almost saison-ish wheat ale. 7/10

Niagara Oast House Brewers 6:15 PM 2 Sep 16

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Local Hoption IPA – Niagara Oast House Brewers

A bit too mild for my preference. Soft and understated. 6.5/10

Niagara Oast House Brewers 6:18 PM 2 Sep 16

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Saison Farmhouse Ale – Niagara Oast House Brewers

Decent, but not great, especially for the price. Pros: crisp and lively. Cons: brownish apples and high ABV for the style. 6.5/10

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake 7:29 PM 2 Sep 16

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Barn Raiser Country Ale – Niagara Oast House Brewers

Nice, almost melony, pale. Definitely better than their saison. (No, I haven’t been doing real reviews lately. Too busy on family vacation!) 7/10

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake 7:59 PM 2 Sep 16

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Blonde – 3 Brasseurs | 3 Brewers

Pleasant grassy blond, light and easy drinking. 6.5/10

The 3 Brewers 11:27 PM 3 Sep 16

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The Lucky Penny – 3 Brasseurs | 3 Brewers

Malty amber, not really a rye IPA. OK. 6/10

The 3 Brewers 11:30 PM 3 Sep 16

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Belgian Wheat – 3 Brasseurs | 3 Brewers

Floral and yeasty wheat. Belg-ish, I guess. 6/10

The 3 Brewers 11:33 PM 3 Sep 16

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IPA – 3 Brasseurs | 3 Brewers

Definitely their best. Citrusy hops lead the way on a pale malt background. 7/10

The 3 Brewers 11:49 PM 3 Sep 16

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Cruiser Pale Ale – Amsterdam Brewing Company (Canada)

Nice pale. Not as much dill as I usually associate with Sorachi Ace. Could drink a few! 7.5/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 12:47 AM 4 Sep 16

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Cause & Effect – Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Light, mildly hoppy. Pretty pleasant for a blonde – almost more an APA or SIPA. 6.5/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 3:12 PM 4 Sep 16

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Coriolis Effect – Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Not bad. Simple but clean lactic sour, light body. Could stand to be more highly carbonated and less sweet. 6/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 3:38 PM 4 Sep 16

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Tailgate – Grand River Brewing

Meh. A typical lager, with nothing to recommend it. The hopping is grassy at best, and burned rubber at worst. Don’t bother. 4/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 6:43 PM 4 Sep 16

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Amber Ale – Ashton Brewing Company

Quite a pleasant amber. Not my favourite style, but this is nice. 6.5/10

The Foolish Chicken 7:35 PM 4 Sep 16

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Blue Collar Pale Ale – The Hamilton Brewery (THB)

Not terrible. Floral and grassy hops with grainy malt. Definitely has blue collar tendencies, though. 5.5/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 11:27 PM 4 Sep 16

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Pompous Ass EPA – Great Lakes Brewery

Bit of a train wreck. Caramel malt vies with earthy and floral hops for dominance, ends up being neither EPA nor APA. Muddy & unremarkable. 6/10

Residence Inn by Marriott 11:47 PM 4 Sep 16

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Trailhead – Wellington Brewery

An OK Vienna lager, especially on a shady patio watching horsedrawn carriages roll by. 5.5/10

Upper Canada Village 5:16 PM 5 Sep 16

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S.P.A. Special Pale Ale – Wellington Brewery

Quite a nice pale. Not bright, but more American than English. Well balanced and easy to drink. 7/10

Upper Canada Village 5:26 PM 5 Sep 16

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Mill Street Brewery Come From Away IPA – English IPA at 5.6% ABV | 60 IBU

Mill Street Brewery Come From Away IPA English IPA at 5.6% ABV | 60 IBU (C$7.00 at Mill Street Brew Pub St. John’s, 945 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 7-Sep-2016, reviewed 7-Sep-2016)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky off-white head, good retention and light lacing. (4/5) Aroma: berry, citrus, earthy/woody, pale and caramel malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, short duration clean mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

They call this an E/IPA, but it’s not, really: the carbonation is much higher than is typical for that style, as is the overall bitterness. It’s more balanced towards hops, and there’s some American-ish hopping (Pacific Gem) in there in addition to the more traditional earthy tones. Solid. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brouwerij Huyghe La Guillotine – Belgian Golden Strong Ale at 8.5% ABV

Brouwerij Huyghe La Guillotine Belgian Golden Strong Ale at 8.5% ABV (C$4.89 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 30-Apr-2019, acquired 19-Jun-2016, reviewed 6-Sep-2016)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: crackery malt, light citrus, faint apple. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Medium body, lively carbonation, dry yet sweetish warming finish. (4/5)

(Re-rated) Definitely much better than the last time I tried it – there’s now no doubt that I had a bad bottle, before. This is almost but not quite like a tripel, but sweeter, with less in the way of characteristic Belgian esters. Not as good as the Delirium offerings, perhaps, but still decent. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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