Saturday, April 5, 2014

Double Trouble Fire in the rye

As the microbrew industry expands so do the different types of beer and different interpretations of beer styles.  In that vein the good folks at Double Trouble brewing company out of Guelph, Ontario have come up with a very interesting unfiltered rye pale ale called fire in the rye.  A really tasty and surprisingly bitter pale ale.  This review will also give me a chance to debut a new feature of my blog, a picture of the beer which will be cool although I won't have pics of every beer I review it will still be a great addition!

The first striking feature of fire in the rye is how cloudy it is, the pour is an interesting brown colour that is so cloudy you can't see through it when you think you should be able to.  When you take a sip you immediately get a bitter and floral hoppy taste, a product of the centennial hops they use.  This hoppy beginning really strikes you but once you get past that wall of hops it settles down into a very noticable rye malt flavour in the middle that trails off into a smooth but somewhat watery finish.  The rye and grain flavour of the malt really mixes well with the floral taste of the centennial hops but I wish it didn't finish so watery.  I truly applaud the folks at Double Trouble for the creativity in this one, it has the potential to be an excellent beer but I felt as though that watery finish let it down somewhat, it really makes it taste less balanced than it should be.  I am definitely willing to try this interesting creation again, as they perfect their recipe it will get better.

It's available across Ontario at the LCBO, Double Trouble's Hops & Robbers is available in Manitoba and BC as well so there is hope that it could find its way there soon.

Rating: 3.5 Steins

What you need to know



Friday, April 4, 2014

The Microbrew times would like you to support the CISDEP Teespring campaign

As a proud supporter of CISDEP, Christy’s Integration, Skills, Daycare and Educational Programs, the Microbrew times would encourage everyone to take a look at their teespring campaign to raise funds.  More information can be found at the following links

Thanks in advance

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Peel Pub House Red

Now, I know I tend to review fancier craft beers that have intricate flavours and tons of hops, but you aren't always craving something that complicated, and often expensive.  Watching sports and eating greasy pub food is one example of a time when you want something a little lighter and more thirst quenching. This is why on the Sunday morning of the olympic gold medal game I found myself in the peel pub in Montreal having house red and watching hockey, because Canada.

In all honesty I wasn't expecting much, especially at $3.50 per pint on a Sunday morning in a sketchy college pub.  Having low expectations meant I wasn't particularly disapointed to discover that it is pretty watery and bland.  There is enough malt in it to remind you that this is a red ale (apart from the obvious red colour), but apart from that this is really un-remarkable. I can't really talk about any flavour notes because there really aren't any but it is smooth and quenches the thirst, useful when watching hockey on a Sunday morning.  I imagine it would be good with chicken wings.

It's available on draught at the Peel Pub, on Peel St. in downtown Montreal.  At $3.50 per pint and with affordable pitchers as well the price is good for a drinkable red ale.

Rating: 2 steins

What you need to know
1196 Peel
Montreal QC
H3B 2T6




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Good times were had by all at the CISDEP Board game night

The Microbrew times would like to thank everyone who came to the board game night at Monopolatte and  in Ottawa last night to support CISDEP, Christy's Integration Skills, Daycare, and Education Programs.  An enthusiastic crowd turned up to play games and support CISDEP.  Christy's is taking giant leaps towards their grand opening and you were all a great help.

For more information on Christy's, please visit their website:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mill Street Vanilla Porter

I have started to become a bit skeptical of beers that advertise a certain flavour.  Unless it is a fruit beer they tend to have no more than a few notes of the advertised flavour.  This is particularly common in the stout and porter department so I wasn't really expecting a whole lot of Vanilla flavour when I picked up a couple of cans of Vanilla porter at the LCBO.  I figured I would get a good beer, but what I got really caught be off guard. From the moment I opened the can I knew this would not follow the mold of other "flavoured" stouts and porters.

First to get this out of the way, this beer really really tastes and smells like vanilla, a heck of a lot more than I have ever tried.  This beer tastes a bit like washing down a piece of birthday cake with beer, a very very odd combination.  Not to say that it is bad, odd is good but I have never had a beer with this strong a flavour before.  Once you get past the "Holy vanilla batman" impression it is actually a pretty good beer.  The vanilla flavour is contained primarily in the creamy/foamy head so once you get past that it is a very smooth and creamy beer.  Unlike some stouts and porters it is not bitter whatsoever so if you are nervous about bitter beer then have no fear, however if you are worried about a thick beer then this one is not for you, it is smooth, thick and creamy.  Where it gets let down is the balance.  When you first take a sip you are overwhelmed by the vanilla flavour, but beyond the vanillaness there isn't a whole lot of flavour left.  I felt a bit let down with how bland it seemed to taste past the vanilla head. I wish the vanilla flavour was more spread out as opposed to being all right at the start.  Regardless this is still a good beer, and one I would be happy to try again, however people who are not fans of vanilla should stay away.

It's available at Mill St. Brewpubs as well as in the LCBO in Ontario.

Rating: 3.5 Steins.

 What you need to know
Brewery & Brew Pub

21 Tank House Lane
Toronto ON

Other Brew Pubs
555 Wellington St
Ottawa, ON
K1R 1C5

Toronto Pearson Airport Terminal 1
Mississauga, ON
L4W 1S9


Monday, March 10, 2014

Cassel Brewery Caboose IPA

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, had some technical issues with my primary note taking instrument (my phone) so didn't have any info!   Tonight's review is of Cassel Brewery's Caboose IPA, yet another beer with a train themed name!  As someone who is not the biggest fan of uber hoppy IPA's, I always try new ones with a bit of trepidation.  Fortunately the good folks of Cassel brewery share m y philosophy of hop restraint and have produced a pretty tasty brew!

One thing that I noticed about Caboose is that it is really well balanced.  It pours a decidedly clear and light colour, less cloudy than a lot of IPA's that you see.  Keeping with that theme of being different from a lot of IPA's, it actually has a bit of a sour taste at parts.  A sip starts out with a bitter opening that nicely transitions into that interestingly sour and and citrussy middle bit.  This sour middle moves into a bitter "second wind" so to speak that nicely rounds out the IPA goodness.  I tried it at the "Winterbrewed" festival back in February and it was one of the highlights of the event, however it does pack a bit of a punch, somewhere in the 6-7 percent range, so be warned if you are planning on driving afterwards.

It's available on draught at a variety of places in Eastern Ontario as well as in bottles at their brewery in Casselman. 

Rating: 4 Steins

What you need to know
Brewery and shop address:
715-C Rue Principale
Casselman ON




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clocktower Brew Pub Wishart's ESB

Clocktower Brew Pub are a prominent chain of Brew Pubs in Ottawa, as a matter of fact there are 4 of them around town.  Readers may wonder why I have yet to review any of their beers given that they are so prominent here in Ottawa.  The answer is that every time I have tried their beers I have found that the quality has ranged from bad to average so I struggle to bring myself to one of their pubs.  Regardless of my lukewarm opinion of their beers I found myself in the Westboro location with my girlfriend.  Of their 5 beers the ESB seemed the most appealing as ESB is my favourite beer type and unfortunately their beer still needs work.

Wishart's ESB is indeed a standard ESB style beer.  The pour looked a very promising malty brown with very little in the way of head.  Unfortunately the opening of the beer lets down the side a bit, it starts of being way to watery for a proper ESB.  This does progress into a pretty decent malty middle bit that is punctuated with a bitter punch that is quite surprising given the rest of the beer.  Unfortunately this bitter punch makes the beer seem really unbalanced, the watery beginning and bitter end makes it hard to appreciate.  Most ESB's are fairly complicated but this one is pretty simple, which was a bit disappointing.  Regardless of the balance issues this is actually a decent beer.  It is not pretentious and it is nice and drinkable, I just feel as though it needs refinement. 

It's available at the 4 Ottawa brewpubs in the Glebe, Byward Market, New Edinburgh and Westboro. 

Rating: 3 Steins

What you need to know