Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops

Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops

The latest and greatest local offerings, with tasting notes from legendary brewmaster Paul Dickey

Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops

Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
FOR A NEW SUMMER STAPLE
Double Trouble 1929
Long-time brewer and craft beer master Paul Dickey concocted this cream ale for the Royal York’s 85th anniversary. The name honours the hotel’s grand opening year, and the beer is made with ingredients and methods true to the period. Fizzy, refreshing and light, it goes well with lobster and corn. 100 Front St. W., ­­416-368-2511. Alcohol: 5% Price: $8.50 for 341 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
WITH A SUNDAY ROAST CHICKEN
Bellwoods Farmhouse Classic
While most farmhouse ales look and taste light, this Belgian-style brew is dark and opaque in the glass. Its sharp, sour taste and funky barnyard aroma are nicely balanced with caramel malt. It’s the work of Luke Pestl and Mike Clark, co-owners and U of T grad-school dropouts, who met while working at Amsterdam Brewery. The Bottle Shop at Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586. Alcohol: 7% Price: $6 for 500 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
FOR AROUND THE CAMPFIRE
Amsterdam Downtown Brown
If you like Rickard’s Red, this is a fine local option. Amsterdam’s Iain McOustra has created an English brown ale that remains clear and bubbly in the glass, with a rich, dense head. The malt tastes more toasty than sweet, which makes it a good pick for grilled or smoked foods. Try taking it camping—it’s a great match for s’mores. LCBO 142331 Alcohol: 5% Price: $2.65 for 473 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
INSTEAD OF WINE
Indie Ale House Broken Hipster
Newbie Jeff Broeders was in the first graduating class of Niagara College’s brewmaster program in 2012. His wheat beer has full-bodied flavours of lavender, orange, rosehips, ginger and coriander, but it finishes crisp, making it a nice alternative to a dry white wine on a hot summer day. Serve it with mussels and salad. 2876 Dundas St. W., 416-760-9691. Alcohol: 5% Price: $20 for a 2-L growler


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
WITH A TACO FEAST
Great Lakes My Bitter Wife
About a decade ago, Great Lakes started producing limited-edition recipes, and last year, it won Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Brewer Mike Lackey’s My Bitter Wife, named for radical temperance advocate Carrie Nation, is a bright, golden IPA—a classic example of a fruity and bitter west-coast ale. It pairs well with tacos and other spicy foods. LCBO 345579 Alcohol: 7% Price: $5.95 for 650 mL

Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops

Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
AT A BACKYARD PARTY
Sawdust City Lone Pine
Super-drinkable yet potent, this effervescent, golden west coast–style IPA from brewer Sam Corbeil nails the spot between bitter and sweet. Flavours like lemon and grapefruit give way to subtle caramel notes. Aggressive and hoppy, it’s just the beer to get a party going. LCBO 339531 Alcohol: 6.5% Price: $5.25 for 650 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
WHILE CHEERING ON THE JAYS
Collective Arts Rhyme and Reason
Extra pale ales are smooth and easy to drink—think of Ryan Morrow’s Rhyme and Reason as a gateway drug to more challenging microbrews. It has a fresh, citrusy taste and hoppy aroma, but the boldness is balanced by a hint of caramel. Drink it with something spicy, like chicken wings. LCBO 363465 Alcohol: 5.9% Price: $14 for a six-pack


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
FOR AN AFTERNOON MARATHON
Black Oak Saison
Traditionally, saisons were brewed during the cooler months, then stored for the summer to be drunk by farm workers. Jon Hodd’s special seasonal is incredibly refreshing, and its piquant aroma is sharp with coriander and orange—it tingles on your tongue. LCBO 380253 Alcohol: 4.5% Price: $5.95 for 650 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
FOR A DINNER PARTY
Cameron’s Deviator Dopplebock
Jason Britton’s dopplebock (a rich, malty ale that served as “liquid bread” for Franciscan friars during times of fasting) is aged in oak barrels used for bourbon, which gives it a complex molasses sweetness. But what’s most remarkable is how light and refreshing it finishes. Whip it out for dessert—it pairs beautifully with creamy cheeses, like brie or gorgonzola. LCBO 363887 Alcohol: 8.6% Price: $10.95 for 650 mL


Toronto Craft Beer Bonanza 2014: Hip Hops
WITH A BLOOD-RARE GRILLED RIB-EYE
Junction Craft Brewing Conductor’s Craft Ale
Conductor’s is the kind of brew that’s loved by both beer geeks and everyday drinkers. Brewmaster Doug Pengelly custom-built all of Junction’s equipment, including a hopback, which traps essential oils, and infuses flavour and aroma into his beer. Conductor’s starts out nice and hoppy, but nutty, toasty malt flavours kick in to mask any bitterness. Pair it with rich curries or grilled meats. LCBO 345280 Alcohol: 5.3% Price: $2.85 for 473 mL