Dominion City Brewing Co. Morningside Blonde Ale on Coffee Beans

Pours a light, clear amber. An intriguing nose that flits between hints of resin, florals, sweet caramel and smoke. Smooth on the palate with some hops bitterness augmented by a not unpleasant coffee grounds astringency that drifts towards a smoked/cured meats vibe as it warms in the glass. A complex beer with a lot going on. If you’re in the Ottawa area it would definitely be worthwhile to stop-by the brewery to pick up a grumbler’s* worth. 

*(A ‘grumbler’ is apparently the term for Dominion City’s adorable and almost literally pint-sized reinterpretation of the larger growler.)

Forked River Brewing Lord Simcoe’s Revenge West Coast IPA

Pours dark amber. Resin and hints of strawberry shortcake on the nose. Sweet and creamy on the palate. The hops is present but not over powering. Currently available as pre-filled growlers at the Summerhill LCBO.

Block 3 Brewing Co. Cathedral Belgian IPA

This beer was my first ever growler purchase from the still relatively new Craft Beer Experience zone at the Summerhill LCBO in Toronto. 

If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend doing so. There’s a tasting bar where (for a nominal fee) you can sample from a weekly selection of craft beers on tap and bring home you favourite in a pre-filled, LCBO branded growler.

The beer pours cloudy light yellow-orange. Orange citrus on the nose with yeast notes in the background. Smooth on the palate with medium hop bitterness that is very approachable. 

Left Field Brewery Sweet Jesus Mocha Marshmallow Stout

This stout was conditioned with roasted, crushed cocoa nibs and a blend of Sweet Jesus coffee beans. 

It pours jet black with a creamy café-au-lait coloured head. Aromas of roasted coffee (naturally) and sweet malt. The interplay of slightly smoky, dark chocolate bitterness and malty sweetness continues on the palate. The finish is pretty smooth and of medium length. 

Bought an extra bottle for cellar ageing. Pair with your favourite chocolate dessert or pan-fried pork loin chops and tart sautéed red cabbage. Highly recommended. 

Coastal Empire Beer Co. (Savannah, Georgia) Inshore Slam IPA

My wife and I just returned from celebrating our ‘Cotton’ (2nd) Anniversary in Savannah, Georgia, and I brought back several local brews that will appear here over the next few weeks. There’s a great beer scene in Georgia that (aside from the weird hours and some liquor laws that are even more archaic than Ontario’s) I highly recommend checking-out.

Pours golden yellow. Subtle pine resin notes on the nose. Slightly velvety on the palate with a bracing, cleansing bitterness on the finish.

Junction Craft Brewing & Rainhard Brewing Bock That! Fall Bock from the WE Collab West End Brew Project

Pours dark brown. A lovely warm maltiness throughout with some nuttiness on the finish. Very pleasant.

Beau’s New Lang Syne Belgian Tripel Ale Aged in White Wine Barrels and Bottle-Conditioned

Pours cloudy golden-yellow, pale-orange. Mango and white pepper on the nose. The barrel influence is definitely present on the palate along with the residual yeast, hinting towards a tart, light white wine with the white pepper rushing back onstage during the finish for a welcome curtain call. This was drank as part of a ‘wine’ and cheese pairing event for my Dad’s birthday and I highly recommending it with a triple creme cheese like the one with which we paired it. Thank you Beau’s and HAPPY NEW YEAR!