Beer Review: Nickle Brook Equilibrium ESB

November 15th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews

Well yet again, another new beer that has been tried, tested and ready for a review.  This edition of the Team Van Go Beer review will look at the Extra Special Bitter (ESB) from Nickle Brook Brewery.  Nickle Brook Brewery is based out of Burlington Ontario, which is also sharing space with Collective Arts brewery, which you may have remembered some of the reviews of their beers.  But this review is solely on the Equilibrium ESB.




Right on the can, it shows an IBU of 43 so that will give you a good starting point as to how hoppy the beer will be.  Pretty much take a Boneshaker from Amsterdam Brewing and cut it in half on the hop scale.


I did pour this beer into a glass like a civil human being, mainly because it was not after a ride, and I had access to a glass!  Fancy I know!  But I didn’t take a photo of the poured beer, so you will have to use your imagination, and the following description… ready… it had a copper coloured body to the beer, with a foamy almost beige head on it.  The head poured out nice, sitting with about 3/4″ of head in the glass.  Looking for carbonation bubbles, there was a few, but not overly carbonated like carbonated water or something like that, more like pouring a pint from a tap.


The next and probably most critical, would be the taste, and to be honest, for me and my taste buds it went very very well!  Overall it was smooth, served at around a 5-7 degree C temperature.  This is an assumption, but it was nice and cool for sure!  There was more of a malty taste rather than a hoppy taste, with a mild bitter hint throughout the drink.  There were slight spice/fruit hints, but nothing overpowering.  It was really well balanced throughout.  I’m trying to be more descriptive…


Overall, this has been one of the better beers tried over the last couple of months for sure.  Remember, that this review is very critical based on my taste buds, so I do recommend going out and trying this as well as other beers from Nickle Brook for sure.  This will be one of the beers I grab for sure if I can track it down at the local LCBO.


Rating;  4.49 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  Not hoppy no, a good balance of malt and hop

Would you recommend this to a friend:  For sure I would.  This would be a great one to let others try.

Would you buy a case of this beer:  Yup, but currently can only buy single cans through the LCBO, unless you can get down to the brewery itself.

What is Pteronophobia? Fear of being tickled by feathers

Beer Review: Cameron’s Ambear Red Ale

October 25th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

Tis the season to try numerous beers, and write reviews on them.  It almost seems like through the summer due to the consumption of beer, that the selections decrease, but now that the weather has cooled off, the beer consumption overall is down, and trying different beers goes up.




This review is with regards to Cameron’s Brewing, Ambear Red Ale.  Camerons brewing is based out of Oakville Ontario.  Click their website, 


Now to the beer itself, the Ambear Red Ale.  As you can see by the above photo when poured into a glass the Ambear has a nice red hue to it, with a white foamy head.

Smelling the beer, which seems to happen all the time, there was a caramel and fruity note to it.  Now to the most important part of the beer, which is the taste!  If it doesn’t taste good, then it would fall flat on the review, but this beer does not fall flat at all.  The smell of caramel, is part of the taste as well.  There was a note of caramel, some citrus, and malt on the palate.


Overall this beer was really good, just another good beer to grab when you are at the LCBO.


Rating:  3.96 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  Not really hoppy at all no.

Would you recommend it to a friend:  For sure I would, it is a great amber beer.  If you are a fan of amber beers you would really enjoy this one for sure.



Beer Review: Parallel 49 – Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale

October 19th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews

It has been way too long since there has been a beer review, so what better time than mid week…


In this addition, the beer of choice was from Parallel 49 Brewing Company based out of Vancouver British Columbia Canada.




Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale, as the name states is an Ale, surprise surprise.   But the interesting part of it all, is that it is a Strong beer with a 6.0% ABV rating.  So this is a 1 pint after ride sort of deal.

Based on extensive google research, the IBU on the beer is rated at 40, so not too crazy on the hop scale.

Now to the taste test side of this whole review.

As you can tell by the below photo, the beer does have an Amber colour to it.  Which again is in line with the name of the beer, so they are on point with this one.  Also, when pouring the can into the glass you can see a nice white foamy head on the beer.



As the first sip went down, there was some notes of bitterness to the beer.  Nothing crazy, just a great note of freshness.  Definition of freshness…. Well I guess I would say it has almost like a fruitness to it… definition of fruitness… well, like a floral sorta taste.  The taste you get when you drink a session ale… Wow, that was hard to type out… You get a good grasp of the thought process right there….. anyways.


Overall, the beer was really good from start to finish.  I only had 1 can of it, which was the perfect amount.


Rating:  4.03 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  It had a hop note, but nothing crazy.

Would you buy a case of it:  I would buy a 6 pack for sure.

Would you recommend it to a friend:  For sure I would… Why not… really beer is delicious!



Beer Review: Amsterdam 3 Speed Lager

August 10th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

It has been a short while since there has been a beer review, and what better time to talk about beer than on a Wednesday.


In today’s installment of team van go’s Beer Review, we look at another one of the Amsterdam Brewery’s lineup, the 3 Speed Lager.




The Amsterdam 3 Speed is on the lighter side of the scale, with an ABV of only 4.2%.  That being said, it does still have a bit of flavour accompanied with it.  I have personally had this beer before, and enjoyed the lightness of it, more of a refreshing summer beer.


As you can tell the beer was drank straight from the can, so no appearance other than the nice can with a picture of a bike on it… But if you did pour it, it would have a light golden colouring to it.


Tasting it, well it is a lager, and thus has a lot of the lager flavours accompanied with it.  There was no real hit of hops at all, so for folks not wanting the stronger hop flavour this is a beer right up your alley!  One note on this beer though, it was very crisp.  There was no hops hit at the end, just a hit of beer then really nothing, no bitterness or anything along those lines.


The overall experience with the 3-Speed was good.  It is a good all around beer to drink.  Not too strong, and at the lower alcohol it fits in for a good pint or two on the patio or after a ride.


Rating:  3.13 out of 5


Was the beer hoppy?  Nope, no real hops at all

Would you buy the beer again?  Yup I would, would I switch soley to this beer, no, but a good treat once and a while for sure.

Would you recommend it to a friend? I would, but a friend that is not all about hoppy beers.






Hop City: Polly want a Pilsner

June 13th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews

Well it has been way too long since there was a beer review, and what better time than a Monday!  I guess it is sunny outside too, so that is a positive as well.




Anyways, this is a relatively new beer from Hop City, called Polly want a Pilsner.  So based on the name of the beer, yes you are correct, this is a pilsner.


Based on the statistics of the beer, it is relatively tame, with a 5.0% ABV, and a 30 IBU rating.  So right off the hop (see what I did there, Hop, Hop City) this is a refreshing beer and quite tastey at that.


Polly want a Pilsner is a traditional German/Czech style pilsner, brewed by Hop City based out of Brampton Ontario.   I drank the beer straight from the can, so as for appearance, the can is green….. as you can tell from the photo….

It was a warm day when I had this beer, sun was shining, and the beer was nice and cold.  The first mouthful well to be honest, I didn’t taste, it was more of a refreshing gulp… After that when I started to taste the beer, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was like I said a refreshing beer, there was no bad aftertaste, it was not hoppy, just like a normal pilsner, but more flavorful.  It is kinda hard to explain, but I would recommend you grab a can of this for sure.


For the overall experience with Polly want a Pilsner, it was good!  It hit the spot, and honestly may be one of the newcomers for beer this summer to grab for a post ride pint.


Rating:  4.13 out of 5



National Beer Day

April 7th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews

Today (April 7th, 2016) is National Beer Day.


What is this day about…. Well it is about Beer, and all things Beer is good for. Such as, using for cooking, or drinking, or having after a ride, or on a warm sunny day at a Patio, or after a hockey game, or during a hockey game, while playing golf, or just enjoying with some friends.


Beer: an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops.

Origin: Old English bēor, based on monastic Latin biber ‘a drink,’ from Latin bibere ‘to drink’; related to Dutch bier and German Bier


History:  On April 7, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt took the first step toward ending Prohibition and signed a law that allowed people to brew and sell beer, in the United States, as long as it remained below 4.0% alcohol by volume (ABV).  Beer drinkers celebrated and were happy to be able to purchase beer again for the first time in thirteen years.


How to Celebrate this glorious day: Drink a beer!





Beer Review: Goose Island Brewery – India Pale Ale

January 26th, 2016 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

“Trust me, you can dance!” Anonymous


I was recently at a friends house, and we were talking about parenthood, as he had just had a baby boy 2 months previous.  As we were talking we were having a beer, as most people should at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon.  As he reached into the fridge, out comes a beer that I had yet to try.  Out comes this can of beer from Goose Island Brewery.  It was their India Pale Ale.




After inspecting the can, I realize that Goose Island is a brewery out of Chicago.  After a bit of research I found out that Goose Island is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.  That being said, I want to be clear, that I’m strickly looking at this beer for what it is, and not who the parent company is.  It would not be fair to judge a book by it’s owner, or however that saying goes.


I was given the beer in a 473ml Can, with no glass, as I did not want to dirty glassware at some else’s house, just to be a good house guest.  So for appearance of the beer, I have no clue.  I would assume it looks like an IPA…


Like most people know, I have a habit of smelling food or drinks before I inhale them.  This beer was not out of the wrath of my sniffer.  With a good deep inhale, this is what I noted: Right off the hop (no pun intended), there was a very prominent hit of well hops.  To be honest, it has the same smell as a Hops and Bolts has.  There was also a hint of sweetness as well.  From there the next stage would be to take a sip of the beer.  Not a gulp, but a sip, for a couple reasons… What if the liquid inside was not beer but something else, or what if it was very hot.  Luckily for me, it was neither of those, and was what the can stated it was.  With the taste came a pleasant surprise.  I had every intention of a on rush of hoppiness hit my mouth, but no, it was a lot more subtle than I expected.  Don’t get me wrong, there was the hit of hops from a typical IPA, but Goose Island did not go overboard on it.  You also had the note of malt there as well, and like the smell a bit of an almost caramel taste to it.  All in all a very well rounded beer, and dare I say, one of the better IPA’s I have had in a long time.


At the end of the beer, I began to think, boy I would like another one for sure, but then the agony hit.  My friend did not have another one in the fridge.  The Humanity!


Rating: 4.67 out of 5


Would you recommend this beer to a friend:  For sure I would, 100%

Was the beer hoppy:  Not near as bad as you would think, rating somewhere in the high 50s to low 60s on the IBU scale.



Beer Review: Barnstormer F400 Blonde Ale

December 22nd, 2015 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

Well, here we go again, as the riding season slows a bit, the beer drinking season ramps up slightly…. well more than slightly, but I digress.


A few weeks back while at Barnstormer Brewery, I tried one of their F400 Blonde Ales.  As you can see from the below photo, it is a Light Yellow and nearly clear blonde ale.




With an alcohol percentage of 4.5%, it is on the lighter side of their offering.  Which to be honest, is really nice once and a while.  On a side note, please do not drink and drive!  Not only due to the holidays, but anytime.


Now to the key points of this beer, the taste!

When you take a sip of the beer, you do notice it is on the lighter side.  Probably didn’t help drinking heavier beers prior, but still.  It has a great refreshing pallet to the beer.  You have a note of some citrus, but nothing overpowering.  There is no real hit of heavy hops, so if you are not a hops drinker, than this is a beer for you.


With Diner this beer was perfect 100%.



Pretty much the above picture gives you an idea of the colour and the head when poured into a glass.  If you are blind, and cannot see the photo…well then how are you reading this????


Rating:  4.13 out of 5

Would you recommend this to a friend?  Yes for sure, but only to a friend who enjoys a lighter beer.

would you buy a case of this beer?  You can buy bottles at the brewery, as for full cases, i’m not sure where you would buy them from…..

What is the definition of Christmas? The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth ofJesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.



Barnstormer Brewing – Parachute Porter

December 7th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

“I’m in a glass case of emotions” Ron Burgandy (Anchorman)


Yup, that quote sums it up nicely, a glass case encompasses a pint, and emotions represent beer….. Well okay that is a stretch for sure, but nonetheless.  Haven’t done a beer review in quite a while, and low and behold, have still been drinking beer.  So on this installment of the team van go beer review, we are going to take a look at a local Barrie breweries Parachute Porter, brewed by Barnstormer Brewery.


Barnstormer Brewing is a micropub, with some good food and good beer on tap.  One thing you will notice, they have a very aviation themed atmosphere going on.  Hence the name Parachute Porter, and other beers like, Flight Delay, and Billy Bishop.  They are located at 384 young St. Barrie, so not too far away for most.


As for the Beer, as you can tell by the below picture, it is a dark Porter, as the porter name would suggest.




You can read the writing on the next photo, as a brief description of what the beer is to resemble.



As for my take on it, when I did end up taking a good sip, I had a hit of a roasted chocolate/coffee flavoring.  Not too strong, but a nice rich taste.  If you do not like Porters, then I would say no go for this beer, but if you do, you will thoroughly enjoy the taste for sure. As you can see by the pint photo, there isn’t a lot of head on  the beer, and colouring is a dark tan.  Really, that is the jist of the beer, a nice porter, with good flavour….. sorry if you were looking for more.


Rating:  3.93 out of 5

Would you recommend this to a friend?  Yes for sure, but only to a friend who enjoys porter….

would you buy a case of this beer?  You can buy bottles at the brewery, i’m not sure where you can buy full cases?????

Have you seen the movie “The Santa Clause?”  Painfully I have, Divorcee Scott Calvin is disgusted to learn that his ex and her husband have tried – and failed – to break it easy to their 6-year-old son Charlie that Santa isn’t real. On Christmas Eve, Scott reads The Night Before Christmas… then receives an unexpected visitor on his roof. When he’s startled by Scott’s calling out and falls, the Santa impersonator disappears, leaving only an 8-reindeer sleigh and a suit with instructions to put it on if he’s involved in an accident. Scott does, and is transported around the town dropping gifts through chimneys until he’s taken to the North Pole and informed by a group who claim they’re elves that he is now Santa. Charlie is proud of his dad’s new job, though Scott’s convinced it’s a dream. Until his hair turns white, his beard refuses to stay shaved, he gains weight inexplicably, even for his sudden love of junk food… Now he’s accepted it, there’s just one problem: how to keep it secret from his disbelieving family? (taken from IMDB)


Beer Review: Big Axe Brewing: Firefly IPA

August 13th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

After the trip to the east coast, there were numerous stops at many breweries, to try a wide array of beers, some really good, some not so good.  One of the stops was in New Brunswick at the Big Axe Brewery.  Big Axe Brewery is located in Nackawic New Brunswick, just off the Trans-Canada highway between Edmundston and Fredrickton.  It is worth the jump off of the highway for sure to try their samples.


After trying several samples, one that stuck out was their Firefly IPA.  The Firefly IPA boasts a nice 5.7% alcohol percentage, and a smooth 50 IBU.  (These values were pulled off of  When taking the sample, you get a nice mix of hops, like any hoppy beer, you taste a nice citrus and bitter blend.


Photo from Untappd

Photo from Untappd


The sample glass was cloudy, and had a nice aroma to it.  Nothing that was too strong, just a good sniff.


All in all the Firefly IPA was a great way to start the trip off and if you are out in the New Brunswick way, you should definitely make the trek to Big Axe Brewery.


The people that were at the brewery serving also host folks in a bed and breakfast as well.  So if you are sampling all day, you do not have that far to travel to pass out…. What a brilliant idea!


Rating:  4.14 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  It was, not overpowering, but just the right amount

Would you buy a case of this beer:  I would if I could, but instead grabbed a couple growlers.

Would you recommend it to a friend:  100% yes.



« Previous PageNext Page »