Beer Review: Durham Brewing Hop Noggin Cask Ale

May 5th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

When you have the opportunity to have a cask conditioned ale, you jump on it as soon as you can.  It is a different style of beer, where the beer is an unfiltered, un-pasteurized ale where it is served direct from the Cask.  The beer does not have nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure added to it, so it almost has a flat feel to it.


While down in Toronto last night, we went to C’est What, which is a great place to stop at if you are down town.

C’est What has several different Cask conditioned ales on tap, and one that I tried was from County Durham Brewery, their Hop Noggin Cask Ale.




As you can see from the above picture it is more of a lighter coloured beer, with little head, and this is due to the cask conditioning.  Also as you can see from the photo the beer is half full, and it always should be.


As for the taste, luckily this was the first of many beer from the night.  When you take a sip, with the name of Hop Noggin, you would expect a kick of hops, but it was quite subtle.  There was the typical citrus flavours you would expect from a beer that has the name Hop in it.  The body of the beer was really smooth and went down quite easily.  I’m not too sure what the alcohol percentage or the IBU rating would be, but I dont expect the alcohol percentage to be high, as it wasn’t an instantaneous feeling of drunkenness.


All in all, if you are down in Toronto at C’est What, grab a pint of this beer for sure!


Rating:  4.14 out of 5

Would you buy a case of this beer?  If I could I would, but only available in Cask form from what I understand

Was the beer Hoppy?  Not really hoppy at all.. mind you, it could be hoppy, and maybe my taste buds are starting to get use to the hoppiness…..

Would you recommend this to a friend?  For sure, why wouldn’t I!



Beer Review: Amsterdam Cruiser All Day Pale Ale

April 10th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

“They who drink beer, will think beer”  Washington Irving



I was lucky enough to receive a 6 pack of Amsterdam’s Cruiser all day Pale ale.  From Amsterdam’s Website, “Cruiser All Day Pale Ale is a smooth, 4.9% Golden Pale Ale that has a refined drinkability and rich tropical flavours. We use a bounty of Canadian Pale Malts and slowly add Citra and Sorachi Ace hops, giving the beer a crisp, refreshing taste with a big citrus punch. Enjoy Fresh & Keep on Cruisin’”


Now to the interesting facts about the Cruiser Pale ale, the taste!!!  When I took the first sip of beer you can really tell the Critrus flavours jump out at you. There wasn’t a big hit of bitterness, but still was a very enjoyable beer for sure.   Would be a fantastic beer post ride during the summer.


The alcohol concentration is 4.9% so pretty much standard for a beer, and not the 6+% which is good for a post ride beer.  Also, the IBU rating is at 40 so pretty much middle of the road for hoppiness.  A beer that would be a comparison is Muskoka’s Detour beer, if you have tried it and like it, you would enjoy this one for sure.


Overall, the whole beer experience was great, but when is it not great with Amsterdam’s lineup.  A huge plus is the logo, loving the bike related designs!!


Beer Rating:  4.32 out of 5

Was the Beer Hoppy?  not as hoppy as some of the other beer’s we have tried over the course of my short beer drinking life…

Would you buy a case of this beer?  100% yes, only in 6 packs, but I would buy 4 to make a 24.. Maybe duct tape it together, so it really looks like a 24..

Would you recommend this beer to a Friend?  I would, and have given them to folks to try, and the resounding approval has been given.

What does each King in a deck of Cards represent?   Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history; Spades – King David; Clubs – Alexander the Great; Hearts – Charlemagne; and Diamonds – Julius Caesar.  Who knew eh.






Guest Beer Review: Piton

February 24th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

As Ralph and Wendy are travelling, they are enjoying the sights and sounds of someplace that is a heck of a lot warmer than here.  Below is a review from Ralph on a beer called Piton.



Piton is brewerd by the Windward and Leeward Brewing company in the cold climate of St. Lucia.  The brewery also brews heiniken as well as guiness which is quite interesting!!

Piton has a 5% alcohol percentage, so a really nice summer beer or sure!

The Piton mountains are famous Unesco heritage site.


It is an Ale and smooth, with no after taste.

Rating of 4.1 out of 5

Would you buy a case:  He would buy a case for sure.

Would you recommend it to a friend: He would recommend it to a friend.



Beer Review: Rivertown Brewing, Hop Bomber Pale Ale

February 18th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

As most people are aware, this past weekend a few folks headed down to Cleveland Ohio to hit up Rays Bike Park. It was not all biking that is for sure.  There was some sleeping, some driving, and a little bit of drinking.  A little bit!


One of the beers that were consumed was from Rivertown Brewing Company, their Hop Bomber Pale Ale.  Rivertown Brewing Company is an Ohio based brewery that brews in small batches.  More of a micro-brewery for sure, but looking at the photos on their website they seem to be pretty established. 




Back to the beer!  With a picture of a Bomber plane, and a name like Hop Bomber you would think it is going to be a really good beer.  You would be fairly correct.  Think of it like Wiarton Willy, will he see his shadow or not…. not really relevant but anyways.




I was able to buy the beer in 6 pack increments, at the local grocery store in Cleveland, which was so convenient.  Why do we not do that here in Ontario!!!  I digress.  When I started to drink it, to be honest I was really expecting a hit of hops, just due to the name.  I was dissapointed that ways.  It was more subtle hop hint than a hit of hop flavour.  I had more of a hit of Malt / Rye then any hope like or Citrus flavours that you would typically see from a hoppy beer.  I’m not saying it was bad by any stretch, more that the name fooled me.  I would put this in line with an Alexander Keiths style of beer, with a little more flavour.


Quick Facts.

Alcohol Percentage:  5.5%

IBU Rating:  60

Calories:  155


Rating:  3.19 out of 5

Would you buy a case of this beer?  I would and did.  Would I buy another case, probably yes.

Was the beer hoppy?  Not hoppy at all, more malty than hoppy.

Would you recommend this beer to a friend?  I would, but a friend that did not like a really hoppy beer.

What percentage of the human body is water?  80%…. but after this past weekend, I would say 40% water 40% beer, 20% other stuff…



Beer Review: Beaus Winterbrewed Coffee Ale

February 6th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

“Beer is my coffee.” Anonymous


I must start to seem like an alcoholic with all the beer reviews, and yes that may be the case, but man there are some really really good beers lately.  This one is from Beaus Brewery, check out their website below.


This particular beer that was enjoyed last night after the weekly ride at Dufferin was the Winterbrewed Coffee Ale.  With a name like that you must think, I bet it tastes like coffee, and you would be right.  Have you ever tried a Mill Street Coffee Porter????  If you have picture it tasting like that but better, with a bigger bottle, and a really cool label!  When you begin to intake the beer into your mouth, you become more and more aware of the coffee taste.  There is not really any bitterness that comes out, mainly coffee.



On Wednesday we were being very posh, and poured some of the beer into a coffee travellers mug… see what we did there… coffee + travellers mug… anyways, the beer was an amber colour, but had a really really nice beige head on it.


At the end of the day, it was a very good surprise to have such a good beer after a great ride!



Quick Facts:

IBU Rating: 25

Est. Calories:  180 (600ml bottle)

Seasonal Beer


Beer Rating:  4.65 out of 6

Was the beer hoppy? not hoppy at all, coffee like, but not hoppy.

Would you buy a case of this beer?  I would, but you can only buy a bottle at a time…. so i guess in theory, i would buy 6 or 12 bottles to make up a case…

Would you recommend this beer to a friend?  For sure!  anyone who likes coffee or beer will enjoy this beer for sure.

How many rooms are at Buckingham palace?  Great question… there are 602 rooms.



Beer Review – Great Lakes Pompous Ass Ale

February 5th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

“Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”  Martin Luther




A few weeks back, while on a tour in the metropolis of Toronto, we stopped at a LCBO, and picked up a lot of random beers.  Pretty much anything we had not seen at our local LCBO, and then proceeded to drink them, one after another after another after another after another etc.  There were several that were really tastey and stood out above the rest, then there were the few that one was more than enough.   The Great Lakes Pompous Ass Ale was one of the better ones for sure.


Great Lakes Brewery is located in Etobicoke, so somewhat local.  The Pompous Ass English Pale Ale is one of the newer lines that have been released from Great Lakes Brewery.  The beer is rated at 4.2% so not very high at all compared to some of the other beers tried and reviewed.  Similar beers to the Pompous Ass Ale are Boddingtons Pub Ale, Fuller’s London Pride, or Old Speckled hen.  If you have not tried those ones, maybe you should, then you will understand the similarities.


Now for the more important aspects, the flavor!

I was a few beer in at the time, so my taste buds may have been skewed a little bit, but nevertheless.  When you take a sip, the first thing that I noticed that it was a lighter beer.  One taste you do notice is an almost citrussy tone.  Some people get a grapefruit taste, but definitely citrus for sure.  There was a huge hop kick or anything like that, much more subtle.  All in all the mouthful was good from start to finish, with no real bad aftermath taste or anything.


Quick Facts:

IBU:  38

Alcohol Percentage: 4.2%

Calories:  126 (per can)



Rating:  4.13 out of 5

Was the Beer hoppy?  There was a little hop note, but nothing overpowering

Would you recommend this to a friend?  For sure.  With a name like Pompous Ass, there would be a select few I would recommend it to over others….

Would you buy a case of this beer?  I would, but LCBO only sells them in single cans…..

If I were to Bang my head against the wall, how long would I need to do it to burn the same amount of calories from this beer?  You would need to do so for a little under 1 hour.



Beer Review: Granville Island Brewery: Swing Span Amber Ale

January 6th, 2015 by in Beer Reviews

“A man who lies about beer makes enemies”  Stephen King




This past weekend I was lucky enough to try a beer brewed by Creemore springs for Granville Island Brewery.  Granville Brewery has a series out right now called “Under the Bridge” series.  The “Under the Bridge” series is a celebration of Granville’s 30th Birthday.  Swing Span is the first of the 3 Beers for this series, but unfortunately for us Ontarian folks, it is not available for purchase here, yet.  But regardless, I do have a few bottles for folks to try.


Now to the nitty gritty, and the most important part of this whole thing, the beer!  The Swing Span is an Amber Ale, so if you have drank a Rickards Red, or Keith’s Red, colour is the same.  It has a deep Amber colour, hence the name I guess.  The alcohol rating on this beer is 5.6% so only 1 post ride of these guys for sure!


The key part and most enjoyable part of a beer is the label.  Oh wait, no the taste.  You would think, this being an amber ale, that it would not rank high on the IBU scale, or be hoppy etc, well it shocked me.  The first sip that I took reminded me very much like an IPA.  Also during the sip you do notice a citrius hue as well.  Overall the whole tasting experience is really really good.  The IBU rating on this beer is 50.  It has the same IBU as Hops and Robbers.


Rating:  4.58 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  Yes, you did have a good hit of hops

Would you buy a case of this beer:  If I could I would for sure.  When they do release it in Ontario, if they do I would buy a 6 pack for sure

Would you recommend this to a friend:  yes 100%


Guest Beer Review by Greg!

December 9th, 2014 by in Beer Reviews, Everything


Hey everyone, we have a Guest Beer Review from Greg! (Greg came out to help on the new hill climb build day, thanks again Greg). Nice to get others take on our favourite beverage! Here we go!

Words and pic from Greg…..


FARMAGEDDON by Bellwoods Brewery

This is a Saison style beer barrel aged 4-6 months then bottle conditioned for an additional 6-8 weeks, with an ABV of 7.2 % (!).  It is brewed with two types of Brettanomyces yeast (favoured mainly by the Lambic fans out there), Brett Brux and Brett Lambicus.

Saison beers are a very old fashion Belgian farm house style beer brewed for the summer months.  I had learned in the past it was favoured as a thirst quencher for hard working farmers without access to clean drinking water during the harvest season but an extensive 40 second google search could not substantiate this.  It is still a cool story though, considering the farmers were allotted up to 5 litres per day of this strong brew.

It’s a somewhat average straw colour with a slightly dusty smell with very subtle scents of fruits.


Taste is a strong flavour – yeasty, fruity, lemon, some sour grapes and a strong acidic tart finish, which is a real benchmark of the Saison style.  It is made in small batches and I must say, this is the third bottle I’ve had and each were somewhat different.

The strong alcohol taste is not as well hidden as other strong Bellwoods beers, you will definitely feel some warmth from this.  Perfect for the approaching winter season.

Beer Review: Side Launch Pale Ale

December 3rd, 2014 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

“If I have a near-beer, I’m near beer. And if I’m near beer, I’m close to tequila. And if I’m close to tequila, I’m adjacent to cocaine.”
Craig Ferguson




It’s been a while since there was a cocaine, I mean beer review done, and this past weekend I was lucky enough to receive a lot of random beer from some great folks.  With that in mind, I figure it’s best to start writing some more reviews on the beer that I have, and figure midas well start with a local beer.  Side Launch Pale Ale, brewed up in Collingwood, is 1 of 3 of their offerings.  Side Launch also has a Wheat beer and a Dark Lager.  Per the Side Launch website, The Pale ale is a Canadian Style Pale Ale, with an Alcohol percentage of 5.3 and an IBU rating of 35.  This puts this style of beer along side Mill Street Tankhouse or New Belgium Brewery Fat Tire Ale, both of which are great beers.


Anyways, now to the more important part of the whole review, my bias opinion…. I never poured the beer into a glass, as I’m usually not classy that ways, so I can’t really comment on that… But what I can comment on is the smell.  I’m not sure but for myself, everything I eat or drink I have to smell before.  So when I snorted the Pale Ale, the smells that I got were a mild hop scent and a hint of a malt scent.  Nothing overpowering or anything like that.


Aside from the smell, the taste of the beer is key.  The first drink I took was a little less then a full mouthful.  The flavour profile that I got was at first a Malty presence.  After that I had almost a bitter like finish to the drink.  To be completely honest with you, there was nothing that really stood out like other beers.  There was no Carmalized taste or anything like that, but there is not meant to be anything like that because of the style of beer.  It was a good tasting Pale Ale.


At the end of the day, it was a great beer.  I’m trying to place it when and where I would drink it, and to be honest I think a great time would be at a party.  It would be a great party beer for sure.


Rating:  3.87 out of 5


Was the beer Hoppy?  Not hoppy no, was a little bitterness, but not hoppy.

Would you recommend this to a friend?  Yes I would.  Both to support local, and it is a good beer.

Would you buy a case of it?  I would buy a 6 pack for sure.  dont know what cases you can buy, as I only see singles.

When is the next Halley’s Commet suppose to be visible?  July 28, 2061



Barnstormer Brewery: Parachute Porter

November 4th, 2014 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

“Anyone can drink beer, but it takes intelligence to enjoy beer”  Stephen Beaumont


This past Sunday after the ride we made the short jaunt into Barrie to try out the new Microbrewery called Barnstormers Brewery.  This brewery is somewhat new and is located on the South East end of Barrie. The Actual brewery is also a Pizzeria, which to be honest with you, the food that we all ordered was really really good, and the prices were not bad at all!!  Definitely worth the trip to the brewery for some eats as well.  But I digress, this is all about the beer.


The beer that all three of us had was the Parachute Porter, which by its name is a Porter.  You may be asking yourself what is the difference between a Stout and a Porter.  The main difference is that a Stout uses roasted barley, whereas a Porter doesn’t.  If you drank a Stout against a Porter, you will notice that the Porter will have almost a more sweat taste in a comparison. That is not to say Porters are a sweet beer, but just in a back to back against a stout.




Back to the Beer at hand, the Barstormer Brewery Parachute Porter.  The Parachute Porter when poured fresh out of keg it has a very nice dark body.  There was about 2mm of head and the rest of the beer was a nice almost opaque black.  When you hold the beer to the light you really dont see a change at all, which is good.




When you put the beer to your lips and slowly tilt the glass back you get hit with a little sweetness which I think is due from the Chocolate Malts.  You also get a almost bitter taste but the rating of the beer is only 39 on the IBU scale, so in comparison to other beers like Amsterdam Boneshaker this is a non-bitter beer in the slightest.  What I did notice when drinking the beer as well is that you did almost get a roasted, or caramel flavoring at the end of the mouthful.


At the end of the day, if you are a fan of Porters and Stouts, I would recommend trying this beer for sure. It has more rich flavors in comparison to say a Guinness but it did not seem as heavy.  Worth a try for sure!!  Currently I’m not sure if you can buy the beer from the LCBO, but if you are in the Barrie Area you should swing by and grab a growler!!!


Rating:  4.19 out of 5

Was the Beer hoppy?  Not hoppy at all, which is good at times for sure!!!

Would you recommend this beer to a friend?  I would for sure!!! why wouldn’t I, I really enjoyed it and you will too!!

Why is a Porter called a Porter?  Because that is how it is spelt….


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