Friday, 22 July 2016

Beer of the Week - Sea Level Extra Special Bitter

Teena was in Nova Scotia recently and brought me back a six pack of Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter from Sea Level Brewing.

The brewery open on November 26, 2007, in Port Williams in the Annapolis Valley and was then, and still is, the only microbrewery in the valley. Owner and Brew Master, Randy Lawrence, had been brewing for fifteen years before opening Sea Level and has created recipes for three different Nova Scotia Breweries.

What is very interesting about Randy is that he has also been growing his own hops since 1985. He started growing them at first in his back yard, then at his cottage and now has a hop farm which supplies Sea Level Brewing alone with a partnership he has with another hop farm in the area.

And the beer?

Blue Heron ESB (named after a Blue Heron they see quite often on the tidal river) pours amber in colour with an off white head. There is a wonderful earthiness in the aroma. When I sip, lots of nice lacings are left behind on the inside of the glass.

This is a excellently done English-style bitter. It is a little earthy, a little funky with some of that wonderful English hop bite in the finish.

The next time Teena is in Nova Scotia, I hope she brings me home some more of this.

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 323 
Breweries 291 
Countries 47

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

My July 2016 Canada Craft Club Delivery

This evening Teena stopped into the post office on the way home and picked up my Canada Craft Club delivery.

We did all the work so you don't have to. We've scoured the planet and found true gems especially for our members — delivered direct to your home or office every month. 

 Our packs are delivered in discreet packaging (so no one swipes your brews) and prices include shipping. You can trust that every single beer has been hand-selected for your pack by Canada Craft Club’s experienced tasters and experts, some of whom sit on tasting panels in prestigious worldwide brewing competitions. What this really means is that we tasted, tested and rated every single beer before giving them our stingy stamp of approval for our treasured members. We try to shake it up for you, and fill your pack with beers you might not have had or can’t get anywhere else.

Each month I receive two 650 ml bottles of beer or larger, each one from a different brewery. This month I received a 650 ml bottle from Postmark Brewing in Vancouver of their Raspberry Fruit Beer. Sitting beside it was a 650 ml bottle of Wookey Jack, a Black Rye IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing of Paso Robles, California,

I'm looking forward to trying both!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Beer of the Week - Carib Lager

In May, Teena and her sister, Sarah, spent a week's vacation in Jamaica. She returned home with a two cans of Red Stripe Lager from Jamaica and two cans of Carib Lager from Carib Brewery in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sir Gerald Wight, who flew with the Royal Air Force during the First World War, founded the Caribbean Development Company Limited in 1949. The idea of the company was to make the country less dependent on the sugar and oil industries, which were the two major industries that supported the economy. The company developed a brewery and a glass/bottle works, which became separate companies later on.

The big moment for the new brewery Carib was on May 16, 1950, when it brewed its first bottle of Carib lager. Carib Brewery started with seven employees and today has over seven hundred. It is the largest non-energy manufacturer in the country and brews over two million cases of Carib every year.

And the taste?

The Caribbean is extremely hot, so lighter lagers are more appreciated than European style lagers that have a hop bite to them or English ales. The founders know this as well as today's brewers who brew this beer.

Carib pours a very light yellow/straw colour with a white head. As you can see by the picture it is very clear and easy to see through. This beer is a very light tasting beer, despite being 5.2% apv. There is no hop bite in this but that's not what most people want while sitting on the beach on a hot afternoon. Instead this beer offers a light, slightly sweet taste that is quite refreshing.

Thanks, Teena! I get a taste of Trinidad and Tobago while sitting in Toronto enjoying the Toronto Honda Indy.

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 322 
Breweries 290 
Countries 47

Friday, 15 July 2016

An Afternoon at the 30th Running of the Toronto Honda Indy

This afternoon I headed on over to the CNE grounds to watch the practice sessions for the Toronto Honda Indy. The sky threatened rain early but then the skies cleared and it was a fabulous afternoon.

Toronto's finest were there for security. This was taken at the entrance. What great looking steeds!

There was one little spot to take photos before entering the grounds. A photographer there (I had total lens envy over what he was taking shots with) explained how to take photos through two fences.

Here are my best two.

Inside the Indy Paddock.

Fine tuning.

When I arrived, the practice session was just starting for the Stadium Super Trucks. The series started in North America in 2013 and is just so much fun to watch. I watched the practice and it was a ball. Everybody around me was enjoying it. I can't imagine how much fun a race would be!

Getting ready to roll.

Make a Wish was involved today. A very worthy charity. For a donation, you get to sign James Hinchcliffe's racing gear for the big race on Sunday. I signed and later on when Teena came down after work, found my mark and signed it too.

 After Teena signed, she met James Hinchcliffe's parents, Arlene and Jeremy. I am jealous.

This is at the Indy every year ... an Indy car supported by china.

I worked with Randy and Dan for more than twenty years at the hydro. We don't get together enough. That has to change. We had a fun time today sitting on corner one. Here is Dan, Randy and me (in my new just purchased Chase Elliott tee-shirt).

My friend, Martin, joined us later on.

A shot of the CN Tower from corner one.

The big boys coming through corner one.

James Hinchcliffe from Oakville.

Stock cars from the Pinty's Series.

It was fun afternoon. Racing, friends, beer! What could be better!

We live in the neighborhood and some people complain about the noise. I love it. For me, it's part of the fun living in this part of town. I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday. Indy weekend in Toronto is a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Walk Around Coronation Park Toronto

The weather was great this afternoon so Teena and I took a walk around Coronation Park, which sits on the shore of Lake Ontario, just a little east of the Exhibition Grounds.

Coronation Park can be found just east of Ontario Place along the Martin Goodman Trail. A Royal Oak commemorating the Coronation of King George VI is planted in the south west corner of the Park. This Oak is surrounded by a ring of others and a grove of maple trees all planted in honour of Canadian War Veterans. There is also a World War II memorial a few meters to the east. Coronation Park has three softball diamonds and a dog off-leash area. It is a beautiful spot to sit along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and enjoy a picnic on a warm summer day.

Here are some pictures from our walk.

It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Jays Seven Game Winning Streak Ended

This weekend, Tom, Rick, Malcolm and I are on a boys baseball weekend away ... in Toronto. Yes, we didn't travel far.  I am a $15 cab ride from home but with the cost of the American dollar, this was the best choice. Besides, in all the twenty plus years we have known each other, the four of us had never been to a Jays game together. That changed today.

Here I am with Malcolm, Rick and Tom.

The Jays came into the game riding a seven game winning streak. This afternoon that ended with a 3-2 loss. The Jays were never in the lead. Devon Travis tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, two all, with a home run, but the Tigers answered with a home run of their own in the top of the eighth with a Victor Martinez home run that the Jays could not over come.

Here are some pictures of the game.

The national anthems

Sanchez deals his first pitch. Look at the torque in his arm in the second picture.

 Encarnacion smacks a single

A pitch comes into Russel Martin

A condo fan.

Kevin Pillar

Jason Grilli

Malcolm and I split on 50/50 tickets. Damn, we didn't win


There was a big sellout crowd for the game.

Game summary.

Today is the last day I will be wearing my Ricky Romero shirt to a Jays game. Going into this season, the shirt had a 15-3 win loss record. This year it is 3-4. I bought a new Kevin Pillar shirt this week and will be wearing it to games for the rest of the season.

The Jays have a great record and are chasing down Baltimore for first. Lots of baseball left for this season and it's going to be exciting!