Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beer of the Week - Brasserie Dunham Leo's Early Breakfast IPA

It's the morning of March 31, which means ... IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Always a great day!

On Monday, Teena and I were at a small convenience store which had a great selection of beer. When I saw Leo's Early Breakfast IPA by Brasserie Dunham on the shelf, I knew exactly how I would be starting off my birthday.

Brasserie Dunbar opened on March 7, 2010, in Dunham, Quebec, which is in the southern end of the province by the Vermont border. Their website is in French only so I really couldn't find out any other details about them.

Leo's weighs in at 6.2% ABV and comes in a regular 341 ml (11.5 oz) bottle. The bottle says it is 54 IBU's (International Bittering Units) Note: Beers with IBUs greater than 45 are heavily hopped and can be quite bitter.

So how does it taste?

Teena and I are staying in a hotel so the only glass I had to pour the beer into was a plastic drink glass. It poured amber in colour with a slight orange tinge to it. Lots of fruity hops jumped out from the aroma.

Breakfast beers usually contain a fair bit of malt to make the beer more of a liquid bread. Not here. Instead there are a couple of ingredients added that I have not found in a beer before, Earl Grey Tea, my favorite kind of tea, and Guava Puree.


My first sip tells me that this is a very hop forward beer. It starts off with a pleasant citrusy bite, that increases in intensity under falling away with a long nice citrusy tartness. This is a beer that screams WAKE UP AND GET YOUR DAY STARTED!.

Going to do that as soon as I finish.

No, having a beer for breakfast won't become a habit but it's a fun way to start a birthday!

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 269
Breweries 239
Countries 47


Monday, March 30, 2015

Montreal Smoked Meat at Dunn's

Yes, that is snow blowing sideways in Montreal on March 30th!

Today, Teena and I were ready for some authentic smoked meat. That took us to Dunn's Original, a place that has been around since 1927.

Myer Dunn founded Dunn's Famous Restaurant in 1927. Due to my grandfather's unique recipes and high quality standards, Dunn's Famous quickly became a local institution for Montrealers and visitors alike. In keeping with the Dunn's Famous tradition, I invite you to visit one of our locations and experience what montrealer's have been raving about for years.

I liked the way the place was decorated. It was quite colourful. Apparently they have moved a couple of times and have been in this location for more than 10 years.

Teena ordered her smoked meat with a baked potato. I went all deli and ordered mine with a latka which is a delicious Jewish style potato pancake. I haven't had one for years. It was fabulous. If I wasn't so full at the end, I would have ordered more.

The money shot!

I really enjoyed my Dunn's experience. The staff was friendly and the food fabulous!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shopping for Beer at Depanneur AS Variety Store

After Teena and I left Dieu Du Ciel, we went around the corner to a variety store that our server had recommended, Depanneur AS. I had hoped to pick two or three decent brews, but this is what we ended up toting home

What greeted us when we entered this small store was not a store packed with the usual items that variety stores carry. There is a small section for that. Instead, are shelves and shelves, and coolers full of craft beer. All kinds of craft beer, most of which I wanted to take home.

I started by saying that I would just choose six. Then oh, another two, oh another two. We waked out with a box of beer and more in my bag. Next time I hit this store, I'll be more prepared.

Beer of the Week - The Beers of Dieu du Ciel, Montreal

One of the items on my "to do" list when we arrived in Montreal was to hit Brasserie Dieu du Ciel. I have tied one of their beers before, way back in 2010, a Rosée d'hibiscus which used Hibiscus flowers and was quite good. The pub and beers are regularly mentioned on the Bar Towel and  in 2010 it was named the Best Brewpub in the World by RateBeer.

After our climb up and down Mont Royal, Teena and I went into Dieu du Ciel with a big thirst. It is a nice, familiar and friendly pub. We had a chance to talk with a few of the patrons here. Interesting, that for late on a Sunday afternoon, the place was always full. I saw quite a few woman having the Hibiscus beer.


I started with a familiar 5% ESB called Voyageur Des Brumes. It was brownish with a nice off white head and was very true to the English Bitter style ale.It not only quenched my slaked thirst but was tasty in doing so. It was a little malty to start but the hops came through nicely in the finish. This is a very good session ale, one I would order again.

I wandered over to the glassed in brew house

Next up was the Blanche Sterling, an excellent wheat beer. (This beer is the top picture in this post). It was a cloudy golden colour, and with the bubbles continually rising. Almost looked like a cloudy champagne. Most wheat beers come through with a strong banana taste which is a result of the yeast, but the banana was toned down in this, as the beer had a hint of spice and citrus. I really enjoyed this,

Teena and I were joking around that "Peche" meant "fish, and how the pub had so many fish beers. Actually it means the more obvious "peach" and next up for me was a 6.1% Peche Veniel, (Veniel means Venial in English, which is a forgivable sin), a peach coffee stout.

This too was very nice and I found that although I could not sense the peach, it obviously took the edge off the coffee and dark chocolate, that can occur in a stout. I quite enjoyed it.

Finally, I could not leave without having an IPA. There were two 6.5% American style IPAs on the board but Nadège, our server recommended the Corne du Diable. Great recommendation! All kinds of citrusy American hops invade my flavour buds from this brew. I wanted some to take home but they don't sell bottles out of the store.

Hvaing this IPA was an excellent way to finish our stay. If I'm ever back in Montreal, I will definitely be stopping back in here. I can't picture coming to this city and not dropping in. The beer and the pub is that good!

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 268 
Breweries 238 
Countries 47

Hiking Up Mont Royal

When you reach the 211 M or almost 700 ft summit of Mont Royal, this is what you see from the look out of Mont Royal.

The jewel of Montreal’s city parks is, without question, Mount Royal. This 200-hectare park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the midst of Montreal island, and includes the highest spot in the city (234m). In the 1860s, mass cutting of trees on the mountain for firewood outraged the populace and led to the area’s designation as a park in 1876. It was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, perhaps best known for New York City’s Central Park, although not all his proposed plans for Mount Royal were eventually carried out. 

The lookout facing over downtown towards the river was first built in 1906 and is now officially known as the Belvédère Kondiaronk, named for the Huron chief who signed a major peace accord with the French regime in 1701.

It is a bit of a tough climb, especially with an injured calf, but one that is taped up well. After a fifteen minute walk up the steep Peel Street, this is the point where you climb really starts.


Even though it is very close to the end of march, and officially spring, there is still lots of snow around.


The stairs.


Cross country skiers were taking advantage of the day.

More stairs.


A break at a lookout.

We saw this woodpecker on our travels hard at work.


Finally the lookout. The view is worth the walk up!


 At the top is a chalet where you can rest, get a water or souvenir.


No matter what time of year, Mont Royal is worth the visit.