Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Part 2: Ugly Sweaters 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl

Ok, so where did I leave off? I just spent some holiday time up North where I hardly turned on the computer, let alone do any typing. I'm back now and I have to pick up the pace.

Part one of the 12 Bars of Christmas had me stop at the Madison where I debated myself as to whether or not I was drinking Labatt Blue or Budweiser. I was hoping that the next destination might offer me a better beer selection then the previous spots.

Unfortunately the next stop was The Ferret and Firkin which was easily the worst place we stopped. Bad music, bad service, bad selection of beer, bad prices, bad, bad, bad. I waited in line to purchase a pitcher of Rickards White and after spending 15 minutes resting on the bar I finally received it. Then came the matter of payment - $18 for a pitcher of Rickards? I almost laughed at the bartender. The Ferret and Firkin also had a beer called "Butlers Pale Ale" which I convinced another bartender to let me sample and from what I can remember it tasted nothing like a pale ale should. It tasted more like a Coors Light with a heap of salt added. The glass said is was brewed with lots of Hallertrau hops but all I could smell was corn and hay. It left no aftertaste whatsoever. Anyway, enough complaining, I was having a great time with the group as the MVD (most valuable drinker award) was in full swing as two large guys were competing intensely.

We left the Firkin (thank god) and made our way down to James Joyce which would be my last stop for the night. I immediately noticed the Mill Street signage when walking in and a large smile came across my face. A pitcher of Tankhouse would end my night perfectly. The others tried it, some for the first time, and loved it. They all commented on the lovely aroma coming from their glasses and I knew that this was a beer they would order in the future. There was also Nickelbrook and Amsterdam on tap along with Creemore, Guinness and other mainstream stuff. This location had a more pubish feel to it than most others, but it was still fake. Guinness signs were everywhere you looked and many pool tables were the back room. Regardless of that, I found the place to a good drinking destination, one that I may go back to during daytime to check it out. There was live music as local musician Russell Chesham belted out old rock and some Christmas Carols. The Carols were so popular with our large crowd that many ended up on stage with Russell and sang along with him. It was a fitting way to end my night.

The group then proceeded on to four more bars before calling it a night. From what I heard the day after, there was a fun time with an Elvis Presley head, a karaoke bar and a lot of kissing. It was a great night out in west Toronto where I was lucky enough to be introduced to some bars/pubs I have never heard of. I hope I had a little influence on the group regarding craft beer which they may remember next time they order a pint.

By the way, I didn't win the ugliest sweater....

No comments:

Web Analytics

Winter Ale