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.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

C'est What Stout/Porter Blind Tasting

I have been a little busy this week, hence the lack of posts here on the blog. Wednesday night I attended C'est What for the Stout/Porter Blind Tasting, Thursday night I headed over to Cameron's Brewing Co. for their monthly cask night, and last night I showed some out of town friends the Mill Street brew pub and had beers high atop the CN tower. Throw my paying job into the mix and you can realize why I haven't sat down at the computer and typed away.

So, Wednesday night I was down at C'est What for the tasting with a crew from TAPS: Canada's Beer Magazine, to film a video podcast. This is something that TAPS is very interested in continuing, as it helps raise the profile of local beer events and breweries. George Milbrandt, publican of C'est What, was interviewed before the sold out crowd arrived and spoke on the history of the pub and what was in store for the night. He was very receptive and spoke eloquently about the local beer being produced here in Ontario.

The tasting got underway just after 7pm, as George and Brenda carried out trays with the samples in unmarked small glasses. Each participant was provided with a blank scoring sheet to rate the beer and also to name the beer they thought they were trying. Although the names of the beers were posted on Bar Towel, nobody seemed to remember to bring a list, and C'est What didn't provide any to the participants, which made the naming of the beers that much harder.

One by one trays were brought out and glasses were swirled, the aroma's were taken in, and the conversation revolved around the liquid. The TAPS crew walked around interviewing participants to gauge their thoughts on the sample and to see if they knew what they were tasting. Every person we spoke to was happy to take the time, which pleased us, but Cass from Bar Towel seemed to think the camera crew was a bit distracting, which wasn't the intention. Nonetheless, everyone had a great time.

The beer was the best part of the night though, as you can imagine. The final list included:
C’est What Coffee Porter
Mill Street Coffee Porter
C’est What Chocolate Ale
Church-Key Chocolate Porter
Black Oak Double Chocolate Double Cherry Stout (special edition cask)
Neustadt Big Dog Extra-Aged Porter (special edition cask)
Heritage Black Irish Porter
Fullers London Porter
Guinness Stout
Hockley Stout
St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout
Wellington Imperial Stout (cask)
Amsterdam Two-fisted Stout
Durham Blak Katt Stout
Nickel Brook Maple Porter

I would love to had said that I sampled and tested every one, but because I was busy with the podcast, I stuck to pints all night (which made it hard to speak to the camera at the end of the night).

I thoroughly enjoy going to events like this as you get to run into other beer drinkers and bloggers and get to chat about the industry. Greg Clow and his wife Cheryl, Mirella Amato, Cass Enright, Bill George (BJCP-LCBO), Jon Graham, the Roland and Russell team and a few Bar Towlers, made the night fly by with terrific conversation. And no matter what the pundits say about C'est What, it is a terrific place for a quality pint and good times.


the coelacanth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Troy Burtch said...

John Graham is indeed the brewer/owner for Church Key.

Jon Graham is with Cameron's. Both great guys.

the coelacanth said...

thanks for the clarification - i realized my error after having posted the comment and thus deleted it, but apparently you caught on.....both great guys indeed.

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