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.


Friday, July 4, 2008

The Session #17: Drinking Against the Grain

The subject for July's Session as chosen by Rob DeNunzio of Pfiff! could be summed up thusly: Drinking anti-seasonally. Think of this as the unorthodox cousin of such topics as "beer and food" and "beer and music". Beer and weather, perhaps? More like beer despite the weather, I guess. Cracking open a Guinness on the beach, finishing a day of yard work with a Speedway Stout, or whatever else you do that raises an eyebrow, do us all a favor an take a few moments to share your non-conformist tale.

I am getting bad at having these done on time. Last night I fully intended to sit down and crack open a beer that would be classified as a winter warmer or good for a cool rainy day in front of a fire. But life throws curve balls and last night I took a swing and missed, thus this post will be completed based what I would have drank and why I feel it would have gone against the grain of the beautiful summer night, down by my places in the beaches.

Stephen Beaumont was the first person to post on Session #17 early last week, as he had to head off to sunny Mexico to tie the knot (congratulations!!). He used Paradox Islay, a delicious Imperial Stout produced by Scotland's Brew Dog Brewery as his beer of choice. I received a bottle from my good friends at Roland and Russell Import agency two weeks ago and planned on using it for this post. But Mr. Beaumont did such a wonderful job and to avoid embarrassment by trying to emulate his post, I will change gears.

So, drinking against the grain? Well, I truly believe that there is a beer style out there for any occasion. Hot or cold, raining or snowing, sunny or gloomy, having a meal or socializing, there is a beer that I can choose from my stash that will compliment the situation perfectly (in my opinion). So on a beautiful sunny afternoon a flavourful pilsner like King Pilsner from King Brewery or Creemore Springs Pilsner on the patio of a local independently owned pub would be perfect. An English style pale ale from Black Oak would quench the thirst and provide that hoppiness I adore all days of the year.

One beer that doesn't necessarily fit the bill for a hot summer night would be Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen. A beer that is smoke infused, features aroma's of a charred campfire and burnt bacon and has a medium body. It would not be the first beer I'd reach for in the dog days of summer. But what a beer it is. If you are closer to the source, Church Key's Holy Smoke would work for this experiment as well. These beers are perfect with caramelized big bbq'd meats, or sitting around the fire at the cottage, but that's kinda difficult when you live in an apartment in Toronto.

I guess in retrospect it is kind of difficult to go against the grain when it comes to beer. It may be a hot and humid day that requires a thirst quencher, but firing up the grill and barbecuing a big steak with stinky cheese will require a hearty, full bodied ale to compliment the meat. This is where is gets tricky. However, if I'm sneaking some cans down to the beach or indulging in some cold ones after a ball game, I'm gonna go for beers that better suit the atmosphere.

This whole post doesn't really make any sense and I'm wondering why I'm even going to post it. But post I will and make what you want of it.

1 comment:

Rob said...

And lastly, Troy at Great Canadian Pubs and Beer writes up a self-effacing yet perfectly solid post that features none other than the great, mysterious smoke monster objectified in my own post on the subject.

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