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.


Monday, February 9, 2009

A Rough Weekend

I had planned to sit down at the computer on Saturday afternoon and do some writing for the next issue of TAPS, try to sell some advertising for the magazine and review a bottle of Imperial IPA brewed by Wild Rose. I didn't get any of that completed.

I spent Friday night recovering from a long and exhausting week, only had one beer - a John By Imperial Stout. My first of the season. I was very impressed once again with this beer. Pours midnight black with a huge mocha wavy head before giving way to an impressive aroma of roasted malt, dark coffee, chocolate, light alcohol and also a little smoke. The taste provided a rich silky espresso mouthfeel with a small touch of warming alcohol, notes of cocoa with hops adding a tinge of bitterness in the background. Very nice.

Saturday morning was terrible. I had a meeting with the bank and it was then that I noticed $1000 had been taken from my account through illegal means just hours earlier. Bastard(s)!

Anyway, friends from back home surprised my fiance and I with a visit to Toronto. Mac is a homebrewer and a huge fan of beer. He has actually won a couple of medals in the competitions he's entered and his mild brown ale is always nice. The guy will drink anything you put in front of him - Garrison Imperial IPA one minute a Busch the next. He knows how to appreciate all beers and understands how each one serves its own unique purpose. So my plans of writing and sampling quickly blew out the window as Mac wanted (needed) to get to beerbistro.

I got there just after 4pm and the place was packed; however Mac had managed to get some great seats right near the bar. He was in heaven. It was just the two of us as the girls were doing their own thing and planned to hook up with us later. Well the pints of Durham County's Hop Addict were flying. What a great beer. Great nose, great appearance and most importantly - great flavour.

Friend Cass Enright showed up to share some drinks just as we were about to head over to the Victory Cafe for some more pints, and the girls joined us. In less than 10 minutes, after a subway ride (quite the event for the Orillia folks and a couple of Newf's), we were in front of the Victory. It was packed; both upstairs and downstairs. We spent some time upstairs with all the artists and free spirited people, trying to get in some words over the music. I've never been to the Victory that late, and never upstairs when this atmosphere was present. Luckily we grabbed a booth downstairs and more pints were consumed. County Durham's Red Dragon on cask to be exact. We did our part to keep County Durham in business for another day!

Back home Sunday morning. Sister in from out of town. Greasy breakfast nice and early. Head splitting. Begging for a couch. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the afternoon not really doing anything productive. I had to man up later though as the parents in law were making their way over for dinner where a couple more drinks would be put back.

Monday morning. Still begging for a couch.

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