A couple days ago I met up with my friend Rory at the new location of one of the best bars for craft beer in the city. It was great to catch up and, as always, great to sample some new brews.
For the first round Rory had a sour beer that I would never have considered (sour beers and I don’t get along) so I opted for a flight of four beers. I found it slightly odd that my flight was arranged in the order I named the beers – usually a flight is structured so that you go from lightest to heaviest in flavour so that your palate has the best chance of enjoying each beer. Rory and I also agreed that lighter coloured beers (lagers, pilsners, IPAs, etc.) should be drunk before darker coloured beers (stouts and imperials, etc.). So even though my flight was arranged out of order in it’s wooden block, the list below is the order in which I drank them.
Here’s what I had, along with my thoughts on each.
Great Lakes Brewery – Thrust IPA
American IPA, 6.5%
I tried this one mainly because a new batch has recently been released from GLB and I’ve noticed that people tend to go a bit crazy for it every time. It’s a solid beer with great body and a nice flavour. One tip though – you will probably want to stay away from this one if you’re not a hops person. It’s not the most burn-your-face-off I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly not a mellow beer by any means.
Side Launch – Mountain Lager
Munich Helles, 4.7%
I didn’t like this one much. I found it watery and bland, with just a hint of breadiness that didn’t show up until the finish. Pretty boring, sadly. If you’re determined to drink Side Launch I’d stick with their main three beers – a wheat, a pale ale and a dark ale.
Great Lakes Brewery & Bar Hop – Someone Else’s Problem
American IPA, 7.2%
Another slightly disappointing choice. Usually I love anything GLB brews but this one left me unenthused. It isn’t a bad beer, by any stretch, I was just hoping for a bit more of a punch in the flavour department. I drank this one with the food I’d ordered (cassoulet, yummmmmm) and it went down really easily, so it has that going for it at least. Another plus – you really can’t tell how high the alcohol content is by tasting it.
Sawdust City & Bar Hop – The Blood of Cthulhu
Imperial Stout, 9.5%
Ok, first of all, what the hell kind of name is that?? Neither Rory nor I could pronounce this beer’s name until our waitress kindly told us. In case you were wondering, it’s coo-thoo. The Blood of COO-THOO. So there you go.
Unfortunately figuring out how to pronounce the name is the only good thing I can say about this beer. For an imperial it was incredibly thin. And worse, the sour cherry and raspberry it was brewed with made the finish tasted like Robitussin – yuck. So unfortunate, as I was really hoping for a solid imperial for dessert.
Despite the high alcohol content of the last two beers Rory and I were still thirsty after our pints. We both ordered one more before calling it a night.
County Durham Brewing – Red Dragon
Red Ale, 5%
This was a solid beer, though not one that would really get me going, sadly. It had some hoppiness as well as a creaminess, which didn’t do it for me. I’m not generally a fan of creaminess in beers, unless we’re talking about a simple and solid cream ale, like the one from Muskoka. This beer was a welcome reprieve from the imperial debacle, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.
You can follow me on Untappd to see my ratings and comments on these and other beers.
Have you tried any new beers lately? What did you think?