Sunday, 26 October 2014

Arrogant Bastard Ale: You're Not Worthy

ar.ro.gance (ar'o gans) n. The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit.

Hello fellow beer snobs. If you haven't already noticed, an occasional weekend hobby of mine is to sample different exotic craft beers. Today was no different, as I sampled another first: "Arrogant Bastard Ale." Does that name offend you? LOL. I'm sure they don't care.

My first sip of this California brew got me thinking, That's different. While I couldn't figure it out at first, I soon realized that it has a citrus-like flavour, and perhaps even more specifically, a hint of grapefruit, though I'm not even sure that's what I'm tasting. Still, this 7.2% alc/vol ale is refreshing and awakens the palate, just as if you had sucked on a slice or two of unsweetened grapefruit. Pucker-power; if you were half-asleep before, you would be awake after the first mouthful of this ale! I like it, and I'm sure I'll look for it again.

Maybe it's my twisted sense of humour, but I had to chuckle when I read the  Arrogant Bastard Ale label:

"This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory - maybe something with a multi-million-dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million-dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

"At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale ... even outright attempts to copy it ... but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!

"QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? If you don't like this beer, keep it to yourself - we don't want to hear from any sniveling yellow-beer-drinkin' wimps, cause this beer wasn't made for you."

Well, there you have it. I've enjoyed today's taste test, and even grinned a little as I read the previous descriptor. I will no doubt explore some of the other offerings from the Stone Brewing Company in the future. Please remember, enjoy responsibly and NEVER drink and drive.

For more about this or other brews, visit the Stone Brewing Company or arrogantbastard.com. Oh, and by the way, if you're a beer snob like me (and contrary to the label), "You Are Worthy!" Peace.

Stout Beer Jelly

Good morning fellow foodies and beer enthusiasts. Look what I just found ...

It appears that now it's possible to have a stout ale, not just in a glass after work, but also as a part of your breakfast menu options, spread on your favourite bread.

How cool is that?

The jelly is really quite tasty and, yes, apparently it does have a "slight" alcohol content, although I can't imagine it being too much. My only complaint, the 125ml (4oz) jar is far too small. Hopefully it's also available in a larger and more user-friendly size.

For more on this and other similar products, check out their website, winejelly.ca.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Pothole Filler: No Longer Just for Roadways

"He was a wise man who invented beer."
(attributed to Plato)

If you're a regular on this blog, you may have come to realize that I have developed a passion for exotic craft beers. Thankfully, there's an awesome local establishment known as the Wine Cavern that, besides  having an incredible offering of fine wines and scotch whiskey's, also boasts 1000 beers, including over 700 imported beers. Yup, you read that right; 1000 beers! (No, I haven't sampled them all ... Yet).

While thus far some of my favourite beers have come from central Canada, and specifically Quebec's Unibroue Brewery, I am discovering that there are many yet-to-be discovered other secret breweries in the world of craft beer. With this post we're going to sample a brew from Canada's west coast. One of the features on the Howe Sound Brewery menu is "Pothole Filler." With a name like that, how could my interest not be sparked? The following is a little descriptor of this interesting beer as taken from its label:

"OUR STORY: In 1980, BC's John Mitchell and Frank Appleton pioneered North America's first modern craft brewery at Horseshoe Bay on BC's spectacular Howe Sound, beginning what has become known as the craft brewing renaissance.

"In 1996, John Mitchell helped design the Howe Sound Brewery and worked as our first brewer developing our initial recipes. Known as the "grandfather of microbrewing in Canada," we are proud of his ongoing relationship with our brewery. Today we continue to brew in the craft style, using unfiltered 100% barley mash. We pride ourselves in brewing a diverse selection of flavourful, well-balanced ales. We invite you to enjoy the experience.

"THIS BEER: A strong, thick, black imperial stout brewed with six varieties of roasted malt, wheat, blackstrap molasses, five varieties of hops, yeast and Coast Range water. Brewed as a part of the John Mitchell Series, and in recognition of the women and men who constructed the Sea-to-Sea Highway, from Horseshoe Bay through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. Thank You!"

After my first couple sips of Pothole Filler, I wasn't really sure what to think. At 9% alc/vol, it was clearly a stronger tasting stout ale than I've been accustomed to, though I've enjoyed strong beers before. Perhaps it was the molasses that one could clearly distinguish, and yet I didn't find it overbearing. If you enjoy a Guinness-styled stout beer, you'll probably enjoy this one. And seeing as how it comes in a 1-Litre bottle (a little over 1-quart for my American friends), there's plenty in the bottle to give your palate a good opportunity to appreciate it.

But what's a great beer without a great sandwich?

I paired my tasting of Pothole Filler with a couple homemade Will-styled grilled cheese sandwiches. To create this masterpiece, pre-sautee some chopped mushrooms and set aside. The sandwich is built upon natural Canadian rye bread with generous slices of Armstrong Old Cheddar, slices of raw onion, and the previously cooked mushrooms. Garnish with a couple slices of garlic dill pickles. Heavenly!

Well there you have it, fellow beer snobs. Happy Pothole filling (LOL), and Happy Saturday.

Friday, 17 October 2014

It's Always A Good Time for A Resolution

Hello fellow beer snobs.

Allow me to introduce you to my newest discovery, LA RÉSOLUTION. The more and more I sample Unibroue products, the harder it is to go back to the run-of-the-mill, cesspool varieties. LA RÉSOLUTION is so new that, at the time of this writing, it hadn't even made it to their website yet.

Oh my, oh my, oh my! This is amazing! At $11:00 for a 750ml bottle, it is pricier than most. However, most don't have anything on this one! (in my humble opinion, of course). Like everything else in life, you only get what you pay for.

"LA RÉSOLUTION, a dark ale at 10% alcohol with spicy character, was inspired by a recipe our brewmaster created for his friends. Its spicy caramel aroma evolves on the palate into pleasant and complex notes of toffee with reminiscence of a tasty gingerbread. The perfect balance between spicy, caramel and roasted malt flavours is complimented by a nice roundness and persistent finish. LA RÉSOLUTION has a festive feel, perfect for the holidays, but it can easily be enjoyed all year long. After all, it's always a good time for a Resolution."

For other great Unibroue products, check out a couple other favourites of mine.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Beer from the "End of the World"

"He was a wise man
who invented beer"
(attributed to Plato)

Sometimes you have to go to "The End of the World" to find good beer (pun fully intended). The name of the beer on the right, "La Fin Du Monde," translates as "The End of the World." I'm not sure what to do with the other beer, though. While it tastes great, "Maudite" translates from the French as "accursed" or "damned." Hmm.

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you may be thinking to yourself, "I've seen one of these beers before," and you'd be right. I've previously made mention of it here back in July 2013. However that time, I had not yet become acquainted with its sister beer, the "Maudite."

Both beers in this picture come from Unibroue Breweries in Quebec, Canada. These two beers are significantly more potent, with almost double the alcohol per volume of the average run-of-the-mill common beers that many people gravitate toward. The "Maudite" comes in at 8% alcohol per volume, whereas the "La Fin Du Monde" boasts a whopping 9% alcohol per volume. In other words, one of these beers will have the same effect on you as two of the more common beers, but with significantly better taste (in my humble opinion).

Welcome to Canada, eh?

Granted, you do pay a little more for them, but as with most things in life, quality usually costs more. As someone once said, "If you're content with the oats that have already gone through the horse, they can be had a little cheaper." I bought a cheaper brand of beer recently (I don't know what I was thinking; I must have had a brain fart) and it did taste like it had already gone through the horse. Hmm, recycled beer? I must have missed that on the label. That stuff still sits in the back of the fridge.

Another interesting thing about these two bottles of beer is their size. They contain 750 ml each, or for my American friends, about 26 ounces! It sort of gives the "I only had two beer" a whole new meaning, not to mention the advantage of not having to run to the fridge as often.

Well there you have it. Anyone for a beer?

(Yes, for the faint of heart, they come in regular small bottles too).