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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
  Beer Bistro - Late Autumn Beer Festival
I attended the Late Autumn Beer Festival at Beer Bistro on Sunday, with Steve and his buddy Sergio... It was actually a charity event, in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, and had an absolutely magnificent time! From a purely beer sampling perspective, I tried more new brews on Sunday than I've had in a long time!

Suprisingly, I didn't over do it, didn't end up in Hamilton (long story), but enjoyed some exceptional beers from all of the world, sampled some really fine appetizers, was in good company, with many brewers in attendance, and also took part in the the beer & cheese pairing talk by Stephen Beaumont, which was a really cool eye-opener... We same 4 different cheeses from Monforte Dairy - I can't remember them all, and didn't take notes, but one in particular really caught my attention, it was a smoked cheese, and it was paired with Church Key's Holy Smoke Ale, it was totally awesome, watch for this at a tasting party at my house soon!

I highly recommend this type of an event to anyone interested in expanding their beer knowledge. The Bistro has a very well-balanced, and wide selection of bottles and taps, which allows a person to really sample the gamut of all beer styles available, and with each style, the selection is I feel one of the very best, or certainly a solid representation of the style.

Some of the new beers I sampled:

King Pilsner - This is a beer that I probably have had before, but Pilsner is a style that for me, I'm just recently starting to come around and really enjoy... I think from early on I simple though Pilsner (because the word is printed on a bottle of Labatt Blue), meant sh*te, but over the past year or so, since I've begun to expand my range of styles that I enjoy, I've looked for some lighter, more summery beers to enjoy. One in particular that I'm now a big fan of is Steam Whistle, which is a Pilsner... I did, in fact, try the King Pilsner in a cask-conditioned form at the Volo Cask Days event, and it was awesome, and I had been hearing from many folks that the King Pilsner was excellent, so I sampled it, and really, really enjoyed it. I found it has a very similar aroma and taste to Steam Whistle, so I'm anxious to pick up a 6-pack and try it side by side against Steam Whistle to see if there is one I prefer more... At the very least, I think I'll now buy this and Steam Whistle, back and forth, and recommend to any Pilsner fans to give this a try... WILL DEFINITELY BUY THIS!

La Messagere - While I'd seen this many, many times at the LCBO I was reluctant to buy a whole 6-pack of it. It's advertised as Gluten-Free, so I thought, ok, well that probably means it's sh*te, WRONG, I found this to be a really light, yet unique belgian style ale... I can describe it as perhaps a blend of something like a Leffe Blond, or something like that, with say a Budweiser, a very lightly flavored, clean ale. So the result is something very, very easy to drink, yet still with that spicy Belgian character. WILL DEFINITELY BUY THIS!

Black Oak - Whiskey Aged Nut Brown Ale - I'd had this a few times before, but it just keeps getting better, so smooth and tasty, very well done!

Sgt. Pete - Perry from Scotch-Irish has produced a version of Sgt. Major's IPA using a percentage of peat-smoked barley malt, imparting a smokey element to this bitter, hop heavy brew...

For those of you who don't know, Perry from Scotch-Irish, and Ken from Black Oak, are really the two Renegades of the Ontario Craft Beer Community, these are the guys who are taking risks, experimenting, listening to the beer enthusiast community and creating new beers that push the envelope, they deserve our whole hearted support!

Some others I tried:
Creemore UrBock
Sinha Stout
Mill St. Barley Wine
Delirium Tremens
Konigshoeven Trappist Ale - Quadruppel
Gulden Draak - 10.5%
Okicim Porter

Anyhow, lots of other stuff I want to blog tonight, so I'll cut this a little short...
I'd like to hear what you thought of the Delirium Tremens... I saw a bottle of this a couple of weeks ago at Castro's (Queen East) and thought it was a great name for a beer....
Jeni - Delirium - It's a strong, belgian ale, in some ways like the Mesagere, in that it was a little lighter in color and the flavours were a little cleaner, more pale malts, but still strong with that typical spicy, Belgian character. When I was down at Premium Gourmet, in addition to the Tremens, they had 2 other Deliriums, a darker version and a Christmas Ale... Didn't buy them but they looked cool...
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A personal blog by John Walter.

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I think a lot. Some people say I think too much... However, I don't want to be seen as being aloof or pretentious, it's just that I really enjoy philosophical questions and deep thoughts. That's not to say that I don't find pleasure in more down-to-earth or trivial things, like beer and soccer :) I'm happily married with 3 wonderful children. I'm a partner in a technology services company based in Toronto. Myers Briggs says I'm an ENTJ

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