Sunday, July 29, 2012

Castro's Lounge

Saturday night is alright for drinking if you don't have a race the next morning, and on this past weekend I had no race.  We set out for Castro's Lounge in the Beaches area of Toronto.  I decided that we had to meet there because I knew they had Westmalle there.  I had been there once before , but like an oaf I didn't look at the beer menu.  I saw that they had Delerium on tap and I just kept ordering that.  Which in and of itself isn't a huge problem, but being in a bar that sells all the Trappist ale's (save the new Gregorios Trappist)....I should have taken a look.

Castro's does boast a picture of the Branch Davidian's David Koresh on the wall which was  pretty cool

We sit down, my pal Tom and I.  With our wonderful dates.  He says to me "this beer list is going to blow your mind'.  It doesn't disappoint.   But tonight I'm in Trappist mode only.  (and by the way , anyone who reads this blog and hasn't at least tried some Trappist Ale is a total idiot). I order a Westmalle.  This is maybe my favorite beer I've had so far.  9.5% and it goes down like a light beer.  Westmalle is a serious beer. It's good enough that I don't risk sullying the evening with any food.  Castro's Lounge has a very cool laid back feel to it....but people don't go there for the stellar service or the awesome menu.  The service isn't bad, but it's not , say, The Bier Bistro.  The food is pretty crappy I'm told by my tablemates.  I wouldn't know cuz I don't dig on swine.

The order of my beer consumption is as follows, and should you find yourself there in the future, or in the past please follow my lead.  I know what I'm doing.  Westmalle Tripel. Rochefort 10. Westvleteren 8, Orval. Now I'm getting drunk.  But I'm not screaming Deicide lyrics or throwing chairs around.  The biggest flaw I can find with this pretty cool establishment is that as serious as they take their beer, they don't have their shit together when it comes to the correct glass.  For each beer I ordered they brought me the wrong kind of glass.  Rochefort doesn't come in a tulip glass. Rochefort uses a chalice or even a wide mouth chalise.  Their efforts were lost on my superior knowledge and palette.

Rocherfort in a tulip glass....has this world gone topsy turvy?

They weren't too far off on the Westvleteren glass.

Considering that they take the care to have all the beers that they advertise, in stock  unlike the BierMarkt Esplinade, that magically 'just ran out'. I will  give a shoutt out for that.  The wrong glasses thing was a real disappointment and I think they need to remedy that if they want to remain one of the city's coolest exotic beer pubs . I didn't actually try any of the food there but all 3 of my friends agreed that the food looked and tasted as if quality was job #2.  Again, I won't say the service was great, but it wasn't bad per se. None of the servers were bitches.  They did screw up our bill by adding 3 $10 beers , but when I questioned it they quickly fixed the problem.  

I'm going out on a limb here and I hope no one tries to cut it off on me.  I would still and will still go back there several more times this week.  I am going to give it an 8.5% out of 10.  If they fixed the glasses thing they are a 9% or more.  Hell they can hire  stinky hippies or ugly women with their kids birthdays tattoo'd across their chest, I wouldn't care , I like the place

Monday, July 23, 2012

Seven Churches, seven priests

I'm sure I'm going to get into this self-appointed new assignment of comparing beers.  I've always had a sort of black or white kind of attitude towards most things.  So I find it pretty easy to totally flog a beer that's not top shelf material.

Tonight's night off brings me to 2 totally different beers.   Representing the dark side I have purchased Leffe Brun, and representing  the pale side I have Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale.

Opening a Leffe is almost like opening an awesome Christmas or birthday present, like if someone gives you a Possessed-Seven Churches 7" record, but cooler because its got a this gold-leaf like tinfoil around the neck.  I like it.

I'm not crazy about the new logo, but it's deliciousness hasn't changed a bit

I crack the Leffe and the first thing I can smell is a hint of Caramel.  (Not Carmel, I hate when people say carmel) . I pour it into it's home and the delicious foam rides to the top. Confirming to me that I am nothing if not a masterful pourer. It smells so good.  You know the smell when you are in one of the U-Brew-it  breweries and your mouth is watering?  Like that.  Doesn't smell like bad beer breath, or beer soaked t shirt, or spilled beer or any of the other gross beer related smells.  It just smells like something you want to put in your mouth.  I would seriously consider wearing a Leffe Brun cologne if there was one.  Just drinking it makes all your worries go away, except if it makes you remember how much money you have spent in the past on crap beer, or how much daycare in Toronto costs.  Of all the Belgian beers that I buy this one is the only ones that tastes nothing like anything else.  A total original.  Superior to Leffe Blonde even and one of the best darker Abbey beers ever.

They should qualify that the word "pale" means it pale's in comparison to drinking warm flat Budweiser

Keith's India Pale Ale.  They have really done a diservice to the IPA title and community.  Unless I'm a total idiot (remember no gray area) IPA's were brewed originally to last the entire ship voyage from Britain to India, so they used more hops and more alcohol to retard spoilage.   But c'mon....this can of creamed crap only has 5% alcohol and I can barely taste anything hoppy.  In fact, it's almost absent of any taste.  Its got less fizz than Coors Lite, so it feels rotting apple juice.  There isn't really too much head when it's poured.  It's the flattest beer I've ever had.  As any one who has read more than one of my blogs will surely tell you , I'm not normally prone to hyperbole, but this is one tasteless beverage.  I have had some Pale Ale's before.  I really like Gouden Carolous Ambrio , which I have shown in this blog last year .  That beer has some bite!!! This Keith's Pale ale is like eating a loaf of bread that's been soaking in dirty dish water all day.  Boooo to you guys.  Grow a vagina and learn how to make beer. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fairies wear boots

I find myself alone and drinking a lot of strong beer some nights. I imagine it has something to do with partial child custody......being 5 minutes from a great Liquor/Beer store.........

I was flying.  I could taste vomit .

So yesterday I buy a pile of delicious trappist beers as well as some Leffe and Duvel.  As I walk over to pay I see some lonely cans of Molson Canadian lager.  I used to drink that crap when I was a stupid mountain biker. So I came up with a great plan to do an A to B taste test.   Like Pepsi to Coke.  Or Honda to Toyota. Or chicken to KFC.

So first I grab my trusty steel bottle opener.  I got it from a bar that sells Stella, the manager gave it to me.  It's a nice piece.  I crack open a sweet Duvel and pour it into the corresponding glass.  It looks like a goddamn waterfall of joy and bliss.  Smells like a good dream.  The smell of fruit and spice is damned glorious.   I know beer better than I know spices so  I may be off on my comparisons but I think I can taste corinader and pear .  The head is thick and takes forever to calm down.  I don't even know how long, as I drink it too quickly.  It taste's so good it makes me angry that other beers even exist.  I want to go burn down breweries that make shitty beers, punch their wives and children in the face and kick all the stupid employees in the nuts.  I don't understand why someone wants to make a beer that tastes like .....nothing.  Let's take Coors Lite as the gold standard for shit beer.  There is no reason to drink it.  it's 4%, so you can't get drunk on it.  It has no taste.  Like a lasagna made by a mother who is afraid to go near a spice rack.  No discernible taste.   Just bubbles.

This brings me to my second beer.  The mighty Molson Canadian.  For a short period I drank this beer, many years ago.  I was in bad place.  I had yet to experience the glory that was Leffe Brun.  So my standards we low.
Anyways, this beer has no real smell, except to equate it with that of a crappy alternative dance club at 2:00am.  Similarly, it has no real taste.  Sure it has the fizz that all great beers have.  That's the easy part.  Perrier mastered that. So Molson shouldn't have an issue either.  The problem with Canadian is that they call it "Canadian" as though a bland , low alcohol  by volume beer is representative of our nation.   Why don't they try putting ingredients on the bottles?  I want to know what type of beer flavoring they use , and how little wheat, barley and hops they use as opposed to corn product.  Maybe I'm wrong.  maybe they have half a dozen angry monks living there at the brewery near the airport in Toronto.  Retarded unionized monks that specialize in making really weak, tasteless beer that almost always leaves the drinker with a deadly hangover.  Not me. Not this sucker.  I'm going to drink one more devil beer before bed, then I'm going to do the 120km Donut ride at 9am.

Regardless......Molson beer is to beer what Walmart is to customer service.   Duvel is to beer what  Bruce Lee, Eddy Merckx and Ron Burgundy are to men.