Unedited: Playoff Beer(d)s

From, today’s Ottawa Metro article on brew fit for the Cup, here is the full length version:

Playoff Beer(d)s: Craft Brews fit for the Cup

Without any Canadian representation in the NHL playoffs this year, we can be forgiven if we’ve forgotten the playoffs are still on. The last time there was no Great White North representation in the NHL playoffs was over 45 years back, when the Canadiens and Leafs both failed to qualify in 1970.

Though it may be a while before a Canadian club wins the Stanley Cup, I like to be prepared. So, I contacted beer clubs and local experts in each of the Canadian cities with an NHL team to ask them what local craft beer should be sipped from the metal brim of Lord Stanley’s Cup. If you’re not a fan of hockey, you can still add these beer recommendations to your Canadian bucket list.

Local group, the Ottawa Beer Club (ottawabeerclub.com) was up first:

“Beau’s was suggested right out of the gate. Kichesippi 1855 was suggested as a great beer we love … Then we kicked around the idea of Covered Bridge, since it’s the brewery closest to the stadium… [But] It’s gotta be Big Rig.” Of the many Big Rig brewery (co-owned by and named after longtime Senator Chris Phillips) options, the OBC enjoyed the Black IPA best and so submitted that as their choice.

So for the Ottawa Senators’ eventual Cup win, we have a bold black IPA best served in a 35lbs silver chalice. Having Phillips involved is a nice sentimental touch; maybe this will help with my recurring nightmare of he and Ray Emery scoring that own-goal in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals…

Noah Forrest of Beerism.ca agreed to represent the Montreal beer scene:

“I think I’ll recommend a beer from the Montreal-based brewery Dieu du Ciel!, called Péché Mortel. Just like the Montreal Canadiens’ performance this past year, this Imperial Stout has a strong start but finishes with an intensely dry bitterness. Unlike the Habs though, this bitterness is desired and pleasing!”

Great choice, plus it’s available in Gatineau! The Canadiens, of course, were the last Canadian team to hoist the Cup in 1993. No doubt, the bustling Montreal brewing scene has helped ease fans’ pain ever since.

Jason Foster, Edmonton beer journalist and blogger at OnBeer.org waxed poetic about the rise and fall of the Oilers:

Alley Kat Brewing Company’s Full Moon pale ale has been an Edmonton favourite for 20 years. It is a classic northwest pale ale. But like our Edmonton Oilers, it has been through a rough patch recently. A little over a year ago the owners of Alley Kat, in an attempt to court a newer, younger customer base, changed the recipe to an IPA. It didn’t work, much like the Oilers’ never ending rebuild. So this spring they returned to their (and our) roots and brought back the original recipe, even bringing back the original label. Drinking it evokes memories of past glory days and elicits hope for the future. Not unlike our Oilers, where we bask in the Gretzkys and Messiers of the past and place our hopes on the young Connor McDavid.”

Pints of Full Moon are always half-full for the eternally optimistic Oilers fans.

Adam Seguin of westernsuds.com was kind enough to go above and beyond, recommending two beers for Calgary to consider.

“In my opinion, Last Best Brewing’s IPA is the best beer in the city…  However, Toolshed Brewing has a beer called Red Rage and last year when the Flames had their playoff run, they used a clever hashtag #TheCofRedRage which caught on with the city quite well.”

*Please note that hashtag is to be read as “sea of red” and not “cough red” as was my initial, confused interpretation.

Rebecca Whyman (beernesday.com and @beernesday), BC Radio’s On the Coast’s beer columnist, is a Vancouver craft beer champion and agreed to share some thoughts:

“At the beginning of the hockey season, Four Winds Brewing won People’s Choice at the BC Beer Awards for their Nectarous Sour. Vancouverites spoke, and they shouted “Sour!”  Did they know the Canucks were going to make their faces pucker this season?  Were their mouths watering at the dream of popping the cork and drinking that victorious Nectarous out of the Cup?  Either way, Nectarous scores a natural hat-trick with its fruit-forward tartness, dry finish and breakaway drinkability.  But don’t blame Nectarous for The Clapper’s dance moves – it’s not yet available at the stadium.”

A beer rhapsody from the Left Coast!

Takin’ care of business in the ‘Peg we have Trent Whidden, aka Winnipeg Beer Dude, of manitobabeer.com.

“Proven by the loss, then subsequent return of the Jets, Winnipeggers need and love a home team to cheer for.  Paving the way for Manitoba’s upcoming craft beer revolution, Half Pints Brewing Co. is currently the only locally owned and operated Manitoba brewery.  My selection for the beer that should fill the Stanley Cup for the Jets to take their ceremonious swig would be Half Pints St. James Pale Ale!”

While the Jets have no previous NHL Stanley Cup wins in their history, hardy local fans will no doubt recall the fantastic Cup runs of the Winnipeg Victorias had between 1896 and 1902…

Lastly, when I approached the Toronto Beer Club (@torontobeerclub), I expected a little good-natured Battle of Ontario banter; however, the TBC took a different direction than expected and it was all the more appreciated:

“[We recommend] Mill Street Organic – a pale, weak beer from a brewery that sold out to a big corporation (Mill St was purchased by Labatt Breweries in the fall of 2015). An actual Leaf fan might think the team might deserve to sip something delicious from breweries like Bellwoods, Great Lakes, Indie Ale House, Folly, Burdock, Left Field, or any of the other great craft brewers in Toronto, but I do not!”

TBC doesn’t pull any punches in their provocative assessment of their local team! It’s also not lost on me that they plugged 5 extra Toronto breweries…

As for the current playoffs, I’m predicting the St. Louis Blues take it all and celebrate with their local beer: Budweiser (At the time of writing, they are barely hanging on against the San Jose Sharks…).

A huge thank you to the participating panel for their exceptional local knowledge! All of the above are active social media promoters of Canadian craft beer, give them a follow!

Local Hop-penings:

Beau’s brewery broke the internet this week with the announcement that they were being sold … to their own employes. They remain determinedly independent as they approach their 10th anniversary July 1.

Speaking of July 1, Dominion Day is fast approaching! Dominion City has tickets for sale at the brewery and online. Also, check DCBC’s new brewery hours!

Dog and Pony Brewlab quietly began pouring exclusively at Local Union 613. Their brews are going fast!

June 4 from 12pm – 6pm it’s Brewery Market at the Hintonburg Park! It’s like a farmers’ market, except with beer. So it’s better.

Stalwart Brewing has released a new beer: Down By The River American Wheat Ale. I am 99% sure that’s a Neil Young reference.

Whiprsnapr has teamed up with the Dolly Rogers roller derby club to unveil: Dolly Rogers Tropical Grog. I am both intimidated and intrigued…

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Review: One-Two Punch

Brewer: Granville Island Brewing
Brewed in: Vancouver, BC
Percentage: 6.8%
Found: Gift

I was gifted this brew and asked if BrewBrahs.com was still in operation… Seeing an excuse to drink a new beer and blow the virtual dust off this blog: I reviewed it.


This Belgian-IPA hybrid pours light copper in colour with a mild ring of white head. The nose is a great blend of floral hops and sweet sugar. Smooth across the palate with low carbonation. The finish is enjoyable abrasive as the muddled hops make their presence felt with a sharp jab. It’s a nice brew and a style that isn’t as popular as it should be. This isn’t the best Belgo-IPA I’ve ever experienced, but it certainly went down the hatch with ease and order a second.

It’s hard to throw a lot of support behind Granville since Molson gives them more support than this blog ever could. That said, it’s a good beer.


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Review: Maddaddamites Noobroo

BrewerBeau’s All Natural Brewery 
Brewed in: Vankleek Hill, ON
Percentage: 5.2%
Found: Isabella LCBO

This Gruit Ale pours murky copper with low carbonation and head. A gentle nose of sweet malts, honey and flowers is evident and it’s different than your typical brew. The deeper I get into the beer, the more I detect a little funk. Which is awesome. A unique flavor profile is also clear, this gently rolls across the palate is ended by a sour pull at the cheeks.


This beer was created with Margaret Atwood based on her novels, the MaddAddam trilogy (Which I’ve started…) with proceeds going to save the birds of Point Pelee, through The Pelee Island Bird Observatory. If you’ve never visited the area, you should. Everyone in the area is a birder (seeing this species of humans is worth the drive) and the scenery is gorgeous. Because of the unique geography of the point pushing deep out into Lake Erie and the island as a rest area/take-off point, bird and butterflies are funneled into the area as they migrate across the big body of water. Perhaps fill your cooler with this beer if you’re camping in the area?

Anyways, save birds drink beer.

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Review: Vin D’Orge Americain

BrewerLe Castor Brewing Company
Brewed in: Rigaud, QC
Percentage: 4.5%
Found: A dépanneur in Montreal


For those who follow us through out many social media outlets,  you’ve no doubt questioned if Le Castor has sponsored us to talk them up: They haven’t (though I’m waiting by the phone!). This little Rigaud brewery makes great beer and we are just discovering them now. When I read the tasting notes in the bottle of barley wine (translation of vin d’orge), which describe this as the “macho-man of beers” I knew I had to drink it. Because I’m insecure and these challenges to my manliness resonate with me…

Pours opaque orange copper with a thick white head that fades, leaving sticky lace as it recedes. The nose is of booze and sweet brown sugary malts while muddied hops round it out. Low carbonation delivers smooth barley wine goodness. The finish is a balancing act between the malt base and soggy hops. The strong alcoholic finish warms the insides. This is reminiscent to Flying Monkey’s Imperial IPA Matador. It’s a big beer, but you new that when you Google translated vin d’orge to barley wine. While it’s big, it’s still approachable; don’t be scared of this macho-brew.

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Review: Xanadu

Brewer: Kilannan Brewing Co.
From: Owen Sound, ON
Found: Delivery
Percent: 9.5%

Oh boy. Imperial stout from Kilannan aged in bourbon barrels. Jackpot.


Pours completely opaque black with a hint of beige head. The bouquet is gigantic with notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak overwhelming the senses. These same flavours accent a richly roasted malt-forward base. The body is deep and velvet smooth with little hop profile or carbonation. The finish cuts with a little shot of bitterness. This is a delicious late evening treat.

Great beer and a personal favourite style: Another winner from Kilannan.

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Review: Uncharted

Brewer: Stone City Ales
Brewed in: Kingston, ON
Percentage: 7.0%
Found: Stone City Ales Brewery

A good India Pale Ale on a hot day is one of Summer’s best pairings. Kingston’s Stone City Ales delivers a great IPA in their core-line up. If you’ve never been, go. Enjoy the grub and the spinning vinyls too!


Pours clear copper gold with a faint ring of white foam. Sweet caramel malt nose is taken to the next level with piercing pine hops. Delicious flavour profile matches the bouquet. The bitter pine hop finish lingers but never overstays its welcome. And if you’re into this sort of thing, attractive waves of brewers lace slowly slide down your glass with each pull.

Just a solid IPA and a very enjoyable beer from Stone City.


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Brewbrahs All Over The Interwebs

G’day Friendly Reader (or, more likely, Unfriendly Web-crawler…),

Not that we don’t appreciate the outlet that our own low-tech low-brow blog has provided us, but over the past few months we’ve had some great opportunities to work with some fantastic channels. Through apt613.ca, Ottawa Magazine and Herd Magazine, we’ve been able to work with platforms that have solid local followings and reach. It’s introduced us to some great people in Ottawa working to showcase the cultural strengths we’ve got going on here. In addition, we’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic editors that “correct spelling errors”, “fact check” or “understand when to use quotations” … etc. It’s all been very rewarding and fun.


Since you’re already here, here’s a quick rundown of our latest writings:

Ottawa Magazine Capital Pint – Prime Patio Pints
Ottawa Magazine Capital Pint – The Ultimate Beer Run

Apt613/Herd Magazine/Guerrilla Magazine – Five Great Craft Beers and Where to Drink Them

Apt613 – Foodie Friday: Ottawa’s Newest Oldest Brewery, Waller St.
Apt613 – Foodie Friday: DCBC puts together whimsical day of pure Canadiana
Apt613 – Brew Brahs chat with Beau’s Brewery chef Bruce Wood
Apt613 – Foodie Friday: Brew Brahs interview Whitewater Brewing Company, *Spoiler new brewpub alert!

We hope that we can continue to work with these great groups and reputable formats as long as they’ll have us. We are incredible appreciative of the opportunity they’ve provided thus far. Still, we’ll continue to keep this sad-sack site up and running as well, for nostalgic purposes if nothing else. And if you have any suggestions for collaborators – we’re always looking for new brew friends to work with.


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