I Bought This Beer Because It Has Robots

I had a party to attend this weekend so I trekked to the LCBO (it was -15 degrees Celcius so yes trek is the right word). I’m blessed that Toronto and has a great variety of specialty and craft beers and I decided it would be nice to try them all. I don’t drink that often, so I discover something new pretty much all the time.

This time, I settled for Hop City’s Hopbot IPA. How could I not? The packaging is so adorable. What I didn’t realize upon buying it was that it has a 7.1% IBA also that it has a bitterness rating of 70 IBU (which is more than I would have liked). I was also drinking the previously mentioned Chocolate Beer, so the bitterness was enhanced a bit when I drank one after the other. It does have interesting citrus notes. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it at a party that’s for sure. It’s more of a sit down and enjoy in the comfort of your own home while watching Netflix type thing. Going to do that now.

Chocolate Beer Made by Flying Monkeys


Perhaps this post title is misleading because monkeys don’t actually fly so no actual monkeys were involved in making this beer (at least for all I now). The Flying Monkeys is a craft brewery located in Guelph, Ontario. When I stumbled on this beer, in such eye-catching packaging I could not resist. Hell, they probably could have just put CHOCOLATE BEER on the label and I would’ve bought it. This was more obvious. This beer was more than the normal “chocolate” stout. It sounded epic. It was a Manifesto. It had an alcohol rating of 10%.




We saved the one bottle we snagged for New Years Eve. When we opened it the aromas were splendid. It truly did live up to it’s name. It did not smell like beer, but like a comforting chocolate milk. The strange part is, that’s what it tasted like to! The fact it was a beer, only hit you after every sip. It was delightful. Also, I could totally feel it right away after a mug full (I don’t have anything besides mugs at the moment).

I went back to the LCBO the next day to realize that it is no longer stocked in shelves. I guess I will have to wait until next Christmas to buy the entire aisle.



Craft Beer & Music

A few weeks ago, I photographed the 4th Annual Big Smoke Fest hosted by Tall Boys. The night featured a great music entertainment as well as a fine section of craft beers.

IMG_0997The most memorable beer I tried at the event was a mysterious one from Nickel Brook Brewery. They had over 10 varieties at their booth but I was drawn to a mysterious bottle with a black label and the numbers 11 05. The friendly rep told me that it was a barley wine beer that had been aged for a year on exactly November 5th. It had a striking 11% alcohol but was smooth and sweet.

You can see the entire photoset of the night on the Tall Boys Facebook Page.

Want Some Sapporo?

Sapporo sent me some beer in celebration of their latest campaign which features animated versions of traditional Japanese ink wash paintings- an art that dates back 1000 years.
Sapporo, which originated in Japan, does have a brewery in Canada. It’s a rice lager so it is light and sweet. The beer is dry but refreshing because it does not leave an after taste and therefore very easy to drink. Since the taste is clean, it could probably be paired with any food.
If you would like some Sapporo, I’m giving away vouchers for free 6 pack over on Ride the Tempo!

Sodastream Kraft Launch Party

IMG_1176I was invited to the Soda Stream Kraft launch party last night by the fine folks at The Mint Agency. To be honest, I had not previously known about the company and went out of curiosity and of course as a freelancer, couldn’t resist free food and drinks!IMG_1167The event took place at 2nd Floor Events on King Street West.The space was decorated with bottle decor to fit Sodastream’s campaign of saving the earth from bottles. The idea of Sodastream is for customers to have a system at home where they can carbonate their own water and make DIY sodas, therefore cutting down on the need to buy pop bottles.

IMG_1111Since it was the Kraft launch, we had the opportunity to sample the Kool-aid, Crystal Light and Country Time lemonade flavours. They were pretty good and tasted exactly like you’d expect the carbonated versions to taste like. With the exception of some added vodka, since it was a party.

IMG_1161The evening was catered by Brassaii who served various finger foods.
IMG_1132Oh, and I can’t forget about the glorious candy bar. I definitely smuggled some home.

IMG_1195At the end of the night, the invited guests got to take home gift bags with a Sodastream Source machine!

IMG_1202Here’s everything unboxed. They even threw in full bottle of the lemonade flavouring.

IMG_1204The normal kit comes with only 9 trial flavours. 1 of the packages makes a bottle.

IMG_1217To use the machine, the included bottle needs to be filled with cold water (because who likes warm soda?). Then you stick it in the machine and press down until your optimum fizziness as indicated by the LED lights. The machine doesn’t need to be plugged into anything and there was no included instructions on batteries. The first time we tried it I don’t think we pressed down hard enough because we didn’t see bubbles, but we definitely did eventually!

IMG_1223I had a cherry coke-lover in the house so we gave this a test.

IMG_1225The verdict: tastes like regular cherry coke with a lot less sugar. There’s only 7 grams compared to the 25g of sugar in coke. I think the health (and taste) aspect is a bigger seller than the environmental concerns.

DIY type people would enjoy this product. I think it would also be fun to host and play bartender at a party full of Sodastream mixed drinks with this machine!