Life sucks. You can go to the other side of the world and buy the same stuff, eat the same food, and basically live exactly like you would at home without even suspecting that you are in a strange country except for that warm bright thing in the sky.
But yet, I can’t get some of my favourite micro-brewed beers from just a few hours away. Life is good.
You can probably imagine my delight when my beer-o-phile (beer-a-phile? beerophile? we need to decide on a spelling) brother-in-law, whose family lives in Quebec and Ontario, returns from a visit bearing cottage-country craft brews and sophisticated Montreal micro-brews. I had the chance to sample some of these rare treats last weekend.
Harvest Gold Pale Ale – Barley Days Brewery
I’ll give my brother-in-law credit on this one. He brought it back because it was interesting, not because it was good. If you’ve ever tasted beer or wine with others, then you’ve probably come across a situation where someone says it tastes like something and then you can’t taste anything else. I don’t remember who said it, but this beer tasted like tobacco.
I’m not a smoker, so I can’t say that I thought much of the beer. But while writing this it occurs to me that with the banning of tobacco from many states and provinces across North America and beyond, it might be the right time to brew tobacco beer commercially. I’m sure it will be taxed like the devil (beer, tobacco, and gas taxes are called sin-taxes here in British Columbia), but I can totally see a market for smokers who don’t want to go outside in the cold and rain to have a smoke when their friends are inside having a good time.
St Ambroise Citrouille – McAuslan Brasserie
I’ve had McAuslan’s Oatmeal Stout and their St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale and they are both very worthy of a toast. So I was quite excited to try their seasonal pumpkin ale which is not available here in Vancouver. I’ve only tried a couple of pumpkin ales previously and they were all a little over-spiced with pumpkin pie spices for my liking. The St Ambroise Citrouille is much more balanced than any of the previous pumpkin ale’s that I have tried. I might try even less spice if I ever get around to making a pumpkin ale.
Derniere Volonte – Dieu du Ciel
Dieu du Ciel is Montreal’s answer to Mecca. They make some great beers and if you live anywhere near there then go. I didn’t know that they bottled their beers…I’ll be doing a little more research.
The beer was wow. It was like a pale Belgian tripel but dry hopped. The combination was good enough to be its own style. I’ll definitely be trying to replicate this soon
I think the dry hops might have been some Goldings variety, but I’m no expert. I’d love to hear another opinion if you ever get the pleasure to try Derniere Volonte.