What are you drinking? October 2021 edition

This month, “What Are You Drinking?” features an all new selection of Ontario-based beer industry folk. Two of them own bottle shops. One of them does research and development. One of them actually works for The Growler managing our social media. That’s four people from disparate backgrounds all of whom want to tell you about what they’re drinking at this very moment! Who are you to resist the knowledge they’re about to drop!? 

No one can withstand it. Why not try out their recommendations? 

Also? Happy Thanksgiving!

Eugene Fletcher is currently enjoying Short Finger Brewing Company’s No Fixed Abode. Supplied photo

Name: Eugene Fletcher

Occupation: I am the Research & Development (R&D) Lead at Escarpment Laboratories, a yeast company based in Guelph ON. There is a good chance that the refreshing beer you had last weekend or are about to enjoy when you get home today was brewed with one of our yeasts. In my role as the R&D Lead, I work with a team of scientists to improve our existing yeast strains as well as develop new strains that can make better beer and ferment faster. 

Beer of the Moment: Last summer I got drawn into the sour beer culture and I haven’t regretted it yet. My beer of the moment is No Fixed Abode, a sour beer, which I recently took home from Short Finger Brewing Company, a local brewery very close to my neighbourhood in Kitchener. It is a very nice beer with a pleasant fruity aroma and flavour (crabapple and grapes) and a perfect level of sourness. I have had some sour beers in the past that tasted like battery acid but this one is soft on the tongue. Don’t ask me how I know the taste of battery acid LOL!  

Typical of sour beers, the tart character masks the 5.5% ABV making you wonder the true alcohol content of the beer. No Fixed Abode is highly carbonated and gives off a cidery vibe. Overall, I would say it is an ideal beer for a hot summer day or after a busy work day.

Michelle Hempstock recently enjoyed The Second Wedge’s Moonlit Mosey Dark Saison . Supplied photo

Name: Michelle Hempstock

Occupation: Operations Manager at Superette, Social Media Manager for The Growler, Social Media & Volunteer Coordinator for Society of Beer Drinking Ladies annnnd occasional Toronto Brewery Tours Brew Captain. I wear a few different hats… 

Beer of the Moment: With so many delicious Ontario Craft Beer options, my beer selection is more mood-based rather than specifics. The cooler temperatures have been settling in and my body is ready for all the dark beers. 

I had the privilege of popping by The Second Wedge most recently and really enjoyed their Moonlit Mosey Dark Saison! It had such a unique flavour profile featuring cocoa, slight fruit with a nice balance of spice in the mix. This brew will keep you nice and toasty with a 7.5% ABV but the light mouthfeel and body to sip on a few by the fire! You don’t see a lot of saisons, let alone a dark saison. 

It’s just such a treat to be able to enjoy draft beers right from the source again. Plus grabbing to-go brews right from the brewery is always my preference for the freshest liquid! 

Marc Lecompte recently made a trip to Still Fields Brewery, and really enjoyed the Lager. Supplied photo

Name: Marc Lecompte 

Occupation: I own and operate The Sidewalk Beer Shop / Princess Cafe in Waterloo. I buy beer, sell beer, talk about beer, drink beer, you know? I also make a mean sandwich. 

Beer of the Moment: Still Fields Brewery Lager

I had been excited about the opening of this small farm brewery in Meaford since I heard about it a few months ago. It’s an all oak brewery focusing on wild, spontaneous, experimental and very small batch beer crafted by former Bellwoods head brewer, Owen Roth. 

I had a “day off” and decided to make the drive up (after visiting several other breweries to stock up, as I do on most of my “days off”) and as soon as I rolled in I knew where I was. THE CHILL ZONE. Just try and not feel relaxed when you’re there, I dare you. 

I walked in to the barn / brewery / bottle shop and grabbed an ice cold lil’ stubby bottle of lager, walked over to the campfire on the patio, and dug in. 

This lager had a lot going on. Grapes came to the party first, as a result of the Chardonnay barrel it was hanging out in. I started by sipping slowly to try and appreciate the nuance and depth, but like any good lager my pace increased with each sip. It was what I’d describe as a lovely beer, with a slightly tannic, dry finish.  Maybe a bit complex to be a session lager, but the small format bottle (which is SO PRETTY) definitely makes it easy to have more than one. The beer was complemented by the feeling of the farm, and I’d suggest a visit there to taste the full potential. Based on their size and brewing capacity, this lager will not last long. I’m sure the next batch will be a little bit different, and I look forward to following along. 

Dan Grant says, “Run. Don’t walk” to People’s Pint the try Surfer Rosé. Koray Salih photo

Name: Dan Grant

Occupation: Co-Owner at Bossanova Wine & Beer, Manager of RUNTOBEER

Beer of the Moment: The beer I’m drinking right now was born out of a meeting last fall, when a good friend asked to talk about his idea for a wine destination. I’ve known Ben for nearly 20 years and we’ve emptied many bottles over that time.  

As we sipped a few beverages and talked over his plans, he suggested it would be more fun to do this together, and open a tasting bar / event space / bottle shop, featuring exceptional wine and beer. So in the spring, we got a big, fat loan, and incorporated.

Bossanova is named for Pixies’ third studio album (we’re big fans), so when we decided we wanted a house beer, we stayed on theme: Beer, Wine, Pixies. 

Surfer Rosé, a riff on Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, is a Belgian Table Beer with 10% Merlot grapes, lovingly brought to life by the genius of Peter Caira at People’s Pint.

Because Bossanova is still not open as I write this, Surfer Rosé is only available through People’s Pint, and quantities are limited. The recipe will change seasonally as Peter feels like playing with different grape & grain combinations, but I’m so in love with this first batch. 

Do you want to be featured in a future edition of What Are You Drinking? Get in touch via email at jordan@thegrowler.ca

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