Beer · Burgers · Patio · Pubs · Restaurants

Bitter Sisters Brewery – COVID-19 dine-in edition

On Sunday, L and I were too tired to drive up to Hub Town Brewing as we had planned. Our ex neighbours spoiled us the night before with homemade pizzas cooked in their new ceramic grill. Sirski’s secret recipe produced a crust that was crispy and light, with a unique flavour profile. We spent the night eating a total of five pizzas, each with a different combination of toppings and sauces.

For our Sunday day date, I wanted to try Bitter Sisters Brewery because of all the positive reviews I read. I can tell when online reviews are fake or genuine. You have to look for common themes and variation in writing style, as well as the reviewer’s history. For this post, let’s listen “We are Family” by Sister Sledge.

Finding parking isn’t an issue at Bitter Sisters – their private lot offers ample room. The patio and the interior of the restaurant is nicely decorated. You can tell the owners put money and thought into the build.

At the front door, there is a sign requesting customers sanitize before they enter the room. I also saw staff constantly cleaning and sanitizing tables after each party left.

L ordered a flight of beer ($10) and I requested a 16 oz of the Sassy Jack ($6.75). My saison was cool and bubbly. L liked how the peppery notes dissipated on his tongue in a matter of seconds.

On the menu, Sassy Jack is described as a beer that is designed to go down slowly. I’m glad L warned me the alcohol content in my beer was 7.2%. I took my time and sipped slowly, but the beer still wobbled me when I got up to leave.

L’s favourite beer was the Tropical Big Brother Butch Pale Ale. He liked the crisp and fruity notes. I tasted a slight bitterness that I found appealing.

The Fifi’s Dirty Blonde ale reminded L of a pilsner. When I tried the ale, it reminded me of the beers I drank in Prague.  His last sampler was a pineapple sour from Bitter Sister’s rotating line.

I wasn’t starving so L and I shared the Nashville Fried Chicken ($17). Wowzers. Now this is a damn fine chicken sandwich. What made this burger sing was the compilation of all the ingredients.

The chicken was well marinaded, covered in a spicy crunchy batter. L appreciated how the burger wasn’t overly sauced and the proportions of bun to chicken to broccoli slaw was balanced. I would have preferred a little more of that tangy creamy chipotle aioli, just so I could sop it up with the fries.

Our server was considerate enough to check if we liked cilantro. We asked for a side of the noxious herb, so I wouldn’t have to eat it. L loved the addition of cilantro in his burger. We both thought the bun was excellent – it was chewy and soft.

The fries were golden white, crispy on the outside with a fluffy interior. The portion was generous. These fries reminded me a cross between New York Fries and the Belgium frites from the Fritz European Fry House in Vancouver.

I can’t believe this place hasn’t been on our radar before. Bitter Sisters deserves much more hype. At these prices, the food is a steal. The beers are tasty and go up against any of Alberta’s well-known breweries. Service was excellent and because of the obvious sanitation rules in place, we felt safe eating here.

L and I are looking forward to our next trip. He wants to try the Viet style club ($17) and I want to sample the Steak and Fries ($20). Check them out before patio season ends. Hitting the Sauce gives Bitter Sisters two fat thumbs up.

Beer · Restaurants

Two House Brewing – COVID-19 dine-in edition

L and I are big fans of Two House Brewing. Two House has excellent beers, strong COVID-19 safety standards, and a comfortable city patio. It also helps that our friend Numbers is their accountant and it is the only public place his enchanting wife Caviar feels safe enough to visit.

Photo credit: Two House Brewing Co.

L and I arrived early and got the last table inside the brewery. We noticed that almost all the customers were drinking Raspberry Pi Sour, a Berliner-style weisse ($7, 18 oz). You could tell because of the rosy glint emanating from the glass. I enjoyed this sour – it wasn’t overly tart or sweet.

When Caviar arrived, she sauntered over, wrinkled her nose and asked us if we preferred sitting inside instead of outside on the patio. I said we would prefer the patio, but this was the only table available. She cocked her head to the side and confidently informed us that she was going a patio table for us. Damn girl, I like your style.

Once outside, Caviar complained the music wasn’t to her liking. I enjoyed the music because it made me feel like I was in my twenties again. Music is a powerful thing. For this post, let’s listen to “Girlfriend” by NSYNC.

L saw his university friend Porteous sitting in the patio. Porteous came over to say hello. It turns out he has a beer named after him at Two House – the Porty Dorty Dortmunder. Porteous recounted the moment he found out Two House named a beer after him. He said it was the happiest day of his life and he called his mother right away to tell her the good news. Some guys have all the luck.

L and I enjoy all the beers we’ve tried so far (18 oz, $7). My usual go-to beer is the Belgian-style Fave Hef Wit Wheat Beer. I dig the hazy fruity flavour and the soft notes of orange and coriander.

L’s favourite beer is the NE IPA. He loves the citrus notes and hint of grapefruit. I took a sip and I liked it too. I didn’t find the NE bitter like most IPAs.

I found a new drink that I’m a fan of – the Lemon-Squeezy. It’s a low calorie blend of Bridgeland Distillery Limoncello and soda ($10, 18 oz). It’s light, refreshing and not too sweet. Caviar wanted to know if there was higher alcohol content in the 18 oz versus the 12 oz. Caviar and I joked with our server about changing the proportion of limoncello to “sober water”. Our server firmly told us that the ratio could not be altered. I’m glad because after two limoncellos, I was feeling wobbly.

While we were sipping the night away, two groups with dogs were turned away because the patio was full. I noticed a woman who took up a table for four. She drank one beer over a 1.5 hour time span while reading her book. I asked Numbers if customers taking up a prime spot for hours poses a problem for businesses especially since the government has restricted the number of customers. He said with limited space and decreased number of customers, all businesses are struggling to get by. I may have spoken too loudly because the woman got up to leave and shot me a dirty look. Hey lady, don’t get angry at me because you lack self-awareness. Her table was promptly filled by a party of four, plus two adorable dogs.

Two House Brewing Co’s safety standards.

For beverages, service and safety standards, Two House Brewery can’t be beat. If you get to know the right people, a beer might be named after you. One can only dream. Hitting the Sauce gives Two House two fat thumbs up.

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Patio · Restaurants

Inner City Brewing Company – COVID-19 dine-in edition

On Saturday, I told L to pick a new brewery for us to check out. He picked a winner – Inner City Brewing. The beer was so good, I was surprised that I had never heard of this place before. For this post, let’s listen to The Streets, “Could Well be In”.

Inner City’s vibe is very Vancouver.  The brewery looks like a modern warehouse straight out of Yaletown. From the taproom seating area, you can see inner workings of the brewery. I stole some photos from Inner City’s Instagram account because my photos were awful.

Photo credit: Inner City Brewing Company

To create their concept beers, Inner City Brewery takes inspiration from the city. “Our brewing strategy is to produce a wide range of beer styles, true to their origins. In our names and our packaging, we honour the location where the recipe originates and the diversity of the inner core of that location.”

L counted 22 beers on tap. I opted for an Old Fashioned ($12) because he told me Inner City receives good reviews on their cocktails. L ordered a flight of beers ($9). We nibbled on popcorn ($6) while we sipped the night away. I was saving my appetite for a late night banh mi. I wish Thi Thi would partner up with some of these breweries like Clive Burger did with National. Banh mi goes with everything.

Photo credit: Inner City Brewing Company

Our server Jaime makes a wicked old fashioned cocktail. There’s an option to select the ingredients to your liking, but I asked Jaime for his recommendation. I’m a fan of his favourite version- it was sweet, bitter, and perfumed with the strong scent of a lemon peel.

L was impressed with each beer we tried. The Heart of the City – Helles Lager was light and fresh. This is a good option for an afternoon of crushing beers in the backyard.

The Bridgelandia Modern Blonde Ale was similar to Banded Peaks’ Plainsbreaker. I liked how light and smooth this ale was. The Sunnyside XPA – Extra Pale Ale was another easy drinking, smooth beer. I could taste the citrus in it. L thought the Collectively Smashed was similar to Dandy Brewery’s Oyster Stout. Rich, dark and creamy, this beer would be ideal to drink during the Christmas season.

L ordered another flight ($9) and I ordered a second cocktail. He thought the Bridgelandia – Hoppy Blonde Ale was awesome. I don’t normally like hoppy beers, but this one was easy to drink. There was no bitterness to it.

L thought the Rooftop – Modern Lager was reminiscent of American beer. I asked him what that meant. The whole point of describing something is to word it in such a way that someone who’s never tried it would understand. He said a typical American beer taste similar to Budweiser, but this version was superior in flavour.

My favourite beer of the night was the BLX: 2005-10A-2 Weiss Bier. The Weiss was almost saison’ish with a pleasant herbal taste. L enjoyed the Brickworks – Traditional English Dark Mild. He thought this was a mild dark beer that reminded him of a Newcastle brown ale. I thought it was a very drinkable for a non-beer drinker. For a double IPA, the Lights of the City was super smooth and not bitter.

L and I both noted that all eight beers were neither too strong or sweet. I think it’s telling we tried eight out of 22 beers and we liked each one. All the beers were unique and different from each other. For a fun night tasting stellar spirits, you can’t go wrong here. We’ll be back. Hitting the Sauce gives Inner City Brewing two fat thumbs up.

Beer · Burgers · Patio · Restaurants

Annex Ale Project – COVID-19 dine-in edition

L and I have been hanging out at Annex Ales Project. Lately, this brewery has been my new go-to spot for fries and a pint. For this post, let’s listen to “Can’t Stop Feeling” by Franz Ferdinand.

I normally avoid sugary drinks, but L has gotten me hooked on Annex Ales root beer ($3.25, 355ml can). The flavour is unique – it is an easy to drink beverage but with complex, non-pedestrian root and herbal notes. I actually prefer the taste of this over regular beer, but the latter beverage serves medicinal purposes. L said the Saskatoon Lemon has it going on – it’s light and refreshing and the Saskatoon berries remind him of the prairies.

Photo credit: Annex Ales

While I’m not a true beer drinker, I’ve been enjoying Good Authority Golden Ale (7oz, $3.50; 16oz, $6.50) and the guest tap – Florida Weise ($7, 14 oz). I like the lemony tartness of the weise and the citrusy notes in the Good Authority Ale. The ale has a touch of bitterness that I find almost pleasant.

Recently, we snacked at Lil Empire’s, which is located inside Annex Ales. L ordered the Empire Burger with Cheese ($12.49) and I picked the Classic Crunch Chicken ($13). We shared an order of regular fries ($4) and on a subsequent visit, the Dirty Fries ($8).

God damn – this is a beautiful burger! I could taste the quality of the beef, which was so juicy and flavourful. I loved the contrast between the warm, oozy creaminess from the cheese and sauces to the cool, crunchy lettuce. The buns are perfect – puffy, sweet and not too bready, so it becomes one with the patty and cheese. This burger was so good, I wished I ordered it instead of my fried chicken burger.

My chicken came out hot and crunchy. The batter and thinness of the cutlet reminded me of a schnitzel. The secret sauce was zesty with what I thought tasted like dill or relish. I liked that there was more chicken than bun. Both burgers came with insanely delicious pickles.

The fries are thin and crispy and properly salted. The dirty fries remind me of a hot dog, as it’s loaded with tasty bits of hot dog, mustard, relish and Empire burger sauce. I prefer the regular fries because done right, nothing is better than the simplicity of perfectly cooked and salted fries.

Annex Ales is a busy spot, and for good reason. There’s a nice selection of beers, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages and comfort food that is several notches above pubs and fast food. As well, there’s a dog friendly patio. We will be back for the cheeseburger, fries, beers and sodas. Hitting the Sauce gives Annex Ales two fat thumbs up.

Photo credit: Annex Ales

Beer · Brunch · Patio · Restaurants · Seafood

Dandy Brewing Company

On Friday, I suggested to L we revisit Dandy Brewing Company. Pro tip – Dandy now takes reservations through Opentable. This new change was one reason for our visit. Dandy is one of my favourite spots in the city, but it was always too difficult to snag a table. For this post, let’s listen to “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” by Father John Misty.

I ordered a flight of beer: Dandy Lager (5%, $2.25); Une Vielle Maitresse Grisette (4%, $2.25); La Peu d’Elisa Quebec style saison (7%, $2.75); and Common Crown Collab (7%, $2.50). L asked for a glass of the Dandy Ultra Pils (3%, $6.50).

beer list

Some of my descriptions below may sound odd but then again, taste is subjective. At times, even L was at a loss for my observations. However, we both agreed that all the beers we tried were well balanced.

I enjoyed L’s Crisp Pilsner (3%, $2.50). This beer is fresh, sweet, bitter and reminded me of coleslaw. The Dandy Lager is a touch too sweet for my taste. L and I like the peppery notes in the Une Vielle Maitresse Grisette.

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I’m crazy for La Peu d’Elisa Quebec style saison. I found the saison bright and lemony with an almost perfume-like note. I ordered another sleeve because it was that delicious. Look at all that creamy foam!

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The Common Crown Collab is a full-bodied wintery beer, most appropriate for our extreme cold weather. L tried the Black Cabin Black IPA (6.5%,$5). When I took a sip, the flavour triggered memories of the 80’s cartoon Gummi Bears and A&W root beer.

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Dandy produces unique beers without tasting artificial or fake. I’m not a beer drinker, but the beers at Dandy are so enjoyable, I actually prefer their beers over wine.

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To prove my point, I ordered a glass of Leiz Eins-Zwei Riesling ($9). The riesling was dry with a bit of zip to it. While I liked what I tasted, I preferred the Quebec saison. Coming from me, that speaks volumes.

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Dandy has an equally strong food game. Whenever I eat here, I always think its similar to Bar Von Der Fels Wine Bar, but there’s less use of cream, butter and all things decadent.

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L raved about the flavours of the Elk Tartare ($18). The crispy shallots added a garlicy, crunchy contrast to the silkness of the minced elk. The use of aioli was subtle while the brightness of the pickles added a refreshing pop. This was my first time trying elk tartare. If I had to compare elk to other meats, I’d say elk is more like lamb than beef.

octopus better

The smoky smell of the Octopus ($21) was appetizing. I appreciate how the chef chose to showcase the octopus by grilling it over charcoal, resulting in a firm but not chewy texture. The tentacles were delightfully crispy. The “smashed potatoes” were like a warm potato salad. I love the addition of the olives, red onion, and what I thought was dill or pickles.

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The Cheese Plate ($17) was stellar. Though smaller and five dollars more than Cabin Brewing Company, the cheese plate was so seductive I overlooked my beer. The cracker was more like a sheet of warm, flaky pastry. I liked all the cheeses – a mix of creamy, dry, and one that tasted a bit like blue cheese. L said what made this plate next level was the cherry marmalade and figs. I’m a purist and I prefer just eating the cheeses with the cracker.

L and I are going to continue with our mission to try all of Calgary’s breweries. To date, L’s favourite Calgary craft beers are the Jack of Diamonds by Blindman Brewing and Mount Crushmore by Banded Peak. For myself, Dandy does for it for me. Hitting the Sauce puts this brewery on her list of best restaurants in the Calgary.

The Dandy Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Restaurants

Cabin Brewing Company

L is keen to check out all the newest breweries. So on Sunday afternoon, we went for an afternoon taster at Cabin Brewing Company. For this post, let’s listen to “You don’t know how it feels” by Tom Petty.

We both ordered our own beer flights ($12). L prefers hoppy or dark beers while I picked the lighter options.

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The Retrospectrum Pale Ale (5.2%) was nicely balanced and light. This is an easy drinking ale that even my non beer drinking girlfriends would enjoy. Try not to focus on the nasty band-aid on my thumb.

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I enjoyed the Four Alive Fruited Sour (5.4%). I found this beer simple – sour and tart.

I was surprised to like the Super Duper Saturation Imperial NEPA (8%) as much as I did. The bubbles were tiny and there was a ton of flavour. This beer was neither bitter, hoppy or sweet.

I don’t normally like cider, but Cabin’s Bloom Crisp Apple Cider (6.6%) was different. The flavour was crisp and not too sweet. I thought this cider was excellent. The cider was my favourite pick of the flight.

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I also tried the Belgian Dubbel (7.8%), a collaboration between Cabin Brewery and Banded Peak. I found this beer sweet, nutty and heavy.

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I was feeling tipsy after our flight, so we ordered some food. The Cheese Pretzel with Marinara Sauce ($5) was served piping hot. The pretzel itself was soft, the topping of cheese was crispy. On a cold wintery day, this carby snack warmed me up.

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I was pleased with the Cheese Board ($12). For the price, we were given three generous chunks of cheese: Chevalier Triple Cream Brie (St. Hyacinthe, QC), Mainland two-year aged cheddar (New Zealand), and Cave-aged Gruyere Switzerland). L mentioned if we ordered this at the now defunct Janice Beaton, we would have been charged sixty bucks. The cheese board was tasty and such good value. I’d order this again.

On a cold Sunday afternoon, Cabin Brewery was packed with families. I can see why. Cabin is kid-friendly, offering the little ones plenty of games and even their own kiddy charcuterie. For only four bucks, children can snack on goldfish crackers, pizza pepperoni, fruit and a juice box.

Cabin Brewering Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Pubs · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – Fuggles and Warlock

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my parents cancelled our second dim sum adventure. Since it was L’s birthday weekend, I let him pick another spot for lunch. He requested pints at Fuggles and Warlock. For this post, let’s listen to “Babooshka” by Kate Bush.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon, I can think of nothing better than pulling up a bar stool and killing time at Fuggles and Warlock. The brewery is small and cozy, filled with awards, trophies and quirky memorabilia.

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The food is simple but ideal for the cold weather. The small menu offers pretzels, meat pies, pizza, piping hot samosas and warm sandwiches. The portions are snack sized. I noticed there’s a curry food truck parked outside the store.

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L ordered a flight ($8) while I ordered my usual – Strawberry Wit ($6). The consistency of the wit reminds me of a cross between an A&W root beer float and a strawberry milkshake. Fuggles and Warlock nailed the flavour – it actually taste like fresh strawberries.

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L took a liking to the Destiny IPA. I’d describe this IPA as mildly hoppy, with pleasant citrus notes. I don’t normally like IPAs, but I could crush the Destiny IPA.

sampler

L was also a fan of the Pixel, a Czech pilsner. He thought the pilsner was crisp and light. I thought this beer was refreshing but it was a tad hoppy for my taste.

beers

L mentioned the Destiny IPA and Pixel pilsner were the more traditional than the other beers we sampled. I preferred the more eccentric beers. Fuggles and Warlock makes alcoholic beverage I’d imagine a grown up Harry Potter would appreciate.

little one

I was a fan of the Gin and Lime, which tasted more like a cocktail than a beer. The taste of the lime and gin was prominent. Fuggles and Warklock uses infused Unruly Gin from Wayward Distillation House.

I was surprised that I liked the Kiwami Plum Sour even more than Strawberry Wit. Fuggles and Warlock used fresh plums to make this sour. This beer reminded me of a simple wine. I could picture my favourite Japanese restaurant in Calgary – Shokunin – featuring this beverage.

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L and I shared the Ham Sandwich and Pickle ($9). The bread was light and crispy. The generous amount of cheese made each bite full of gooey goodness.

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The pickle tasted homemade because it lacked that chemical taste of grocery pickles. The pickle wasn’t crunchy or sour. When I bit into the pickle, the juice squirted out onto my sandwich.

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L thought the Tourterie Pie ($9) tasted like a sausage roll. Tasty, but I preferred the steak pie I tried at my previous visit. I guess ten years in Calgary will make you an Albertan.

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Stopping by for a pint at Fuggles and Warlock is an annual tradition for us.  I’m sure the next time we visit, the brewmasters will pull out some wizardy and have a new, oddly wonderful beer for us to try. Hitting the Sauce gives Fuggles and Warlock two magical thumbs up.

Fuggles and Warlock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Patio · Restaurants

Two House Brewery

Numbers and Caviar invited us out to check out a new brewery by their place – Two House Brewing Company. When we entered, I felt like I wasn’t in Calgary. The brewery has a friendly, industrial vibe. The movie Heathers was projected on the wall. The music was rocking, playing tunes from bands like Blondie, The Japanese House, Assenger, Siouxsie and the Banshees.  For this post, let’s listen to, “The Passenger”.

On a Friday at 8:00 p.m., there wasn’t a single table available. Note that seats are somewhat communal. You’ll likely be sharing a table with strangers. No sweat because the clientele was welcoming and in my age bracket. We sat with a group of expats and I bonded with a customer over her Cowichan sweater.

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We ordered a flight of all five seasonal beers ($11): Prvni Pilsner, Rec Room Brown, Hoptimist, Fool’s Gold, and El Hefe. I thought the prices were good value, particularly considering Two House is located in Sunalta, an inner-city community. It was actually cheaper for me to drink here than at my own house.

beer list

The Prvni Pilsner (4.5%) was light and offered a nice aftertaste. L said it was an easy drinking beer. Whenever someone tells me a wine is ‘easy drinking’, I always want to ask for them to recommend a difficult drinking wine. The Rec Room Brown (5.5%) tasted like coffee, with nutty notes. The brown ale reminded me of Granville Island’s Christmas lager. Both L and I liked this beer, but because it was sweet we couldn’t drink a lot of it.

I enjoyed the Hoptimist (6.5%) – I found it  tasty, crisp and not overly hoppy. A very crushable beer, perfect for sipping on Two Houses’ dog-friendly patio. Bring your kids too, as the brewery is kid-friendly until 7:00 p.m. L liked the Fool’s Gold (5%). He found this beer crisp and bright. I found the carbonation a little flat.  L disagreed, as this one was one of his favourite picks of the night. The clear winner for me was the El Hef (4.5%), a spicy bubbly beer. I ended up getting two more pints of the El Hef.

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Numbers knows the owner, as he recently started working at Two House Brewing. She gave us complimentary Urban-Grub potato chips and blue cheese dip ($5). Numbers said all the food is homemade and made with top ingredients. I liked the thickness of the crunchy chips and the flavour of the potato. These were real artisanal chips and it beats Miss Vickie’s any day. The dip was cold and creamy with intense notes of blue cheese.

dip

The company was excellent and the venue a lot of fun. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we stayed until closing. L noticed the brewery is located right by the Sunalta LRT station. How convenient for us! I look forward to my next visit.

Two House Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery · Beer · Restaurants

Sweet Relief

Last Friday I attended a Yelp Elite party. The event was called ‘Local Love’ because it was a partnership between Freehold Brewing Co. Sweet Relief, Dandy Brewery, Ol’ Beautiful and Outside the Shape.

outside

After browsing through the pretty merchandise at Outside the Shape, L and I walked upstairs to meet Matt, the one of the owners of Freehold Brewing Co. Matt showcased four beers and paired each beverage with treats from Sweet Relief, a bakery located in Victoria Park.

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The first beer was Big Chutes Lager. The lager was easy drinking, clean, with a hint of citrus. Matt referred to Big Chutes as a ‘patio crusher’ because you could easily spend an afternoon on a patio crushing this beer. I can see why. I found this lager refreshing and light. I liked the tiny bubbles foaming at the top. L said there was a lot of taste in the lager.

first beer

Next we sampled Pegasus Pale Ale from Ol’ Beautiful Brewery. The ale was paired with a square that reminded me of a homemade Oh Henry chocolate bar. I enjoyed the buttery crust and the taste of the dry roasted unsalted peanuts, which contrasted with the sweet stickiness of the caramel.

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I could taste a bit of grapefruit and grassy floral hops in the Pegasus ale. I don’t normally like hoppy beers, but I found this ale easy to drink. I could crush this one on a patio too.

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The third beer we sampled was Lacy Saisy Saison. I could taste warm hints of cloves, ginger and orange. L and I have a hard time finding a beer that we both equally love. I think Matt did the unimaginable. He created a beer that both hard core and casual beer drinkers could enjoy. I think Matt may have saved our marriage. No more fights at the liquor store. L said this was the first saison he liked.

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Matt informed us that farmhouse ales or saisons as we know them, date back a long time ago in Belgium. Farmers would brew the beer, bury it in soil and then open it up in the summer for the weary workers as the water was undrinkable. Don’t quote me on that because I accidentally deleted my notes from the evening on my phone and I’m going by memory.

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The dessert pairing for the saison was a jam cookie. Two sugar cookies were pressed against a sticky, flavour packed jam. The cookie was chewy and soft, buttery and sweet. I plan to buy some of these jam cookies and the dessert bar for a future party. These treats are much better than I can bake at home.

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The fourth beer was Dandy in the Underworld Stout. I liked this beer. Bubbly and dark with rich coffee and chocolate notes. Matt said oyster shells are used in the process for  calcium carbonate. I wanted to ask Matt more questions about the stout and saison but other Yelpers kept dominating the conversation and having side chats so I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I was sitting at the front right across from him too.

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I hope Freehold Brewing Co. finds a new space for their brewery and restaurant. In the meantime, you can find Freehold beers at Nash, Notable, Craft, Beer Revolution, Bar von Fels and all the Nationals. Stores that sell Freehold include: Coop, Domestic Bottle, Kensington Wine Market, Highlander (Marda Loop), Liquor Depot (Killarney/Marda Loop) Vine Arts and Willow Park.

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Thanks to Miranda R for inviting me and allowing me to use her photos. If you want to get invited to future Yelp Elite events, sign up and start writing reviews. From there you ask a friend (me) to nominate you.

Sweet Relief Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato.

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Restaurants

Annex Ale Project

Lately, I’ve been less interested in checking out restaurants and more into visiting the latest brewery. Last week I dropped by Annex Ale Project. The room is a bright, cool looking space. I liked the white wood panel walls and the long communal tables. The brewery looked new. I could smell fresh paint in the washroom. For this post, let’s listen to Father John Misty – I Love You, Honey Bear, a song that was playing on Annex’s soundtrack.

L and I tried two flights of beer ($10 per flight), Salty Cheese ($4) and Potato Chips with BBQ aioli ($4). Damn, when Annex tells you their cheese is salty, they aren’t kidding around. My neighour Quebecoise said salty cheese is popular in Quebec and it’s especially delicious when you’re hungover. The strands were long, speckled with black bits. I thought the portion was generous for four bucks.

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I preferred the potato chips. The chips were thick, crunchy and lightly salted. The BBQ aioli reminded me a bit of McDonald’s BBQ sauce, but in a good way. I would order the chips again.

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L and I thought Metes & Bounds (XPA 6%) was a smooth, easy drinking beer. I didn’t find Bitter Division (5.2%) that bitter, there was a touch of sweetness that I enjoyed. Forward Progress (Small Brewer’s Gold Medal Alberta) was unusual, with lots of flavour. L thought it was bright, crisp and citrusy. New Material (New England IPA, 7.6%) was yummy. Sweet, creamy with what I thought tasted like orange-like notes.

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I found Perfect Fraction (Sacch Trois Pale Ale, 4.9%) floral and bitter. The Milk Porter (7%) was a delicious treat to drink. To me it tasted like a cold, bubbly mocha coffee. Where It’s At! (Collaboration with Philips and National) was a light tropical beer. L enjoyed the fruity notes in Cranberry New England (Session Ale, 4.9%). I found this beer bitter. I enjoyed Unifying Concept (McGuire chocolate collaboration) which reminded me of a Starbucks dark roast drip coffee.

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I would rank Annex Ales up there with my favourite breweries – Banded Peak and Dandy Brewery. I enjoyed all the beers even though many were outside my comfort zone. I dig Annex’s soundtrack but found it annoying that the music would periodically shut off and then there would be that awkward silence in between songs. Hitting the Sauce gives the beers at Annex Ale Project two fat thumbs up.

Annex Ale Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato