My drinkcraftbeer.com Brewvet Recap

So drinkcraftbeer.com had a great little challenge from the end of May until the middle of July.  In an unrelated attempt to get fit I had recently purchased a bike (why take the bus when you can bike to work?) and when this came up I figured this was an excellent motivator to get out on it more often.  They had a list of rules that you can find here , but essentially you had to make 12 trips that combined into a total of 100km.  Each trip involved stopping at a pub or buying a beer at a liquor store and drinking it shortly after.  There were a total of 9 categories that your beer could fall under, and you could only submit under a category no more than twice.  The whole spirit of this little challenge was to get you out on your bike and trying new beers.  This was my journey (and my submission to the folks over at drinkcraftbeer.com.)

 

#1: 

Location: Connor's Irish Pub (Orleans) 

Beer: Beau's Lug Tread

Category: #1 Buy Local.

Thoughts: I've had this more times than I can count.  I started with this because it was the only craft beer on tap.  It's my go-to at pubs that have a primary focus on macro and little focus on craft.  Smooth, good balance, crisp, refreshing.

Distance:  11.8km

Date & Time:  06/06/2013 - 7:30pm

 

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#2

Location: Brother's Beer Bistro

Beer: Lake of Bays River Walker Hoppy Saison on cask

Category: #9 'Tis the Saison

Thoughts: Lake of Bays rarely disappoints.  This saison was smooth, well-balanced and very tasty.   

Distance: 28km (running total of 39.8km) 

Date & Time: 06/09/2013 - 12:30pm

 

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 #3

Location: Royal Oak (Blair) 

Beer: Beau's Lug Tread

Category: #1 Buy Local

Thoughts: Nothing in the rules says I couldn't have the same beer twice... and the Oak is another example of not much craft beer on tap... so I decided to go with the only one available. 

Distance: 5km (running total of 44.8km) 

Date & Time: 06/18 - 4pm

 

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#4


Beer: Double Trouble Brewing Company Co. Hops & Robbers IPA

Category: #3 Enjoy Your Hops

Thoughts: I'm not much of an IPA guy, but this one was great.  It didn't feel like the brewmaster wanted to punch me in the face with hops, which was nice.  Crisp, refreshing, subtle citrus notes, good amount of bitterness from the hops without being too overpowering. 

Distance: 5.4km (running total of 50.2km) 

Date & Time: 06/19/2013 - 5pm

 

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 #5

Location: Blackburn Arms (on my way home from work) 

Beer: Shock Top

Category:  #6 Macro Ride

Thoughts: Well, this is a citrusy wit.  I already wrote a review on this last year which you can find here .  I said it then, and I'll say it again: this is a great gateway wit.  It gets a little bold in the citrus and graininess, but not so much as it will offend the common beer drinker.

Distance: 5km (running total of 55.2km) 

Date & Time: 06/27/2013 - 4:30pm

 

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#6

Location: Home (purchased from LCBO on Blair on my day off, yes, I do spend a lot of time at this location, I'm pretty sure they know me by name by now.) 

Beer: Les Trois Mousquetairs Hopfenweisse

Category: #8 Go Exploring

Thoughts: A great wheat beer.  Zesty citrus notes (lemon and orange) with some banana mixed in. Smooth and creamy. 

Distance: 10.8km (running total of 66km)

Date & Time: 06/29/2013 - 6pm

 

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 #7

Location: Home (purchased from LCBO on Blair on my way home from work) 

Beer: Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale

Category: #2 Brew Local (I consider this local since it's brewed here in Ontario.) 

Thoughts: Excellent, smooth pale ale.  Highly sessionable.  One of my go-to summer beers (and any other season, really.)

Distance: 5.4km (running total of 71.4km) 

Date & Time: 07/02/2013 - 5pm

 

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 #8

Location: Blackburn Arms (on my way home from work) 

Beer: Alexander Keith's Cascade Hops Series

Category: #6 Macro Ride

Thoughts: Ehhh... better than a normal Keith's.  It's nice to see them make an attempt at getting bolder with their flavours.  Would this hold up against an IPA from any Ontario craft brewer?  Probably not.  Still, it was a hot day, and this hit the spot. 

Distance: 5km (running total of 76.4km)

Date & Time: 07/03/2013 - 4pm

 

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 #9

Location: Home (picked up at... you guessed it, LCBO on Blair.) 

Beer: Hogsback Brewing Company Vintage Lager

Category: #2 Brew Local

Thoughts: Another old favorite.  These boys took the business model of "brew one beer very well" and ran with it.  Sure, they have seasonals out regularly now, but they started off with this gem.  My overall thoughts?  Love.

Distance: 10.8km (running total of 87.2km) 

Date & Time: 07/06/2013 - 2pm

 

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 #10

Location: Home (same LCBO, heard about this beer and had to rush out to grab a bottle of it) 

Beer: Shawinigan Handshake by Trou du Diable

Category: #8 Go Exploring

Thoughts: Spicey (cloves,) herbal hops, sweet malts, light booziness.  Great, well-balanced beer.  The art-work alone makes it worth buying a bottle. 

Distance: 10.8km (running total of 98km) 

Date & Time: 07/07/2013 - 9pm

 

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#11

Location: Home (LCBO on Blair on my way home from work) 

Beer: Dominus Vobiscum Saison by Microbrasserie Charlevoix

Category: #9 'Tis the Saison

Thoughts: Floral, fruity (banana mostly) flavour.  Smooth, crisp, full-bodied.  Excellent saison. 

Distance: 5.4km (running total of 103.4km) 

Date & Time: 07/09/2013 - 5pm

 

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#12

Okay, this is where I had to cheat.  Time was running low, and I already had 2 entries in #1, #2, #6, #8 and #9, but I didn't realize this at the time.  My final entry is a Pale Ale and not an India Pale Ale.  I'm entering it anyway, hopefully the DCB boys will forgive me. 

Location: Home (you already know where I bought it...) 

Beer: Crazy Canuck by Great Lakes Brewery

Category: I'm creating a sub-category to #3, let's call it 3.5: Drink a Pale Ale that's not an IPA. 

Thoughts: Huge fan of this, I'll crush these all afternoon in the backyard.  This is definitely a "paint the house" kind of beer, ie sessionable.  Crisp, refreshing and flavourful. 

Distance: 5.4km (running total of 108.8km) 

Date & Time: 07/11/2013 - 6pm

 

 

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Final thoughts: This was a great challenge.  It made me realize there's not many places within a reasonable biking distance to try new craft beer in my area of town.  I was lucky to have an LCBO close to work that has a good craft beer section in their fridge.  I would definitely do this again, but one request DCB: more categories to choose from.

Thanks for reading friends. 

-James