Schoune – L’Érabière


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ABV: 4.5%
SERVING: 341mL Bottle

While I was planning on brewing my homebrew maple ale, I saw this in the depanneur and I was enticed to give it a shot. There isn’t a whole lot of information on their website regarding the beer. Schoune is a very hands on brewery, their slogan being “De la terre à la bière”.

The website is a bit outdated with the description of the beer, listing their maple beer as a 5%ABV but my bottle was 4.5%.

Appearance:
This pours with a large frothy head that dissipates quickly. It is a kind of brown or amber colour in the light. It is very good looking beer that resembles maple syrup. There is a lot of carbonation bubbles pouring off the bottom of the glass. It is a bit cloudy as well.

Aroma:
This beer has a great aroma. There is a sweet and maple aroma mixed with a bit of sour lemon. A bit of a strange and unexpected aroma but it is inviting. No hops noted and it is very sugary.

Taste:
The taste is even more strange and unexpected. Right away you are hit with a lambic like sour flavour.The sourness is cut with a little sweetness but it is not sugary like candy. It has a slick feel in my mouth with lots of carbonation which washes away the flavours quickly. Not bitter at all and very dry and earthy at the end with some woody notes (most likely from the maple syrup). The sour sits on the tongue but doesn’t linger at the end. It is very light and refreshing all things considered.

Overall:
This is a very intriguing beer. What was expected was an overwhelmingly sweet maple ale that ended up being more sour like a lambic than anything else. Maybe I am drinking a bad or an old batch. Not sure as there is no date on the bottles. I definitely want to try this again just to make sure I wasn’t drinking an old or off batch. Otherwise, the beer is interesting and surprisingly nicely refreshing. The carbonation cuts the sourness nicely and it’s relatively light. However you can’t sit and down and drink too much of this without the sour taste getting to you. In fact, I find it hard to finish a full glass of this sometimes and with my 6-pack I think I ended up dumping the last few mouth fulls.

So I guess I’m torn. I would cautiously recommend this. If you’re interested in trying something unique then you should pick up a six pack. Otherwise you might want to stay away from it if the thought of a sour beer doesn’t sound good.


St-Ambroise Raspberry Ale Launch Tonight

McAuslan’s limited-edition Raspberry Ale is back just in time for summer. The beer will be available in select stores this week and the launch event will be at their terrace this afternoon at 5pm where the ruby red beer will be on tap.

St-Ambroise Framboise is ruby red in colour and brewed with real raspberries and choice hops. This 5% alcohol by volume beer won Silver at the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards.
“This is a refreshing summertime beer – emphasis on the word “beer”. We brew Raspberry Ale only once a year and when it’s gone, it’s gone” says Peter McAuslan, Founder and President of McAuslan Brewing. “Brewing specialty ales for our consumers’ enjoyment is important to us, and is our way of thanking those who enjoy our beers.”

A four-pack will cost you about $9.99 and it is worth it. This is a great refreshing summer beer. The balance between hops and raspberry is perfect in this beer and it is easily one of my favourite summer fruit beers. It is available at select stores and you can view the list at McAuslan.com. You can visit tonight, May 16th and 5pm behind McAuslan Brewing (5080 St-Ambroise, Montreal) on their terrace for the launch.

About McAuslan Brewing
Established in 1988, and located in St. Henri along the banks of the Lachine Canal, McAuslan’s year-round offerings include: St. Ambroise Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Apricot Wheat Ale, Cream Ale, and Griffon Extra Pale Ale and Red Ale. In June 2011, St-Ambroise Pale Ale and Griffon Extra Pale Ale were awarded the top place in their respective categories by consumer report magazine, Protegez-Vous.


Turn a Watermelon Into a Cocktail Keg.


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Here’s a great center price idea for your next summer BBQ. Using a draught Faucet and 5″ Shank Kit, you can turn a watermelon into a cocktail keg.

  • Cut the lid from the top of the watermelon.
  • Scoop out the fruit.
  • Drill a small hole near the bottom
  • Use a knife to widen the whole until it is slightly smaller than the keg shank.
  • Attach the shank.
  • Fill the melon with your favourite cocktail and enjoy
  • I would recommend creating some Watermelon Sours

  • Pureé 4 Cups of watermelon chunks.
  • Strain (You don’t want the pulp clogging the faucet).
  • Stir in 4oz Alizé Red Passion. (Peach Snaps can substitute).
  • 8 oz. Gin
  • 2 Cups sour mix.
  • Chill.
  • Add Sparking Rose before serving.
  • Garnish with lime.

  • Crosby Tears, The Taste of Defeat.


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    This sounds great. A Philadelphia bar and brewery called Nodding Head has created a beer in “honour” of Sidney Crosby. I hope it’s nice and bitter like the playoff series was.

    CROSBY TEARS – $6.50 tulip

    STRONG ALE (8.7%ABV)… WHINE-LIKE IN “HONOR” OF ITS NAMESAKE… ORANGE HUED LIKE THE TEAM THAT SENT HIM HOME FOR THE SUMMER… THE PERFECT COMPLEMENT TO A PLAYOFF RUN


    Brasserie Dunham – Wit Blanche Belge


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    ABV: 5.0% (Bottle)
    STYLE: Witbier

    I really enjoyed Dunham’s English IPA, so when I saw this in the grocery store I decided to pick it up. Aside from liking their other beer I am also really attracted to the labeling on their bottles. Very simple with the style of beer in big text. And yes, as specified on their website, the pink label is not a misprint.

    Notre blanche belge, ou Wit en flamand, est une bière de blé naturellement voilée. Rafraîchissante et légèrement épicée, elle offre des arômes de coriandre et d’écorce d’orange. Et non, ce n’est pas une erreur d’impression, l’étiquette est vraiment rose. Pour vrai.

    Appearance:
    It pours a hazy yellow straw colour, with a puff of yeast floating like smoke in the middle. It’s a bit clear and not very vibrant though. A one to two finger foamy white head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a bit of lacing around the edge of the glass. Hard to see the carbonation bubbles but there are there.

    Aroma:
    Very floral and spicy. Coriander and citrusy notes like lemon and orange. A bit yeasty and earthy. It has a very pleasant smell.

    Taste:
    Right away I can taste the spices, mostly clove and coriander. Through the middle the fruity esters hit the tongue with a big of lemon and orange. Body is a bit thin and watery and is missing wheat malts from the taste. Nothing spectacular until the nice zesty hop finish and aftertaste. Mostly Goldings hops in the taste come through for me.

    Overall:
    This is a bit thin for a witbier and not incredibly complex. However it hits the right notes for me with the hop finish. It’s not a go to and at the price it might be a bit expensive but this would be a great summer session beer. Unfortunately, not as good as Dunham’s English IPA which so far is my favourite from them.


    Brasserie Dunham – English IPA


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    ABV: 5% (Bottle)
    STYLE: English IPA

    I’ve had this brought to me a few times during tastings and I’ve really grown fond of it. Dunham IPA is a traditionally brewed English IPA with a nice malt backbone and subtle hops.

    Appearance:
    Pours hazy orange with a off white head. Very nice 2 finger head but unfortunately it dissipates quickly. Good amount of carbonation as the bubbles just float off the bottom of the glass.

    Aroma:

    This is a well rounded smell of malts and herbal hops. It’s not bursting with aroma hops but there even is a hint of citrus in there I think.

    Taste:

    Very bitter in the front and finish with a good balanced malt back bone. Sweet caramel malts and a bit of astringency in the middle. This then bites back with a nice bitter finish and after taste. I also tend to get a bit of a smokey after taste. It’s subtle but it is definitely there.

    Overall:

    This is a great tasting IPA and it is very drinkable. Nicely balanced as to not crush your taste buds with hops. I could probably easily put down a six pack of this without feeling any kind of fatigue. Not sure where that smokiness comes from or it is just me, but I kind of like it and feel it gives it a bit of a unique taste.

    I would definitely go back and have more of this any chance I get.


    5 Beers I Wish I Could Drink Right Now.


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    Here is a list of five beers I wish I could drink this week. Unfortunately a lot of these beers are limited or only available in the US.

    Anchorage Brewing – Galaxy White IPA
    Just hearing about this whets my whistle. Anchorage seems to be a homebrewers brewery with really extreme beers. This is a mix between a Whit beer and an IPA and is brewed with kumquats, Indian coriander and black peppercorns. Exploding with Galaxy hops at 50 IBU and 7% ABV. It’s soon going to be summer and boy would I like to crack open a bottle of this outside in the sun.

    Unibroue – Quelque Chose
    I’ve been coveting this since February. Unfortunately it is not brewed anymore and is extremely rare. Usually you can find it at a Unibroue sponsored restaurant or in the US. But this is a beer I would like to have in bottle. One for drinking and one for aging. Quelque Chose is a blend of a Belgian kriek and a brown ale brewed in Chambly with a sweet and tart cherry and spice flavour. It can also be imbibed warm or on ice.

    Dogfish Head – 90 Minute IPA
    Here’s one that I’ve had before but can’t really get to it since it’s available in the US. One of, if not my favourite IPAs. This beer introduced me to the world IPA and extreme craft brewing. Nothing very extreme about this as it’s a well balanced, bitter IPA without crushing you in hops.

    Samuel Adams – Brick Red
    Not sure if this beer really fits in with the rest of the types of beers above but I would love to drink it again. This Irish Red beer is only served on tap in Boston. So it’s incredibly rare and hard to get unless you live there. The last two years when I visited Boston I pretty much only drank Brick Red. It’s a good well balanced red beer. One of, if not my only favourite Red.

    Rogue – Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale
    Smoked Malt, hickory malt, maple flavouring and applewood-smoked bacon. SOLD! The beer that you wouldn’t feel bad about drinking for breakfast. I’m not exactly sure how good this beer actually is. I’ve heard mixed reviews. But I would try it out for the novelty of it. Only available at the brewery I think so I might never get the chance.


    Cerveceria Bucanero S.A. – Bucanero Fuerte


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    ABV: 5.4 (Can)
    STYLE: Adjunct Lager

    When you go on vacation to Cuba you really only get two choices of beer. Cristal and Bucanero Fuerte. Cristal seems to taste mostly of water while Bucanero has a bit more taste and bigger alcohol punch.

    Bucanero Fuerte gets its name from old legends of the pirates that roamed the Caribbean Sea. Considering that Bucanero Fuerte is one of the best hidden treasures of Cuban beer, this connection is fitting.

    Strong and full-flavored, Bucanero Fuerte is made from the most natural and freshest ingredients, with superior malt and is blended with just a touch of Cuba’s finest sugars.

    Appearance:
    This poors a golden yellow and is very clear. Cloudy head that dissipates very quickly but a nice half inch of lacing sticks around. Lots of carbonation bubbles flow from the bottom of the glass throughout drinking this beer.

    Aroma:
    Not much of an aroma. Mostly sweet from the sugars and a faint note of the earth hops. The hops smell a bit grassy.

    Taste:
    Above they describe the beer as blended with just a touch of Cuban sugar. Which I would argue is not the case. It tastes and feels like there is a lot of high fructose corn syrup in here. The beer is sweet with a bit of a hop finish and after taste and that’s about it. Funny enough, it feels a bit sticky on the lips. This needs to be served at 0°C and then it becomes crisp and manageable. My biggest complaint would be the high carbonation that really sits heavy in the stomach.

    Overall:
    It’s difficult to sit here while enjoying a glass of this and complain how it doesn’t compare to the great microbrews of Quebec. It doesn’t. Cuba isn’t known for it’s beer. Quite honestly when you go on vacation you won’t even have much of a choice. This is a mass produced lager for a hot country and I would drink this over a coors light any day if I had the choice.

    Just drinking this again brings back memories of my vacations to Cuba and everything involved. I drank this a lot there and I prefer it over the other choices. Besides, how can you say no to beer with a pirate on the label?