It’s summer as far as I’m concerned.

Some people claim that summer starts on the Victoria Day long weekend. Me, I say that summer is here as soon as I can 1) get the motorcycle out on the road and 2) sit on a patio and drink a beer without wearing 87 layers of wool. (Note: these two things do NOT happen at the same time; I have a very strict personal rule about alcohol and two wheels.)

The bike was uncovered and washed on April 10th, so that condition has been met.


My ’97 1100cc Yamaha Virago. Pretty, isn’t she?

This week I was able to meet Caroline (HoppyBeerWitch on Twitter and Instagram) for beer. We’d been trying to connect since we had met at the Ontario Brewing Awards gala and had bonded over our love of beer. The first patio we agreed to meet on was at Bar Volo on Monday to take advantage of their $5 pints. Alas, Caroline was unavoidably delayed, so I was left to taste the Session Saison by myself as I wrote and watched the people on Yonge Street.

session saison

Session Saison, a collaboration with Local 7 Bar

I did enjoy the Session Saison, although not as much as I expected to. I do like raspberries, a lot, and found that while the first few sips were lovely, the lemon verbena began to assert itself a bit to much by the halfway point. I do have a bottle in the fridge, so will have to see if it’s any different from the draft.

We tried again later in the week, and met on the patio at the Only. I was a bit early, so I grabbed a Rosee and Hibiscus from Dieu du Ciel  and again did some people-watching and writing while I waited.

rosee hibiscus

A little pink and a little tart.

The Rosee and Hibiscus was a bit light for the still-chilly day, and I made a mental note to order it again in the heat of summer. Caroline arrived and ordered a Summer Saison from Black Oak that she enjoyed, and I tried the Cousin Abbey’s Dubbel by Oast House next.

oast dubbel

Dubbel and Saison

Holy hades, was the dubbel ever delicious! Lots of rich molasses, caramel and dark fruit notes to please the taste buds, and a decent ABV to chase the rest of the chill away. Will definitely put that one on the Beer I Want To Drink Again list!

And there you have it. Both conditions are met: motorcycling and beer on a patio (again, NOT at the same time), so therefor it is summer.

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