The Only and The Roundhouse

Two beer fests in two days. I really do love my life right now.

The first was The Only Summer Beerfest on Friday. They do this four times a year, and the summer is timed to take place with the Taste of the Danforth. This was my first one, and I was pouring for St. Ambroise.

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My view of Friday night.

It seemed like a pretty quiet night, and I poured a bunch of Death Valley Belgian IPA (way better on draught than in bottles, IMHO) and Raspberry Ale. I had lots of great conversations with other folks working the festival, like Fabian of the Only, Erica from Black Oak, Andy from Oast, and Brian (I think that’s his name) from Pommies. Huge thanks to Jerry from Brimstone, who took my Twitter request seriously and brought me a bottle of their Nutmare On Elm Street!

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Fabian’s beer sticker collection.

The next day, I met Katherine and Michael to be on the other side of the jockey box for a few hours at the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival. It was well laid out, and there were more breweries there than I expected. However, a lot of it was same old same old, geared to APA and IPA fans with little that wasn’t available at the LCBo or Beer Store. And alas, not a lot of stouts of porters as a lot of folks don’t drink them in summer I guess. Highlights were the Russian Imperial Stout from Wellington, Bottle Imp from Beau’s and 12 Minutes to Destiny from Flying Monkeys. Lowlights were the two breweries who were pouring beer with some serious off-flavours; we encountered a stout with a diacetyl issue and a nut brown ale with really bad sour note.

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Nice marketing hook.
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I saw many good beer tshirts; this was my favourite.
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I love this picture for many reasons.

 

 

Because Beer

So glad I was able to check out the Because Beer Festival in Hamilton this weekend. Great beer, great food, great music, great location, great vibe…and that was just Friday!

Kudos to Brandi and the other organizers who made herding that many cats look easy, and thanks to Victor of Garden Brewers for letting me hang out and help.

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Garden Brewers tent, where even the jockey boxes support the brand.
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Brandi announcing the Homebrew Competition winners. I was not one of them, which just means I need to up my game.

 

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Finally got to try Flying Monkeys’ 12 Minutes to Destiny.

 

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Pier 4 is a great place to catch a sunset!

 

 

Day 303

Today was the first class of Filtration, Carbonation and Finishing class, hereafter to be known as FCF. It was a bit of a flail as the instructor, Curtis, is new and was working off of course slides from 2012. Most of the information covered was review from Bio and Chem from last semester, with the first two lessons being covered in about 2 hours. Six hours are allocated, as it's a compressed double class. Curtis has all kinds of experience in brewing and got his Masters at Heriot-Watt with Rob, so I'm sure he's knowledgeable and will get in a groove.

I hope.

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It was a costly day as I went for lunch with James to Iggy's in Fonthill. They had a Flying Monkeys tap takeover, and there were several interesting beers on tap although not it's usual wide selection. I had the Tart Knight, a dark sour, which was pretty tasty but a bit one-dimensional.

Later, I met more of my class at the Niagara Suppermarket for dinner. Lots of food trucks and a couple of breweries, wineries and cideries to choose from. I ended up selecting the Silversmith Black Lager again, and it went quite well with the chicken and waffles from El Gastronomo Vagabundo. Then home to dash off my online History assignment, arguing my case for why bottling and capping innovations were the most important beer-related invention of the industrial revolution. (Hint: portability, stability, streamlined produciton.

Day 78 – Wednesday Nov 19

Last few weeks have slipped past in a bit of a blur. Lots of work and mental reorganization while I see if it’s possible for me to handle the workload, work two jobs, spend time with my beloved and maybe possibly see friends. And I dunno, maybe do some knitting or read a book for fun.

The answer is, not really. Last weekend, I missed the Toronto Roller Derby End of Season party because of work, since the responsible adult part of my brain decided that eating next week was more desired than partying for one night. My inner 22-year-old is very disappointed in my inner adult.

I also did not spend Sunday with Keith as planned as I had an assignment in Comm due (see below) AND a test in Ingredients on Monday. We had a conversation about school and life, and agreed once more that the long term awesomeness is worth some short term sacrifices.

And learning some budgeting techniques. Holy crap, am I ever bad at budgeting. Well, let me correct that; I am amazing at creating a budget (currently on version 3), but am less that stellar at sticking to said budget. I am, as always, really good with spending.

Sigh.

Oh, speaking of Keith, look at what he made me:

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Custom made wort chiller

I had mentioned last weekend that I wanted to increase my home brew production, but know that 5 gallons is still a bit much considering the size of the apartment and my thirst. I’ve been looking at what I would need if I just doubled my production to a whopping 2 gallons. I think I’m good for everything except maybe a bigger carboy, and was looking at how much a wort chiller would cost that would fit in my 3 gallon stock pot. The price was enough to make rethink the ice-bath-in-the-sink method, and next thing I know I get the above picture by text with the caption, I made you a present.  I love it! Some girls like gifts of clothes and jewelry; I am not some girls.

Last night I was in the grips of one of those moods, and hit upon the best beer/food pairing ever. It evened out the hormone roller coaster quite nicely.

 

 

One can never have too much chocolate
One can never have too much chocolate

Oh, and here’s the Comm assignment – we had to create a set of instructions for a task, and made these beer journals since I was thinking about combining sewing with bookbinding somehow anyway. Now to tweak the prototypes into something a bit more sturdy and useful.

Tools & materials
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Process and final product