Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Fest for the Best

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Hamilton's Food & Drink Fest after winning tickets from my fellow social media junkie Zoe Social. What a treat it was!

There were different food, wine and, most importantly, beer vendors set up around the venue that you could get samples from. The hardest part was deciding which breweries I would give a shot. But I decided I would limit it to only ones that I hadn't tried before.

First up was Railway City Brewing to taste their Roundhaus Pilsner. It was nice, light, typical refreshing beer. If you're looking to add a new staple beer to your fridge, this is definitely an option.

Second stop was at the Big Rock Brewery booth to try their Lime Light Lager. Expecting the lime to overpower the beer, I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle lime blended in with the beer. Nice hint of it, but don't expect it to cover the beer taste.

The third station that caught my eye was Flying Monkey which was nice and colourful. They asked what type of beer I like and I said usually something lighter, and they had the perfect answer: Antigravity Light Ale. The name says it all, no? Light, not filling a definite 'belly-friendly' beer.

And the last stop for my testing train was in British Columbia. Well, a BC brewery anyways. Granville Island Brewing had two of their beers on tap, and after talking to the rep he said that the Robson St. Hefenweizen is his all-time favourite, though he did warn me it tastes better on a patio in Van City. I gave the beer a try and it was definitely a unique wheat beer. It didn't have the normal citrus taste that I am so accustomed to, but it was definitely enjoyable. It kind of left me at a loss for words on how to describe it so this one I will say you have to try to judge it for yourself.

Moral of the story is, festivals and shows are a good way to try a variety of beers and talk the reps from the companies to see what they recommend. And with summer on its way I'm sure there will be lots more festivals on the way.

The Lager Lady

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Carlsberg Clairesberg

Ah Carlsberg, one of my all-time favourites. I believe that this Carl character and I must have very similar taste. Although it has to be in the right context.

Carlsberg was my drink of choice when I was living in Dublin. I would go to my local pub, Fitzgeralds Bar, my bartender friends knew that it was going to be a pint of this delicious beer that I was ordering (though I kept them on their toes by ordering a Bulmers sometimes). Before I go on, I would like to note that this pub was right next to my work and going for a pint after work in Ireland is equivalent to the North American cup of coffee. And when you go to the same place all the time, the bartenders get to know who you are.

So after a year of enjoying this light and classic beer (this does have a beer taste for all of you still working on finding that perfect pint, but it's not too strong) I came home to realize that it is not as popular back home, and most importantly does not taste the same.

This is the first time that it really hit me that beer in the bottle tastes different from that in a tap. And beer in it's homeland will always taste better than when it is abroad. But the next time you're in Ireland, or Europe for that matter since it is a Danish beer, be sure to order a pint of Carlsberg and enjoy the bliss.

On that note, I will leave you with a video of one of their hilarious commercials:


The Lager Lady

Monday, March 12, 2012

Along Came a Cider

Little Miss Claire
Sat on her bar chair
Eating her fish and chips.
Along came the bartender
A cider he sent her
And she liked what hit her lips!

Okay, so it's more of an adult nursery rhyme but it sums up cider in my books.

I began drinking cider when I was living in Ireland, because Bulmers was always on tap in bars. Everywhere else in the world, the company calls their cider Magners. But do not be fooled, Bulmers and Magners are the same Irish company, I guess they just wanted Ireland to have something unique. They look the same, they taste the same (although I do find Bulmers a little better, but I think that is a mind over matter thing), the label is even the same.

Cider is a delicious alternative for beer, but still in the same family. Maybe cider is beer's cousin, or step-sister or something along those lines. It is an apple-base so it doesn't taste like beer, but is fruity instead.

Cider comes in other flavours beside original, which is usually apple, including pear and berry. I'm sure you could find others, but those three are the most common. With the different flavours, especially berry I've found, you lose even more of the similarities to beer.

Another plus to this drink is that it is not nearly as heavy or filling as beer is, which I think makes it a bit more refreshing as well.

Overall, ordering a cider is a way to fit in with the beer crowd and not have to drink a beer that you don't like! So next time you're at a bar and you see Magners on tap, give it a try to see if it is your ticket in to beer world.

The Lager Lady

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beergarita Senoritas

It seemed like it was time to try making a beer cocktail for the blog. I found a recipe for Beergaritas (margaritas with beer in them) online and thought they sounded delicious. After showing this fun recipe served in mason jars to my friend Kristin, who has a blog on mason jars, we decided this was the perfect recipe for us.

The recipe called for some light beer, tequilla, limeade and water. We went with Molson Canadian (a very basic Canadian beer) and used ice instead of water since we didn't have time to freeze them. We also chose to wing-it rather than reading the recipe, so we ran into a few snags while we were mixing these up.

We decided that we would just toss the ingredients into the blender, mix them together and pour them into mason jars. This was not our brightest idea since we didn't factor in that the beer would foam when we mixed it in the blender. It does. It overflowed. Do not fill the blender to the top if you're putting the beer in it.

Other than that, the only other issue was we didn't have time to freeze them. So plan ahead for these ones!

Overall, I really enjoyed the beergaritas, and the adventure we had making them. You couldn't really taste the beer, so if you like margaritas then this could be a way to introduce beer to your palate. Definitely a fun and festive drink to be enjoyed with friends.

The Lager Lady