I just set foot in my Munich apartment and I'm ready to sober up. After a week and a half in eastern Ontario, my hangover is reminding me of the 37 plus new beers I have tried. Two weddings, two dirty 30s, a retirement party and a bachelor party will do that to ya'.
Upon my first trip to the LCBO just outside Ottawa, I filled my cart with nothing but local stuff, a Mill Street mixer pack, an 8$ Beau's Patio Season, a couple of Amsterdam (ON) tall boys, a Cassel (finally bottled) Golden Rail and a pair of Great Lakes Brews from Toronto.
I'm surprised that Mill Street still doesn't offer a "discovery pack" type sixer with only seasonal or new brews, I'm not complaining about the tankhouse, stock, wit or organic included in the current 6 pack but I bet a lot of people would pay a little more for 6 brews they've never tasted. Just like the BC craft beer sampler pack I found containing one beer from six different craft breweries out west, that's variety!
I was stoked to try anything new by Beau's they are my favorite people/brewers right now and even though their seasonal beers are normally priced around 8$ they are usually worth it. The Patio Season confirmed my previous statement but I went nuts over the nicely wrapped Ashnan Wheat Wine Aged in chardonnay barrels (9.8%). For wine and beer lovers this is the one, if a tasty smooth white wine had a baby with a full bodied german style wheat beer the Ashnan would be the result. I had to try the Gilgamesh Old Ale aged in rum barrels even though rum barrel aged beer is not really my type and Beau's came through with a well balanced strong dark yet sweet almost dessert type beer. At 8.9% it's definitely a knockout.
Another local was Cassel Brewery's Golden Rail, growing up 20 minutes away from the town of Casselman, Ontario we were all stoked to hear about a brewery opening in this mostly french community, our language, our region, our beer. The first few versions I tried were in growlers or from the tap at beer festivals over the past two years and the consistency just wasn't there. The Caboose IPA was the one that stood out for me and in my opinion should've been the flagship beer for Cassel Brewery. The current flagship beer is the Golden Rail Honey Brown and the crowd seems to be happy when they managed to find it in store. It's a great start and I wish them all the best in the future.