Have the opportunity to talk to so many people on the production side of the craft beer business–from the guys behind new breweries like Hogtown, Sawdust City, and Spearhead to Nathan Cameron from Prime Restaurants–has been a great pleasure. I think we've all gained an interesting perspective from that point when beer goes into the bottle. But, obviously, that wouldn't happen if there also weren't customers to pour it into a glass a drink it. As part of 30 Days of Ontario Beer we wanted to make sure we focused on craft beer drinkers as well so we gave three of them the same three beers and asked them for their thoughts.
First up is Jason Poynton, a friend of ours, one of Spotlight Toronto's film critics, and co-owner of Sweet Escape Patisserie in the Distillery District. Here's Jason in his own words:
What kind of craft beer drinker am I?
I have been a beer drinker since before it was legal, but that was mostly out of necessity as a teen with little money you could hold down a bar stool longer drinking beer than a mixed drink. However, even through my travels and greater access to a wider range of beers, beer has certainly been my comfort drink. I may enjoy a bottle of wine or sampling many a fine belts of scotch, but beer is to what I always return to. Now living next to a Beer Boutique a new world of beer has been opened to me, especially local craft beers.
Stonehammer Pilsner from F&M
This was the perfect beer to start off with especially after a long hot day at work. This pilsner is very light and clean with little to no after taste. It has a simple flavour profile however with little character which makes it difficult to be more specific.
Perfect for a hot day on a patio or at a BBQ as the nature of the beer would leave the palate clean for enjoying any number of summer dishes.
Boneshaker IPA from Amsterdam
First thing you notice is the beautiful amber colour of this beer, with the second being how much fruit you get with the slightest whiff. The initial taste is apricot followed by the hops that define a classic IPA. My one critique would be that you are left with a fairly strong acidic aftertaste, but I find that quickly remedied by drinking more of the beer.
The strong flavours in this beer would make it hard to pair with food as they would overwhelm pretty much anything else you were consuming so I would recommended this as a perfect late evening beer to sip while sitting around and talking with good friends.
Curmudgeon Pale Ale from Grand River
This is a beer you can judge by the label as the label and the beer are a bit amateurish; at least it comes in a big bottle. On the nose the beer is actually quite pleasant with the wonderful scent of stone fruit, however then you notice the cloudy amber colour and then of course you take your first sip. The beer actually tastes cloudy as it seems to be somewhat underdeveloped as one sip can be watery and the next be overly hoppy.
I would only recommend drinking this beer at the end of the night when you are already plenty drunk and not overly picky.
What's new at the Sweet Escape Patisserie?
This summer may just be one of the hottest on record so we have been attempting to break new ground in our Ice Cream development. We now offer 15 unique flavours everyday that are made right in store. Some of the highlights this year have been our Coffee Porter Beer Ice Cream made from Mill Street Coffee Porter we secure from right across the street, Lime Margarita made of course with real Tequila, blood orange sorbet, Roasted Pineapple and Crème Brulee. Also new this year is our Ice Cream Sandwiches made on our very popular and in house made cookies filled with a wide variety of ice creams. Our selection is always rotating so stop in often and/or follow us on Twitter @sweetescapes to get all the updates.