Beer Review: Railway City: Black Coal Stout

December 11th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

As we move closer and closer to the holiday season, and the stress of shopping, and preparing for meals over shadows the joy of time that we will get to spend together, we all need to sit back and relax.  One way to do so, is by having a refreshing beverage.  Now I do apologize for the lack of beer reviews there has been lately, like most distinguished writers, I too lose the passion for a while, and well I’m not distinguished, or really a writer…. I’m just someone who enjoys a beer once and a while, and for that I bring you, Railway City’s Black Coal Stout review.


For me personally, when the weather begins to get cold, as it is, and the snow starts to fall, which it has started, I move towards stouts again.  I find a nice stout just brings me to a nice warm feeling, like wrapping yourself up in a flannel blanket, or sitting by the fire drinking an apple cider, but instead of a cider, it is a stout.


If you google the word “Stout” it really does not mention beer, so that is a little bit of wasted time for you, and I apologize for that.  But now you are probably Googling Stout, so I’ll wait for you to finish, or you may not come back to the review, and get stuck in a spiral google search, or web as some call it.  But I digress.


Railway City Brewing Company, is based out of St. Thomas Ontario.  If you do not know where that is, well you can google it as well.  Google is pretty amazing sometimes!  Or another option is their website, which is below!


Snapshot from



Now for the bread and butter of this whole post and really the reason why you are still reading, the actual review of Black Coal Stout.

Now we should start with the appearance, and we can use the photo above, cause it is so much easier doing an appearance description when you have something to look at.  Now if only I had a laser pointer that I could not operate to show you what I’m talking about… So you will have to use your imagination on this one.  As you can tell, I was pretty distinguished drinking this beer, as it was poured into a glass.  Whether it was the proper glass for the beer I do not know, but still, glass is a glass.  As you can see when poured in the glass, there is a nice brown head, and the body is rich and dark.  The can itself, is a grey colour with some yellow on it, which makes it eye appealing.

Next would be the sniff test.  Like smelling a bouquet of flowers, you drop your nose to the beer and take a deep breath in.  Now I will give you a warning, don’t put your nose so close that you inhale beer, cause I assume it will burn.   Now the smells that I took in were, mainly a coffee, chocolate and smokey notes.  Now this will vary from person to person, depending on their nose.  The smokey chocolate and coffee notes go hand in hand with the stout.  It was a very pleasant aroma if I do say so myself.

For the piece de resistance, taste.  What can I say other than it was a very satisfying stout. There were many roasted hues, as well as pronounced coffee flavors.  It was I would say a medium bodied beer, with a very smooth creamy texture.  There was no sudden punch in the mouth flavors, which was perfect.  The Black Coal stout just left you very satisfied while drinking it, just a quite enjoyable beer.


Overall I would have to say the Black Coal Stout was one of my more favorite Stouts.  I’ve been around the block with stouts over the years, thanks in part to the group of friends and family I have.  I would recommend anyone who is a purveyor of stouts to go out and track this one down.


Overall Rating:  4.57 out of 5


Was the beer hoppy?  Nope not hoppy at all, just a smooth tasting stout.. As Homer Simpson would say, ” mmm beer “

Would you recommend the beer to a friend?  Oh 100%, anyone who fancies a stout should try this one. 

What day is international Stout Day?  November 8th…. yup there is a international stout day.  Google is fun sometimes.






Beer Review: Trestle Brewing Company: Golden Ale

September 6th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

As many of you out there may know, I enjoy beer, and well most of you reading this I would also assume enjoy beer.  We are in an age where there are so many new breweries popping up, and so many amazing new flavours to try, you start into a whirlwind of beers.  There are the IPA’s, APA’s, Pilsners, Golden Ales, Stouts and the list goes on and on and on.  Is this a bad list, not at all, because we as beer drinking folk and without beer we are normal folk.


One of these new up and coming breweries is based out of Parry Sound Ontario, Trestle Brewing Company.  You can check out their Facebook link below.

If you are not one of those Facebook type of folk and more of just the internet, which is on computers now.

Welcome to Trestle Brewing Company


Now if you are a person that doesn’t have the internet, well you wouldn’t be reading this in theory, but they have just recently broke ground on their brewery, so congratulations to them, it is really awesome to see another brewery starting up!


Well now we should get into some of the more important stuff, such as the beer itself cause really beer is what you are reading this for.

Trestle Brewing Company has released their Golden Ale, which as you can see by the below picture, is an Ale, and has the Golden colour to it.  If the colour was amber, I would assume it to be called an Amber Ale, but that is not the case, Golden it is and Golden it will stay.

Now typically a Golden Ale would also be referred to as a Blonde ale, which in turn has more of a Lager trait to it.  A crisp, clean, balance flavour.   Have I confused you yet.   How bout some examples of similar beers if that helps out.


Yeah I had to include Labatt 50, cause really who here has never had a Labatt 50.  My point exactly!


The Golden Ale by Trestle Brewing Company does hit all the flavour notes of a typically golden/blonde ale.  The beer itself had a crisp taste, there was not a tonnes of hops or after taste, which is what you would expect from a Golden Ale.  There was a full balance between the hops and malt, so you do not get a big kick from either over the taste profile.  There was good flavour, slight hint of malt and hops, but nothing that punches you in the face like an IPA or Session Ale.

As you can tell by the photo above, and now that I have said that you are looking at the photo above, the colour is Golden, but you also have a nice clean white head to the beer.  The head lasted for a few minutes after pouring.

Overall, I did really enjoy the Golden ale, it is a perfect Summer, apres ride or really whenever beer.



For anyone who is up in the Parry Sound area, pop in and check out Trestle Brewing company, follow them on Facebook, or their website to keep up to date on what is happening.

Like any new brewery, give them a try, you will find some amazing beers out there, if you just explore, and if you haven’t had Labatt 50, well need I say more.


Overall:  4.11 out of 5

Was the beer Hoppy:  Not overall hoppy, just a nice hop/malt tone

Would you recommend this to a friend:  Yup for sure I would, no doubt.

Would you buy a case of it:  As soon as it is on sale at the LCBO I will for sure.

Where Can I buy it at:





Beer Review – Alaskan Brewery Alt Style Amber

July 18th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews

Well I know I’ll probably get some slack over a beer review for something you cannot purchase here in Ontario, but I still have to review it, cause who knows when you are off to Alaska, or the North Western USA.  On our recent trip to Whitehorse, we did the Yukon-White Pass train ride to Skagway Alaska and stopped at a local pub for a pint.  The one that I tried was the Alt Style Amber from Alaskan Brewery.





In the grand scheme of things, the alt-style amber is not meant to be a hoppy beer, or anything like that, with an IBU rating of 18.  But there is a really solid flavor profile, which is more indicative to an Amber beer. With the aroma notes of Caramel and maltiness (dont think maltiness is a word) it lends itself to be a good overall pint.  As you can tell by the photo, you see the amber colour with a slight white head to it.


With respect to the flavour, it definitely hits the target of the Alt Style Beer.  There is a hops note, but nothing like you would get in an IPA, but there is something there for sure.  The beer had a medium body to it, which was nice for the day we were having in Skagway.  There was a bit of roasted malt in the taste profile so overall a really good beer profile.


At the end of the day, if you find an Alaskan brewery beer, pick it up and give it a shot, it is worth it for sure.


Rating:  4.11 out of 5


Would you buy this beer again:  yup for sure.

Would you recommend it to a friend:  yup again for sure.

Was the beer hoppy:  not too bad, slight hop note but overall good.

What is the capital of Alaska:  Juneau



Beer Review: Waterloo Amber

May 31st, 2017 by in Beer Reviews

Well I’m not sure what else to do on a lazy Tuesday morning but write a beer review.  Oh wait it is Wednesday… Well whatever day it actually is, that just means it is a good day for a beer review.  On this edition, if we want to call them editions now, is the Waterloo Amber.

photo courtesy of

Waterloo Amber is brewed by Waterloo Brewing

Check out their website for a details on the Amber.  I picked up a 12 pack from the Alliston Beer Store, which if you have not been in, the walk in cooler is perfect now!  Also if you dont have air conditioning in the summer, why not visit your local Beer store cooler and have a picnic or something.


Now to the meat and potatoes of the review, which would probably go good with the beer to be honest.

I personally didn’t pour the beer into a glass, mainly due to not having one readily available.

With respect to the taste, for an amber beer it was quite sweet and malty.  The sweetness from the sugars, caramel toffee and vanilla flavours.  There is also a malt flavour that you will notice.  Overall taste profile was really good start to finish.

The Amber does have a higher alcohol level at 6.8% which is a little more than typical ambers.


Overall the beer is really good, from start to finish.


Rating:  4.11 out of 5

Was the beer hoppy:  not overly hoppy, but good flavor profile.

Would you buy the beer again:  oh for sure, I bought 1 already.






Beer Review: Trailer Park Boys Freedom 35 Lager

May 19th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews

Yup, you read that right, Trailer Park Boys released a Beer!  In addition to the Liquormen’s ol dirty Canadian Whiskey, they have pushed into the craft beer market.  Now they are not actually brewing the beer themselves, so don’t worry about that.  Double Trouble Brewing is the folks behind Freedom 35 Lager.  You may also know them with respect to Hops and Robbers or Prison Break Breakout Pilsner.  So based on that you know Freedom 35 should be pretty good.

I was tempted to start using some of the Rickism’s from the show, like Water under the Fridge, and Denial and Error, but we will try and keep this review on the same high grade humor as reviews in the past.


I ended up finding this beer at the Orangeville LCBO, which was pretty sweet, a fantastic selection and at a great price.  You can only purchase Freedom 35 by the can, which again, not a bad thing, 473ml Can’s.  Freedom 35 Lager, well is a Lager first and foremost, with an ABV of 5%, so a nice refreshing summer beer.

Now to the meat and potatoes of the beer, taste etc.

For the taste, this falls right in line with typical Lagers, I personally would say better than most.  There are slight grainy notes, with a very tiny note of hops.  Nothing overpowering at all, just a crisp taste start to finish.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to fully expect, based on the can having Trailer Park Boys on it, but I was pleasantly surprised.


I didn’t pour the beer into a glass, or really do a full on sniff test, so sorry I can’t help you there.


Overall, I was happy with the purchase.  If you are in the mood for a lager, then check out Freedom 35 for sure.  That is, if you can find it.


Rating:  3.82 out of 5

Was the Beer Hoppy:  Not really hop orientated no.

Would you buy the beer again:  Yes for sure, without a doubt.

What is your favorite Rickism:  Where there’s smoke there’s wires






Beer Review: Lost Craft Crimzen Premium Red Ale

April 20th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel of winter, this turns us towards the warmer season of craft beer drinking.  With the new craft beers comes beer reviews, as they seem to go hand in hand.

This review is for Lost Craft Brewery Crimzen Premium Red Ale.



A short history on Lost Craft Brewery, based on their website.  Lost Craft is a Toronto Based craft beer company that focuses on brewing world class session style craft beer. We travel the globe to source beer styles from around the world to inspire our recipe development. We think global and drink local.


Now to the down and dirty of the review, the taste and all the other senses surrounding a beer that you may experience.

If you were so lucky to have a glass nearby and decided to have some class by pouring the beer into said glass, you would see a copper coloured beer infront of you.  The head on the beer was somewhat of a beige appearance.


As you drink the beer you will notice an array of flavours.  I had a mixture of grain, malt and a slight hit of bitterness, but overall very smooth.  There was a good amount of carbonation but no over powering flavours or hoppiness.  Overall a nice mouthful of beer for sure.


Overall, I found Crimzen to be a great red ale, pretty much what you would expect from a Red.  It has a simplistic overall flavour tone, which works out really well and I can see myself buying this beer again for sure.


Rating:  4.13 out of 5

Was the Beer hoppy:  Not really hoppy, more bitterness, but really good overall.

Would you buy the beer again:  For sure I would.

Why do you ask yourself questions at the end of the review:  Ummmmm… Next question.




Beer Review: Longslice Brewery Inc – Hopsta La Vista

February 14th, 2017 by in Beer Reviews

Well again it has been way too long since the last beer review, and I have some time so why not really.  For those new to team van go beer reviews, they really are very personal, and based on preference.  My best advice is to go out and try something different.  You may find something you like, or you may find something awful, but you will never know until you try it.  Once you find that perfect beer you will be hooked for sure.


This edition we are looking at Longslice Brewery Inc. Hopsta La Vista India Pale Ale.  Longslice Brewery Inc is based out of Toronto Ontario with currently 2 beers being brewed, the Hopsta La Vista, and the Loose Lips Lager, which should be reviewed at a later date.  If you want to take a read on Longslice, check out their website:



Now we move onto the main reason you are reading this… the beer!

As normal, we will look at the taste, appearance, and just overall goodness that is beer.

With the appearance, if you are classy enough to own a glass you can pour beer into you will see that the Hopsta La Vista pours with a dark golden colour.  Similar to a dark copper appearance.  You will also see a white head as well.


Now to the more important part of a beer and the part that will have the biggest impact on whether you will like it or not, which is the taste.  Now based on traditional IPA you would expect a good hit of hops, with an earthy flavouring.  The Hopsta la Vista beer doesn’t seem to go this route.  There is a slight hint of hop, but mainly the flavour you get is a malty and a caramel flavour.  So I would say this would be more on the mild side.  There is some very nice flavours to the beer for sure.


Overall the beer was pretty good.  It had a good taste to it, wasn’t as hoppy as expected, but overall at a nice cool temperature it went down very well.  Like mentioned earlier, go out and try some different beers.  You will find something you like for sure.


ABV:  6.5%


Rating:  3.87 out of 5

Would you buy this beer?  Yes I would.  Keep an eye out at your local LCBO and grab a can and give it a shot.

Was the beer hoppy?  Not really hoppy no, so if hops is not your thing, you may like this beer.

What is the translation of Hasta la Vista?  See you Later



Antigua Craft Beer Review– 2-SIX-8 Craft Brewery

February 3rd, 2017 by in Beer Reviews, Everything

Well good news! The craft brewery trend has expanded to an unexpected location-Antigua! We were lucky enough to have just down the road from where we are staying 2-SIX-8 Craft Brewery. Why 2-SIX-8?  It’s the area code!

A family run (Rory, Hanna, Vorn and up and coming brewer (and mountain biker extraordinaire), Archer (4 months old). Long story but they are from Antigua, England and Ontario!

They had several types of beer on tap, everything from Goat Farm Pale Ale, a Ginger Beer, an Antiguan Rattler and Frigit Amber Ale.  We will focus on the Amber Ale because that’s what we drank the most of!

So how was it? It had a cloudy unfiltered appearance and was very smooth going down. Med to low on the carbonation scale which was nice. Strong flavour…hard to describe so I will go with a sweet malty tasty beer flavour with a nice bitter finish.

All the beers we sampled were great and nice to have a change from the regular generic Island beer that up until to now, there wasn’t much variety.  If you are ever down here we highly recommend a stop off at this brewery for a sampling!


Would we recommend the brewery: absolutely! Cheers.


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