Thursday, October 23, 2008

Officially back in the States

Our vacation to Toronto is officially over, as evidenced by the two of us showing up at our respective places of employment this morning. However this was preceded by a fine day of lying around the house, doing little if anything productive, yesterday.

You’ve heard Mag’s take on the trip (or at least the first part of it), so now it’s my turn. I have to echo his comments on how nice the Canadians are. Maybe it’s just the Toronto-ites, but I felt almost too much of a b&%*# even to be visiting. There’s probably a niceness test potential transplants have to take to be let in and I’m pretty sure I’d fail it. Still it was nice to see more people being helpful than I’m used to at home.

But enough of the nice and on to the beer. I’d have to give the Beer I Was Most Surprised I Enjoyed So Much award to Amsterdam’s Natural Blond Lager. Now before you go thinking I’ve lost my mind let me say that none of the lagers I tasted in Toronto had the nasty lager aftertaste and smell I’ve become accustomed to here. And for the blond part, for once it didn’t mean tasteless. This beer actually had quite a bit of flavor and good flavor.

The next award also has to go to Amsterdam, for the Beer I Most Regretted the Airline Nazis Prevented Me From Bringing Home. This would be for their Framboise, delicious raspberry nectar that I know our friends would have loved to have been able to try. It was sweet, but not overly so and at only 6.5% it’s not going to knock you over too quickly.

My final award, for Most Balanced Yet Flavorful Beer, goes to Great Lakes Brewing for their Peach & Pepper beer. Unfortunately for the general consumer, this has not yet made it to their line up. They only made 1 cask of it, especially for Volo’s Cask Beer Days. I didn’t know that at the time as Cask Days was before we visited Great Lakes but I was even happier upon hearing it that I had taken my opportunity when it came along. This beer, brewed with home grown peaches and jalapeno peppers, it exactly what it says it is and completely balanced. The peaches hit you first, followed by a hot, but not inferno hot, shot of jalapeno pepper.

There was plenty more to the trip than just the above so if you’re interested in hearing more, just ask next time we’re out drinking together. And if you’re considering a trip to Toronto yourself, do it!

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