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Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:36 pm
by Quotashun
Blasphomet wrote:I need to get to Barncat pretty badly I guess. Wish more people would ship like Half Hours, but perhaps they are growlers only?


Yeah, primarily growlers with the occasional bottle available. Check https://barncatales.com

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 4:08 pm
by cratez
matt7215 wrote: top 10:
#1 Bellwoods
#2 Side Launch
#3 Left Field
#4 Tooth and Nail
#5 Sawdust
#6 Great Lakes
#7 Half Hours
#8 Folly
#9 Brasserie Etienne Brule
#10 Muddy York

Agree with Bellwoods, Great Lakes, and Half Hours being on the list for obvious reasons.

Nickel Brook is absolutely deserving of a mention (excellent, consistent lineup with an impressive breadth of styles, and their experimental / one-off beers usually range from good to great).

I've enjoyed almost every beer I've had from Sawdust and Left Field, so can't really argue with them being on there.

Side Launch, Tooth & Nail, and Folly are all respectable, above average breweries, but I don't consider them to be among the province's "best."

Burdock, Halo, Beerlab, and either Indie Ale House or Rainhard would round out my Top 10. Bench would get an honourable mention. I haven't had anything from Barncat, but from everything I've heard and read, it seems like they're one to watch.

The fact that I would struggle to name Ontario's "Top 10" off the top of my head (i.e. without first reading this list) is reflective of the fact that we still have a long way to go in this province in terms of quality, consistency, experimentation, etc. But things are definitely improving.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:28 pm
by Gedge
Left Field has definitely upped their game. Yes, the bombers are pricy (though they had that 4-pack of IPAs a while back for $20 that was a good deal). I live nearby and it's a nice spot to relax and sample what's new - and you can bring food and your kids. Very pleasant on a sunny day.

The Le Voisin collab with Godspeed was great, but (I think) said more about what we can expect from Godspeed than what Left Field is capable of brewing.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:26 pm
by seangm
Gedge wrote:Left Field has definitely upped their game. Yes, the bombers are pricy (though they had that 4-pack of IPAs a while back for $20 that was a good deal). I live nearby and it's a nice spot to relax and sample what's new - and you can bring food and your kids. Very pleasant on a sunny day.

The Le Voisin collab with Godspeed was great, but (I think) said more about what we can expect from Godspeed than what Left Field is capable of brewing.


They're dog friendly too, worth a few bonus points in my book. Definitely a great neighbourhood spot.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:56 pm
by GtownRandy
i would put in a vote for collective arts, most of what they make is highly rated and delicious

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:30 pm
by Blasphomet
GtownRandy wrote:i would put in a vote for collective arts, most of what they make is highly rated and delicious


I was just coming here to say that as it doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet.

Also Redline.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:35 pm
by Blasphomet
For me off the top my head my top ten in no particular order, (other than Bellwoods and HHoE 1, 2), at least from what I've been able to try would be:

Bellwoods
HHoE
Redline
Burdock
Indie Ale House
Collective Arts
Left Field
GLB
Muddy York
5 Paddles (local bias perhaps but it's hard not enjoy the variety and some of the stuff is excellent to me)


Honourable Mention:

Blood Brother's
Folly
Nickel Brook


I'm forgetting others I'm sure.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:38 pm
by Blasphomet
And at the mention of Burdock... anyone know if they fucking have branded glasses yet? I haven't been in a while.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:51 pm
by Blasphomet
So does anyone know about Burdock branded glasses? :wink:

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:17 pm
by Napalm Frog
As of my last visit last week, no they don't, and no word on when/if they'll get them. Even the candles, they just print out labels and tape them on.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:31 pm
by jeremyg
cratez wrote:
matt7215 wrote: top 10:
#1 Bellwoods
#2 Side Launch
#3 Left Field
#4 Tooth and Nail
#5 Sawdust
#6 Great Lakes
#7 Half Hours
#8 Folly
#9 Brasserie Etienne Brule
#10 Muddy York

Agree with Bellwoods, Great Lakes, and Half Hours being on the list for obvious reasons.

Nickel Brook is absolutely deserving of a mention (excellent, consistent lineup with an impressive breadth of styles, and their experimental / one-off beers usually range from good to great).

I've enjoyed almost every beer I've had from Sawdust and Left Field, so can't really argue with them being on there.

Side Launch, Tooth & Nail, and Folly are all respectable, above average breweries, but I don't consider them to be among the province's "best."

Burdock, Halo, Beerlab, and either Indie Ale House or Rainhard would round out my Top 10. Bench would get an honourable mention. I haven't had anything from Barncat, but from everything I've heard and read, it seems like they're one to watch.

The fact that I would struggle to name Ontario's "Top 10" off the top of my head (i.e. without first reading this list) is reflective of the fact that we still have a long way to go in this province in terms of quality, consistency, experimentation, etc. But things are definitely improving.


beerlab?

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 2:03 pm
by cratez
jeremyg wrote:beerlab?

Small contract brewery based in London and only available at Milos' Craft Beer Emporium. They excel at hoppy and sour beers, saisons, and stouts/porters. Everything I've had from them has been excellent. They're opening their own space later this year, at which point they'll likely have broader distribution and you'll probably hear more about them.

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 2:56 pm
by MatttthewGeorge
cratez wrote:
jeremyg wrote:beerlab?

Small contract brewery based in London and only available at Milos' Craft Beer Emporium. They excel at hoppy and sour beers, saisons, and stouts/porters. Everything I've had from them has been excellent. They're opening their own space later this year, at which point they'll likely have broader distribution and you'll probably hear more about them.


One of the best in the province for sure!

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 4:14 pm
by Blasphomet
Napalm Frog wrote:As of my last visit last week, no they don't, and no word on when/if they'll get them. Even the candles, they just print out labels and tape them on.


Thanks. When I first got there over a year ago I asked and the dude just said 'No, but we probably should".

Re: The Ontario Craft Beer Guide 2

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:46 pm
by saints_gambit
For those of you curious about the top ten list and how we arrive at it, it's fairly simple, but there are a few caveats that should probably be mentioned.

Essentially, this time around we revisited a number of breweries and retasted a lot of beers. The window in which we did that was July 2016 to December 2016. For those of you wondering about, for instance, Burdock, that time period may explain their lower ranking this year. They were going through a period during which personnel changes resulted in changes to the quality of the beer. Unfortunate for them, but an accurate reflection of the circumstance.

In terms of scoring for best breweries in Ontario, there are a couple of things you should know. Firstly, the score is an average of all the beers that we tasted for each brewery. Depending on the year and what breweries choose to put forward for their entry, that score changes. Secondly, we have intentionally excluded contract breweries from contention, which I am pretty sure everybody regards as fair. What might be viewed as slightly less equitable is that a brewery needs to have four beers in their entry to be considered. It's honestly sort of a difficult task to come up with rules for, but once we came up with them for the first edition, we stuck with them.

Initially we didn't want to include lists at all, but as the publishers rightly pointed out they do get people talking. Without the list, it's quite likely no one would talk about the book at all on Bartowel, for instance.

That said, I'm not sure the top ten breweries in the province is particularly useful information. A brewery like Barncat, if there had been another beer in their entry might have made the list. Some would have had their rankings on the list change if they had chosen different beers for their entry. Such a list is malleable and changed from the first edition to the second, and if you were to retaste everything on a monthly basis would probably change monthly. Essentially, you could probably intuitively name a top ten in Ontario list and in any given week you might be right. The top ten is not hard. The next 250 are the hard part.

What is more useful, possibly, is the list we did on our facebook page for the book. The most improved breweries in Ontario. It is probably also useful, or at least heartening to know that the average quality in the province is on an upswing year over year.