IPAs in Ontario

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Manul
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Postby Manul » Fri Jul 20, 2001 6:54 am

I wanted to start this toppic after I sampled the Magnota IPA the other day. I think it is a decent representation of the style perhaps more inclined towards the British sort(Fuller). I know Josh rates it at **1/2 which seems quite accurate. Now, what I'm really interested in is if there is any other real IPA brewed in Ontario (by style, not by name). I'm not sure about the Granite IPA (rather pale ale). I know we can find the british Freeminer (in some LCBOs) which is a very good rendition of type, and I think that's about it.
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Postby Josh Oakes » Fri Jul 20, 2001 1:04 pm

I think they're all pretty much on the light side, aren't they? I don't mind Taylor & Bate's, but that's not super hoppy either. Your best bet might be Liberty Ale.

Until, and I stress that this is just an unconfirmed rumour at this point, word is Robinson is going to re-release Dragon's Breath at 69IBU's. And also an IPA release is reportedly in the works for next spring at the LCBO.

I don't consider myself to be all that well connected, so this stuff may be myth, but it's a start.

What is more concrete is that "Smokeless" Joe Sacco is working on bringing in HopDevil IPA from Victory in the near future. I'm sure either Cass or I will post whatever news we can on this when we get it.
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Postby A » Fri Jul 20, 2001 2:06 pm

I agree, The Anchor Liberty is your best (and really only) bet for a decent IPA. KLB Pale is good, but its not hoppy enough to be an IPA.

That Victory news is great ... Is that on tap or bottles? Now all we need is the Sierra Nevada Celebration and we're set...
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Fri Jul 20, 2001 2:21 pm

Yep, Smokeless Joe is in the process of contacting a number of U.S. microbreweries that conform to Ontario standards (i.e. alcohol labeling, etc.) to see if he can get in a shipment for the pub. Victory is on the list.
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Postby Publican » Fri Jul 20, 2001 9:11 pm

I think that Liberty Ale is the Hoppiest I.P.A in the Ontario market right now. I think that when a new beer is released the L.C.B.O. gives it a year to achieve acceptable sales levels and then decides whether to keep it on General list. While I don't know what they would consider acceptable sales I encourage all lovers of I.P.A to buy Liberty as much as you can
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Sat Jul 21, 2001 9:47 am

The LCBO has confirmed that there will be a Pale Ale themed release next year. There's the fall release in Sept., presumably a winter release in November, and the Stouts & Porters in on Jan. 14th.

However, there's also an Irish Ale theme release in the works, and it would make sense that it would come in March. So perhaps Pale after that, but hopefully not too deep into the year. Geez, that's a long time from now.
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Postby Cass » Sat Jul 21, 2001 9:49 am

One more thing...I know its not on the level of Liberty, but the Rebel House has Big Rock's Chinook Pale Ale as their guest tap. I don't think I had ever tried it on draught before, but I had a pint on Thurs. and it wasn't too bad.
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Postby Josh Oakes » Sat Jul 21, 2001 11:45 am

Chinook? Man was that a let down. I should have expected little, since it was from Big Rock, but the problem was that I love chinook hops, and was hoping for a big mouthful of them. nope, that's not what the name is about. Everybody should try all the different beers they can and make up their own mind, but you homebrewers out there, if you have Big Rock Chinook, just bear in mind that it is not named after the hop.
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Sat Jul 28, 2001 3:54 pm

As Cass can attest I've been really dissappointed with the selection of IPA available in Ontario since moving here from Vancouver last fall. What's especially frustrating is the number of beers that call themselves IPA but clearly aren't. Magnotta, Keith's and Dave's all fall into this category. As far as I'm concerned if the beer doesn't have a decidedly hoppy nose, aftertaste, alcohol content over 6% and an IBU of well over 40 it just ain't an IPA. While purests of the British IPA's may disagree when considering offerings like Trafalgar and Wells I would remind them that true IPA, as made in the 1800's, had qualities more like the varieties so common now on the West coast of the U.S. and Canada (and some brewers further east in the U.S.). Listing Liberty Ale at the LCBO is certainly a step in the right direction but oh how I wish Pike, Bridgeport, Pyramid, Tree, Nelson, Fish, or even Elysian IPA's were available here...for those that have never had them, any of the bunch would blow your mind. Still, I would love to see a local brewer start making a true IPA for this market. I've had discussions with F&M, Black Oak, McAuslan and Taylor and Bate about taking this step but everyone who was kind enough to reply to me stated they thought there wasn't enough of a market here for a an IPA over 40 IBU's. All I can say to those of you reading this post is that many voices speak louder than one. Write e-mails to the brewers themselves (most have websites) and express your interest and desire to see them make and commercially distribute IPA. While you are at it, contact the LCBO and bug them to import more IPA from North America in the meantime. Until they feel there's a market not much is going to change.

P.S. I never heard back from you Cass after I gave you that precious bottle of Pike IPA from Seattle. Didn't you like it?
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Postby Josh Oakes » Sat Jul 28, 2001 8:09 pm

Pike, Elysian, Bridgeport, Tree - I remember those. You can't imagine how good Bhagwans tasted when I got a pint at Big Time this past spring in Seattle. I was also impressed at how many BC brewers seemed to have stepped it up a notch since I left. The smoked porter from Mount Begbie, the range at Fat Cat in Nanaimo, Crannog, and Hophead IPA were all tasting good. Maybe I'll have to move back.

In the meantime, there is always Buffalo and his royal highness, the exhalted Alpha King.

But a question, if we are to pressure somebody for an IPA, who? My vote would be County Durham. Only real beer drinkers go for their stuff anyway, and their IPA tastes too much like their other beer.
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Manul
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Postby Manul » Sat Jul 28, 2001 9:22 pm

Is County Durham IPA available bottled in LCBO? I doubt it, cause I couldn't find it anywhere. Anyway, meanwhile I stocked up on Liberty. I hope this one will stay in Liquor Stores as a permanet release. Hopefully the fact that most of the Anchor Steam stock went pretty fast is good news for the Anchor products.
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Sun Jul 29, 2001 8:11 pm

Sorry about not getting back to you Jon - I did very much like the Pike IPA. Thanks again for giving me one of your treasured few. Obviously a beer that would be a welcome addition to Toronto. Now that the forum is up, we can pressure Esprit to bring it in (or at least a few cases for the Bartowel forum)

Obviously I don't have to tell all you guys that the short-term fix for good IPAs (among other tasty treats) will be Buffalo on the 1st of Sept. We should all hammer the U.S. breweries that they need to come to Ontario.

As for the Liberty Ale, I believe that it is (thankfully) a permanent release at the LCBO, as is the Steam. Let's hope more follow soon.

I'm surprised after reading about Durham in Beaumont's new Great Canadian Beer Guide that they don't do more unique beers. None of the partners quit they day jobs, and they just brew to have fun.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cass on 2001-07-29 21:21 ]</font>
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Postby esprit » Mon Jul 30, 2001 12:27 pm

For what it's worth, we (Esprit Agencies) were in touch with Pike just a few weeks ago and re-confirmed that they are not in a position to be able to supply the Ontario market at this time. If anyone is truly interested and you can rustle up an order of 5 cases or more in order to make it worthwhile, we could approach Pike about shipping up a Private Order.
FYI, the LCBO is planning on a Pale Ale promo for next spring/summer. Confirmed as purchases are Samuel Smith's India Ale, Brakspear Best Bitter and St. Peter's Best Bitter all from the UK and Rogue's great Brutal Bitter.
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Manul
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Postby Manul » Mon Jul 30, 2001 12:32 pm

Hi Esprit. Could we also get a price per case?
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Mon Jul 30, 2001 12:45 pm

FYI regarding Pike IPA...In the B.C. Liquor Stores a six pack of 355ml bottles of Pike IPA goes for $12.95...that's $51.80 per case of 24. If Esprit can do it for that (or cheaper!?!) I'm in for two cases. That might seem pricey to you guys but it really is worth it.

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