I’ve been in the beer industry for a long time
and during that time I’ve drank my fair share of beer and have tried almost every style under the sun.
At first, it was a little intimidating; I’m not going to lie. Some styles are easy to figure out because we’ve seen them before and know what to expect, like your pilsners and stouts but things can quickly get more complex when you start mixing in some bourbon barrel ageing, bottle conditioning and dry hopping. Now what do you do? Start with what you know. I was chatting with a guy about the different beer styles we had been sampling while hosting the Old Toronto Beer Tour (www.beerloverstour.com) and he said;”I can’t tell you why I like a beer or don’t like a beer; but I know what I like”
That’s what I love about beer – you don’t need a PhD to be able to enjoy it; you don’t need to wear a jacket with leather elbows and talk about the esters you are picking up from the strain of yeast, all you need is your mouth…and sometimes a bottle opener.
Great, you’re thinking, I’m ready to explore some new beers – where should I start? Well, you’re in luck fair readers because I have just the event for the Dr. Livingston in all of you; Ontario Craft Beer Week June 16th – 23rd (www.ocbweek.ca). Each year OCB Week kicks off Father’s Day weekend and is put together by the Ontario Craft Brewers Association – a collection of some of Ontario’s finest breweries. Check out their events section for a list of great things happening right in your own backyard. I would start by attending one of their LCBO Beer Fairs (complete with free beer samples) where you’ll get to chat with some of the people from the brewery and learn more about the beers they are sampling. If you find something you like you can buy it on the spot.
Can’t wait? Here are some beers to get you going:
- I love lagers – try a Steam Whistle Pilsner.
- I’m an ale drinker – try a Mill Street Tankhouse Ale.
- I want a beer with some hops in it – try a Muskoka Mad Tom IPA or a Hops & Robbers from Double Trouble Brewing.
- Something a little fruity (but still beer) – try an Amsterdam Framboise.
Need some more recommendations? Fire me off a tweet! @chris__goddard