So, we’re hanging out at Squirly’s Bar & Grill, this funky little dive on Queen Street West. Man, this place was playing punk bands on the stereo I’ve never even heard of, bro! And you gotta get there early, cuz from 4 to 7 pm you can get a pint of beer and a plate of nachos for just 10 bucks!
Now, despite what it says on the glass, this beer is NOT from Great Lakes Brewery. This is Stratford Pilsner, straight outta the home of Justin Bieber. I will never say never to another one of these brewskis, bro!!!
So, now we’re going nachos. These tri-color chips are topped with cheese, green onions, tomatoes…and green olives, for some reason. OK, so they’re not the best nachos I’ve ever had. Probably not even in my Top 10. But did I mention that all this, plus any pint of craft beer, is just 10 bucks until 7 pm? That’s a Honky-Tonk Redonkadonk Happy Hour Hoedown in Flavourtown, Dean Bro-dy!!!!
So, now that it’s after 7, we’re sa-sa-switchin to Side Launch Wheat, son! This light, slightly citrusy local craft beer tastes like gold to me–even in a Woodhouse Brewing glass…
Now, you may not know this about me, but I like to drink beer while I watch hockey. And I try to match certain beers with certain NHL teams. So when the Vegas Golden Knights joined the league, I needed to find a new brew to slam down when somebody scores a natural hat trick in the second period to beat the Flames…and I think I found it, courtesy of Sweetgrass Brewing Co.
Not to be confused with the company that makes beer from artificially filtered marijuana, this local Ontario craft brewery is serving up ales, stouts and maple butter tart beer(!) from its spot on the Danforth. But their signature is the Golden Ale. Described as the “perfect food pairing beer,” it also pairs with shutout losses and bitter disappointment. Hey, if you’re too cool to drink Molson Canadian, this would be a pretty good replacement beer.
Now, for me, March Madness means nothing but basketball all weekend every weekend, bro! And you know I’ve got Gonzaga going all the way this year. I’ve been a big Gonzaga fan ever since Adam Morrison cried like a real man on national TV. (I might even have shed a few tears myself.)
Now, here’s the deal. When I fill out my bracket, I don’t always get everything right. So I like to play a little drinking game–whenever I cross a team off my bracket, I crack a cold one. Which means, sometimes, I’m Stone Cold Steve Austin sober by the Sweet 16, and other years I’m puking like Gerardo eating good ol’ fashioned Spanish cooking. (You KNOW I’m Rico Suave, bro!)
So, if I’m cracking a beer each time one of my teams bites the dust, I ain’t gonna be pounding Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale–that stuff’s got 7.5% alcohol, son! Instead, I go with a cheap, light, shitty brew. Keystone Light: It Tastes Awful, But It Works!TM
TMBuckley’s Cough Mixture
For the 12th beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…
…Beau’s Tom Green Beer!
It may say Royal City on the glass, but this one is brewed by Beau’s, bro! (Blame it on The Only Cafe…) This rich ‘n milky stout actually has Canada’s funniest comedian’s face on the bottle, and I’m sure it goes great with sausages…but I wouldn’t know, because I had it with a back bacon sandwich. (Again, it’s all The Only Cafe’s fault!)
On the plus side, The Only Cafe lets you bring your own food, so next time, Imma slam one of these babies down with a foot-high Subway sammich!
(I might need just a little more lettuce, though…)
For the 11th beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…
…Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale
This magical, mystical brew was only available for a limited time…back in the summer of 2012. I still remember the excitement when the clerk at the LCBO brought out a pink bottle especially for me–and when I finally cracked it open, I was blown away.
You’ve got enough maple flavour here to simmer down a sugar shack in Quebec, with just a hint of smoky bacon goodness. And lemme tell ya, it goes great with bacon poutine topped with Hickory Sticks. Just trust me on that one, son!
For the 10th beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…
…Sam Adams Cinder Blonde Gratzer
Sam Adams is kinda like the George Washington of craft beers–y’know, the founding father of the whole shebang. So, back on Toronto Beer Week, when Sammy was throwing an open-bar party, you know I was gonna be there with flip-flops on, son!
Now, they did have a fish-taco table and a mac ‘n cheese station, but the main reason I went was to try a buncha different brews, bro. The only Sam Adams beer you can find in Toronto is the Boston Lager, which ain’t bad, but it’s really just scratching the surface. At this event, they brought out a handful of other beers I had never even heard of, including this beauty, the Cinder Blonde Gratzer.
Now, lemme tell ya, this beer was something else. It’s pretty light on the booze (4.4%) and the bitterness (14 IBU), but more than makes up for it with the smokiness. I think they actually use actual cinder blocks in the brewing process, cuz this brew tastes like a fireplace…in the best way possible. I betcha it would go great with some righteous barbecue–maybe some Cleveland-style lamb ribs?
For the ninth beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…
…Arch Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA
I dare you to find me a more hoser beer, bro! Brewed by Arch up in Newmarket, the Dinner Jacket is pretty much their signature beer–you’ll find it all over their website. And this ain’t yer grandpappy’s IPA, either, coming in strong at 6.3% with plenty of hops to go around.
You can find this one at a few local LCBO’s, but it’s kind of a funny story how I first heard about it. Y’see, back when the Ottawa REDBLACKS first joined the CFL, I asked the internet which beer I should be drinking whenever they lose to the Stamps. Somebody came up with this one, and it makes perfect sense. Not only does it have the team’s colours, but football fans in Ottawa like to roleplay as lumberjacks, so while they may not wear flannel to dinner, they definitely wear it to the games.
And yes, I’m even more bitter than a strong red IPA that the Stamps blew the Grey Cup in overtime to Ottawa this year!!!