Tag Archives: Big Rock beer

Pulling apart an Oktoberfest ham hock @ Liberty Commons

Now, over in Germany, they actually celebrate Oktoberfest in September. But over at Liberty Commons, the funky Big Rock brewpub in Liberty Village, they’re serving up Oktoberfest specials right up until Halloween, like a proper pretzel, Canadian currywurst and a Bavarian corn dog — not to mention this oversized pork popsicle in Flavourtown, the Oktoberfest ham hock for two:

liberty_commons_oktoberfest_ham_hock (7)

Now, I don’t know why, but the taste of this pork reminded me of Swiss Chalet chicken. (Hey, it’s the other white meat, bro!) Skin was nice ‘n crispy, and the meat was pretty tender. Plus, you’ve got a whole army of sides like sauerkraut, fries, pickles, chicharones — fried crispy pork skin — and baked beans, bro!

liberty_commons_baked_beans (1)

Dude, even the baked beans have pork in them — cuz there ain’t no party like a pork hock party!!!!!!!

oktoberfest_ham_hock_aftermath (2)

Now, just so we’re clear, there ain’t no more meat here — what’s left on the bone are the fatty bits that you can’t even bite into. They might call this is a meal for two, but it’s just another light snack in Flavourtown, son!!!!!!

big_rock_german_lager (8)

Big Rock’s signature beer happens to be a kristallweizen, but at Liberty Commons, they’re serving up nanobrews that you probably can’t find anywhere else — like this German lager, which tastes a lot better than the two-dollar Lowenbrau tallboys I snuck into a Ramnstein concert in my lederhosen, bro!!!!!!!!!!

Happy hour is here with The Tragically Hip’s new beer!

Now, Big Rock has gotta be one of my favourite craft breweries. Dude, this is body by Big Rock, bro! So when I heard they were putting out the official beer of the Tragically Hip, Lake Fever Lager, I was all over that like a 50 mission cap!!!

lake_fever_lager (7)

Now, I gotta say, this beer is pretty basic. I mean, it’s got a little more character than Molson Canadian… actually, it kinda reminds me of Labatt 50, which isn’t actually a lager, but has a similar mouthfeel. Let’s just say it’s not one of those beers that you buy one or two to pair with some fancy cheese plate — more like something you’d shotgun a 24 by a bonfire at the cottage (and there’s nothing wrong with that at all). Know what it does go good with, though? Buffalo wings, bro!!!

lake_fever_lager+buffalo_wings (14)

Turns out these Pinty’s frozen Buffalo wings were like 7 bucks off at Metro, which makes for the perfect at-home Happy Hour special in Flavourtown! They came with two packets of Buffalo sauce, which was more than plenty — as you can see, these bad boys were super-saucy! And the sauce was on point, too. It’s been hard for me to find a really great Buffalo wing in town since they turned my former favourite wing joint into a Wild Wing’s, but I feel like Pinty’s really nailed it. They even came with some blue cheese dressing on the side, son!

lake_fever_little_bones (2)

Baby, eat this chicken slow — it’s full of all them little bones, bro!!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: I’m living on Chinese duck…

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Lai Wah Heen, the fancy Chinese place inside the Doubletree Hotel. It’s known as one of the top dim sum joints downtown, and they’re even serving up a real-deal, nine-course meal, but you can’t really do dim sum on a patio, bro — they don’t even do outdoor dining at all. But they do have a pretty extensive takeout menu, so before the DoorDash Premium Restaurant discount ran out (it ended yesterday), I figured I’d head on over for some grab-and-go stir-fried BBQ duckling:

stir_fried_duckling (12)

Now, the menu said this duck was BBQed, but you couldn’t really tell — the meat has the same texture as beef or chicken after it’s been cooked in the wok. You’ve also got a few veggies here, like carrot, onion and bell peppers, along with some ginger…but what makes it is the sticky rice.

lai_wah_heen_sticky_rice (7)

Sticky rice is definitely one of my favourite dim sum dishes, so when I saw it on the takeout menu, I knew I had to take some home. Instead of one big lotus leaf, they actually give you two smaller portions, each wrapped in a leaf, with pieces of pork, mushroom and sausage inside. It’s not quite the same as getting it off a dim sum cart, but until we move into Phase 6 or 7, or whenever they actually allow indoor dim sum dining, I can live with this for now. Patience, young grasshopper, eh?

big_rock_grasshopper (10)

Speaking of which, I used one of those funky “30% off orders of $50 or more” discounts from Uber Eats to pick up a buncha Big Rock beers straight from the brewery. So if you notice a lot more Big Rock in my future blog posts, that would be why. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Grasshopper, which was probably the first craft beer I’d ever had, back in the day… Who needs Bud Light when you can have Big Rock and sunshine, Darius Bro-ker???

20 BEERS BETTER THAN CORONA: 16. Alberta Genuine Draft

Are you running out of beer, but don’t want to leave your home due to social distancing? Here’s the solution you’ve been looking for! Last night, I ordered some beer online from Big Rock, one of Canada’s OG craft breweries, and they delivered it — for free — right to my door!!!

OK, so this is the part when I mention that free delivery is only available in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, and they only deliver twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays (in the GTA, anyways). I just happened to luck out by placing my order on a Tuesday night…

16. Alberta Genuine Draft

alberta_genuine_draft (9)

Man, the last time I had this beer, I was probably in Calgary! Sure, I couldda gone with one of their other beers, like Rhinestone Cowboy or Citradelic, or the Alberta staples Grasshopper and Traditional Ale…but those beers only come in four-packs. This here’s a 15-pack, bro!!!

And, at $27.75, it’s a lot cheaper than a dozen tallboys, too! Even after adding HST, cuz this ain’t The Beer Store, it’s still just over two bucks a can. Hey, it’s not Buck a Beer, but that still ain’t bad!

alberta_genuine_draft (14)

Cheers Lanny!!!

Why settle for a pancake burger when you can have a double pancake pork burger???

So, we’re hanging out at Lisa Marie, this funky fresh joint on Queen West. Now, we’ve been here before for some real-deal ribs at Winterlicious, and I also scarfed down some spaghetti and massive meatballs here on Toronto Beer Week…but I’ve heard that they’re really killing it for brunch — and they weren’t kidding — this place was packed, bro!

And lemme tell ya, their menu goes right after my bacon-loving heart. They’ve got steak ‘n eggs ‘n bacon, a peameal bacon sammy, and even something called the bacon explosion benedict — but when I saw the double pancake pork burger, I KNEW it was gonna be love at first bite!!!

double_pancake_pork_burger (9)

OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got two meaty pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese, served between three pancakes with a side of maple syrup. Now, I gotta say, this dish was super messy, even without the extra tree juice. The thin pancakes weren’t really designed to hold together that much meat, and everything was falling apart all over the place… But you KNOW I still ate this all with my hands, bro. Dude, eating a burger with a fork is like a five-year sentence in Flavourtown County Jail!!!

duck_fat_home_fries (4)

Of course, you can’t have a burger without fries, and these duck fat home fries were like Breakfast Fries Gone Wild! The potaters were hot ‘n crispy, straight from the fryer, with a good crust and a nice grainy mustard smeared on the plate. Not to mention these things are friggin’ huge — pretty sure I’ve seen ducks at High Park that were not as big as these babies!!!

lisa_marie_lemon_hopper (2)

Now, I don’t always drink beer for breakfast, but when I heard they were taking one of my all-time favourite brews, Big Rock Grasshopper, and mixing it with lemonade, well, I figured that pretty much counts as a fruit juice, right? This was actually quite refreshing, like a summer shandy wearing a toque or something… Too bad it was like -4 outside, bro!!!

Chowin’ down in East Chinatown @ AAA Bar

Now, you know there’s lotsa great BBQ joints all over this city, but I did not expect to find one in East Chinatown. So, we’re hanging out at AAA Bar at Gerrard and Broadview, right across from a Chinese grocery store. But there ain’t no chickity China, the Chinese chicken here, Barenaked Brodies! Instead, they’re serving up the classics like beef brisket, dry rub ribs, pulled pork…and even chicken and waffles!

aaa_beef_brisket (2)

But you know that right here on Triple B, we’re all about that beef. Their beef brisket was more au jus than Texas BBQ, mind you. Good thing it came with a slice of bread on the side–now where’s the beef dip?

aaa_bar_coleslaw (1)

This coleslaw was pretty Crunchasaurus Rex. They give you a big bowl of it for just four bucks, so I probably had at least 2-3 servings of veggies today…

aaa_smoked_sausage (8)

Now, the mac and cheese wasn’t exactly cheesetastic, but this Bomb.ca smoked sausage more than made up for it! You’ve got quite a bit of kick from the holla-atcha-penos, and then some oozy queso in every bite. It’s like the Tag Team Champions of Flavourtown Sausagefest!!!!

big_rock_traditional (4)

Of course, you can bet your bottom dollar there ain’t nobody drinking Bud Light at this backyard cookout. This place has actually got Alberta Genuine Draft on tap–that’s right, all the way out in Toronto–but we’re getting into the good stuff… Big Rock Traditional. This malty brown ale goes pretty darn good with some BBQ sausage, Stampede Broseph!!!!

Beer soup, beer dough, BBQ…and beer

So, we’re hanging out at Liberty Commons, this funky, modern, Big Rock brewpub in Liberty Village. Now for me, Big Rock is the official Battle of Alberta beer, so when I heard they were bringing a brewpub out east, I knew I had to come check it out! And since it’s Summerlicious, right now they’re serving up a three-course prix fixe menu for 28 bucks–and you can bet yer bottom dollar every dish has beer in it, bro!!!

beer_can_chicken_soup (7)

We’re starting off with this funky take on a comfort-food classic, beer can chicken noodle soup. This dish actually comes inside a topless can of Citradelic IPA, and they pour it into the bowl right in front of you. The massive, meaty chunks of chicken had some great flavours going on, but what really makes it is the beer broth–which, if you asks me, kinda tastes like Big Rock Traditional, albeit in soup form. You know I lapped up every last drop, dude!!!

big_rock_bbq_plate (2)

But of course, our main course was The Commoner’s Smoke Plate–beef brisket, ribs, coleslaw, tater salad and cornbread, with a side of Big Rock BBQ sauce. Now, this wasn’t the best BBQ I’ve had in Toronto–there can be only one Adamson’s, son! The brisket had a nice flavour and texture, but it was cold as Vanilla Ice and had some yuuuge chunks of fat in there. The ribs were really dry and tough, like someone left ’em in the smoker too long. You definitely needed to add some sauce. But still, even bad BBQ is better than a meatless meat sandwich, right bro?

big_rock_beervertails (4)

Now for dessert, they’re serving up these funky little beer balls called Beer-ver-tails. They deep-fry beer dough and top it with cinnamon sugar, served with a side of maple cream. The only way it could get any more Canadian was if they had Burton Cummings sing the national anthem before it hits your plate!!!!

Pounding back some Alberta brewskis at the Winter Craft Beer Fest!

Now, I don’t always drink beer outside in the snow, but when I heard that the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival was bringing six of Alberta’s best brewers to town for two days only, you know I was there with hiking boots on (cuz nobody wears flip-flops in the snow, bro)! You’ve got Big Rock, you’ve got Brewsters, and even a couple I’ve never heard of before…cuz I took a wrong turn somewhere in Moose Jaw and ended up in Toronto back in 2005. But man, this was like a trip down memory lane in Boozy Flavourtown, dude!


But unlike last summer, I wasn’t about to start drinking on an empty stomach. So I giddy on up’ed to Evviva, this funky little brunch spot on Lower Simcoe Street. It looks like a few other craft brew bros had the same idea, cuz the place was pretty packed by 10 am! But you don’t even hafta wait till lunchtime to order this honkey tonk redonkadonk sammish, son! They call it the Crown Burger, and it’s pretty much the King of Brunch. You’ve got a nice, thick, flame-grilled patty with crispy lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles, along with some prepare-to-party Havarti and a fried egg on top! I’m not sure if this counts as breakfast, lunch or dinner…but they close at 3 pm, so it’s probably not dinner, then.


Once I made it through the gate, I kicked off my beerventure with my old friends at Big Rock, who now have their very own brewpub in TO, bro! (Remind me to check that place out sometime soon.) They were serving up Grasshopper, an old Flavourtown favourite, but I decided to try something new, instead. They call this one Cashmere Crooner, which must make it the Rhinestone Cowboy‘s cousin, or something. A lighter, single-hop lager, it’s got a bit of a fruitiness to it, but can still belt out “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” like nobody’s business, bro!


Next, I hit up Grizzly Paw, this funky little brewery from cross-country ski country–coming straight outta Canmore, son! I went with their Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat Beer, which is kinda like Lakeport Honey Lager…if Lakeport actually tasted good!


Now, I remember hanging out at Brewsters Brewpub in Crowfoot Crossing back in the day. They used to have unlimited soda pop refills, and this killer dry-ice sundae for dessert! But one thing they weren’t serving up back then was this Hawaiian Coconut Porter. It’s like they put a coconut in the Guinness then they shake it all up!!!


Blindman Brewing is this little local brewery up in Lacombe serving up tallboys of some pretty righteous stuff, son! This here’s their Long Shadows IPA, which has a nice, hoppy, citrusy taste and packs an unexpected kick at 7.1 per cent!


Now, The Dandy Brewing Company definitely wins the prize for best beer name. They call this Une Vieille Maitresse, but while she may be old, she’s hardly a cruel mistress. A light, Belgian-style ale with just four per cent alcohol, I could probably pound seven of these and still finish reading Le Petit Prince!


And finally, we’re saving the fruitiest for last with the Aprikat, from Edmonton’s Alley Kat Brewing Company. They use natural apricot extract in this wheat beer to make it actually taste like apricots, bro! And apparently they use it to make Apricot Beer Waffles–gonna hafta get me some of those next time I’m in Deadmonton, son!


Now, you wouldn’t think I’ve still got room after pounding a buncha Alberta craft beers and a righteous, real-deal brunch burger, but you know I’ve always got room for pulled-pork pierogis! And there’s this saucy little joint on Dundas, just west of Dovercourt, that was doing ’em up right before your eyes! Because when haven’t you wished you could get some righteous BBQ inside a pillowy soft potato? I know I have, bro!


But of course, I left just a little bit of room for dessert. Can you say deep-fried cheesecake balls, bro? Even with the warm, cripsy coating, the cake inside stayed cool ‘n creamy. It’s like a Christmas Day miracle in Flavourtown, son!!!!

12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS: Big Rock Rhinestone Cowboy

For the eighth beer of Christmas, my Trudeau gave to me…


…Big Rock Rhinestone Cowboy!


To me, nothing says Alberta beer like Big Rock. I picked these up at The Beer Store a little while back when they were all outta Grasshopper, my usual Alberta brew. This German-style pale ale is light and fruity, and at only 4.6 per cent, it won’t knock yer boots off. Unfortunately, I only took a picture of the box…but what a beauty box, eh?


Now, it may be the only beer with a big maple leaf on it, but I’m not a really big drinker of Molson Canadian. The only three times I order Canadian are during the Olympics, the World Juniors and when I’m in Quebec, just to fuck with people. (You can’t actually buy Molson Canadian in Quebec.)

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when you’d find a lot of “Molson-only” bars in this city, about 5-6 years ago. But that all changed when craft beer started taking over–so, in honour of Toronto Beer Week, I’m counting down 10 beers I’d chug back before asking a bar for a Molson Canadian.

10. Coors Light


That’s right, I’ve even chug back The Breakfast of Glen Benton before drinking a Molson Canadian.

9. Canuck Pale Ale


This Great Lakes IPA is even more bitter than Vancouver fans after the Canucks choked away the Cup in 2011 and they set the town on fire. Poor, poor Canucks fans…

8. Thornbury Pickup Truck Pilsner


This Canadian craft beer is so country that Dallas Smith, the former frontman of Default who’s now a country singer, should probably have someone write him a song about it. (He’s also from Vancouver, BTW.)

7. Old Style Pilsner

old_style_pilsner (2)

Now that you can buy Pilsner in Ontario, I would shotgun 17 of these before I drank a drop of Molson Canadian. It’s officially my new shitty concert beer of choice.

6. Gopher Beer


This Big Rock beer was so popular that they don’t even brew it anymore. But I would still go back in time and drink it over Molson Canadian.

5. Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale


This one-off bacon brew was so gimmicky, it came in a pink bottle. But it actually tasted pretty good, unlike Molson Canadian.

4. Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA


Not only does it have a bitchin’ lumberjack jacket on the can, but this red IPA also contains 6.3 per cent alcohol. What’s Molson Canadian, like, 3.6%?

3. Brooklyn Pilsner

brooklyn_pilsner (1)

This bottle of beer is 30 seconds away from exploding all over my face…and I’d still drink it before Molson Canadian.

2. Molson Dry

molson_dry (1)

This is what they drink instead of Molson Canadian in Quebec. And it’s still better than Molson Canadian.

1. Steamwhistle


This is my favourite Toronto beer. I would drink it over anything else on this list…

…including Molson Canadian.