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Laying in bed this morning trying to Jedi mind trick myself into getting up, I heard the coolest thing. Apparently Iron Maiden has just released their own beer! Called Trooper – after one of their songs. It is a British cask and bottle ale from Robinsons Brewery. For more info check here. Iron Maiden happens to be one of my best friends favourite bands… so I’m pretty sure I know what she is getting for her birthday. Or Christmas depending on how long it takes for us to get it in at the LCBO.
But they aren’t the only classic rockers who are getting their own brew. AC/DC is combining German beer and Australian hard rock.
Make up loving KISS has a German beer as well called Destroyer.
And out of Michigan, Kid Rock has his American Bad Ass Beer.
I think it’s pretty cool. Not that we need every rock band lining up to have their own beer. But if the market has room for just one more rock/beer combination I would like to see what David Bowie would come up with. The name alone would be worth purchase.
What about you? What rock/beer combination would you like to see?
I’m calling it a mini review because I gave into my crap food side once again and had just eaten two IKEA hot dogs when I arrived at Big Rig. I know, I know… but seriously 2 hot dogs and a drink for $2!?!? What? Anyway…
That only left room in me for beer! But I did get a sneak peak at what others were eating.
Don’t let the name fool you… the sign is actually regular size. Kinda big, I guess.
Big Rig is located on 2750 Iris street – as you imagined near IKEA. It reminds me of a cross between Mill Street and Clocktower Brew Pub. The style and almost ‘borderline chain restaurant’ feel of Mill Street but the beers put me in mind of Clocktower.
I, of course, had to try a sampling of the beers! I checked out Big Rig’s Gold, Red, Brown and Stout. I gotta say – the stout wasn’t my bag (even though I’m a big fan of dark beers)… just a little too bitter and coffee like for my taste. The Gold was refreshing and awesome and the Red was my favourite. The brown was tasty, a bit nutty but also a bit bitter. Good, but not what I was craving that day.
The Red and the Gold were in a ‘DRINK ME!!’ competition
The food was your basic up scale pub fare. Prices were on point – hitting between $11 and $23 for the mains. I did find that the upgrade price of $2.50 for onion rings over french fries was a bit much – especially since my friend who took this option got about 1/2 the amount of rings vs. fries. But that’s just a personal pet peeve of mine.
I can say for sure that I’ll be back for a pint next time I’m in the area – maybe I’ll even go there first so that I’m not full of cheap hot dogs!
4 out of 5 stars
Well the results are in… and though it was decided that all the beers were truly delicious and worthy of all kinds of praise. There was one clear winner.
Hold on to your socks.
The winner is – Broadhead’s Long Shot White! A truly tasty and amazing local beer. I suggest you go get yourself a pint and celebrate! As described by the brewers, “Broadhead’s Long Shot White is a fresh, fruit-flavoured wheat ale that’s brewed to be hazy and brazen. A spirited, sweet and slightly spicy beer that perfectly mingles coriander with orange overtones, kicking back with a Long Shot is a welcome, flavourful friend.”
Cross another one off the Bucket List!
There has been quite the chatter about this opening lately, and with good reason! Brother’s Beer Bistro (366 Dalhousie Street), is for the beer lover in you. Not only do they have a wide variety of beers – including Dieu Du Ciel’s Rosee D’Hibiscus, Spearhead’s Hawaiian Pale Ale, Wellington County’s Dark Ale among local, seasonal and many other selections – but beer is in everything they do!
All food is made with beer including their Brother’s Beer Burger, Steak Frites (which has a beer brined steak), pierogies, fried chicken and the list goes on.
Each of their dishes offers a suggested beer pairing. Charred BC Octopus?? Try Muskoka’s Mad Tom I.P.A.
They even make cocktails with beer! The Brother’s Summer Punch features gin, basil, hopped grapefruit, OJ, and Rosee D’Hibiscus.
If you are looking for a new place to discover some amazing beers while having a tasty meal, you need to check out Brother’s Beer Bistro! I can’t wait to go back for a full meal.
The poll has closed – thank you so much to all who have voted. Here are the top 5 beers that I will be featuring in a blind taste test for the title of Ottawa’s Best Beer!
In order of their votes:
5. Kichesippi Natural Blonde – 787 votes
4. Broadhead Long Shot White – 826 votes
3. Broadhead Gignerstone Amber – 854 votes
2. Mill Street Ambre de la Chaudiere – 896 votes
1. Broadhead Underdog Pale Ale – 1049 votes
May the best brew win!
Ok all – so it’s time to get serious about finding Ottawa’s best brew. I’m keeping it strictly Ottawa this time and going to let popular opinion shape the vote. The top 5 votes cast here by the end of the week will participate in a blind taste test with me and several others. I’ll then be crowning a winner. Is it scientific… no. Is it tasty. Hells yeah.
So what do I need from you?? Just click your favorite beers below. You can vote as often as you wish and for as many of the options as you like. It would also be great if you could spread the word. The more Ottawa opinions I capture the better chance this has of being actually true! Thanks for helping!
One of the items on my bucket list was to find Ottawa’s Best…. something. I started out by attempting to find Ottawa’s best taco. That’s when I a) realized how many places do tacos in Ottawa; b) couldn’t decide on what qualified as ‘the best’ when it came to tacos, I had an amazing fusion taco, a fantabulous authentic taco and some great value meals… what was ‘the best’?? and c) saw another post about Ottawa’s best taco thus squashing my enthusiasm for the project.
So I picked myself up and dusted myself off and set out in search of Ottawa’s best brew. I sampled many but decided to compare apples to apples if at all possible and focus my search to Ale’s. Otherwise we’d be here a while as I tried beer after beer… hmmm…. maybe I should have gone ahead with that.
Anyway… I narrowed it down to three on my own and set up a blind taste test to get the opinions of my friends. Sampling a selection from Beaus, Kichisippi and Mill Street, the winner was…
The Millstreet Tankhouse Ale. They loved the flavour! That’s not to say they didn’t love all the other beers too… but when push comes to shove and they were forced to choose this is what the ‘panel’ came up with. As my friend Shaun pointed out, weather might have influenced some votes. It was a cooler night and that might have had some going for a bolder flavoured beer. If I had this taste test in the middle of summer a lighter ale might have fared better. I think we should try this again this summer… in the name of science.
What do you think?? What is your favorite local brew?
*** Updated ***
Ok… one of my readers got me on a wording technicality and Jeff, you are so totally right. He pointed out that Ottawa has dozens of great beers and beer styles so really this is Ottawa’s Best ALE. Not brew, beer or anything else. He also pointed out that Tankhouse isn’t brewed in Ottawa. But I decided that with the Ottawa Brew Pub in town I will let it slide and welcome all Mill Street products into our big happy Ottawa beer family. At least for this taste test.
I should also point out that this is just the opinion of a handful no need to get panties in a knot. Though I’m sure to one day have my own award show for great food and drink in Ottawa… that day is not yet here. But rest assured that when I do they will be based on personal preference as well… because hell… that’s what I’m all about.
*** Updated x2***
Alright kids, while I still totally stand by the results of my blind taste test. It really isn’t fair to the other beers. Tankhouse is really more of a Toronto expat so I can’t really call it Ottawa’s best anything. Sigh… guess I’m just going to have to try this again in a do over! But this time I’m going to do it right. A little more research BEFORE I start drinking the beers and writing posts. This calls for: ANOTHER TASTE TEST. Hmmm… was this all a part of my scheme to drink more beer?? No. I don’t plan that far ahead.
I may just be getting the hang of this ‘professionalism’ thing. Not likely.
Ok. So here is where I need your help. I can’t drink every Ottawa beer. I mean… I say I can but my doctor disagrees. Pfft. So what I need are suggestions on which Ottawa beer’s to try. Any style. Go nuts. What should I drink?? I’ll get a few people together, we’ll sample and get back to you with the results in a post I’m calling for the time being “Ottawa’s Best Brew 2: Electric Boogaloo”. Top 5 suggestions will be part of my second blind taste test.
Man alive! There is nothing Ottawa likes better than a pub. Unless it’s a pub that is brewing its own beer and serving up some pretty decent food. Though we will also take a pub that sells regular beer and the only food is potato chips but you are allowed to bring in your own meal from the burger place next door.
Mill Street Brew Pub is one of the newest shiny additions to the Ottawa Pub scene. I checked it out the other night with some friends and I dare say I’m a fan. It’s a pretty big place, nicely decorated but no need to get too gussied up. We went in our after work attire – read jeans and t-shirt/sweater and fit right in. They’ve got TV’s to watch the game, but they are easy enough to ignore if that’s not why you are there.
Flavourful and succulent, it may not be the best taco in Ottawa but it makes a good companion to my beer!
And why would you go?? The food is pretty decent. I took advantage of a great Monday deal that saw your choice of one of five appetizers for $5 (after 8pm) to try the Carnitas, sweet potato fries and calamari. The regular menu is good. Upscale bar food – think Clocktower Brew Pub. A good variety and average prices. Appetizers between $6-$18 (if you aren’t there on Monday) and most mains hover around the $13-$16 range. The food is good – but it’s the price, quantity, quality and variety that I can find in most pubs in Ottawa. What makes this place special is the beer.
The real star of the Mill Street show… beer. They have a store on site, so if you aren’t interested in sitting down for a pint, or just want a keepsake, you can take some to go. They have three varieties that they only make and serve at this Ottawa location including a lovely little Irish Red Ale. They also serve several varieties not found in the LCBO.
Can’t decide what to try? Not to worry – 6oz and 8oz beer flights are available so that you can try up to 4 different kinds at a time.
All in all, the Mill St. Brew Pub makes a wonderful addition to our collection of pubs and I look forward to my next visit! 4 out of 5 stars.
Festival season is starting up here in Ottawa and one of the biggest, Bluesfest, is making a major change to the way we buy beer. Yes, Millstreet will still be the official beer supplier, but now you will no longer be paying cash at the register.
Bluesfest is moving to a cash-free bracelet system this year. Think a loadable gift card that you wear.
When you are ID’d for the first time, you’ll be given a bracelet that you can then add money to. Great for those of us who don’t usually carry cash and have always wanted to pay for our beer purchases via debit or credit, though as far as I know cash will still be taken to load up the bracelet.
This can be a bit annoying if you only plan to check out one or two shows, but overall I think it’s a pretty good change.
I’m hoping that after the festival any money still on your bracelet will be returned, because who wants to hold on to a bracelet until next year?? But I haven’t heard how they are planning to deal with this.
What do you think?
Just a few words on this wordless Wednesday. This was my first year at Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek hill and I have to say I was so impressed. Of course the food was amazing, and the beer just fab but the volunteers and planning of this event was stellar. Everything was running so smoothly, everyone working that day was so helpful and kind. It was a fantastic event. The kid zone had great acts that kept ‘the kid’ entertained, the contests were great fun for everyone and the music was awesome. Congratulations to everyone who was involved. I can’t wait until next year! Here is hoping the weather will co-operate just a touch more.