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Can a dark beer stand up to the Mexican Heat?

Brew – Negra Modelo 5.4% ABV 355mlNegra Modelo

BrewerGrupo Modelo

StyleAmber Lager, Munich Style Lager

CountryMexico

PurchasedOlivia’s Restaurant

So I am 4 days into my mexican beer adventure.  So far so good.  From my scouting around, I think I will be able to try 14 different Mexican beers.  Today I thought I would go a different route than your typical Mexican lager.  I chose a dark or amber style lager called Negra Modelo.  Negra Modelo has been brewed in Mexico since 1926.

About the Beer –  It pours a copper colour although I only know this from experience since I did not have a glass this time.  The smell was of lime AGAIN….you guessed it they stuck a lime in the top.  The flavour was of sweet malt and a bit of caramel.  The finish was a mild bitter.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes.  Not so much on the beach but it goes well with a meal.  I really enjoyed the change from the stereotypical beers I have had so far in Mexico.

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Do sun and beer mix?

Brew – Sol 4.5% ABV, 355mlSol

BrewerCuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery

StyleLager

CountryMexico

Purchased – Tienda

As legend goes the brewmaster for El Salto Del Agua (The Water Spring) brewery  in 1899 had a ray of sun shine through his beer which gave him inspiration for the name of his new brew “El Sol”.  In 1924  Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma acquired the brewery and changed the name to just Sol.  The design has stayed relatively the same for all these years.

Sol is by far the most popular beer here on Isla Mujeres.  With tourists and locals.  I am not 100% sure why.  Possibly price, but I have not done a comparison.

About the Beer – So as you can see from the picture it is a muted golden colour.  Almost no head. Which goes away quick in the heat.  The smell is of skunk at first.  When will brewers learn not to use clear bottles!  See this article in the Washington Post to understand why brewers should not be using clear bottles :When Light Meets Beer.    After the skunk smell disipates it really only has a hint of grain smell.  As for the taste what can I say.  Some very slight sweet malt as well as a grain.  No discernible hops (the sun took care of that).

Would I Drink it Again? – Nope, reminds me of a stereotypical big brewery lager from the U.S./Canada.

Whatever happened to real 2 for 1?

Brew – Pacifico ClaraPacifico 4.5% ABV, 355ml

BrewerGrupo Modelo

StylePilsner

CountryMexico

Purchased – Chimbo’s

So 2 for 1 is really more like 1 for 1 since the price of the 2 for 1 is inflated (at least at the beach).  Today we found ourselves on a nice peace of beach owned by Chimbo’s (technically you can’t own beach in Mexico).  It is funny that we chose this spot since when we stayed at the Ixcel Condo’s last year the music from Chimbo’s drove us nuts on the weekend. It was VERY loud and went well into the night!

Pacifico was originally  brewed around 1900.  It is named Pacifico as the brewery is located in the Pacific Ocean port town of Mazatlan.

About the Beer – It pours a golden lager colour.  The smell was all lime as you can imagine from the picture.  It is all I could smell even though I took it out.  I wish they would ask before putting a lime on top.  I know it is popular but I actually prefer it without.  The taste of this beer is slightly bitter with some sweet grain.  Not much else.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, it is probably one of my favourites of the Mexican beers.  Maybe because it is a little bit more bitter than the rest.  Every beer seems to taste better in paradise!

Why two XX’s?

Brew – Dos Equis 4.45% ABVDos Equis

BrewerCuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery

StylePale Lager

CountryMexico

Purchased – Sunset Grill

As soon as our feet hit the Island of Isla Mujeres we headed over to Sunset Grill.  I ordered the first beer that came to mind.  Dos Equis (XX).  So what is with the two XX’s?  Apparently when this beer was first produced in 1897 it was named Siglo XX (Twentieth Century) to commemorate the turning of the century…..oh….and don’t forget “The Most Intersting Man in the World” drinks it!

About the Beer – I could not smell anything as I was drinking out of the bottle.  This also impeded on my ability to see the colour!  It has a sweet malt flavour and not much else.  If you let it get a little warm you notice the bitterness at the end.

Would I Drink it Again? – You know the old saying. One is good and three is better.  At least when you are at the beach.  It quenches the thirst.

beach

By the time you read this I will be in or on the way to Mexico with the family for 14 days.  I will be blogging while I am there.  I have a list of 14 Mexican beers, but we shall see how many I can find.  I hope I don’t have to resort to Budweiser or something!

I will be staying on lovely Isla Mujeres.  Check it out: Link

Wish me luck!

Fitting title and beer for a travel day!

Brew – Christoffel Nobel 8.7% ABV, 330mlSint Christoffel Nobel

BrewerBierbrouwerij Sint Christoffel B.V

Style – Specialty Lager

Country – Netherlands

PurchasedLCBO

As you read this I am probably ready to get on my plane to Mexico.  So I thought why not have a beer from a company that is named after the Patron Saint of travel, Sint Christoffel (Saint Christopher) as well as the Patron Saint of Roermond , Netherlands the town where the brewery is located.  Saint Christopher has always been a widely popurlar saint.  Legend has it that he was 18 feet tall and set out on a path to serve the greatest king.  This led him to wanting to serve the devil (or who he thought was the devil), but when he saw that the devil was afraid of Christ he set out to find him.  He met a hermit in his travels who instructed him on the ways of Christianity.  When Saint Christopher asked how he could serve Christ the hermit suggested that he could help people cross a dangerous river.  Perhaps this is where the patronige to travel came from?

About the Beer – I pours a cloudy golden colour as it is an unfiltered beer.  The head was about an inch thick and lasted for a short while, but left a ton of lacing on the glass.  The aroma was of grain, earth, must, and a bit of floral.  The taste was sweet to start, possibly honey.  There was also some floral notes mixed with a grain flavour.  It also had a nice bitter.  The bitters were of floral and spices.  The finish had a slight alcohol taste.

Would I Drink it Again? – Definitely.  I have never had such a complex lager.

So how many steps does it take to start a brewery?

Brew – Lug Tread Lagered AleLug Tread Lagered Ale 5.2% ABV, 750ml

BreweryBeau’s All Natural Brewing Company

StyleKölsch

Country – Ontario, Canada

PurchasedLCBO

So how can you not like a brewery that was an idea formulated over an afternoon of beer by father and son .  Tim and Steve  Beauchesne (hmmm wonder where the name Beau’s came from) both quit their day jobs to start a brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.  One was a small business owner the other had a cushy government job.

Who does that?  Just quits their job and starts a brewery!  I sometimes wish I had the skill and balls to do it!  Lug Tread is their signature brew but they have some seasonals that I look forward to trying.  As you can see their beers used to come in really cool ceramic bottles but they have just recently moved to glass but the packaging is still impressive.  Check it out at their website: Beau’s All Natural

So what is a lagered ale?  It is a top fermented beer like most Ales but then it is cold aged like a lager.  Check out the link next to Style above for more details.

They also have a great blog:How to Start a Brewery (in 1 million easy steps)

About the Beer – It pours a VERY clear golden colour.  Not a huge head but it sticks around.  The smell was grainy as well as very sweet.  Reminded me of a popsicle!  The taste was quite grainy up from but not unpleasant.  The middle was a light sweet malt.  The end was lightly hopped but the bitter taste lasted on the palate for quite some time.

Would I Drink it Again? – First I must say I have never had this style of beer before.  It was not bitter enough for my liking but I am a confessed hop head.  It is a good beer and I think many would enjoy it.  I will try it again on a nice patio day.  It would go good with BBQ chicken!

So which bitter is it?

Brew – Brutal Bitter 6.2% ABV 650mlRogue Brutal Bitter

BrewerRogue Ales

Style – Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

Country – Oregon, United States

PurhasedLCBO

So which bitter is it?  If you look around the internet most call this an ESB (Extra Special Bitter).  On Rogue Ales website they call it an IPA (India Pale Ale).  Let’s dig into it and find out.  Bitter was originally an English term for a Pale Ale.  So technically the Style of Brutal Bitter is Pale Ale.  Bitters generally vary in ABV from 3% to 7%.  Over time the lines have blurred and there have become sub groups of Bitters.  Best Bitter, Special Bitter, ESB, and Ordinary Bitter otherwise known as IPA.  These groups have been further differenciated by their ABV%.  Generally an Ordinary bitter or IPA is up to 4.1%.  Best Bitters and Special Bitters are anywhere from 4.1 to 5%.  And ESB is 5% and up.  So if we followed these rules Brutal Bitter would be an ESB, but I have seen many North American IPA’s well over 5% ABV.  All I know is I like a bitter no matter what you want to call it!

About this Beer – Brutal Bitter pours a lovely foggy apricot colour with a nice head that leaves tons of lacing on the sides of the glass.  The smell is fantastic.  Lot’s of citrus (pink grapefruit) and floral hops aroma with a hint of sweetness.  The taste is anything but brutal!  It starts with a quick hit of sweet malt but transitions fast into the hops.  The hops in this beer are great.  You get the citrus first then it moves into a pine flavour.  For having such big hops, this beer is still really well balanced.

Would I Drink it Again? – I am going to preface this.  I have had this beer many times and will have it many more.  It is one of my favourites.  I honestly wish this beer was more readily available in Canada.  So the answer is yes I will drink this again!  Do yourself a favour and go get one!

Thanks Chuwy for the recommendation to add the style of beer to my reviews.

Have you heard of Grand River Brewing yet?

Brew – Russian Gun Imperial Stout 8.4% ABV 500mlRussian Gun Imperial Stout

BrewerGrand River Brewing

Country – Ontario, Canada

PurchasedLCBO

Grand River Brewing has been growing by leaps and bounds since opening in 2007.  They make beers that are generally session beers (at or below 5% ABV).  Russian Gun is not one of them!  Grand River has won quite a few Canadian and Ontario beer awards.  What I really like about this company is that the owner  and long time home brewer Bob Hanenberg had a dream to open a micro brewery and did it!  I have had the pleasure of having a few of their beers and they have all been great so far.

About the Beer – It pours a dark mahogany almost black colour.  The head is a nice mocha colour and leaves some lacing.  The smell was very interesting.  I picked up hints of sour cherry as well as toasted malt.  The taste is what I would expect from an imperial stout.  Complex!  Up front it had some great carmel or molasses and hint of coffee.  The middle was toasted malt, and the finish was a nice herbal/pine bitter.  You could also taste the alcohol at the end when first opened, but when it warmed up the alcohol taste mellowed.

Would I Drink it Again? – Damn Straight!  This was a great beer.  Now if they could only work on the label!

Duggan #9I went to the Duggan BrewPub this weekend and picked up some #9 to go.  They have new packaging and labels.  I was told that #9 will no longer be sold in the 4 pack, but in traditional 6, 12, and 24’s.  Notice that the bottle is slimmer and only 275ml.

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