Gimme that nucleated glassware

Last Friday Nellie and I finally tried the new beer joint which replaced Duggan’s, the late lamented brewpub at the end of our street. It’s called the Six Pints Specialty Beer Co. Beer Academy (ratebeer). Six Pints is a joint venture between Granville Island Brewery (from BC) and Creemore (from ON), which are in turn owned by Molson Coors. This place has a couple of purposes: to act as a museum about beer (hence the “academy” portion of the name); to test out new potential commercial offerings; and to be a straight-up bar.

We skipped the museum portion of the building and went straight to the bar. First of all, the room is quite nice. Duggan’s always felt awkward and a little cavernous; this room feels intimate and comfortable. I can’t describe it any way other than that. Anyway, we started with two flights of three small glasses. We tried the four standard house brews (Kolsch, Dortmunder, IPA, and porter) and a special altbier, and opted to fill our sixth slot with Creemore’s Kellerbier, which we both quite like. The Kolsch and Dortmunder were excellent; the alt, IPA and porter were all good but not great.

We each picked one for a follow-up glass (Nellie: IPA; me: alt) and called it a night. They also sell cold beer from their retail store, so we took four (the Kolsch and IPA as well as a dunkel weiss and Belgian brown) home to have over the weekend.

Not only will this become a regular stop-in for a pint, it’s become a grocery run on the way home. Killer.


This past weekend was a rare treat: a brother visit. Brother #2 arrived Friday night and left Monday morning. In between we had dinner at Duggan’s and breakfast at Hank’s, visited St. Lawrence Market, enjoyed the lone spring-like day so far this year by visiting the Distillery district, watched some funny movies, had a long and sumptuous dinner at Fieramosca followed by ill-advised Trappist ales at Smokeless Joe, played a little Call of Duty: Black Ops and were generally lazy the rest of the time.

Happily this won’t be the only brother visit of the year. We’re visiting my family’s farm in July since brother #1 will be visiting from Australia, and then in the fall we’ll be visiting Australia for three weeks ourselves. Beaucoup de familial bonding, as they say.

Quel weekend

Oooh, that was nice. Every weekend should be a 4-day long weekend. I know, I know, then they wouldn’t seem as special, but think of the bar sales!

Wednesday night we picked up two bottles of Rosewood Estates wine (the 2008 Semillon and 2008 Süssreserve Riesling) and some Cumbrae’s steaks by way of provisions, before kicking off our long weekend at Beerbistro (too crowded inside, too cold outside) and Duggan’s (just right). Not a long night, though…we were pacing ourselves.

I’ve already talked about Thursday — Canada Day — over here.

By Friday the weather was really picking up…good timing, as we’d decided to take the day off work. We began the day watching the orange jerseys parade along King Street toward Betty’s for the Netherlands-Brazil match before finding a less crowded seat at the Jason George from which to watch. Holland won and King Street went mad; we did a little furniture & art shopping, raided St. Lawrence Market, cleaned up our place (finally!), went for a run, made some ploughman’s lunch and drank a bottle of Firesteed Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Saturday started much like Friday: back to the Jason George to watch the Germany-Argentina match before hitting the farmer’s market and taking a stroll to the Distillery District. I needed a walk, Nellie needed wine glasses, and we both wanted to check out some art. Naturally we ended up sitting in the Mill Street brew pub, watching the excellent second half of the Spain-Paraguay match. When we arrived home Nellie completed her preparations for barbecued ribs, which were a tad on the spicy side…by which I mean they tasted like Satan had pissed hellfire in the sauce. Tasty, but they hurt my ever-so-delicate mouth.

Somewhere in there, between enjoying the outdoors at ground- or balcony-level, we watched a bunch of mediocre movies: My Best Friend’s Girl (imdb | rotten tomatoes), Green Zone (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and Thirst (imdb | rotten tomatoes). Actually, My Best Friend’s Girl was shit, but it was free, so I feel less bad about watching it.

Sunday was, sadly, the beginning of our return to reality. While we had fun taking pictures of all the hubbub of the Queen’s visit to our neighbourhood cathedral and relaxing on our balcony for the morning, it was back to work for me in the afternoon.

You take the red pils, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Back in August my favourite beer blog gave me some good news: a new brew pub would be opening at the end of my street. Not just any brew pub either: it would be run by Mike Duggan, who has quite a pedigree in Ontario craft brewing. Actually, the building itself (at the corner of Victoria and Lombard) had a pedigree too: it used to be home to Denison’s and Amsterdam.

Four months later, Duggan’s Brewery finally opened. Last night Nellie and I got around to trying it, and we were both pretty happy. We sat in the bar section rather than the restaurant (as much by necessity as choice; even though they haven’t had the grand opening yet the place is packed most nights) and ordered some small portions. Well…we assumed it would be small. My corned beef sandwich, fries and cole slaw stuffed me, and Nellie’s chicken wings were huge. Both were very good, and there were at least half a dozen other things on the menu I want to try. There was one poor frantic soul waiting on all the tables, but he managed to keep our glasses full.

Speaking of our glasses, we had three pints each: Nellie had the fest and the tripple (yes, that’s really how they spelled it), and I had the weiss and the Pils. We each had a pint of the #9 IPA, which we already knew and liked. That leaves three we haven’t tried: the stout, the Asian and the porter. Can’t wait to get back.

As if it weren’t dangerous enough having C’est What and Beerbistro so close, now we have this too. Oh well, we shall have to tough it out. Le sigh.