Savanna Dry: I Saw the Rains Down in Belgium

This semi-dry cider from NV Konings in Zonhoven, Belgium is a light golden colour permeated by an odd greenish hue. More odd is the presence of a small collar and lace when poured into a glass, traits not common to cider. Originating from South Africa in the 1990s, Savanna Dry is made using juice from Elgin Valley apples and has a fairly unique smell among ciders available in Ontario that most closely resembles the slightly sour apple crops that get harvested here in early fall.

Savanna Dry
Lemon Helps to Balance This Cider’s Taste

The taste of Savanna Dry is ironically saddled with an exaggerated sweetness and countered with a taste that is far closer to sour than anything I’d label as dry. This cider’s most unique trait is a distinct, but soft note of coconut. The sourness takes on an unfortunate vinegar character in the finish, while dryness aided by the addition of citric acid can finally be perceived in the aftertaste.

Volunteer for Beau’s Oktoberfest 2014

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is looking for at least 50 volunteers to help them at the 2014 installment of Beau’s Oktoberfest, which takes place on October 3rd and 4th at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds.

“Green Team” volunteers will be responsible for keeping the site clean of cups and plates and some will be selected to transport recyclables via ATV.

All volunteers will receive free Oktoberfest admission ($22) and bus transportation ($15) to and from the event on days they choose to volunteer. They will also receive a free volunteer hat and shirt, as well as a complimentary drink token ($5).

Beau's Oktoberfest 2014 Logo
Image Courtesy Beau’s All Natural brewing Company

Volunteer shifts that need to be filled are:

Friday, October 3: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Saturday, October 4: 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Saturday, October 4: 4:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Sunday, October 5: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Note that the Sunday shift is to help with cleanup and teardown of the event site and volunteers will need to provide their own transportation.

Busses will depart from University of Ottawa between 4-6:00 PM on Friday and from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday. Return trips leave the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds from 9-11:00 PM on Friday and between 6-9:00 PM on Saturday.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is one of four charities that receives a portion of Beau’s Oktoberfest proceeds and relies on volunteer commitments to guarantee the receipt this funding.

Those who are 19 years of age or older and interested in this volunteer opportunity are asked to contact Bruce Hill, the Senior Development Manager for the Eastern Ontario Chapter of The Kidney Foundation of Canada by phone at 1-800-724-9953 ext 4560 or by e-mail here.

Earl Grey Marmalade Saison: Voulez-Vous Boire Avec Moi?

A spiced farmhouse ale, Earl Grey Marmalade Saison from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a hazy tangerine shade of orange with a small white head that leaves a few spots of lace and hangs around as a collar that persists until the end of your glass. Aromas of light pilsner malt and honey are accompanied by notes of orange zest, bergamot and an inviting sweet scent that brings to mind wildflowers in the rain.

Earl Grey Marmalade Saison
Yes, This Beer Goes Well with Buttered Toast.

The taste of Earl Grey Marmalade Saison is clean, with a minimal amount of “farmhouse funk” and based around sweet, bright malts. There isn’t a whole lot of tea flavour at first, but there’s no mistaking the dryness it imparts. This medium-bodied ale is also surprisingly bitter, likely from the addition of orange zest and pith. The peppery Earl Grey character really sneaks up on you, becomes prevalent in the finish and lingers throughout the aftertaste along with a mild earthy note.

Beer Notes: Galaxy Widebody IPA

Barnstormer Brewing & Pizzeria (Barrie, Ontario)

American Imperial / Double IPA (8.5%)


Look: Hazy, colour reminds me of peach meat ot apricot. Sizable, tight white head is retained as a small cap. Rocky lacing.

Smell: Huge Galaxy character. Nectarous fruit, pepper, pine oil. Earthy malt base with subtle caramel tone.

Taste: Very well-balanced. Warm, thick and sweet caramel malts. Passion fruit, lemon peel. Sturdy bitterness sneaks up on you and really hits in the finish.

Mouth: Feels earthy and full-bodied at first, but sort of falls out mid way. Quite syrupy, fairly low carbonation.

Opinion: Very solid DIPA and a great showcase for the Galaxy hop. The robust malts keep you from getting carried away, but it’s still pretty easygoing.

Food: Samosa, curried dishes, fried chicken, aged cheddar, fruit salad, dark rye.


Two Flags IPA: Two Can Be One

This American IPA from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario is fairly dark for its style, pouring a hazy tone somewhere between amber and ruby. A soapy, off-white head leaves small swaths of lace and settles into a yarn-like collar. Two Flags IPA has big pine and citrus peel aromas, an unmistakable pineapple scent and a peppery note that sit atop a hearty chocolate and toffee malt base.

Two Flags IPA
Malt and Hops in Harmony

That blend of rich malts in Two Flags IPA, along with hints of burnt sugar and coffee combine to remind me the taste of a popular candy that rhymes with “Footsie Toll”. This ale has a great, distinctive transition from dark malt, to sweet berry flavours to a moderately bitter grapefruit tone. Two Flags IPA is full-bodied, has a fairly mellow level of carbonation and a resinous slickness that lingers in the aftertaste.