Here are some local beers with a colour that probably matches our collective moods because cripes, this week.
I don’t need to tell you folks what kind of crappy week it’s been. On Tuesday night, to the surprise of everyone, our friends south of the border elected a fear-mongering, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic hell-clown as the next President of the United States. A hell-clown who, within his first year of presidency, promises to undo everything President Obama accomplished in his eight years.
But hold off on the self-assured scoffing there, smug Canadian friends. Trump’s victory can only embolden the people who hold on to similar values as he does and that means we’ll be getting more poison rhetoric soon. Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, who plans to screen immigrants and refugees for “Canadian values,” said this week that Trump’s victory is “an exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada, as well.” Meanwhile, here in Toronto, or at least in my neighbourhood of Scarborough, the drums of Ford Nation beat gently with approval. Things seem tense to say the least.
But let’s face it, the events of this week have been just one addition to what has been the darkest of years. I know we all joked about it earlier this year, but it does seem like David Bowie and Abe Vigoda were the ones who kept this reality intact and now that they’re gone we get…well…2016. And hell, just as I write this, Leonard Cohen has died. Folks, I think it’s finally time to face the fact that this reality is slipping and we are, at the moment, in a dark timeline.
So this weekend, let’s get together with people we all care about and, over conversation and, (hopefully) laughs, raise a glass to each other and drink a beer as dark as this year has been.
Here are my suggestions.
Blood of Cthulhu Imperial Stout
Perhaps one of the more thematically appropriate beers for this column, Blood of Cthulhu is an imperial stout made with raspberries, tart cherries, and cranberries and is a special Halloween collaboration between Gravenhurst brewery Sawdust City and popular beer bar Bar Hop. Named after the famous H.P. Lovecraft creature, Blood of Cthulhu features rich dark chocolate notes on top of the fruit the beer is infused with, making for a delicious first beer to welcome the end of days. It can be found at the brewery’s retail store and in Bar Hop.
Stranger Than Fiction Porter
Another beer with a spot-on name. This porter from Hamilton’s Collective Arts Brewing can be found in the LCBO and has a full-bodied and smooth mouthfeel, with warming notes of coffee and chocolate and a beautiful, dry finish.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hearts Collide
Currently pouring at Rainhard Brewing’s taproom, the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hearts Collide is part two of the brewery’s Barrel Series in which several iterations of the imperial stout is released. This particular one has been aging for nine months in, you guessed it, bourbon barrels. Considering that the base beer was delicious enough with its dark dance between coffee and chocolate, the bourbon barrel aging can only make it better.
Bricks & Mortar Coffee Porter
I’ve grown to look forward to Left Field Brewery’s winter seasonal Bricks & Mortar, a coffee porter made in collaboration with their neighbours at Pilot Coffee Roasters. Available at the brewery’s retail store, Ana Sora Ethiopian coffee beans were added during the final stages of the beer’s conditioning, making for a cold extraction that brings out the best in both sides of the duo. If you’d like a rich, warming beer that also celebrates two businesses defying the odds and acquiring their own physical “bricks and mortar” space, this is the beer for you.