Now between the second and third stops - 5 Paddles and Little Beasts - well, let's just say the wheels started falling off our little wagon. For reasons I can't even imagine, three of our group were sharing what appeared to be a cigarette in the parking lot. Not sure why they were sharing as smokes are cheap and readily available here. It's a mystery.
But when we seven - myself, Joe, Hago, Candice, Paul, Josh and Glenn - all climbed back into in the limo, Joe had purchased two bottles of 5 Paddles' Maple Paddler to share for the ride to Little Beasts. At 10%, two bottles of Maple Paddler, even split seven ways, still did a bit of drain bramage, especially to those sharing that funny concert-smelling cigarette. And we had already piled back a fair few pints. So let's just say, that group you see above, all happily in front of the vats and kettles at Little Beasts, well, we were nicely numbed from the elements at that point. But that was the entire purpose of the day - to roam the Whitby countryside, stopping for some great craft beers along the way. And no one needed a wild day out more than our young, talented carpenter Josh. His work truck had broken down just a few days prior and his initial $700 mechanic bill quickly spiraled upwards to close to $1,200. Mere weeks before Christmas. He needed to end his week on a high note!
But as we go along here, I will provide little secrets of our day. Okay, Little Secret #1 - since Candice was aboard with six guys, some of which she did not know, there were assurances from all the guys that no one would "go full Weinstein."
|Our man, Josh, has a helluva way with his phone's|
camera as he snapped off yet another beauty at Little
Beasts Brewing. I'm not sure which Beasts beer he was
having here but they have a very cool logo and labels.
But back to the fun stuff - the business of drinking! Our third stop, Little Beasts Brewing, was highly anticipated by me as I has heard Glenn sing their praises after his first visit. Created by Brewmaster Erin Broadfoot and brewer-partner John Henley, it opened just a few months ago but when we arrived, it was hopping. The word has spread quickly. I was hoping either would be available for a quick chat as it's fun talking to the pros but Erin and John were a little tied up at that exact moment. It seems they are the only two employees and were quite busy pouring libations for thirsty customers.
|Holy crap, look who met us at Little Beasts Brewing! It's|
Paul The Beer Guy, something of a Durham Craft Beer
Legend to us all. Paul had earlier commitments but had
promised Hago at some point he would join us. Awesome!
Erin, a graduate of the Siebel (Brewing) Institute in Chicago, is also a former brewer at 5 Paddles while John was a home-brewer and both have their Beer Judge Certification Program credentials. The brewery's name "revolves around the most important part of the brewing process - the yeast!" Erin said in a media release back in May. "It's the little beasts that create the final product that we all love." Add to that the fact that they have one of the coolest logos in Ontario craft beer and you have one bitchin' product.
Lemme tell you first-hand their La Saison d'ete is a saison unlike any other I've had. The 6% brew is clearly jacked up on hops, unusual for the traditionally-mild style as both orange and spice (the latter meaning probably a funky Belgian yeast) pop on your nose. I don't want to call it a hybrid because I have no idea how they brewed it but it was like they mixed an IPA's hops with a saison's yeast. I will tell you this - it works very well!!! Just an unbelievably hoppy, poppy, spicy, tasty treat!
|Aside from the group shots, this is my favourite photo of the day|
as Hago is book-ended by Paul The Beer Guy and Matt Allott,
the co-owner of Manantler Brewing in Bowmanville, who also
joined us at Little Beasts because he'd never visited the brewery.
Little Secret #2 - Okay, because I booked the limo for the day, it was assumed I was the one paying full-freight for it. Not so. Both Hago and Joe made significant financial contributions towards our sweet ride which I happily accepted so it was by no means a one-man show. It seems Christmas caught the best of all three of us.
Okay, in limo-related moments, when we got to Little Beasts, Hago wanted out first so he could film us getting out of the Big White Beast. That lead to the Quip Of The Day when Beer Store Buddy Paul yelled at him, "No Upskirts!" That, of course, refers to the paparazzi's penchant for trying to take shots up the skirts of actresses struggling to get out of fancy cars. Frankly, if I wanted a picture of underwear, I have a drawer full of them at home. Fancy-ass superhero ones! Nothing Julia Roberts wears is gonna be as cool as mine. But the time spent at Little Beasts was also a reunion of old friends and new as both Paul The Beer Guy and Matt Allott, co-owner of Manantler Craft Brewing in Bowmanville met our group there.
I had never met Paul so that was great and Matt, gawd bless him, came with a trunk full of Manantler beers and swag! Once again, Joe stepped up and insisted on buying my goodies so I now own a Manantler t-shirt and got bottles of their Liquid Swords IPA and their Polar Vortex White IPA. I have yet to try the Polar Vortex but I enjoyed the Liquid Sword the other night and it's a dandy. At 6% and roughly 65 IBUs (international bitterness units), this has a very forward citrus scent with some pine tones while on the tongue, heaps of grapefruit. Just a beautiful job on this one! And we were all thrilled and grateful to see both Paul and Matt there, contributing to the day's adventure! You guys rock the house.
Now because Liquid Swords was inspired by the 1995 Wu-Tang Clan album/song of the same name, Paul had bluetoothed his phone into the limo's sound system and soon we had seven people in close quarters yelling/singing the lyrics out to Wu-Tang Ain't Nuthin To F**k Wit along with the song. (I only knew the chorus line but that's always where I truly shine for every song ever.)
And that left our final stop - Town Brewing - another one that opened this year.
Now brings us to Town Brewing which actually just opened a month before our big day! However, the brewery, created by founder Jeff Talmey and Head Brewer Tim Ferriman has clearly caught Whitby by storm as the 5,000-square-foot facility was jammed when we arrived! Keep in mind that by this point, it was late afternoon - prime craft beer drinking hours. At this point, because he was meeting his wife, Aimee, and daughters Tiana and Meadow (such sweet girls) in Whitby at her aunt's house for an early Christmas dinner, Hago had to switch to water. I can't decide whether that was a blessing or a curse for the guy as we were all pretty blasted at this point. But I do remember it being a loud, festive and fitting finale to the day. By far, it had the most "play space" of the four breweries that day.
Now, I did enjoy their Leap of Faith Series' IPA while there but I inadvertently took all of Paul's Town beers the following morning when I went home. So I want to single out their Square Wheels Wheat IPA today. The 6.8% and probably 70 IBU ale is tons of fruit and spice on the nose with much more of the same on the tongue. The wheat malts give this tasty beverage a beautiful haziness so hey, Paul, thanks man! (I may be a brazen thief - by honest error - but I am also a courteous klepto.)
We shortly after dropped off Hago with his family and somehow he says he managed to hide his condition from them. (Doubtful - they knew what he was doing all day. But because he's a great partner and father, they probably all smiled and were glad he had a good time.) And then it was back to Buster Rhinos Southern BBQ for the rest of us. Our day was coming to an end.
But that bring us around to Little Secret #4 and that belongs to our man, Joe.
Gang, that's a full wrap on the Whitby Craft Brewery Invasion 2017 and it was one of the best days ever! Our squad of craft beer lovers was the best squad ever! And I sincerely thank the other six for making the day so damn much fun! But guys and dolls, that's it, that's all and I am outta here! Until next time, I remain...