Cross Country Canada

Having spent the last 3 weeks traveling across Canada (hence the lack of new posts during June), my fellow travelers and I shared a few beer-related experiences that I thought would be appropriate to mention here on the blog. I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple of notable instances, so I might update this entry from time to time if I can think of anything else that’s worth posting.

First of all, we stopped in Barrie on our way up to northern Ontario so that we could visit the Flying Monkeys Brewery (formerly the Robert Simpson Brewery). I have to say, I was expecting something similar to the Mill St. Brewery or even the Steam Whistle Brewery, but was sadly disappointed. The Flying Monkeys Brewery has a store and scheduled brewery tours… but it’s not licensed. The only beer they can serve is for sampling purposes only. There isn’t even a bar in close vicinity that serves their esteemed Hoptical Illusion beer. If I’m going  to visit a brewery, I want to be able to have a beer. Sure, it’s cool that you can get a shirt or a glass or something, but it’s the beer that I’m after. I’m not impressed.

That’s my rating for the brewery. The beers deserve much more than that. This place gets one head. At least now I’ve got a cool Flying Monkeys glass.

Secondly, let’s just skip over the prairies and get right to the west coast. If you find yourself in Revelstoke, British Columbia, their Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. has a delicious 6% IPA called Nasty Habit that’s available at the brewery and local liquor stores. The only other Mt. Begbie beer that I happened upon during our brief visit was the Tall Timber Ale, which I got from a liquor store that also had 330 ml bottles of Chimay Grande Reserve! The Timber Ale described itself as a bold English Brown Ale, so I thought I’d grab a bottle and give it a try. I know some English Ales can be pretty sweet, but this one is overwhelming sweet. I’m kind of biased, I guess, because I’ve never been a fan of really sweet beers. In visiting their website, I discovered that Mt. Begbie has a whole slew of different beers, but for some reason the Nasty Habit IPA isn’t listed. Maybe it was just a short-run brew or something, which is unfortunate because I think it’s way better than the Timber Ale.

Nasty Habit IPA:

Tall Timber Ale:

Lastly, make sure you check out the Granville Island Brewery if you’re ever in Vancouver. I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this brewery, mostly because there’s nothing to complain about. This is exactly how a brewery should be set up. They have all of their current brews on tap available for you to order, plus they serve “snacks.” You can also order samplers that come with four little glasses of beer for $7, and if you order two of these you can try all of the brews they currently have on draft. I would definitely recommend this option. All of their beers are pretty solid, especially the Brockton IPA. The English Bay Pale Ale and the seasonal Ginger Beer are really good as well. Definitely check this place out.

I’m still going to post more about Mill St. soon…


4 Responses

  1. How the HELL did you find that Cross Country Canada picture? With the ‘d’ on the truck. Insane!

    Boo-urns to the Flying Monkey Brewery. But then again, who goes to Barrie..

    • Someone had written a review of the game and put up some screen shots. I just tried to download it, but my computer’s not having it.

      Plus there’s that Italian restaurant on King and James that serves Hoptical Illusion, and the food is pretty good too. I have no need to go back there.

  2. as nostalgis as that game is, it was still terrible and i could never get my head around why it was so popular. the other flying monkey’s brewery beer, the confederate, was also decent, but not as good as the hoptical.

  3. It is terrible, but still… although it IS educational, it was a video game that you would be allowed to play in school. I think that’s where the majority of the appeal comes from.

    I still haven’t used my Hoptical Illusion glass… maybe I’ll bring some of that up to Algonquin.

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