Another Tip For Flying With Bottles of Beer

I need to start this post with 2 warnings:

  1. It’s exceptionally geeky.  I have no shame about my deep-seeded love for things that are geeky; this is one of them.
  2. It includes a little bit about metric.  But not that much.  Really.

If you are looking to fly with bottles of beer and want some less geeky advice, read my original tips on How To Fly With Bottles of Beer.  I’ve flown with hundreds of bottles and that system has yet to fail me.

As I shared in the other piece, weighing your luggage on the way to your destination is a key knowing how much room you have for beer on the way home.  I gave some guidelines on guessing the amount of beer in the previous piece; today’s tip is about how to more accurately guess the weight of the beer you are buying.

And this is where the metric comes in: a milliliter of water weighs a gram.  Most quarts are around 750 ml, so they weigh 750 grams.  There are 454 grams in a pound so dividing the ml by 454 will give you the amount of pounds of water in a bottle of beer (i.e. 750 ml/ 454 = 1.65 pounds).

If you’re flying with 5 or 6 (or 12) bottles, this gives you a quick way to precisely measure the weight of the liquid in the bottles.

Of course there’s a few things missing in order to calculate the total weight of your beer, so you’ll have to estimate:

  • The weight of the bottles
  • The weight of any non-beer items (such as excess packaging or lees in the bottle)
  • At extreme temperatures the weight of the liquid could be effected.

While this won’t precisely tell you how much your beer will be it has saved me from buying too much a few times.

Do you fly with beer?  What’s your system?

Left Field Brewery Opens In Toronto’s East End

February 25th marked the sort-of grand opening of Left Field Brewery on Toronto’s East Side.  It was the ‘sort-of’ opening for two reasons:

  1. They’ve been making excellent beer for about a year.  Like many Ontario Craft Breweries they’ve been brewing elsewhere until they can get a home of their own (they’ve been brewing at two of my favorite Ontario brewers: Grand River and Barley Days).  There must be long days of driving as the two breweries are located considerably outside of the city – in opposite directions!
  2. Their opening party was celebrating their new space; the actual brewery will take about a year to get set up and running.

The story behind Left Field is dreamy.  It was founded by husband-and-wife team (Mark and Mandie Murphy).  Mark was a Chartered Accountant who decided to shake things up and go to school to learn to make beer (yes, we have beer school in Ontario!).  Mandie is a beer geek, marketer and baseball fan.  I don’t know Mark or Mandie though I have a giant pile of respect for them in chasing their dream and it was easy to feel the shared excitement at the opening.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift for a Foodie? Head to the Craft Beer Aisle!

This is the first year in 5 or 6 years that I won’t be shopping for Christmas gifts on December 24th!  I actually enjoy shopping on the last day of the shopping season (I go early and bring a list)!  I don’t know what happened this year but I somehow ended up finishing early.

This won’t be a fun year for last-minute shoppers.  Toronto has been covered in ice for 36 hours and getting around the city continues to be a struggle.  If you’re short on time and need some ideas for fellow food-lovers, I thought I could share a quick guide to buying beer this time of year.  Although these 3 bottles may not be available where you are, I’ll use each one as an example of what to look for.

If you’re not a beer geek you should know that this is one of the best times of year to buy beer.  There are amazing seasonal, one-offs and imports that arrive for the Holidays!  I’ll include a recommendation on how to find similar beers regardless of where you live in this article.

Last Minute Holiday Gift for a Foodie? Head to the Craft Beer Aisle! st bernardus muskoka brewery kissmeyer December Craft Beer Beer beaus

Winter Beard (Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, Cellar Aged Version) by Muskoka Brewery

This is a great example of a seasonal; in this case, a winter beer.  Muskoka Brewery unveiled this beer last year and it was awesome; it pours dark like a Guinness but is rich and creamy.  The chocolate is 70% cacoa so it’s adds deep flavors (like coffee) as opposed to sweet.

It’s an 8% beer and will age well; which is good since the version being sold in Ontario this year is a year old!  Lower-alcohol beer is best consumed fresh while beer that’s higher in alcohol can be stored and will age well (more on this topic on Thursday)!  Muskoka aged a bunch of last years batch and are offering it in a special release for the Holidays ($13.95 for 750 ml at the LCBO).

To find beer like this, ask for a local seasonal beer or any one-offs that have been released for Christmas.

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Beer 101: The Tulip-Shaped Glass

I’m not a beer snob.  I’m really and truly not.  I’ll drink it from the can, from a bottle or straight from the keg if you’ll let me put my mouth under a tap.  I’ll drink almost any type of beer that you’ll send my way and I’ll generally be very happy for the chance.  I sometimes drink mass-produced beer, other times I drink local and have a decent collection of craft beer from places I’ve visited through work and other travel.  And, while I have my favorites, I’m generally very adaptable!

About ten years ago I met a different kind of beer drinker; one who deliberately chose each glasses to match the style of beer that was served and one that knew more about beer than I could have imagined.  I probably tried to write these people off as beer snobs at the time but they were too friendly to be snobs and curiosity got the better of me.  Before long I found that I was hooked on learning all I could about beer (my biggest learning so far is that there’s so much more to know than I’ll ever have a chance to learn!)

I’ve never been overly picky about matching beer glasses to the specific type of beer but I really do think it makes a difference.  Similar to wine, different glass shapes will alter the flavors of the beverage although I think it’s for reasons that are different than most profess.

Take, for example, the tulip-shaped beer glass:

Beer 101: The Tulip Shaped Glass December Craft Beer beer glasses Beer [Read more...]

Craft Beer Week: Bridge Burner by Lakefront Brewing

I am not nearly an expert when it comes to beer.  I enjoy it greatly, have a lot of fun sharing it and really dig the way brewers express themselves through their choices of names, styles of beer and even the packaging they present their beverages with.

Many more experienced (and even certified) beer (and wine) tasters will talk about ‘mouth feel.’  Although I understand the concept, it’s rare that I can really pick up a unique ‘feel.’  But once in a while I taste a beer that has such a completely different feel in my mouth that I can’t ignore it.

This is one such beer.

Craft Beer Week: Bridge Burner by Lakefront Brewing Craft Beer beer review Beer
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Craft Beer Week: Nostradamus by Brasserie Caracole

The most remarkable thing about this beer is, in many ways, very little.  In this case, I mean that as an absolute compliment.

Craft Beer Week: Nostradamus by Brasserie Caracole Craft Beer beer review Beer [Read more...]

Craft Beer Week: Raspberry Porter by Tree Brewing Company

If you’ve only consumed beer from big brands, the idea of a dark fruity beer may seem a little bizarre.  Further, if you’re a fan of fruity beers (such as lambics) or dark beers (like porter and stouts), you may still find the concept of this beer slightly jolting.  I wasn’t sure what to think – until I poured it into a glass and took a sip and was hooked.
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Beer Week: West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company Co.

Imagine that you play occasionally play the lottery with a group of people at work sometimes.  Imagine that you’re sent on a sudden business trip to the city in the world you loathe the most and you hand $2 to a colleague who you occasionally have conflict with and you ask them to put it in the lottery pool because you won’t be there to do so yourself.  $1 was for your ticket, the other $1 was to repay them for the favor.

Imagine the group plays the same numbers every time they play.  Imagine you see that those numbers were pulled while you’re sitting in the middle of a red-eye from one coast to the other – suddenly you think you’re wealthy beyond your dreams.

Imagine you take a limo to work to celebrate and then you find out that your colleague forgot to buy the tickets for the two of you and no one is willing to share.

This beer is more bitter than that.

Beer Week: West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company Co. Craft Beer beer review Beer [Read more...]

Craft Beer Week: Augusta Ale by Kensington Brewery

Full disclosure: a few weeks back, Kensington Brewing Company sponsored an event of ours after we invited their participation.  We invited them because we adore their product – and their people.  The sponsorship amounted to the equivalent of two cases of beer in exchange for their name on the event and in our Newsletter.  A post about their product was expressly not part of any sponsorship deal.

I met Brock at the former home of Kensington Brewing Company around this time last year.  I was sitting at the bar of the Burger Bar (he’s since sold it), sipping beer and reading cookbooks.  It had been a difficult week for my family and I was enjoying some quiet time and retreating into the tall stool that I perched on.  We had a few casual conversations from this perch before Brock asked me about our dehydrated kimchi powder.
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A Few Beer Pictures to Celebrate

It’s been an awesome week here!  We hope to share some big WellPreserved news tomorrow and have had lots to celebrate at work and home.  I thought we’d celebrate here with a few photos of some pretty beer that we are excited to be trying soon!  It’s also a great way to practice with our lights and camera!

A Few Beer Pictures to Celebrate Craft Beer Beer [Read more...]