Tag Archives: Kettle Sour

Toronto Breweries – Left Field and Godspeed

Left Field Brewery

Left Field is one of the commonly recommended breweries in the Toronto area and I didn’t make it there last year. It is quite a bit east so if you are staying downtown it is quite the trek. After having gone out there I am more likely to grab some bottles from the brewery to take home instead of drinking there because they have such a small tap room that gets noisy quickly. It is also a bit of a walk from the nearest metro station.

I started with the raspberry hibiscus gose. The beer had a lot of raspberry on the nose but not so much in the taste. The flavor was more subdued berry and prominent hibiscus. It was a solid beer but I would have preferred more berry. The Greenwood IPA was lovely soft body with notes of citrus and vanilla and not too bitter. This was my favorite beer of the bunch. The Vermont Style Double IPA was not particularly hazy but had a nice soft body making it somewhat enjoyable. Rather than a juice bomb of a hazy beer it was earthy with subdued bitter finish. My friend had the milkshake IPA with coconut and pineapple. I tried a few tastes and it was exactly a pina colada.

Left Field had excellent beers as I had expected though in the future i would not order a full pint of their hazy IPA blind. I will be grabbing some bottles of Greenwood IPA when I can find them in future trips.


From Left Field we walked about 15 minutes to Godspeed. They have a modern interior and Japanese theme with an eclectic variety of beers. There wasn’t anything particularly hoppy and hardly anything following the typical trends. Instead, they had a lot of classic styles mostly saisons and German styles. They also didn’t seem to offer taster flights. I had a fairly standard dry-hopped saison that wasn’t particularly hoppy but nice and funky and mildly earthy.

My friends ordered the Green Tea IPA and dry-hopped Dortmunder. Again neither beer was particularly hoppy. The Green Tea IPA mostly just tasted like green tea so I am glad I didn’t order that one. The dortmunder was nice and to style, dry with roasty cracker and mild vanilla and caramel. I ended with the imperial lager with coffee, which was a bit thin on the body and too sweet for most of the people at the table. It was good and creamy with mild coffee and roast though again overall subtle.

Godspeed is hyped based on the brewer’s history at Dieu du Ciel but don’t expect anything like what you would get at Dieu du Ciel or other nearby breweries. If you don’t expect anything hoppy and enjoy classic styles you might enjoy stopping in for a visit especially if you are feeling like eating from their Japanese-inspired menu. While it was an interesting experience, I don’t think this is a brewery I would return to with so many other options in Toronto that are more my style.

Come for:
Expect classic beers that don’t use a ton of hops even when labeled dry-hopped. A great place to explore traditional styles that aren’t usually done right elsewhere.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterestGoogle Plus

Aslin Beer Company – Herndon Virginia

Aslin recently closed their tap room so when I stopped by I bought cans and left. Thankfully they had a good variety so I was able to try quite a few beers. I picked up cans of Orange Starfish, hazy pale, Progeny Devil’s Son in Law, Hazy IPA, Gose with apricots, Gose with blackberry and raspberry, and Master of Karate DDH Double IPA.

Both Orange Starfish and Progeny were tasty hazy beers. Orange starfish was creamy with notes of citrus. Progeny was a nice mix of ripe tropical fruit and herbal hops on the finish with a good medium body. The apricot gose was delicious with tons of apricot flavor that balanced nicely with the base beer. The berry version was my favorite, bursting with juicy berry flavor and a nice soft mouthfeel.

The Master of Karate was my least favorite of the bunch. It was a bit restrained on the hop aromas and seemed a bit more malty than I would have preferred. It had some notes of tropical fruit and an herbal bite. While it didn’t blow me away it is still a good drinkable hazy DIPA.

Hazy Double IPA
Progeny IPA

Aslin is a worthwhile stop if you are in the area and need your hazy IPA fix. The price per four pack is reasonable and the beers are all quite good. If you compare it to other hazy IPA breweries in the North East US they are about average in the Hazy IPA department but stand out with the deliciously juicy gose beers. The berry gose was more explosively juicy than most beers I have had of the similar style. If you are not in the area but looking to trade, go for their fruited gose beers because that is where they really win out.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterestGoogle Plus

Nashville Breweries – Southern Grist, Smith and Lentz, and Bearded Iris

Southern Grist

Southern Grist had some of the best beers I tasted out of the breweries I visited. They had a wide variety of options with tons of interesting flavors. This isn’t a spot for purists though because almost all of the exciting beers were made with tons of adjuncts added.

The berry cobbler sour was delicious and tasted like berry cobbler with a mix of caramel pie crust and jammy berry notes. It had a dark pink and purple color and had very little tart bite on the finish. The Key Lime Pie gose was also excellent with a sweet pie base and a hint of lime at the finish. Again, this was not particularly tart but a good balance of flavor. The Cherry Limeaid Saison had a strong lime finish and otherwise not much going on. I got notes of chlorine but it could have been just the mix of cherry and lime.

The Zero IBU IPA was creamy and grassy with a light bitter finish. While well-made, I didn’t care for the herbal hop character that dominated. The strawberry upside down cake DIPA was delicious with notes of strawberry and vanilla, a creamy mouthfeel, and a sweetness that didn’t overpower or become cloying. The standard double IPA was creamy and mellow with light tropical fruit notes and a sweet finish. It was a decent double IPA but lacked the intense hop punch that makes the style so delicious.

The coffee maple stout had a medium body with maple flavor dominating and subtle nutty coffee notes on the finish. I found this a bit too sticky sweet for me and could have used more intense coffee flavor. The imperial stout with cinnamon and chocolate had a strong cherry malt character with cinnamon and fudge notes on the finish. Some of the sweetness lingered on the tongue.

While I enjoyed the over-the-top flavors available at Southern Grist, many purists would complain that they don’t have any excellent base styles. I might have brought home a crowler of their berry cobbler sour if they were selling it to-go and came back the following day to enjoy more of it.

Top 2:
Berry Cobbler Sour
Strawberry Cake DIPA

Smith and Lentz

Smith and Lentz is known more for being a stickler to traditional styles though they still had quite a few interesting offerings on when I visited. It was also their second anniversary so they had a few options they rarely have like the barrel aged schwartz. They had a good spacious tasting room and plenty of seating.

The Vesethius Pale was hazy yellow with a citrus forward aroma and light herbal hop finish. It was a decent hazy pale but the hop flavors were fairly muted and the herbal bite overpowered it. The cheer beer was a strange one with cinnamon and cherry added. It had mild notes of caramel and cinnamon with a hint of cherry and a light acidic finish. This is one sort of holiday style beer I don’t generally care for but it was recommended to me by the server.

The smoked porter was nice and balanced with mild smoke and notes of dark fruit and a smooth finish. The barrel aged schwartz was thin and packed tons of bourbon flavor. The Brokedown Pallet was good and juicy with notes of tropical fruit hops and a light mineral finish. Like other beers I could have used a more intense hop aroma on this one.

If you are coming for flights, keep in mind Smith and Lentz doesn’t allow you to order individual tasters so you have to get 4 at a time. The smoked porter indicated to me that these guys know how to make more subtle styles of beer. By the time I was done with my first flight though I didn’t care to order a second so instead I got two half taster splashes.

Top 2:
Vesethius Pale
Smoked Porter

Bearded Iris

When I visited, Bearded Iris had nothing but IPAs on tap. Even the festbier they had was heavily hopped. They had three beers available for cans to-go but I didn’t taste anything so impressive that I wanted to bring IPAs back to San Diego. The locals seemed to quite enjoy their beers. They don’t order flights so you can either order half pours or full pours.

The homestyle IPA was soft and flavorful with notes of citrus, tropical fruit, pine, and some overripe fruit on the finish. The epicenter IPA was dank and acidic with a cloudy orange appearance. It had notes of tangerine and low bitterness on the finish. The Chasing Rainbows had notes of melon, a light acidic finish, and a soft mouthfeel. Both IPAs, though hazy, were lacking in the intense aroma that makes the style so enjoyable.

The Attention Please DIPA had an intense citrus punch with a mild dank resin base and an acidic finish. The Chief of Chiefs DIPA had a soft body and notes of citrus. Like the IPAs above, teh double IPAs lacked the intense hop aroma punch as well. They weren’t bad but they were fairly muted in flavor. None of them really stood out as significantly better than the other.

Bearded Iris is a good stop for hazy IPAs though they still have some way to go before they are worth traveling for from much outside the area. As far as breweries making hazy IPAs go, they are fairly average compared to breweries nationally. This is not a stop for someone who is not a hop head as they seem to be doing little else besides IPAs.

Known for:
Come for soft modern IPAs. They don’t seem to be brewing much else.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterestGoogle Plus

Boulder Colorado Breweries – Odd 13 and Avery

On my trip to Denver I made the drive up to Boulder area to visit Avery and in the process stopped by Odd 13 first to try the beers that never get distributed to San Diego.

Odd 13

Odd 13 just celebrated three years and from my visit they seem to focus primarily on kettle sours and IPAs. They have a solid size tap room in an area six miles east of Boulder where the cell reception was terrible and the wi-fi unreliable. I started with some sours and moved my way on to a few IPAs.



Amacron kettle sour was nice with citrus notes and mild hop character. The Durazndor kettle sour with peaches and apricots was nice and mildly acidic with a good amount of fruit character. This was my favorite of the three sours so I was glad they had cans available. The Vincent Van Couch was another kettle sour with tons of fruit notes from the sour mash. The Buzzin Cuzzin coffee stout was nice and mellow with smooth coffee character that balanced nicely with mild chocolate.


For the IPAs, I finished with the Double Dry Hopped Super Fan. The beer had some nice citrus and herbal hoppy notes though the bitter finish didn’t jibe with the juicy style. The Hopperella was nice and smooth with notes of peach and vanilla. Both beers have the distinctive hazy unfiltered look and are tasty versions of the juicy style.

Top 2:
Durazndor peach sour
Hopperella hazy IPA


Avery is one of the larger breweries in the area, only surpassed by New Belgium for wide distribution of their beers. Though I’ve had most of their core beers before I wanted to visit the brewery directly to try them from the source. They have a massive two floor restaurant with plenty of seating and bar space for people to enjoy beers plus some outdoor seating as well. My husband enjoyed their always delicious brown ale that I used to buy quite regularly a few years back and their tasty stout. I stuck to their IPAs and finished with a brewery-exclusive sour.




Their single IPA is a perfect example of the classic West Coast style of IPA with tons of dankness and citrus notes and a dry finish. The Double IPA is fruity and sweet with notes of peach and a nice thick malt base that balances it out perfectly. The double dry hopped maharaja was fantastic to have fresh at the source finally. It is super smooth and does a great job hiding its 10% alcohol. I finished with the Terpshicore sour made with wine grapes and aged in wine barrels. The beer looks like a nice full-bodied red wine and is nice and jammy with fruity notes from the brett and a mild acidic finish. Though $6 a taster I savored every sip and would order more again for sure.



Avery has a wide variety of styles available from pilsner through to stouts and stronger IPAs, barley wines, and barrel aged beers including intense stouts and sours. It is hard to imagine someone not finding something to enjoy among the large tap list. They also had a handfull of tap room exclusives that make it worth the trip.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterestGoogle Plus