Thursday was a friend’s birthday, so another Winterlicious dinner was followed by going out for drinks. The Dakota Tavern had an outrageous cover ($20 for Holly McNarland? Really?!), so we were left to search the Dundas and Ossington area for a bar. It didn’t take long, as a chalkboard sign advertising half-pints of Mill Street Betelgeuse drew us in from the cold. The bar was Opera Joe’s Public House, a dark but welcoming local with a strong cottage feel, right down to the various knick-knacks lining the walls. Lots of sports paraphernalia (especially Toronto FC), but with a feel of being put together by an actual fan rather than someone looking to operate a sports bar. The tap lineup was decent, even beyond the Betelgeuse: Creemore Lager, Steamwhistle and a slew of other Mill Street offerings (Cobblestone Stout, Tankhouse and maybe the Organic). The macro stuff seemed to take up most of the bottle fridge, but I did spot a Coffee Porter. The bartender was friendly and we were quite pleased with the service.
The Betelgeuse was available in half or full pints ($3.50 or $7, respectively). I knew ordering a half would only lead to another half, so I saved time just got the full. It came in the branded Mill Street shaker glass, the only thing to complain about (though not really surprising). The beer was served at a nice temperature, slightly warmer than Soph’s Tankhouse, which made up for the glass. It is a very clear blonde and came with only a small, creamy head. Aromas of honey and pear, which carried through to a very sweet taste. The finish was slightly bready with a smack of pepper, but not dry enough to balance the sugars. A decent beer, but it doesn’t compare to the really good tripels.
I couldn’t handle a second pint of that and really needed a Mill Street Tankhouse for the bitterness it provided. Definitely what my palate needed after too much sweetness, though the Tankhouse had a creamier mouthfeel than normal and this emphasized more of the caramel malts. Still a lovely beer and a steal at $5/pint.
Today: 1L. Year-to-date: 56.9L.