July 10th

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has written a thesis on the patio and all the reasons that it is holy, especially to those of us in northern climates who have limited months each year when we can comfortably drink outside. If you argue for heated patios, you’re probably a smoker. They’re indescribably crappier (kind of like when you’d tape something from the radio instead of buying the album) and I can’t justify using all that gas so I can drink outside in December. Saturday night was one of those perfect patio nights and the lineup at the Victory was indicative of that fact. But after securing a table with some work pals and eventually getting drinks, the night was looking good.

To make things even better, I finally got to do a side-by-side tasting of the Durham Hop Addict and Hop Head, the latter served on cask. Though neither seemed to be in great form, my vote goes to the hop head. The Addict had a more pronounced malt profile, which made it a little too sweet and slick on the tongue. The Hop Head was really thirst quenching thanks to the citrus and bitterness that came through. Both are outstanding Ontario beers and underrated IPAs, so don’t pass on either the next time you’re on a patio.

As the evening cooled off, the malty Neustadt 10w30 was a nice remedy. Hazelnut, toffee and some leather. A little grainy and bitter in the finish. Nothing spectacular, but a nice Ontario micro for the cooler nights on the patio.

Earlier in the evening, Soph really wanted to split a beer with dinner and was kind enough to share her bottle of Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale (aka Hitachino Nest New Year Celebration Ale). This is a heavily spiced ale, with lots of coriander and orange peel flavours. There is a little yeast too, making it very Belgian. Nicely backed by caramel malts. Huge cinnamon burst in the finish. It wasn’t a great pairing with grilled smoked paprika pork chops, but was excellent once the meal was over. This has me really looking forward to the Hitachino Ginger brew.

Durham Hop Addict on Ratebeer

Durham Hop Head on Ratebeer

Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale on Ratebeer

Neustadt 10w30 on Ratebeer

Today: 1.8L. Year-to-date: 137.49L.

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2 responses to “July 10th

  1. I’ve always been interested to see/hear about a side by side of the durham ipas. As you say, they are both winners but interesting that you picked the hop head as the victor. I have no bias as I can’t always keep them straight but perhaps i’ll head to victory to do the comparison and finally learn my hop addict from my hop head.

  2. It’s a good comparison for sure. You were lucky to be able to find them in the same place at the same time. I always suspected that the Hop Addict uses more varieties of hops, while the Hop Head seems to develop a really resinous hop flavour from fewer varieties. The hop head is definitely a better summer beer, though.

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