Seeing as the Harbord House is a fifteen-minute walk from my house, it is a shame that Saturday night was my first time visiting the self-proclaimed gastro-pub. The tap list was always decent but the same amount of time gets me to the Victory, so that option always won out. That won’t always be the case anymore. With an eclectic mix of options (Durham Hop Addict and Black Katt Stout, Wellington Best Bitter on cask, guest tap of Amsterdam Oranje Weiss), I opted for the Grand River Plowman’s Anniversary Ale. This is a substantially malty IPA, as evidenced by the fact that the beer almost blends into the wood table. Lots of tropical fruits in the nose and initial flavours, which is oddly (but nicely) paired with the caramel and slightly nutty features of the malt. The one thing missing was the long, bitter finish that this beer displayed at the Hart House festival. It just died on the tongue, which was very disappointing. This night it had nothing on Soph’s Hop Addict, but I would definitely have it again in hopes of finding that bitter Eden. As for the Harbord House, we didn’t try the food (though the menu and food looked delicious) but service was friendly and attentive. That our server topped up our friends cream ale because it poured with too much head the first time – bonus points. Definitely heading back soon.
We headed to the Cloak and Dagger afterward for some backyard patio sitting and I got an even maltier IPA – the Mike Duggan#99 Double IPA. Surprisingly, this beer seems to have upped the malt quotient from the #9 without upping the hops. The end result is lots of caramel and toasted malts with just a hint of citrus coming through. Some alcohol comes through in the end, making this far less refreshing than a lot of other double IPAs, especially without a lot of bitterness in the finish. Definitiely chewy and more of a double ESB than IPA in my books. It didn’t impress me, but it might be a lot nicer on a fall evening.
Today: 1.1L. Year-to-date: 149.91L.