Goose Island IPA

Another Christmas tall boy that I just got around to sampling.  The Goose Island IPA is made by the Goose Island Beer Company.  This is one of the few IPAs they carry in the Thessalon LCBO so I’ve tried it before.  But it’s been awhile and I didn’t really remember how it tasted.

An English style IPA that pours a light golden colour with very white head. As as I opened it I was a bit overwhelmed by the citrus hop smell.  Thankfully the taste wasn’t so abrasive – it was definitely hoppy but had a subtle pine flavour as well.  The citrus notes continued to pretty strong throughout the drink and it had a bit of a bitter finish.  The first few sips were a bit harsh but as I continued it kind of grew on me. But it was definitely more of a single beer in a sitting type of drink and predictably Andrew definitely wasn’t a fan.

Rumor has it that our latest beer of the month shipment just arrived so there should be new tasty beer in my future.

Listening: Verity and Doctor Who

While working on repetitive tasks I often listen to music, podcasts, or audio books.  One of my favourite podcasts is Verity! which features six women talking about Doctor Who.  Many episodes focus on a specific episode with the participants discussing their take, likes, and dislikes of the episode.  Recently, they re-watched and discussed “Rose” the first episode in the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who.  Much of this particular Verity! episode focused on reactions to the re-boot and reactions to seeing that first Doctor Who episode after the lengthy hiatus.

This got me to thinking about my personal discovery of Doctor Who.  Despite my love of all things fantasy, history, and sci-fi I came relatively late to the game.  I don’t remember ever seeing the show while growing up and I didn’t start watching immediately in 2005.  I came upon it by chance.  I was away for work and surfing channels in the hotel room.  Stumbled across a Christoper Eccleston era episode on TV and was enthralled. I have no recollection of what episode it was but I do remember that it was a two part episode.  While talking to Andrew on the phone that night I was like “I was watching this thing….can you please record the other half of this thing called Doctor Who.”  For me it was like discovering this brand new amazing thing.

For Andrew this moment wasn’t nearly as memorable and was more like “Oh, I know that show… it terrified us as children. But yeah, I’ll PVR it for you.  Which from what I’ve read Andrew’s response was fairly typical of a lot of people his age in Ontario.  Apparently Doctor Who aired on TVO for many years and often immediately followed children’s programming.  So the end of the Polka Dot Door would transition in the eerie sounds of the Doctor Who theme without much warning. The video below illustrates the terrifying blending of children’s programming with Doctor Who.  Seems a bit jarring.

TVO Polka Dot Door Outro Dr Who Intro by Retrontario

Knitting Update: Boot Cuffs

cuffAnother knitting project completed!  This weekend I managed to finish the boot cuffs I’d been working on.  I’m happy with how they turned out – the square pattern is pretty awesome and they look nice enough that I can wear them in public.  Plus they go well with tights and one of my favourite pair of boots…winning all around.

This project was also a chance to use some of the yarn that was gifted to me awhile ago by a friend.  There is a few skins of gorgeous mohair still waiting to be shaped into something.  I’ve been trying to gain the confidence to knit something Outlander inspired.  It might be time.

Muskoka Brewery: Detour

detourDespite having enjoyed Detour by Muskoka Brewery periodically since the summer I haven’t written about it yet.  I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe because it’s by a more run of the mill brewery and is easily accessible everywhere.  Regardless, it’s tasty and is a drink that I keep coming back to.

Detour is an unfiltered IPA sessionable style beer that has been dry-hopped.  The unfiltered style means it pours slightly cloudly, it’s a warm yellow tone and has a bit of foam on the top when poured.  It has a citrus smell and slightly citrus taste and the hops are mild enough to not be overpowering.  Andrew can drink a bit of it without being overwhelmed by the hops — which is how I usually judge if something is uber hoppy or not.

It’s a nice smooth brew that I enjoyed many a day on the dock, deck, or Muskoka chair. I’ve gone back to to it a few times, suggesting that it holds up to multiple sittings and is something I would definitely buy again or recommend to anyone interested in a mild IPA.

Hop City Brewing Co: HopBot IPA

HopHopBot IPA. A catchy, rhyming name.  And as an added bonus the can had a picture of a robot holding a hop on it.  It made me picture a brewery that is very futuristic and completely run by robot overlords.  Though that’s probably just my overactive imagination drawing on all the sci-fi I’ve been consuming recently.

I’ve previously tried the Barking Squirrel Lager by Hop City.  I’ve had it both in a can and on tap.  I remember being mildly disappointed that for a beer made by a company with hop in the name that it wasn’t particularly hoppy.  So I was hoping that HopBot would have a stronger hop note.

Brewed as an American IPA HopBot is made with a combination of five different West Coast hops. It poured an amber colour with moderate head that lasted for a few minutes after pouring.  It smelt and tasted slightly cirtus with a fairly mild hop note.  The malt and fruity notes balance out the hop flavour – so it isn’t a hit you over the head with hops kind of IPA.  It was smooth drinking and might be a good choice if you tend to like milder IPAs.  A decent beer.

Beer of the Month: Rye Knot and Red Cream Ale

We’re a bit behind on the beer of the month consumption.  I think this beer might have arrived in November but I just got around to sampling it last week. Two of the selections in this shipments were by Taps Brewing Co.  from Niagara Falls.  By the looks of it Taps is a brew up that does a bit of side business in bottled and growler beer.

The Rye Knot brew poured a hazy slightly dark colour with a rye, spicy, and slightly hoppy smell. The slightly citrus taste combined with the rye notes surprised me a bit.  I normally associate citrus with a much lighter style of beer. We’ve tried a few rye beers in recent months.  They are an interesting mix of flavours and have a range of depth to them.  This was an okay rye beer, not my favourite but not bad.

Andrew sampled a couple of the Red Cream Ales from Taps. He liked them but each time he opened the beer there was way too much carbonation and head ended up going everywhere.  Even when poured there was far too much head (eg. almost a whole glass of head).  We’re not sure if we got a bad batch or what, but it definitely wasn’t a great drinking experience.

Now to keep tackling the beers that were Christmas gifts.

Old Tomorrow Pale Ale

OldTomorrowThis was one of those impulse purchases.  It was located right by the cash in the LCBO and I’ll admit to buying it because it had a Prime Minter on the can.  The funny part being that Andrew bought a can a couple of days later for me, also because there was a Prime Minter on the can.  Apparently he knows my love of history pretty well.

Old Tomorrow is brewed by Old Tomorrow brewing.  The company is named after one of John A. MacDonald’s nicknames. He’s not one of my favourite Prime Ministers (yes, I have a few) — but it’s a neat to see the historical connection being made.  The Pale Ale is marketed as a Canadian Pale Ale and is blending of American and English pale ale styles.  It’s made with two row barley, rye, and a blend of North American and UK hops.

For an impulse buy this was pretty decent.  It was moderately hoppy, smooth, and had a clean finish. It poured a light clear colour with moderate head. After doing some reading a few people suggested to serve it moderately warm (or at least not as chilled as you would typically serve American beer).  I immediately associate warm beer with British styles and apparently it helps bring out different flavours in the brew.

Mead Braggot

A few years ago while visiting Traverse City I tried some cherry wine.  I tried mostly because Traverse City is well known for the cherries grown in the region and I figured where else am I ever going to try cherry wine.  It was super sweet.  Okay but not something I’d ever feel the need to try again.  However, when I finished the glass the waiter asked me my thoughts on the wine and suggest trying cherry mead.

I was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.  And put me on a hunt for learning more about mead. Mead is typically a fermented honey based beverage and is sometimes made with various fruits, spices, grains and hops. Trafalgar Ales and Meads is one of the few craft breweries in Ontario that regularly makes mead and you can usually find it in the LCBO regardless of the time of year.

I’ve had their Mead Braggot a couple of times recently.  It’s not as good as that cherry mead – but tasty. Braggot is a style of mead that incorporates hops or malt, you can taste a bit of this combined with a sweet note. It pours a hazy brown with almost no head.  The ale style of a braggot makes this kind of beer like and not quite a great mead.  The ginger mead by Trafalgar is more balanced.

Onward to find more mead.


Selfies scare me.  I admit it.  I’m not sure why – something about the image itself, combined with the trendiness, and the perceived narcissism just sits oddly with me. But I recently stumbled across an initiative called #365feministselfie.

The project was started in response to some criticism about the selfie culture and images created by women generally.  It encourages women to take selfies, to share images of real female bodies, and to conquer the “fear of seeing yourself” This idea resonated with me.  I think it’s important to have positive female images out there and that we don’t stop often enough to really see ourselves.

Selfies still scare me.  But I’ve taken a few and thrown them up on Instagram (@kris2335) with the #365feministselfie hashtag. Plus it’s given me a chance to take some snaps of some of my lovely TeeFury shirts. I’m sure I won’t manage to keep this up all year or take 365 images.  But its baby steps to being comfortable with seeing images of myself.