BEER GYPSY ADVENTURES: Tis The Season For Sharing Beer…

Tis the season for sharing so it only seemed fit the second Ottawa Bottle Share (#OttBottleShare) was hosted last Sunday, December 15th just in time for the holidays.

(For those of you who don’t know about Ottawa Bottle Share you can find all the information here at Ottawa Beer Events.)

Turn out was great even with the weather conditions (I was a little worried due to the fact that most were snowed in overnight.) The bottles continued to pile as the guests arrived and eventually we ended up with the following list…

Beers drank at the second Ottawa Bottle Share (#OttBottleShare)

  • Gueuze 100% Lamic Bio – Brasserie Cantillon
  • Local 1 – Brooklyn Brewery
  • Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2013) – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • American Beauty – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Fighting Irish Red Ale – Yellowbelly Brewery & Public House
  • Heady Topper – The Alchemist
  • Robert The Bruce – Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • MacKroken Flower Grande Reserve – Le Bilboquet Microbrasserie
  • Nyx – White Birch Brewing
  • Scrimshaw Oyster Stout – Barley Days Brewery
  • Plum Noir (Blackwater Series) – Southern Tier Brewing Company
  • Yuletide Cherry Porter – Barley Days Brewery
  • Mean Old Tom – Maine Beer Company
  • Lost River Baltic Porter – Bellwoods Brewery
  • 2011 Stone BELGO Anise Imperial Russian Stout – Stone Brewing Co.
  • Kalamazoo Stout – Bell’s Brewery
  • Tsarina Katarina Imperial Stout – Scotch Irish Brewing
  • Yuletide Barley Wine – Wellington Brewery
  • 2012 Oak Aged Barley Wine – Great Lakes Brewery

My Top 5 Highlights

5. Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2013) – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4. 2012 Oak Aged Barley Wine – Great Lakes Brewery
3. Tsarina Katarina Imperial Stout – Scotch Irish Brewing
2. Yuletide Cherry Porter – Barley Days Brewery
AND! #1!
Heady Topper – The Alchemist

Lately when I’ve been drinking beer I’ve been really focusing on not only the tasting notes but the food pairing aspect. Food can not only enhance some already delightful flavours in a beer, it can bring out unique tastes as well. In this instance I really focused on one of the beers at the bottle share. I had been keeping my eye out on all of the stouts and porters on the table but one specifically caught my eye. Mean Old Tom (Stout aged on natural vanilla beans) by Maine Beer Company (Portland, Maine) I’m a sucker for anything vanilla flavoured or scented. When first drinking the beer alone, like others I noticed the hint and aroma of vanilla was faint. Though we all discussed how depending on how the process with the vanillas beans was done would have definitely effected the intensity of the vanilla flavour. So I decided to see if I could enhance the flavour, Sasha (@SashaInTheCity) made her Chocolate Caramel Toffee Fudge so I decided to try some of that with the stout… and viola! I mentioned to a few others to try it at as well. The flavours of the fudge and the stout complimented each other perfectly. Don’t get me wrong though, the beer by its self alone was great but who doesn’t like the excuse to eat some sweets?

With that being said if anyone has the opportunity to get their hands on this lovely beer, I thought it would be only right to give the recipe so they can share the awesome experience. Of course this can be paired with any other delicious stout (with the same style notes.)

Courtesy of Sasha In The City:

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Fudge

8×8 Pan
Parchment Paper
2-3 Skor Chocolate Bars (Personal preference on how much you want in fudge)
2 cups of Semisweet Chocolate (Chocolate Chips will do too!)
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk – Dulce De Leche Flavour
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Heat over medium heat until chocolate melts (to a thicker consistency.) Add Condensed Milk, Vanilla & Salt. Stir. Pour into 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Break up Skor chocolate bars into bits and sprinkle onto fudge. Place in fridge and let sit for minimum of one hour.

Over all it was definitely a successful bottle share, it was great to see some familiar faces and meet new people. Thank you again to Sasha & Matt for opening up their home and hosting us! Cannot wait until the next one.

– The Beer Gypsy

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