Friday, January 22. 2016
Sip n’ Shuck
One of my favourite annual events is coming up one week from today. Sip n’ Shuck features a wonderful array of Nova Scotia aquaculture products, especially oysters and mussels, presented in both classic and highly imaginative, original ways. With each succeeding year, local chefs are finding bolder new ways to highlight the superb qualities of Nova Scotia sea foods.
To wash all this down, there will be a wide range of Nova Scotia wines, beers, cider and spirits on hand, providing an excellent opportunity to taste for yourself how well local beverages and sea foods pair together.
Time: 6pm-8pm, Friday January 29th[SW1]
Place: Baronet Ballroom, Delta Halifax Hotel
Tickets are $58.00 including taxes, available exclusively Online.
We are still in the austerity month of January, all the more so given the generally pessimistic economic outlook. Fortunately, though, our increasingly fine local beer provides some great drinking at very affordable prices. This week’s reviews feature Tatamagouche Brewing Company. The brainchild of Hans Christian Jost, well-known and highly respected former owner of the Jost Winery, this small craft brewery has quickly established a reputation for eclectic styles and excellent quality.
The beers are available from some Private Wine Stores in Metro and are frequently on-tap at local pubs (this week, their Deception Bay IPA is also on tap at Rockhead Beer & Wine Market on Windsor Street). Included below are two terrific winter warmers from Tatamagouche Brewery’s Giant Beer series. At present, these very special small batch products are available only from the Brewery Store.
Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Hippie Dippie Pale Ale 5% $4.00 (473ml. Can) Available from Private Wine Stores in Metro (Rockhead Beer & Wine Market, The Bishop’s Cellar) and the Brewery Store in Tatamagouche. This is a well-balanced Pale Ale with citrus, floral, malty and spicy aromas. Shows some citrus notes on the palate with nutty light bitterness on the finish. Easy drinking style with some character. ***
Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Butcher Block Red Ale 6% $4.25 (473ml. Can) Available from Private Wine Stores in Metro (Rockhead Beer & Wine Market, The Bishop’s Cellar) and the Brewery Store in Tatamagouche. Shows toasty, nutty and smoky aromas, initial fruity sweetness then burnt roasted character, followed by mellow fruit cake flavour, rich creaminess and finishing with emphatic bitterness. A characterful, complex brew. ***
Tatamagouche Brewing Company, Organically Brewed Giant Beer Series: Giantess Barley Wine 11% $14.00 (650 ml. bottle) Only at the Brewery Store. Intriguing combination of floral perfume and burnt caramel on the nose with rich fruity flavours, toasty malt and bitter hoppiness. Dried fruit, coffee and dark chocolate combine harmoniously with subtle warming alcohol on the finish. ****
Tatamagouche Brewing Company, Organically Brewed Giant Beer Series: Barrel Aged Dread Not, Aged in Ironworks Rum Barrels 11.5% $15.00 (650 ml. bottle) Only at the Brewery Store. Shows very dark, stout-like colour with aromas of nutty dry malt and a hint of dark chocolate. Smoothly rounded on the palate with milk and dark chocolate and fruity and malty flavours. Finishes with preserved fruit, chocolate, dry hops and spicy, rum-infused warming alcohol. A complex, smooth, powerful brew and dangerously easy to drink! ****
Huisbruwerij De Halve Maan, Bruges, Brugse Zot Blonde, Belgium. 6% $4.99 (33cl. Bottle) Rockhead Beer & Wine Market. A traditional Belgian unfiltered blond style with a frothy, persistent head and nutty, yeasty and fruity citrus aromas. Lightly sour yeasty flavours contrast with citrusy sweetness and a touch of nutty malt on the drying finish. ***
*Acceptable ordinary quality
**Good quality, everyday standard
** Very good quality in its price range
**** Exceptional quality, top 15% - 20%
**** The finest possible, top 5% - 10%