Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Beers with Peps: Brews Review- Goose Island IPA

Drinking one of the big players today. A Goose Island IPA (bottle). Hailing from Chicago, these guys are popular in Canada and can found in most bars, +Beer Store , LCBO's and grocery stores. This is a beer most Craft drinkers should have tried by now, it's even a beer most non-craft drinkers would of tried at least once. Now owned largely by a parent company (Anheuser-BuschInBev) and mass brewing in a new location, Goose Island IPA is still a beer to be enjoyed and experienced.


Name: IPA
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company Goose Island Website
Price: $13.75 (Six Pack) CAD
ABV: 5.9%
Commercial Fluff:
"Our India Pale Ale recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lover’s dream with a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, and long hop finish."
Own Opinion

Sight: A clear golden yellow with a slight orange tint.
Aroma: Full hoppy and citrus, grapefruit aromas.
Taste: Overall an easy drinking, floral, grapefruit bitterness with a dry finish.
Would I buy it again? Yes (which is lucky as it is the most common beer I've found).

As we all know Goose Island has been around for a long time. 25 years I believe. And they are properly, one of the most well known brewers out there. This is good news for us, as it means we get to enjoy this beer at a reasonable price and can find it quiet easily in most LCBO's and bars in Ontario. With it's smooth taste and bitter finish it is a great gateway beer for those new to IPA's or as a safe choice for those unsure of the other offerings. If you haven't had it, I recommend trying it to see how 25 years of brewing knowledge can create a great beer.

So have you tried it? Do you agree or better let disagree? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

My guide to beer.

I know when I started out on my adventure into Craft Beer, there was a lot of info to take in. So then when I had to start training new staff at my old jobs, I wanted to produce an easy to follow "beginners" guide. So have a read and drop me a comment if you like it or if I have something wrong. But please remember it's a beginners guide so is quite basic and not always a given.

So the topics of this guide will cover the basics of Yeast, Hops and Beer Styles.

Beers near a London Canal

A lot of info beyond here, so click to learn more.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Fan Made Film: Judge Minty

Today's post is about a must watch fan made film. The title is Judge Minty and is a fan made non-profit film, based unsurprisingly in the world of Judge Dredd. It is an original piece of fiction, following up on a secondary character from the comics (more on Judge Minty later). So before I give away the plot click play and watch it. It's only 27 minutes long so you have nothing to lose!

Well if your still reading this you must of enjoyed it :) So allow me to continue. 

The main character is Judge Minty.

 A Judge who been on the streets for too long. As old age sets in his view of the perps starts to change and he begins to believe that people aren't naturally bad. So wrong! Whilst out on a mission with Judge Dredd, he finds himself in a stand off with a perp. Now due to his mental state and his age, the perp manages to shoot first and puts Minty into the hospital. After a lot of soul searching, Minty decides it's time to take the Long-Walk. Taking the law to the lawless. Here he will encounter a small ban of people and deal with a poison fueled Rad-Storm. 
So as you will see, the film stays pretty true to the cannon of the comic. Which is why it's so good. 

Highlights in this movie for me.

1) The Main Villain. The Cursed Earth gang leader Aquila who never speaks. Unlike his followers this guy has benefited from his exposure to the Radiation wastes and has developed unusual Psi abilities. These manifest themselves during the film as a form of telekinesis, allowing him to deflect bullets and produce a shield of rocks.

Someone has even made Aquila, for a charity event. Sadly I was late to this party and was enable to get this fig or the Judge Minty one :( (if you have some for sale or can sculpt me one get in contact please).

2) The scene when Judge Minty passes the now wrecked Killdozer. This is quite an iconic scene in the film, as it links the film into the comics. Representing the tale of when Dredd had to cross the Cursed Earth to save MC-2 from a plague.

(Unable to find a still from the film so here is a fan drawn picture)

3) The sign below. Great movie prop and really fits into the movie and adds atmosphere to the surroundings.

I really enjoyed this film and I am glad to hear rumors of more films getting produced in future (Strontium Dogs is next). If I have sparked your interest please follow these links for more info and thank you for reading.

Bookshelf: Comic Review- 2000AD Modern

So I'm continuing with the free digital downloads from 2000AD. This time it's the turn of 2000AD Modern. A Zarjaz selection of recent stories from the pages of 2000AD.

Stories by: Multiple Writers
Art by: Multiple Artists
Page Count: 81

Commercial Statement:
A Zarjaz selection of recent stories from the pages of 2000AD. Absalom, Defoe, Age of the Wolf, Lawless, Zombo and Jaegir.

My Thoughts:

Cover wise nothing too special. We have the logo of Tharg's forehead in the background with a copy and paste image of a Judge from Lawless. It's fine as it is a free magazine but a bit disappointing as I love a good cover! Moving on we have two pages of standard info and a single page advert for the app. Then finally we are into the first story.

Story: Absalom-Noblesse Oblige Parts 1 & 2.
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Tiernen Trevallion

The story being only the first two parts, introduces us to Inspector Harry Absalom. A grizzled old policemen, suffering from cancer and living in a futuristic London. The story seems to involve vampires and a family who seem to have a past with Absalom. The artwork is great and the characters seem interesting, but sadly the tale finishes too early and I'm Left wanting more.

Story: Defoe 1666 Parts 1 & 2
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Leigh Gallagher

Full disclosure I don't like Defoe, so I am bias sorry. Titus Crow is a living dead hunter, from the Church of England. He is an angry, aggressive man and this story is set in Whitechapel London. That's all I want to write, I just don't like this character or the artwork. I find the whole zombie appeal dull and boring so lets move on.

Story: Age of the Wolf  Parts 1 & 2
Script: Alec Worley
Art: Jon Davis-Hunt

These tales all seem to have a theme so far; London. The tale begins in a museum, with a tape player revealing the back story leading to this point. It seems that London is under the effect of a Full Moon for the last few days, which has seen a rise in religious cults and mass suicides. Also if that wasn't enough, there seems to be werewolves killing people in the streets and on the tube. The stories main character seems to a woman called Rowan and her attempts to escape London. This story has me intrigued to findout more. I also love seeing modern day iconic London locations with Werewolves running around them.

Story: Lawless: Welcome to Badrock Parts 1 & 2
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Ellie De Ville

Finally we move away from London and into the timeline of Dredd. The script is written by one of my favourite authors Dan Abnett. I'm a big fan of the Gaunt Ghosts series and Sinister Dexter so I have high expectations. The art work is classic black and white line drawing which I am a big fan, so far so good. The story is set on 43 Rega a mega city colony out on the outer rim. Think sci-fi western and your not far off. The only law out here is brought by the Colonial Marshals, a pretty lonely and thankless task. Story begins with the town folk waiting on a shuttle carrying their new Marshal by the name Lawson. As she steps off the shuttle you can she isn't a people person. The story then follows her as she makes her on her new township. I really like this tale, first off it was a self contained tale and left no questions, but it has also made me want to read more of this tale, I believe it to be set after Insurrection another great tale by Dan Abnett and I'm interested to see if the two will cross.

Story: Zombo Parts 1 & 2
Script: Al Ewing
Art: Henry Flint

First up it's a Zombie story and if you've actually read above you know I have a dislike for Zombies. Plus side the art is by Henry Flint so I have some hope for this story. Artwork was definitely a plus, the story it self read like a cheesy B-Movie which I feel is the point. We meet a rag tag group of humans, travelling on the same space flight as two government officials with a mysterious coffin shaped boxed. During the routine flight the ship is hit by asteroids and forced to crash on a Death World. We need get to watch the survivors get killed off by the planet, whilst the box slowly opens. The story ends with the main character Zombo, leaning out of the box asking "Can I eat you?". This isn't a story I need to come back too. Looks fun but just doesn't appeal to me.

Story: Jaegir Strigoi Part 1 & 2
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Simon Bowland

I'm not going to talk about this one as I have already done a full post on this story. So if your interested then follow this link.

So with Jaegir we've reached the end of this free comic. Just a couple more adverts for the 2000ad app. So overall I'm glad it is a free comic as most stories were incomplete and didn't really showcase the tale. I would have preferred to have seen full single episode stories instead. But hey great showcase of artwork and has made me want to find out more about Lawless and catch up with the Judge Dredd Megazine. 

2.5 out of 5

Friday, 29 January 2016

Beers with Peps: Beau's vs Beyond the Pale at Atomic Rooster

On May 20th, 2015 (Wednesday) we attended our first Canadian Craft Beer Tap Takeover. Hosted by Atomic Rooster and staring two of my favourite Canadian breweries: Beau's and Beyond the Pale.

The Events Poster
Strangely for Ottawa, the event was starting at 12pm on a Wednesday. Which seems weird as most people in Ottawa work for the Government, so they would be at work from 9am till 5pm. But we expected/planned for a bit of a lunch crowd, so we didn't arrive till 1pm with the plan being to miss all the food ordering. Upon arriving we was surprised to find the place pretty quiet (near dead). At the bar sat five or six retired old guys, drinking their cans of Coors and Bud, whilst in the window sat five guys sampling the beers (by the pint) and in the middle a big work crowd enjoying their lunch. The waitress seemed slightly flustered, but soon welcomed us in and produced the beer menu. Each brewery had produced Six beers for the showcase, even though the Cask option was not on the menu. Each beer was selling at $6.50 for 16oz (CAD dollar so plus tax guys). Or you could par take in the blind tasting. The Blind tasting fell into 4 pairings groups: Belgian, IPA, Cask and Wheat. Each pairing cost $5 for two 5oz samples. So it will come as no surprise that we went for the tasting option.

Badly photographed menu

Sadly and slightly disappointing, it wasn't a true blind tasting as the Beau's option came in a Beau's glass and the Beyond the Pale in their branded glasses (real shame). But it was the best way to try all the beers without getting too wasted in the early afternoon or getting stuck with a dud beer. So here is how the pairings worked:

Style: Belgian

Beau's Gigantic: La Formidable - American Belgo IPA - 6.9% - 60 IBU (Link)
Beyond the Pale Mullet - Belgian IPA - 5% - 49 IBU (Link)

Winner: Beau's simple reason had more of a punchy taste. Aroma's of Orange and grapefruit and peppery notes.

Style: IPA

Beau's Le Coeur Noir - Black IPA - 7.1% - 60 IBU (Link)
Beyond the Pale Rye Guy - Rye PA - 6.7% - 52 IBU (Link)

Winner: Beyond the Pale. This was the first beer we tried on our first day in Canada and we both had been impressed by it. In this pairing it won out for us, as it is exactly what we want in an IPA. Hoppy but with a good malty backbone. Beau's was tasty but sadly too dark to win in this category. 

1) Rye Guy 2) Le Coeur Noir 3) Mullet 4) Gigantic
Style: Wheat

Beau's Wag the Wolf - Hopfenweisse - 6.0% - 20 IBU (Link)
Beyond the Pale Pink Fuzz - Grapefruit Wheat - 6% - 20 IBU (Link)

Winner: Beau's Wag the Wolf. Reason being it was a classic tasting Wheat beer, clean, crisp, banana, yeasty notes pure win.

Style: Cask

Sadly our server had little to no info on these beers. I have emailed the breweries and will see what they say.

Beau's Ox Session Pale - Unknown
Beyond the Pale Stimmy Hats IPA - Unknown

Winner: Beyond the Pale, had more of a grapefruit taste which helped it to win through. More details will be written in once I know for sure I'm writing about the right beer. 

1) Ox Session 2) Stimmy Hats 3) Pink Fuzz 4) Wag the Wolf
Style: Imperial

Not on the official list but offered by the server so why not!

Beau's Haters Gonna Hate - Eis Kolsch - 8% - 40 IBU (Link)
Beyond the Pale Imperial Super Guy - Imp. Rye Pale ale - 9.1% - 90 IBU (Link)

Winner: Beyond the Pale Imp. Super Guy. This was a bit of a no brainer as I'm just not a fan of Kolsch style beers sadly.


So there you have it. The winner of The Beers with Peps is---

Beyond the Pale 3-2.

Now if you drop out the unofficial Imperial round, it would have actually been a draw (boring!). But overall it was a great afternoon out, which we had a lot of fun doing and being a part off. I look forward to the next Ottawa event. Until then here are some links:



Also some of Beau's great label designs to finish us off