Toronto Debrief: Part One

From the start, Toronto and I didn’t get along very well. Granted this had a lot to do with us being ripped off by the place we were staying at, and this experience left us a feeling a bit bitter. So here’s a list of the first lowlights of our trip:

– The above mentioned ‘hotel’ charging us TWICE the agreed price! This wouldn’t have been so bad if they had staff on the premises, but we had to deal with them over the phone. Long story short; don’t stay at the ‘Glengrove at Mapple Leaf’ apartments in Toronto.

– Finding out that craft beer is even scarcer in Canadian restaurants than it is in Australia. There were two main choices; Molson Canadian and Rickard’s Red Ale. Those who’ve had these will understand why this was a lowlight.

But the biggest disappointment was when I discovered a shop right next to our apartment called ‘The Beer Shop’. Actually I lie; I was stoked when I discovered the shop. It wasn’t until I went inside and found a shop full of beer in cans that disappointment settled in. I still have some trepidation about beer in cans. But I was thirsty, so I decided to try and find some gems within the obviously mass produced line-up. Here’s what I found:

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Steam Whistle Pilsner
I bought this because I’d heard some good things about it, and because it’s labelled as a Pilsener rather than a lager. And let’s face it, the can looks freaking cool! As for the taste…um, did I mention how cool the can looks?

Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale
Yeah, an IPA! Surely I’m on a winner here, right? Well, maybe not. This is the lightest, clearest IPA I’ve ever seen, and drinking it evokes images of Homer Simpson eating rice cake…”Hello? Hello, taste? Where are you?”…how dare it call itself an IPA.

Muskoka Mad Tom IPA
Another IPA, but this one actually IS an IPA! It’s still a light body, but there’s some perfumy hops, some honey and a lasting bitterness. Gem found!

Muskoka Dark Ale
After the Mad Tom I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I may have set my expectations too high. It was still 100% better than the first two, but a watery body and a musty flavour really let this beer down.

Bad beer and worse customer service…this is why my initial experience with Toronto left a lot to be desired. To any Torontonians who may be reading this, fear not – in part two of my debrief I’ll explain why Toronto and I, after such a rocky start, ended up parting on good terms.

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