Tag Archives: Pale Ale



I hadn’t drank Budweiser or similar beers in many years so I was curious to see how it would compare to the stronger and frankly better beers I had become used to.  Bud Light and Labatt’s 50 were on tap at the Irish Embassy, and I was very drunk when I tried them – in fact I don’t have a picture of Labatt’s 50 and I don’t want to have to go and buy one just to take a picture.  Labatt’s Bleue and Budweiser were both tried at Sports Station and I was also quite drunk at that point.  I believe from the picture that Rolling Rock was tried at Ye Olde Orchard on de la Montagne – just for the hell of it.

I don’t have too much to say about these ‘beers…’

No. 47 – Bud Light
2017-02-05 - 47 - Bud Light _500beers

Hmmm…Bud is light enough so why make it lighter?  3/11

No. 50 – Labatt’s 50

Like Harp or Carlsberg back home, it seems to be everywhere somehow.  It’s fine, just a standard lager. 3.5/11

No. 120 – Rolling Rock

This is lemonade – I understand that it is an extra pale lager but it just tasted like lemonade.  2/11

Nos. 284 and 285 – Labatt’s Bleue and Budweiser

These were both cheap and were fine – what you would expect, Budweiser is a little lighter feeling with Labatt’s seeming closer to an actual beer but I could drink it again if it were cheap enough.  These both get 3/11.

So that’s that.  A few of the beers I tried just to fill out the numbers, I mean to compare different light beers.  I don’t like being critical but there are so many better beers out there.

Back Home 2 – Randoms

Back Home 2 – Randoms

As it’s almost a year since I went back home and tried 16 different beers in seven days and as I will be going back there quite soon, it’s finally time to put a few notes up about the other beers I tried there last year.  Here’s a link to my first post.

The picture is a bridge over the Six Mile Water at the Castle Grounds, Antrim, the other pictures are not of the same quality due to my increasing level of drunkenness…

No. 150 – Heverlee
2017-05-19 - 150 - Heverlee _500beers _antrim

I tried this at the Back Shed in Antrim.  I had noticed that it was in a lot of bars the previous year when I went back home but hadn’t tried it,  thank God.  It looks quite classy but doesn’t really taste like much.  It’s a very light feeling lager.  I’m not going to drink it again.  1.5/11

No. 151 – Roundstone Irish Ale
2017-05-19 - 151 Roundstone Irish Ale _500beers _Antrim

Also tried at the Back Shed, this is also a light beer with very little real taste to it.  I suppose it’s always nice when you get a pint glass with a logo on it. 2/11

No. 152 – Farmageddon Porter

This was recommended by a friend working at the bar (Cheers Jonny).  And while I can’t find my notes on it, I do recall it being a decent porter, which wouldn’t be out of place amongst the porters available in Montreal.  It poured a little flat, but still tasted fine.  I would try it again and recommend trying it too.  5/11

No. 160 – Farmageddon California Common

This is an odd beer.

I was unaware of the style ‘California Common’ before so I did not know what to expect.  To be fair, I didn’t really do much research and so am still quite ignorant on the subject, however I am aware that they are often very carbonated.  When I poured this a little it filled the glass and continued expanding.  In fact it kept foaming up for a few minutes to the point that it was impossible to drink.  On trying a second bottle, it was slightly easier to pour but still bubbled up like no beer I’ve ever seen.  So it’s different.  Unfortunately, the taste was not worth the effort of waiting for the beer to settle.  It was quite hoppy initially but very dry and lacked any real bitter aftertaste.  2/11 – try shaking one up!

No. 162 – Tennent’s Ice Cold

Suffering for one’s art.  I’ve never liked Tennent’s but I decided to try this again to get the numbers up.  This was quite watery, and lacked taste, but it did keep it’s fizz well and was reasonably refreshing.  3/11

In conclusion, it is very probable that the previous four years of Quebec beers has taught me to expect more from beer.  I still have to write up notes on a few other craft beers I tried at home so I will also summarise my conclusions when I have reviewed them too.

Until next time!



I bought these beers for no other reason than I liked how they looked.  This probably goes to highlight the importance of a good label and theme in selling beers.  In any case, Jukebox have several beers along this musical theme, which all claim to be American influenced and very hoppy.  Here are the first three…

Number 332 – Mélodie Sauvin

This is an American Wheat with quite an appealing aroma.  It has quite an acidic tone and is very citrusy.  I quite liked the taste of this – it had quite a bit of fizz and was therefore very refreshing with a strong hop aftertaste.  The acidity and fruity flavour was quite sweet, which created a nice bitter-sweet balance.  It’s a very good wheat beer.  I’m giving it 7/11 for being good, accurate, worth the price, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way in a heatwave for a bottle.

Number 353 – New Wave Milkshake IPA

This is another good beer.

The aroma brings out tropical fruits and is a little more bitter than the Mélodie, but it’s very appealing.  To taste, this one is odd for an IPA, it has a creamy texture more akin to a malty beer – obviously coming from the ‘milkshake’ style.  To me this is a good thing.  I personally prefer maltier beers with a creamier texture so taking an IPA (a style that I don’t like so much) and giving it a texture that I like can only be a good thing.  The tropical fruit aroma comes through a little in the flavour too giving this beer a nice balance of fruit, bitterness, hops and creaminess.  An easy 7/11, for being good, accurate, worth the price, a little different, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for a bottle.

Number 354 – Classique

Finally, the Classique American pale ale.  I don’t have any notes on this one because I was a little disappointed after having tried the Mélodie and New Wave Milkshake IPA.

There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it was a decent pale ale but just had nothing special about it.  I gave it 4/11 – it’s fine, ok for the price, accurate and I may drink it again.

So Jukebox have a pretty good selection of beers so far – I will definitely be trying their Distortion, Double Distorsion and Jazz before the year ends.

Back Home 1 – Belfast Pub Crawl

Back Home 1 – Belfast Pub Crawl

A giant fish and a slanty clock – I miss Belfast!

I went back home in May for a week or so and profited from the trip by trying sixteen beers I haven’t seen in Montreal.  I’ll post about the several beers I tried at home and in a couple of bars in Antrim at some point, but first here are a few beers I tried on a mini pub crawl in Belfast on a perfect Saturday afternoon in May…

Number 153 – Whitewater Brewery’s Belfast Black
2017-05-20 - 153 - Whitewater Brewing Co. Belfast Black 2 _500beers _belfast

The drinking started at McHugh’s bar and as usual I started with a stout.  Whitewater Brewery, not to be confused with Whitewater Brewing Co. (a Canadian brewery), have made a really great stout here.  It’s got a creamy light head that fizzles on the tongue and has mild hints of coffee.  The creaminess coats the mouth and the flavour builds with each gulp, it’s just like a good Guinness.  It gets a solid 8/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, having something different (in this case surprising – I didn’t expect it to be that good), for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it in a snowstorm or heatwave.  Indeed, I travelled 3000 miles for it.

Number 154 – Clonmel 1650 Pale Ale
2017-05-20 - 154 - Clonmel 1650 _500beers _belfast

Also at McHugh’s, this is a beer that like several others that I noticed around the bars of Antrim seems to have appeared everything over the four years that I’ve been in Canada.  I’ve confirmed that it is definitely a pale ale/lager though it was very light.  I got a hint of apple from the beer and it felt a bit more like a cider in that it was very fizzy, like lemonade almost.  I originally gave it 1.5/11, but I’m going to round that up to 2/11, I remember it not being great, but I’ve tried a few appley beers since and I may have been overly harsh on this one.

Number 154 – Stella 4
2017-05-20 - 155 - Stella 4.2 _500beers _belfast

The final beer at McHugh’s was Stella 4, which is definitely different from Stella Artois, I think.  Well that’s what the advertising campaign said when it first was released.  It’s supposed to be a lighter, smoother, slightly more classy lager than the regular Stella Artois.  I’m not going to bother researching but I think the 4 is for 4%.  It is a fine lager and gets a 5/11 in any case.

Numbers 155 and 156 – Smithwick’s Blonde Ale and Pale Ale

The next bar I went to was the Cloth Ear, I place I had been to on a few occasions in the past, mostly to take advantage of happy hour prices on work nights out.  Here, I found that they had other varieties of Smithwick’s.  I drink Smithwick’s red ale regularly, and tried it earlier this year but am still to write about it – it is a good beer.  The blonde ale and the pale ale were both also quite good beers.  The blonde was quite malty and had a thicker texture than a lot of the other blondes I’ve tasted, it also had a hint of caramel, hinting at the taste of the red ale.  It gets a good 6/11.  The pale ale was a little more hoppy, but light and refreshing.  It gets 5/11.

Number 157 – Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA
2017-05-20 - 158 Franciscan Well Chieftan _500beers _belfast

I had this pint at the Harp Bar and after that it started to get blurry.  Looking at the Franciscan Well webpage, this seems to be an IPA, but it seemed much more like a blonde ale – again with hints of caramel to it.  It was however also quite fruity, which was very good indeed.  I gave it 7/11 for being good, worth the price, accuracy, for being a little different, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability and I would go out of my way for it.

The pub crawl continued on to the Duke of York bar, a bar that I don’t know and finally the Crown bar before I got the bus home.  I don’t remember getting the bus home though.  I tried at least one other beer I hadn’t tasted before but didn’t make notes so it is lost to history!

More to follow in my next post.

Catch up


Catch Up

If I keep trying new beers at the rate I have been for the last three months I will complete 365 beers in 266 days – my hunch that 365 beers would be too simple was correct.  The 500 beers will be complete hopefully mid-December so that I can relax and think of something for next year (suggestions welcome, clean suggestions).  I’ve put a nice sunset picture as the year is almost drawing to a close, like one long drunken hazy day.

I’ve only posted about slightly less than half of those beers so here are a few photos and thoughts on some of the average tinned beers I’ve tried at various places throughout the Summer.

Nos. 167 and 168 – Rickard’s White and Blonde

I had these at a barbecue in early June or late May – the white was ok but didn’t really feel too much like a white.  The blonde was fine and had a nice aftertaste, but was no better than any other blondes I’ve tasted.  The white gets a 4/11 and the blonde gets a 5/11.

Nos. 185 and 186 – St. Ambroise Pale Ale and Archibald Coquine

In early June I organised a drumming pic-nic at the Mont Royal park near the tamtams.  I would recommend it if you like hearing the same rhythm played over and over again for several hours.  Anyway, I tried a few beers there too.

The St. Ambroise Pale Ale was a decent pale ale but nothing special.  In fact, it was a little disappointing given the other St. Ambroise beers I had tried up to that point.  It gets 5/11.  Archibald’s Coquine, despite the nice picture also only gets a 5/11.  It was ok and for the right price I’d drink it again, but I’m not going to go out of my way for it.

Nos. 187 and 188 – St. Ambroise Double IPA and Session IPA

I tried these on the same day as the previous two.  Curiously enough they both get similar marks.  The Double IPA was ok but a little too hoppy, which was obviously not a surprise from the name and description – 4/11.  The Session IPA was better, but only a little – 5/11.

Nos. 221 and 233 – Archibald’s La Valkyrie and La Brise du Lac

I tried La Valkyrie at a house party and was a little disappointed.  Maybe it would be better on draft – but the beer I tried was a little weak on taste – 4/11.  I bought La Brise du Lac in Sherbrooke but brought it back to Montreal and had it at some point presumably when I had nothing better to drink.  It’s not bad for a pilsner, another 5/11 but I don’t know if I’ll ever drink it again.

No. 77 and No. 247 – Lowenbrau and Modelo

A little tour of the world here – Germany and Mexico.  I tried Lowenbrau at some point in May after my holiday back home I think and thanks to a decision to not include a few ciders I had previously been counting it ended up being No. 77 rather than one hundred and something.  It was ok for a barbecue but not great – 3/11.  Modelo was a surprise, it’s a very good lager with a lot of fizz and a more orangey colour than I would like, but it was refreshing and had a really good taste – an easy 6/11.

So that’s a few beers caught up on, the only one of note being Modelo, which is a beer I will drink again.  It’s particularly good for a warm day.  The others, meh…

Nos. 216 – 218 – Brasserie Harricana

Nos. 216 – 218 – Brasserie Harricana

This bar is one that I have visited a few times and gotten quite drunk at on each occasion, this time I went with the express purpose of enjoying the taste of the beer.  I picked three cheaper beers to pass the night and the results are below.  I did, however have a sip of a beer that was on a level above these towards the end of the evening, which is annoying…

From left to right, No. 216 – Cream Ale, 217 – Best Bitter and 218 – Pale Ale

No. 216 – Cream Ale

The head makes this look like a promising cream ale, however the glowing golden colour of the body suggests otherwise.  Indeed, the creamy head was nice but the ale itself was a little bland, there were mild hints of a good cream ale in there but overall it just made me think of a flat lager, with a little creaminess to the texture.  It gets a 2.5/11, that’s 0.5 of a yes for being drinkable at least, 0.5 for the description, 0.5 for recommend-ability (for somebody wanting a very light cream ale, this may be ideal and a complete Yes for the price.  I wasn’t annoyed that I’d about $5 (including tip), just disappointed.

No. 217 – Best Bitter

I’m bitter because this was not the best.  An English style red ale.  It had a nice toasty aroma and a bright amber colour, so again as with the cream ale it looked good but suggested that it may not be exactly what it says.  It didn’t have a strong taste, however there were hints of caramel and a little creaminess that made it nice to drink.  It gets 4/11 being a Yes each for not being bad, for the price, for the description and half a Yes for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.  

No. 218 – Pale Ale

This was the best beer of the night, I simply wrote that it looks like a pale ale, smells like a pale ale and tastes like a pale ale.  It therefore gets a 4/11, for the same points as the Best Bitter.

I will revisit Brasserie Harricana, very soon…

Nos. 211 – 212 – L’Hérmite’s Smash IPA Africaine and Le Trefle Noir’s Elle et Louis

Nos. 211 – 212 – L’Hérmite’s Smash IPA Africain and Le Trefle Noir’s Elle et Louis

After playing the drums for about two hours in a small, very hot room with no fan, I decided to stop off at Yïsst for a beer to cool down before moving on to find a beer shop that I had recently discovered online…

2017-07-02 - Yïsst logo 1 _500beers

No. 211 – L’Hérmite Smash IPA Africain

I asked for l’Hérmite after having seen a white beer on the menu on the wall. Little did I realise that there were two different beers from this brewery. Upon wondering why the white beer would be so hoppy I checked the menu again and then arrived at the conclusion that I had been given the other beer. This was not a bad thing though as this was a decent beer that hit the spot anyway.

2017-07-02 - 211 - L'Hérmite Smash IPA Africaine _500beers

Curiously, the aroma made me think of pineapple and more specifically pineapple lollipops, so I was more surprised when the taste was so hoppy. The initial fruity aroma did not come through much in the taste but it was still somewhat evident making this a decent beer. It gets a 5/11 for being good, accurate (eventually), for the price, for drink-again-ability and for recommend-ability.

No. 212 – Le Trefle Noir Elle et Louis

Whilst having one beer to cool down, I spotted a Trefle Noir beer in the menu so I decided it was worth giving it a try as I’d never seen them on draft before.  This is apparently by Le Trefle Noir and Elle et Louis.  This is a passion fruit IPA and it has a strong passion fruit aroma with a milder taste. It’s quite a full-bodied beer for an IPA, and has a very nice bitter-sweet thing going on. I wonder what it would be like bottled…

2017-07-02 - 212 - Le Trefle Noir Passion Fruit Pale Ale _500beers

It’s good, it was worth the price, it was accurate, I’d drink it again, I’d recommend it and I’m giving it 0.5 of a yes for having something different and 0.5 for going out of my way for it (I can’t give it more than six yeses but it does tick off a lot of the boxes). So 6/11 it is.

No. 206 – Archibald Chipie

No. 206 Archibald Chipie

Another purchase based on the woman on the bottle or tin…

One more to notch off from my list of Archibald beers.  Apparently, translations for Chipie range from ‘little vixen’ to ‘bitch.’  Anyway, it’s a red pale ale, which looks better poured than the picture shows.  It had quite a strong aroma on pouring but the taste did not follow up.  At 5% it’s not too weak but it tasted quite weak.  Yes, it’s fine.  Yes, worth a couple of dollars.  Yes, it is accurate.  Yes, I’d try it again (if I could find it on draft) and Yes, I’d recommend it, particularly to people who would like to make a step up from lighter beers.  A decent 5/11.