sticky beards (flying monkeys netherworld cascadian dark ale)


have you ever eaten a rasgulla? it looks like this:

see the little yucky line of syrup falling off the ball? good. it can get on you. they can also look like this:

how do you resist a boat so sweet? you don’t! so i have this syrup stuck in my beard and it has dried out and my beard hairs are gelled with food. it’s a horrible situation. the beer i had earlier, however, is great.

the beer’s called Flying Monkeys ‘Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale’. that’s informative, because see, it’s a dark ale and it’s brewed with cascadian hops and it’s from the underworld! the beer was so underworldly/otherworldly that i had to listen to that song, raining blood, to calm myself down. please check out their website. it has (really!) neat info like beer recipe’s and associated tales. here’s what the thing looks like:

look at all those badboys on the label. i recall going to this beer tasting festival weekend thing two years ago and walking by the flying monkeys’ booth and thinking ‘ha! what a silly design campaign. ha!’ but then i had their smashbomb ipa and didn’t care anymore and even, maybe, grew kind of sympathetic to their brand of loony label making. they’ve continued with this marketing campaign and it seems to work for them. great job!
here’s the back:

MORE SCARY BAD BOYS! and a well written and informative blurb. i particularly appreciate the comment about hybridity. the brew burst open with dark ale’s characteristic coffee and chocolate notes and the associated bitterness of a properly nice dark roast. once you get past the dark ale character, there’s a lingering bitterness that isn’t from barley roasting. it’s from serious hopping. i appreciated flying monkeys’ job here. they’ve made something that’s a cross between mad tom ipa and wellington’s county dark ale. it’s not sweet like the wellington and it’s not just hoppy and tart like the mad tom. it’s a strange and novel and highly interesting combination of the two. HYBRIDITY. lush and tangy hybridity.

the ale is of medium body. it isn’t thick or light. it’s neat. and now let’s take a look at the head.

this made me so, so happy. i mean, it turned a sad sunday good (thanks, stephen chbosky, for adapting your own film and making a bummer). it seems every time i get a beer for this blog, there’s no head and if there is, it just disappears. this head stayed. and i got all the yeasty joy out of it til the end of the mug.

thumbs up to the fellas at flying monkeys. uh, if anyone ever offers rasgulla to you, say NO for god’s sake.

that bowl might look great but you’ll smell.

now that our the lord mayor Ford is tentatively out, have a safe and enjoyable wednesday.

love always,



happy happy happy thanksgiving (Muskoka Brewery Dark Ale)

it was canadian thanksgiving a few days ago. this usually involves not much for me, being a vaguely integrated immigrant and all, but this year i went to a thanksgiving dinner. it was fun because i was the designated driver.

the drive to this dinner, which was an hour outside the city, was pleasantly uneventful. at this dinner, lauren’s grandfather asked a table of eight what a mullet was. i think he thought it was a kind of animal. someone told me lauren thinks haggis is a kind of animalĀ  at this same dinner ((true familial bonds are demonstrated on thanskgiving. i did not know this). there were a lot of veiled sexy jokes and a dog licked my fingers (which is uncomfortable and not good for making fun of if the host likes the dog).

the dog looked just like this and did exactly this all night long. how’s a girl supposed to eat in these conditions? thanks for the image, lady.

the drive back was fun. always remember to give your passengers a little something, aged in a sherry barrel, before an hour long drive. the cabin becomes a karaoke bar.

anyways. i myself had some booze after all this silly but somehow totally enjoyable designated driving. i had a thing of muskoka brewery’s dark ale.

here’s what the can looks like.

there’s a cool car on the can. how’d they (muskoka brewery) know boys like cars and faux bootlegging?

here’s what it looks like poured. there’s no head.

i picked up this beer because i am fond of mad tom i.p.a. and if you are not you should try it out if you want to be kicked in a painful part of your body.

bouquet: definitely no coffee or caramel. some hop. zero head. lightly carbonated. zinc like (what does zinc taste like? i’ve never tried but this beer definitely tastes like zinc)

colour: one of the darkest beers i’ve seen. when i poured it, i did not expect the ridiculously easy flavour. usually, when a beer is this dark, you expect some sort of toasty flavour. this does not have that. which scares me and makes me think they may or may not have artificially coloured it. the can reads, “boldly coloured,” which is true. like, it’s opaque somehow. black pudding like.

body: light to medium bodied, which is good for a dark ale. not too hoppy. i don’t like that. might have liked a little more tang. the can calls for hints of chocolate and caramel, but i don’t really know where they are. there’s a subtle and simple roasted malt taste at the end of a swirl but that’s about it.

drink this if you want, like, an easy to drink dark ale with no serious flavour (and i don’t know why you’d want that). go drink wellington county dark ale if you want an easy to drink dark ale with flavour. there’s lots of chocolate and coffee there.
a day later, i stopped at a shell gas bar because i was out in the boondocks and falling asleep and so i got a java stop coffee and then it tasted like nothing. this beer’s a lot like that for some reason but nobody asked me for a lotto max or a two for two chocolate bar combo deal.

hope you had a fun, fat weekend.
see you soon,