A Hot Date With Fruity Beers

inside-the-embassy-bar-kensington-market-toronto

↑ Inside Embassy Bar in Kensington Market ↑

We had a heatwave here in Toronto the week before last, which saw the temperatures reach their highest levels in two years. No all-time records were set, but man, was it warm. A few cold showers and the least clothes possible were called for.

So it goes without saying that Meghan, Pam, Nick and I were ready for some cold beers enjoyed out on a shady patio on Friday evening.

We met at the art gallery beforehand, checking out the “Picturing the Americas” show. Meghan and Pam are members so the price was right (free!) and the air conditioning was on. Meghan and I had seen this exhibit already (written about here) but wanted to see it again and it was the first viewing for Nick and Pam.

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↑ Black Mesa by Georgia O’Keeffe ↑

We had also intended to check out another new exhibit, but couldn’t find it at first, and then once we did, we decided it was beer-time and we’d go back another time.

We all love Kensington Market, which is only a short walk from the gallery so that’s where we went.

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↑ Finishing touches being applied to this huge new mural on Dundas Street ↑

We spotted an open table on the patio at Embassy and nabbed it.

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Meghan and I went in to get the drinks. We didn’t expect the long list of beer varieties to choose from — 12 kinds on draft and another 18 in bottles. Nick had requested his favourite locally brewed Pilsner, Steam Whistle, so his was easy. But Meghan and I couldn’t decide. Our interest was piqued by the fruity choices. After tasting a few small samples our decisions were made.

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↑ having a wee taste test ↑

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↑ The friendly bartender Zakiyya ↑

Meghan chose Ephemere Poire, a white ale brewed with fruit in Quebec, described as: “Mild ripe pears complemented by a distinctive wheat acidity. A feeling of freshness which is intensified by a spicy finish.”

I went for the Neustadt Sauerkraut, an oddly name choice for a beer I thought, but I was intrigued when the bartender told me it had the flavour of raspberries. There is no sauerkraut in this beer!

It is made in the village of Neustadt, located about 2 hours drive to the northwest of Toronto. Many German immigrants settled there in the mid-1800s, and the Springs Brewery where the beer I had was made was established in 1859.

It’s described as: “A lighter lager soured with raspberries. Pours a golden colour with a nice white head, light raspberry flavour against a malt background. Very refreshing on a hot day. Ideal for the non beer drinkers!”

Pam didn’t go for a beer infused with fruit, rather she chose one with flavours reminiscent of it – Blanche de Chambly. It’s brewed by the same company, Unibroue in Quebec, as is the Pear beer Meghan had and is described as: “Belgium White Ale. Wheat and subtle spices blanketed in citrus flavors reminiscent of orange and lemon.”

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↑ haha, this picture. Nick is quick with the camera and doesn’t leave many shots to choose from. ↑

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Looking at the list of 30 beers available at Embassy, I see that there were more kinds with a fruity twist, including one with apple, one with apricots and one with raisins. I’ve been a beer drinker for all of my adult years, and can’t say that I’ve encountered so many kinds that were made with fruit. I’m sure it’s because I wasn’t looking for them, but now that I’ve discovered they exist, I’ll be watching for them. I liked that while being fruity, they are not sweet tasting at all, because sometimes you just want something less sugary than a cider or a cocktail.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a great week.
xo loulou

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