Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Taste of Paradise

This will become a beer review, I promise.

I want to say a couple of things first.

Last night, I hosted the third tweetup at Mill Street Brew Pub, and once again, Mill Street showed that it is the best brew pub in this city, one of the best restaurants in Ottawa. The manager, Peter Chase, and his staff—most notably, Saunya—go the extra mile to ensure that your experience is memorable.

Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Saunya. You are truly special.

Last night's tweetup was the most successful of the social gatherings, with 11 guests. More had promised to come, but life happens. The table that we had reserved counted on 12, with room for a couple more, if needed.

For me, it was nice to see some returning peeps and to meet others for the first time. My thanks go out to the following folks (and if you're on Twitter, follow them!):
@bs_ottawa (and her non-Twitter friend, Renée)

I often say, when I describe the tweetup at Mill Street, is that people should come out for the good food, the great beer, and the awesome conversations with some fabulous people. And last night was no exception. Though I take one exception.

With the generosity of the pub, we received a complementary plate of nachos and something I had never had before. Their Carnitas.

These are mini tacos in soft shells, with Mill Street's signature pulled pork, a corn and black bean salsa, salsa verde, a cumin-flavoured crème fraiche, and topped with fresh cilantro. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but last summer, when my family and I were hiding from Hurricane Irene by racing from Cape Cod to Boston, we found a tapas bar, where I had a taco that was dressed with shrimp, avocado, and crumbled bacon, again with cilantro. It was the best taco I ever had.

Until I tried a Carnita.

So my exception is this: why had I never tried one of these before? They're amazing. Great heat with the cleansing of mild salsas and cilantro. This is now my favourite nibbly of the pub.

Do you know what went really well with these Carnitas? Beer! And here comes the review.

The Ottawa brew pub is offering a wonderful ale. If you live in Ottawa, you have to try this. And you have to try it soon. Like, this week.

The reason is that as of last night, the pub had only three kegs left. They do plan to make more, but not right away. Maybe later in July.

So take a taste of Paradise while you can. Here are the details:
Paradise APA
This American Pale Ale goes really well with the Carnitas. The hoppiness balances with the zest of the barbecued pulled pork. In the glass, Paradise reveals a deep goldish amber. The ale is amber-clear, with a white foamy head.

On the nose, I picked up a slight citrus nose: a clean lemon scent. But it took me a while to pick it up, which gives me the impression that Paradise needs to open up in the glass. But that's okay: I savoured my glass.

In the mouth, I received a big dose of hops that are well-balanced, not overpowering. For my liking, I would have liked to have had a little more flavour, perhaps a little more grapefruit. I caught some tannins, which reminded me of a nicely brewed tea. This is one dry ale with a lingering finish that reminds you of the wonderful experience you just had.

As a lover of pale ales, Paradise APA is a wonderful addition to my repertoire. I'm going to hope that those three kegs last just long enough for me to have more.

And then I'll anxiously await the return of the next batch.

So get out there and enjoy some for yourself.

Better yet: come out to the next tweetup and share a pint with me!

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