I'm such a scofflaw: breaking the rules about bringing beer across provincial borders. Shame on me.
But it's worth it. I do it for you.
Last week, I told you about a shop that is close to my office and sells some really good beer, including my favourite beer of the National Capital Craft Brew Week. Remember how I said I cleaned them out of their supply of that beer.
|Look! Lots of IPA!|
Last week, one of my foodie friends, Katy Watts, took me to the Mecca of Québec beer. We were also met by another beer-loving friend, Martin Coutoaka The Beer Baronwho was familiar with this place that truly is the Beer Heaven of the Gatineau region. And its name sounds somewhat maniacal: Broue Ha Ha.
Located on Boulevard St-René Ouest (just south of la Vérendrye and l'Hopital), the store can easily be missed if you don't see the small black sign in the mini mall. The outside of the building is unassuming, but once inside, the colourful bottle tables and neatly lined shelves give you pause. It truly is outstanding.
|Katy, doin' some shoppin'|
I picked up a modest collection of beer, ranging from IPAs to brown, to stouts. I'll be reviewing them in the coming weeks, but for today I thought I'd share my impression of a beer that was highly recommended by Martin. It's a Scotch Ale, a style I really like when it's done right.
MacKroken Flower Scotch AleSaint-Hyacinthe, QCBroue Ha Ha: $6.99 plus deposit & tax, 500 ml; 10.8% ABV
This is a caramel-brown ale with slight hints of red and a creamy, beige head that lies thin, but stays. Brewed with honey, there is a sweetness that brings tones of toasted caramel and creamy malt. On the palate, the creaminess carries through with a gentle smokiness and a sweetness that blends with the alcohol into a honey-rich finish.
For my liking, I found the alcohol to be a bit overpowering. It is a heady, warming ale. In a full pint, I felt the alcohol to be a little much. The bottle is good to share, not to have on your own. But I would gladly share it again (luckily, I bought two).
I'm looking forward to sampling the other purchases I made. And I'm hoping that the dated law for bringing alcohol over the border goes away soon. Then I won't feel guilty about recommending Broue Ha Ha and all they have to offer to you.