I enjoy beer quite a bit and for the last couple years I've made an effort to try lots of new and interesting styles and brands. In particular I've developed a great fondness for local craft brewed beer; a scene which is exploding all across North America. Ontario has a number of truly amazing small breweries and the LCBO has become more flexible lately and has taken to featuring those breweries on a regular basis. Unfortunately, due to the strange rules of liquor distribution in this country, the LCBO rarely gets anything from outside of Ontario. So it is quite difficult to access craft beers from the US or even from other provinces in Canada.
Sometimes though, the LCBO works something out with a particular brewery from out of province and we get a chance to buy wonderful beers from other regions. This fall, the LCBO is featuring the Quebec-based brewery Dieu du Ciel. I've tried four different beers from them and my favourite by far is their American IPA "Corne du Diable."
IPAs (India Pale Ales) seem to be extremely popular among people who, like me, seek out new and interesting beers (many would call such people beer snobs and personally I'm OK with that...I'd rather drink fewer delicious beers than many average beers). I've never been able to really get into IPAs though, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is because the style has such a large amount of variation and I've just never had one I liked. Just a quick aside, the definition of what makes an IPA is a hotly debated topic among beer aficionados. I won't step into that argument here except to say that if all you've had is Alexander Kieth's then you've never had an IPA.
Now that I've tried Corne du Diable, I am reevaluating my attitudes towards IPAs because it is just so good. It's flavourful with a good amount of bitterness and it's also super dry in a way that reminds me of dry white wine. I have three more bottles in my fridge and I'm thinking I'll have to pick up some more before it's all gone. Either that or start making regular trips to Montreal!