This is the fourth session. Session number four. I did number two but that is, like, two sessions ago. Now we are under orders. Where before we spoke of things like stout, dubbels and milds, Gastronomic Fight Club now we speak of the local in beer as was suggested, nay, demanded by Blogmaster snekse who set this month's rules: commercial, brewed within 150 miles, an example of their locally available product. Well, we Canadians do not have the happy state of affairs that you in the US or the UK or pretty much anywhere else do as the 150 mile rule might cause concern. As the crow flies, I have Church-Key Brewing an hour or more of a drive to the west, a few in Ottawa two hours to the north-east and a few more to the south in the states - but here, right here in my town? Ummm...not really the great craft beer culture you might want or expect for a town of its size in North America.
So I chose to choose the local establishment nearest me rather than primarily a particular brew. I have written about the Kingston Brewing Company before and posted plenty of its beer porn goodness. It sits a block from work and six miles from my house. Today, I popped in with pals from work and had my usual pick from the daily specials. I did have a beer made their, their Dragons Breath Pale Ale on hand pump, but it is not my favorite thing about the place. I go for the place itself. Cheery, kid friendly at meal times on the weekend, good for a quick hot soup lunch in a winter blizzard and dandy for sitting around when you have the time. The pale ale has a bit of an apple tang that I don't love but put that same yeast in their Christmas old ale style and I am there. I think the brewpub even now has a contract brewing gig with McAuslan from Montreal for some of their brews and, if I were to admit it, I usually have a creamy dark McAuslan Oatmeal stout on tap.
The Kingston Brewing Company is the oldest brewpub in Canada...or Ontario...or Kingston...and is well worth the visit if only for to gawk at the brewiania and memorabilia that plasters every corner. The staff are friendly and the owners are great community boosters. They have a great selections of whisky, too, and for the last year or so they have had other Ontario micros on tap as well. Is it my favorite beer bar? Maybe not - because I have seen the glory land to the south and know what ought to be - but I think it may be my favorite place to have a beer.