Being in the Big Smoke for proper reasons, I took the chance to let Jordan pick someplace that I hadn't been to before. He chose Bar Hop. Over a couple of hours we talked about writing books, the neat and younger crowd, the beers and other gossipy things like who has the unpaid social media interns.
Standing at the bar as we waited for a table, I was handed a pint of County Durham Session Ale. It was in very good form at 4.4%, $6.95. I say pint as it was thankfully in a nonic but I noticed later that the pour was called 18 oz. Which is open and fair and transparent. It also was what most other pubs would serve as a full pour. Soon we sat in the dark and sorta noisy back of the bar. An unidentical pint of the County Durham Session Ale was then placed before me. Jordan leafed through the menu and picked out favourite. A rye saison was very nice. Sawdust City made it. My beer turned out to be another lovely lighter sort of beer but not cask at all, not what I thought I had asked for... or as I saw later was billed for. Nutty, nitro head even... perhaps. It was also quite nice.
The nonic emptied over a half an hour, We had starters. Jordan had almost half a pint of olives placed before him. I had cod cakes. He had a lot of olive. I had just enough cod cake. Then I had a gose. Very light at 3.8% was a slightly salty Sunny D but in an OK way... sorta... he said politely. I mentioned that Toronto seems to like a fruit flavoured core to a beer judging by this and my last trip. Jordan recommended a beer by a very reputable brewer that tasted like bubblegum dissolved in an IPA to me. I handed the rest to him. Sometimes it's an added ingredient, some sauce. Sometimes it's that heavy hand with the mango flavoured hop. I prefer beer to have graininess of one sort or another. A beer where the ingredients come together to make flavours composed of them but not of any one of them. Not a fully popular view apparently in Toronto these days but it's a blip.
We then both got into our main meals, flank steak with salad for me, and both tucked into Kingston's Stone City wheat ale called Sons of Sydenham. Seeing as Lord Sydenham had, we are told, a pretty debauched life during his short term as Governor General of the newly United Canada of the 1840s, it seemed an odd name for such an evening of light beers. It was, however, clearly the best. You could taste all the beeriness of the beer. It's was intended in fact to taste of beer which is handy in, you know, a beer. Made the night along with the service, the food, the hum of the room and the strange table manners of the neighbours.
We left Bar Hop and talked some more as we walked. About the impending crisis which could not quite be defined. About the need to have a car. The architect behind that church facade. The idea of having unpaid social media interns.