Check these out, or don’t, at the LCBO.
• Leifmans Frambozen Bier - * (out of five): Any time I have an opportunity to have a Belgian beer, I must admit that I giggle like a little boy who didn’t hand over all of his licorice to his demanding father. And the packaging of this 375-ml bottle, wrapped up in paper, and sealed with a screw-cork, leads to some giddy anticipation. And then there was the pour and the taste — Liefmans disappointed. Maybe the fresh raspberries used in this beer brought back awful memories of childhood berrypicking. It’s a little sour, even with 5.5% alcohol, and seemed very carbonated. Not very thirst-quenching, which is the whole point of summer beer drinking, no? It costs $4.95 per bottle. Yikes!
• Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew - **** (out of five): For $3.50, this beer is almost worth its price. It’s one of only three organic beers currently available at the LCBO, and at 500 ml, it’s great to watch your pint glass fill up in the kitchen, topped off with a rocky head. While it’s not as sweet as its label would suggest, the honey ale is as smooth as any 5% alcohol beer you’ll find and not a challenge for hop-haters.
• Belhaven Blueberry - * 1/2 (out of five): Blueberries and beer sound like they shouldn’t mix, and this beer doesn’t do anything to change that belief. When poured, this Scottish beer with 5% alcohol looks like a slightly more golden lager but it tastes blue. And when the tartness of the blueberries is washed over with the slight bitterness of hops, it becomes a forgettable experience. Like Fullers, this is sold in a very lovely 500-ml bottle — why can’t all Canadian beer be in such beautiful glass? — and will cost you a tidy $3.15.
• Goldings Summer Hops - *** 1/2 (out of five): With hops in your name, I would think your beer would be giving some grass. This one doesn’t. It’s another easy drinking beer with biscuity taste in a stout, 500-ml bottle made by Great Britain’s oldest brewer. It’s $3.50 per, with 4.7% alcohol. This fine ale is made for only three months per year with Kentish malts and fresh hops. It has a flowery nose — close your eyes as you drink it, and daisies will rain on your head.
Black Jack Chocolate Pie
• Serves 6-8
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Cream butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Melt chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Add Black Jack lager and stir until well combined. Cool slightly. Gently mix chocolate Black Jack sauce into cream cheese mixture.
Fold in 8-oz. whipped cream and turn mixture into prepared crust. Refrigerate until set. Top with remaining whipped cream.