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Wheat ales are beer’s answer to love potions

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With the so-called cold spell comes a more appropriate drink, I think — wheat ales, or weiss (Germany) or wit (Belgium) — the thinking beer lover’s beer.





It’s cloudy and muggy overhead, and this drink is certainly cloudy with more to savour as you drink it than standard lager fare.





While this is less likely to be a session beer than a pilsner, it’s one with floral aromas that should be enhaled before a sip.





When a beer has a head like this, and a cloudy body, consider it a love potion (well, as long as you enjoy it): With each taste, you may find notes of coriander and orange peel. Brick Brewing came out with Waterloo Wheat for its home city’s 150th birthday, which will introduce this style to a number of drinkers in Guelph,





Kitchener and Waterloo (they brought me a couple 650-ml bottles to try; very drinkable). It’s available only in Waterloo region pubs and LCBO outlets. Might give you another reason for a day trip.





But it is a far cry from the king of wheats, Denison’s Weissbier Ale, which I have voted as the GTA’s top craft beer for the Golden Tap Awards (vote for your favourite Ontario beers and pubs online now at goldentapawards.com until Aug. 4). It’s so good, you can only get it at select GTA pubs such as Barrio Lounge (896 Queen St. E.) and Victory Café (581 Markham St.) in Toronto. Enjoy!





I PITY THE FOOL: Last week in this space, Suds reported about how the city was going to evict a 1948 diesel train engine (called The Hauling Fool) out of the Bremner Boulevard roundhouse, where Steam Whistle brews its pilsner in its rented space.



Impending occupiers Leon’s, the Canadian discount furniture chain, is waiting to occupy 18 bays of the former train station.





The Hauling Fool and at least 10 other pieces of rolling stock — engines, cabooses and rail cars — are facing eviction.





The deadline for the Fool was this past Tuesday, and engine owners Doug and Don Lidster of Toronto were set to lose the classic piece if they didn’t move it.





Which, according to Glenn Garwood, manager of strategic policy and projects for Toronto’s culture department, they have.





It hasn’t been moved yet, but the city has taken ownership, Garwood told Suds on Wednesday. “Now that title has passed to us, we’ll make an effort to find it a home.





“We’re trying to tell the story of Toronto rail heritage. That particular machine has nothing to do with Toronto rail history. It’s unique to the west coast (the engine is originally from British Colombia), and since we only have a certain amount of space …





“It doesn’t fall within the collection mandate —†a set of guidelines. When you’re building a museum, you collect artifacts that help you tell a story.





“This particular diesel is irrelevant to our story. Is it an interesting artifcat? Yes, for someone on the west coast and we’d like to see it preserved in some kind of context but not at the expense of telling Toronto’s story.”





Meanwhile, the Lidster brothers and Steam Whistle staff were hard at work painting and putting the original civic lettering on the engine earlier this week, and restoring the original horn. Steam Whistle wants to stay as part of a future national railway museum.





“Nobody showed up (on Tuesday), which was nice,” Steam Whistle co-founder Greg Taylor said.





“The city has not contacted us. We have spoken with the mayor (David Miller), and we have been invited to sit and look at a proposal to develop a railway museum in the remaining 18 bays that we don’t occupy. We will come up with our own consortium, led by Steam Whistle … It would become an excellent tourist attraction, especially compared with a discount furniture warehouse, in a national historic site.”





The meeting is set for Friday, Taylor said.





The museum would add to the area’s Rogers Centre, CN Tower, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and brewery to complement a tourist-friendly area, Taylor said.





The city’s plan for the roundhouse includes a Leon’s store and a three-bay museum for the remaining 18 bays at the brewery, while Steam hopes to fill the remaining space with to showcase Canada’s rail history.





Taylor and fellow co-founder Cam Heaps estimate it will cost $10 million to completely restore the museum, but wouldn’t require city money.





“It would be a museum/events centre —†community events that will help make the museum viable. Staff functions, art events, performance art, hospitality evenings. Not only people go through there during the daytime, but people would go there during the evenings and socialize.”

Taylor says that his brewery has experience in its seven years of operation with fundraising and community events, estimating that 35 per cent of the 230 event nights held at their brewery are for charity or discount events.





Meanwhile, the city said the Hauling Fool has to be moved soon but Garwood doesn’t know where. “I can’t even comment because we haven’t turned our minds to it.





“It’s a heritage artifact. We’ll find it a home.”





But the suggestion by Taylor that the Fool is turned to scrap metal is “fearmongering,” Garwood said. “That’s baloney. We’re in the heritage preservation business — we don’t destroy heritage artifacts without. … we just don’t do that.”





Stay tuned.






Sláinte!



suds@metronews.ca

 
 
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