My first experience with beer blending was over eight years ago when Guinness was my favourite beer and I didn’t know the difference between an ale and a lager. I was at Pub Italia with several of my friends and we had started ordering randomly from the coveted Beer Bible. Wanting to be different but not stray too far from my favourite drink I ordered a Crown Float – Guinness floating on top of Strongbow Cider. When my pint arrived at our table it became the center of attention and all eyes were on me as I took the first sip. What I tasted was creamy, malty, bitter stout followed by a cleansing tart cider that seemed to get better with each sip and each additional pint.
While beer blending may still be a novelty to some beer drinkers others like Matthew Valentine, Mixologist and Real Sports Bar & Grill General Manager, suggest that it’s a way to be introduced to stronger flavoured beer or to experiment with different flavour profiles.
Real Sports Bar & Grill’s beer menu is all encompassing, offering a long list of domestic, import and speciality draughts and bottles as well as eight beer blends. Some are plays on the classics like the Snake Bite, Boilermaker and Poor Man’s Black Velvet others are house specialities like Oh, Canada! (Rickard’s Red and White) or Les Bleu’s (Kronenbourg and 1664 Blanc).
The more adventurous can order off the menu and get a unique blend suited for their taste. I asked Valentine to create a blend for me - a craft beer hop head who loves strong flavours. He suggested a combination of 1/3 1664 Blanc and 2/3 Mad Tom to highlight the citrus notes of the IPA as well as mask some of the bitterness. I blended it shortly after I got off the phone and enjoyed it – a perfect gateway IPA blend.
Real Sports Bar & Grill will be opening in the Byward Market at 90 George in the fall with 376-seats, 99 HD TV’s and nearly two storey TV screens.