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Oct 25, 2006 11:42 AM

Fruit Beers in Toronto

[Note: This thread was split from: -- The Chowhound Team


Food Tourist,

If you're interested in trying another fruit beer, give Bellevue Kriek a try. It's quite popular, and thusly available in many places in Toronto, and at the LCBO.

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  1. kriek is cherry based, goes very well with chocolate.

    if you're interested in more fruit beers there's a selection at smokeless joes that i haven't quite seen anywhere else. but beware that some of them are rather sickly sweet and closer to a carbonated fruit beverage than beer, ie. the pineapple flavour. i did have a blueberry one there that had just about the right flavour... but oddly smelled and tasted like something more illicit.

    i can't find it... but i fell in love with the apple ephemere beer out there. it got dropped or something happened to it months ago and it's off all the menus although there's a raspberry one still floating around between the three major been specialty bars - volo, beerbistro, biermarkt.

    my sister who loves fruli strawberry now swears by any apple beer, not cider, but apple. they have one at smokeless joes that's a fairly common brand in belgium. can't remember any specific names right now, sorry.

    pancake - are you looking for restaurant side i assume? food tourist responded about the bar side but i can tell you about the restaurant side only for Czehoskis.

    10 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      Still on the fruit beer topic, my apologies for any thread-hijacking that might be occurring.

      I know the Belgian apple-infused beer you speak of, but can't seem to recall the name either. Though, there is a Canadian apple pilsner available at the LCBO that might be interesting to try:
      Nickel Brook Green Apple Pilsner (LCBO #615138)

      Another fruity favourite of mine is by the excellent folks at McAuslan in Montréal:
      McAuslan Apricot Wheat Ale (691113)

      On a somewhat related note, they also produce an Oatmeal Stout that is superb (922450).

      And here I thought I was a wine-head... go figure.

      1. re: xtal

        to be a foodie is to love it all... beer and wine can often go head to head in their complexity, just don't drink canadian ;)

        continuing with the thread hijacking, if you haven't tried a dogfishhead i'd suggest you do so as soon as you can. the raison d'etre won me over with it's green raisin and beet sugar base, i warn you that it's quite sweet though. they do a few more traditional styles but they like to bend to the unique. definitely in the wine category of beers to me. i find volo and beerbistro tend to keep dogfish head in stock compared to other bars but you might have to fight the bartender for it since they enjoy it so much and sells out quickly.

        sorry... i'm so getting into the beer here... but i just remembered that volo now has in stock the Duchesse De Bourgogne. i brought it back from belgium in my backpack and it's really just top notch, described to me as a wine type beer it did not disappoint. not available at the lcbo unfortunately.

        just did a quick search and at smokeless joes the fruit beer is by floris! however limited selection at lcbo. and everyone i know enjoys a mort subite to throw another name into the fray.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Kwartha Lakes Brewery Rasberry Wheat Beer needs to be added to this list of fruit beers wortha try. It is more subtle about its fruityness, but I find the raspberry more than enough to cut some of the aftertaste that I'm not fond of in most beers.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Thanks for the suggestions, they sound great. I'll definitely head to Volo soon (love that place!) to try the Duchesse De Bourgogne.

            Many hounds may already know about this, but for a good beer source not too far from Toronto, check out Premier Gourmet in Buffalo:

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Duchesse De Bourgogne is a Flemish sour beer, and you’re right, it’s not available in Ontario, but others of the style are: Petrus Old Bruin, Liefman’s Goudenband, and there may be a bottle or two of the über-sour Rodenbach Grand Cru kicking around at the LCBO.

              1. re: Mississauga Matt

                In December the LCBO will be bringing in Greene King Strong Suffolk, which winey-oaky slightly sour beer made in a similar manner by its cousins from Flanders.

          2. re: pinstripeprincess

            Forgot to mention that I absolutely loved Unibroue Ephemere when I frequented Pub Saint-Alexandre in old Quebec City in Feb. 2005 - I think it was cassis flavour, however, which I can't seem to find on their website. Companies always discontinue the products I use! I haven't tried Ephemere apple yet - is it available in Ontario?

            1. re: Food Tourist

              Unibroue Ephemere is frequently available at the Rebel House. I've definitely had the apple there --lovely...
              And the KLB raspberry makes an excellent dessert ;-)

              1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                have you had it recently? the ephemere apple has been off my radar at my usual beer haunts for a year now.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  I must confess I haven't had it there lately, but i haven't been to the Rebel House since summer, and I think that Ephemere is a fall beer (could be wrong about that, but fall is when i remember having it)

          3. I have tried Kriek a couple of times, and I like it, but it's not my favourite. Raspberry Mort Subite is more subtle and I like it more (I realize I'm comparing apples and oranges, but hey, I never liked oranges). I also found Mort Subite, Kriek, etc. at Allen's on the Danforth, but the prices are sky high! I will stick to buying these specialty beers at LCBO and stick to $5 Fruli when I go out!

            1. I have always liked the KLB Rasberry Wheat. Available at Cest What and Beer Stores. The ChurchKey Cranberry at Cest what also quite good during the last beer tasting.

              1. Fruit Beers

                You generally want to try the true Belgian Lambics such as Cantillon (spotty availablity in Ontario, but sometimes they have them at Bier Markt) or if pressed try the Liefmans fruit beers (strawberry, cherry, etc) that are based on brown ales. Those are some of the best available.

                If you want something a little fresher, in summer you can sometimes find seasonal fruit beers from Unibroue in Apple, Peach, etc.... light, refreshing and not as sour as the above examples.

                Hope that helps.

                1. Finally tried Volo for drinks tonight and enjoyed Floris Passion lambic ($5.95 -- but it says $6.95 on the menu) which contains 30% passion fruit juice and 3.6% alcohol. It's really strongly passion-flavoured and quite sweet, so made a great dessert!

                  Loved Volo's reasonable prices (compared to Allen's), though a few items were hugely marked up -- like the terrific 2002 Baco Noir from Mountain Road Wine Company in Beamsville, that retails for $11 a bottle on the winery's website, but Volo charges $9 a glass. Well worth trying, however, since it doesn't appear to be available at LCBO's website.

                  Server claimed that Unibroue Ephemere is not in season. They had many other fruity lagers, lambics, ales, meads, etc. on their extensive beer menu.