Beer of the Weekend #55 and #56: Molson Canadian and Beamish


What an awesome night of college basketball! This is what college hoops is all about. With the first round in the books I’m 26-6 on the bracket I submitted to the money pool at my dad’s work. My upsets include Siena, Arizona, USC, Western Kentucky, and Michigan. My South region picks were perfect. Now comes the hard part.

Two years ago today I started my job at UC Irvine. I arrived at 8 am that morning, used to the suffocating rigors of corporate hell. There were no cars in the parking ramp, no one walking campus, and only the department secretary was in. She told me, “Nobody comes in until nine. But early is good.” I walked back to my car and sat in it for an hour, listening to the radio and reading/judging the student newspaper (it’s awful). I was back in the comforting and loving arms of a college setting, and it felt so good.

So in tribute to my two years of editorial experience BotW is double dippin’ once again. I’m also going north of the border for a base lager again. The first beer this weekend is Molson Canadian brewed by Molson Canada of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Poured a clean, clear, pale straw yellow and two fingers of head dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and ring of foam on the edge.

Smell: I immediately picked up on the grainy, malty aroma after opening the bottle. Kind of has that dirty dishrag macrolager smell. Just a hint of hoppiness to make it interesting.

Taste: Smooth and malty. Very clean but not complex. There was a slight hop tail.

Drinkability: Another perfect bottle beer from the Great White North. It would make a nice brew for a hot summer weekend. Too bad they don’t have those in Canada.

Fun facts about Molson Canadian:

-Serving temperature: 41-45ºF.

-Alcohol content: 5 percent ABV.

-Food pairings:
Beers of the World recommends cold chicken salad. BeerAdvocate suggests barbeque, Indian, “Latin American,” Thai, “Pan Asian,” peppery cheeses like Monterey and Pepper Jack, and shellfish.

-Founded in Montreal in 1786, Molson is the oldest brewery in North America. There’s a timer on the Molson website which is keeping count of the years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds Molson has brewed beer.

-Another interesting tidbit about the Molson website: in order to pass the age verification page you have to insert your DOB and postal code — Canadian postal code, that is. The folks at Molson must not think their site gets any international visitors. It annoyed me in more than one way: not only did I have to find a Canadian postal code to enter, but I hate Canadian postal codes (I use them a lot when mailing manuscripts at work). They’re a combination of capital letters and numbers, and they’re hell to type. Shift-letter, number, shift-letter, number… WHY CAN’T THEY ALL BE NUMBERS SO I CAN JUST USE THE FUCKING NUMBER PAD?! (Or, WHY CAN’T I LEARN TO USE THE CAPS LOCK?) To enter the site I plugged in the postal code for the Canadian parliament: K1A 0A9.

-(Oddly, and embarrassingly, I was somehow directed to the Canadian version of Molson Canadian at first. I was linked to it from the Molson Brewery website. If you Google Molson Canadian and click the beer’s homepage, an introductory page will ask if you are in Canada or the United States. When I clicked the US button it asked me for my DOB and state.)

-Each bottle features a back label with a quirky question:

Hmmm. I’d always have a way out.

The Quiet Man’s grade: C+.


Along with paying tribute to my editorial assistantship, I’m concluding my BotW sampling of the Big Three Irish stouts. The third and final Saint Paddy’s week brew is Beamish brewed by Beamish and Crawford of Cork, County Cork, Ireland (the same city Murphy’s is brewed in).

Serving type: Four 14.9-ounce nitrogen cans.

Appearance: Poured like the customary chocolate milkshake from the nitro can and the cascade of bubbles made way to a coffee black. A finger of thick, creamy head developed and remained throughout the pint.

Smell: Cappuccino-like chocolate with a hint of coffee malts.

Taste: The chocolate from the smell is there but it is less like cappuccino. There is also a stronger toasted coffee presence.

Drinkability: Just as watery as Guinness and Murphy’s, and just as drinkable on a week made to sell Irish stout.

Fun facts about Beamish:

-Serving temperature: 46ºF.

-Alcohol content: 4.1 percent ABV.

-Food pairings:
Beers of the World recommends seafood. That’s it: it just says seafood. BeerAdvocate recommends the usual stout fair: barbeque, “Latin American,” chocolate, and smoked or grilled meat.

-The Beamish and Crawford brewery was founded by two Williams: William Beamish and William Crawford. They were Scottish-Irish Protestants landowners from the northern part of the country who exported local butter and beef. Somehow they got involved in brewing. I bet they wanted to compliment the “smoked or grilled meat” BA recommends.

-Back in December it was announced the Beamish and Crawford brewery would close this month. Production of B and C brews will shift to the other Cork brewery, Murphy’s. The Beamish website is currently down and undergoing reconstruction.

-Note: don’t drink any of the Big Three when they are warm or close to room temperature. They are fucking nasty. There’s a reason why each beer recommends that they be served well chilled.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

Favorite of the Big Three: It’s definitely not Guinness. Before sampling the emerald isle trio back-to-back-to-back my favorite was Murphy’s, but I’m now leaning to Beamish.

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