A Game Changer: from Citra to Amarillo

When we first released our 8 Days A Week Session Ale we decided it would be a beer that would feature a single hop in order to truly showcase the innate, natural aromas of each individual hop. Our initial release featured Citra hops and immediately gained popularity amongst our regulars because of its tropical notes of papaya, pineapple, and tangerine. This week we’re thrilled to introduce our second version of 8 Days A Week, this time featuring Amarillo hops.

We sat down with Julian, the mastermind behind this beer, to discuss the changes in this new version. When the first 8 Days A Week was released Julian told us all about his deep love for Citra hops, so we were curious about what drove him to switch hops for this new summer version. “The hops were changed from Citra to Amarillo because I wanted to highlight another very unique hop. Although still within the same citrus family, Amarillo leans closer to fruits such as peach, apricot, and mango,” he tells us.

JuIian’s experience with Citra is vast, as it’s been his go-to hop when home brewing and tinkering with recipes. His knowledge of Amarillo is also extensive: “I’ve brewed with Amarillo countless times before and in several Bandit beers, such as Cone Ranger. The results are never disappointing. It’s a great all-around hop, so picking it for a single hopped beer was a no-brainer!”

Single hopped beers are unique in the way they allow a real showcase of the hop being profiled. They’re also a great way for new beer drinkers starting to familiarize themselves with the craft beer world to taste all the qualities of the specific hop and understand how it impacts the flavour and aromatic qualities of the beer. One of the challenges in brewing this beer style is picking a malt base that will provide enough body but not interfere with the hops, while re-enforcing hop flavour and adding mouth feel.

So what does Julian and the rest of our brewing team have in mind for future versions of 8 Days A Week? “I’d like to brew this beer with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Sorachi Ace and Challenger hops. You gotta switch it up and have fun with it along the way!” Julian adds.

This great patio beer is light enough that you can drink it completely by itself (rain or shine because WHAT A SUMMER) or paired with anything coming off your BBQ this Canada Day: hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, steak, grilled veggies, all of it!  Its smoothness and simplicity will help add flavour to the meal of your choice.

Amarillo, 8 Days A Week Session Ale is available as of Friday, June 30th on tap and in our bottleshop.

 

Bandit’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Every June, after scratching our heads for two weeks we finally ask: “Hey Dad, what gift would make you really happy for father’s day?” I bet you already know the answer to this: ” I don’t need anything, don’t spend your money on me,” and just like that you’re back to square one. We’ve decided to save you some trouble and make Bandit your one-stop shopping destination with gifts that are sure to put on a smile on your old man.

Bandit T-Shirt
Made with the softest cotton blend, our brand new Bandit tees are sure to steal dad’s heart. Available in sizes S-XL.

Bottle Opener
What’s the point of getting dad a four-pack if he can’t get to the beer. Sure, our bottles are nice, but the beer is even better!

Glassware
Our glassware got a whole new look a few months back and these newly designed Bandit glasses are now available for purchase in our bottle shop. Our three sizes (full pint, half pint and Imperial) will elevate the beer-drinking experience and can also double as great glasses for cognac, sangria or wine. Options are important!

The Ontario Craft Beer Guide
The freshly updated 2017 edition is an insightful, thoughtful compilation of all the incredible work Ontario breweries are doing. Penned by the knowledgeable and renowned duo of  Robin LeBlanc & Jordan St. John, this book will make you appreciate the great talent in our province and will come in handy on those provincial road-trips.

Bandit Art Prints
You can now take home large prints of our beloved Bandit label art designed by our artist-in-residence, Aurélien Vervaeken. We have a feeling that dad will enjoy our beer puns, mischievous raccoons, and Toronto references.

Beer
You just can’t go wrong with a four-pack! Our bottle shop fridge is nicely stocked in anticipation of Father’s Day. As of Friday afternoon our bottled beers for the weekend include:

Mr. Pink – Light, floral and pink – because we can’t all be Mr. Black. Brewed with hibiscus and ginger giving a light sour strawberry/kiwi character, this lower ABV pale ale will keep you going during the summer months.

8 Days a Week – An American session ale brewed exclusively with Citra hops. This light, crisp, refreshing ale finishes super clean and tropical with all around notes of papaya, pineapple, and tangerine.

Hoppelgänger – Delicate, floral Noble hops blend together into a smooth and flavourful pilsner. Geranium and Citrus hang over a light biscuit character creating the perfect balance between flavour and drinkability.

Dundas West Coast IPA 
– This west coast style IPA has a strong citrus aroma and flavours of lemon, grapefruit, and peach. This IPA is dry, crisp with a refreshing bitterness.

Smoke On The Porter – An American style porter packed with smoked malts and peppercorns. Aromas of wood smoke, birchsap, and molasses with a warm pepper finish.

Wizard of Gose – Sweet. Sour. Wonderfully fragrant. This gose (gose-uh) is refreshingly tart with strong aromas of fresh apricot and coriander and flavored with sea salt.

Bandit’s APA – The crowd-pleasing little brother of the IPA world complete with aromas of honey, orange, and pine. A perfect fit for any night.

Cone Ranger – Pine aromas and toasty malts with an assertive but not overpowering hop bitterness. This is the Brewers’ go to when they long for the embrace of the forest.

Farmed & Dangerous – A crisp and refreshing Belgian farmhouse ale with notes of clove, coriander and orange peel with a lingering aftertaste of white pepper.

You can also check our bottle shop stock on the Beer section of our site as it’s updated daily.

So there you have it. This year you’re sure to make out like a bandit and make dad really happy with any of these gifts.

Their First Time – A Discovery of Craft Beer

The Bandit beer team is (not surprisingly) extremely passionate and well-versed about beer and beer culture. They each have a favourite style, another one they despise, and lots of opinions in between. Weekly brewing meetings turn into long sessions of debates and obviously, beer drinking. As with any passion, there’s always a great story about how the love affair started. These coming-of-age stories are relevant because they ultimately reveal where certain tastes or affinities come from and give us a fuller understanding of the type of work these talented brewers are doing.

We sat down (actually, fully interrupted) one of these private brewing meetings to get to talk to each of our team members about their first experience with craft beer and how it might have influenced their drinking and brewing habits.

Julian:

“My first craft beer experience was actually a homebrew I joined in on with a friend of mine. We were making an Imperial Stout and he had a bunch of craft brews from Quebec. We sat down for an afternoon just trying all these styles of beer and before that, I wasn’t aware of the world of tasteful beer. It was a true eye opening experience. After that day I put down my 6 packs of PBR and ventured over to the craft isle! Upon completion of the imperial stout, I was not only impressed by the brewing process but how flavourful beer could get. There was no going back!”

Stephane:

“My first experience with craft beer was during my first trip overseas to the US (from France) in 2007 when I went to Chicago. While on the famous architectural boat tour on the Chicago river, I ordered a random beer on tap. It was a sort of black/brown IPA, very bitter with strong, exotic fruit notes, leaning towards lychee and grapefruit. It was so delicious and refreshing, I instantly knew I wanted to become a brewer! Just kidding, I hated the first sip, but got addicted by the end of the first pint. One of my next brews at Bandit will be an attempt to recreate this beer and the unique feeling of my first IPA.”

Ben:

“I can’t quite remember exactly what my first craft beer was. I tripped across it in an LCBO in Kingston and didn’t know a lot about the craft scene. That store didn’t have a great selection when I was younger so it caught my eye. I did not enjoy it. I thought it was super bitter and had a very strong malt character. Shortly thereafter I was in Vancouver for school and the local pub had a good selection of Russell and Phillip’s beers on tap so I got right into it. This was around when BC seemed to be going through a hop war with everyone trying to make the most bitter beer. I think Phillip’s Hop Circle was likely my initiation into IPAs and pushed me away from overly hopped IPAs. Around that same time, I ended up in a brewing club and made it my goal to try every type of beer the campus BCL had in stock, which took me 4 months before moving on to a specialty store nearby but couldn’t do it: they boasted 1500 beers.”

Mike:

“My first experience with craft beer was probably discovering Unibroue upon moving to Québec in 2001. It was so unlike anything I had tasted up to that point, and it made me realize that there could be a lot more to beer than the world of commercial pilsners ever hinted at. The ones I remember liking the most were Trois Pistoles, Maudite, and Fin du Monde, although at the time I was probably more drawn to them by the relatively low cost/high ABV ratio than anything else. My affair with these beers was passionate but short-lived, as I quickly burned out on the identical yeast-forward characteristics present and prevalent in almost all of their beers, and sadly for years I swore off “Belgian beer” entirely (unfortunately having visited Belgium twice during this period, ugh). It’s only somewhat recently that I have a newfound appreciation for beers in this style after I literally forced myself to try as many true Trappist/Abbaye style beers as I could while living in Europe, and finally realized that I actually really liked most of them. A lot.”

We want to give kudos to all these excellent beers, even the ones which names we couldn’t remember, as they all initiated our team on a life long love affair with beer. We’ll drink to those first times!

On Baewatch patrol: The return of The HasselHef

It’s no secret that our love of German culture was one of the biggest inspirations for the conception of Bandit Brewery, so we always jump at the opportunity of crafting experiences that celebrate the Germanic spirit. You may recall many a time drinking a Gose, an Altbier or a Roggen in our beer garden. ALL GERMAN!

Germans are known for their love of beer gardens, soccer, great and David Hasselhoff.  The Hoff was introduced to them just like he was with us, with Baywatch and Knight Rider, but The Hoff ended up having an incredibly successful singing (!) career there and becoming one of their bonafide superstars.

When developing plans for our first Hefeweizen, another staple of German culture, we couldn’t help but think about ways of bringing The Hoff into the mix. Ben, the brewer behind this recipe (and our pun-master extraordinaire) tells us more about how he came up with the name: “As plans for our summer Hefeweizen came to fruition, my memory jogged and remembered the old saying “don’t hassle the Hoff” and I decided to run with Hasselhef. The association is loose, but with the Hefeweizen and Hasselhoff’s German connection I couldn’t help but make the pun!”

Ben’s experience with Hefeweizens came mostly from brewing the style with friends that are avid fans of it, as he’s much more of an APA/IPA kind of guy. During Bandit’s first months of operations, he made a promise to these friends that Bandit would include a stellar wheat beer in our rotation, and boy did he deliver! “I wanted a Hefeweizen to branch out some more summer styles without having 8 IPAs on tap. Between the Hef, Wizard of Gose and Hoppelgänger, I felt like we could round out our offerings nicely,” Ben adds.

The Hasselhef proved to be a great success and a true favourite with our regulars during our first summer, so it was a no-brainer to bring it back for our second patio season. Horacio, one of Bandit’s brewers and a big fan of wheat beers, revised the recipe by using Weihenstephan yeast as well as a slightly modified malt base to produce this German Weissbier.

Bandit’s Hasselhef is best enjoyed out in the sun, with lovely company, accompanied by a delicious meal of scallops, lobster and apple desserts.
Treat yo’self, won’t you?