Magpie coming back!

When I was 17
I drank some very good beer
I drank some very good beer
I purchased with a fake ID
My name was Brian McGee
I stayed up listening to Queen
When I was 17

Okay – It wasn’t quite that long ago, but I did drink some very good beer from Big Rock sometime ago. It’s been gone a long time now…

But it’s back! May 1st! In stores! The beer is… Magpie!!! (Read the link if don’t know about what is one of the few rye ales out there)

I regularly visit Big Rock Restaurant, and the beer store attached to it, both of which are well worth a visit if you are looking for lunch in the 52 St / Glenmore SE industrial area. I have been lamenting the loss of Magpie pretty much every time I drop into the beer store. I kept getting the same response for the last while. Something along the lines of ‘We hear that a lot. Have patience, it might be back sometime.’ Thus, my continual lamentation. Teasing Ralph with beer bad. Ralph no happy. Ralph keep pestering Big Rock to bring back beer.

Last time I was in the beer store I get a different response. Do you have a few minutes? Come with me. We go upstairs to what is normally used as a wind down space after the beer tours, where they have some taps that you can sample the normal Big Rock products. Except now there are no normal products there, only a bunch of new beers I have never seen before, except the Magpie. My excitement is building – Magpie returns AND a bunch of new specialty beers? Could Big Rock be back to it’s roots of brewing good beer, domestic be damned?

We belly up to the bar, where sample glasses are being poured. Magpie must be had first – it is true to what I remember – must stock up when this one comes out, May 1st I have been told. I continue down the line and quickly come to the conclusion that Big Rock is back when it comes to brewing unique specialty beers that are different from the standard domestic mold. It’s been a month since I sampled them so forgive my beer and age inhibited memory.

There is a picture of an IPA that I believe is the new bitter. According to Big Rock, it’s very bitter. For you hop heads out there I would say it’s on the bitter side, but not extreme. It mellows to a nice floral aftertaste as you have a few sips. Could pair very well with a curry. There was a cherry beer that is going to be popular with the ladies – these tend to be too sweet sometimes, but Big Rock has resisted that and made something a little more citrus like, not to heavy on the cherry flavor. It will make an excellent summer beer for when you can’t decide between a cooler and a beer. There was an oak aged beer that I wasn’t too fond of. If you like that oak aged Innis & Gunn’s beer you should check this one out when it’s out. There was another heavy roast beer than had a wonderful smokey flavor – complex with changing flavors that I can’t even peg until I sit down with a whole glass. Woe is me – so much beer to choose from in front of me I didn’t have time to properly enjoy them. I can’t even remember the others. I think we were at around 7 taps, so there is at least one more, there might have been a tap of Trad or such mixed in there I didn’t notice.

According to the Big Rock Blog, it’s all part of there new Brewmaster’s Series of beers. Everyone of them different, with the first one being the triumphant return of Magpie. Now, unfortunately, it’s not a permanent return – it’s supposed to be one of a seasonal rotation of beers. The blog only has a hint of what is to come, (post to follow soon according to them). At least when the Magpie rotates out, I’ll have others to look forward to!

{edit Apr 15th} Went to the Big Rock for lunch today. Due to production issues with the new packaging, Magpie is delayed until the end of May. The good news is that Magpie is available on tap in the restaurant now!

About ralph

Just another blog to share some thoughts with the world.
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