Back in the early days of Toronto Booze Hound, we reviewed a lot of beers from Sawdust City Brewing. It seems we really slowed down writing about them over the last couple of years but we certainly haven’t stopped drinking their beers.

It seemed like a fitting inclusion in the #8BeersOfChanukah to imbibe in a good ol’ timey favourite of ours, the seasonal imperial stout, Blood of Cthulhu. An annual collaboration with Bar Hop, this heavy duty stout weighs in at 9.5% ABV and a respectable mouth-puckering 50 IBU. and is brewed with cherries, raspberries and cranberries. This other-worldly creation will also set you back $5.25 for a tall can a the LCBO, which isn’t cheap but is still reasonable considering the high alcohol content. It will certainly perk up a Chanukah party as you debate the demigod status of Cthulhu with cousin Janet and watch the college-age cousins chug Manischewitz like it’s going out of style. Since this is night four, it’s time to throw in a doozy of a beer to make that dreidl spinning game a lot more fun.

Appearance: Deep, dark brown colour with a long-lasting, lingering mocha coloured head.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, fresh espresso beans, sour cherry pits, and tart cranberries.

Taste: Cherry pie, 80% dark cocoa, tart raspberries, cranberry sauce, and freshly made espresso.

Aftertaste: Lingering toasty notes of rich pumpernickel bread, coffee, dark chocolate, mocha.

Suggested food pairing: Don’t be silly – have this with a slowly cooked beef roast with a coffee rub. Or if you prefer this with dessert, pair with French vanilla ice cream or raspberry sufganiyot.

Overall: A decadent favourite, I’m glad this one keeps coming back year over year. May H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic entity haunt your dreams this Chanukah.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com