We’re in the homestretch now of Chanukah, which means tonight I’m going to make a TON of latkes for our friends and try to be festive. There is a slim chance it might deteriorate into a Festivus party, with an airing of grievances and someone trying to pin Kole or the dog to the floor. I’ve been on overdrive tidying up our place as if it were Passover instead of Chanukah. Kole decided I needed a break from that, so we headed to Indie Alehouse last night for dinner, where I had smoked brisket on top of a brisket burger, and my inner Montreal Jew was very pleased. A couple of bottles followed me home, including a bottle of Shadow Chaser IPA. Sitting at 5.5% ABV and 62 IBU, a 500 mL bottle will set you back a reasonable $4.50 at the on-site bottle shop.

Indie Alehouse has had a rough week. The brewery has leased a new production facility in Etobicoke to expand their canning and keg production to sell to more licensees and the LCBO, and part of the expansion included $800,000 in equipment from Diversified Metal Engineering located in Charlottetown, PEI. Unfortunately, DME was put into receivership, a rather substantial financial setback from the brewery. In the spirit of encouraging local breweries,  we decided to pop in for dinner and a few pints yesterday and support one of Toronto’s craft beer pioneers.

Honestly, we were going to have something else for night 7 of the #8BeersOfChanukah – possibly something we have been cellaring for quite a while. A whimsical choice from the cellar no longer felt appropriate, so I pulled a last-minute switcheroo on tonight’s Beer of Chanukah and went with something freshly purchased to compliment our Craft Beer Menorah. I don’t have a great pun explaining why – just roll with the choice of dank IPA that has intermittent availability at the brewery and their online retail shop.

Appearance: Unfiltered, hazy yellow colour reminiscent of pineapple juice, much like yesterday’s beer. Long lingering thick snowy white head.

Aroma: Quite the hop bomb, thanks to the combination of juicy Citra and Idaho 7 hops. Fruity, with lots of clementine, tangerine and pink grapefruit rind. Some pineapple aromas.

Taste: Begins with a biscuity note, giving way to freshly clipped grass and guava.

Aftertaste: Long-lasting citrusy bitterness.

Food pairing: Fried chicken, preferably the amazing one they serve at the brewpub.

Overall: A solid option, and could be a juicy addition to this year’s Chanukah party. Serve it with a side of gossip about which cousin is getting married this year and which ones dropped out of college.

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