During the early days of quarantine, I cranked out a lot of content. Now we’re in June, and I’m backlogged on reviews I really, truly intend to write. I’m not sure why I’m so behind – the fridge is full of beers to review, and my notebook is filled with my chicken scratch notes on flavours and suggested food pairings. Instead, I watch America burn on TV, and struggle to find a way to be a proper ally to the people of colour in my life, and remind them that their lives matter to me.

Right now, I am procrastinating over baking a pie. I’ve been procrastinating over this strawberry rhubarb pie for about 3 days, and I’m fighting off the urge to go take another mid-day nap. What could be a better moment to sit down in front of a computer screen for a bit, and tell you about a delightful beer called Tmavý Ležák 12º, from the fine folks at Godspeed Brewery, located on the outer edge of Toronto’s India Bazaar neighhbourhood in the east end. Retailing for $3.50 a can, this Czech Premium Dark Lager clocks in at 4.7% ABV in a 355 mL can – though as of today I do not see it available on their online retail store. Same day shipping is free within Toronto for purchases of $50 or more.

Brewmaster Bim Lafontaine, also well-known for his first craft brewery, Montreal’s fine brewpub Dieu du Ciel, visited the Czech Republic as part of the Czech Republic Trade Mission hosted by the Czech American Embassy and Canadian Consulate Economic & Trade Sections. The Czech influence is immediately obvious when browsing Godspeed’s online store – sandwiched between Japanese-themed core beers, a rotating range of Czech named lagers find their place in the options available for delivery. It will have to tide us over until the taproom can once again open their doors in the post COVID-19 quarantine time.

Appearance: Deep mahogany colour, with a lingering tan head, reminiscent of a milkshake.

Aroma: Light aroma on the nose, with aromas of pastry dough and toasted bread.

Taste: Surprisingly light on the palate despite the deep colour in the glass. Watery toast notes, quiche crust.

Aftertaste: Clean lager aftertaste that does not linger.

Food pairing: This would go wonderfully with Godspeed Brewery’s chicken karaage dish, whenever they reopen.

Overall: A pleasant beer that is simple on the palate, without a heavy punch of alcohol. A solid homage to the Czech brewing tradition.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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