Wednesday, June 6, 2007

O Canada, Land that we have seen....

So this is my first day off since the return of the great Canadian Beer tour.
It all started Memorial Day weekend with my oldest friend, Kelley, getting hitch back home... and from there DJ and I meet up with my brother Dale and his girlfriend Jess. We set out from CT towards Toronto. The plan was to drive over, stopping at NY State Breweries and Brew Pubs (thanks to for the map!) We had destinations and a hostel booked in Toronto's downtown for Monday nite through Saturday Morning check-out (or key drop as the case may be)
The only thing we all wanted to do was try to see Niagra Falls, from both sides if possible. We did the US side on the way up, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
First stop after as short jaunt through Mass to get to I-90 was the Albany Pump Station a brewpub in, you guessed it, Albany. We each did the sampler, tasty.. but the Barley Wine stood out the most. Next we headed west and stopped at the Syracuse Suds Factory in Syracuse. Original names, having the town in it and all. Then a bit more driving, all done by DJ, and we hit the hay for the nite.
Following day we started out and went to Niagra Falls, US side... we walked the park saw the water and had a nice time, for only 3 short hours. Plus I got to deface money and smushed a penny in one of those machines. Then it was over the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. From there to our hostel and a nite of Canadian beer at a great place downtown called c'est what? Great place with a great selection of beers on tap and in bottles. They only serve Canadian beers and the manager was super helpful, kept us from having to drink an entire pint of smelly gym sock tasting beer, though he did give us a taste to be sure he wasn't crazy. We spent a few nites down at c'est what? We also did a few tourist things. the CN tower, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, we walked down Queen St., went to The Steam Whistle Brewery, The Distillery District, where we visited The Mill Street Brewpub, Stopped into St. Lawerece Market. All around fun was had, but it became time to go home.
We checked out of our mothball-smelling hostel and headed for the US. We drove past the Canadian side of the Falls (time crunch keep us from stopping, but the $18 for parking really kept us in the car) The over the bridge, past customs (no stamps, how sad!) and onto the Pearl St. Brewery in Buffalo. They opened at 12 and we were there by 12:30. Had some wings a sampler each and then started the drive towards Utica. We were in a rush on the way to Utica, I don't know if it was more to get there in time before they closed, or to try and get out to the ever rising temperture in the car. Having only had this New to Us car since October, we had never had the need for AC until it was 90 degrees and there were 4 adults in a car driving arcross I-90 in the hot sun with little water left. Needless to say we need our AC looked at. But we reached Utica just as the Saranac was supposed to be closing. Lucky for us they had some sort of fesitval and we're still open. We bought a lot of beer and filed back to the car. Luckily rain was on the way and cooled us down. We reach CT in time to grab a very quick bite to eat and headed out with the family to see the new Pirates movie. And that was Canada.