This post comes from Matt, the Beer Baron. He can be found on Twitter @geekcanuck
To give craft beer fans a bracket of their own to cheer about during March Madness last month, Sun Media – with more than a little help from beer writer and sommelier Crystal Luxmore – created Beer Madness 2015: Canada’s Favourite Beer Content.
You can click the link to see how it all played out, but the Coles Notes version is that the big macro brews like Molson Canadian and Labatt Blue were decimated by craft beers from across the country. That really didn’t come as a surprise, as I didn’t really think a contest aimed at craft beer drinkers would appeal to macro drinkers. Not to generalize (too much), but if they really cared about beer, they’d drink something different.
In the end, Ontario favourites like Muskoka Brewery’s Mad Tom IPA did well and showed that IPAs are still very much en vogue, but the final matchup came down to a pair of brilliant brews from Quebec: Le Trou Du Diable’s Saison du Tracteur, a fruity farmhouse ale; and Dieu du Ciel’s Peche Mortel, an imperial coffee stout.
While Saison du Tracteur won and I can certainly understand why, Peche Mortel was my favourite from the outset and I voted as such and was happy to see it make the finals. Peche Mortel isn’t exactly easy to come by here in Ontario, so the Clockwatching Tart wasn’t surprised when I excitedly asked / begged her to pick me up a four-pack after checking the inventory on my trusty LCBO app. Not only did my favourite store at York & Ridout have Peche Mortel in stock, they were wonderful enough to suggest a four-pack of Dieu du Ciel’s equally fantastic Moralite IPA.
Brewed in collaboration with The Alchemist in Vermont, Moralite features Simcoe, Citra and Centennial hops and packs a wondrous hop punch without being so over-the-top hoppy that it seems like the result of a hophead’s dare. If you can imagine someone building a bakery in the middle of a tropical mango grove, you’ve got an idea of the scent. The taste takes you out of the tropics and into a towering forest of pine trees, albeit with a mandarin orange in your hand.
While Moralite is bright and enthusiastic, Peche Mortel is dark, seductive and aptly named with its translation to Mortal Sin. While the roasting process imparts some imperial stouts with notes that remind you of coffee, Peche Mortel is actually infused with coffee during the brewing process and it is the first thing that jumps from the glass. The scent of dark roast coffee is joined by licorice and the taste adds dark chocolate and a hint of warm booziness to go along with a really lush mouth feel that seems at once oily and velvety.
Whether you prefer Moralite or Peche Mortel is certainly a matter of personal preference but regardless of your choice, there are two pretty wonderful takeaways from the experience of having both side by side. First off, Dieu du Ciel is an amazing brewery... to brew two wildly different but close to perfectly rated beers is no small feat. Secondly, Dieu du Ciel isn’t alone in producing world-class beers in Canada and as Beer Madness 2015 showed, those of us that love craft beer are more than happy to proudly show their support, which is something worth raising a glass to.