“Biggie vs Tupac” – Battle of the IPAs

Releasing today at Daft Brewing, we have a classic east vs west coast rivalry brewing with our latest drops – Biggie, a New England IPA, and Tupac, a West Coast IPA.

The Cause

We have been learning, reading, and listening the past few weeks. To be honest, we weren’t sure how to respond. We want to use our platform in a meaningful way. In the end, we chose to tie our support to the release of two new beers (since that’s all we really do). The namesake of these beers, Christopher “Biggie” Wallace and Tupac Shakur, are two of the most influential artists in the last century. Their stories are representative of the injustices that many Black communities face today. 

Here is an excerpt from season 3 of the Slow Burn podcast, which digs into the lives and deaths of Biggie and Tupac:

“You have two guys, two of the brightest stars to emerge out of the hip-hop era in that time, and they’re gone, just like that,” Joel Anderson, the Slow Burn host, says. “And if those two guys can get killed and nothing can happen, then what does that say for the rest of us? As you see, it’s not like we’ve been able to solve that problem.”

We will be donating $2000 from the profits of Biggie and Tupac to the Ontario-based Black Legal Action Centre (link below).

We are trying to learn more about these issues every day. We hope that we can help foster a more equitable world. Until then, we will continue to try to be better. Below are a few resources that we found enlightening and, at times, uncomfortable, including the podcast mentioned above. We would love to hear from you if you have any other resources that you love!


Slow Burn podcast about Biggie and Tupac – more info can be found here. https://www.npr.org/2019/11/07/776908450/slow-burn-season-3-turns-its-investigative-eye-to-the-murders-of-biggie-and-tupa

“13th” documentary on Black criminalization can be found on Netflix, here. https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80091741

“The Skin We’re In” documentary, here. https://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/m_episodes/the-skin-were-in

Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), more info can be found here. https://www.blacklegalactioncentre.ca/

The Beer

These two beers are the first styles that jump to mind when discussing IPAs. The difference between the two have long been a topic of discussion during our late night virtual beer and cheese pairings, and head brewer Ryan is finally delivering on his drunken claims that he would eventually release these two beers side by side.

When asked what inspired the East coast vs West Coast double release, CEO Adam Rondeau gave a little shrug before explaining “I was confident that if Ryan brewed two beers for a double release that at least one of the beers would be palatable..” Staring off into the distance as he trailed off Adam let out a sigh, “But it’s humbling to be able to admit my incorrect assumptions and errors in judgement.”

When you first set your eyes on Biggie you will notice you can’t even see through the beer thanks to its haziness. This was done using a combination of water chemistry and oats to add protein to the beer, giving it a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The haze captures the flavour and aroma of our heavy dry hop addition of Mosaic, Citra, and Sabro. The result is a super juicy beer bursting with tropical flavours. 

Biggie is very similar in colour and mouthfeel to Bingpot, but because of the different hops used it has a completely different flavour.

Hailing from the west, Tupac is one of the first American beer styles which was a driving force behind the craft beer revolution when it launched in the late 80s and early 90s. Tupac is much more clear than its counterpart from the east. With a heavy hop addition during the boil, this beer is more on the bitterside, but a malty base helps to bring balance to the beer and prevent the bitterness from overwhelming the senses. Tupac has a heavy dose of traditional west coast hops to give it that classic dank citrus and piney notes. Specifically, this beer is hopped with Cascade, Simcoe, and El Dorado.

Biggie and Tupac are flowing on the taps and available in the Daft bottle shop now. Swing by to enjoy a pint on our patio or grab a few bottles to enjoy at home before they are gone.

“Lemongrab” – Mint Lemonade Sour

“This. Castle. Is in…Unacceptable. Condition. UUUNNNNAAACCCCCCEEEPPPTTTAAABBBLLLEEE” 
– Lemongrab, Adventure Time

Releasing today at Daft Brewing – Lemongrab, our mint lemonade sour.

Lemongrab is Daft Brewing’s first beer to be created and produced by our assistant to the regional brewer, Adelaide “Potato” O’Hara.

“All I can say is we should have turned over brewing responsibilities to Addie a lot earlier,” CEO Adam Rondeau said “I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally taste something we brewed here that isn’t undrinkable swill.”

Lemongrab is a sour beer brewed with malted barley and wheat and additions of lactose, fresh mint, and an unacceptably large number of lemons. Because, when life gives you lemons, make alcohol. 

Shortly after sitting down to provide information for this blog, Addie trailed off in mid sentence, staring out the bay door and letting out a squeal, pointing to an adorable three-legged dog outside of the brewery.

Now focused again, Addie said “Honestly, I just love the Adventure Time character Lemongrab and how he yells all the time. He’s essentially my spirit animal. So from the start I knew what I was going to name the beer, and just had to work on a recipe to fit the name.” Head Brewer, Ryan, later expressed how proud he is of Addie’s thoughtful recipe development process.

The resulting beer is bursting with lemon and has nice undertones of mint. Lemongrab is a refreshing summer beer with a creamy mouthfeel and a crisp and light finish. The acidity and lactose sugar is nicely balanced and finishes with a hint of mint. Lemongrab is reminiscent of chugging an ice cold minty lemonade. 

We looked for Ryan to get his opinion on his protege’s first beer, and after a long search he was found huddled under a tank muttering to himself “One day they will learn to appreciate me… One day I’ll show them all.” After this, we quietly backed away and decided to let him have some time alone.

Lemongrab is available now in Daft’s bottle shop. Make sure to grab a bottle quickly, because it is unacceptable how quickly this beer will sell out.

“Slow Ramp” – Paloma Gose

“Wait for the ramp Morty…they love the slow ramp. It really gets their d*cks hard when they see the ramp just slowly extending down. GREETINGS!”
Rick flips off the crowd
“Morty, you’ve got to flip them off, I told them it means ‘Peace among worlds’ how hilarious is that?”
– Rick, Rick and Morty

Releasing today at Daft Brewing – Slow Ramp, our Paloma Gose

“Slow Ramp was the perfect name for this beer, as the variety of flavours slowly ramp up and build to a grand crescendo as you journey through this delightful gose, ” CEO Adam Rondeau explained, “It also accurately captures the pace of Ryan’s journey into becoming a barely adequate brewmaster.”

“Slow Ramp is the second in Daft Brewing’s Umami series, with the first release being our True Level. The goal of the Umami series is to tie in that mythical fifth flavour, which is basically unheard of in beer today. Umami is depth of flavour. It provides a satisfying complexity that ties together other flavours. For example, when you’re cooking at home and your dish is missing something that you can’t quite place…it’s probably umami. I use all natural ingredients to add umami in this beer.” Head Brewer Ryan rambled almost incoherently, “I am most proud of the umami series because of the technical difficulty in creating something this unique and exciting, and because it is exactly the innovative style in which I make sure Daft excels.” he continued, making sure to get a quote in that allowed him to toot his own horn.

Similar to True Level, Slow Ramp is a sour beer made with Aji Amarillo peppers, pink Himalayan salt, and tequila oak. What sets it apart is the addition of grapefruit and lemon, instead of lime. The result is a delicious and refreshing but complex beer that is a delicate balance between the five basic flavours. This beer is reminiscent of a Paloma, which is a refreshing traditional Mexican cocktail. 

“On your first sip you will notice the grapefruit and lemon that quickly transitions into subtle peppers and oak. After a couple sips you will notice the hint of sea salt and an essence of spiciness.” Nathan wisely explained, “It has a creamy and complex mouthfeel and finishes with a refreshing crispness and light acidity.”

Drawing inspiration from the name of the beer, Lindsay, Ryan’s wife, responded with her middle finger held high when asked to give her thoughts on Ryan’s latest work.

Slow Ramp is available now in Daft’s bottle shop. Make sure to grab a bottle quickly because, unlike the slowly extending ramp it was named after, these will be speeding off the shelves.

“Another Raid” – Kveik Lager

“Well, well, well. Time for another raid. Time to swing the old sword again”
Sword drops over the side of the boat
“The sea giveth, and the sea taketh away. And this time the sea tooketh my sword.”
– Orm, Norsemen

Available now at Daft Brewing, Another Raid, our kveik lager.

“Orm was the perfect inspiration for the name of this newest release, as we feel he perfectly parallels the level of competence we have come to expect from our head brewer Ryan.” CEO Adam Rondeau had to say about the inspiration for the name behind this latest release.

“This level of confidence and support is exactly why I’ve been stealing from the company,” Ryan mumbled under his breath when he thought no one was listening.

Another Raid is made with a grain bill of mostly pilsner malt, resulting in a light coloured beer with high clarity and a creamy white head. This beer has a slightly higher ABV, coming in at 5.8% which produces a slight warming feeling when you drink it.

The ABV in this spring edition is higher than normal summer lagers, because Ryan wants to capture the spirit of a traditional German spring lager, such as a maibock. This spring lager is halfway between a higher alcohol winter beer and a light, crisp summer beer – resulting in a refreshing and subtle warming lager. The next edition is already lagering in the tanks with a 4.9% ABV and will be a more traditional light summer lager.

“What sets the kveik lager apart from other traditional lagers is that this strain of yeast can handle high temperatures and lots of stress. A typical lager yeast has to be fermented between 10-13 degrees Celsius to avoid off-flavors, but the kveik lager yeast will happily ferment at higher temperatures and produce subtle tropical fruit flavors. In the first couple sips you will get a crisp, malty flavour but after that, if you pay close attention, you will pick up on these subtle tropical notes.” Nathan insightfully added.

Attempts to reach Ryan’s wife, Lindsay, for comment have gone unreturned at the time of publication of this blog.

Another Raid is available now in Daft’s bottle show. Make sure to grab a bottle before our shelves are pillaged.

“Clown College” – Cranberry Ginger Lager

“I’m not going to enroll in that clown college though, that advertisement had no effect on me whatsoever.”
*Later that night at dinner with his family*
“That’s it, you people have stood in my way long enough. I’m going to clown college!”
– Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Available now at Daft Brewing, Clown College, our Cranberry Ginger Lager.

“As with our other beers, we looked for the perfect pop culture reference for the name of this new launch.” CEO Adam Rondeau explained, “We chose a classic Simpson’s reference as in the inspiration for this one. We thought it fitting because the name also doubles as a shout out to our brewer Ryan’s education.”  

Clown College is made with a grain bill of pilsner malt and secrets tightly guarded by Ryan. It is brewed with moderate amounts of real ginger and cranberries to give it added complexity. The beer is a golden color with a light red/pink hue and has a creamy white head that may have a slight red hue to it. After putting in seconds of strenuous effort, including turning the flashlight on his phone on, Ryan remains undecided about this fact.

“The first thing you will notice about Clown College is a heavy whiff of ginger on the nose with a slight cranberry note on the back end. This beer is like the little sister of our original ginger beer, the Soulless Ginger, in that the ginger is much less in your face. It’s light and crisp, with initial malty and bready flavors that evolve into mild ginger and subtle cranberry notes.” Nathan was able to helpfully say.

When asked to give her thoughts on Ryan’s latest creation, Lindsay, Ryan’s wife, said “Ugh, I don’t know. It’s a beer with ginger and cranberry. What do they expect? If they thought the last beer had too much ginger maybe they’ll like this?”

Clown College is available now in Daft’s bottle shop. Make sure to grab this delicious summer brew before it juggles its way off our shelves.

“Velvet Thunder” – Whiskey Sour Ale

Holt: “Maybe we should take the chopper.”
Peralta: “Oh! You said chopper!”
Holt: “Deathblade! Sidewinder! It’s go time!”
Peralta: “Roger that Wet Blanket.”
Holt: “From now on call me….Velvet Thunder.”

Available now at Daft Brewing – Velvet Thunder, our Whiskey Sour Ale.

“We named this beer after Captain Raymond Holt because just like Holt, the beer is elegant, smooth, and sexy. Basically it embodies everything Ryan is not as a person.” Owner and CEO Adam Rondeau had this to say about this latest release.

Velvet Thunder is made with a grain bill of 2-row and wheat malt and brewed with Florida oranges, black tea, bourbon barrel oak. This brew is mildly soured, which adds more depth to the refreshing citrus notes. The finished beer has a deep copper colour and is bursting with the refreshing aroma of oranges. 

“The flavour is refreshing and citrusy initially, but evolves into complex and delicate black tea and bourbon barrel oak flavours. The body is light and effervescent with subtle tannins in the background from the tea and oak. Overall this beer is an easy drinking summer sipper with a complexity that makes it more interesting than your typical sour beer.” Nathan, the only Daft employee who has anything useful to offer, said.

Velvet Thunder has a creamy and long lasting head, which is one of the most technically challenging aspects of this beer because sour beer doesn’t typically have good head retention. When asked how he created this effect, Head Brewer Ryan Dhillon had a panicked look come over his eyes as he screamed “Secrets!” and ran away.

Ryan describes his photography for this picture as “pretty intense”

When reached to give her thoughts on Ryan’s latest beer, Lindsay, Ryan’s wife had this to say: “How did you get this number? Stop calling me!” and quickly hung up the phone.

Velvet Thunder is available now in the Daft Brewing bottle shop. Make sure to grab this tasty summer beer for you next sunny day out in the yard as this beer will be flying (like a helicopter, get it?) off the shelves. 

“Mooncake” Saison

“Chookity Dookity”
– Mooncake, Final Space

Available today in limited supply at Daft Brewing – Mooncake, our small batch Saison.

Mooncake is a French style saison brewed with Canadian 2 row and Munich malt, which results in a beautiful golden colour. The beer does not contain any wheat, much to the surprise of head brewer Ryan Dhillon who created the recipe and made it himself. “Shit, I thought I added that.” said Ryan after checking the recipe. 

“This is the kind of keen attention to detail that I’ve grown to expect out of Ryan.” Owner and CEO Adam Rondeau said. 

Mooncake is a light coloured, dry beer, with a moderate hop backbone. The star of the show, however, is the yeast. Ryan uses this French saison yeast to produce complex earthy, clove, and black pepper flavours. After a few sips you can pull out the delicate underlying notes of dried fruit and banana. Mooncake was aged on lees for five months to help develop the underlying complexity to the flavours. You’ll be hard pressed to find another saison quite like this.

“The more you drink it, the more delicate flavours you can pull out.” Nathan, Daft’s star bartender when they are open to the public, chimed in. “The first thing you will notice is clove and spice. Eventually you can feel a bit of alcohol warming in the back of your mouth and in your chest. After a few drinks I get more banana and black pepper.”

“This again? Just tell them I liked it or something, I don’t care.” Lindsay, Ryan’s wife, responded with exasperation when asked to offer her thoughts.

Mooncake is available today from the Daft Brewing bottle shop. Supply is limited so make sure to come in quick, as it will be gone from our shelves soon. This is a beer you can either drink fresh or age at home to allow it to become more complex with time.

Try Mooncake today, you’ll be over the moon.

“Kitten Mittens” Sour New England IPA

“Is your cat making too much noise all the time? Is your cat constantly stomping around, driving you crazy? Is your cat clawing at your furnitures? Think there’s no answer? You’re so stupid! Kitten Mittens… You’ll be smitten.” – Charlie Kelly, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Releasing today at Daft Brewing – Kitten Mittens, our sour New England IPA.

Some of you may remember Kitten Mittens from the YGK Craft Beer Fest and MacKinnon Brothers Back to the Farm. For those of you who didn’t have a chance to try it, we are excited to be able to offer to you what is the staff’s favourite amongst all our delicious offerings.

Owner Adam Rondeau was quite pleased with how the beer turned out, stating “This is the best beer Ryan will ever make, I give it a 5 out of 10.”

Originally one of brewmaster Ryan’s award winning homebrew recipes, the sour New England IPA (NE IPA) won Gold Medal and Best of Show at both the Because Beer Competition and the Short Finger Hop Shop IPA Competition in 2017. This beer is a hybrid of the juicy New England style IPA and a fruity sour beer. The result is a hazy, super citrusy, and tropical beer that bursts with the flavours of grapefruit and peach juice.

This recipe requires a delicate balance between pH of the beer and bitterness from the hops to avoid astringency and create a smooth finish. Water chemistry is very important here, with a heavy amount of calcium chloride used to give it a full body that is typical of the NE IPA style. Just like our regular NE IPA, Bingpot, the grain bill contains lots of oats to give it haze which carries all that juicy hop character. In fact, there is no fruit added to this beer. All of that juiciness comes right from the hops.

Kitten Mittens is more than just a sour version of Bingpot. Though they both use the same variety of hops (Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado), the lower pH of the sour has a significant impact on your perception of the hops, making them taste like two completely different beers. They are interesting to compare side by side to see if you can pick out the differences and similarities between the two.

“I really like it. Very citrusy, very juicy,” Nathan, one of Daft’s bartenders, said when asked for his thoughts, “It’s very approachable for an IPA, it doesn’t have any of that bitterness that people expect.”

Kitten Mittens captures what we aim to be as a brewery at Daft Brewing, trendy and innovative. If our owners were to pick one beer to be our flagship, this would be it.

“It’s good. I don’t know…what do you want from me?” Ryan’s wife, Lindsay, responded aggressively when asked to offer her opinion.

Kitten Mittens is available from the Daft Brewing bottle shop starting today. Make sure to be one of the fortunate to get their paws on one as this beer is sure to be swatted off the shelves soon. 

Try Kitten Mittens today, you’ll be smitten.

“Bingpot” Hazy New England IPA

“I was gonna say bingo and then I was like jackpot’s better but then it was too late, I was halfway through the word.”
-Jake Peralta, Brooklyn 99

New to Daft Brewing this week – Bingpot, a Hazy New England IPA brought to you by brewmaster Ryan Dhillon, and assistant to the regional brewmaster, Addie O’Hara.

Best described as super juicy, this IPA is double dry hopped with a ridiculous amount of Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado hops. These three hops add a ton of tropical and citrus notes to the beer. The first dry hop addition occurs during fermentation to kickoff biotransformation, where the yeast breaks down longer chain compounds to unlock more complex tropical and fruity flavours. The final dry hopping occurs right before packaging to create a burst of aroma.

The chemistry of the brewing water is carefully balanced to create a creamy mouthfeel with a soft smooth finish. This is complemented with a large addition of oats and wheat to the malt bill, which creates the haze that carries the tropical flavour of the hops straight to your taste buds.

“The first thing people are going to notice about the appearance of this beer is that it’s very pale, but it’s too hazy to see through.” detailed Ryan. “Unlike many West Coast IPAs that are clear and highly bitter with a crisp clean finish, the New England IPA isn’t very bitter, but instead offers a lot of juicy hop flavour and aroma.”

Bingpot will be pouring from the taps at Daft Brewing and available in the bottle shop starting Thursday March 5th. You will soon find it around Kingston at select pubs. It’s taking off!

The Adventures of Ryan the Brewer – Episode 2

Ryan’s back at it again.

We made the mistake of letting him out of the brewery again. After terrorizing the local neighborhood and running off in the forest, he emerged with his latest idea of what he can forage from nature for his next beer.

This time the object of his affections: spruce tips.

I know what you are probably asking yourself right now: “You mean those light green things that grow on those darker green trees?”

That is exactly what we mean.

Dragging our poor placement student and a volunteer out for a second time, this dynamic trio spent a few hours wondering the woods in Collins Bay in search for the perfect spruce tips. After collecting as many spruce tips as they could, and Ryan sticking whatever he could find in his mouth, they headed back to the brewery were thankfully, unlike their last adventure with dandelions, hours of processing did not await them.

What does our brewmaster plan to do this time?

The spruce tips have a prominent lemon-lime flavours with delicate pine in the background. This harvest was used to make a refreshing and light beer with mild tartness, mellow citrus flavours, and subtle piney complexity on the finish. This unique beer will only be made once a year after the spruce tip harvest season

This is only the start of Ryan’s descent into madness experiments with what should can be done in his pursuit of creating new, interesting, and delicious beers. Be sure to keep an on our blog as we document the latest in the adventures of Ryan the brewer.