On Beer and Baseball

While Torontonians revel in being finally allowed to buy a single, solitary brand of craft beer from a single, solitary stand as they attend the Blue Jays home opener tonight, my mind is on the approaching Friday and the official launch of a brewery that for its name alone deserves to have its brands sold at the ballyard.

I was first told about the Left Field Brewery a while back, and honestly I don’t know much more today than I did then, most of which I’ve culled from their website. But they were kind enough to both drop off a bottle of their beer, presumably in the hopes that I might write about it, and invite me to their brewery launch party this Friday at a bar called 3030 on Dundas Street West in Toronto.

There is an obvious baseball theme to the brewery and it’s reflected in the name of the beer they handed me: Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale. (I’m a lifelong baseball fan, but I confess I didn’t know what an eephus was until I read on the label that it’s “a risky and unexpected high-arcing pitch that catches the batter off-guard.) In fact, it’s reflected in all the beer names thus far – 6-4-3 Double IPA and Maris* American Pale Ale – but since I only have the Eephus, that’s what I’ll address.

Deep brown with burgundy tones, the lightly sweet aroma of this ale has some cherry and roasty chocolate notes – vague memories of Cherry Blossom, anyone? The flavour stays sweetish and creamy up front before moving into a drier, fruity-roasty body with dried cherry, raisin and soft vanilla notes, finishing quite dry and mild to moderately bitter, but never quite losing its creaminess.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the flavour progression of this beer and look forward to retasting it and trying the others on Friday. In the meantime, Go! Jays! Go!


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