Tips & Guides

Learn a little more about beer, growlers, glassware and more!

Types of Beer

Learn about the about all  the different types of beers available.

Glassware

Explore the different types of glassware specifically made for wine and beer.

Food Pairings

Suggested food and beer pairings.

Growlers

The history of the growler and common questions and FAQs.

Types of Beer

ALES

Generally robust and complex with a variety of fruit and malt aromas, ales come in many varieties. They could include Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Pale Ales, Nut Browns, etc.

LAGERS

Crisp and refreshing with a smooth finish from longer aging, lagers are the world’s most popular beer (this includes pilsners).

STOUT BEERS

Deep, dark and flavorful with intense malt and caramel flavors – ranging from sweet to dry and distinctively bitter. Stout beer is a unique complement to shellfish, hearty stews and wild game.

LIGHT BEERS

Extremely light in color and mild in flavor. Light beer has fewer calories and/or lower alcohol content.

AMBER BEERS

A very versatile beer, Amber beers are full bodied malt aromas with hints of caramel, these beers could be either lager or ale.

WHEAT BEERS

Light and easy to drink with very little aftertaste. Wheat provides a soft character to beer and is sometimes hazy or cloudy with a touch of spice notes.

SPECIALTY BEERS

Specialty beers include a wide variety of styles such as strong beers, fruit beers, honey beers, bock beers. These beers range in alcohol content from 5.0% – 9%.

Other Common Tips and Info:

Glassware

Straight Stein


This proto-typical beer glass is wonderful for lighter tasting beers. It has a narrow mouth to concentrate the aromas at the top of the glass and a handle to avoid warming the beer up.

Stemmed Lagers

Lagers, typically, have fewer aromas than ales and should be consumed at a colder temperature. This stemmed glass offers benefits to the drinker – tall and narrow to focus the great aromas at the top and a stem to keep your hand away from the beer.

Snifter

Who says snifters are only for brandy? They’re also great for specialty beers. The short stem invites the drinker to envelop the glass, bringing up the temperature in the beer, creating a fuller taste and allowing the body of the beer to be appreciated. A sloped lip on the top of the glass keeps the foam in tact and focuses the aromas.

Pub Glass

A pub glass is great for a variety of ales. Ales, like red wines, need a glass with a wide open mouth. The abundance of aromas can rise to the top to greet the drinker while the narrow bottom allows the glass to warm up slightly. Pub style glasses are an excellent partner to a stout.

Flared Pilsener

Pilseners are lagers with slightly more bitterness and aromas and therefore need a glass that embodies the style. This tall glass with the flared opening help concentrate the aromas of the beer on the top of the glass.

Tulip

Strong beers (Trappist styles or bocks) are well presented in the tulip glass. The open mouth brings the nose of the beer to life while the round body allows you to warm it up, intensifying those wonderful flavors. A tulip-shaped glass is also a good fit for fruit beers.

Footed Pilsener

This is a great glass for a typical Canadian ale. These ales have the fruity, floral aromas of an ale but are refreshing and smooth like a lager. The aromas are not overly abundant and this glass narrows the focus for the drinker.

Dimpled Mug

Full bodied ales are a good choice for this glass. The handle is large enough to get your hand around the glass if you want to warm it up. Like it a little colder? Use the handle! A nice wide mouth will bring all those great flavours to your tastebuds very easily.

Amber Chalice

Another great glass for a great ale – whether it’s a dark, amber, brown or even a stout, this glass truly showcases the terrific attributes of the beer.

Wheat

This glass is designed to accentuate the aromas and flavors found in most wheat beers (especially German Weiss Biers). Naturally more effervescent, this tall glass requires a slow gentle pour at the beginning and when the beer is 3/4 full, a more direct pour to create a thick, creamy foam. The wide open mouth of the glass showcases the variety of aromas to the drinker.

Hourglass

An hourglass is a multi-dimensional glass. Tall and narrow, it also has a mouth that presents a variety of flavors and aromatics. Fill it with an amber lager or amber ale such as a honey brown and truly savor the great beer.

Beer & Food Pairings

Lighter ales for lighter meals.

Just as you choose certain wines to go with certain foods, the same principle applies with beer. Lighter-style beers enhance lighter meals like seafood, chicken, salads, casseroles and pastas.

Ales, on the other hand show more body and malty sweetness, so they tend to complement foods that are roasted, broiled or barbecued. Even chicken or turkey will benefit from light ales when they’re roasted. 

Heavier ales for red meats and game.

The heavier ales, rich in malt, pair best with red meats and game. If they’re extremely dark and heavy, you can enjoy them on their own after a meal as dessert. Basically, the greater the intensity of cooking the food undergoes, the heavier the beer that can be served with it.

Not sure what type of beer to serve with your meal? Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: The lighter the cooking, the lighter the beer. The more roasted the food, the more roasted the malt (in other words, go with a darker ale).

History of the Growler

Sometime around the late 1800s people wanted to carry their beer home with them from the local pub. They started using what was basically a pail with a lid. It is rumored that the term “growler” was given as the beer would splash around in the pail and made a rumbling noise as CO2 escaped through the lid. The growler took various forms over the years until Charlie Otto introduced the modern day glass growler in 1989.

How It Works

We offers two sizes of growlers, 32oz and 64oz. The 32oz is referred to as “Squeaker” and the 64oz as “Growler.”

We have our own growlers available for purchase at any time for a one-time fee. If you have your own growler you are welcome to bring it in to be filled. After you are finished with your beverage all you need to do is rinse it out with hot water and let it air dry or throw it in the dishwasher.

Once you have your own growler you can come back and refill it anytime with your choice of beer. With 16 taps that rotate regularly Hops & Grapes will always have something to appeal to your beer palette. The beer will always be as fresh as possible and just a pour away.

Common Growler Questions

Can I bring my own Growler in?
You are welcome to bring in any growler and we will fill it. You can also purchase one of ours for a one-time fee.
How long will my beer stay fresh?
If you haven’t opened the growler, we recommend you drink the beer within 2-3 weeks. Once you open the growler, we recommend that you drink it within 2-3 days to ensure you are getting fresh, carbonated beer.
It’s better to drink certain styles such as IPAs, pale ales, pilsners, lagers, and wheats sooner rather than later to taste all of the intended flavors and characters. Other styles such as stouts, porters, saisons, sours and other wild ales can sit longer.
How do I take care of it?
Just rinse it out with hot water and let it air dry with the cap off. Growlers are dishwasher safe.
Will you clean my growler?
Yes, we can rinse your growler for you but recommend for you to sanitize it beforehand to ensure your growler is an clean as possible.

Brewing Process

What Is Beer Anyway?

 

Quite simply, beer is a beverage made with malted cereal grains (which could include barley, wheat, rye, corn or rice), hops and water that is fermented by adding yeast. Alcohol is created by yeast which consumes oxygen and sugar and produces alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat.

Alcohol levels can range from 2% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) to a whopping 15% ABV for Barley Wines. 

Of course, this description really doesn’t do beer justice, does it? Beer is actually quite a complex drink that can take on thousands of interpretations. And for most of us, trying to categorize beer can sometimes be difficult.

1. Water

Pure water is essential to good beer – and brewers pay scrupulous attention to the source and purification of their brewing water. The water used in brewing is purified to rigidly set standards. If it doesn’t have the proper calcium or acidic content for maximum activity of the enzymes in the mash, it must be brought up to that standard.

2. Malt

Barley is used to make brewers’ malt. To make malt, grain is first allowed to germinate. It’s then dried in a kiln or often roasted. This germination process creates enzymes that convert the grain’s starch into sugar. Depending on how long the roasting process takes, the malt will darken in color. This is what influences the color and flavor of the beer.

3. Mashing

Now malt is added to heated, purified water and, through a carefully controlled time and temperature process, the malt enzymes break down the starch to sugar, and the complex proteins of the malt break down to simpler nitrogen compounds. The mashing takes place in a large round tank called a “mash tun”, and requires careful temperature control. Depending on the type of beer desired, the malt is then supplemented by starch from other cereals such as corn, wheat or rice.

4. Lautering

The mash is transferred to a straining or “lautering” vessel, usually cylindrical, with a slotted false bottom two to five cm above the true bottom. The liquid extract drains through the false bottom and is run off to the brew kettle. This extract, a sugar solution called “wort”, is not yet beer. Water is “sparged” or sprayed through the grains to wash out as much of the extract as possible. The “spent grains” are removed and sold for cattle feed.

5. Boiling & Hopping

Boiling takes place in a huge cauldron-like brew kettle that holds up to 1,000 hectoliters under carefully controlled conditions. The process to obtain the desired extract from the hops usually takes about two hours. The hop resins contribute flavor, aroma and bitterness to the brew. Once the hops have flavored the brew, they are removed. Sometimes, highly fermentable syrup may be added to the kettle. Undesirable protein substances which have survived the journey from the mash mixer are coagulated, leaving the wort clear.

6. Hop Separation & Cooling

After the beer has taken on the flavor of the hops, the wort then goes to the hot wort tank. It’s then cooled, usually in an apparatus called a plate cooler. As the wort and a coolant flow past each other on opposite sides of stainless steel plates, the temperature of the wort drops from boiling to about 50°F to 60°F (a drop of more than 150°F) in a few seconds.

7. Fermentation

This is where all the magic happens – where the yeast (those living, single-cell fungi) break down the sugar in the wort to carbon dioxide and alcohol. It’s also where a lot of the vital flavor occurs. In all modern breweries, elaborate precautions are taken to ensure that the yeast remains pure and unchanged. Through the use of pure yeast culture plants, a particular beer flavor can be maintained year after year.

During fermentation, which lasts about seven to 10 days, the yeast multiplies until a creamy, frothy head appears on top of the brew. When the fermentation is over, the yeast is removed. At last, we have beer!

Barley is used to make brewers’ malt. To make malt, grain is first allowed to germinate. It’s then dried in a kiln or often roasted. This germination process creates enzymes that convert the grain’s starch into sugar. Depending on how long the roasting process takes, the malt will darken in color. This is what influences the color and flavor of the beer.

8. Cellars

For one to three weeks, the beer is stored cold and then filtered once or twice before it’s ready for bottling or “racking” into kegs.

The Art of Pouring Beer

Pouring

The perfect glass of beer boasts a rich head of foam. Not only does it look great, and provide a natural cap for the beer’s carbonation, you get a smoother, cleaner taste.

When you pour the beer, put the neck of the bottle over the edge of the cool, wet glass, tilting the bottle to a high angle. Pour the beer into the glass until you’ve created a fine, dense-textured head.
At that point, lower the bottom of the bottle to reduce the flow until foam nears the top of the glass. Leave just enough space for the foam to rise to the lip of the glass.

Storing

Shelf life is about three months. Quality is affected by both temperature and light.
Store beer away from light. Choose a dim or dark location for beer storage, as ultra-violet light soon spoils beer, causing it to be “light struck” and to go “skunked”. (Green and brown bottles help beer from becoming light struck, which risks giving the brew a skunky taste.)
Store beer in a cool place with a temperature of approximately 13°C.

Keep draft beer refrigerated at all times to maintain freshness. Finish within two to three weeks with a home draft set up.

Ideal serving temperature is between 4° and 5°C.

It’s tempting to lay bottled beer on its side to efficiently utilize space, but when the bottles are stored horizontally, it can create a yeast ring inside the bottle that will not settle. Store your beer upright – the yeast will settle to the bottom and allow for a clean, yeast-free pour.

Drink opened beer and don’t even try storing it. The carbonation will evaporate and you’ll have flat beer even if it’s only the next day. If you can’t drink it, use it in the kitchen or elsewhere.

 

Cleaning

Beer tastes best in glasses made for beer alone. That’s because milk, tea, coffee, and even the soap used to clean the glasses, leaves a residue that diminishes a beer’s head.

CLEANING TIP #1: Dip beer glass in clear water, then turn upside-down to drain. If the glass has traces of lipstick, soap, grease or oil, the film of water will break up into streaks or drops. If the glass is clean, you’ll see a perfect film of clear water cover the entire surface.

CLEANING TIP #2: Serve beer in a wet glass that’s been washed in a mild, soap-free detergent and rinsed several times in warm water. To prime your glass for a rich head, rinse it in pure, cold water just before you pour.s.