Schipping a Bierschnap: Mill Street’s Beer Hall

12 Jun

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In early 2013, Toronto’s Mill Street Brew Pub, in the Distillery District, launched an addition called the Beer Hall.  A liberal modern take on the traditional German styled beer hall (or Bierpalast), it boasts a couple of communal tables but features mostly individual booths and a high tables.  The decor likens it to many of the after-work lounges found in the Financial District.  The Beer Hall offers the same beers as the Brew Pub, which they pump over through copper encased beer lines–cool, eh?  Although you can cross over from one venue to the other whilst staying indoors, they are two separate establishments with two different menus (Beer Hall being a touch more ‘gourmet’).  The Beer Hall also features 3 beers not found in the Brew Pub, and most importantly, my reason for visiting: 3 of their own bierschnaps.

A bierschnap is a traditional German style dry spirit where beer is distilled down to a clear colourless liquid of significantly higher percentage in alcohol (in this case, 45%!).  Cane sugar is added (as possibly other flavourings).  It’s supposed to be a strong intense punch of beer and this Beer Hall, to my knowledge, was the only place I could find it in Canada.

I tried the Frambozen bierschnap which is based on their Frambozen beer (a raspberry wheat beer) because I figured a fruit flavour would help mask the 45% alcohol I’d be consuming, right?  Served in an adorable chilled mini beer stein, I could immediately smell a very strong wild honey scent.  Very interesting.  This scent followed as I sipped the bierschnap and it really hung out in the back of my throat.  A totally reinvented version of the Frambozen hit my mouth and it…was just a bit too alcohol-y for me to distinguish many flavours besides the acidity of the raspberry and the lingering blanket of wild honey.

It was a very interesting experience and it was fun to sip on the patio.  Not sure if I’d order it again but well, let’s be honest. There are still 2 other flavours for me to try!

Note to readers: Do you know if one sips a bierschnap or shoots it?  Discuss!

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