If you haven't heard of any of these beers, then I'm sorry, we can't be friends.

In case you didn’t notice our announcement last month, the Jack Astor’s restaurant chain is now featuring a “Winter Fling” fest, encouraging customers to stray from their usual beers and have a “fling” with craft beers. You can enjoy a selection of craft beers from now until January 19th at all Jack Astor’s locations. The list of beers available in Ontario locations include Mill Street Organic Lager, Tankhouse Ale, Muskoka Cream Ale, Flying Monkey Hoptical Illusion Pale Ale, Granville Island Lions Winter Ale.

While I always enjoy Flying Monkey Hoptical Illusion Pale Ale and one of my go-to beers is Mill St Tankhouse Ale, the only one I hadn’t tried until last night was the Granville Island Lions Winter Ale. It’s worth a try if you enjoy dark beers. It’s a premium malt with aromatic specialty hops and a smooth vanilla finish while some would describe it as having a chocolate or caramel taste to it.

For pairing with these fine craft beers, Jack Astor’s serves up Cluckin’ Chicken Dippers ($9.82). These tender chicken pieces are served with unique salts and sauces to sprinkle, dip, mix and match to create chicken dipper combinations you can call your own.

Cluckin’ Chicken Dippers served with unique salts and dipping sauces

Cluckin’ Chicken Dippers served with unique salts and dipping sauces

Pairing my Cluckin' Chicken Dippers with Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

Pairing my Cluckin’ Chicken Dippers with Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

The Winter Fling Festival menu also includes a creamy Asiago Shrimp & Smoked Mozza Ravioli ($16.74) and a hearty Holiday Brie Chicken dish served with Jack’s mashed potatoes and sweet onion gravy ($17.97). I really enjoyed the brie chicken with honey dijon sauce and generous amounts of pecans, almonds, and dried cranberries. Not to mention the two slices of brie melted on top of the chicken breast.

Holiday Brie Chicken dish with honey dijon, pecans, almonds and dried cranberries served with a side of Jack’s mashed potatoes and sweet onion gravy

Holiday Brie Chicken dish with honey dijon, pecans, almonds and dried cranberries served with a side of Jack’s mashed potatoes and sweet onion gravy

For dessert, the rich and decadent Cherry On Top Chocolate Trifle is a divine steal at $3.97.

Cherry on Top Chocolate Trifle

Cherry on Top Chocolate Trifle

I’m looking forward to visiting again soon and you should act fast as well before this Winter Fling craft beer fest ends January 19th!

I think this campaign is a good thing and I hope it sticks because the more awareness that’s spread of craft beers (or at the very least better beers in general), the less I will have to run into the unfortunate situations where “bars” only serve Coors Light and Molson Canadian… in bottles (aka a bad situation goes worse). So please let that never happen again. We’re not Americans who are known for drinking watered-down beer. So do me a favour and drink beer like a real Canadian, please!

For more info visit www.jackastors.com/craftbeer.aspx

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Speaking of their craft beer offerings, Jack Astor’s on Front Street is having a “Mill Street Organic & Tankhouse Party” on Thursday, January 16th. RSVP to Vivian at vto@sircorp.com

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Holiday party photos from Media Profile, iYellow, Vice, House of Vintage

Nick Lee

Editor and Photos at BestOfToronto.net