Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fantastic North American Beers You Need to Experience!

Beer is not much different than wine when you explore past the boundaries of liquor stores. There’s a whole world out there of microbreweries crafting delicious brews for us to enjoy and share memories with.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but the point is these beers are truly something special and deserve to be celebrated. It’s a daunting and likely impossible task to try and taste them all, and that’s a great problem to have if you’re a beer connoisseur.

With that in mind, the purpose of this list isn’t to lay claim to the best beers ever - that would be a difficult undertaking for even the most knowledgeable of beer drinkers.
Think of this as a beer recommendation directory, if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting any of these brews.

Rigor Mortis ABT

Brewed by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, Quebec, Canada this strong brown ale inspired by the beer brewed by Belgian Trappist monks. Very little bitterness, this beer has intense malty and sweet flavours, mixed with the taste of chocolate and caramel. It presents complex red fruit and spice flavours due to the type of yeast that is used during the brewing process. This beer is at its best only after it has aged for six months. The Rigor Mortis are complex beers designed and brewed with patience and care in the tradition of the great Belgian Abbey beers. It is aptly named with its 10.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).

Muskoka Mad Tom IPA

This American IPA with a 6.4% ABV is brewed by the Muskoka Brewery out of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Mad Tom is exploding with depth of flavour and a distinct fruity back that pleasantly lingers. It possesses a nice blend of citrus undertow with a strong hop base. The colour is synonymous with its crisp, refreshing taste as it pours golden brown and really does taste like liquid gold. It’s just a well-balanced beer that is unlikely to disappoint even the stingiest of beer connoisseurs. That it’s reasonably priced and easy to get your hands on is a nice bonus.

La Shawinigan Handshake

Le Trou Du Diable is a phenomenal microbrewery out of Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada that is remarkably consistent with world-class beers. You’ll pay a pretty penny, but your taste buds will melt away in heavenly elation. Shawinigan Handshake is a Weizenbock style of beer—a stronger wheat—that packs a bit of a punch at 6.5% ABV. The politically-themed label will provide a laugh as you tilt one back and let the golden flow of orange and grapefruit flavours and pine back invigorate your insides. This beer is also heavy on hops and has a nice spicy flavour integrated in its complex flavour. Take a few sips, sit back and enjoy!

Chimay Triple (White)

Although not from North America I felt I had to include this terrific Belgium beer in the list. The Chimay Triple, last-born of the Abbey, is labelled "Cinq Cents" on the 750 ml bottle. Of a golden colour, this Trappist beer (which means it comes with the badass story “that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, and whose revenue is devoted to social service.)” combines sweet and bitter in a rare balance. The beer's aroma felt in the mouth comes from the hops' perfumes: above all, they are fruity touches of Muscat grapes and raisins, even ripe apples. This traditional Belgian beer from the Chimay Brewery is best savoured fresh at a temperature of from 6 to 8°C.

Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout

Propeller Revolution Russian is possibly one of the finest stouts on the market. Propeller Brewing Company is Nova Scotia’s best selling microbrewery. This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars and brewed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s a coffee lover’s dream beer as strong notes of chocolate and coffee beans dominate its aroma. At 8% ABV, it pours jet black but goes down smooth with a rich flavour full of bitterness and sweetness that nests in your mouth with its balanced combination of citrus and chocolate. It’s so delicious I had to run out and grab one while writing this entry.

Le Castor Oatmeal Stout

The Oatmeal Stout from Le Castor, a Quebec microbrewery, is your prototypical Canadian beer. Its modest 5% ABV shouldn’t be taken lightly as the beer offers a full flavour of chocolate, coffee and a back of maple syrup without being overpowering in sweetness. This beer is well-balanced and a great gateway brew for beer drinkers looking to delve into the delicious world of microbrews. Make no mistake, however, this is a complex creation bursting with flavour and a nutty aroma that begs to be absorbed before taking a sip. Whether you’re an experienced microbrew drinker or newly introduced, you can’t go wrong with Le Castor’s Oatmeal Stout.

MacTavish In Memoriam

MacTavish is an American Style Pale Ale. This is a beer for the ages, aptly described as “legendary ale” on the memorable label and brewed by Le Trou Du Diable in Shawinigan, Quebec.
Fruity hops, a honey undertow and a pleasant floral aroma ship you away in the lucid world displayed on the front, inviting you to breathe in the fresh smell of a Scottish meadow before finishing the experience with a lingering but pleasant bitterness that coats your tongue with its complex flavour. 5% ABV in a custom made bottle, just for Le Trou du Diable! 

Shawi Beach

This is a summer beer also from Le Trou Du Diable, a brewery in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada. This 6.7% ABV IPA is an amber beer with tropical accents. Shawi Beach is a renowned beer for its floral bitterness and delightful blend of citrus flavours including mango, grapefruit, pineapple and orange. It is said to possess a piney aftertaste and strong aroma with an attractive foamy head.

List of breweries in Quebec:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

The January transfer window has been open nearly three weeks now, and there has been plenty of talk, a little bit of action, but only one high profile bank busting deal so far - Wilfried Bony's transfer from Swansea to Manchester City for a reported £28million.

Are clubs going to wait until the final few hours of the window to get their transfer targets over the line, or are player price tags, often influenced by their agents putting off would be suitors! As is often the case many clubs may look abroad for players in a market that they consider is better value for money.

The rumours though are hotting up as one would expect, and players including: De Gea, Arbeloa, Hummels, Alves, Khedira, Schurrle, Pogba, Soldardo, Pique, Gomis, Sinclair, Fletcher and Reid are all in the news!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe and North America today!

Is your club involved?

Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Spurs, Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham, Wolfsburg, Fiorentina, Barcelona, Crystal Palace, Hoffenheim, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Real Sociedad, Inter, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Partizan Belgrade, Valencia, Roma, Malaga, Ipswich, West Brom, Anderlecht, Mainz, Leicester, Club Brugge, Stuttgart, Everton, Leeds, Swansea, Ipswich, Wigan, Chicago Fire, Celtic, Dundee United, Bradford City, Parma, Toronto FC, Lokeren, Mechelen, Nantes, Charlton and Brighton...............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Manchester United have placed a £50m valuation on Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, who is wanted by Real Madrid - Daily Express

Germany international defender Mats Hummels, 26, has disappointed Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea by saying he wants to stay at Borussia Dortmund - Daily Star

Tottenham's struggling Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, 29, is wanted by German club Bayer Leverkusen - Daily Mirror and Daily Mail

Álvaro Arbeloa (right) has played down suggestions he is set for a return to the Premier League after reiterating his desire to finish his career at Real Madrid.
The full-back, who left Liverpool to join Real Madrid in 2009, has been heavily linked with his former club, Chelsea and Arsenal in recent days - skysports.com

Barcelona are set to decide Dani Alves' future at the club in the coming weeks, according to Camp Nou president Josep María Bartomeu. A number of Premier League sides are believed to be monitoring his situation - skysports.com

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a move for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, 27 - Daily Star

West Ham's New Zealand international Winston Reid, 26, has told the Upton Park club he will not sign a new contract and wants to join Arsenal - Daily Mirror

Wolfsburg are ready to pay £23m for forward Andre Schurrle, 24, but Chelsea want £30m - Daily Mail

Manchester United are preparing a £15m bid to bring back defender Gerard Pique, 27, from Barcelona - Daily Express

Chelsea are reportedly considering meeting the buyout clause in the contract of Fiorentina and Columbia winger Juan Cuadrado (right), 26 - Daily Star and skysports.com

Crystal Palace have upped their bid for Swansea left-back Neil Taylor to £4.5m - Daily Mirror

Tottenham have agreed a £5million deal with Swansea for right-back Kyle Naughton - Daily Mirror and skysports.com

Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair is keen for his potential transfer to Aston Villa to go ahead. Villa are prepared to offer £1.5m for the player, but they have informed the Premier League champions that they won't match the £3m fee that they want - Daily Mirror and sportsmole.co.uk

Juventus General Manager Giuseppe Marotta Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta has revealed that Real Madrid have contacted the club regarding a possible move for 21 year-old Paul Pogba. He said: "We will do all we can we can to keep Pogba. The problem may be the salaries that other clubs offer him, but at the moment we are not thinking about selling him" - transfermarketweb.com and sportsmole.co.uk

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, 30, is being linked with a move to Valencia and West Ham as he struggles to get playing time under manager Louis van Gaal - skysports.com

Crystal Palace and West Brom are ready to battle it out for the signature of Anthony Modeste (right), according to reports in France. The striker is currently plying his trade with German side Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim are reportedly willing to sell the 26-year-old if a club meets their valuation of £5million - TalkSPORT

Bafetimbi Gomis claims there is a chance he could move to Borussia Dortmund after complaining about his relationship with Swansea - The Times

Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is available for a loan move. The Costa Rica international is reportedly a target for David Moyes at Real Sociedad - skysports.com

West Ham hope to hold off Inter Milan to land midfield enforcer Mario Suarez, 27 from Atletico Madrid - The Sun

Chelsea are in talks with Serbian side Partizan Belgrade over a deal for Danilo Pantic. The Serbian under-19 international is out of contract in the summer and he has been linked with a move to some of Europe's biggest clubs, The Blues opened talks with Partizan on Saturday night after learning that Italian side Juventus had made an approach to sign the 18-year-old midfielder, and they are now the front-runners in the race to get the player's signature - Daily Mail and sportsmole.co.uk

West Ham are also keen keen on signing the Scotland international from Manchester United - The Times

Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of Tin Jedvaj from Roma. The Croatia international was loaned out to the German club last summer and has impressed to such a degree that they have made the move permanent - skysports.com

Leicester City's want to sign Mainz forward Shinji Okazaki (right), but The Foxes feel the £10million asking price is too high for the 28 year-old Japan international - skysports.com

Malaga's sporting director says midfielder Ignacio Camacho, 24, who has been a target for Liverpool and Arsenal is going nowhere this month - Talksport

Kevin Bru has extended his contract at Ipswich Town. The 26-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Blues in the summer following a successful trial - skysports.com

West Brom are interested in signing Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy - The Times

Chelsea winger Marko Marin has joined Anderlecht on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

Swansea's £5.5m bid for Stuttgart midfielder Alexandru Maxim, 24, has been rejected by the German club - Daily Mail

Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton are among the Premier League teams showing interest in young Leeds talent Sam Byram, 21.

Ipswich Town have confirmed the signing of keeper Paddy Kenny, until the end of the season.

Wigan Athletic forward Shaun Maloney is close to completing a move to MLS side Chicago Fire. The Scotsman almost joined Premier League side Leicester City last week but talks reportedly broke down over personal terms - Daily Mail and sportsmole.co.uk

Club Brugge and Australian international goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (right), 22, has confirmed he wants to play in the Premier League and is wanted by Liverpool - Metro

Celtic have made an official approach to Dundee United for 22 year-old midfielder Stuart Armstrong - Daily Record

Arsenal and Liverpool both want striker Reece Webb-Foster, 16, from Bradford City - The Sun

Valencia attacker Fede Cartabia is reportedly a transfer target for a number of Premier League clubs. The 22-year-old is highly regarded at the Mestalla, but has spent the first half of this season on loan at Cordoba. Valencia would be tempted into a sale should a figure of £6m be offered - Superdeporte (leading sports newspaper in Valencia)

Experienced Uruguayan midfielder Cristian Rodriguez is reportedly close to joining Parma on loan from Atletico Madrid - Football Espana

Toronto FC have signed Italy forward Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus on undisclosed terms - sportinglife.com and sportsmole.co.uk

Belgium club sides Lokeren and Mechelen are keen on Nantes 21-year-old forward Adama Niane - Footmercato.com

Leon Best has joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

Tottenham youngster Milos Veljkovic has joined Charlton Athletic on loan for the rest of the season - skysports.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cristiano Ronaldo - 2014 Ballon d'Or Winner

Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or award last night for the second consecutive year at a ceremony held in Zurich.

This was the Real Madrid forwards third Ballon d'Or (2008/2013/2014), as he topped a poll of journalists, international coaches and captains to the title of 'World's Best Player' during the calender year 2014, beating Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ronaldo has also been runner-up on four occasions (2007/2009/2011/2012).

Ronaldo received 37.66 per cent of all votes, while Messi just pipped Manuel Neuer to second place, with 15.76 per cent compared to 15.72 per cent for Germany's World Cup-winning goalkeeper.
The remaining 30.86 per cent of the votes were split between a number of other players including: Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm and Neymar to name just a few.

Ronaldo's latest success comes on the back of 12 months during which he scored 56 goals in 51 club games for Real Madrid in all competitions, along with 21 assists. Among his 56 club goals he scored a competition-record 17 in Real Madrid's Champions League-winning campaign.
Roanaldo also made 9 appearances for the Portuguese national team, scoring 5 times with one assist.

On receiving the award on stage from guest Thierry Henry, 29 year-old Ronaldo said the following:

"I can see my mother, my family. I would like to thank all those who voted for me. My coach, my fellow player, the President of my club.
It's been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy, a trophy of this kind, is something unique and all I can say is I want to continue working as I have so far, trying to go on to more titles - individual and as a team - for my mother, my father who is up there looking at there any my son.
I want to get better as the days go by. I want to say to all the Portuguese that I never thought I could win this trophy on three different occasions. Of course it is something that is always with me, I want to become one of the greatest players of all time, and this requires a lot so I would like to thank you for all this evening. BOOM!"

Germany national manager Joachim Low won the 'Coach of the Year' award ahead of Real boss Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

The Puskas Trophy for the best goal of 2014 went to Columbia's James Rodriguez for his volleyed World Cup goal against Uruguay,
Republic of Ireland women's striker Stephanie Roche was 2nd for her ball juggle and volley for Peamount United, with Robin van Persie third in the public vote for his diving header in Holland's 5-1 win over Spain at the finals.

Wolfsburg captain Nadine Kessler added FIFA's Women's World Player of the Year trophy to the UEFA equivalent she won last year.

Ralf Kellerman also of Wolfsburg won the award FIFA Women’s Football Coach of the Year.

FIFA's World Team of the Year for 2014 was as follows:

Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Philipp Lahm (Germany/Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Brazil/PSG), David Luiz (Brazil/PSG), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Andrés Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Ángel Di Maria (Argentina/Manchester United)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich).

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

The January transfer window has been open a week now, and there has been plenty of talk, but not a great deal of action!
The rumours though are hotting up as one would expect, and players including: Bony, Isco, Valdes, Bale, Berahino, Reus, Shaqiri, Vlaar, Nastasic, Lambert, Schneiderlin, Sissoko, Defoe and Evans are all in the news!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe and North America today!

Is your club involved?

Arsenal, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Swansea City Manchester City, Manchester United, Oldham, Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City, Rijeka, Wigan, Burnley, LA Galaxy, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Tottenham, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Strømsgodset IF, PSG, Real Sociedad, AC Milan, Schalke, Hull City, Bordeaux, Atletico Madrid, West Ham, Besiktas, Porto, Southampton, Chicago Fire, Luton, Millwall, Bayer Leverkusen, Stoke and Cardiff...............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Arsenal are preparing an incredible £64m move for Real Madrid star Isco (right) in the hope to beat up off competition from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City - Daily Star

Real Madrid will sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United for £120m to make room for Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, who can leave for just £20m in the summer due to a clause in his contract - Daily Express and skysports.com

Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony, is on the verge of completing a big-money move to champions Manchester City - Multiple News Sources

Ched Evans and Oldham Athletic have agreed personal terms over a potential move to Bounday Park, according to Sky sources - skysports.com

Ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes (right) is close to agreeing to join Manchester United, with the Red Devils having offered the Catalan a deal to move to Old Trafford until the summer of 2016 - Mundo Deportivo (Spanish daily sports newspaper published in Barcelona).

Leicester City have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Rijeka's 23-year-old Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric after agreeing a club-record fee of £9.7m and the Premier League strugglers are looking at a move for Burnley frontman Danny Ings - The Times, Daily Express and skysports.com

Leicester remain confident of signing mercurial Wigan Athletic attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney, despite the club having already had one offer for the Scotland international rejected in January - skysports.com

Liverpool have agreed a £10m deal to sign Bayern Munich's 23 year-old midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right) although both Inter Milan and Stoke City have also expressed an interest in the Swiss international - Daily Star and BBC

Steven Gerrard is set to confirm his move from Liverpool to LA Galaxy in the next 24 hours - Daily Star

Tottenham are being offered West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 21, in exchange for midfielders Andros Townsend, 23, and Aaron Lennon, 27 - Daily Mirror

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Liverpoolstriker Rickie Lambert.

Newcastle United have told PSG they will have to make a mouth-watering offer to sign midfielder Moussa Sissoko - Daily Express

Manchester United are poised to increase the pressure to land Aston Villa centre-back Ron Vlaar - Daily Star

Real Madrid are on the brink of signing 16-year-old Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard (right) from Strømsgodset IF - a reported target for many of England's top clubs - after flying him to the Spanish capital in a private jet on Tuesday evening - Inside Futbol and Daily Mail

Queens Park Rangers are hoping to be able to take out-of-favour Chelsea wide man Mohamed Salah on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

David Moyes's Real Sociedad are in advanced talks to sign 22-year-old Arsenal forward Joel Campbell - Mundo Deportivo (Spanish daily sports newspaper published in Barcelona)and Daily Express

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is also among the targets for Real Sociedad boss David Moyes - Daily Express

AC Milan and Schalke are interested in Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic who can leave the club for £8m - skysports.com and Daily Mirror

Hull City will have to find £10.4m in wages to bring striker Jermain Defoe to the club - The Sun

Arsenal hope to land West Ham defender Winston Reid (right) for a cut-price £3m this month - The Sun

Morgan Schneiderlin could leave Southampton in the summer. Arsenal and Tottenham are interested but know they are unlikely to seal a move until the next window - Daily Star

Nathaniel Chalobah could also be leaving Chelsea on loan during the January transfer window, with Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux understood to be interested - skysports.com

Borussia Dortmund appear willing to let Manchester United sign £16m-rated midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, 24, this winter - Daily Express

West Ham are showing an interest in 27-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez - Daily Mail

Swansea City frontman Modou Barrow has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal with the Premier League club that keeps the 22-year-old Gambian at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2018 - skysports.com

Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul, 29, is set to quit the club after falling out of favour, with Turkish side Besiktas having made an approach - The Sun

Arsenal and Southampton will battle it out for £16m-rated Colombia midfielder Juan Quintero, 21, (right) currently at Porto - Daily Star

Chicago Fire have announced the signing of former Southampton striker Guly do Prado - Daily Mail

Luton Town are interested in striker Andrew Johnson, 33, who is a free agent after his short-term deal at Crystal Palace expired - Daily Mail and skysports.com

Stoke City are set to sign Bayer Leverkusen defender, Philipp Wollschied.
The German international is initially expected to join on loan and a deal should be done in the next 24 hours - skysports.com

Cardiff City have announced the signing of Millwall left-back Scott Malone, subject to international clearance - skysports.com