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Brewery and Pub Visits

The Beer Geeks travel near and far to sample the wares that the finest breweries, pubs and brewpubs are serving up. Latest stop, Milos Craft Beer Emporium in London, ON.

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Beer Geeks - Devoted to taste, flavour and aroma of good beer. Providing you news, reviews and information on craft brews. The place to for information on new, old and bold brews from around the world!

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Ryan's Liquor in Port Huron, MI!

For Ontarian's wanting American craft beer at great prices, Ryan's is the place to go. Located just across the border at 1837 Pine Grove, Port Huron, MI.

Friday, July 29, 2011

OCB Series - Great Lakes Brewery - Crazy Canuck

Crazy Canuck
ABV 5.2%

"Our version of a west coast pale ale pushes the boundaries much like the crazy canucks of the past. We’ve brewed it for those who enjoy adventure and a departure from the ordinary. The result is a wildly hoppy aroma and lingering bitterness complemented by a soft breadly malt flavour. Raise your glass to the Great White North!"

the Look - poured to a orange/yellow colour, cascading bubbles for the duration with good initial head fading to a lacy cover.

the Smell - definite hoppy notes with that grassy scent.  A citrus bouquet hits as it should during your sips.

the Taste - the expected hoppy bitter was there, lingering appropriately in the mouth, hits and stays on the sides of your tongue.

the Feel - oddly frothy, it left a full feeling in the mouth, but oddly frothy.

Overall - I'd give this beer an "A", not only was it as described, I drank it on a darn hot day and it offered moments of refreshment.  I'd suggest drinking this on a patio, in your yard, when its hot, humid and hazy.

Available at:
473 mL can Price: $ 2.50

Flying Monkey's Smashbomb Atomic IPA Now Available at LCBO

Barrie, ON

A beer once only available on tap at fine pubs and restaurants in Ontario, Smashbomb Atomic IPA is now be available in 6-packs!

The LCBO caused quite the stir among Ontario craft beer fans in April when it refused to allow Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery to distribute its Smashbomb Atomic IPA in its stores because the name and imagery on the label were deemed to be too violent. Good news for beer lovers and for Flying Monkeys. The LCBO has reversed its decision and the beer can now be found in 90 LCBOs across Ontario.

According to an LCBO post, the number of stores could be expanded if there is sufficient demand, but for now, Ontarians can find the beer in 90 stores. It’s available in six-packs (355mL bottles) for $12.95.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Study Reveals Most Ontario Voters Support Beer and Wine in Convenience Stores

Oakville, ON

Online/Facebook campaign launched; Voters registering their support at

A newly released Angus Reid Public Opinion study, done on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, shows that a majority of Ontarians (60%) support expanding the provinces alcohol retailing system to allow beer and wine to be sold by more types of retailers. Several other Canadian provinces, including Quebec and Newfoundland already offer the convenience of alcohol in convenience stores.

The study of 803 potential voters aged 19+ showed that two-thirds (67%) of Ontarians who had shopped at the LCBO or The Beer store in the 30 days prior to the survey, support private retailers, like convenience stores, selling alcohol like beer and wine. A majority of Ontarians across all regions also support the idea, with Eastern Ontarians showing the highest level of support (71%).

In addition to the LCBO and Beer Store, do you support or oppose the idea of allowing private retailers like corner stores to sell alcoholic beverages in Ontario?
Ontario Region% Support1% Oppose2% Don't Know
GTA (416+905)61%34%5%

1strongly support +somewhat support; 2strongly oppose+ somewhat oppose *Note: Small base size: Hamilton-Niagara (n=77), North (n=58)

"Ontario voters are simply asking for more convenience - like being able to pick-up some beer for their BBQ on Canada Day. That's not a lot to ask. When as many as two out of every three adults in Ontario support beer and wine in convenience stores, it will be interesting to see what candidates from all parties tell voters," said Dave Bryans, President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. "It's time Ontario's alcohol retailing system was expanded beyond the LCBO and The Beer Store and we're asking everyone over 19 to visit to register their support."

"A separate independent study conducted earlier this year by Statopex Field Marketing found that a great many convenience stores are ready for the responsibility of selling beer and wine. Convenience stores do a better job than either the government-run LCBO or foreign-owned Beer Store at keeping age-restricted products from minors, "said Bryans."When tested with underage secret shoppers (age 15-18), convenience stores scored the highest with an 87.3% pass rate, The Beer Store next with 80.7% and LCBO last with 74.6% - meaning 1 in 4 minors successfully purchased age-restricted products from LCBO, and 1 in 5 from The Beer Store - compared to 1 in 8 for convenience stores."

Other Angus Reid Public Opinion Study Findings

  • Overall, three-in-five Ontarians (60%) support private retailers, like convenience stores, selling alcohol like beer and wine.
  • 48 per cent of Ontarians believe The Beer Store is publicly run. Only one-in-twenty (5%) are aware it is owned by foreign multi-national corporations.
  • Ontarians list several reasons as the main benefit for allowing beer and wine in convenience stores: convenience (50%); lower prices (15%), and longer hours of operation (12%).
  • Overall 47 per cent say they'd heard positive things about corner stores selling alcohol in other provinces like Quebec or Newfoundland, while 9% had heard negative things, and 44% say they didn't know or had not heard anything. Regionally the breakdown revealed:
Region% Heard positive things% Heard negative things% Don't Know
GTA (416+905)45%6%48%

*Note: Small base size: Hamilton-Niagara (n=77), North (n=58)

The study was conducted from February 11 to February 15, 2011 by Angus Reid Public Opinion, the Public Affairs division of Vision Critical. The survey was conducted among 803 randomly selected Ontario residents age 19+ who are Angus Reid Forum panelists on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Store Association. The margin of error for this sample size is +/- 3.5, nineteen times out of twenty. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender, and region Census data to ensure the sample's representativeness of the entire Ontario adult population. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Russia Classifies Beer as an Alcoholic Beverage, Not Food

Moscow, Russia

With beer being marketed in Russia as a healthy alternative to vodka, sales are up more than 40 percent in the last decade. Now President Dmitri Medvedev has signed a bill to define beer as alcohol, not food and has introduced time and place restrictions on it's sale.

Some changes include making it illegal to sell beer between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. And rather than being sold in kiosks that clutter the streets in Russian towns and crowd railway stations and transportation hubs, i
t will only be allowed to be sold in stores.

Advertising for alcohol will also be banned under the new legislation.

The changes are part of a plan outlined by President Medvedev in August 2009 to combat the "alcoholization" of the Russian people. In January 2010, Moscow increased the tax on beer by 200 percent.

Russians drank an average of 12.5 liters of alcohol last year; vodka accounts for about 40 percent of individual consumption, while beer accounts for about 32 percent.

According to a 2009 study published in the British medical journal "The Lancet," alcohol abuse accounts for 600,000 deaths in Russia each year and a total of half of all deaths among males between 15 and 54.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celebrate summer with Granville Island Brewing's "Summer Mingler Party Series".

This is your chance to win 2 passes to our next Mingler party this Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at our Taproom on Granville Island hosted by Granville Island Brewing and Virgin Radio 95.3FM.

Enter now to be a part of the mingling event of the summer complete with games and prizes. Email by 4pm on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 for your chance to win. Please put 'Mingler Party Series' in the subject and be sure to provide a daytime phone number.

Also, for July and August, pick up specially marked cases of The Mingler bottles and cans to get a Mingler Bonus card for a free gift at 1 of 4 participating locations around the lower mainland. Visit for more details.

The Mingler - You supply the friends, we supply the party.

Granville Island Brewing – It's Good to be here.

Diverting Glass From Landfill Aim of New Bottle Recycling Container Design

Aurora, ON

Available at the Beer Store, Bottle Bin™ helps individuals "do their part" for the environment

A new bottle recycling container is helping to divert glass from needlessly being sent to landfill.

The Bottle Bin™ reusable container helps Ontarians to conveniently store, sort and return their empty wine, beer and spirit bottles. Glass containers are diverted from landfill and consumers are assisted to take full advantage of the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP).

On average, 40% of all glass bottles put in single-stream recycling bins end up in landfill, according to a 2009 Container Recycling Institute study. Recycling glass is a challenge because it has to first be separated by colour and in single-stream programs it is virtually impossible to prevent glass from breaking. Mixed or contaminated glass cannot be recycled; a contributing factor to the implementation of the ODRP in 2007.

"Everyone wants to do their part for the environment," said Chris Williams, Marketing Director of Sustain It Inc. "Most understand the obligation to participate in the Deposit Return Program, just as they do for the Blue Box and Green Bin programs; however, it is not always convenient, or simple, to do so. Bottle Bin™ makes it easy to return bottles and rewards users by putting money back in their pocket. Instead of tossing bottles into regular recycling, consumers can use the Bottle Bin™ container to sort, store and transport their bottles back to The Beer Store knowing their efforts are achieving a 100% recycling rate." The Bottle Bin™ container fits up to 18 standard wine or spirit bottles or 48 standard beer bottles.

"At The Beer Store, we strive to make each visit as convenient as possible for our customers," said Ted Moroz, President of The Beer Store. "The launch of our new Bottle Bin™ is another green initiative that makes it easier for customers to organize and return their empty bottles."

The Beer Store administers the ODRP for wine and spirit containers sold by LCBO, winery and distillery retail stores. The program encourages consumers to return their empty containers for a deposit refund; allowing them to do their part for the environment, while rewarding them financially.

Aurora-based Sustain It Inc. had identified a need to improve the flow of bottles all along the product life chain. The company recently launched the "Bring Your Bottles Back" initiative to help promote solutions to saving energy, conserving resources and reducing waste sent to landfill. Along with developing the Bottle Bin™ container, made of 100% recycled materials, the company has launched a website to help educate consumers on glass recycling.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mash up at Toronto’s Festival of Beer

Toronto, ON

At Toronto’s Festival of Beer it’s not about which beer is better and many of the brewers will be the first to tell you that.

“We have top notch entertainment, over 150 different beers, great food and of course room for all of your friends, and this year we’re introducing something that is truly unique to this industry – Toronto’s Festival of Beer Mash Up,” said Les Murray, President of Toronto’s Festival of Beer. “Canada’s craft brewers are very passionate and competitive, but they are also collaborative folks and with this new addition to the Festival you can see it firsthand.”

The Mash Up at the Festival, which runs from August 5 – 7 at Toronto’s Bandshell Park, consist of pairing two amazing craft breweries together to create a unique tasting beer from their collective efforts. Each of the four different pairings create a completely new experience that Festival-goers have never tasted before and may never taste again.

The Mash Ups include:

· Beau's All Natural Brewing Company and Black Oak Brewery

· Amsterdam Brewery and Great Lakes Brewery

· Nickel Brook and Flying Monkey's Brewery

· F&M Brewery and Wellington Brewery

Interested Festival-goers will be able to sample each pairing at a dedicated booth so they can experience the specially chosen pairings in one location.

“This type of offering is something that you can only really do in Ontario,” said Murray. “Canadians are known for being adventurous and willing to try new and different taste profiles with raspberry wheat beers, ginger beers, green apple beers or orange peel beers and a Mash Up adds a whole new aspect. Overall we think that this really speaks to Canadians – adventure and beer, what’s more Canadian than that?”

The specifically chosen pairings have been selected with the intention of creating a distinct taste profile that plays off of each brewer’s strengths and forms a pleasing balance.

“There is a really unique collaborative nature within Ontario’s craft brewing industry and how they all work together for the betterment of the beer industry,” said Murray. “The Mash Up is a great example of how these well known breweries can come together and collaborate to provide a new experience for beer lovers.”

The Beer Store - Select Stores Open Civic Holiday

Toronto, ON

The Beer Store will open 225 stores across the province on civic holiday, Monday, August 1, 2011 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. All Beer Stores will observe their normal business hours on Saturday, July 30 andSunday, July 31.

Stores that will open on August 1, 2011 are posting signs in advance to notify customers. For a complete list of stores open, visit us at The Beer Store would like to wish our employees and customers a safe Holiday. The Beer Store would like to remind you that we take back 100% of all beer packaging as well as all wine and spirit containers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beer Brewed in Historic Railway Roundhouse Now Served Aboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian

Toronto, ON

It’s fitting that a beer steeped in rail history would be the latest addition to VIA Rail’s menu of featured wines and beers from regions across Canada. Steam Whistle Brewing, housed in Toronto’s historic CP rail Roundhouse is now shipping its namesake Steam Whistle Pilsner to neighboring Union Station for loading onboard one of the world’s most legendary and popular longhaul trains. The Canadian, which travels between Toronto and Vancouver year round, offers breathtaking landscapes, attentive and courteous service, and renowned dining featuring Canadian specialty food and beverages.

“My young family took a trip of a lifetime aboard the Canadian,” beams Steam Whistle Co-founder Greg Taylor. “It was an incredible way to see this amazing country of ours, and the gourmet dining on the train was definitely a highlight. As soon as we got home, Steam Whistle contacted VIA Rail to see about adding our Pilsner to their lineup of regional beverages. I’m really proud that our Canadian-made Premium Pilsner will be served aboard this
national showpiece.”

team Whistle chose Toronto’s historic John St. Roundhouse, just south of the CN Tower, to house their world-class brewery when they opened in 2000. The Roundhouse had functioned as a Canadian Pacific Rail repair facility when built in 1929 servicing steam locomotives that helped pioneer this nation. The “John St. Polish” was a term for the renowned gleam of the mighty engines that rolled out from there. “There’s a taste of Canadian history in every bottle and can we fill - a reflection of the hard work and pride within,” affirms Taylor.

Look for 355ml cans of Steam Whistle Pilsner on board sleeper and coach class of The Canadian travelling between Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

Some 350 LCBO Stores Will Open on the Civic Holiday

Toronto, ON

As a convenience to Ontario consumers and visitors, approximately 350 LCBO stores across the province will be open on the civic holiday, Monday, August 1, 2011. Many LCBO agency stores, beer stores and Ontario winery stores will also be open.

The civic holiday is not a statutory holiday under Ontario's Retail Business Holidays Act. Liquor, beer and wine stores can open, provided local municipalities do not object. Traditionally, LCBO and beer stores in cottage and resort areas have opened on the civic holiday, in communities that either do not observe the holiday or observe it later in the year.

All LCBO stores will observe their normal business hours on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31. In the selected LCBO stores that will open on August 1, business hours will be posted in advance to notify customers.

LCBO's Contact Centre will be open on the civic holiday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All other LCBO offices will be closed. Customers should check for individual store hours with their local LCBO store or online at using the 'Store Search' feature.

Stone Brewing Company - Sublimely Self Righteous Ale

8.7% ABV

"We're brewers whose substantial mettle and idiomatic approach to brewing allows us to consistently create works of art such as this justifiably self-righteous ale. Its bitterness hits our sweet spot. Its blackness lightens our hearts. Its liquid dichotomy pulls it all together in this sublimely sacrosanct ale. Yes, we damn well know our stuff here at Stone, and it would be irresponsible of us not to acknowledge how remarkable this heavenly creation of ours is. Thus the name we are compelled to give it --- Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale --- serves as a reminder of just how good we are, in both liquid and verbal form.

We're certainly not perfect. Too often, we allow our modesty to get the best of us as we're simply not inclined towards senseless braggadocio. When you're good, you're good. And when you do something great, the least you can do is acknowledge it. Others benefit from knowing. In this case, we find that we are compelled to point out how amazing this ale is that we rightly call the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

First brewed in 2007 as the Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, this ale was an instant hit. With us. Other folks with great taste loved it too, but we were focused on how much we liked it, and we felt it was truly sublime. That euphoria didn't last long though, as it was soon replaced with the grim reality that when we sold out of it there wouldn't be any more. For us. And that was simply unacceptable. So, we are now blessing ourselves, and you the enlightened, with this ale. Thusly, you may now revel in your own self-righteousness as you see fit with this glorious example of ours. You are genuinely welcome, as it is our pleasure."

The Pour

This Ale pours black, not quite opaque, but almost like Coca-Cola when held to the light. Generous two fingers of tan coloured head. Large and frothy bubbles. Very nice amount of carbonation.


Huge hop nose, with caramel undertones. Also hints of coffee and chocolate. Some earthy piney notes. Decent malt backbone to the aroma.


A nice bitter flavour comes forward. As the beer works towards the back of the mouth, the coffee comes through. There is a pleasant amount of grapefruit that one would would expect from a west coast IPA. Especially with Chinook and Amarillo hops.

Overall Impression

When drinking anything from Stone Brewing, one would be hard pressed to be disappointment. Then you take a black imperial IPA and you are right in my wheel house. The hoppiness of a west coast IPA and the maltiness of a dark, dark beer, top it off by being very well balanced, have a nice mouthfeel and complex taste mmmmmm good. A huge amount of flavour to this beer. Very solid indeed. I would rate it an A.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Check Out Garrison's First Film!

Phillips-Garrison Mash-up Belgian IPA

The Movie

On June 24, 2011, two craft breweries - one based in BC, the other in Nova Scotia - came together in Halifax with one common goal in mind ... to create a special, limited edition brew that embodies the collaborative spirit of craft brewing and honours an old friend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creemore Springs Brewery Limited - Kellerbier

AVB 5%

"Since the middle ages, folks in rural Germany have enjoyed fresh locally brewed beer, straight from the Brewer’s cellar, known as Kellerbier. We brew our Kellerbier in keeping with that same tradition, unfiltered so the beer is naturally cloudy, distinctly flavourful and very refreshing. Special German whole-leaf hops are added late in the process, producing a beer that is wonderfully aromatic with a hint of citrus and spice on the palate. The folks at Creemore Springs are proud to share their love of traditional brewing with you."

the Look - nice rich, deep orange, translucent to the point of opacity. A light dusting of head remains and left lovely lace on the glass.

the Smell - lots on the nose cold, rich earthy, even more as it warms up.

the Taste - just hint of spice, not too much citrus, hint of hops, not too heavy, lingering hoppy on the tongue.

the Feel - this felt surprisingly light in the mouth, I expected a little heavier due to the look. It hits through the middle of your tongue primarily.

Overall - not a beer to leave around your cellar or fridge, no preservatives usually means a 6-8wk shelf life. I found this to be an average if not unremarkable beer. A good introductory beer for your friends that generally drink products from the major brewers. Keep in mind that cellar temp is colder than room temp and warmer than your fridge. Let this beer warm a bit after taking it out of the fridge for the maximal flavour. I'd give this beer a "B".

Available at:
473 mL can $2.95


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