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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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chance to Win 50L of Hawaiian Style IPA for the Holidays

Want a chance to win 50L of a delicious beer? Spearhead has announced a contest to do just that.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 2011 St-Ambroise Vintage Ale Has Arrived!

Beer lovers take note: The St-Ambroise Vintage Ale 2011 is here!

Made with a blend of wheat and barley malts, including Munich malt, this unfiltered ale has a lovely deep-orange colour, rich maltiness, hints of caramelized fruit that recall plum pudding, and a surprisingly crisp, balanced finish provided by classic Goldings hops.

Serve St-Ambroise Vintage Ale between 13 ºC and 15 ºC, preferably in a port glass or brandy snifter. Also, this vintage ale will improve with age for a number of years. Store in a cool, dark place.
Available now in some depanneurs and specialty grocery stores while supplies last.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Renaissance Brewing Company Stonecutter Scotch Ale

7% ABV

"500ml Bottle, On Tap, 7%Multi award winning Stonecutter Scotch Ale is the big, hearty, ‘red wine’ of our range. The Scotch Ale style is believed to have originated in Edinburgh in the 18th century and is colloquially known as "wee heavy" due to its higher strength than its paler siblings. We use nine malts blended together to produce layers of caramel, toffee, liquorice, chocolate and roasty flavours. These layers are balanced by a tart, raisiny fruitiness that gradually gives way to give this dark beer a lingering dry finish."


This ale pours a dark copper colour with a half finger white head and decent head retention.


The aroma is sweet malt with dark fruit and maybe a hint of toffee/candy.


The taste is very balanced with dark fruit, malt, caramel and a nice hop profile to finish. This is very full bodied with a thick mouth feel. The carbonation is very fine and the alcohol is hidden very well.


This Wee heavy is very well done! Although I no not taste the Liquorice or chocolate that is stated on the bottle it is a very nice ale. The balance of malts, fruit, and a nice hop finish makes this ale a must to try. I am sure this would be excellent on cask. I would rate this a 8 out of 10.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Complaint Forces Shutdown of BYBO Beer Delivery Service

Ottawa, ON

Competing Brewery sends AGCO to Close down BottleWorks’ Delivery of Beau’s Beer

Acting on a complaint from an unspecified brewery, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario today informed local charity Operation Come Home (OCH) that they could not continue their home delivery service of Beau’s beer, due to a regulation that states they cannot deliver beer purchased directly from a microbrewery. November 24 was the first day of deliveries for the local charity’s new service that home-delivers Beau’s All Natural Brewery’s beer to City of Ottawa residents — and will also be the last.

The nature of the complaint, brought to the attention of the AGCO by a competing brewery, is a technicality in the Home Delivery Service license’s wording. It states that alcohol intended for home delivery can only be purchased from the LCBO (a crown corporation), or The Beer Store, a foreign-owned, privately held corporation run by the parent companies of big breweries Molson, Labatts, and Sleeman.

The Home Delivery Service license makes no mention of microbreweries or small wineries, whose presence in the market has flourished in recent years. Microbreweries like Beau’s All Natural are currently allowed to sell alcohol to the public under a Manufacturer’s License.

“Stipulating that delivery services can only buy from The LCBO or The Beer Store doesn’t seem fair,” says Beau’s All Natural co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “If a delivery service can buy alcohol from a retail store owned by Molson and Labatt’s — which is what The Beer Store is — why not from our retail store? Our customers should be able to make that choice.”

“If you read the Special Occasion Permit License microbreweries and wineries are included, so I’m inclined to read the Home Delivery License as an accidental omission in the wording that needs updating,” explains Beauchesne. “One of our competitors was obviously looking for loopholes to have the service shut down. The unfortunate result is the end of a service that would have benefitted the Ottawa community.”

The shutdown leaves Operation Come Home with considerable time, money and effort spent creating and marketing the service, and now no service to offer. “The regulation allows manufacturers to sell their products from their own location yet will not allow a licensed delivery service to purchase beer and deliver it to customers who want to use the service,” states Elspeth McKay, Executive Director of OCH.

The innovative home delivery service was intended to provide employment to at-risk youth, as well as raise money to fund programs and services for the Ottawa-based not-for-profit organization. At this time the future of the service is questionable.

St. Peter's Brewing Co. - Winter Ale

6.5% ABV

"A deep ruby red strong ale with an excellent balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. A classic example of a ‘winter warmer’; high in alcohol and rich in taste."


This ale pours a deep burnt red colour. It has a two finger off white head that dissipates fast.


The aroma is malty and yeasty. Not overly complex, I do smell a hint of alcohol as well.


This is a sweet ale with lots of malt up front. I also detect a little coffee and milk chocolate. The alcohol does not come through in the taste. This has an extremely smooth mouth feel with a medium body.


My overall impression of this ale is excellent! It is not overly complex however it is very well balanced and extremely smooth. This one is very easy to drink. With all the other top quality beers that St Peter's has this is no surprise. I would rate this ale a 8.5 out of 10.

BYBO Home Delivery of Beau’s Beer Begins Tomorrow

Ottawa, ON

**Preorders Now Accepted Online, Deliveries begin tomorrow throughout Ottawa**

BYBO, a new home delivery service for Beau’s All Natural beer and merchandise, will begin deliveries in the City of Ottawa tomorrow. A variety of Beau’s brands can be pre-ordered by Ottawa residents online via the Beau’s website (, then will be delivered by Operation Come Home, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting street youth. The service is called “BYBO,” which stands for “Buy Your Beau’s Online.”

The BYBO service is simple and easy-to-use. Clients can shop for a variety of Beau’s brands and merchandise online at the Beau’s website,, as well as a standalone new site, Checkout and payment is done online via PayPal, and the order is confirmed by email. The orders are delivered in the evening within 72 hours, based on the delivery routes used by Operation Come Home — clients receive confirmation of their order by phone the day of delivery. The delivery fee of $15 is collected by Operation Come Home, and a charitable receipt is issued to the purchaser for more than half of that amount. The service will even collect empty Beau’s beer bottles upon request.

“All of our new employees have completed their training and are raring to go and deliver Beau’s products to our new customers,” says Elspeth McKay, Executive Director of Operation Come Home.

The online portion of the BYBO home delivery service launched today (Nov. 23), with delivery service to begin tomorrow. Postal codes eligible for home delivery are: (West Route) K2A, K2B, K2E, K2G; (Central Route) K1Y, K1R, K1P, K2P, K1S, K1H, K1Z, K2C; (East Route) K1M, K1N, K1L, K1K, K1J, K1G, K1B. Additional information about the BYBO service is available online at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Garrison Brewing: Winter Beer is Here!

Garrison Brewing has announced their winter line up!

"Despite the decent weather, winter is coming and our selection of specialty beers just got bigger - Martello Stout, Black IPA and Winter Warmer are now officially available. Also look for Grand Baltic Porter, PiLs Lager and Spruce Beer - all before Christmas! Yep, six great ways to stay warm on those cold winter nights. ;)"

Look for these fine beers on the east coast. Hopefully some will come to Ontario soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brick Brewery brings North American Breweries Craft Brewed Beers to Canada

Waterloo, ON

Brick Brewing Company announced today it will start importing and distributing select North American Brewery beers into Canada. Included within the mix is Magic Hat; craft brewed in Vermont, this quirky and mysterious brand is currently the 10th largest craft brand in the United States and 3rd largest in the Northeast USA.

"As Ontario's original craft brewer, we were determined to share Magic Hat with beer drinkers in Canada" said George Croft President and CEO of Brick Brewing Co. Limited.

A long-term arrangement between North American Breweries, the fifth largest craft brewer in the U.S. and Brick Brewing Company, the fifth largest brewer in Canada, will see many more popular out-of-the-ordinary, distinctively different easy-drinking craft brewed beers introduced into Canada over the coming years.

"Not unlike the recent growth we've observed with our own US craft brewed beers, we've also witnessed tremendous growth within the Canadian craft beer market" said Rich Lozyniak, CEO of North American Breweries "So naturally we're excited to give Canadians an opportunity to try our US craft beers" added Lozyniak.

Together, North American Breweries and Brick Brewing Company will significantly expand the choice of U.S. craft beers available to beer drinkers in Canada. For all of those people who have travelled to the States, sampled a great craft beer and wished they could get it back home in Canada: consider this the start of something great.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Leffe Radieuse 2009

8.2% ABV

"Leffe Radieuse - Abbey of Leffe Radieuse is a highly fermented beer to be savoured. The ingredients are dark malt, corn, water, hops and spices (coriander, among others) and yeast which give it a bronze colour. The alcohol content is 8.2 %, the ideal serving temperature is 5° to 6 °C and the service ritual is that of bottled beers to be savoured. Leffe Radieuse has the taste of a rich and earthy bouquet with a creamy head. The taste is powerful where the fruity, the sweet, a hint of roasting and the dryness of the hops are apparent. The after-taste is long and warm. It is a very complex beer, that is to say, a beer for Epicureans!"


This ale pours a reddish orange colour with a one finger off white head. The head is gone within seconds and leaves some coarse legs behind.


The aroma has a sweet malty scent with a spicy grassy note. I also detect a little alcohol.


The taste is sweet with dark fruit and has a bitter grassy finish. It has a fine carbonation and a medium mouth feel.


My overall impression of this ale was quite nice. It's very complex and balanced. If you
enjoy the Abby ales this is one to consider.I hope the LCBO stocks this again this year.This Abby brewery has many great ales to try. I would rate this ale an 8 out of 10.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brasseur De Montréal Ghosttown - Ghosttown Stout

6.6 % ABV

"Stout of absinthe, brewed with roots, herbs and deeply roasted malt. Complex mixture of over a dozen ingredients, continues its evolution in the mouth on coffee and chocolate flavors.

Its taste is a disconcerting intensity. Combining balance and complexity, it reminds us the drink that made the mad poets of the 19th century."


This stout pours a very deep brown almost black. It had a one finger brown head with coarse lacing.


The aroma is quite malty with an herbal and coffee scent up front.


The taste is quite different that your typical stout with malt, coffee, licorice and herbs, almost like Jagermeister. It has a medium body with a sharp aftertaste coming from the Absinthe.


My overall impressions are good. This stout offers something different with its use of herbs. It has a decent stout profile but becomes a little medicinal after finishing just half a glass. Maybe a stout to split with friends. I would rate this stout 8 out of 10.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beer Mail from Unibroue

Another week, another beer mail!

This week the folks at Unibroue in Chamblay, Quebec (a big thank you to Martine) were kind enough to send out a bottle of their 17 Grande Reserve along with a nice tasting glass.

Look forward to reviews of many of their products that I have been cellaring in the coming months.

Thanks again Unibroue!

Check them out here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

McAuslan Brewery - St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout 2011

9.2% ABV

"Bourbon Wood-aged Imperial stout. St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is Quebec’s tribute to the late 1700’s English Imperial Stouts, brewed for the Russian courts of Catherine the Great. Made from a blend of barley malts, St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is infused with Cascade, Goldings and Willamette hops, resulting in an outstanding hop-character with a smooth finish. Bourbon woodaged, this full-bodied ale has a rich, smoky aroma with hints of vanilla, espresso and chocolate.Serve St-Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout between 13 °C and 15 °C, preferably in a port glass or a brandy snifter. This stout will improve with age for a number of years. Store in a cool, dark place."


This Stout pours midnight black and completely opaque. There is a three finger reddish mocha colour head that dissipates quickly with aggressive lacing.


The aroma smells of burnt roasted malts, yeast and some hints of black licorice.


The taste is very intense with roasted malt, espresso, dark chocolate with a bit of a leather aftertaste. It is also very full bodied and has a very nice mouth feel.


My overall impression of this beer is "fantastic"! Everything from the colour to the mouth feel is nicely done. As my favourite type of beer I have tried many imperial stouts and this one holds its own with the best. I will be cellaring more of these to see what the future holds for this stout. I would rate this stout a 9.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dieu du Ciel Receives Government Funding To Increase Productivity

Saint-Jérôme, QC

The Government of Canada has announced that Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel! has been granted $300,000 to assist the brewery in increasing capacity and productivity at their Saint-Jérôme, Quebec location.

The repayable grant is part of the Canada Economic Development’s “Business and Regional Growth” program, which purpose is to support the growth of small and medium sized businesses in various regions of the province of Quebec.

Dieu du Ciel! plans are to use this financial assistance to purchase a new and faster bottling line, fermentation tanks and to install a conveyor, an accumulation table, a warm room and a refrigeration system. Announces Canadian Beer News Dinner Series


Canadian Beer News is pleased to present the Canadian Beer News Dinner Series.

This ongoing series of dinners will bring together some of Canada’s top breweries and beer importers with outstanding chefs and restaurants to create unique and exciting beer and food pairing experiences.


For our first dinner, we’ll be matching the all-natural organic beers ofBeau’s Brewing with a gourmet vegan meal prepared by Chef Doug McNish, and enjoying it in the luxurious surroundings of The Windsor Arms Hotel.

Each course, as well as the hors d’oeuvres at the welcome reception, will be paired with beers presented by Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne – including rarities from the brewery’s ”Wild Oats Series” and “Greener Futures Bourbon Barrel Aged Series” – and Chef McNish’s healthy, hearty and beer-friendly creations will show us that there is much more to vegan food than tofu and sprouts.

Canadian Beer News Dinner #1: Beau’s Brewing & Chef Doug McNish Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 The Windsor Arms Hotel 18 Saint Thomas Street, Toronto

6:30 PM – Reception with passed hors d’oeuvre & beer pairing 7:15 PM – 4-course Dinner with beer pairings

$95 per person including taxes and gratuities


(NOTE: Ticketing for this event is being managed by the Windsor Arms Hotel. For any questions or issues related to ticket ordering, please contact Christine Korda at or 416-934-6022.)

Beau’s All Natural Brewing is a family-run and totally DIY beer company based in Vankleek Hill, a small town about an hour east of Ottawa. They brew interesting, award winning, tasty beers using the highest quality, all natural ingredients like certified organic hops & malts and local spring water. Best known for their flagship brand, Lug-Tread Lagered Ale, they also brew a number of seasonal and one-off beers, and are well-known for their support of charitable initiatives in their local community and beyond.

Doug McNish is one of the foremost vegan/raw food chefs in the world. After losing 100 pounds on a plant based diet, he decided to change his career path and become a professional vegan chef. He is a Consulting Chef at The Windsor Arms, where he has developed vegan options for the hotel’s dinner and brunch menus. Doug is a contributor to health and wellness websites and various magazines, has been broadcast on both local and national television, and is currently writing a raw food cookbook to be published in March 2012.

Consecutively voted the #1 hotel in Toronto by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, the Windsor Arms Hotel is nestled on a quiet street ideally located just steps away from Yorkville, the heart of Toronto’s most fashionable shopping and entertainment district. An aura of warmth, discreet luxury, and the latest technology combined with our exceptional level of service makes Windsor Arms Toronto’s most luxurious boutique hotel. The Windsor Arms is host to the Courtyard Cafe – open for Sunday brunch and special events; Prime Steakhouse – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Tea Room for traditional afternoon tea; and Lounge 22 for tapas and cocktails.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery - Super Collider

12.4% ABV
160 IBU's

"An Imperial / Double IPA from Barrie's Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery"

The Pour

Poured from a 650mL bottle that had been in the cellar for a few months. Pours a mahogony to burnt umber in colour. One and a half fingers of tan head cap the beer in tight bubbles. Looks quite malty.


Lots of malt character coming through. Biscuity, bready with hints of caramel. Slight alcohol notes (not surprising at 12.4% ABV). Some citrus, pine and eathiness coming through from the hops. Nice overall aroma.


Big piney, citrus notes to the front of the mouth. The malt character comes next with its caramel sweetness. Some alcohol warmth, that seems to subside as the beer warms up a bit.

Overall Impressions

Decent example of an Imperial IPA. Along the same lines as a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. The high hops are balanced nicely with some malt sweetness. While the alcohol can be slightly aggressive initially, it seemed to mellow nicely as the beer warmed. The caramel, biscuit flavours trade off with the piney citrus notes for a delightful experience. A solid beer for sure. I would give it a B+. Keep up the great work Monkeys!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dieu du Ciel to Host First International "Péché Day"

Announced on the official Dieu du Ciel Facebook page;

"In October 2001, to everyone’s delight, Dieu du Ciel created the Péché Mortel. For 10 years, this mouth watering beer, which affects all of our senses, has rejoiced our pallets, warmed our hearts, inspired our souls and made memorable each and every one of our parties. For 10 years, the Péché Mortel has been an essential staple in the diets of the waiters and waitresses during their time at Dieu du Ciel!

That’s why we cannot keep this anniversary under wraps!

We have long thought of hosting an international “Journée Péché” (Sin Day) where many bars around the world would celebrate the Péché Mortel. The tenth anniversary of the creation of this beer seems like the perfect opportunity to launch this event. Albeit a modest start, with only one event in Montreal, we’d nevertheless like to invite you the first international “Péché Day" (or, if you will, "Sin Day") to be celebrated"

Starting at 3pm.

On the menu:
1) Péché Mortel Montréal special edition with CO2
2) Péché Mortel Montréal special edition with N2
3) Our usual Péché Mortel
4) Péché Mortel bourbon 2011
5) Péché Mortel aged 13 months
6) CASK Péché Mortel bourbon 2011
7) CASK Usual Péché aged 6 months
8) A variety of bottled aged Péché Mortel (about 30 bottles)

Welcome to all!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Ontario Craft Brewers Release Discovery Pack #10 for the Holidays

Give a Gift of Good Taste

Perfect Pairings, Recipes & Musical Match Up

Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) joyfully release the 10th installment of their ever-popular variety pack beer series, The OCB Discovery Pack, available in select LCBO stores beginning in November (product code #254672).

This edition features a new lineup of beers, including:

Black Oak Brewery’s Nut Brown Ale

F&M Brewery’s Stonehammer Dark Ale

Muskoka Brewery’s Mad Tom IPA

Nickel Brook Brewing Co.’s Nickel Brook Ale

Old Credit Brewery’s Amber Ale

Trafalgar Brewery’s Smoked Oatmeal Stout

“This 10th Edition of the OCB Discovery Pack offers a hand-selected combination of unique and flavourful brews perfect for the holiday season,” says Mike Arnold of Trafalgar Brewing Company. “The beers styles are darker, more flavourful and ideal for cooler weather. And, it makes a great gift for those open to discovering Ontario Craft Beer.”

PERFECT PAIRINGS for the holiday OCB Discovery Pack, visit:

BEER COCKTAILS: (by beer enthusiast/DeSotos’ server Beata)

Muskoka Mad Tom’s Fallen Apple

Muskoka Nickel Apple Bite


Stonehammer Dark Ale Cheese Wheel (Cheeses this tastes good!)

Nickel Brook French Onion Beer Soup (Beer twist on classic comfort soup)


Noreen’s Meatballs with Old Credit Amber Ale (A Lista family favourite!)


Black Oak Ginger Nut Brown Ale Cookies (Canada’s first beer cookie created by Chef Howard Dubrovsky of L.A.B.)


The unique OCB Discovery Pack was designed by the OCB to educate consumers about different styles of premium beer, and help beer lovers discover the world of Craft Beer available in Ontario.

It’s easy to find an OCB Discovery Pack using OCB’s hand-held app (

And, while sampling the brews, try OCB’s new OCB Interactive Tasting Tool. It'll walk you through the tasting process, show you what to look for in different beer styles, and allow you to keep a permanent record of all the OCB brands you taste. Afterwards, when you're looking for your next OCB beer to try, explore the OCB style guide. And look for the OCB seal when visiting the LCBO!

Home Delivery of Beau’s Beer Coming Soon to Ottawa

Ottawa, ON

New “BYBO” service delivers Beau’s beer to your door, and helps a good cause

A new home delivery service, set to launch November 24 in the City of Ottawa, will get Beau’s All Natural beer all the way from Vankleek Hill to your door — with a charitable twist. A variety of Beau’s brands can be pre-ordered by Ottawa residents online via the Beau’s website, then will be delivered by Operation Come Home, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting street youth. The service is called “BYBO,” which stands for “Buy Your Beau’s Online.”

“Offering home beer delivery through a charitable organization is a pretty revolutionary model,” explains brewery co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “The fact that Operation Come Home was already collecting and returning our empty bottles through BottleWorks made the collaboration a bit easier though,” he adds. “For years people in Ottawa have been telling us they love our unique packaging and specialty beers, but find the hour’s drive out to Vankleek Hill difficult. This service is great for folks in Ottawa, and helps at-risk youth at the same time.”
The BYBO service is simple and easy-to-use. Clients will be able to shop for a variety of Beau’s brands and merchandise online at the Beau’s website,, as well as a standalone new site, Checkout and payment is done online via PayPal, and the order is confirmed by email. The orders are delivered in the evening within 72 hours, based on the delivery routes used by Operation Come Home — clients receive confirmation of their order by phone the day of delivery. The delivery “fee” of $15 is collected by Operation Come Home, and a charitable receipt is issued to the purchaser for a portion. The service will even collect empty Beau’s beer bottles upon request.
“Now you can buy your beer from Beau’s, and at the same time create jobs for homeless youth,” says Elspeth McKay, Executive Director of Operation Come Home.
The online portion of the BYBO home delivery service launches in the City of Ottawa November 23, with delivery service to begin the next day. Postal codes eligible for home delivery are: (West Route) K2A, K2B, K2E, K2G; (Central Route) K1Y, K1R, K1P, K2P, K1S, K1H, K1Z, K2C; (East Route) K1M, K1N, K1L, K1K, K1J, K1G, K1B. Additional information about the BYBO service will be posted online at in the next few weeks approaching the delivery launch date of November 24.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beer Mail from McAuslan's

This week was a delightful week for beer mail. The fine folks at McAuslan's (thanks Barry and Peter) were kind enough to drop off a little sampler of some of their finer wares.

Included were several beers (Pumpkin Ale, IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout etc.) some glassware and some french mustard made with their beer.

I am looking forward to reviewing several of these in the near future.

Thanks again McAuslan Brewery!

Check them out here!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Avery's "The Czar Russian Imperial Stout" Released

Behold the stunning crimson hues through the inky blackness. Inhale the noble Hallertau hops, spicy and floral. Savor the flavors redolent of English toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants and a hint of anise. We highly recommend cellaring additional bottles, as the Czar will continue to mature and become denser and more complex with age.

Beer Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Hop Variety: Magnum, German Hallertau
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, black, chocolate, carafa 111, cara 8, cara 45, honey malt
OG: 1.100 ABV: 11.03% IBUs: 60
Colour: Black

Availability: Seasonally produced from November through February. 22oz. bombers, 1/6BBL and 1/2BBL kegs.

Food Pairing: The roasted barley, chocolate, anise and mocha flavors of The Czar are accentuated by all manner of chocolate desserts. We also love The Czar with coffee-crusted filet mignon, as it's bold flavors are able to stand up to the instensity of the coffee/meat combination.

A Walk Through the Beer Cellar with Scott

I've been collecting and cellaring beer for quite a while so I thought I would take some pictures of me re-arranging the cellar.

The first couple pictures are just removing the stock and talking inventory. Also started to put all the same brands together. After some cleaning and moving I have got all the brands together with them sorted by year.

All together I spent over 3 hours arranging a collection of over 760 bottles. It was hard work
but someone had to do it ;).

Here some pic's of the finished cellar. A few favourites that stand for me would be the Thomas Hardy's, Westy 12's, Yeti Imperial Stouts, Sam Adams Triple Bock ...actually I would have to name most of them. You get the idea. I hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beer Store to Open at Noon on Remembrance Day

The Beer Store will open at noon to observe Remembrance Day at all stores across the province Friday, November 11th, 2011. All Beer Stores will observe their normal closing hours for the rest of the day.

For stores hours, 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, November 7, 2011

"World's Best Dark Ale" exclusively at the LCBO

Chamblay, QC

Unibroue brewery is launching the “World’s Best Dark Ale” exclusively in Ontario today, the Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve. In 2010, it was recognized as the World’s Best Dark Ale at the World Beer Awards, in England, amongst over 500 beers presented by 27 countries.

Get out to your local LCBO and request some today. Your deserve better beer!

Q&A with Brewery Vivant Co-Owner Jason Spaulding

Grand Rapids, MI

Right off the heals of a very successful “Wood-Aged Beer Celebration”, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Brewery Vivant’s co-owner Jason Spaulding spent some time to answer a few questions with

This Brewery / Restaurant is a rising star in the Michigan craft beer scene. Definitely a place that is not to be missed. Great food paired with great beer, all in a family friendly environment, make this a beer lovers destination of choice.

Q. How was the “Wood-Aged Beer Celebration”? Hopefully it

was packed all day for you.

A. We had a great response. People were digging all the sour beers we could throw at them. I was not sure if the beer market would be mature enough to pull some of these off but they drank everything we gave them and came back for more.

Q. Can you give a brief history of how you started in brewing and the inspiration behind Brewery Vivant?

A. I started homebrewing in College with my friend Brett. It was just sort of a hobby, but as we got closer to graduating we started really thinking about the lack of breweries in Michigan. As all homebrewers do at some point during a brew, we started dreaming of what kind of brewery we would start. This dream kept building up steam and every other option for a college graduate started to fade into the background. With some luck, and some crazy negotiations with banks we actually pulled it off. That is how New Holland Brewery was born. My mother was convinced that we must have gotten mobster money or something because we were only 23 at the time. However, we were just so passionate about our plan that we were able to convince some investors and bankers to buy into our plan and give us a chance. I ended up leaving New Holland in 2005 to Brett so I could start my own gig. Five years later, Brewery Vivant came to be.

Brewery Vivant was born out of a passion for the farmhouse beers of the Wallonia region in southern Belgium and northern France. When I was over there my wife and I visited all these tiny farm breweries that were making these wonderful beers unlike I had ever had back in the States. I loved the passion these French and Belgian brewers would bring and dug their almost defiant rebellion to having their beers fit into a particular style guideline. Here in the Sates, everyone likes to define everything so they can rank them. That is fine for some things, but beer should just speak for itself. It is the brewer's art. Either you like it, or you don't. Either way a beer dinkier should just figure this out for themselves by trying the beer!

Q. What are some of the challenges with working with a spouse?

A. My wife and I must be gluttons for punishment because on top of starting a business together, we decided it would be a good idea to have a baby in the middle of all this. Our boy Oliver Saaz Spaulding was born nine days after the doors opened last year. So the challenges of the husband wife team get a little compounded. But we make it all work. We have had to get use to working in alternating shifts sometimes. One of us attends the meeting and the other conference calls in. Most the time things go pretty smoothly.

She and I put in so much time plotting and planning this brewery together over that five year period that we have aligned ourselves with a shared vision. It took a lot of time and many revisions to write

our business plan but we did it in such a manner that we flushed out most of the big issues up front. This plan serves as our working business model where we thought through all the things we want to do and more importantly what we do not want to do. This has allowed us to steer clear of any major conflicts in what we want to accomplish with this brewery.

Q. What were the biggest obstacles in opening the brewery and restaurant?

A. Money. That is the biggest. Trying to finance a start up business with the bank industry acting like a bunch of scared little school girls was no treat. We had to raise a lot more private funds than we ever dreamed to pull it together. It was easier to get a loan the first time around when I was 23, right out of college with no experience, no history and no capital of my own than it was for this project.

Q. Are all of the food and beer house made? (By the way I love the $12 burger! The brioche is amazing.)

A. Yep. We pride ourselves on having a “from scratch” menu. Our chef has really gone out of his way to create a menu that catches people off guard. Most people go to a brewery expecting pizza and hot wings. We have a menu more like what you would find in the Belgian countryside. My favorite is probably our Country Pate. It goes great with the Triomphe IPA.

Beers of course are all made on site too. We purposefully designed our brewery to be attached to the pub so we could have the beer as fresh as possible. It also make is nice for doing brewery tours because people can stop down and have lunch, get a tour and stay for some beers. We do them every Saturday at noon and 2:00pm. No need to call ahead, just show up.

Q. What have been some of the challenges with packaging and distribution? Plans for expansion? Distribution in Ontario?

A. Distribution is always a challenge. However I was able to keep a lot of friends in the distribution industry from my past and was able to team up with exactly the partners I wanted to represent our brands throughout the State. Having the right distribution partners that have the same passion for what you do as a brewery is half the battle.

We are looking to get three more 60 bbl fermentation tanks in this winter. Once we have these in place we will be at maximum capacity at about 5,000 bbls per year. Our plan is to stay small and stay true to our craft. We don't have any plans to expand. Our whole goal was to build a sustainable neighborhood brewery and we are pretty happy with everything so far. If we can keep our locals supplied with beer and sell our extra capacity to our immediate region, then we will have executed our plan and don't want to sway from that. This goes sort of anti-capitalism where the goal is to grow, grow, grow, but we subscribe to a philosophy I learned in a book called “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingame, where companies choose to be great, rather than large.

Q. Where do you see Brewery Vivant in the next 5 years?

A. My hope is to continue to experiment and develop our specialty line of beers that we are so passionate about. I want to create a destination brewery where people travel to Grand Rapids just to see us and drink our beer. I hope that when people think of Michigan, and specifically Grand Rapids that Brewery Vivant is at the top of their list of places they have to go. Not sure if we can do that within 5 years but we are going to give it a shot.

With an incredible loyal, passionate and friendly staff, I am sure that Brewery Vivant is going to continue to thrive over the next few years. This coupled with the “house made” everything is a beer and food connoisseurs paradise. Be sure to put this on your list of “must visit” beer locales.

Brewery Vivant is located at 925 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fuller's Brewery - 1845

6.3% ABV

"1845 Celebration Ale is a true landmark in British beer history. Although brewing dates back to 1654 at Griffin Brewery on the banks of the River Thames, the partnership of Fuller, Smith And Turner was formed in 1845. In 1995, to commemorate the company's 150th anniversary, Fuller's commissioned special, celebration bottled ale. 1845 was the result. A more auspicious beginning the brew could not have had; the inaugural beer's hops were added to the copper by none other than HRH Prince of Wales, during a royal visit to Fuller's!

Its launch was so successful that 1845 has quickly become the number one bottle conditioned brand in the UK take-home market and is currently the UK market leader among all bottle conditioned beers.

1845 Celebration Ale is a highly acclaimed strong ale and the winner of numerous awards including the CAMRA Champion Bottle Conditioned Beer of Britain (1998-1999 and 2002) and the British Bottle Institute's award for the Best Dressed Bottle (1996). 1845 was also honored with a Silver medal at the 2003 CAMRA Great British Beer Festival in the bottle conditioned beer category."


This strong ale pours a dark copper with a one finger off white head. A fine carbonation leaves behind minimal lacing.


The aroma is complex with toffee, sweet malt and bread.


The taste is also very complex with toffee, malt and some dark fruit. It is a full bodied ale with champagne carbonation and a nice lingering hop finish.


This is a great bottled conditioned ale that is very complex. Its a beer I have enjoyed for years and recommend this for anybody looking for a top quality ale that isn't too extreme. I would rate this 9 out of 10.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Abyss is Coming...

Bend, OR

On November 15th, 2011, Deschutes Brewery will celebrate the sixth release of The Abyss, the imperial stout that is the heart and soul of their Reserve Series.

Walk, hop or skip down to their Bend or Portland Pub at 11:00 am to be one of the first first to purchase bottles of this year's vintage of The Abyss (6 bottle limit per person).

Then, at 5:00 pm, treat your tastebuds to a vertical flight of The Abyss [2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011] and a special menu that their chefs created just for this event. These flights will not last long so don't be late.

The special menus for both pubs are slightly different with each chef featuring what they like to pair best with The Abyss.

Buckle your tastebuds folks, and hopefully you can make it on the 15th!

Great Lakes Brewery Getting Set to Release This Year's Winter Ale

Toronto, ON

Great Lakes Brewery is set to release it's Winter Ale. Currently they are warming up down at the brewery for this release which is currently aging in the tanks. Bottles will start hitting shelves mid month.

"Inspired by the long, cold and seemingly endless Canadian winter, our 6.2% alcohol Winter Ale is a true winter warmer. Handcrafted with specialty hops and malts, combined with generous amounts of cinnamon, honey, ginger and orange peel, this unique beer is brimming with flavour. Available only for a limited time."

Look for this at the brewery or the LCBO.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cameron's Brewing Company Jumps at the Opportunity to be at this Year¹s Royal Winter Fair

Toronto, ON

As both a participant in the Craft Beer Gardens, as well one of only two brewers to have their beer available throughout the event, Cameron's Brewing Company is proud of its involvement with this year’s Royal Winter Fair, taking place in Toronto from November 4 -13 at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

Cameron’s delicious brews will be available throughout the Royal, as well as exclusively for box seat subscribers and guests of the Tanbark Lounge. Cameron’s Brewing Company is a true craft brewery, passionately brewing all natural ales and lagers since 1997 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

For more information about Cameron’s, please visit

For more information about the Royal Winter Fair, visit

LCBO Hours for Remembrance Day

Toronto, ON

LCBO stores will open at noon on Remembrance Day, Friday, November 11 and remain open until normal closing hours.

The exception is the City of Ottawa, where LCBO stores will not open until 12:30 p.m. due to Remembrance Dayevents in the National Capital Region.

LCBO agency stores observe their normal hours of business on November 11. Agency stores are locally-owned retail establishments that contract with the LCBO to sell beverage alcohol, along with other products, in communities that are too small to support LCBO stores.

These hours of operation on November 11 are designed to avoid any conflict with traditional Remembrance Dayservices, while providing a level of customer service consistent with other retailers during the day.

As with other provincial government offices, LCBO head office in Toronto will be closed on November 11, in recognition of Remembrance Day. However, the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO team (formerly LCBO Contact Centre) at 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226) or online at or will be available to customers seeking additional information on individual store hours. In Toronto, call 416 365-5900. The TTY number for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.


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