Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

With the year coming to an end, I would be remiss not to mention some of the highlights in beer for me. With BeerGeeks.ca in it's first year, we have managed to grow to have four reviewers, attend many events, review almost 100 beers and try to keep up with the North American beer news.

With the overall beer market shrinking to wine and spirits, it is remarkable to see amazing growth in Craft Brewing. In Ontario, there was a huge expansion in both breweries and brewery with some brewing on contract to maximize use of existing facilities. Toronto saw a rapid expansion with award winners such as Spearhead getting a lot of acclaim.

This summer saw lots of wonderful local IPA's including one of my favourites, Flying Monkey's Smashbomb Atomic IPA finally being let into the LCBO. Muskoka Brewery also had huge success with it's delicious Mad Tom IPA.

Bigger brews such as Grand River's Russian Gun and Amsterdam's Tempest were major highlights in the local Imperial Stout category.

The biggest highlight's for myself both came from Grand Rapid's Michigan. With the much anticipated release of Founder's CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout). Thick, rich, delicious and just amazingly complex and balanced. This lived up to the hype, and it probably the best beer I have ever enjoyed. Then there was the brew pub to measure all brew pubs against. Brewery Vivant, where artisans in both food and brew have paired together the most deicious foods and beers to bring out the Bon Vivant in all of us! And amazingly this place just celebrated it's first birthday! Co-owners Jason Spalding and his wife have hit this one out of the park.


With hugely successful events such as CaskDays needing to expand facilities in order to meet demand. An wide array of events for Ontario Craft Beer Week as well as many other local festivals, the Ontario consumer has been the big winner for sure.

Just amazing things happening for beer everywhere! 2012 can only be better! Tonight, raise a glass, share a pint with friends and family and enjoy (responsibly) the end to a fantastic year in beer and look forward to an even more rewarding 2012!

Cheers!

The Beer Geeks

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