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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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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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Beer Store Closed New Years Day

Toronto, ON

The Beer Store will be closing at 6:00 PM on New Years Eve, Monday December 31, 2012.  The stores will remain closed through New Years Day, Tuesday January 1, 2013.

Look for stored to re-open on Wednesday January 2, 2013.

Happy New Year and please drink responsibly.

LCBO Open Until 6:00 PM on New Years Eve

LCBO stores will close at 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31.

All LCBO stores and head office will be closed on New Year's Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013. LCBO stores, head office and the helloLCBO Contact Centre will re-open on Wednesday, January 2.

Customers should check for individual store hours with their local LCBO store or online at using the 'Store Search' feature. They can also contact the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO Contact Centre at 1-800-668-5226 or online at In Toronto, call 416 365-5900. helloLCBO will be open Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. throughout December and also on December 24 and 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The TTY number for the deaf or hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Unique Package Launches Beau’s into The Beer Store

Handcrafted pinewood 12-pack crates of Beau’s All Natural’s flagship beer, Lug Tread, to be sold through select TBS stores

Fans of Beau’s All Natural Brewery’s award-winning design will be able to purchase another one-of-a-kind beer package at select locations of The Beer Store (TBS) chain in Ontario. The 12-pack of 600 ml bottles of Beau’s flagship Lug Tread Lagered Ale, available through TBS, comes in branded, stackable pinewood crates.

The attractive, hand-sanded and stained crates are crafted locally in Vankleek Hill. Once emptied, they are designed to be repurposed for storage or stackable furniture (they fit an LP vinyl collection) or they can be returned to the brewery for a $30 credit towards a refill or in-store purchases.

“We still hear from people who want to buy the ceramic bottles that we used in 2008 to launch into the LCBO, so we recognize the importance of pairing great design with our beer,” says Beau’s creative director Jordan Bamforth, who conceived and designed the 12-pack crates.

“I would prefer not to sell into a system owned by our largest competitors, but the benefits are there for our customers, and so far they [TBS] have been nice folks who have worked together with us to make this happen,” notes Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beau’s. He adds: “We can’t sell a package this size into the LCBO, and the arrangement also allowed us to finally reach an agreement with TBS to get our custom glass bottles back for reuse.”

The Beau’s TBS 12-packs of 600 ml bottles will be available this week at the following 5 Beer Store locations, and will retail for $75. Crates can be returned to Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill for a $30 credit, or they can be returned in Ottawa through BYBO, the home delivery service.

OTTAWA – 1546 Scott St
NEPEAN – 3500 Fallowfield Rd
KANATA – 499 Terry Fox

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time Running Out for Spearhead's "Hoppy Holidays" Promotion

Toronto, ON

Spearhead is treating all of it's fans this Holiday Season with a special treat.  Glasses of their delicious beers will be available for only $5.00 at fine establishments serving their products in Ontario.

For a list of the places that carry Spearhead, please click here.

Get out and enjoy the good cheer soon (and responsibly).  These prices surely can't last!

And remember that Spearhead's Hawaiian Style Pale Ale is available in package now as well.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Beau’s Releases New Vanilla Porter -- Pro/Am Series #5

“Burnt Rock” Vanilla Porter – available now -- is based on a recipe designed by Patrick Boisvenue, winner of Ottawa’s Members of Barleyment Homebrew Competition

Beau’s All Natural Brewing has released the latest brew in the Pro/Am Series of beers, a Vanilla Porter called Burnt Rock. The Pro/Am Series are beer recipes developed by talented, innovative amateur brewers, and then sized up for a full-batch brew at Beau’s All Natural.

Burnt Rock is a classic British-style porter brewed with additions of organic vanilla beans and extract. Despite what the weighty aroma suggests, Burnt Rock has a good, clean finish, and sessionable drinkability. With rich, luxuriant vanilla aromas reminiscent of fine tobacco, selected dark malts offer up balancing chocolate and coffee nuances for this medium-bodied 4.9% alc./vol. beer.

“Burnt rock pairs well with savory dishes such as mascarpone-stuffed gnocchi, or even winter comfort foods like mashed potatoes,” says Beau’s Brewmaster Matthew O’Hara, who worked with homebrewer Patrick Boisvenue on finalizing the full-batch recipe for Burnt Rock, as well as adapted it to become certified organic like all Beau’s beers. Boisvenue won a brewing competition with Ottawa homebrew club Members of Barleyment last April, which entitled him to brew a full-sized batch of one of his recipes at Beau’s as the grand prize.

This latest offering is available now in 600 ml bottles, directly from the brewery retail store in Vankleek Hill, and through the BYBO home delivery service in Ottawa. It retails for $7.85. It will also be poured on draught at select restaurants and pubs throughout Ontario, beginning this week.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Beer Mail from Dead Frog Brewery

It is a Beeracle after all!

With a new recipe for this winter warmer, this years Christmas Beeracle from the fine folks at Dead Frog Brewery is bound to be delicious.

"Our Winter Beeracle is a warm, deep mahogany ale with rich, complex malt flavours and a sweetness to compliment the season.  The warmth of the beer is punctuated by deep malt flavours from chocolate malts, a hint of vanilla in the aroma and flavour, and a dry citrus finish.  All the flavours come together to create a rich, delicious winter ale."

Thanks again for the delivery.  Looking forward to sharing this with some fellow Beer Geeks tonight!

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Web Venture Links Craft Breweries to Their Fans

Need some holiday help finding a gift for your favourite craft beer lover?  What about a membership in the Craft Brewery T-Shirt Club?  Craft Brewed Clothing has come up with a fantastic plan to get you the craft beer clothing that benefits both the breweries and their fans.

With a 3, 6 and 12 month membership plan, you can have high quality brewer t-shirts delivered to your door.  A great business model that is working for the likes of Dollar Shave Club and others.  The idea of no muss, no fuss regular deliveries to your door have been making consumers happy for a while now.  This time however, the breweries get a chance to make some additional money and gain some fans, all the while keeping the growing craft beer consumers happy and putting some wind in the sails of a new clothing venture.  Win, win, win...does it get any better!

"Craft Brewed Clothing is a true supporter of craft brewing. Not only do we offer the breweries featured in our club gain national exposure through the shirt distribution, we do all the heavy lifting (marketing the club, printing the shirts and fulfilling the orders), and we also pay the brewery for every shirt we sell with their logo. It is a revenue stream for the brewers without any investment or headaches. We also have other merchandise and marketing solutions for small brewers." says Josh Slyman of Craft Brewed Clothing.

Be sure to check out their website in the link above and if you do, use the promo code "BEERGEEKS" to receive 20% off your 3, 6 or 12 month membership.

Happy Holiday's from Beer Geeks and Craft Brewed Clothing to you and yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beer Mail from Wild Rose

It is always a treat to receive some beer mail, but an even bigger treat when near the holidays!

The fine folks at Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary, AB have sent some of their Cherry Porter to sample.

I have been looking forward to this for a while!

In the summer I was lucky enough to sample their  "Hop Smashed In" IPA with Belgian yeast.  It was incredible.  I would rank it along side a Stone Brewing Co. Cali Belgique.

This beer is of limited quantity and the description looks amazing;

"Brewed using only the plumpest, ripest whole BC cherries, each glass of Cherry Porter is lush and creamy with a fruity aroma.

Rich and sensual, the flavour is reminiscent of Black Forest cake with sweet chocolate notes and a slightly smoky character from the roasted malts."

I am sure this will not disappoint either.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Garrison to Release Much Anticipated Second 15th Anniversary Beer

Halifax, NS

Last week, Garrison Brewing launched "15th Anniversary Malt, Vanilla & Cocoa". This is the much anticipated second of two special release beers by one of Halifax's original microbreweries celebrating 15 years in business.

"Hitting 15 years is a real milestone in business and we're truly grateful for such strong local support," says company president Brian Titus. "15th Anniversary Malt is intensely rich, complex, dark, roasty, bittersweet... you get the point. It's all been leading to this!"

"We followed the concept of our spring 15 Hops brew, using 15 separate malts, two unmalted grains, bundles of vanilla beans & bags of raw cocoa husk," explains Daniel Girard, Garrison’s Brewmaster. "The result is an Imperial Stout of epic proportions with a dark, sweet character and lingering velvety texture. Enjoy!”

"15th Anniversary Malt, Vanilla & Cocoa" is 9.0% alc/vol with moderate to high bitterness. It's packaged in 500ml single-serve bottles and officially went on sale Friday, December 7, at the brewery store and all four private stores (while supplies last).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guelph Food Technology Centre Offers Brewing Science and Quality Control Program

Guelph, ON

In what could be a dream weekend immersed in beer science for the beer geek or very valuable training for aspiring Brewmasters, the Guelph Food Technology Centre has a 2 day intensive course being offered in the upcoming spring and late fall 2013.

The course's main focus is to strengthen ones knowledge of the fundamentals of brewing science and technology, give a better understanding of the raw materials and their selection to produce quality beers as well as discuss brewing microbiology and microbiological quality assurance.

For more information and to register please click here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

King Brewery Wins 3 Silver Medals at the 2012 BTI World Beer Championships

King Brewery’s “Dark Lager”, “Pilsner” and “Vienna Lager” all awarded Silver Medals at the 2012 Beverage Tasting Institute World Beer Championships

King Brewery’s “Dark Lager,” “Pilsner” and “Vienna Lager” all won silver medals in their respective categories in the 2012 Beverage Tasting Institute World Beer Championships. Founded in 1994, the BTI World Beer Championships is America’s oldest international beer competition, open to all commercially produced beers from around the world, regardless of distribution. It is a medal-based competition that awards its medals based on the proprietary blind tasting methodology developed by the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) and a 100-point quality rating scale.

“To be awarded a silver medal for all 3 of our King brands is a huge accomplishment”. said Bryan Watts, King Brewery’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are extremely proud of our brewmaster, Phil DiFonzo and his brewery team for their hard work, dedication and passion for creating great tasting, high quality craft beers”.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Westvleteren 12 Ontario Release Immenant

London, ON

With much anticipation building for the few cases of Westvleteren 12 Gift Packs that will be available in the province, it would seem the reports of the actual release date are a bit scattered.  One bit of information that we do have here at is a list of the actual stores that will be receiving some.

Some stores have been a bit more liberal with the details, some admitting that it is in their actual store at this time (GTA stores), others saying it is listed as "in-transit" to arrive possibly tonight (London).

Either way, it looks like the predicted 12-12-12 release date was spot on.  Tomorrow we will know for sure.

As quantities are limited, the release will be limited to one 6 pack per person and none will be held on reserve.

Below are the store numbers (NOT the number of cases) that are to be getting stock;

1 Toronto-North York Hwy 401 & Weston (Crossroads)

5 Toronto-Central Queen & Coxwell (The Beach)

10 Toronto-Central Yonge & Summerhill

15 Toronto-Central Dupont & Spadina

18 Toronto-Central King & Dufferin (Liberty Village)

21 Ancaster Golf Links & Hwy 403 (Meadowlands)

26 London York & Ridout

38 Ottawa Rideau & King Edward

40 Kingston Barrack & King

149 Toronto-Etobicoke Bloor & Royal York (Kingsway)

164 Toronto-Central Laird & Eglinton (Leaside)

217 Toronto-Central Queens Quay & Yonge

355 Toronto-North York Bayview & Sheppard (Bayview Village)

393 London Richmond & Fanshawe Pk (Masonville)

412 Ottawa-Nepean Hunt Club & Merivale (Nepean Crossroads)

438 London Wonderland & Southdale (Power Centre)

452 Toronto-North York Avenue & Lawrence

483 Toronto-Central Front & Bay (Royal Bank Plaza)

486 Oakville Cornwall & Trafalgar

495 Guelph Scottsdale & Stone Road West

511 Toronto-Central King & Spadina

528 Toronto-Central Bay & Bloor (Manulife Centre)

614 Toronto-Central Carlton & Church

623 Richmond Hill Yonge & Hwy 7

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Railway City Releases Cranberry Pilsner Today

St. Thomas, ON

As part of their monthly Thursday Night Sessions, Railway City Brewery is releasing their Cranberry Pilsner this evening.  Made with cranberries from Bala, Ontario (Muskoka) the release is described as "clean and crisp" with the suggestion to enjoy this Pilsner with family and friends.

Seems like a terrific idea!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dead Frog Brewery's Winter Beeracle

Langley, BC

The Dead Frog Winter Beeracle is now shipping across BC and Alberta - with a new name and a new recipe! It will be available in retail stores starting in the first week of December. Winter Beeracle is the second collaboration brew from their brew duo Tony Dewald and Timmy Brown!  "For this special holiday brew we wanted to celebrate all of the good things that Winter brings. Complex beers, warm fires, close family, and good friends". The days may be short but they’re full, and that’s alright with us. It's a Winter Beeracle!

The  Winter Beeracle is a warm, deep mahogany ale with rich, complex malt flavours and a sweetness to compliment the season. The warmth of the beer is punctuated by deep malt flavours from chocolate malts, a hint of vanilla in the aroma and flavour, and a dry citrus finish. All the flavours come together to create a rich, delicious winter ale.

The Full Specs:

· Ingredients: Water, malt, hops, yeast, vanilla extract, orange peel

· Malts: 2 Row, Biscuit, Cara 60, Chocolate

· Hops: Cascade, Perle

· IBUs: 25

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dogfish Debuts New Ancient Ale, Birra Etrusca Bronze

Milton, DE

This Ancient Ale proves that beside the wine on most Italian dinner tables, there should also be a place for beer.

To develop the recipe for Birra Etrusca Bronze, Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione traveled to Rome with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern. With the help of Birreria Brother Brewers Leo DeVencenzo of Birra del Borgo and Teo Musso of Baladin, they analyzed drinking vessels found in 2,800-year-old Etruscan tombs.

Although Italian historians were a little reluctant to admit it, the team clearly found that the Etruscans had a taste for ale.

"In every part of the process, we go for as much authenticity as we can," Calagione says. "Ingredients are often tough to track down, and there can be financial and logistical challenges, but we really love embracing these risks to bring these beers to market."

The backbone of Birra Etrusca comes from two-row malted barley and an heirloom Italian wheat. Specialty ingredients include hazelnut flour, pomegranates, Italian chestnut honey, Delaware wildflower honey and clover honey. A handful of whole-flower hops are added, but the bulk of the bitterness comes from gentian root and the sarsaparilla-like Ethiopian myrrh resin.

Birra del Borgo and Baladin also will brew a version of Birra Etrusca, and to add complexity and variety, each brewery will ferment its batches with different traditional materials. Dogfish will use bronze, Baladin will use wood, and Birra del Borgo will use terra cotta.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Westvleteren 12 beer coming to LCBO

Toronto, ON

Considered one of the rarest, most highly sought after and coveted beers in the world, this Trappist Quadrupel is a "white whale" amongst the beer geek crowd.  The monks of Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus, in Vleteren, Belgium are for the first time making their beer for export.

In an effort to raise funds to repair the deteriorating Abbey, the monks have turned to their world class beer for help and ramped up production to make 163,000 six-packs available to exporters and local sales agents in Belgium.

The great news is that the LCBO has secured 1,404 of those six-packs for sale in Ontario the next two weeks or so for the holiday gift-giving season.

The six-packs, which include two Westvleteren chalices, will be selling for $75.40 apiece.  Make sure you save one of these for your favourite beer aficionado!

Give the Gift of Craft Beer this Holiday Season!

Toronto, ON

Steam Whistle Brewing, craft brewers of the Gold Medal Pilsner at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards, are stocking shelves for the coming season with their vintage-inspired holiday gift pack.

Craft beer has become the new favourite of foodies interested in buying all-natural beverages from upstanding local producers. In the LCBO’s 2011-12 annual report, Ontario craft beers led all product segments with almost 45% growth. “The sales performance of Ontario craft beers are all the more impressive given they are achieving growth on top of previous strong sales growth,” states LCBO President & CEO, Bob Peter.

Gift-giving, holiday parties and festive menus all call for craft beer and Steam Whistle’s seasonal packs are wrapped and ready for the holidays including festive graphics and a box-top gift tag, great for personalized gift giving. Now in-store at Ontario LCBO & Beer stores: Steam Whistle’s Holiday 6 Pack ($13.25) and Holiday12 Pack ($24.65).

“Good beer is a meant to be shared with good food and good friends”, offers Steam Whistle Brewmaster, Marek Mikunda, “and the holiday season provides many opportunities for such celebration”.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Amsterdam's Brewstache Beerfest – November 29, 2012

Toronto, ON

Movember is almost over. For the men of this country, that means an important decision is to be made: to keep or not to keep the mo. For the women, a sigh of relief when the whispy whiskers take a back seat to razors nation wide. For us here at The Amsterdam Brewing Co., the end of Movember means it’s time to have a party.

Their 2nd annual Brewstache Beerfest is taking place this week on Thursday, November 29th at their new brewery in Leaside (45 Esandar Dr.) from 7:00 pm-11:00 pm. All proceeds from The Brewstache will go towards prostate Cancer research and awareness. This years fest will feature 10 different Ontario Craft Brewers with unique one-off beers and some very interesting mo-themed names. $20 gets you admission, 2 drink tickets and a commemorative Brewstache Beerfest glass. Their friends at Grilltime will be joining to serve up some eats and a portion of their proceeds will also go to the fundraiser.

Participants for Brewstache this year are: Amsterdam Brewing Co., Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Cheshire Valley Brewing Co., Denison’s Brewing Co., Indie Ale House Brewing Co., Nickel Brook Brewery, Stone Hammer F&M Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery, House Ales, and Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Tickets can be purchased at our brewery retail store or online here. Tickets will also be available in limited quantities at the door.

Beau’s Spicy, Herbal Gruit back for the Winter Season

Ottawa, ON

Bog Water Gruit — a beer style as rare as the endangered species that inhabit its Eastern Ontario namesake — returns to LCBO shelves for a limited time this winter

Bog Water, the strong, spicy winter seasonal offering from Beau’s All Natural Brewing, returns to LCBO shelves next week, and will be a bit of a rarity amongst the hoppy ales popular right now. Bog Water is a gruit, a beer style brewed without any hops. In their place, Bog Water has instead a wild-harvested herb called sweet gale. Like hops the sweet gale is a natural preservative for beer, but offers up a milder bitterness, along with peppery, herbal notes. Brewed with a trappist ale yeast, the resulting style is complex, similar in taste to a Belgian dubbel.

“We actually do add one single hop pellet,” chuckles Beau’s brewmaster Matt O’Hara, “in order to meet the definition of what is considered 'beer.' But that’s just a technicality; it’s definitely a non-hopped beer.” O’Hara also notes that Beau’s will be releasing more gruits this fall and winter as part of the Wild Oats Series, limited releases that are available at craft-beer-friendly establishments, and direct from the brewery retail store. “We recently collaborated with Dick Cantwell from Elysian Brewing in Seattle on a Pumpkin gruit called Oiseaux de Nuit [available Dec. 13]. He brought his expertise in pumpkin beers, and we combined it with our experience brewing gruits — the resulting beer is quite special,” adds O’Hara.

For this year’s Bog Water and other gruits in the works, nearly 250 kg of sweet gale was meticulously hand-harvested from wetlands in the wild, then dried and shipped to Beau’s from Northern Ontario and Quebec. The herb grows in boggy, swampy areas often only accessible by canoe, earning it the secondary name of Bog Myrtle.

“We know the name ‘Bog Water’ is pretty cheeky for a beer,” laughs Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne, “It’s kind of a tip of the hat to the Alfred Bog too — it’s about 15 minutes from the brewery. Being a peat bog it’s pretty rare, so there are a lot of endangered species that live there and nowhere else in the world. We thought that was a cool reference for a beer that’s pretty unique on the beer landscape.”

Bog Water officially launches for the season on November 29. It will be available at select LCBOs, through the BYBO home delivery service in Ottawa, and direct from the brewery, in single-serve 600 mL bottles for $4.35. Bog Water will also be served on tap at a limited number of restaurants and pubs across Ontario, for details visit the Beau’s website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cannery Brewing’s Lakeboat Lager Sets Sail!

Penticton, BC

Penticton-based micro-brewery Cannery Brewing is launching a new beer called
Lakeboat Lager, which pays tribute to one of Penticton’s most iconic images, the S.S. Sicamous.  The S.S. Sicamous is a unique historical landmark in Penticton. Operational from 1914 until 1935, today it the largest of four steam-driven, stern-wheeled lake vessels that have been restored in Canada.

Patt Dyck, co-owner of Cannery Brewing explains, “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the S.S. Sicamous and celebrate and commemorate the importance of this beautiful landmark in our community, both historically and today. Our team really enjoyed working with the folks from the S.S. Sicamous, the Penticton Museum and the City of Penticton to come up with the name, packaging and advertising for our Lakeboat Lager.”

As part of the partnership between Cannery Brewing and the S.S. Sicamous, Cannery Brewing will allocate a portion of their annual sales from this beer to help with restoration of the boat.

Jim Cooper, President of the S.S. Sicamous Restoration Society explained, “This partnership is very exciting for us. It will help us expand the awareness of the S.S. Sicamous outside of the Penticton area. In addition, the financial contributions from Cannery Brewing, will help with restorations and updates on the ship. Partnerships like this help us meet our goals of sharing the history of the S.S. Sicamous and the significance of marine transportation to communities in the Okanagan Valley.”

In terms of the beer itself, Dyck exclaims that this is a “lager with flavour! For craft-beer lovers or for those that are new to the world of hand-crafted, small-batch micro-brewed beers, this is a great beer because the mellow malts and exciting hops of this lager are carefully balanced to produce a crisp, clean, refreshing finish. It’s a very versatile beer that is great whether it’s enjoyed on a hot day or while watching a hockey game, paired alongside a broad range of foods or served alone.”

The beer has been brewed, the labels have been printed and on Wednesday Nov. 28th, the
beer will be officially launched with a special christening on board the S.S. Sicamous. Cannery
Brewing’s Lakeboat Lager will be available in 650ml bottles and on tap throughout BC. In the future, it may be available in Alberta and other provinces, as demand grows for this lager. Ships ahoy!

McAuslan Brewing - St. Ambroise Vintage Ale

ABV 10% (Bottle 341ml)
The Brewery

The Bottle

Brewed just once a year by Peter McAuslan and brew master, Ellen Bounsal.  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.

The Pour
Pours crystal clear with a one finger bubbly head that dissipates quickly with colours of  deep orange turning to ruby red in the centre. 

Lots of sweet caramel malt but with a unique profile that includes a bit of spice and big splashes of sherry/red wine and candied/dried fruit.  There are also welcome hints of maple syrup.

Strong alcohol hit with lots of warmth and a bitter hop finish.  The malts impart caramel, dark fruit, and sherry/wine flavours that carry over nicely from the nose.  The wheat gives it a frothy mouthfeel as it passes over the tongue which balances the big alcohol feel well. 

I got the impression that this beer should best be enjoyed after being cellared as suggested on the bottle.  As it is now, I'd call it an Imperial English Ale.  It seems to still be fairly young (which makes sense just having been released), indicated by its big alcohol hit, and will mostly likely mellow nicely with age.  I give it a strong B with the definite potential to get better with age.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cameron's November Cask Night Benefits Movember and Rewards You Too!

Oakville, ON

So you like cask ales and mustaches and you support research for prostate cancer?  Well do we have news for you!  Cameron's next Cask Night is on November 29, 2012 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm and along with the usual food and beer, there will be a raffle to benefit prostate cancer research.  Cask Night tickets are $20.00 at the door or $15.00 in advance and students (of legal age) are a mere $10.00.

Supporting full Movember mode, everyone who comes in Movember spirit will get an extra beer ticket! So start growing those mustaches now!  Want to learn more about this great cause click here. With entertainment from SoulShaker and Jack Astor’s providing great food, your entrance fee will include two Cameron’s beers and tasters from the cask also.

Please RSVP with your name and number of guests to: or call the Brewery at (905) 849-8282. Space is limited so please book early.

Ticket Details:
COST: $20 - $15 in Advance, $10 for students
WHEN: Nov 29th, from 6-9 pm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shipyard Brewing Co. - Imperial Porter

ABV 7.1% (Bottle 625ml)

The Brewery

The Bottle
"Imperial Porter is a full bodied, very dark, malty beer with a good roasted character coming from the Crystal, Chocolate and Black Patent Malts used in the mash. Warrior, English Fuggles, and East Kent Goldings Hops balance the malts with a good hop bite. The beer has an OG of 1.070, rounding out after fermentation with just a slight residual sweetness and cutting dry at the finish. 7.1% alcohol by volume."

The Pour
Pours thick and jet black like cola.  Head...did you see the picture?  Freaking beautiful!  Puffy, sudsy, khaki in colour with the texture of mousse that collects in soaring peaks above the rim and eventually settles like a blanket over the beer.    

Big roasted malt, dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee.  There are also aromas of Caramilk bars with alcoholic whiskey notes similar to the smell of Baileys.  Some welcome fall/winter spice aromas of nutmeg, pine, maple and earthy hops as well.  Quite wonderful.

Full bodied, smooth, creamy and thick.  The roast malts are not sweet but strong and powerful with a large coffee hit that is helped along by the generous dose of alcohol.  It mellows quickly into more familiar porter territory.  The brew ends up feeling light despite the high ABV and strong nose, which could be quite dangerous.  There is also a surprising sticky hoppy sensation on the backend that leads to a very welcome dry finish. 

Very cool indeed.  Maybe a little heavy on the alcohol burn and hops but also extremely impressive.  I think there is some room for hops in dark beers right now.  It adds a new and different dimension to  realms where malt has held sway for so long.   I also like Silversmith's new black lager because of the creative malt/hop balance.  I give it an A.  Very impressive, not perfect in composition, but close.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Edmonton's Transcend Coffee to Host Mikkeller Tasting Event

Edmonton, AB

With more and more beer tasting events happening at a wider variety of places, it makes a lot of sense for Transcend Coffee to get involved.  In fact, it it weren't for rich Imperial Stouts, I would not be a coffee drinker.  And craft beer and coffee go hand in hand with their rich, complex tastes.  Bold, earthy and enjoyable.  Full of roasty, cocoa like qualities...and definitely not bland, both are often be a delight to the connoisseur.   

"We're doing this for one reason. We love Mikkeller beer." Says Poul Mark, founder of Transcend coffee and co-host of the upcoming Mikkeller Beer Tasting Night, Nov 21 in Edmonton. "We are big fans of the innovation and passion that is clearly evident in Mikkel's beers, and we want to share that with beer fans in Edmonton."

Eight years ago Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was a math and physics teacher that started experimenting with hops, malt and yeast back home in his kitchen in Copenhagen. Today Mikkel exports his micro brewed beer to 40 different countries and is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world.

Join Poul Mark of Transcend Coffee and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, beer expert and founder of the newly launched on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 for a great evening where we will celebrate the beer genius of Mikkeller's mastermind Mikkel by tasting eight of his creations. They will sample three draughts and five bottled beers. 

Price includes the following sampling:

Plus 5 bottled Mikkeller brews as well.
The evening will include some tasty snacks too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
Transcend Coffee Jasper Ave (10349 - Jasper Ave, Edmonton)


Tickets are $50 per person and are available HERE.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lifford Wine Agency and Spearhead Brewery Meet for Wine vs Beer Dinner

Ottawa, ON

In what looks like a battle for an Iron Publican, Lifford Wine Agency will be taking on Spearhead Brewery in an all out brawl at Farbs Kitchen and Wine Bar in Ottawa next week.  On Wednesday November 21, 2012, Dimitri (Spearhead) and Andrew Rasta (Lifford) will be battling it out during this three course blind tasting event. 

Located in picturesque New Edinburgh, a stones-throw from Ottawa's Byward Market, Farbs Kitchen and Wine Bar serves upscale bistro-fare in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

Chef/owner Michael Farber and his staff take pride in creating new dishes made from local ingredients.  It will be interesting to see what he comes up with to showcase the complexities of both the wines and the beers. 

To reserve your table for this fun, informative and tasty dinner, call the restaurant at 613.744.6509. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Propeller to Bring It's Revolution Russian Imperial Stout to Ontario

Halifax, NS

More great news is heading our way in Ontario!  Suffering from prohibition era liquor laws, importing a beer from another Province in Canada is as difficult as bringing in something from a foreign country.  But thanks to some hard work, the folks at Propeller Brewery in Halifax, NS are sending some of their Revolution Russian Imperial Stout to a LCBO near you.

"This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars, Russian Imperial Stout was brewed to very high gravities and allowed to ferment on the long voyage. The result? A dark, strong and bracing brew.

Propeller's version weighs in at a whopping eight percent alcohol content, with a deep, rich, black colour. The taste of alcohol is well masked by the intense hop bitterness, extreme roasted malt and dark fruit notes.

Propeller Brewing Company has brewed and bottled this unfiltered ale each year since 2006, making Propeller the extreme brewing pioneers of Nova Scotia.

Russian Imperial Stout - imbibed by Peter, adored by Catherine and now reclaimed by you, the People. Za Vas!"

Be sure to act on this quickly because stock is sure not to last long!

Keep checking here to see if it is available at a LCBO near you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GLB Invasion of Milos' Craft Beer Emporium Session 1 is Sold Out!

London, ON

Last week we brought you the news of this amazing craft beer event for lovely London, Ontario.  Well this week we have some bitter sweet news about the event.  The first session from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm is sold out.  But the good news is that the doors open to the public at 7:30 pm, when everyone will be able to get their hands on some of these tasty treats.  Be sure to get there well be for the 7:30 pm doors-open time as there are sure to be line ups!

With plenty of beers for this event, there are some fantastic looking collaborations.  From a Black Imperial IPA with Phillips Brewing Co. in British Columbia, Ezra a Saison aged in Spirit Tree cider barrels with Amsterdam, to a very interesting Milk Tits Imperial Milk IPA with the pubs own Milos and Adil, Great Lakes have put together an incredible list of crafts finest styles, sure to please anyone whose tastes stray from the path most traveled.

A complete list of the beers is below;

1. 25th Anniversary Belgian Saison - 6.5%
2. 25th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA (Nitro) - 9.5%
3. 25th Anniversary Porter (Bourbon Barrel Aged - 8%
4. 25th Anniversary Robust Porter - 7%
5. Miami Weiss Wheat Ale - 4.5%
6. Puzzler (Belgian Imperial Black IPA) *Collab with Phillips Brewing Co, BC - 9.1%
7. My Bitter Wife IPA - 6.8%
8. Milk Tits Imperial Milk IPA *Collab with MILOS & ADIL
9. Karma Citra IPA - 7%
10. Deliverance Farmhouse Ale - 6.2%
11. Alipeno (Jalapeño Ale) - 6%
12. Vanilla Bean Imperial Espresso Stout - 10%
13. Armadildo IPA - 6.5%
14. Saison Dupump (Pumpkin Saison) - 6.2%
15. Full Nelson Double IPA - 10%
16. Daddy Issues (Farmhouse Ale with Brett) - 7%
17. Root Beer Of All Evil (Stout - *Nitro) - 5%
18. Ezra (Saison Aged in Spirit Tree Cider Barrels) *Collab with Amsterdam Brewery - 6.5%
19. Maverick and Gose *Collab with Amsterdam Brewery - 6%
20. Kludge (Oak Aged Sour) - 6%
21. Sacrilege (Brett Saison) - 6.8%
22. Pumpkin Wound (Pumpkin Porter) - 5.5%
23.Audrey HopBurn (Belgian IPA) - 6.2%

What: Great Lakes Brewery Invasion
Where: 420 Talbot Street, London, Ontario
When: Saturday November 17th, 2012
Ticketed Session @ 4:00 pm is SOLD OUT!
Public Session at 7:30 pm is open to the public.

Be sure to check out Milos' Craft Beer Emporium and Great Lakes Brewery.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mount Begbie Brewing Co. - Nasty Habit IPA

ABV 6.0% (Bottle 650ml)

The Brewery

The Bottle
"A generously hopped IPA, balanced by a diabolical blend of rich specialty malts and pure mountain water. A wicked ale that leaves you lusting for more."

The Pour
This golden brew pours a two finger puffy white head that crackles and pops.  The liquid itself is perfectly clear with amber hues like a fall sunset.

First off are some big flowery hops with a chewy malt balance underneath that tastes like toffee but not as sweet.  I also detected hints of citrus, herbs, nuts and maybe even some indian masala.

The first mouthful was flat with not much bite but with lots of resiny hop stickiness on the finish that leads to some salivation for another sip.  There's some interesting stuff going on here, but you've gotta search for it a bit.

A neat mix of a malty English pale ale with lots of aromatic and bitter hops to make it an IPA.  Not sure I've seen both so well represented in one beer, but there is still room here for more balance.
I give it a B+.  Definitely worth another look.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Seasonal Favourite Returns For The Holidays - Wild Rose Cherry Porter

Calgary, AB

Wild Rose Brewery is announcing the return of a seasonal favourite - Wild Rose Cherry Porter.  Brewed using only the plumpest, ripest whole BC cherries, each glass of this local brew is lush and creamy with a fruity aroma.  Only here once a year, Wild Rose Cherry Porter launched officially on November 1st and is expected to sell out quickly.

"Rich and sensual, the flavour of Cherry Porter is reminiscent of Black Forest cake with sweet chocolate notes and a slightly smoky character from roasted barley malts.  As always, celebrate the season and enjoy a glass of Wild Rose Cherry Porter with someone special."

Crafted in limited quantities, Wild Rose Cherry Porter is now available in one litre flip-top bottles at liquor stores in Alberta, on tap at a number of select locations including The Ship and Anchor in Calgary and at Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom (403.720.2733).

Friday, November 9, 2012

@CaskDays Announces Winners of the 2012 Peoples Choice Awards!

Toronto, ON

Cask Days has made their announcements for the winners of the festivals Peoples Choice Awards for 2012.

The votes are in and the winners are quite fitting for the week of International Stout Day;

1st Place - Bellwoods Hellwoods Imp Stout

2nd Place - Parallel 49 Ugly Sweater Milk Stout

3rd Place - Great Lakes Stalin's Choice Bourbon Imp Stout

Congratulations to the winners and the folks lucky enough to try these beers.  Surely they were the first to go!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Amsterdam Releases Tempest Imperial for International Stout Day

Toronto, ON

It is the most wonderful time of the year!  Tis' the season when breweries are buzzing and bottling those dark and delicious stouts that many of us crave.  And this International Stout Day did not disappoint.

Amsterdam has announced that their Tempest Imperial Stout is now available at their retail store.  It will also be available at LCBO stores soon!

Be sure to get some of this award winning beer!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Renaissance Brewing Company - Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

4.9% ABV

"For years fans of the Renaissance beers had been asking, “when are you guys going to do a Stout?”  It was eventually decided that the effort Brian was putting into taking these pesky blighters out the back to give them a shoeing could be better used to actually make the aforementioned stout.

So we produced not only a Stout, but a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, the Craftsman.

Craftsman is the ‘Big Brother’ to our popular Elemental porter. Building on the flavours given by the crystal, brown and black malts, we add a portion of organic rolled oats for a silky smooth mouthfeel, then added a small amount of cocoa nibs to the mash and brew kettle, plus a large addition of nibs to the fermentor. The beer that matured on those cocoa nibs has a lovely chocolate nose that melds beautifully with the coffee and hop notes in the beer. The resulting Stout has a full rounded palate with chocolate and roasted notes predominating and the depth of intensity that one expects from a Stout."

The Pour

Poured from a 500ml bottle, this jet black stout had one finger of tan head.  Quickly 

dissipating, tiny bubbles are left around the rim of the glass.


Not a huge nose from this stout.  Mild roastiness, light cocoa powder.  There is some caramel and burnt sugar notes as well.


As with the nose, the taste too is light.  Some gentle coffee notes pair well with the light cocoa flavour.  The minimal carbonation combined with the oatmeal provide a very smooth mouthfeel.  Definitely not an imperial stout, but balanced and a nice bitterness in the finish.  Pleasant indeed.

Overall Impressions

All the way to Ontario from Marlborough, New Zealand this oatmeal chocolate stout is a well put together, balanced and nicely flavoured, especially when you consider it is a mere 4.9% ABV.  Definitely  note huge, but it have a nice mouthfeel and mild but interesting flavour from first hitting your lips all the way through the finish.  Definitely not ageable but enjoyable.  A solid B.  It is a good stepping stone to some of the bigger Imperial Stouts on the market.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

London's Milos Craft Beer Emporium and Great Lakes Brewery Team Up for Total Tap Takeover

London, ON

Milos Kral of Milos' Craft Beer Emporium is not one to stand around a wait for things to happen.  Before opening his own beer mecca, he was the former manager of London's Gambrinus Bistro.  There, he was able to bring the forest city a selection of craft beer like no other.  He arranged for meet and greets with almost all of the Ontario Craft Brewers, brought in legends like James Watt of BrewDog from Scotland, he even hosted one of London's most successful beer inspired events ever with a tap takeover from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery (check out the time-laps of the event from your very own Beer Geeks here) .

Well Londoners, you are in for another treat!  Teamed up with Toronto's Great Lakes Brewery and the beer genius that is Adil Ahmad, a GLB total tap takeover is headed to Milos' Craft Beer Emporium on November 17th, 2012.  I for one will be looking forward to seeing what the total of 23 one-offs have in store!

The evening will consist of two parts.  First, a ticketed event from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm with a cost of $20.00 which includes six tokens plus guaranteed access to all of the beers and a chance to chat with brew master Mike Lackey.  Then doors will open to the general public at 7:30 pm.  While there will be a lot of beers available, they cannot guarantee that all of them will make it to the general public portion of the evening.

As always, space is limited.  Get there early and bring cash to aid in speedy service.

You can get your event tickets at the bar. Cash only. Out of town people can call Milos directly at 519.601.4447 to inquire about purchasing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Brew Team Launches Dead Frog Fearless IPA

Aldergrove, BC

The Dead Frog Fearless IPA is the first collaboration brew from the Aldergrove, BC brewery's new brew team Tony Dewald and Timmy Brown!  Tony and Timmy are BC Craft Beer pioneers and they’ve finally come together to brew under one roof.  For their first brew they wanted to make a hop forward West Coast IPA that didn’t pull any punches.  The end result was the Fearless IPA, a 77 IBU brew packed with 4 different hops including Galaxy and Zythos.

Their Fearless IPA is described as a "hop forward India Pale Ale crafted with premium malts and hops from around the world. Zythos and Galaxy hops combine to provide a tropical fruit aroma while Cascade and Columbus provide a citrus-like bitter finish".

The Fearless IPA is currently available in BC and Alberta in 650ml single bottles.  Draught will be shipping out to select Pubs and Restaurants in both provinces next week.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kensington Brewing Company Releases Second Beer, Baldwin FishEYE-PA

Toronto, ON

With the country's largest population of people, it is no surprise that there would be a huge thirst that needs to be quenched in Hog Town.  The city is quickly becoming the place for new breweries, festivals and beer launches.

Not to miss out on this, the Kensington Brewing Company has announced the launch of their second beer, Baldwin FishEYE-PA. Inspired by Kensington Market’s (in)famous fishmongers on Baldwin Street, FishEYE is a bold and unapologetically hop-forward American IPA.  FishEYE-PA is the culmination of three test batches brewed by KBCo founder Brock Shepherd. Appropriately named 1.1 through 1.3, each edition was gently tweaked with the input of their fans.  "We’ve taken many suggestions to heart, especially the cry for more hops!” commented Michael Gurr.

FishEYE-PA was officially launch on the 25th of October at Bar Hop in Toronto. It will initially be available in draught format and a small run of 473ml tall boy cans. An application for a full-time listing at the LCBO has been filed, and they anticipate hitting the retail shelves by spring of 2013.

"At 6.5% ABV and 70IBU’s, FishEYE-PA is a nod to hop-loving beer enthusiasts. A marriage of 3 types of malt and 4 hop varieties, including an excessive dose of dry hops, meld beautifully to create a complex, hop-forward ale. The aroma is dominated by floral and pine notes, with a slight tinge of grapefruit rind and sweet, caramel malt. A long finish with a lingering and pronounced bitterness leaves insatiable hop heads coming back for more".

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LCBO 2012 Winter Craft Seasonal Release Announced

Toronto, ON

With Thanksgiving over and Hallowe'en tomorrow and December in our sights, the season for winter releases at the LCBO is almost upon us.  There are a lot of full bodied, full flavoured delights heading to an LCBO near you.

97469 / Samichlaus / $3.95 / EGGENBERGER INTERNATIONAL / AUSTRIA
296921 / Gulden Draak / $2.95 / BROUWERIJ VAN STEENBERGE / BELGIUM
307553 / Nostradamus Strong Belgian Ale / $3.50 / Brasserie Caracole / BELGIUM
296103 / Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout / $4.85 / PROPELLER BREWING COMPANY / CANADA
303586 / Pothole Filler Imperial Stout / $11.35 / HOWE SOUND BREWING CO. / CANADA
311860 / Erdinger Pikantus / $3.45 / Erdinger Weissbrau / GERMANY
187005 / LAVA Smoked Imperial Stout / $5.80 / OLVISHOLT BRUGGHUS EHF. / ICELAND
311878 / Renaissance Element Porter / $5.50 / Renaissance Brewing / NEW ZEALAND
188870 / Box Steam Dark & Handsome / $3.95 / BOX STEAM BREWERY LTD / UNITED KINGDOM
905828 / Orkney Skull Splitter Barley Wine / $4.15 / Orkney Brewery, Sinclair Brewery / UNITED KINGDOM
95034 / Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout / $2.80 / BROOKLYN BREWERY / UNITED STATES
289710 / Rogue Yellow Snow / $16.50 / ROGUE ALES BREWERY / UNITED STATES
298307 / He'brew Jewbelation / $8.95 / Shmaltz Brewing Company / UNITED STATES

Let's hope your beer budget is in tact!

While the release date has yet to be announced, early December has been the norm for the past few years.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

8th Annual @CaskDays a Huge Success

Toronto, ON

With the success of Pre Cask Days this past Monday to Wednesday at barVolo, it is no surprise that yesterdays sessions were more successful than the Cask Days team expected.

With attendance passing 2300 people in Saturday's two sessions, CaskDays has issued this statement via its Facebook page in advance of today's final session;

"Session 3 Announcement

First off we would like to thank everyone who came out to session one and two yesterday. This was by far the largest turn out Cask Days has ever seen in eight years. Over 2,300 people came through our doors.

Unfortunately a lot more beer was consumed than we estimated and a hand full of casks have blown from the initial advertised list. 48 / 100 casks tapped out. There are some new casks we have introduced but there may be some beers you wanted to try that are no longer available. Don't worry, there is plenty of beer left for the amount of people attending.

We are offering all ticket holders for Session Three the option to receive $10.00 dollars cash back or $10.00 in tokens when you enter. We apologize if this may inconvenience anyone.

All the food vendors, art gallery, live music are still in full effect and we are still rocking it from 12:00pm - 5:00pm at the Brick Works today.

Thank You!"

The event will no doubt continue to grow as the Ontario craft beer market grows as consumers are making their voices heard about the desire for quality crafted beer!

Congrats to Cask Days for a great festival and for making it right with the Session 3 crowd!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Invite Beer Home for the Holidays!

Toronto, ON

This year, add a little twist to your holiday favourites with beer-infused recipes

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, folks are beginning to plan ahead for the next big family gathering - Christmas! This year, why not try mixing up your traditional Christmas dinner by adding beer to your ingredient list.

A common myth is that beer doesn’t have a place at the dining table. The truth is, some of the most interesting cuisine in the world, and that which is inspiring much of Canada’s fusion cooking is traditionally served with beer. Think: German, Czech, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian and Mexican. Pilsners are good for cutting the heat on spicy food, quenching your thirst after savory foods, cleansing your palate after fatty foods and getting your mouth ready to taste again.

Beer is both wonderful to serve with food and is an interesting and versatile ingredient for cooking. Anywhere that wine is recommended in recipes, you can substitute beer following a general guideline: where white wine is called for, use lagers and where red wine is called for, use dark ales; but always follow your own personal taste preferences and enjoy experimenting. Many restaurants and celebrity chefs are creating menu items around beer pairings and beer-infused cooking.

Check out Steam Whistle’s considerable recipe collection:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beau’s Wins at Provincial Brewing Industry Awards

Toronto, ON

Both “Marketing Innovation” and “Sustainability Accomplishments” earn Beau’s All Natural recognition at first annual industry event

Beau’s all Natural Brewing was honored with two Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) Centre of Excellence awards on Friday, October 19, as part of the first-ever OCB Conference in Toronto, ON. Beau’s edged out finalists Steam Whistle Brewing and industry magazine TAPS to earn the award for Marketing Innovation, and also took the award for Sustainability Accomplishments, ahead of fellow nominees Steam Whistle Brewing, and Mill Street Brewery’s Steve Abrams.

The Centre of Excellence Awards dinner and presentation marked the culmination of the Ontario Craft Brewers Conference, where brewers and the brewing industry had gathered to network, attend seminars and meet with industry suppliers. The goal of the awards, according to the OCB, was to recognize examples of excellence among small, medium and large organizations supporting the craft brewing industry at the local, regional, national, or international level.

Other winners were:

Product Quality/Process Innovation: Wellington Brewery
Education Leadership: Niagara College Teaching Brewery
Food and Beer Matching Development: Mirella Amato
Community Building: National Capital Craft Beer Week

The OCB is comprised of 25 brewers dedicated to making great tasting beer in Ontario, with a goal of promoting fresh, natural, quality beer and agreeing on a commitment of excellence. Beau’s All Natural has been an active member of the OCB since 2006, when Beau’s first opened its doors.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Granville Island Brewing to Release Pumpkin Ale

Vancouver, BC

Brewmaster Vern Lambourne has spent long days in the brewery perfecting Pumpkin Ale for this year's release and it is delicious! With roasted pumpkin and spice flavours, earthy undertones and a burnt orange colour, it's a reflection of the season's changing landscape. "Impress your Thanksgiving guests by pairing Vern's Pumpkin Ale with roasted meats and root vegetables, or serve it on it's own as a pre-dinner warmer".

Now available in government and private retailers in BC and fine Alberta retailers while quantities last!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dogfish, Grateful Dead Brewing Grassroots Collaboration

Milton, DE

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Grateful Dead, two pioneers who built their followings by connecting directly with beer lovers and music lovers, are collaborating on the newest beer in Dogfish’s line of off-centered ales.

Working in that happy place between creative ideas and like-minded people, the off-centered brewery and free-spirited band have been trading ideas for a beer they’re calling “American Beauty.” They’ve settled on a strong pale ale with all-American hops and barley, and now they’re asking their loyal fans to suggest a special ingredient – and the Dead-inspired story behind it.

“Grateful Dead Productions is extremely pleased to be partnering with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery on the American Beauty pale ale. We’ve looked for a long while for the perfect brewery to team up with for a Grateful Dead-inspired brew, and feel we’ve finally found the right fit. Aside from Dogfish’s history with music-themed brews, we love their beer, and think it’s the best around. Plus, these are really good people and are the type of folks we want to work with,” says David Lemieux,  legacy manager for Grateful Dead.

“The feedback the band got from Dead Heads was always an important factor in their shows,” says Dogfish Founder and President Sam Calagione. “And at Dogfish, we’ve always thought of our pub regulars and brewery tour guests as an informal focus group, so we’re sending a shout out to all those Dead Heads and Dogfish Heads by making them a driving force behind this beer.”

Did you trade a bushel of fresh clementines for tickets to a two-night-stand at Long Beach Arena? Or maybe your dad first laid eyes on your mom sipping a cup of green tea in the parking lot of the legendary Cornell ‘77 show? Jog your memory, tell the story, and suggest the ingredient at the heart of that story. You could help bring this counterculture collaboration to life.

Suggestions for American Beauty’s final ingredient will be taken online in December. A panel from the Dogfish Head and Grateful Dead teams will pick the ingredient they feel works best in the context of a strong pale ale recipe. The brewery and band hope to invite the fan who suggested the ingredient to Dogfish’s coastal Delaware brewpub in the spring of 2013 to help brew a test batch.

“My wife, Mariah, and I went to our first Dead show together in the summer of ‘91,” says Calagione, “and I’ve been listening to Workingman’s Dead and Shakedown Street, two of the earliest albums I ever owned, on my morning kayak trips. It’s amazing how timeless those albums are.”

American Beauty is expected to hit taps and shelves throughout Dogfish’s 27-state distribution network in October 2013. Stay tuned to for details on how to be a part of this grassroots brew.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München - Oktoberfestbier

ABV 6.3% (Bottle 500ml)

The Brewery

The Bottle
For Oktoberfest, Hofbräu brews a rich, full-bodied beer which goes down ideally with traditional Bavarian cuisine. With its deliciously bitter taste and alcoholic content of 6.3% volume, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier is as special as the Beer Festival itself. Type: Bottom-fermented, light festive beer

The Pour
One finger soft white head.  Pale straw in colour with shades of orange that bring fall to mind with its turning leaves and harvested rolls of wheat. 

Lots of sweet malt upfront and some surprising flowery aromas that must be from the hops that will bring the promised bitterness.  The nose also contains some welcome clove and spice notes.  Overall the smell is coppery and fresh; perfect for autumn.

This brew has a surprising amount of body.  I was skeptical on the light looking pour, but the promised full-body came through.  Malty thickness upfront leads to a strong consistent body throughout as it doesn't froth up in the mouth and disappear.  All this comes together with a touch of hop bite on the finish that keeps this beer away from mediocrity and me wanting another sip. 

Malty and rustic in feel and flavor, this beer is as true to fall as you can get in so light coloured a brew.  They've packed in a lot of body and some nice touches of aroma and bite.  Not as good as Muskoka's Harvest Ale, but worth checking out for something a little different.  I give it an A.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Amsterdam Brewing Co. Set To Release Tempest Imperial Stout in LCBOs

Toronto, ON

The Amsterdam Brewing Company will release their highly sought after Tempest Imperial Stout on Monday October 22, 2012 to a select number of LCBOs across the province. At just over 13,000 500mL bottles, Tempest is a limited run and expected to sell out of stores very quickly.

This is the second beer out of Amsterdam’s Pilot Brewing system, headed by Iain Mcoustra, to make it into the LCBO (the first being Boneshaker back in May of this year). First brewed in 2010, Tempest was only sold out of the Amsterdam Brewery retail store and was an immediate hit. Since then, only 2 other batches of Tempest have been brewed, one of which is destined for LCBO shelves this Monday.

Unique to Ontario, Tempest Imperial Stout is brewed with rye, wheat, oats, roasted barley, dark crystal, marris otter and chocolate malts. Warrior, centennial, and cascade hops provide bittering and aroma in this big malt body beer. Cellared for three months prior to packaging, Tempest has a bracing bitterness that quickly blends with deep malt notes and a slight spiciness from the rye malt. At 100+ IBU, Tempest blends the drinkability and smoothness of a British stout with the aggressive hops and bold flavors of an American example of this style. The warming finish is perfect for our Canadian fall.

Each bottle has been hand dipped in black wax and will cellar well for up to 3 years.

Tempest Imperial Stout (LCBO #291100) is sold at the LCBO and the Amsterdam Brewery retail store (now at 45 Esandar Dr. in Leaside) in 500mL bottles for $5.95 ea.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Railway City Brewing Co. is Expanding!

St. Thomas, ON

St. Thomas Raises a Glass - Railway City Brewing Company Announces Expansion into Larger Facility

There are some exciting things brewing over at Railway City Brewing Company, and if they have their way, there's going to be a few more Dead Elephants coming out of St. Thomas, Ontario.

The company will be making a big move next year, but they won't be going too far.  It was announced on Tuesday that they will be moving their business and expanding into a larger location that will allow them to increase production and further meet the demands of their ever-increasing customer base.

Scheduled to open in 2013, the new brewery will feature an expanded production facility for cans, bottles and draft beer, a larger retail store to better serve the walk-in crowd and a tasting room large enough to hold special events.

Railway City Brewing Company currently employs 10 full and part time staff working out of its brewing facility on Curtis Street in St. Thomas. The company expects to hire more employees when the new facility is completed.

Railway City is one of the many small craft brewers reaping the benefits of an exploding micro-brew market in this province. While beer sales overall have fallen 2% to 3% in the past couple of years, the market for craft beer continues to grow, jumping 9% in volume of beer sold last year, according to the Ontario Craft Breweries, a trade group for independent brewers based in Ontario.

Dennis Broome, President of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation (EDC) noted that "We are fortunate to have Railway City Brewing Company here in St. Thomas. This announcement represents growth in a sector in which the EDC sees a great deal of potential and I look forward to hearing more great things from the company in the future."

Railway City Brewing said in a release that demand has been outpacing supply in recent years, noting that the brewery was sold out of many brands throughout the summer and was unable to fill some of their customers’ orders. This expansion is necessary both to keep up with current demand and to provide capacity for projected long-term growth.

“You can find Railway City beer at many LCBO stores, bars and restaurants from Windsor to Ottawa, but for the best selection, we recommend a visit to the brewery to sample, tour and purchase their other brands which are not available elsewhere.” Paul Corriveau, V.P. Sales and Marketing added “We pride ourselves in featuring as many local ingredients as possible in our beer, including locally grown hops, apples, honey, and even pears which are featured in our newest Hoptoberfest Beer.  This expansion will allow us the opportunity to continue to create more locally inspired brews”

St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson congratulated the company and noted that “The move to the much larger facility will bring a boost to the St. Thomas economy, creating new jobs and opportunities for local residents.  The Railway City name, along with brands that include Dead Elephant, Iron Spike and Black Coal help to solidify St. Thomas’ place as the Railway Capital of Canada and this growth can only help to spread that message even further.”

The current location at 168 Curtis Street will stay open until the new brewery is up and running sometime next year.  The company offers sampling and tours at their location and encourages visitors to stop by and sample their many varieties of quality craft beer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beer Mail from Innis & Gunn

@InnisandGunnCa, @InnisandGunnUK

As the holidays approach, many interesting packaged samplers come to market.  So many are just not as enjoyable as the ones put together by our friends at Innis & Gunn.  This years Holiday Sampler includes a bottle of the Highland Cask, Original and the Winter Treacle Porter (look for a review soon!) along with a branded tasting glass.

With a love of barrel aged beers, what is not to love about Innis & Gunn!

Look for the Holiday sampler pack at an LCBO near you soon!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Garrison Partners with Quebec Brewer to Offer Gluten-Free Beer

Halifax, NS

Garrison Brewing has joined forces with the Montreal-based craft brewery Brasseurs Sans Gluten (BSG) to offer Atlantic Canadians’ a gluten-free beer option.

Glutenberg Blonde Ale, now available at select NSLCs, is made from the gluten-free grain millet and boasts distinct floral hops, white pepper and lemon zest aromas. It was developed over a period of one year and is one of only a few beer options for Canadians living with Celiac disease or other forms of gluten intolerance. It’s estimated that 1 per cent of Canadians are affected by Celiac Disease and many times that number has varying levels of gluten intolerance.

"I know personally and professionally how important this market is becoming,” explains Garrison President Brian Titus. “We were so impressed when sampling the BSG line and meeting the folks behind this young company. I thought to myself, ‘Finally, a gluten-free offering with full, craft beer flavour!’”

Only in business one year, BSG has already won gold, silver and bronze at the 2012 World Beer Cup for gluten-free beers. The recipes were developed over a 12 month period and they are the only microbrewery in the country that brews and bottles their beers in a 100 per cent gluten-free environment.

“Garrison has been in business for many years and knows the market and the people,” says David Cayer, co-founder and chief marketing officer for BSG. “When we met at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Montreal, we felt there was a natural connection between our teams and we knew we could trust them to represent our product.”

Glutenberg Blonde is now on sale at NSLC stores in Nova Scotia and PEILCC stores in Prince Edward Island. The process is underway to make the beer available in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beer Mail from Cameron's Brewing Co.


What a beautiful sight a beer delivery truck is!

If you haven't noticed the new direction that Cameron's has taken in the past few years, you haven't been drinking beer in Ontario.

With a new found vigour, they are taking their brewing seriously.  Unfiltered glory like the Sirius Wheat are proof of this.  I'm looking forward to trying this one.

Thanks to the folks in Oakville for brewing delicious beer!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Unibroue a Winner at the World Beer Awards

Chambly, QC

The brewery's Blanche de Chambly named World's Best Belgian Style Witbier

After winning the World's Best Dark Beer award for its Unibroue 17 in 2010, Unibroue just received the World's Best Belgian Style Witbier title for the Blanche de Chambly, at the World Beer Awards in London U.K. The brewery's classic wheat beer, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was chosen among nearly 600 beers entered from 32 countries. This is the Blanche de Chambly's third nod from the WBA, which had declared it World's Best Spiced Wheat Beer in 2011, and The Americas Best Spiced Wheat Beer in 2010.

"The fact that our creativity and brewing expertise keep being recognized", says Sylvain Bouchard, beer sommelier at Unibroue, "after having garnered over 185 international awards for our products, such as La Fin du Monde, Quelque Chose, Terrible, Maudite, Trois Pistoles, Unibroue 17 and Éphémère Apple, only reinforces our position as a leader among the world's brewers."

After a blind taste test, the Blanche de Chambly was crowned "World's Best Belgian Style Wheat Beer" by a prestigious international jury. Throughout the years, the following beers have also been rewarded for their excellence in various categories: Unibroue's Don de Dieu (World's Best Belgian Strong Pale Beer), Quelque Chose (World's best fruit wheat beer), Maudite (America's best amber Pale Ale), Unibroue 17 and Blonde de Chambly (America's Best American standard Pale Ale), La Fin du Monde (America's best Blond/Golden Pale Ale.

From its very first competition 20 years ago, and every year since, Unibroue has stepped up to the podium among the best beers in the world, in numerous international events. Its continuing success can be attributed to the consistent quality and constant innovation consumers have come to expect from this home grown brewery. With his 14 titles, Unibroue is the most rewarded Quebecois brewery at the World Beer Awards.

To see the complete list of winners at the 2012 World Beer Awards, log on to

LCBO Halloween Beer Release

The following beers have been confirmed to be part of the LCBO Halloween 2012 specialty beer release:

Item # / Product Name / Size (mL) / Retail

296111 / Witches Brew Tripel / 750 / $7.95
201665 / Mt. Begbie Nasty Habit IPA / 650 / $6.10
311225 / Black Creek Pumpkin Ale / 500 / $3.50
132753 / Grand River Highballer Pumpkin / 500 / $3.85
303610 / Howe Sound Pumpkineater / 1000 / $11.35
264184 / DDC Corne du Diable IPA / 341 / $2.90
90738 / St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale / 4 x 341 / $9.95
90373 / Post Road Pumpkin Ale / 355 / $2.65
296186 / Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale / 650 / $6.75
182287 / Southern Tier Pumpking / 650 / $8.75

Be sure to try these when you can.  Go to to see if a store near you is carrying them.


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