Beer Geeks!

Go to our Facebook page at "like" us and let us know what you think of the logo.

Brewery and Pub Visits

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

Beer Mail!

Breweries looking to have products featured or reviewed can feel free to contact us. We would be happy to feature your new release or specialty product. Unbiased reviews will follow.

"Like" Us on Facebook

Be our friend on Facebook to know what we are up to, what beers we are currently drinking and which reviews are coming next. See pictures and more!

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

Follow Us on Twitter

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to know what we are up to, what beers we are currently drinking and which reviews are coming next!

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, February 29, 2012

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark... Lager

Halifax, NS

The second One Hit Wonder Limited Release for 2012 Propeller Munich Style Dark Lager will be available March 1st at the Propeller Shop in Growlers only.

Early lagers were mainly dark in colour until the 1840’s. Dunkel (Dunkel is the German word meaning dark) is a traditional style made famous by brewers in Munich. These highly drinkable dark brews remained the staple of Bavaria until the later part of the 19th century, when advancements in malting technology made pale malt widely available. Lighter-coloured lagers that now dominate the beer world were not common until that time.

Propeller Munich Style Dark Lager features deep mahogany hues with a clean lager nose. The flavours are rich and malty, accompanied by traditional German Noble hops gently asserting themselves while balancing the malt profile. This beer features a roundness and cleanness inspired by the lager yeast with a slight hint of chocolate in the finish. The long aging period and low bitterness make this brew very smooth and drinkable.

About the One Hit Wonder Limited Release Series: On the first of each month beginning February Propeller Brewing Company will release a unique one off brew. One Hit Wonder’s are only available in the popular Growler format at the Propeller retail store known locally as “The Prop Shop”, 2015 Gottingen St. Halifax Nova Scotia. The brewery will continue this limited release series until the busy summer season begins.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Go Green This St. Patrick's Day

Toronto, ON

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the greenest beer in the province. Ontario Craft Brewers produce traditional darks and stouts with plenty of flavour and traditional Irish character. Go green this year and raise a fresh pint of Ontario Craft Brewers’ locally-produced, small-batch, low-footprint beers.

“There are so many dark, delicious stouts and traditional brews produced by Ontario Craft Brewers,” says Ken Woods of Black Oak Brewery in Toronto. “When you toast your good luck, love and happiness, lift a local craft beer -- like our Double Chocolate Cherry Stout.”

Here’s to the smiling Irish taste of Ontario Craft Beer, available at local breweries, LCBOs, pubs and restaurants across the province:

The Perfect Triple from Trafalgar Ales & Meads:

Trafalgar Irish Ale - Trafalgar's version of this brown ale is reminiscent of the old style of Irish brewing. Brewed as an "anytime ale" this beer is smooth and refreshing. Willamette hops are used to provide a subtle background to the dominant grain flavours of the unique blend of four malts. It is best accompanied by rich and full flavoured dishes.

Patty’s Irish Red - Irish Red was created in the 1800's by master brewer George Henry Lett. Trafalgar has recreated the extraordinary nutty taste and unique amber colour with crystal malts and roasted barley. Tettnanger and Saaz hops round out the bouquet of this fine dark lager. Paddy's compliments such pub fare as stews, cheeses and meat pies.

St. Patrick’s Pick (Extra Special Bitter) St. Patrick's Pick is a hoppy pale or "bitter" ale brewed throughout Ireland . Consistent with the style, the hop flavours are allowed to dominate, giving this amber ale a lovely floral bouquet and thirst quenching bitterness. The hops rule! Foods with full flavour and heavy spices are an excellent compliment to St. Patrick's Pick.

Super stout alternative from Mill Street Brewery:

Cobblestone Stout - Brewmaster Joel Manning says, “It’s a classic, rich, dry stout porter, much lighter in flavour and alcohol than traditional English stouts. We use a mix of caramel malt, roasted barley, and nugget bittering hops to create its classic dark appearance, roasted malt character and bittersweet mocha flavour.

Much-Anticipated Seasonal Release from Amsterdam Brewing Company:

Spring Bock - Amsterdam’s Spring Bock was the brewery’s first seasonal to be accepted in the LCBO in 2011 and it’s back again in LCBOs across Ontario for the 2012 spring beer release. “Six thousand liters sold out in a couple of weeks last year; so we made sure to brew more this year,” says Amsterdam’s media and marketing contact Blake Van Delft. “It’s a style that ages really well in the cellar too, so if you’re planning on picking up a couple of bottles, put one away for a few months (or a year if you can) to compare flavours.” Originally brewed only in monasteries for consumption during Lent, bock beers are the richest, creamiest, and most full-bodied beers in the world. Because of their high food energy and nutritional content, bock beer provided sustenance to monks who were required to fast for over 40 days and nights. If there was one beer you could literally live off of, this would be it. Fermented with a house strain of Danish yeast and aged three times longer than other beers, Amsterdam Spring Bock is a seasonal brew you do not want to miss out on.

Really, really good and green beer from Steam Whistle Brewing:

Steam Whistle Pilsner – With a philosophy of "Do one thing really, really well", this award-winning Toronto brewery and thriving tourist attraction knows how to make a good, green beer. The brewery focuses on a single brand, their Steam Whistle Pilsner, under the watchful eye of Czech-trained brewmaster Marek Mikunda. It’s known as Canada’s Greenest Brewery for its sustainability practices (powered 100% by green electricity, delivering with Bio Diesel, using Deep Lake Water Cooling), and for its water and energy conservation practices. Sustainable suds for a conscious drinker.


Steam Whistle St. Patrick’s Day Party at the brewery in support of the Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society: Saturday March 17th 2pm-midnight, Entertainment by Brogue, Poor Angus and the Woodgate-Shamrock Irish Dancers. $15 at the door.

Totally D.I.Y. this St. Patty’s Day with Beau’s All Natural Brewery:

Strong Patrick Irish Red - For St Patrick's Day, Beau's is brewing a Strong Patrick Irish Red that will be available in March. This special brew is a strong partially barrel-wood aged interpretation of Irish Red Ale. Tasting Notes: A luscious red-hued ale with a malty backbone showcasing toasty and toffee notes complimented by whiskey flavours with underlying wood and vanilla nuances.

Beaver River I.P.EH? - spring seasonal India Pale Ale now available. Beaver River marries the typical flavour profiles of the British and American interpretations of an India Pale Ale. Expect a bold yet balanced blend of hop bitterness, estery yeast character and a blend of both citrus and earthy hop aromas. Beaver River is an assertive beer and as such, should be paired with equally assertive foods. Spicy Mexican or Indian food, wild game and pungent or smoked cheeses would be ideal.

Pour on British Tradition with Neustadt Springs Brewery:

Texas Tea Honey Stout - Dark smooth and rich, enhanced with natural local honey, giving a subtle sweetness and Offsetting the deep rich bitterness of the original stout.

Neustadt 10w30 Brown Ale - A traditional dark English Mild. The term mild meaning “not bitter” does not refer to strength. Using pure natural spring water, New Zealand hops and imported specialty malts. Giving rich malt and light nut aromas and mellow malt and good hop notes to the palate. A smooth and easy drinkable ale. Perfectly partnered with beef, steaks, stews, goulash or kebabs.

OCB St. Paddy’s Day Beer Cocktail (Beata Szczypek, DeSotos)

What's Green, part Irish and tastes great? KELLY GREEN, the latest St. Patty's day inspired OCB beer cocktail.


10oz Amsterdam Blonde

1/2oz Jameson Irish Whiskey

1/4oz Blue Curaçao *

*Add another 1/4oz of Blue Curaçao for a sweeter & greener version.

Amsterdam Blonde serves as the perfect smooth, crisp and well-balanced lager that can hold its own against the bite of the whiskey. With Blue Curacao in the mix, sweet and lively citrus notes soften any of the whiskey's remaining severity while transforming your drink to a green and playful St. Paddy's day cocktail. Kelly may look like a sweet Irish lass but beware she packs a potent punch.

Come by DeSotos, 1079 St. Clair West in Toronto to try out the KELLY GREEN cocktail.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wild Rose Brewery Launches Next Seasonal Release FOOTHILLZ PILZ

Calgary, AB

Alberta craft brewer, Wild Rose Brewery, is pleased to announce the launch of their latest Seasonal Release Wild Rose FOOTHILLZ PILZ on February 23, 2012. This lager has a straw coloured hue, with a distinct hop aroma and flavour. Crisp, clean and refreshing, this Czech Style Pilsner has been crafted to satisfy.

Wild Rose FOOTHILLZ PILZ Description:

Brewed using Canadian Superior Pilsen malt the generous addition of Saaz, Vanguard and Tettnanger hops provides a spicy, citrus aroma and a pleasant lingering bitterness. Like all good lagers, the Foothillz Pilz has undergone an extensive cold aging period which results in a beer of superior complexity and smoothness. A favourite in the Wild Rose Seasonal line-up, this year's batch is sure to please.

Brew Specs:
  • Canadian Superior Pilsen Malt
  • Saaz, Vanguard and Tettnanger hops
  • 5.2% alc./vol.
  • 13 °P Original Gravity
  • 45 IBU
  • 3 SRM
Food Pairings:

Crisp and refreshing, the Foothillz Pilz is very versatile pairing nicely with a variety of foods including sausages, chicken, fish, shellfish and spicy fare. It also makes a great aperitif.
To celebrate the launch on this brew, a special Cask Conditioned batch of the FOOTHILLZ PILZ will be tapped on Friday, February 24th at 4pm MST at the Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom.

Crafted in limited quantities, Wild Rose FOOTHILLZ PILZ is available in 650ml bottles at select liquor stores in Alberta including Coop Wines & Spirits, and on tap at a number of select locations including The Ship and Anchor in Calgary and at Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mill Street Brewery - Seasonal Double Shot - Extra Special Bitter & Franconian Bock

Extra Special Bitter
ABV 4.6% (Bottled in Mill Street Seasonal Six pack)

From the Bottle

"Our multiple award winning ESB is a traditional British pub ale brewed with English floor-malted pale ale malt and hops. The resulting copper-hued beauty is a beguiling balance of flavours that make it as classic fire-side pint."

Now you know

"Bitter" is an English term for pale ale. Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume. Where "bitter" is used it indicates a pale ale of lower alcohol content brewed in a less hop-focused style than typical American pale ales.

The Pour

Crisp, clean with a light maple syrup colour that is almost orange. There is no head at all but some refreshing looking carbonation.


Wonderful light, sweet, malty nose. Very English as promised.


Smooth, medium bodied mouth feel. Quite pleasant and refreshing carbonation for an ale. It's very light on taste though, which isn't surprising considering the light beer ABV. A light refresher of an ale, but some more hops or malt flavours would be welcome. That being said, you can tell it's brewed with pale ale hops and malts. It has an unmistakable pale ale feel with bitterness and brightness in the mouth that a usual pub ale wouldn't, just not a lot of it.

Overall Impressions

I would say this is what it says it is, a "traditional British pub ale". Although I think it has a bit more life to it because of it's pale ale roots. Still, it wasn't very memorable. C+.

Franconian Bock

ABV 7% (Bottled in Mill Street Seasonal Six pack)

From the Bottle

"Our uber-traditional strong lager beer is made exclusively from malt imported from Franconia in north Bavaria. These richly flavoured malts produce a warming caramel palate that when combined with German hops from the Hallertau produce a deeply decadent winter beer style that's born in the heart of Germany and brewed fresh here by Mill Street. Prost!"

Now you know

The Hallertau or Holledau is an area in Bavaria, Germany. At 178 km², it is listed as the largest continuous hop-planting area in the world. According to the International Hop Growing Convention, Germany produces roughly one third of the world's hops (used as flavoring and stabilizers during beer brewing), over 80% of which are grown in the Hallertau.

The Pour

Nice amber colour, no head. Well carbonated.


Sweet malt with the bite of heavier hops. I detected a bit of cinnamon under the malty sweetness which was a nice surprise.


Smooth, medium/full bodied, balanced mouth feel. It has some nice kick and a bit of warmth in the chest. It starts to develop rather nicely throughout the bottle, showing some roast and almost dessert like spicy flavours that really helped me taste the 'winter beer' styling.

Overall Impressions

A tasty lager with a nice warm bite. I'd call it a sup'd up version of the ESB on a scale of body and flavour and ABV. This is no where near the dark, spicy, warmth and complexity of the Garrison spiced holiday ale I had last week, but it is definitely a nice beer that's just different enough to keep your attention even if you may not find the "deeply decadent" layers promised. B-.

Overall Overall - These are two brews that show what Mill Street does best, make light flavoured beers that may not always be challenging, but always deliver on taste and drinkability. I'll never pass up trying a new Mill Street. These two are nice special additions to their seasonal winter six pack, and show what they can brew outside of their usual brands.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amsterdam Brewing Co. Releases Spring Seasonal Beer - ‘Spring Bock’

Toronto, ON

The Amsterdam Brewing Company, one of Toronto’s oldest independently owned and operated craft brewery, has released their spring seasonal beer Spring Bock. Amsterdam’s Spring Bock was the first seasonal offering by Amsterdam to be accepted in the LCBO in 2011 and is back again in LCBOs across Ontario for the 2012 spring beer release.

“We were really excited about the response to Spring Bock in 2011.” says media and marketing contact, Blake van Delft. “6,000 Liters sold out in only a couple of weeks, so we made sure to brew more this year. It’s a style that ages really well in the cellar too, so if you’re planning on picking up a couple of bottles, put one away for a few months (or a year if you can) to compare flavours.”

Originally brewed only in monasteries for consumption during Lent, bock beers are the richest, creamiest, and most full-bodied beers in the world. Because of their high food energy and nutritional content, bock beer provided sustenance to monks who were required to fast for over 40 days and nights. If there was one beer you could literally live off of, this would be it. Fermented with a house strain of Danish yeast and aged three times longer than other beers, Amsterdam Spring Bock is a seasonal brew you do not want to miss out on.

To celebrate the spring brewing season, Amsterdam is hosting an event called “Rock Out With Your Bock Out” at the brewery this Wednesday, February 22nd from 5:30-8:30pm that will feature Spring Bock samples and food from Grindhouse. All are welcome!

Amsterdam Spring Bock (7% ABV.) is available for sale in 500mL bottles from select LCBOs ($3.95, Product #208942), the Amsterdam Retail Store (21 Bathurst St., 416-504-6882) and on tap at fine bars and restaurants. Amsterdam brews its seasonal beers in small batches so Spring Bock will only be available while supplies last. For updates on quantities, please visit Amsterdam’s twitter page ( or facebook page ( where they will be posting updates on remaining volumes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) Announce Third Annual Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012

Toronto, ON

The third annual ‘Ontario Craft Beer Week’ launches on Father’s Day, running from June 17 – 23, 2012 throughout the province.
The annual week-long, beer-themed salute to Ontario’s small, independent brewers celebrates the burgeoning local craft beer scene, exposing consumers to the fun and fresh quality of Ontario’s homespun brews.

Hosted by 29 OCB member breweries, hundreds of beer-themed, grassroots events will be held throughout the province in breweries, pubs, restaurants, event venues and service clubs from Cambridge to Van Kleek Hill and Muskoka to Niagara.

The festival continues to grow in size and scope and promises plenty of unique beer-tasting opportunities. OCB is also pleased to announce that Amsterdam and Steam Whistle have joined the festivities this year.

“We’re aiming for the biggest and best Ontario Craft Beer Week yet,” says Anetta Jewell of Great Lakes Brewery and co-chair of Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012. “There’s no better way to kick off summer than with a province-wide beer festival that opens up a world of Ontario craft beer to consumers.”

Highlighted under a banner theme of “Your First Time”, this year’s festival will focus on newbies and naysayers, encouraging people to try new local beer flavours, styles and brands and report on their experiences using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.
Events will be listed on the Ontario Craft Beer Week website under the following themes:

1) Craft Beer & Dad
2) Craft Beer & BBQ
3) Craft Beer & Cheese
4) Craft Beer & Chocolate
5) Indie Beer & Indie Culture
6) Casks & One-offs
7) Meet the Makers
8) Brewery Collaborations
9) Craft Beer 101

“OCB breweries are working together to make this a great event and we have some amazing collaborative events and beers brewing already,” says Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and co-chair of Ontario Craft Beer Week 2012. “Our passionate brewers look forward to sharing the love of good beer (and food) with adventurous folks open to exploring new tastes and experiences.”

Events throughout the week include tasting opportunities at pubs and restaurants, craft beer 101 courses, beer and food/cheese/chocolate matching, meet the brewer, pub crawls, collaborative/competitive brewing, indie beer & music appreciation, and much more.

Many of the OCB members will kick off the week with Father’s Day celebrations at their breweries or on premise with local licensee partners. In Toronto, the week is bookended by such large scale gatherings as the Toronto Wine & Spirits Festival, Beach BBQ & Brews Festival at Woodbine Park and the week finishes up with SESSION 99, A Craft Beer Festival at 99 Sudbury.
Last year’s Ontario Craft Beer Week saw 23 breweries hold 120+ events in 25+ towns and cities across the province.

First round of event listings will be posted on May 1st, 2012 at or visit

Any interested parties with event ideas or requests should contact their local brewery or send an email to .

“We hope to attract visitors from outside of Ontario,” says Jewell. “With its rich brewing history and culture, Ontario is becoming an increasingly popular tourism destination for those interested in discovering craft beer, visiting local breweries and experiencing beer cuisine.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Medal Wins for King Brewery at World Beer Championships

Nobleton, ON

King Brewery's "Three Kings" Christmas Gift Box Wins Silver and Bronze Medals in the 2011 World Beer Championships Packaging Competition

King Brewery's "Three Kings" gift box won the silver medal in the Creativity category and bronze medal in the Form category in the 2011 World Beer Championships Packaging Competition.

"It's great to see that a smaller craft brewery can beat out larger commercial breweries in this highly competitive market" said Bryan Watts, King Brewery's Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. The Christmas seasonal sample package housed three of King’s signature lagers, the Pilsner, Vienna Lager and Dark Lager and included a matched King Beer glass.

Working closely with their packaging designer Walter Leipurts of WL Design Inc. the King marketing team designed a package that would stand out on retail shelves, clearly explaining the unique qualities of the product and provided the consumer with a souvenir lager drinking glass that brings out the best qualities of the product.

"Fans of our beer think the sample pack as a great way to share their favorite drink with friends. It gives consumers the ability to sample each of the award winning King Lagers and pick their favorite", said Watts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Organic Coffee + Beer Collaborations Return for 2012

Ottawa, ON

Beau’s Brewery releases two very different beers, brewed with Bridgehead Coffee

Beau’s All Natural Brewing is following up the popularity of 2011’s coffee beer, WinterBrewed, with two new coffee and beer blends for 2012. The beers will be released for sale Feb. 16, and launch celebrations in both Ottawa and Vankleek Hill will follow on Saturday the 18th.
WinterBrewed 2012 is an amber lager, brewed with Guatemalan organic fair trade coffee from Ottawa’s Bridgehead Coffee. The coffee flavours and aromas are accented and enhanced by a distinct New Zealand hop presence. The other beer + coffee offering is Collabrrrewator, a strong (8% abv) doppelbock beer brewed with a blend of 3 flavourful organic fair-trade coffees, creating a bold coffee taste and aroma.

As was the case last year, both beers are being released in conjunction with the final weekend of Winterlude celebrations in Ottawa. Bridgehead is hosting a launch event at their Sparks St. location (96 Sparks St.) on Saturday Feb. 18. From 8-10 pm, patrons can stop by and sample or purchase full glasses of both beers. The money from drinks purchased will go to support Shepherds of Good Hope (Shepherds of Good Hope has offered shelter and support services to Ottawa's homeless for the past 29 years). Live music and food round out the event, and Beau’s brewers and staff join Bridgehead folks to meet, greet and answer questions about their latest collaboration. Media and the public are invited to come by that night (perhaps after a skate on the canal) and enjoy a glass of coffee beer in the warm and cozy Bridgehead ambiance.

Visitors to the brewery Saturday Feb 18 will be treated to a Winter Patio Party to celebrate WinterBrewed and Collabrrrewator as well. An outdoor fire for roasting marshmallows and s’mores will be set up, and Beau’s is organizing a 3-on-3 hockey tournament to take place that day—the winning team will be outfitted in Beau’s jerseys. Interested participants can call Dave Barton at the brewery for more information. Pascale Berthiaume of Pascale’s Ice Cream will be on hand stirring up hot chocolate made with Beau’s beer, and of course Bridgehead coffee will be available. Outdoor bar service will be available for the day, with a special cask of Collabrrrewator tapped at noon.

Presales of WinterBrewed and Collabrrrewator have already begun online at The beer will be sold direct from the brewery or online only, in 600 ml bottles for $7.85 (WinterBrewed) and $9.85 (Collabrrewator) incl. tax and deposit.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brewery Vivant Becomes First LEED Certified Commercial Brewery in the United States

Grand Rapids, MI

Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids to commemorate the event at the plaque dedication ceremony.

Brewery Vivant was awarded LEED Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation for their sustainably designed microbrewery and pub located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The environmentally conscious business becomes the first commercial brewery to achieve such designation which is governed by the Washington DC Based USGBC (United States Green Building Council).

Brewery Vivant owned by husband wife team Jason & Kris Spaulding, opened its bustling neighborhood pub and microbrewery just over a year ago in a historic funeral home built near the turn of the 20th century. Despite the challenges and extensive renovations needed to convert the existing building into the manufacturing and public site, the company feels great about its location.

“This project proved to be a real challenge as not only did we need to retrofit an existing building to LEED standards, but we also had to conform to Historic Preservation standards” comments Keith Winn, President of Catalyst Partners whose company managed the LEED portion of the project. Winn adds “Despite the challenge, we loved working on this project as it ended up having such a positive impact on the neighborhood. The owners made a big commitment to repurpose a building that was a vacant eyesore and transformed it into a vibrant community-gathering place.” According to a recent study by the National Trust for Historic Buildings retrofitting an existing building to make it at least 30 percent more efficient is almost always a better bet for the environment than constructing a new building.

The brewery, which specializes in Belgian and French inspired beers, has incorporated many sustainable practices into their day-to-day operations. Their company goals are not just financially motivated. “Being a sustainable company means being concerned about more than just the bottom line. When we make decisions we weigh the impacts on our community as well as the environment.” says Kris Spaulding, Sustainability Director and Co-Owner of Brewery Vivant. The company offsets 100% of their energy usage through purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits). Kris adds “While the brewery does not have a turbine on the roof, we purchased RECs from Renewable Choice Energy so that all the energy the we use each year is replaced by energy produced renewably on a wind farm.”

The company distributes its beer throughout the State of Michigan and plans to enter the Chicago market this summer. However, don’t look for bottles of beer sitting on shelves, the brewery only ships its beer in aluminum cans. “After researching the full environmental impact of canning vs bottling it was an easy decision once the data was in front of us. Not only are the cans better for the environment but our beer will actually taste better out of a can as the beer is better protected from the negative effects of sunlight and oxygen.” comments Jason Spaulding Brewery Vivant President. “People also love to take our beer where bottles can’t go like camping, boating and golfing. Until recently there were almost no craft beer options.”

The LEED plaque will be dedicated by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell at a ceremony taking place at the Brewery Vivant Pub on Feb 16 at 5:30PM. The company will debut its East Hills Organic Ale made with organic grains and 100% Michigan grown organic hops. A portion of proceeds sold this day go to benefit FRESH. Field Research in Earth Science Happenings is a summer program designed to help middle school students in the Grand Rapids Public School System gain a firm background in science and help them become comfortable in nature.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Garrison Brewing - Winter Warmer Seasonal Ale

ABV 6.5% (Bottled)

From the Bottle

"Specially brewed with cloves, cinnamon & demerara suger, this festive strong ale will have you dreaming of snowy days and winter nights. Cheers!"

The History

"Garrison introduced the craft beer movement to Nova Scotians and visitors alike. Today Garrison brews a variety of full flavored, all natural, preservative free ales. Each glass represents a tribute to the art of hand-crafting ales with the finest natural ingredients." They have a very nice homepage at

Now you know

"Demerara (Dutch: Demerary) was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara River, and its main town was Georgetown. Demerara sugar is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara." Wikipedia

The Pour

Pours ale brown/amber and reveals some richer red up against a light. One finger off-white head that is gone quickly. It sits very clear and still with very little carbonation in the glass. A very English looking ale.


You can really smell the spice of the cloves and the sweetness of the sugar and malts. Almost sweet like cherry jello. I unfortunately didn't get the cinnamon but it could be mixed in with the generally spiciness.


Smooth light bodied mouth-feel with mild unobtrusive carbonation. Just enough to give it some life. Flows over the tongue almost like a light beer it's so smooth. I think this may be my first session winter warmer! Little to no aftertaste, it's gone as soon as it passes over your tongue which makes it very drinkable, if not as complex as some other warmers. It does lose a bit of it's warming character because of the lower alcohol level, which is a shame. However, I am getting a subtle burn/heat in my mouth as I work my way through the bottle, I think this could be a mix of the cloves and cinnamon, it's reminiscent of the heat of ginger, which is quite a pleasant development.

Overall Impressions

Very little heat, very British in style. A bit of a nice change from really strong winter beers that hit you over the head. Although it is not very complex, it leaves your palete open to appreciate the spices that make it a 'warmer'. And since it doesn't have the usual heat due to the low ABV, I think Garrison has struck a very nice balance here between spice and alcohol. A session-able winter warmer is a new experience for me. Charming in it's simplicity. I would rate this ale a B+. If they had this at the pub on tap (or in the bottle), I would definitely be excited on a cold night. I'm really looking forward to cracking my Spruce Beer and their Black IPA in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

International Brewers’ Beer “Experiment” Revealed this Week

Ottawa, ON

Beau’s Brewery Collaborates with British Master Brewer Alex Barlow to Create “MATES… with Dates”

An experimental fruit beer brewed with dates is the latest release in the Friendship Series from Beau’s All Natural Brewery. Called MATES... with Dates, it is a collaborative beer co-designed and brewed by Beau’s head brewer Matthew O’Hara together with British master brewer Alex Barlow. The beer will be available for sale beginning at 10 am, Thursday February 9.

The unique creation went into the tanks when Barlow visited Canada as a guest speaker for Beau’s Oktoberfest event last fall, and has been aging ever since. Loosely based on a British brown ale, MATES was fermented a second time with Trappist ale yeast. Thirty kilos of organic dates made their way into the brew, and the creation has now aged several months. The result is a strong fruit beer (7.7%) that does not conform to any particular recognized style — although dried fruit and spice notes are dominant. The beer is fruity without any overwhelming sweetness, and finishes pleasantly dry.

“The Friendship Series was inspired by all the great and innovative brewing going on around the world,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “In the last few years I’ve had the chance to meet some truly talented brewers (like Alex Barlow), and when that happens we usually get talking about creating beers. Actual hands-on collaborating is always fun, and you end up sharing knowledge and experience at the same time.”

Barlow and Beau’s head brewer Matthew O’Hara will be attending launch events to introduce MATES… with Dates to the world, beginning with a “meet the brewers” event at the Clocktower Brew Pub in Ottawa Wednesday Feb. 9. The following evening Barlow and O’Hara will host a 4-course beer dinner at the Blueberry Hill Bistro in Vankleek Hill, each course paired with a different Beau’s beer. The brewers’ tour concludes in Toronto at Wvrst (609 King St. W), where Mates with Dates will be available on tap. Details of these events are available on the Beau’s All Natural Facebook page.

Presales of MATES… with Dates have already begun online at A very limited release, the beer will be sold direct from the brewery or online for home delivery in Ottawa only, in 600 ml bottles for $16 incl. tax and deposit.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beer For Boobs: An event in Support of Breast Cancer Research

9 Female brewers collaborate to produce one off beers for charity

A group of passionate female brewers from Toronto have come together to produce a
series of one-off beers for “Beer For Boobs”, an event at Barvolo on March 25th with the
proceeds benefiting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. During the hours of 2pm-8pm on
that day, every beer on tap at Bar Volo will have been brewed by a female member of Toronto’s
brewing industry. The Granite Brewpub, Amsterdam Brewery, Black Oak Brewery, Cheshire
Valley, and Bar Volo’s House Ales have all generously donated their time, ingredients and pilot
systems to collaborate on a special one-off beer to be served only at this event. Furthermore
the 9 females, representing Mill St, Black Oak, Steam Whistle, Amsterdam, Burger Bar, and the
Granite, have all come together to collaborate on one special beer to be featured at the event.
Truly a one of a kind event, and one of a kind beers, as nothing like this has ever been done in
the Canadian beer scene before.

Other local breweries, as well as businesses, who do not have access to or own a pilot
system, but still believe in this great cause have donated prizes to be raffled off. This is a
ticketed event, and is $20 dollars at the door. All of the cost of the door, as well as the cost of
the kegs and the raffle prizes is being donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The
event will be catered by Alli’s Fresh Baked.

The Beer For Boobs Name is being used in affiliation with, and under permission from, a non-profit group of the same name based out of San Diego, California. This is inaugural event of
what will become a series of events known as “Beer for Boobs T.O.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Short's Brewery - Mystery Stout

10 % ABV
"An Imperial Oatmeal Stout brewed with cocoa and molasses. A slight bitterness from the cocoa is noticeable, but yields to the overall sweet profile of this beer. Allow it to warm, and the full spectrum of flavor is revealed. The mystery is how we managed to pack so many flavors into one beer!"
This stout pours midnight black with a one finger off white head. Some lacing is left behind.
The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt and coffee. There is also some hints of dark chocolate.
This stout is quite a mouthful. It is very strong with coffee and dark bitter chocolate up front. It is fairly sweet with molasses and caramel notes. It has a full body with a creamy mouth feel, very nice!
My overall impression is excellent! This is a fantastic imperial stout. It is heavy on the roasted malts and dark chocolate. With the mouth feel having some help from the oatmeal, this is one nice stout. So far I have had great luck with Short's Brewery. I will continue to try their vast offerings when possible. I would rate this a 9 out of 10.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Avery Brewing Celebrates a Month of Love Not Litigation

Collaboration not Litigation

The bottles have been capped, and the Tap Room has it tapped! February marks their annual ode to one of craft beer's finest virtues - the spirit of collaboration. After Vinnie Calurzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery struck up a friendship, they realized that their love for brewing fine craft beers was not the only thing they had in common... they also both made a beer named "Salvation"! Rather than calling the lawyers to duke it out, they decided instead to keep selling their Salvations AND blend the two into this very special Belgian ale. The unified result is a showcase of spicy pepper phenols and dark fruity esters.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Propeller Brewing Company is Looking for Hopheads!

Halifax, NS

Hopheads Wanted

The first One Hit Wonder Limited Release for 2012 is Propeller 2xIPA (Double India Pale Ale) and will be available February 1st at the Propeller Shop in Growlers only.

2xIPA is a full bodied, unfiltered Double IPA that is brewed with ample amounts of premium Pacific Northwest Cascade hops and is paired with a rich blend of 2-row Pale and Crystal malts. Following fermentation it has been heavily dry hopped with Centennial hops giving this bold brew a big west coast nose. 2xIPA delivers a huge amount of piney, floral, and citrusy hop aroma and flavor from start to finish that is moderately tempered by a sweet malt backbone. If you are a "hophead", this one's for you; big, chewy, resiny and fragrant. At 8.3% alcohol by volume and 85 IBUs, Propeller 2xIPA is not for everyone… It is a TRUE hop bomb, for TRUE hopheads!

About the One Hit Wonder Limited Release Series: On the first of each month beginning February Propeller Brewing Company will release a unique one off brew. One Hit Wonder’s are only available in the popular Growler format at the Propeller retail store known locally as “The Prop Shop”, 2015 Gottingen St. Halifax Nova Scotia. The brewery will continue this limited release series until the busy summer season begins.

2011 releases in the One Hit Wonder series included Propeller Zwicklebier (an unfiltered lager), Propeller DIPA (India Pale Ale), Propeller Bock and Propeller Maritime Mild Ale (English Mild Ale).


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More