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Brewery and Pub Visits

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

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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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Brewery Vivant Named to Best & Brightest Sustainable List, Announces Major Expansion and Plans for Distribution to Chicago.

Grand Rapids, MI

Brewery Vivant, coming fresh off from receiving their honors for Silver LEED certification, has been named to the 101 Best and Brightest list for sustainable companies. Within the same day, the company also announced that they will be expanding their brewing operations to nearly double capacity.

The Best and Brightest awards these accolades to sustainable companies that “inspire and produce green technology to impact the industry and environment. This is the premier awards symposium that celebrates those companies that are making their businesses more sustainable, the lives of their employees better, and the community, locally and globally, more responsible as a whole.” Vivant holds their place among other top Michigan companies such as Herman Miller, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, and Cascade Engineering. “From the day we decided to open Vivant, sustainability has been one of the core values driving our decisions. Receiving this award in our first year confirms that we are on the right path towards making a positive impact on our community and our earth.”, commented Kris Spaulding, owner and sustainability director.

This recognition also comes amongst the news that the company has made public their plans to greatly expand their brewing production area. The $300,000 equipment addition, all at their current location, will enable them to nearly double brewing production to 5000 barrels a year, or 155,000 gallons of beer. Owner Jason Spaulding had this to say about the addition and the start of out-of-state distribution to Chicago later this summer, “ We set out to be a neighborhood brewery and that’s what we want to stick with. By limiting our distribution area, it helps attract more people into Michigan and Grand Rapids.”

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dead Frog Brewery - French Oaked Stiff Stout

6.5% ABV
26 IBU's

"A full flavoured, complex stout combining roasted barley and chocolate malts aged on toasted french oak chips to create a rich, textured beer with a finish so stiff you'll never forget it!"

Tech Specs and Random Info

Ingredients: Water, malt, hops, yeast, french oak chips removed during fermentation

Malts: Canadian 2 Row Pale Malt, Flaked Barley, Roast Barley

Hops: Willamette

First batch: February 2012

The Pour

Gloriously dark in colour. A generous one and a half fingers of mocha head form at the top. This looks elegantly rich and velvety smooth.


Wonderful hints of coffee, espresso and subtle amounts of chocolate. Extremely roasty. The aromas of toffee and slightly burnt caramel come through. Very nice indeed.


Very coffee forward. The roasted barley and chocolate malts are definitely the stars of this beer. As each sip finishes, it mellows and the velvety toffee notes come through. Hints of vanilla are imparted by the oak to round out this melange of flavours. There is a nice gentle carbonation that keeps with the silky mouthfeel.

Overall Impressions

Surprisingly big on flavour, when this is a little lighter in ABV than an Imperial Stout would be. The gentle carbonation makes it an especially nice treat on a cold spring night. The "Brewmaster Series" does not disappoint. This would be wonderful on tap poured and pushed through a creaming plate on nitro. A boy can dream...Definitely an "A".

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beer Mail from Cameron's Brewing

Not to be left on the sidelines of craft brewing, Cameron's gets into the ring with a gorgeous looking 750mL bottle of unfiltered strong ale, barrel aged in American Whiskey barrels.

This release is part of their "Oak Aged Series".

This beer has promise! I am looking forward to enjoying this with some friends.

Winner at the 2011 “Canadian Brewing Awards” Silver for “Wood and Barrel Aged Beer”.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bell's Brewery - Hopslam (2012)

10% ABV

"Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style."

The Pour

A gorgeous fiery golden orange. Generous fluffy peaks of white head crown it regally. This is exactly how an Imperial India Pale Ale should look.


There is no mistaking Hopslam as soon as the bottle cap is removed. The waft of delicious tropical fruit scents smacks you in the face. Grapefruit, mango, pineapple. Rich, lust and spectacular!


In a word, incredible! The malt sweetness balances the bitterness one would expect from the huge grapefruit note. Continued complexity is found in the punch of other tropical fruits. At 10% ABV one would expect this to knock you off your feet, but while there is some alcohol burn, it is not as forward as the ABV would have you expect.

Over Impression

Well this is indeed the famous "Hopslam", and for reason. It is just a remarkable beer that is complex yet balanced. Sweet with just the right amount of bitter. It is released every year in the winter, making you long for warm Spring and Summer days. Drinking this as soon as you can is best. Aging would only make it loose the hop profile it is famous for. When this is fresh, it is heavenly. After a few months, this is still a delicious nectar, but it does start to loose some of the punch. A definite "A+". Looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Beer Mail from Dead Frog Brewery

Another good week in the world of Beer Mail. Dead Frog Brewery sent some samples of their French Oaked Stiff Stout from their Brewmaster Series.

This is something I am very much looking forward to. Expect a review within the next week.

Dead Frog Brewery was just featured on the CBC's The Big Decision. You can watch the episode featuring them by clicking here.

Congrats to the team at Dead Frog Brewery! Hopefully they will now be able to expand across the country and well into Ontario.

Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Lakes Brewery - Orange Peel Ale

Orange Peel Ale
ABV 5.3% (Bottled - 650ml)

The Brewery

Founded in 1987, Great Lakes Brewery is Toronto’s oldest craft brewery.

From the Bottle

"Our seasonal ale is now available for a limited time. Brewed with a generous amount of hops, a touch of honey, and heaps of fresh oranges. This golden ale boasts a zesty, fruity and refreshing taste. Perfectly balanced to compliment grilled chicken, seafood and salads."

From the Website

"Handcrafted with five specialty malts and five varieties of hops, along with just a touch of honey, we added heaps of fresh oranges and peels into the boil. A little different, you say? We sure hope so."

The Pour

Pours frothy like a wheat beer (you'll be hearing a lot of wheat comparisons), and cascades nicely throughout the glass. I got a 3 finger head, probably my fault, that stayed almost for the duration. It was nice and fluffy though. Colour is light amber, and it might be my imagination but I detected a definite orange like tint along the lines of an orange popsicle. There is some nice persistent carbonation that looks refreshing.


The nose is fresh with mild orange flesh notes, as well as some bitter peel aromas. The sweetness and citrus notes develop a bit throughout the glass, but they weren't as strong as I had hoped.


Lots of carbonation, medium bodied and fills your mouth with a cool pillow of froth. It is quite refreshing but I found myself waiting for some bite or taste on the back end that never came. It had more zest than taste. It would be a good accompaniment as suggested on the bottle, for lighter fare. You get a small amount of the bitterness of the peel, and I can't help thinking with a bit of cinnamon, this might make a neat winter warmer. I'm not sure this ale does justice to 5 malts and 5 hops, as I really couldn't taste them. The hops was evident in the citrus, but that could have been the oranges.

Overall Impressions

Just nice. The closet thing I could compare this ale to is a wheat beer of the Hoegaarden variety. Or a Keith's/Rickards White with a slice of orange in it. For all the malt and hops and orange peel and honey, there really wasn't much to it. It is a refreshing brew to be sure, well suited to the spring and summer months, but the complexity of taste and zest promised wasn't there. If I'm going to have a seasonal with oranges or some other additive, that component should be evident or well balanced with some bite or flavour, but here it was mostly absent. Otherwise I could just put an orange slice in a Grasshopper and be more satisfied. Overall this beer is nice, but it just doesn't follow through. So I'm giving it a C as I wouldn't recommend it over anything similar on a regular tap at the pub.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beau’s Brewery Takes Over Toronto’s BarVolo March 29

Ottawa, ON

27 different Beau’s beers available; BarVolo to be totally transformed into “Beaulo” for one night only

BarVolo, the well-known beer bar on Yonge St. in Toronto, will be surrendering to a total takeover by Beau’s All Natural Brewing on Thursday March 29. The Eastern Ontario microbrewery will be transforming the bar into “Beaulo” for one night only, featuring Beau’s beer flowing from 13 taps, 7 casks, and 7 different bottles, and a Beau’s-inspired revamp of the BarVolo décor.

Featured in the beer selection will be the Ryes Above Porter YOW/WTZ (Rye Porter), a collaboration between Beau’s master brewer Matthew O’Hara, and BarVolo’s own House Ales, which was brewed onsite. Four one-off casks were brewed just for the takeover: an agave pale ale aged with tequila-soaked wood chips, a peanut butter stout, a Belgian quad, and a SMASH (single malt + single hop) brew. A sour version of Ryes Above will also be available for the adventurous beer palate.

The beer selection is rounded out with Beau’s flagship beer LugTread and 3 of their 4 seasonals, as well as rare bottles of previous Wild Oats releases no longer for sale to the public. A complete list of the beers for the evening is available online at (click on “Events”), and is included below. Beau’s award-winning creative director Jordan Bamforth will complement the vast selection of beer by staging a total transformation of the BarVolo look for the night, replacing artwork and décor with Beau’s art and design.

“Beaulo” takes place Thursday March 29, from 7-10 pm at 587 Yonge St in Toronto. Food will be available, and the bar will be cash only. Admission is free (19+) but space is limited, so the thirsty and the curious are advised to show up early.

On Tap

1. Lug•Tread - Lagered Ale (Flagship Beer)
2. NightMärzen - Oktoberfest Lager (Fall Seasonal)
3. Bog•Water - Gruit Ale (Winter Seasonal)
4. Beaver•River - I.P.Eh? (Spring Seasonal)
5. Smokin' Banana Peel - Smoked Hefeweizen (Wild Oats #11)
6. Weiss O' Lantern - Pumpkin-weiss (Wild Oats #13)
7. Mr Hyde - RyePA + Roggenbier (Wild Oats #14)
8. Dr. Jekyll - Nightmarzen + Lugtread Blend
9. Treading•Water - Bogwater + Lugtread Blend
10. Barrel Aged Dunkel Buck (Greener Futures Release)
11. Ryes Above - Rye Porter (House Ales + Beau's collaboration)
12. May Contain Traces of My Nuts - Peanut Butter Stout (exclusive
#beaulo one-off)
13. Strong Patrick - Irish Red Ale w/ Barrel Aged Blend (Wild Oats #18)


1. Barrel Aged Dunkel Buck (Greener Futures Release)
2. Mates with Dates - Experimental Fruit Beer Collaboration (Wild Oats #16)
3. Winterbrewed - Coffee-Amber (Wild Oats #9)
4. Collabrrrewator - Coffee-Dopplebock (Wild Oats #17)
5. Dunkel Buck - Dunkel Weizenbock (Wild Oats #10)
6. Hogan's Goat - Spiced Bock (Wild Oats #15)
7. Screaming Beaver - DIPA (Wild Oats #3)


1. Beaver River - I.P.Eh? (Spring Seasonal)
2. Ryes Above - Rye Porter (House Ales + Beau's collaboration)
3. Ryes Above (w/Brett) - Rye Porter w/Brett (House Ales + Beau's collaboration)
4. Doublewide - DIPA (Pro-Am Collaboration #3)
5. "Doble de Acción" - Agave Pale Ale - Aged with Tequila Soaked Oak
Chips (exclusive #beaulo one-off)
6. Good Night Nurse - Belgian Quad (exclusive #beaulo one-off)
7. Super Smash Beau's - Single Malt + Single Hop Brew (exclusive #beauo one-off)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring is for Hopheads

Halifax, NS

Propeller Brewing Company, Nova Scotia’s largest independently owned and operated brewery, is adding a spring beer to their seasonal rotation. The brewery has announced the release of Propeller Double IPA.

Propeller Double IPA is a full bodied, American style Double India Pale Ale that is brewed with premium Pacific Northwest hops and a rich blend of 2-row Pale and Crystal malts. Following fermentation it has been heavily dry hopped (a process that enhances the aroma without imparting bitterness in beer) giving this bold brew its big west coast nose. Double IPA delivers a huge amount of piney, floral, and citrusy hop aroma and flavour from start to finish that is balanced by sweet malt flavours. At 8.2% alcohol by volume and 85 IBUs, Propeller Double IPA is not for everyone… It is a TRUE hop bomb, for TRUE hopheads.

This brew is based on Propeller’s most popular One Hit Wonder limited release to date, 2xIPA. Propeller has tweaked this recipe from the original version “It was great to brew what was essentially a test batch.” Says Bobby Zacharias (Brewmaster at Propeller Brewing Company) “It gave us a chance to really get to know the beer and to listen to what our customers thought of it before releasing the final version”. John Allen (President of Propeller Brewing Company) explains “This is exactly what the One Hit Wonder Limited Release Series is all about – having fun, experimenting with styles, and finding something truly spectacular”.

Propeller Double IPA will be available March 22nd at the Propeller Shop and soon after at select NSLC Locations and private retailers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Beer Mail from McClelland Premium Imports

Another delivery from our friends at McClelland Premium Imports. This time they dropped off a Belgian Amber Ale - Palm.

Hailed as "the sociable beer for every day, for everyone", I am looking forward to this.

The Beer Geeks are each going to release independent reviews in the next week or two.

Look for several different takes on this treat.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lagunitas - Hop Stoopid

8% ABV
102 IBU's

"For those mornings when you have to cut right to the chase, this is the one. Sure to blast through just about anything still lingering from the night before, this mouthful of Hops and huge rich Malt has a gaurantee built right into the name!"

The Pour

Poured from a 22 once bomber, this beer looks fantastic. Golden sunrise in colour. About two fingers of fluffy white peaks form the head. Looks exactly like what you would expect from an Imperial IPA


Lots of tropical fruits present. Mango, grapefruit, tangerine and plenty of pineapple. There is some hints of pine and earthiness as well. Very pleasant.


Huge flavours of piney earthiness. Nicely bitter but not overly. Not as much on the tropical fruit flavours as I was expecting. The nose hints to those sweet flavours more than what taste profile contributes. This beer delivers some very big flavours that are well blended.

Overall Impression

This is a perfect example of the quality of beer coming from the west coast. Huge flavours delivered in a balanced way. They even packed a nice surprise with the depth of this complex IPA. While more bitter than the nose would have you believe, this was by no means a disappointment. Just an outstanding IPA. A very solid A.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dead Frog Brewery Takes Big Leap For Craft Beer On CBC’s The Big Decision

Vancouver, BC

Dead Frog Brewery will have the opportunity of a lifetime next week on CBC’s The Big Decision. From the producer of Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision is a new reality show featuring companies looking for an influx of cash from Canadian Business leaders. Dead Frog Brewery endured in-depth scrutiny for the chance to have Boston Pizza entrepreneurial icon Jim Treliving invest in the company.

“My team and I have been living, eating, and breathing Dead Frog for a very long time,” says Dead Frog Founder and CEO Derrick Smith. “We’ve got an innovative brand and brews that are premium quality but we struggle to find the resources to compete with the big boys.“

Craft beer has been steadily increasing in popularity in Canada but many craft breweries strive to generate the adequate awareness and funds necessary to grow substantially. If Jim decides to invest in Dead Frog it could not only mean big things for the brewery but also for craft beer as a whole.

“Jim Treliving’s experience and resources could be the key to generating national exposure for Dead Frog and craft beer,” says Smith. “I truly believe that exposure will fuel the growth of craft beer and take it to new heights. There is lots of room for great beer in the market and people deserve to have the opportunity to make an educated choice.”

Dead Frog Brewery is an award winning craft brewery located in Aldergrove BC and is currently available in Canada from BC to Ontario. Jim Treliving can be seen on CBC on Dragons’ Den and The Big Decision. The Big Decision airs on Monday on CBC at 9:00pm. The episode featuring Dead Frog Brewery will air March 26.

Monday, March 19, 2012

McAuslan's Celebrating Spring in Style

Montreal, QC

Thanks to some wonderful spring weather, those luck enough to be in Montreal will have a chance to get an early visit to the Terrace at St. Ambroise this year.

They will be opening the patio Wednesday March 21, 2012 to celebrate the first day of spring!

Don't miss your chance to sit outside and enjoy some delicious beer and BBQ.

“Patio Saison” Beer Arrives in April: Stay Tuned for Details

Ottawa, ON

Snappy new beer from Beau’s All Natural will Spring Up on 30 Patios across Ontario on the first day in April forecast to be +18 degrees C and Sunny

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is turning the decision-making over to Mother Nature when it comes to the release date of a new Wild Oats release. The beer, called “Patio Saison” will spring up on licensed patios in Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Toronto on the first day in each region after April 1 forecast to be at least 18 degrees C and sunny. With the warm weather Ontario has already received so far in March, patrons can expect to ring in Patio Saison pretty early in April.

“We wanted to celebrate the return of patio weather with something unique this year, and thought it would be fun to launch a beer in different cities and multiple patios, based on the local weather forecast,” says brewery co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “Being able to sit in the sunshine and sip a beer with friends after being cooped up indoors all winter is worth a bit of hoop-la, we thought,” adds Beauchesne.

The saison style beer has its origins in the Wallonia region of Belgium. Traditionally this beer was brewed to slake the thirst of farmhands during harvest time, so it makes a perfect companion to the warmer weather. At 5.9% abv, the crisp and refreshing ale displays peppery notes in harmony with citrus zest, intriguing floral aromas and a pleasant clove flavour. It has a snappy taste and a dry finish.

Patio Saison will not be sold through the brewery or online, but instead served by the glass on the following 30 patios across Ontario, sometime in April, based on local weather forecast for +18 and sunny:

TORONTO: The Rhino, Cloak and Dagger, Bar Volo, Victory Café, La Societe, Bryden’s, Grapefruit Moon, Smokeless Joes, Burger Bar, Rebel House, The Local, Bellevue Café, Ceili Cottage, The Only Café, House on Parliament, The Brain, Stout Irish Pub

OTTAWA: Heart and Crown Preston, Heart and Crown Byward, Lieutenant’s Pump, Arrow and Loon, Irene’s, Whispers

EASTERN ONTARIO: Barley Mow (Almonte), Beau’s Brewery & Windsor Tavern (Vankleek Hill), Cheshire Cat (Carp), Schnitzels (Cornwall)

CENTRAL ONTARIO: Elements (Peterborough), Trattorio Gusto (Port Hope), Kingston Brewing Co. (Kingston)

Those who are curious to know when Patio Season will launch on a nearbt patio this April can watch the Beau’s website (, which will be tracking and updating local weather forecasts to predict when Patio Saison will be announced in each region, and a formal announcement will be made the day of.

Friday, March 16, 2012

6 New Stouts from Granite Brewery to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Toronto, ON

The Granite Brewery (Toronto location) will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by presenting the "Black Gold Stout Series" featuring six different flavoured stouts.

On Saturday, casks of Chocolate Orange Stout and Vanilla Stout will be tapped in the tied house restaurant, as well as on keg, Chocolate Stout, Coffee Stout, Chocolate Chili Stout and Maple Stout.

All of these were based on the same batch of Granite’s Keefe’s Irish Stout with flavouring added after the primary fermentation.

Don't miss your chance to enjoy these and the regular Granite beer line-up as well as live music and Irish food specials this Saturday.

For more information on their St. Patrick's Day events, click here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Visit to Six Pints in Toronto

Toronto, ON

Obviously there has been a lot of talk about what exactly is the Six Pints project, what can be expected from the Toronto location, how is Molson's involved, what are the contributions from Granville Island and Creemore Springs and what good can come out of this experiment.

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited for a tour and chat with
Aaron Bilyea, Director, National Marketing and Specialty Sales, Todd Fowler, Trade Brewer and Stephen Rich, Assistant Brewer (and of fame). I talked to them about the concept, what people can expect from the location and get a feel for the experience and vision that they hope their "Beer Academy" will be.

Located at 75 Victoria Street in downtown
Toronto (formerly Duggan's Brew Pub), they have done some extensive renovations while allowing the buildings character to shine. With a mix of rustic and modern finishes, they have managed to straddle a space between warm and inviting while staying clean and crisp. From the bar front in rough pine with metal accents to a recycled crushed beer bottle bar top polished to perfection. You will not see a golden "M" or the parent company branding anywhere. Warm and
inviting is what you get here.

From custom draught taps, specially shaped glassware to enhance each style of beer, to a glass washer that uses extreme high temperature sanitation in order to avoid any chemicals that could affect the taste of the beer, the team has been busy ensuring that can be a destination to expand one's knowledge and appreciation about all things beer. Right down to a couple of special Russian supplied growler filling station that purge the sanitized vessle with CO2 prior to the cascade filling with beer to take with you, everything is well thought.

Even behind the scenes, the have kept this attention to detail. With attention to the small details, even the draught fridge is meticulously organized and tidy. In trying to keep the original brewing equipment, they have extensively tuned up every vessel. New pressure valves, thermometers, triclaps et al, this team has been extremely busy.

As with the artisanal physical brewing space, the mission and vision seems to be inline with the craft beer philosophy. Brewers Todd Fowler and Stephen Rich have been given autonomy in crafting recipes, sourcing ingredients and creating the beers that with be served and sold here. Not being under the pressure or control of the parent company with allow them the freedom to create and explore the styles and flavours that excite them both.

This rejuvenated space will be a great resource for beer lovers to see what goes in to making beer, a spot to read about beer and brewing, a place for licencee training as well as both private and corporate events. It even sports a kitchen to cater to beer pairing dinners and a place to explore recipes that include beer.

If everything lives up to the vision, this could be an amazing place for beer and beer lovers. It's success will have a huge impact on Molson's and how they react to the direction beer has been taking over the last decade or more. Smaller batches, different and bold flavours, getting back to the craft and art in beer making rather than the perfectly executed science and marketing experiment it has become for the macros.

This beer lover would like to believe that only good can come out of this. So before you write it off as the macros trying to ruin craft beer, remember that there are some seriously passionate and knowledgeable beer geeks involved in creating this space, vision and the beer that will eventually be flowing at 75 Victoria Street in Toronto. I am optimistic about the possibilities.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Beer Mail from Steam Whistle!

Well, it would seem, not to be out done by themselves, the folks at Steam Whistle dropped off another package for us at Beer Geeks. Some T-shirts, openers, whistles and other swag were not out done by the cans of beer and a 1 litre glass boot!

Looking forward to sharing the swag and enjoying the beer!

Thanks again Steam Whistle!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Great Lakes Brewery Looking to Spring

Toronto, ON

In gearing up for Spring, Great Lakes is poised to release it's "Orange Peel Ale".

"The brewery has been smelling like the tropics lately with all of the fresh oranges being boiled and zested into our Orange Peel Ale. The tanks are full and bottles and kegs will be rolling out this week. Keep your eyes peeled for bottles on LCBO shelves and draft at your local restaurant or pub."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dead Frog Set for a Second Batch of "French Oaked Stiff Stout"

Aldergrove, BC

With what looks like another great addition to their successful "BrewMasters Series", Dead Frog Brewery is set to release a second batch of their "French Oaked Stiff Stout".

This looks like it will be something worth trying to grad for sure! Don't waste any time trying to get your hands on this one.

"We’re trying something new here at Dead Frog. Instead of sending out an exciting press release with random quotes from our CEO we figured we’d send you the straight facts on our product releases with some added tech info. Let us know what you think of the new format!

Dead Frog's newest Beermaster Series Brew the French Oaked Stiff Stout is now available across BC and Alberta! The Stiff Stout is a limited edition 650ml single bottle and is available until mid-April while quantities last. The French Oaked Stiff Stout is Dead Frog’s first stout and we can’t wait to see what the craft beer community thinks of it.

Dead Frog French Oaked Stiff Stout beer description:

A full flavoured, smooth stout combining roasted barley and chocolate malts aged on toasted french oak to create a rich, textured beer with a finish so stiff you’ll never forget it!
Dead Frog French Oaked Stiff Stout tech specs:

· Malts: Chocolate, roast barley, black, 2 row, pale

· Hops: Willamette

· Produced in 30HL batches

· Flavoured with French Oak chips

· 26 IBUs

· 6.5% alc

The first batch has already sold out here at the brewery and is currently available at Liquor Stores across BC and Alberta. The second batch is currently being bottled and will start shipping next week. The second batch is being made with the same specs as the first."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Garrison Brewing - Spruce Beer

7.5% ABV

"North America’s oldest beer style brewed with local Spruce & Fir tips, blackstrap molasses and dates. Dark amber and brown colouring. Aroma is a comforting mix of spruce boughs, caramel malts, molasses and dates. Complex and full-bodied, it balances the crisp bitterness of spruce and fir gum with the warming flavours of molasses and bittersweet chocolate."


This ale pours a deep copper colour almost "root beer". Has a fluffy off-white one finger head. Head retention is not long leaving a thin ring around the glass.


The aroma is sweet with caramel and dark malts. There are hints of banana,vanilla and yes spruce!


The taste is very sweet and medicinal. Lots of caramel and a pretty sharp pine/spruce taste that soon takes over the palate. The hop profile is hard to pick-up due to the pine/spruce attack. It has a medium mouth feel and full flavoured.


My overall impression is OK. The label says it all, it is definitely a "Spruce beer". Unfortunately it over powers some of the malt, banana flavours trying to get out. It would like to try this on cask if given the chance. I would rate this a 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beau’s Irish Red Ale “Strong Patrick” Released Thursday

Ottawa, ON

Bus trip package from Ottawa to Strong Patrick launch event in Vankleek Hill Saturday March 10 features steak dinner and show featuring The HILOTRONS

A round trip bus tour for craft beer and music fans is running from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill this Saturday, March 10, for those who want to try a new beer from Beau’s All Natural and enjoy a show by Ottawa band The HILOTRONS as a warm-up celebration for St. Patrick’s Day. The tour is to celebrate the release of Strong Patrick, a new St.-Patrick’s-Day-themed Irish Red Ale that will be available for sale beginning this coming Thursday (March 8). The bus package includes return transportation from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill, admission to The HILOTRONS show at the Windsor Tavern in Vankleek Hill, a steak dinner, a Beau’s brewery tour, and a glass of beer (keep the glass), all for $35.

The new beer for St Patrick’s Day is a strong (6.7% abv) interpretation of an Irish Red Ale. Part of the batch has been aged in wheat whiskey barrels, and then reintroduced adding subtle wood and vanilla nuances. The style is typically lightly hopped, well rounded and balanced, with a pleasant toasted malt character. Strong Patrick is a celebration of the traditional style just in time for the upcoming Irish holiday.

Brewmaster Matthew O’Hara describes the beer as a luscious, red hued ale with a malty backbone, showcasing toasty and toffee notes complemented by some warming alcohol & whiskey flavours. These combine with underlying wood & vanilla nuances added through contact with oak. He suggests pairing it with creme brulee, and of course some traditional soda bread and Irish stew.

Strong Patrick will also pair well with steak dinner as the Windsor Tavern plays host to Ottawa’s The HILOTRONS to celebrate the release. The HILOTRONS will be performing their brand new live film & music project at the Windsor Tavern. This unique project has the HILOTRONS performing a score they've composed to go along with Ontario silent films from the 'Library and Archives Canada' vault. These films have rarely-if-ever been seen since the 20s/30s and will be playing alongside the HILOTRONS performance. More details are available at on the events page. Tickets will also be sold at the door for local attendees.

Presales of Strong Patrick have already begun online at A 2,500 bottle limited release, the beer will be sold direct from the brewery or online only, in 600 ml bottles for $7.95 incl. tax and deposit. It will also be served on tap for St. Patty’s Day celebrations at restaurants and pubs across Ontario.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Boulder Strong Ale Festival

Boulder, CO

On March 9th and 10th, Avery will host over 50 of their fellow craft brewers to honor the beers of brawn. For the 10th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Fest, brewing luminaries from around the country such as Boulevard Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co.,New Belgium Brewing Co., Jolly Pumpkin,Surly Brewing Co., and the finest Colorado breweries will join them in this ode to big beer!

Best of all, the profits will go to the Danny Williams Fund, established to help Danny's family keep the home and property which holds his historic beer mine cellar. While the Strong Ale Fest is sold out, they hope that you will pour one of your finest brews in honor of their late great friend and raise a glass in his honor.

Cheers, Danny! This one's for you.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pints for Prostates Portland Pale Ale Invitational Celebrates America’s Favorite Beer Style

Portland, OR

The inaugural Pints for Prostates Portland Pale Ale Invitational will be held on July 25 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore. The event celebrates the allure, complexity and flavors of pale ale.
The tasting event features pale ales from a dozen Oregon breweries and a dozen breweries from around the globe. Presented by Beer West magazine in conjunction with the Oregon Brewers Festival, the event benefits the Pints for Prostates campaign.

“We are bringing together a collection of great pale ales in a city where pale ales are truly appreciated, all to raise awareness about an important men’s health issue,” said Rick Lyke, a drinks journalist and prostate cancer survivor. Lyke founded Pints for Prostates in 2008 after successful prostate cancer surgery. “Our goal is to reach men through the universal language of beer with a message about the importance of early detection.”

Tickets for the Portland Pale Ale Invitational are $30 and will be available online starting on March 1 at . All net proceeds support the mission of the Pints for Prostates campaign.

“We are excited about the brewers that have agreed to take part and the world class pale ales they will be pouring. Beer fans will get the chance to try a wide variety of pale ale styles in a single session,” said Megan Flynn, publisher and editor-in-chief of Beer West magazine. “Pale ales have become America’s favorite type of craft beer. This event salutes the passion brewers and beer drinkers have for pale ale.”

The 24 participating breweries include: BridgePort Brewing, Portland, Ore.; Caldera Brewing, Ashland, Ore.; Cascade Brewing, Portland, Ore.; Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.; Fire Mountain Brew House, Carlton, Ore.; Firestone Walker Brewing, Paso Robles, Calif.; Full Sail Brewing, Hood River, Ore.; Lompoc Brewing, Portland, Ore.; MacTarnahan's Brewing, Portland, Ore.; Moa Brewing, Marlborough, New Zealand; New Holland Brewing, Holland, Mich.; Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene, Ore.; NoDa Brewing, Charlotte, N.C.; Odell Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo.; Oregon Brew Crew, homebrewers from Portland, Ore.; Rogue Ales, Newport, Ore.; Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, Calif.; Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, Wash.; Snake River Brewery, Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Southern Oregon Brewing, Medford, Ore.; Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.; Tree Brewing, Kelowna, British Columbia; 21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, Calif.; and Wells & Young’s, Bedford, United Kingdom.

“This year marks the 25th annual Oregon Brewers Festival so we are proud to be able to help support Pints for Prostates by making our venue available for the Portland Pale Ale Invitational on the eve of our silver anniversary,” said Art Larrance, one of the founders of the Oregon Brewers Festival. “The Oregon Brewers Festival is already one of the world’s biggest beer events and the Portland Pale Ale Invitational is another reason for people to visit and enjoy great craft beer.”

Judges at the Great American Beer Festival award medals in seven different pale ale categories. Pale ale categories attract the most entries and are the hottest contested.

“Men are 33 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to have breast cancer, yet few men know about the critical importance of early detection,” Lyke said. “The support of Beer West magazine, the Oregon Brewers Festival and the two dozen great craft brewers donating beer for the event will help us reach an audience that needs to hear our message.”


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