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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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tickets to BC Beer Awards On Sale September 1st


Vancouver, BC

One of the most focused craft beer events in Western Canada, the 2012 BC Beer Awards showcases and celebrates the very best of locally-made craft beer.  Last year’s award ceremony included over 400 unique entries from over 35 BC breweries and brewpubs, with winners selected in 12 distinct categories.  Judges included certified Beer Judges, Cicerones, Sommeliers, Journalists, as well as noted beer and food lovers.

With increasing consumer demand for locally-produced craft beer, the BC Beer Awards and CAMRA’s Harvest Cask Festival couldn’t come at a better time.  Kevin Emms, Brewmaster at Vancouver’s Coal Harbour Brewing Company says, “As a new brewery that is confident in our product, the BC Beer Awards are a chance to raise our profile to consumers.  In fact, it keeps everyone in the BC beer industry striving for excellence.”  Dean McLeod, Head Brewer at Victoria’s Lighthouse Brewing Company agrees.  “We like the BC Beer awards because t helps to bring to the attention of BC beer drinkers the great beers we’re all making at the moment.”

It is important to note that craft beer brewed in BC is developing a flavour and style that is uniquely its own.  Omar Rashwan, Business Development Manager of Kelowna’s Tree Brewing suggests, “BC Craft Brewers are known for innovation and experimentation with seasonal beers and a wide range of ales and lagers.  Brewers are consistently pushing the boundaries, but are always listening to the consumers to give them what they want - sometimes what they may not have thought they wanted, but really enjoy!”

Daniel Murphy, Brewmaster at Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub goes even further to highlight the strength of the BC Craft Beer industry. “In BC there is a certain philosophy which sets us apart from the rest of Canada.  It’s our lifestyle, our values, and shared beliefs that see us eating local foods, while enjoying and protecting nature.  BC Craft Brewers now have the confidence to assert themselves within Canada and apart from other brewers in the Pacific Northwest.”  Omar continues, “There is such a strong culture of producing and consuming local in BC.  We have a great food and wine culture, and the craft beer culture marries well with that.  It all goes hand in hand.”

Perhaps Matt Lockhart, Communications and Marketing Co-ordinator at Victoria’s Phillips Brewing Company sums it up best: “We are part of the BC Beer Awards because there are so many incredible breweries in BC, and it’s great to be at an event where we can compare and contrast our beer against the best of them.  We produce beer not to win awards, but to offer high-quality craft products for our customers.  There is an incredible momentum in our industry, with so many new creative craft brewers that are diversifying and exemplifying our craft.  The creativity and passion is amazing, and our product is world-class!”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Steam Whistle Brewing Adds Growlers to Their Take-home Offering

Toronto, ON


A signature green glass bottle helped launch Steam Whistle Pilsner, and now the iconic Toronto craft brewer adds green glass Growlers to their take-home offerings from the Roundhouse.  Josh Hillinger, Steam Whistle’s Retail Manager has been working on this project to answer the demand from home consumers for brewery-fresh beer and unique memorabilia.

“Glass growlers are a North American phenomenon, growing with consumer interest in craft beer. We’ve created a really original growler so that our fans can take fresh, draught-filled Pilsner home to share. The beer growler offers a nice alternative to a bottle of wine at dinner parties or social gatherings,” explains Hillinger.

Hillinger has taken the Steam Whistle growler one step further by importing a Pegas Craftap bottle filling system (pronounced Peh-GOSS). The common way to fill growlers –top filled from draught taps - results in more foam and high dissolved oxygen levels, shortening shelf life of beer in growlers. However, the Pegas system instead uses the same operating principles found in bottle fillers around the world, with a counter-pressure of carbon dioxide, eliminating oxygen and excessive foam. Steam Whistle Growlers are fresh for 2-3 weeks after purchase, if kept refrigerated. Once opened, it’s recommended that you consume within 24 hours for optimum freshness.

The 64 oz. emerald growler with metal handle, pewter logo medallion and ceramic flip top reflects the beer brand’s premium retro feel, fitting into Steam Whistle’s lineup of award-winning packaging. The Growler initially costs $39.95 filled with Steam Whistle Pilsner and can be refilled for $11.95. Available only at the brewery.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Days of Summer Lead up to Launch of Beau’s Fall Seasonal NightMarzen


Ottawa, ON

Local microbrewery prepares to release both fall seasonal NightMarzen & a Halloween beer to LCBO in next few weeks

As people get ready to enjoy the last long weekend of summer, Beau’s will begin shipping its Fall Seasonal beer NightMarzen to select LCBOs beginning this Thursday, August 30. NightMarzen is an orangey-hued Oktoberfest lager, perfect to pair with the cooler weather of the upcoming shoulder season. It will begin appearing on select LCBO shelves this weekend, and of course be a feature beer at the Beau’s Oktoberfest, which takes place at the end of September. The last few bottles of Festivale, the summer seasonal beer from Beau’s All Natural Brewing, are numbered and going fast, and production and packaging of the award-winner Altbier are complete for the season.
This Fall, Beau’s will also introduce a Halloween brew into the LCBO for the first time. Called Weiss-O-Lantern, the white (weiss) beer is spiced and made with hundreds of pounds of pumpkin puree in each batch. Beau’s Weiss-O-Lantern will launch in the LCBO, brewery store, and BYBO, the home delivery service, beginning Thursday September 13.

The timing of the launch of the new beers couldn’t be better, as Beau’s recently completed installation of new 7000 L/batch brewing equipment at the facility in Vankleek Hill. The equipment, which is used to transform raw ingredients into liquid, is 4 times the size of the previous system, and will allow Beau’s to keep up with demand for its flagship beer, LugTread Lagered Ale, while also making specialty beers more widely available in Ontario.

Last week Ottawans expressed their appreciation for Beau’s and LugTread at the inaugural National Capital Craft Beer week, by voting Beau’s the Best Brewery in the Capital Region, and LugTread the Best Local Craft Beer. Beau’s has struggled to keep up with Ottawa’s overwhelming demand for LugTread since the brewery began selling it into the LCBO in 2008, but with the new brewing equipment and 6 additional 28,000 L fermentation tanks in the building, the Beau’s team is looking forward to dramatically increasing production.

For those looking to be the first to sample this year’s Fall NightMarzen (or snap up the last few bottles of Summer beer Festivale), check the LCBO’s searchable database at www.lcbo.com. The pumpkin beer Weiss-O-Lantern will be available this fall in select LCBO stores, at the brewery retail store, and online via BYBO home delivery, beginning September 13.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dogfish Head - 75 Minute IPA


7.5% ABV

"Blend two Dogfish Head favorites, add maple syrup and carbonate the mixture naturally. What do you get? 75 Minute IPA.

The carbon dioxide trapped during bottle conditioning gives 75 Minute IPA a soft and velvety mouthfeel. Dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascades, this complex IPA has been known to inspire pilgrimages to our brewpub.

Now were sharing this animated blend of 60 Minute and 90 Minute with the rest of our fans, 750 milliliters at a time."

The Pour

Poured from the iconic Dogfish Head 750ml bottle this burnt orange beauty is stunning.  Plenty of bubbles,  three fingers of head and nice fluffy white peaks.  It definitely seems like a beer for an occasion.

Aroma

Wonderful undertones of caramel and maple.  Citrus notes treat the nose along with a hint of sweetness.  This is going to be yummy!

Taste

First thing I noticed was an incredible mouthfeel.  Gentle, fine bubbles wash over the tongue, rewarding you with sweet earthy notes with pine and citrus rounding it out.  The maple is not overpowering but quite complimentary.

Overall Impression

As always, Dogfish Head delivers.  Never afraid to experiment, they take two of their signature beers and combine them to make yet another delicious delight.  It hits the sweet spot where 60 Minute is not enough and 90 Minute is a bit much!  Then add maple and voila. I could enjoy this for breakfast even.  Yet another winner Sam and co.  A+.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Beer Mail from The Premium Beer Company



Purveyors for Ontario for Sam Adams, Moosehead, Hop City Brewing etc, The Premium Beer Company were kind enough to send a few samples our way.

Looking forward to trying the ciders as well a little Tennents.

Check them out here.  Definitely something everyone will enjoy!

Hopefully we will see some specialty Sam Adams as well as some of the award winning Tennent Caledonian soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Steam Whistle Rolls Out The Barrels For Oktoberfest 2012

Toronto, ON

Independent Toronto craft brewer, Steam Whistle invites Canadians to the biggest festivity on earth by offering three unique Oktoberfest celebrations:


Oktoberfest at a Pub near you!

Hundreds of bars & restaurants throughout Ontario, Alberta & BC will be offering the Steam Whistle Oktoberfest steins from late August through October. Order a litre stein of Steam Whistle Pilsner and keep the Stein! Some bars will have a ‘Refill the Stein’ option. Ask your server for details.

Visit http://www.steamwhistle.ca/locator/locator.php for a listing of all the locations featuring the KEEP THE STEIN promotion, while quantities last.






Oktoberfest Gift Pack at the LCBO

Bring a little Oom-pah-pah home with this gift pack that includes 2 x 500ml cans of Steam Whistle’s authentic Bohemian Pilsner ready to pour into your own 1 litre Oktoberfest stein decorated with an old- school pewter medallion. Gift packs are $14.95 at 150+ LCBO stores across Ontario during September & October, while quantities last.

To find locations visit www.lcbo.com and search CSPC#292862.

Hash tag #SWOktoberfest

Oktoberfest Steam Whistle style at the Brewery

On Saturday September 29th from 2-11pm, join Cam & Greg and our Brewmaster Marek as they kick off Oktoberfest with a ceremonial keg-tapping. Hosted by George Kash and the Oktoberfest Express, the festival will include litre steins of Steam Whistle Pilsner, gigantic doughy pretzels, lip-smacking sausage & sauerkraut, folk dancers, and arm-linked crowds joined in revelry and refreshment. $25 at the door includes your first one-liter Pilsner, and an authentic stein to take home.

Steam Whistle is running a contest to win an Oktoberfest experience at the brewery (including airfare, hotel, a beer dinner & more!) http://www.facebook.com/SteamWhistle#!/SteamWhistle/app_293747457399740

Inspired by a staff trip touring Czech breweries and Munich’s world-famous beer festival, Steam Whistle embraces yet another European tradition at their Toronto brewery. “We experienced such rich brewing heritage and beer culture in Europe that we were determined to recreate that same magic here at Steam Whistle” explains brewery co-founder Cam Heaps. “Oktoberfest in Munich was spectacular: literally thousands of people together celebrating beer through camaraderie, song, food, folk culture and pageantry. We invite beer lovers to join in Steam Whistle’s versions of this renowned festival.”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Better Bitters Brewing Company (Nickel Brook) - Headstock IPA

ABV 7.0% (Tall Boy 473ml)  IBU - 80


Visit the Brewery


The Summary
A boldly hopped, full bodied American style IPA. Headstock IPA is brewed primarily with nugget hops, which gives rise to a distinct hop flavor, bitterness and aroma. It also uses blend of classic European and North American malts to enhance the body and full flavour. No additives. No Preservatives. Naturally carbonated for a smooth, crisp finish.

The Pour
This brew pours creamy and thick for an IPA and is definitely on the darker end of the IPA spectrum, which probably speaks to the malts in use.  The colour is amber/pumpkin and quite cloudy with a little bit of that IPA "glow" that I've noticed in many Southern Tier offerings.  The carb is mild and slow to bubble and the 1 finger foamy head has good retention.  A very nice and surprising pour.


Aroma
If you like hops this one is for you.  Very strong resinous, earthy, grassy hop aromas flew out as soon as I poured.  Lots and lots of hops, but nothing too surprising.


Taste
Medium bodied with some nice light foaming carbonation but there is so much hops it almost burns with flavours of pine and earth.  The hops hit big right away and carry all the way through giving this brew the mouth-feel of cough syrup.  The malts give some creaminess to the body and impart some decent balance there, but overall this is a very chewy/sticky, resinous IPA.

Overall Impressions
This is definitely a HOP BOMB.  There is a lot of competition in this field right now, and I think this brew is placing it's stake firmly in the heavily hopped zone like Tree Brewery's Hop Head IPA.  If you like tons of hops this is great, but I think an opportunity for more layers is lost when the hops are this strong.  This beer fits the heavily hopped style well, but is too hop heavy for me.


I give it a  B-.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Match Made in Yeast Heaven


Toronto, ON

Creemore Springs celebrates 25 years of excellence with German brewery collaboration

For their 25th anniversary, the folks at Creemore Springs have paired up with German brewery Zum Schlüssel to create a special edition, Altbier. Creemore’s Altbier is the resulting collaborative masterpiece from Creemore Springs, and is a dark mahogany-hued ale with subtle roasted malt flavours and an intensifying hop finish that makes every sip of this beer taste fuller and richer.

The Altbier beer style was developed in the middle of the 19th century by four small brewpubs, all within easy walking distance from each other. Thanks to the each brewpub’s special, proprietary yeast, each of their Altbiers has a signature flavor, which makes them entirely unique and rare in the world.

“Creemore’s collaboration with Zum Schlüssel has enabled us to create something really extraordinary to celebrate our first quarter-century,” says Karen Gaudino, Marketing Director at Creemore Springs. “Even more exciting, this is the first ale ever brewed by Creemore Springs, and we’re delighted to add it to our line-up of premium, delicious craft beers.”

With a goal of celebrating Creemore’s 25th anniversary in a big way, Creemore Brewmaster Gordon Fuller and head brewer Bryan Egan travelled to Düsseldorf in early 2012, to immerse themselves in German brewing culture. Learning trade secrets from the brewers at Zum Schlüssel allowed them to create a unique and special variety of their own Altbier at home in Canada. Zum Schlüssel even generously shared some of its centuries-old yeast with Egan and Fuller to take back to Creemore Springs.

“A ‘house’ yeast, particularly the authentic pub yeast from one of the foundation breweries of the style, is proprietary to breweries and is not released to anyone. Thus, it’s a sacred trust to have been given the opportunity to replicate the authentic Zum Schlüssel house flavour,” adds Karen. “This yeast gives our Altbier the traditional flavour profile that this ale is known for.  It was also an incredible experience working with Zum Schlüssel’s brewers who are masters at their craft. Not only did they share their authentic yeast with us, they also shared their brewing knowledge and their long experience in brewing this style of beer.”

The truly unique legacy of this collaboration was about more than Creemore making an Altbier - it was about brewing an authentic Altbier because of the yeast and the collaboration with the German brewers.

Creemore’s 25th anniversary special edition Altbier will be available in 473 ml cans at LCBOs for $2.80 and draught throughout Ontario in August and September only.

For more information on Creemore Springs, visit www.creemoresprings.com, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CreemoreSprings or on Twitter @CreemoreSprings.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cask Days 2012 - 8th Annual Cask-Conditioned Craft Beer Festival

Toronto, ON


October has become Ontario’s annual month to celebrate cask-conditioned ale. A term for unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally carbonated beer that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the cask (container). Once tapped, cask-ale - also referred to as “real ale”, has only a few days to be consumed at its peak; We call these days Cask Days.

The 8th year of Cask Days, the cask-conditioned craft beer festival in Toronto, Ontario will take place on Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th 2012.  This year s festivities will be hosted at a new venue, Evergreen Brickworks, a dynamic public space in the heart of Toronto's Don Valley. The festival is planning to feature cask-conditioned ales from over 50 micro-breweries across the country and will also introduce an international section showcasing casks from outside of Canada – marking the only festival of its kind in the country.

Cask Days was founded by barVolo in 2005 and has remained family run for the last eight years. The event has evolved into one of the most exciting craft beer festivals in the industry and a major contributor to the Ontario craft beer community. It has also encouraged brewers to experiment, explore diverse styles and have the opportunity to showcase their finest brews, in most cases – one off’s that are especially made for the event in cask-conditioned form. The aim this year is to give the public a unique beer festival experience that celebrates not only local craft beer but local food, art and music. Tickets are now available for purchase, please visit the event page for more information!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Update: Beau’s Oktoberfest Earlybird Tickets All Gone


Ottawa, ON

Tickets still available for all 3 days of Oktoberfest, but first 1,000 “Earlybird” Tickets snapped up quickly

The first 1,000 tickets for Beau’s Oktoberfest, which came with a CD sampler of the bands who will perform at this year’s event, are now sold out. Ticket sales began August 9, and the last of the 1,000 Earlybird tickets were snapped up over the weekend. Tickets still remain for all three days of the festival, but organizers advise would-be attendees not to delay as tickets are selling at double last year’s pace. Only 4,500 tickets are available for sale for each festival day: Friday Sept. 28, Saturday Sept. 29, and Sunday Sept. 30.

“We were super excited to see how quickly people started buying tickets this year,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “We put the tickets up at 4:30 am and grabbed a few hours sleep, then checked back just to make sure the technical stuff was working smoothly, and 100 were already sold,” he laughs. “We’ve got a great musical line-up, and somehow packed even more activities and fun stuff into the three days, so it makes sense, but it’s still great to see,” adds Beauchesne.

Oktoberfest is the signature fundraising event for Beau’s All Natural Brewery, and takes place at the Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill, Ont. Beau’s Oktoberfest is a three-day Bavarian-themed celebration of craft beer, local food and independent musicians. This year’s fundraising benefits local charities Operation Come Home, JustFood, and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society.  To help further boost the Oktoberfest funds raised this year, Beau’s has enlisted local sponsors Desjardins Caisse Populaire Nouvel-Horizon, Harden Group, and Theoret Martel Proudfoot Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Single-day passes for Oktoberfest 2012 are $18 including GST, or one can save $9 on daily admission by purchasing a 3-day pass for $45. Round trip bus transportation from Ottawa can be added to any daily ticket for an additional $15. Tickets are available online at www.beaus.ca.
Beau’s is still looking for Oktoberfest “Volunbeers” who will get a free 3-day pass to the festival in exchange for helping out for one half-day shift. Information about Volunbeering can be found at http://www.beaus.ca/volunteer.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Peak Organic - Nut Brown Ale


4.7% ABV

"Our Nut Brown Ale starts out very smooth, like an English-style Brown Ale. The use of Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt, and Hallartau Hops give this beer a crisp, nutty finish. Peak Nut Brown is a delectable beer loaded with complex, differentiated flavors that don’t overwhelm the palate, making it a perfect dark beer for food pairing."

THE POUR

This ale pours a deep burnt orange. It has a one finger head with decent lacing.

THE AROMA

The aroma is light and sweet with hints of bread and yeast. Not very "big" in any direction.

THE TASTE

The taste is very balanced with sweet malts a hint of coffee and a sharp crisp finish coming from the Hallartau hops. It has a thin mouth feel but the complexity makes up it.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

My overall impression of this ale is good. It has all the qualities of a good English ale. It is however a little thin on the palate. I look forward to picking up some of their other offerings to try. I would rate this a 7 out of 10

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Forest City Beer Fest is Today! #fcbeerfest

London, ON

For all of those in the Forest City and area wondering what there is to do on a rainy London day, you are in luck!  


The Forest City Beer Festival is set for today from 4:00pm - Midnight at the APK Live at 340 Wellington St. (Corner of York & Wellington).

Admission is $15 and includes take-home sampling glass as well as three beer tickets.  The event in the art-centric space will also host a DJ and live bands to aid in entertaining the masses.

Currently the following brewers are listed to participate;


Flying Monkeys
Great Lakes
Hops & Robbers/North American Craft
Lake of Bays
McClelland Premium Imports (Delirium Tremens + More)
Mill St.
Muskoka
Nickel Brook
Railway City
Silversmith
Snowman - Gluten Free Beer making a special appearance!
Spearhead
Steamwhistle


Tickets are SOLD OUT online, but get there at 4:00pm and there will be limited tickets available at the door.

Earlybird Tickets On Sale Now for Beau’s Oktoberfest


Ottawa, ON

Saturday has sold out the last 3 years, advance purchase highly recommended-- first 1,000 tickets sold include CD sampler of this year’s musical line-up

Tickets went on sale today for Beau’s Oktoberfest 2012, and the first 1,000 passes sold come with a unique gift: a CD sampler of the bands who will perform at this year’s event. Oktoberfest is the signature fundraising event for Beau’s All Natural Brewery, and takes place Friday Sept. 28, Saturday Sept. 29, and Sunday Sept. 30 at the Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill, Ont. Beau’s Oktoberfest is a three-day Bavarian-themed celebration of craft beer, local food and independent musicians.

This year’s fundraising benefits local charities Operation Come Home, JustFood, and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society. To help further boost the Oktoberfest funds raised this year, Beau’s has enlisted local sponsors Desjardins Caisse Populaire Nouvel-Horizon, Harden Group, and Theoret Martel Proudfoot Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Gates open Friday at 4 pm, and hours are as follows: Friday 4-11, Saturday 11-9, and Sunday 11-6. Live Bavarian music and dancing will take place throughout the day, as well as performances from:

FRIDAY: Hollerado, Elliott Brood, Change of Heart, The Flaps
SATURDAY: Plants & Animals, Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins, Carolyn Mark, Terry Gillespie
SUNDAY: Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostenak (during the day)

As in previous years, adult Oktoberfest revelers will be able to compete over the three days in fun challenges of strength and endurance, including the “Stein-Hold Struggle,” a spouse-carrying race, sausage eating contest, malt-sack races and beer keg toss. Families with children will find a variety of entertainment and activities for young ones in Kinderfest, a non-licensed area within the festival grounds.
And New for 2012:

·         Beer-filled dunk tank! Brr! Dunk friends and familiar faces in a vat of cold, cold beer
·         Games Midway: Beau’s versions of Plinko, Giant Bottle Toss, and more

Foodie alert: Bavarian and seasonally inspired food will be once again prominent and plentiful at this year’s event, with more than 20 local restaurants serving up new, unique creations including:

·         Wellington Gastropub’s Kimchi Meatball sandwich on a Pretzel Bun
·         Barley Mow’s Perogy Poutine
·         Hintonberg Public House’s Bacon-stuffed Pretzels
·         Foolish Chicken’s Black Forest Cheesecake
·         Murray Street’s Meat Cone with Spatzle

To complement the cuisine, Beau’s has promised 6 brand-new beers for this year’s festival, and will announce the beer names and styles during National Capital Beer Week in Ottawa (next week). For beer-nerds and those in-training, the Oktoberfest Beer School will host internationally acclaimed brewers, beer experts and aficionados, including Brewmaster Anders Kissmeyer (Denmark) who has been brewing collaboratively with Beau’s for nearly a year, and Brewing Historian Ron Pattison, (Netherlands) who is helping Beau’s recreate an historic ale for this year’s Oktoberfest. And Volo Cask Days returns featuring a variety of Real Ales from Ontario and Quebec.

Single-day passes for Oktoberfest 2012 are $18 including GST, or one can save $9 on daily admission by purchasing a 3-day pass for $45. Round trip bus transportation from Ottawa can be added to any daily ticket for an additional $15. Each ticket also entitles bearers to a free parking, a souvenir alpine hat, pretzel, and first beverage (beer, coffee, pop or water). Note that drink tokens can be purchased in advance, a great way to avoid lineups on festival day. Tickets and more details are at www.beaus.ca. Saturday tickets have sold out the last 3 years and attendance is growing each year, so advance ticket purchase is recommended.
Beau’s is currently looking for Oktoberfest “Volunbeers” who will get a free 3-day pass to the festival in exchange for helping out for one half-day shift. Volunbeers also get a Beau’s Volunbeer hat to keep, admission to the exclusive Volunbeers party, and free transportation from Ottawa if required, as well as the pretzel, drink token and alpine hat. Information about Volunbeering can be found at http://www.beaus.ca/volunteer.

Last Year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest “By the Numbers”
Attendance: 12,000
¼ lb. Sausages Eaten During Sausage-Eating Contest: 17
Glasses of Beer Served: 38,324
Volunteers who traded help for free passes: 219
School buses bringing folks to and from Ottawa: 67
Dollars raised for charity: $60,265

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tennent Caledonian Scoops Top International Brewing Medals, including a Bronze at the International Beer Challenge for its Export Lager


In the highly competitive field of global beers, Scotland based brewer, Tennent Caledonian, has revealed a bounty of gold, silver and bronze medals at two of the toughest global beer quality challenges: the recent Monde Selection held this past June in Belgium, along with the International Beer Challenge 2012 (IBC) in the UK, where medalists were announced on July 20, 2012.

The awards are good news for Tennent’s and owners C&C Group , as they implement an ambitious export program for the Tennent’s brands, with a focus on key global markets, including Canada and the US.

Three new brands launched across various markets globally in 2012 fared well in the recent competitions, with five medals awarded in total for Tennent’s Original Export, Scotch Ale and Extra.  These successes follow a period of extensive investment in the brand’s Wellpark brewery over recent years, including the installation of a CAD $6M+ bottling line and the establishment of the Tennent’s Training Academy.

Master Brewer David Shearer commented, "Our decision to enter some of our beers into global competition for the first time in a number of years is reflective of a renewed confidence and ambition here at Tennent’s. We are really pleased to have been recognized in two of the world’s most prestigious awards ceremonies this year and I’d like to commend our team for consistently producing the highest quality products for our home market and abroad.”

Reintroduced in Canada in August 2011, the IBC bronze-winning Tennent’s Export later is available across the country at select retail partners, including the LCBO in Ontario.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thornbridge Brewery - Kipling South Pacific Pale Ale

ABV 5.2% (Bottle 500ml)


The Brewery


The Bottle
Kipling is a soft, but full flavoured, South Pacific Pale Ale with hints of passion fruit and kiwi.

The Pour
Golden sunny yellow straw coloured with a good 2 finger cotton white head.  There is some decent lacing and the brew is perfectly clear.

Aroma
I could smell the hops on the pour!  Lots of bright tropical fruit flooding out of the glass reminiscent of Southern Tier's Un*earthly.  I love love love this nose.  It's hops done right with splashes of acidic grapefruit and pineapple balanced against smoother mango and green grapes. 

Taste
Medium bodied, smooth and just a little carb bite and it froths up easily in the mouth almost like a wheat.  The taste is a bit underwhelming after that perfect nose.  It starts with hoppy bite, goes frothy and falls flat on the back end.  Overall very mild. 

Overall Impressions
Fairly refreshing and certainly session-able.  The nose is gangbusters, but I felt it needed something in the taste to set it apart.  This beer rates crazy high on Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.  Perhaps someone can educate me on what I'm missing?  I do love the packaging.

I give it a B or 7/10.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

112,500 Ontarians Sign Petition Calling for Beer and Wine in Convenience Stores


Queen's Park, ON
www.freeourbeer.ca petition unveiled at Queen's Park today is believed to be the largest in Ontario history
The tiny hamlet of Vanessa, Ontario (Population 80) and Joanne McMurchy's convenience store is ground zero for an outpouring of public support that has led to the largest single petition collected in Ontario.  The petition calls on the Ontario Legislature to broaden Ontario's current alcohol retailing system to include convenience stores.
McMurchy, a former health care worker and teacher, and proprietor of the Vanessa General Store has constantly heard customers ask when they would get what most other Canadians enjoy - something as simple as picking up a bottle of wine or some beer at their local convenience store.  So she started a petition.  Today that petition, which swelled to 112,500 names collected from 220 communities across the province, was unveiled at Queen's Park.
The top 20 cities that contributed to the petition included:
Barrie
Brampton
Cambridge
Guelph
Hamilton
Kitchener
London
Mississauga
Niagara Falls 
North Bay
Oshawa
Ottawa
Peterborough
St. Catharines
Stoney Creek 
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Waterloo
Welland
Windsor
"The alcohol retailing system in Ontario was designed in 1927 - 85 years ago - and hasn't fundamentally changed.  But Ontarians are now speaking loud and clear: It's time we moved the discussion forward on modernizing alcohol retailing in Ontario to include convenience stores," said Dave Bryans, CEO, Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA).  "The people who have signed this petition are New Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives. They're parents, neighbours and responsible adults who want the same simple convenience that their friends and relatives outside Ontario enjoy.  Convenience stores are already responsibly offering alcohol in over 200 communities and it's time to add on to the existing system with more options for consumers."
The petition, which was collected over the course of four weeks in late 2011, is the latest evidence of the widespread support for modernizing Ontario's alcohol retailing system to include convenience stores.  People can still sign the petition and view the full list of cities that took part at www.freeourbeer.ca.
"Customers kept saying it would be nice to be able to buy beer or wine at our store.  I decided to draw up a petition and before I knew it, pages and pages kept filling up with names of neighbours, friends, and customers who all wanted this simple convenience. People were stopping at the store just to sign the petition!," said, Joanne McMurchy, Owner,Vanessa General Store - the location where the petition began.  "Our store is one of the central places in our community and people come here to buy everything from food to hardware, yet they have to drive 20 minutes to get a bottle of wine for dinner.  They keep telling me it's time for change."
Ontario Convenience Store Association members are responsible community retailers. We sell more age restricted products than any other retailer, and do a better job of checking for age than any other retailer.
Last May the OCSA unveiled an independent, third-party mystery shopping study that showed convenience stores were the best at age checks -- better at denying sales of age-restricted products to minors than the foreign-owned Beer Store and the government-run LCBO.
In August, 2011, OCSA also released an Ipsos Reid study that revealed that two-thirds of Ontarians who shop at the foreign-owned Beer Store and government-run LCBO want the convenience of alcohol retailing at convenience stores.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Beer Store to Open at Select Locations for Civic Holiday

Toronto, ON



Select locations of The Beer Store will open from 11:00am - 5:00pm for the Civic Holiday.  For a complete list, please click here.

Visit them at www.thebeerstore.ca The Beer Store would like to wish their employees and customers a safe Holiday. The Beer Store would like to remind you that we take back 100% of all beer packaging as well as all wine and spirit containers.

Some 350 LCBO Stores Will Open on the Civic Holiday

Toronto, ON


As a convenience to Ontario consumers and visitors, approximately 350 LCBO stores across the province will open on the civic holiday, Monday, August 6.

Most LCBO agency stores will observe their normal hours of business. Agency stores are locally-owned retail establishments authorized by the LCBO to sell beverage alcohol, along with other products, in communities too small to support LCBO stores.

The civic holiday is not a statutory holiday under Ontario's Retail Business Holidays Act. Liquor, beer and wine stores can open, provided local municipalities do not object.  Traditionally, LCBO and beer stores in cottage and resort areas have opened on the civic holiday, in communities that either do not observe the holiday or observe it later in the year.

All LCBO stores will observe their normal business hours on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5.  In the select LCBO stores that will open on August 6, business hours will be posted in advance to notify customers. LCBO's helloLCBO Contact Centre will be open on August 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All other LCBO offices will be closed.

Customers should check for individual store hours with their local LCBO store or online at www.lcbo.com using the 'Store Search' feature. They can also contact the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO at 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226) or online at www.helloLCBO.com. In Toronto, call 416 365-5900. The TTY number for the deaf and hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.

Over the summer, the LCBO reminds customers to please drink responsibly and to never consume alcohol when driving or boating. Responsible hosting information is also available at www.deflatetheelephant.com.

Please bring a reusable bag when shopping at the LCBO and take your empty beverage alcohol containers (large and small glass bottles, PET plastic, Tetra Pak cartons, bag-in-box and cans) to The Beer Store for a full deposit refund.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival Offers Outdoor Summertime Sampling for Beer Connoisseurs & Newcomers alike August 11th & 12th


Toronto, ON

Ontario Craft Brewers have teamed up to host a downtown Toronto beer festival in Roundhouse Park where long-time beer fans and those newly discovering the craft beer movement can sample & savour offerings from local producers.  From 12noon to 6pm the weekend of August 11th-12th, attendees will be able to pair spicy ales, crisp lagers, seasonal and experimental beers with fare from gourmet food trucks, all within a park setting – picnic blankets encouraged.

Tim McLaughlin, Steam Whistle Partnerships Manager and festival organizer explains, “Our desire for the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival is to create a relaxed atmosphere of beer exploration and education for Torontonians. Only Ontario Craft Breweries are participating, ensuring premium quality, interesting and locally-made beers will be sampled. The festival setup will provide room to linger and learn from the brewers about their craft. And, pairing our beers with an exciting Food Trucks menu means a great taste experience awaits!”

The Ontario Craft Brewers have a passion to re-kindle and keep alive the spirit of traditional brewing. Independent ownership, smaller batches, artisanal styles, quality ingredients, all-natural and undiluted beers are hallmarks of their Brewing Philosophy & Standards.  www.ontariocraftbrewers.com

Participating Ontario Craft Breweries include: Steam Whistle Brewing, King Brewery, Nickel Brook Brewing, Mill St. Brewery, Grand River Brewing, Wellington County Brewery, Black Oak Brewing, Great Lakes Brewery, and Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.

Food Truck vendors will change each day but include Hogtown BBQ, Tide and Vine, Dobro Jesti

Busters Sea Cove and Rome’n Chariot .

The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival will benefit the Toronto Rail Heritage Museum in the adjacent Roundhouse Park, just outside the doors of host, Steam Whistle Brewing – 255 Bremner Blvd. Toronto.  Phone (416) 362-2337 ext 246.

Sampling glasses can be purchased in advance for $10 at www.craftbeerfest.ca  or for $15 at the door.  Beer will only be served in the official glasses with beer sampling tickets costing $1. Food can be purchased with cash. This is an Age of Majority event.

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