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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting Benefits Pints for Prostates

Asheville, N.C.

Organizers of the inaugural Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting have released a list of confirmed breweries for the May 31 event.

A total of 25 breweries will pour rare and exotic beers at the event. Brewers that have accepted invitations for the Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting include: Asheville Brewing Co., Asheville, N.C.; Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse, Louisville, Kentucky; Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine; Bell’s Brewing, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh, N.C.; Boulder Brewing, Boulder, Co.; Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Boston Beer Co., Boston, Mass.; Blue Mountain Barrel House, Arrington, Va.; Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.; Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Goose Island Brewing, Chicago, Ill.; Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Saxapahaw, N.C.; Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, N.C.; Jester King Craft Brewery, Austin, Texas; Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston, N.C.; Natty Greene’s Brewing, Greensboro, N.C.; New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo.; Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, N.Y.; Oskar Blues Brewery, Brevard, N.C.; Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, Calif.; Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.; SweetWater Brewing, Atlanta, Ga.;Thirsty Monk Pub, Asheville, N.C.; and Weyerbacher Brewing, Easton, Pa.

All About Beer Magazine and the Thirsty Monk Pub will present the inaugural Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting during Asheville Beer Week to benefit Pints for Prostates, a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of early detection in fighting prostate cancer.

“We have a great list of American craft brewers committed to appear at the Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting and each will be pouring rare and exotic beers,” said Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer Magazine. “We want this to be one of the highlights of Asheville Beer Week and help raise awareness about an important men’s health issue by teaming up with Pints for Prostates.”

The Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting  will be held at 66 Asheland Ave. in Asheville on May 31 from 6-9 p.m. Less than half of the 250 tickets for the Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting are still available. They can be purchased online at: Tickets are $75 and include admission to the event, beer sampling, commemorative tasting glass, program and heavy hors d'oeuvres. More information about the event can be found at Each brewery will pour unique beers. Some will be rare and others will be “wild” featuring barrel aged, sours, cask conditioned and vintage beers.

“We reach men through the universal language of beer and an event like the Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting gives us a platform to get guys to focus on their health,” said Rick Lyke, a prostate cancer survivor, drinks journalist and founder of the Pints for Prostates campaign. “We really appreciate the support of the brewers, All About Beer Magazine and the Thirsty Monk.  This will be a great day to be a craft beer fan in Asheville.”

Pints for Prostates is a 501(c)3 charity. It raises awareness about prostate cancer at beer festivals and pub events. Funds raised by the group help support free men’s health screenings provided by the Prostate Conditions Education Council and Us TOO Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, which operates support groups for men battling the disease. You can get more information about Pints for Prostates at

“Pints for Prostates and All About Beer Magazine started the Denver Rare Beer Tasting in 2009 and it has become renowned as one of the best beer events in the country,” said Barry Bialik of Thirsty Monk Pub. “Asheville Beer Week is growing and attracting people who want to experience the growing beer culture in the region. The Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting is a great addition to the celebration. And we at Thirsty Monk are so proud to be a part of making this happen.”

Amsterdam Brewery and Arts & Crafts Collaborate On Special Beer For Field Trip Music & Arts Festival June 8

Toronto, ON

Local, independently owned and operated Amsterdam Brewery has teamed up with Canada’s leading independent music company Arts & Crafts in support of A&C’s 10th Anniversary celebration Field Trip Music & Arts Festival. The inaugural one-day event will take place June 8 at Fort York & Garrison Common and features the one-night-only return from hiatus for Broken Social Scene as well as Feist, Bloc Party, Stars, Hayden, and many more.

To commemorate this milestone, Amsterdam Brewery will create a special beer for Field Trip, enlisting A&C co-owners Jeffrey Remedios, Kevin Drew and Kieran Roy for the one-time brew that will only be available in 473ml cans and only for Field Trip.

But first, Amsterdam Brewery and Arts & Crafts need help selecting the beer’s label and name!

Starting May 1, 2013, log on to Amsterdam’s Facebook or Twitter pages to vote for your favourite label and make your name suggestions using the hashtag #fieldtripbeer. Amsterdam and Arts & Crafts will select one (1) beer name entry on May 20 to win two (2) tickets to Field Trip as well as some Amsterdam and Arts & Crafts swag.

Amsterdam x Arts & Crafts are also collaborating on a series of events around Field Trip, each featuring Amsterdam Beer and A&C artists at the A&C Pop Up (1093 Queen Street West Unit 2) with the Norman Wong x Arts & Crafts exhibit and extending through a showcase series at the same venue during NXNE 2013.

To learn more about Field Trip and for ticket information, please visit

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cameron's Brewing Company - Rye Pale Ale

Cameron's Rye Pale Ale, Craft beer, ontario, review, ontario, oakville
Cameron's Rye Pale Ale
ABV 6.6% (Bottle 650ml)
The Brewery

The Brew
"It is made of a combination of seven different floral British and pungent American hops, some which are added in a dry hopping process...The hops are well supported by a large malt bill of five character malts with a generous portion of rye."

The Pour
Two finger pillowy head that has satisfying retention with lots of nooks and crannies.  The body is deliciously cloudy and golden hued with the promise of Belgian unfiltered goodness.

Lots of grapefruit with a touch of tangerine, orange peel and floral British style hops over a sweet malt backbone.  The more pungent hop notes do not overpower with pine but balance the nose nicely. 

For a pale ale, this brew has a big strong body I assume is from the heaps of rye used.  The cloudiness of the pour does not disappoint and complements a sudsy but heavy mouth feel.  You get smooth malt feel upfront, growing hop flavours of citrus and pine pounce in the middle and depart with a fairly bitter finish and clean aftertaste.

Cloudy and full bodied and certainly different.  The rye makes for an interesting brew that combines the feel and taste of an IPA with the body of a traditional English cream ale along the lines of Kilkenny.  Not exactly to my personal hop taste, but well put together and a solid B+.  I can see why it rates so high at  Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.

Up next...
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company Fourth Dementia Olde Ale.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

La Brasserie McAuslan Brewing Inc. Sold to RJ Brewers

Montreal, QC

After 25 years, Peter McAuslan, President, and Ellen Bounsall, Vice-President Production, founders and majority shareholders of La Brasserie McAuslan Brewing Inc., announced today that they have sold their holdings to Quebec regional brewer RJ Brewers of Montreal. Mr. McAuslan and Ms. Bounsall have sold McAuslan Brewing and will have no further role in the operations of the brewery effective the date of the transaction with RJ. Brewers. Details of the deal were not released.

"It is a bittersweet moment for us both," Peter McAuslan said. "We were pioneers in the craft brewing business in North America. We set out to make interesting beers for consumers, and change the world of brewing. We have achieved both of these goals."

McAuslan Brewing has garnered numerous awards nationally and internationally for their world-class beers. "At the recent American Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, it was a pleasure to see how this industry has flourished. It was also a pleasure to see St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout and St. Ambroise Barley Wine listed as beers to taste in the All About Beer annual listing of the best beers in the world," McAuslan noted.

Mr. McAuslan and Ms. Bounsall have also received awards from Quebec University Business schools and from the community for business acumen, volunteer work and support of the arts.

"As a part of our business philosophy, we saw direct community action as a real responsibility to be acted upon," Ellen Bounsall said. "No company can properly perform without committing time, energy and resources to supporting our fellow citizens. We are very proud of what we have achieved in this area."

Peter and Ellen will continue to live on their farm in the Eastern Townships. "I have started a small hop yard, have a maple bush, a large vegetable garden to keep me busy as well as community and business interests. I will have time to enjoy the pleasures of home brewing again," McAuslan stated.

"Our six dogs, three ducks and two chickens keep me occupied, as do other activities in the townships. Keeping busy will not be a problem," says Bounsall with a smile.

Peter and Ellen wish to thank their loyal staff for exceptional work over the years that made the company's success possible. As well, the minority shareholders, and initial investors were offered thanks. "Investing in a start up brewery in 1988 when Labatt, Molson and O'Keefe controlled 99% of the market, when there were no micro brewery beers, and when beer sales of the large breweries were in a decline took a lot of courage, and we salute our shareholders for their foresight and trust. Without them, this dream would never have been realized," McAuslan said.

McAuslan Brewing was established in 1988 and has been in the forefront of the development of the Canadian specialty beer movement since that time. McAuslan's St. Ambroise  and Griffon ales are sold in eight provinces, the United States, Australia and Switzerland.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amsterdam Brewery X Great Lakes Brewery Collab "Maverick & Gose" hits LCBO Next Week

Toronto, ON

The Amsterdam Brewery and Great Lakes Brewery, two of Toronto’s oldest independently owned and operated craft breweries, are set to release their award winning collaboration beer – “Maverick & Gose” in the LCBO later this month.

Maverick & Gose is a Leipziger Gose Beer that has been aged in Ontario Chardonnay barrels for 4 months prior to packaging. A rare German brew of medieval origin, this 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards Silver Medalist beer is brewed with a mostly malted wheat base, pink Himalayan salt, and spices. Notes of lemon, herbs and a slight saltiness make this collaboration truly unique to Ontario.
What is even more unique about this beer is that it is the first all-Ontario collaboration to be released in the LCBO. Brewers Iain Mcoustra of Amsterdam and Mike Lackey of Great Lakes developed the recipe for Maverick & Gose in early 2012.

"We came up with the idea whilst playing shirtless, greased up beach volleyball, you know, like in the movie Top Gun, and we thought it would be fitting to collab on this one of a kind beer," says Lackey. "I'm super pumped to be part of the first Canadian craft beer collaboration that will grace the shelves at the LCBO. It was a pleasure creating this beer with Iain and the Amsterdam crew."

“We wanted to take an old world style and put our own twist on it by using local Chardonnay barrels” says Mcoustra. “We didn't want to go over the top with any of the flavours and it's easy for a spiced beer to get away from you. The barrel brought everything together in the end, balancing out the spices with the salt giving a nice roundness to the finish.”

“It’s always a blast brewing with Lackey and Great Lakes” says Mcoustra of the collaboration. “They're a big reason why there has been so much collaboration and innovation in Ontario recently and it's an honour to brew and release this beer with them.”
Maverick & Gose is available for sale in 500mL bottles from select LCBOs starting the week of April 29, 2013 ($6.95) and the Amsterdam Brewery Retail Store (45 Esandar Dr., 416-504-6882).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pumphouse Brewery - Blueberry Ale

Pumphouse Brewery, Craft Beer, Ale, Flavored Beer, London ontario, Beer geek, ReviewABV 5% (Bottle 473ml)

The Brewery

The Brew
"Blonde coloured ale with the wonderful essence of fresh blueberries. Sweet flavours of peppery blueberries, malts and spicy hops make this one a winner all the way. A one-of-a-kind refresher."

The Pour
Straw coloured with a light one finger head and mild carbonation.

Mild and lagery malt nose with hints of blueberry that get stronger in jammy sweetness for a nice balance.  I'd compare it to Grand River's Blackberry Ale which was a favorite summer refresher of mine last year.   

Cream ale smooth with some decent carb bite.  Has the mouth-feel and flavouring of a cider without the cloying sweetness.  The nose leads to a pleasant quenching bite off the sip that obligingly makes way for the next.

This one's kind of hard to judge since it's prime season for consumption isn't quite upon us.  I find flavoured beers are also a tough category since many have trouble balancing their flavours; I find many watery with an overwhelming artificial taste.  This brew is a nice warm weather surprise.  It's not outstanding in it's style but it grows on you and is definitely a gateway beer for the ladies.  I give it a B.

Up next...
Cameron's Rye Pale Ale

Garrison Brewing Releases Second One-Hop Brew in Series

Halifax, NS

One of Nova Scotia’s most innovative breweries, Garrison Brewing, has released the latest in their One-Hop beer series - Citra One-Hop IPA.

Following the successful winter launch of Comet One-Hop IPA, Garrison Brewing is showcasing a second great hop - Citra - in this SMASH (single malt, single hop) brew. This special India Pale Ale is boldly hopped with fruity notes of sweet mango and lemon, balanced by caramel notes from locally-grown Maritime Pale Ale Malt.

Citra is a recently developed (2007), high-alpha-acid (13%) aroma hop known for tasty citrus and tropical fruit characters. "We first utilized Citra in our Mash-up collaboration with Phillips Brewery and really liked it." said Garrison Brewmaster, Daniel Girard. "Its supply is also quite limited so we've had to commit to quite a bit or risk running out."

Citra One-Hop IPA launches this weekend and will be available right through the summer. Nova Scotians can pick-up this specialty brew from the following locations:

·         many NSLC stores;

·         all four private stores;

·         on tap for a limited time at places like Freeman’s Little NY, The Wooden Monkey, The Press Gang and The Argyle; and

·         Garrison Brewery (1149 Marginal Road) in bottles and on tap for growlers and growlito's.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Founders Brewing Co. Announces Lineup and More for Founders Fest 2013: A Celebration of Beer & Music

Grand Rapids, MI

Brewery’s Annual Party To Take Place in Downtown Grand Rapids Once Again

Founders Brewing Co. announced that they plan to host Founders Fest 2013 on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids once again, from 3-11pm on Saturday, June 22. This is the brewery’s sixth annual outdoor festival celebrating two of the things they love most: beer and music. Founders is expecting 6000 or more beer and music lovers to gather on Grandville Avenue between Cherry and Bartlett for the festivities.

“Founders Fest is our biggest party of the year,” said Mark Dorich, Festival Coordinator and Founders Director of Retail Operations. “It’s always a great time celebrating with our community, and we’re really excited about this year’s music lineup.”

A wide range of musical talent will be rocking out at this year’s Founders Fest, with national act G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE coming in from Philadelphia, PA, with some hip hop/blues to headline. Other performers include IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK with funk from New Orleans; MAN MAN, also of Philadelphia; electro rock from Founders taproom repeat performers ROSTER MCCABE of Minneapolis; horn-driven tour de force, Chicago’s LOWDOWN BRASS BAND; and bluegrass sweethearts LINDSAY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS of Ann Arbor. Hometown crowd favorites ALEXIS join local Latin rock crew CABILDO, and a super-group of Founders employees return as the FBC ALL-STARS to round out the entertainment line-up.

This year’s event will again feature local food vendors as well as a Local Artists Row, which showcases the various works of some of the area’s finest artists and designers. There will be other strolling and surprise entertainers sprinkled throughout the day. And, of course, there will be plenty of beer available, including Founders year-round offerings and quite a few taproom one-offs. The entire festival will be outdoors on the street; the indoor taproom space will be closed for the day.

Founders Fest is a celebratory “thank you” to Grand Rapids and West Michigan for making Founders what it is today. Founders Brewing Co. has been a part of the Grand Rapids scene since 1997 and has grown its brewing tradition from modest beginnings to being one of the highest rated breweries in the world.

“We look forward to Founders Fest every year,” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “Beer and music bring people together, and we love being able to put on an event that does just that. It gives us the opportunity to get our family, friends and community together for a day so that we can toast to all of them.”

Founders is also partnering with The High Five Program, a local community organization that assures the prevention of litter and significant reduction of waste streams at large-scale events, for the second year. They managed to achieve over 90% waste diversion last year and hope to beat that rate this year.

Guarantee yourself entry to Founders Fest 2013 and save a little cash with advance pre-sale tickets:

Discounted advance ticket sales will again be available starting Friday, April 19, at the Founders taproom, as well as online, via through The event is limited to ages 21 and older.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Give Your Taste Buds a Spring Cleaning with Biers of Spring at Bier Markt

Toronto, ON

…limited-time BBQ Chic menu features Spring Collection of best beers for the season and Bier Can Chicken…

Winter’s gone. Spring has sprung. Bier Markt is celebrating. Toronto’s premiere, European-inspired Bier and food destination is ushering in the essence of the season – fresh, floral aromas, grassy tang and gentle bitterness – with Biers of Spring. Debuting today, Bier Markt’s limited-time Biers of Spring menu offers sophisticated, from-scratch, seasonal Bier and food pairings. If you’re rejoicing the arrival of spring, think Bier Can Chicken for 2 paired with Hop & Robbers IPA. It’s just one of Bier Markt’s must try BBQ Chic items featured until May 26.

At the Bier Markt Bier and food go hand-and-hand and Biers of Spring celebrates the beauty of Bier and brings Bier Markt’s skill at pairing to life. Every menu item is paired with a Hoppy Bier to spring clean the palate. With a grassy tang, floral aroma and a crisp and gentle bitterness each Bier imparts the freshness of spring with every sip. The pairings demonstrate the flexibility of Bier and how Bier can work with the season.

“Today Bier is far more than a means of quenching thirst. With its unique flavours and mouth feel, the right Bier choice can transform a meal and guide a guest into a new season of tastes,” says Nathan Cameron, Beverage Manager, Bier Markt. “For Biers of Spring we carefully picked a selection of lower intensity Hop Biers that have a vibrant bite and a burst of flavor synonymous with freshness. Each Bier is light and fun and complements spring.”

Selecting from more than 150 brands of Bier from over 30 countries, the Bier Markt curated the best-of Spring Collection featuring:
·         Yellow Snow IPA, a pale, golden Bier with a hoppy fruit aroma

·         Hop Mason IPA, a small, craft batch IPA, created for Bier Markt

·         Houblon Chouffe IPA, brewed with different hop varieties resulting in a big bitter punch, balanced by a spicy fruitiness

·         Spearhead Hawaiian, a bold, hoppy West coast style Pale Ale brewed with pineapple

·         Amsterdam Bone Shaker, featuring layers of tantalizing hop bitterness with a pleasant malt backbone,

·         Hops & Robbers, a toasty, cracker like malt flavour.that is a perfect introduction to IPAs

·         Okanagan Pale Ale, copper in colour and fruity on the palate, this is a wonderfully rounded and easily enjoyed Pale Ale

To complement the Spring Bier Collection, Bier Markt’s Chef Michael Cipollo has created a from scratch feature menu which includes Poulet au Bier a.k.a. Bier Can Chicken. Inspired by the beauty of bier, this jaw dropping dish for two evokes cravings for tall boys by the BBQ. Brined in, and paired with Hops & Robbers IPA, this slow roasted, free range, whole chicken has a delicious toffee flavoured roasted skin and a deeply flavourful meat. Served with baby mustard green salad, savoy slaw, tomato & onion tart and cascade hopped honey glaze Bier Markt’s Bier Can Chicken is guaranteed to make winter a distant memory.

Warmer weather means BBQ season and Bier Markt’s Biers of Spring offers a sophisticated welcome to the return of the treasured BBQ. In addition to Bier Can Chicken, Biers of Spring BBQ Chic menu features:

·         Prosciutto & Cheese Charcuterie, complete with 18 month cured ham;

·         Spicy Beef Tartare made with hand chopped beef tenderloin;

·         Salmon Burger Bites with crispy tempura kale;

·         Steak Flammekueches Cones made with marinated and char grilled flank steak;

·         Grilled King Prawns served with fingerling potato & apple salad;

·         and Beef Brisket, smoked and braised for 24 hours.

Monday, April 15, 2013

6th Annual Brewer's Plate - April 17th at 6:00pm

Toronto, ON

The Brewers Plate event, now in its 6th year, continues to champion local independent breweries, culinary establishments, import substitution and sustainable food and farming practices. Guests are provided with a unique opportunity to sample a variety of over 30 locally sourced gourmet treats prepared by some of the city's most renowned chefs, carefully matched with beers brewed by over 20 of the great independent craft breweries, including: Amsterdam, Barley Days, Bayside, Beau's, Black Oak, Cameron's, Denison's, Grand River, Granite, Great Lakes, Hogsback, King Brewery, Mill St, Muskoka, Neustadt Springs, Nickel Brook, Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Railway City, Spearhead, Steam Whistle, Wellington.

Rarely do such a number of distinctive independent artisanal breweries come together to celebrate and it provides a rare opportunity to taste over 75 different craft brews in the delightful atmosphere of the CBC atrium in Toronto together with nearly 500 leaders, VIPs and other progressive food and craft beer lovers

Celebrated Chefs, so far......   Brad Long (Café Belong/Veritas), Brook Kavanagh, (La Palette) Chris McDonald, (Cava) Dan Sanders (earth) Karen Vaz, (Rebel House) Howard Dubrovsky & Andrew Marquez (Fonda Lola), Chris Klugman, (Paint Box Bistro) Lora Kirk, (Ruby Watchco.), Joshna Maharaj, John Robertson, (The Big Carrot) Matt Dunbar, (Grapevine) Michael Smith, (Gladstone Hotel) Steffan Howard (Pegasus) Luis Valenzuela (Torito and Carmen)

We are delighted that Montreal based Stefano Faita from the CBC's IN THE KITCHEN WITH STEFANO, and BEST RECIPES EVER Chef Christine Tizzard will join us for their first ever Brewers Plate in 2013

To mark the occasion, two outstanding breweries have created unusual and priceless auction prizes to raise funds for our charitable beneficiary Not Far from the Tree

Beau's finest: Bid to win 99 bottles of Beau's finest. These bottles were culled from their Seasonal, Wild Oat Series, Greener Futures Barrel Aged Co-Op and flagship beer brands. In this exciting and tasty package you will win:

- 12 Bottles of Lugtread
- 12 Bottles of Oiseau de Nuit
- 12 Bottles of Bogfather
- 12 Bottles of Strong Patrick
- 12 Bottles of Wag the Wolf
- 12 Bottles of Beaver River
- 12 Bottles of Mutineer
- 12 Bottles of Mystery Beer!
- One 4-pack of Lugtread

BrewMaster for a Day! Bid to win a day with the BrewMaster at Great Lakes Brewery, Learn all the secrets of Toronto's oldest craft brewery, create your very own personalized beer and then enjoy approx 50 bottles to take home with you. Priceless!

Don't miss this years event on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 6:00pm - 10:00pm.  Click here for more details.

Beer Tourism is in Full Swing! Both Local and International Flavours to Choose From

The Beer Lovers' Tour Company is pleased to announce the launch of two new International Beer Tour products, Kegs and Kathedrals 2013 - Oktoberfest in Germany Tour (Sept 28  - Oct 6, 2013) and The Beer Lovers' Tour of Oaxaca Mexico (Nov 1 - 9, 2013)

Kegs and Kathedrals 2013 is a nine day romp through Germany that includes
'bucket list' attractions like Oktoberfest, the BMW museum, Cologne and Heidelberg. But what makes this tour really unique is the off the beaten track places that only the locals really know, like the 300 year old Kreuzberg monastery brewery, the volcanic 'lagering caves' in the picturesque Eifel region of Germany and more. Hosted by bi-lingual beer ambassador and travel guide Oliver Dawson,  Kegs and Kathedrals will be a wonderful introduction to the beer culture and history of Germany for the first time traveler. And for the seasoned beer tripper an experience that should top them all!

Price is $2950 per person (land only) and includes almost everything necessary to make the experience a truly outstanding one. See the website for details.

The Beer Lovers' Tour of Oaxaca Mexico 2013 is an 8 day adventure in one of the most beautiful areas in the Americas! A UNESCO Heritage city, Oaxaca is located in the south central mountains of Mexico and boasts a bounty of architectural wonders from the pre-Columbian to the Colonial. In addition, it is Mexico's culinary capital and the centre for the production of Mezcal and of course Pulque, the pre-hispanic native beer made from the fruit of the agave  Finally, with the emergence of a local craft-beer culture, this week will be a complete cultural immersion that brings together old and new for a true 'feast of the senses'. Hosts on the Beer Lovers' Tour of Oaxaca Mexico will be Oliver Dawson and Alvin Starkman, Ex -Toronto resident of Oaxaca who is a leading authority on local culture and history and, the tradition of Mezcal production.

Price is $1790 per person (land only) which covers just about everything you will need to have an amazing experience  Details are on the web site.

Since 1998, The Beer Lovers' Tour Company has been offering unique tours and events that celebrate beer culture, history and travel. In addition to beer adventures in Europe, UK and Ireland , the highly acclaimed Old Toronto Beer Tour has been a local favourite since 2000. Founder and President Oliver Dawson is a 28 year veteran of the craft-beer scene, having started his professional beer journey in 1986 with the Upper Canada Brewing Company. While that phase ended 14 years later with the breweries' acquisition by a rival, he has since gone on to create The Beer Lovers' Tour Company and is very excited about the continuing developments in the beer industry.

" With the on going expansion in the craft brewing industry and the market's growing thirst for change, we are also seeing an acceleration in the category known as 'beer tourism", says Dawson.

"We are beginning to see more breweries adapting to this opportunity by taking greater care to offer visitors an exceptional experience. Breweries like Steam Whistle report Trip Advisor ranking as one of Toronto's top tourist destinations. As more breweries see the value of investing in the visitor experience, the more 'beer tourism' will become what the wine industry offers travellers in the wine growing regions of the world.," concludes Dawson.

For any information on the Beer Lovers' Tour Company and our cultural beer tours, please call 416 662-6312 or visit:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Come Celebrate Church-Key Brewing Company's 4th Annual Spring Revival May 4th

Campbellford, ON

Craft brewery Church-Key Brewing Company will welcome the return of warm weather on Saturday May 4th with their annual Spring Revival festival, held onsite at the church-turned-brewery just outside of Campbellford. The event which runs from 11am to 7 pm features live music all day, a variety of award-winning and new craft beers on tap, as well as food and activities to entertain.

The festivities kick off at 11 am with opening ceremonies featuring Trenton’s 8th Wing Pipe and Drum, and a cask-tapping of Church-Key’s newest beer, a bold, hoppy IPA. Local favourite The Muddy Hack will headline the variety of bands, with live music throughout the day. Ramblin’ Pit will be setting up their portable smokehouse onsite, serving up pulled pork and brisket on a fresh Dooher’s bun.

A variety of Church-Key’s craft beers will be available on tap for the day, including Northumberland Ale, West Coast Pale Ale, and their signature red, as well as some newly brewed styles for release this spring. The festival will further its green initiatives this year by serving in a souvenir Spring Revival glass, which will reduce waste.

Throughout the day, planned activities include a team-based trivia tournament called “Reach for the Tap,” in which teams of four will compete for prizes. Teams can pre-register by emailing, or may also sign up on the spot. Church-Key’s founder and owner John Graham will also be attempting to beat the World Record for “Most Beer Bottles Uncapped in One Minute,”(currently 110).

In its 11th year, Spring Revival is Church-Key’s signature fundraising event for 2013. Funds raised will benefit the local music program Blues in the School, which pairs working musicians with school-aged children to encourage and develop their musical talent. Additional information about Blues in the School can be found at:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mill Street Brewpub opens The Beer Hall - Distilling returns to Toronto's Distillery District

Toronto, ON

Mill Street Brewery will add a new dimension to the Mill Street Brewpub experience this spring with the launch of The Beer Hall. Set to open in April with a Grand Opening party on Thursday May 23rd, The Beer Hall will continue the fun and lively atmosphere of the Mill Street Brewpub with a contemporary new take on the beer hall concept.

Using a sophisticated draught beer delivery system, The Beer Hall will offer a selection of Mill Street beers pumped from the brewery through copper encased beer lines. The delivery system will also service a copper still that will be used to distill Mill Street's new bierschnapps. Created from Mill Street’s award-winning craft beers, the Mill Street Bierschnapps, a traditional German style dry spirit, is a first for Canadian craft brewers. The production of Bierschnapps brings back a 150 year old tradition of distilling to Toronto’s historic Distillery District.

“We wanted to celebrate the tradition of beer halls with communal seating and lively atmosphere, but in a modern, almost ironic way. You won’t see any lederhosen. The Beer Hall will be zinc countertops and douglas fir ceilings,” says Steve Abrams, co-founder of Mill Street Brewery. “Every function of the space is on display, from the open kitchen, to the beautiful copper still and beer lines from the brewery. It’s all about showcasing our process and enjoying what craft brewing can be. Great beer, food and a fun experience.”

Elizabeth Rivasplata will be heading up the kitchen of The Beer Hall. Elizabeth, who was a contestant of Top Chef Canada, has created a menu designed for sharing. Most items on the menu have been combined with beers by Mill Street's Brewmaster, Joel Manning who will also be introducing three new beers for the opening. Inspired by the social atmosphere of The Beer Hall, the accessible menu will emphasize quality and local produce.

The Beer Hall at Mill Street Brew Pub will also feature a spectacular 100 foot courtyard patio. The wood and glass covered patio will include an outdoor bar connected to the draught beer delivery system. A floor to ceiling sliding glass door system will transform the Beer Hall when opened to the lovely patio. The patio is due to open mid-May in time for The Beer Hall’s grand opening party.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ontario MPPs Vote for Their Favourite Ontario Craft Beers

Toronto, ON

19 Breweries Sample 68 Beers at Popular Annual Tasting Event

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario joined members of Ontario Craft Brewers® to celebrate the great taste and success of Ontario's thriving craft beer industry during the annual tasting event held at the Queen's Park Legislature.

Hosted by Hon. Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in cooperation with Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario MPPs and Queen's Park staffers tasted a wide selection of craft beers from breweries across the province and cast their votes in favour of the craft beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly for 2013-2014.

"Queen's Park staff flock to this annual tasting event," says Speaker Levac. "Ontario's independent brewers do excellent work not only producing some of the highest quality products available in Ontario but also add to Ontario's economy by creating jobs and economic growth."

Speaker's Selection: Hoptical Illusion, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Golden Lagers, Pilsners and Light Beer: Old Credit Pale Pilsner

Malty Dark Lager or Ale: TIED: Highlander Scottish Ale and Mill Street Tank House Ale

Wheat Beer or Specialty: Nickel Brook Green Apple Pilsner

Amber Lagers, Ale and Honey Beer: Old Credit Amber Ale
Refreshing Ales: Beau's Lug Tread Lagered Ale, Beau's All Natural Brewing

Bold Flavoured Ale, Stout or Porter: Dead Elephant Ale, Railway City Brewing
Nineteen Ontario Craft Breweries poured 68 different Ontario Craft Beers for 300+ government members and staff who enjoyed their samples with delicious Ontario food supplied by Saffron Catering and cured meats from the Association of Ontario Food Processors. Enterprise Canada was also a sponsor.
 "Our industry is experiencing fantastic growth and momentum," says Gary McMullen, Chair of Ontario Craft Brewers and President of Muskoka Brewery. "We are extremely proud of our premium quality products and our success to date. With Ontario's support, we will continue working toward our goal of being a North American centre of excellence for craft brewing."

 The new beers, to be highlighted in the Legislative Dining Room and at other Queen's Park venues, are brewed in local communities throughout the province, including: Barrie (Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery), Baysville (Lake of Bays Brewing Co.), Bracebridge (Muskoka Cottage Brewery), Burlington (Nickel Brook Brewing Co.), Cambridge (Grand River Brewing), Etobicoke (Black Oak Brewing Co. & Great Lakes Brewery), Guelph (F&M Brewery & Wellington Brewery), Port Credit (Old Credit Brewing Co. Ltd.), Niagara-on-the-Lake (Niagara College Teaching Brewery), Nobleton (King Brewery), Oakville (Cameron's Brewing Co.), South River (Highlander Brewing), St. Thomas (Railway City Brewing), Toronto (Amsterdam Brewery, Mill Street Brewery, Steamwhistle Brewing) and Van Kleek Hill (Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.).

Hale's Ales Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

Seattle, WA

"Thirty years ago it wasn't easy to find a fresh, tasty handcrafted ale," says Mike Hale, founder of Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub in Fremont,"In fact, it was almost impossible."

Very few craft brewers have been around long enough to see the craft beer business grow from almost nothing into the flourishing industry that it is now. Mike Hale is one of the few.

This year Hale's Ales in Fremont celebrates 30 years of being the little brewery that could. Founded in 1983 by Mike in Colville, Washington, Hale's Ales heads into 2013 an acknowledged pioneer of the industry.  What many people might not know is that Hale's is currently the longest running independently owned brewery in the Northwest.

"Except for some of my long time employees who now have a share in the business, Hale's is still owned by the original small group of local investors who had this crazy idea to open a brewery," says Hale.

Hale's will mark the anniversary with a series of special events which will include...

  • Hale's Brewery Celebrations at bars and restaurants across the state that have been loyal Hale's customers for 30 years
  • A Blow Out "Thank You" Anniversary Party with beer food and music at the Hale's Palladium sometime in September
  • A series of small batch, specialty beer releases throughout the year, including a special 30th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale

"We figure celebrating our 30th is really a celebration of craft beer in general," says  Hale, "We are grateful for the support of beer lovers in the Northwest."

Congratulations to everyone at Hale's!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cask Days Announces 5th Annual Cask-Conditioned IPA Challenge

Toronto, ON

Cask Days invites you to participate in the 5th Annual Cask-Conditioned IPA Challenge taking place Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario. This year's challenge will be hosted by barVolo (587 Yonge St. Toronto) and feature 32 cask-conditioned IPA's from 32 different breweries (Ontario & Quebec). Participating IPA's be served blind through gravity cask and will compete heads up in a single elimination bracket tournament. The top score of each beer pairing will advance to the next round. Attendees will have the opportunity to rate and score beers over three rounds. All beers will be revealed as their knocked out of the challenge. The final four beers remaining in the challenge will compete in one last round at Cask Days in October this year.

Live IPA Challenge Updates Will Be Posted On Twitter (#ONCASK)


* Round One (12pm - 4pm) - $20.00* - Saturday, May 4th, 2013
* Round Two (5pm - 9pm) - $20.00* - Saturday, May 4th, 2013
* Round Three (12pm - 4pm) - $20.00* - Sunday, May 5th, 2013
* IPA Tap Takeover (4pm-2am) - Open To General Public (No Tickets Required) *

* Featuring 26 India Pale Ale Hybrids on tap (Belgian IPA, Black IPA's, Double IPA's etc..)
* Round Three Ticket holders will have first access to the tap take over.


* The IPA Challenge is a tasting event.
* Ticket prices ($20.00) do not include HST taxes (13%) or online processing fees.
* Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
* Please print a copy of your ticket (sent via e-mail) - will be required at the door (with ID)
* Paypal account is not required for purchase, select "pay with credit / debit card option"
* 19+ event. ID will be required and checked at the door


* Commemorative 5th Annual Cask-Conditioned IPA Challenge glass
* Admission to a four hour session with 32 different IPA's to choose from
* One beer sample ticket (1/4 pint) - 125mL
* IPA Challenge Score Card, Vital Statistics Chart & Pencil
* Additional tasting tickets will be $2.50 (1/4 Pint) - 125mL


* All participating IPA's must follow BJCP style guidelines of an American or English IPA
* Entries must be cask-conditioned with no added ingredients. Dry hopping is permitted
* Beers will be assigned a random display number and will be served blind #oncask.
* Beers will be paired and go heads up in a single elimination bracket tournament (2 Divisions)
* The top score from each pairing (at the end of each round) will advance to the next round.
* If a beer is not serve-able, it will automatically be disqualified from the challenge.
* Customers will be presented score cards to rate/score participating IPA's
* During the challenge all beers still competing will be served in a 1/4 pint
* Beers that don’t advance will be disclosed and become available by the 1⁄2 and full pint.
* First round results will be weighted as 60% judge score and 40% public score.
* Judges Will Consist Of Brewers, Writers, Home Brewers, BJCP Certified Judges & Enthusiasts.
* There will be a total of three rounds for this years event.
* The FINAL FOUR will be held at Cask Days Festival in October 2013.


Great Lakes (Toronto, Ontario)

Grand River (Cambridge, Ontario)

Amsterdam (Toronto, Ontario)

Cheshire Valley (Toronto, Ontario)

Muskoka (Bracebridge, Ontario)

Black Oak (Toronto, Ontario)

Beau's (Vankleekhill, Ontario)

Indie Ale House (Toronto, Ontario)

Granite (Toronto, Ontario)

Clock Tower (Ottawa, Ontario)

House Ales (Toronto, Ontario)

Cameron's (Oakville, Ontario)

F&M (Guelph, Ontario)

Sawdust City (Gravenhurst, Ontario)

Nickelbrook (Burlington, Ontario)

Kensington (Toronto, Ontario)

Flying Monkey (Barrie, Ontario)

Double Trouble (Guelph, Ontario)

Left Field (Cambridge, Ontario)

Dieu Du Ciel! (Montreal, Quebec)

Benelux (Montreal, Quebec)

Bellwoods (Toronto, Ontario)

Dunham (Dunham, Quebec)

Swansea Homebrew Club (Toronto, Ontario)

Get Well (Toronto, Ontario)

Wellington (Guelph, Ontario)

Radical Road X Shacklands (Toronto, Ontario)

Oast! (Niagara, Ontario)

Hopfenstark (L'Assomption, Quebec)


1st Annual Ontario Cask IPA Challenge
Winner: Duggan's #9 IPA

2nd Annual Ontario Cask IPA Challenge
Winner: Great Lakes My Bitter Wife IPA

3rd Annual Ontario Cask IPA Challenge
Winner: Great Lakes Karma Citra IPA'

4th Annual Ontario Cask IPA Challenge
Winner: House Ales Westside iPA

Monday, April 8, 2013

Parts & Labour + Beau’s Brewery Present 4-Course German Beer Tasting & Pig Feast April 11

Toronto, ON

Eclectic menu billed as Chef Matty Matheson’s “Wild Tribute to the Pig;” each course paired with a German-style beer from Beau’s All Natural

Parkdale restaurant Parts & Labour will host a German-beer-hall-themed pig feast Thursday April 11, pairing a 4-course menu designed exclusively for the evening by Chef Matty Matheson with a series of German-style beers from award-winning craft brewery Beau’s All Natural. Billed as Matheson’s “Wild Tribute to the Pig,” the eclectic menu will include servings of bone marrow, pogos, choucroute garnie, and strudel.

In addition to the intentioned pairing of a Beau’s beer with each course, Parts and Labour will be bringing in a draft line up of new and rare Beau’s All Natural beers for guests to linger and enjoy that evening, including Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout, Beau’s brand-new hopfenweisse Wag the Wolf, fan-favourite BogFather, and of course plenty of Beau’s award-winning flagship beer Lug Tread.

Doors open at 7 pm for dinner guests, and tickets are $45. Following the dinner Parts and Labour will open the doors to the public (at 10 pm) for $6 pints of Beau’s beers on tap, to include:

Lugtread Lagered Ale
Farmtable Belgian Pale Ale
Matt's Sleepytime Belgian Imperial Stout
Wag The Wolf Hopfenweisse
Bog Father Gruit
Strong Patrick
Mutineer Imperial Pilsner
Walloon Dragon Belgian IPA
Dark Helmut Imperial Swartzbier
Beaver River IPA (on cask*)

Parts & Labour is located at 1566 Queen St. W in Toronto. Dinner tickets are available through Eventbrite:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Big Rock Brewery - IPA

ABV 5.5% (Bottle 341ml)
The Brewery

"It started with a thirst. Ah 1984, a simpler time when Alberta beer drinkers had the choice between “lager A” or “lager B”. Choice was what noted beer fan Ed McNally wanted. Rather than complicate matters by having to track down established import brews, Ed took the “easy” route of starting his own brewery."

The Bottle
Get all in the info on this brew.

The Pour
Golden amber and clear with red emerging around the edges of the glass.  The one finger white head quickly fades, but you don't really need a big head for the brew like this.

Surprisingly hoppy with layers of bubblegum and grapefruit over-top creamy malt.

Very hopped at first with caramel malt underneath.  The hops are of the resiny variety but the body is a bit watery and the taste fades quickly leaving no trace.  Definitely looking at a summer refresher here.

Big Rock makes good gateway beers and this one is no different.  It's dry hopped for scent and it shows as the hops don't stick around on the palate and the brew isn't very demanding on your taste buds.  However, I can see this being a nice introduction to the flavour of hops for the novice who hasn't experienced their unique taste outside of the usual macro lagers (that is AT ALL).   I give this one a B.  Not great in a category with such stiff competition, but a decent way in for those unfamiliar with hops.

Next up...
New Brunswick's Pump House Brewery Blueberry Ale

A bit about gateway beers

I'm quite fond of Big Rock as their Grasshopper wheat was my first introduction to craft beer.  I was in Grand Bend one summer in my early twenties and a place called Gordie's (at the time) had it on tap.

I'd never tasted anything like it; having mostly drank Canadian and Pabst type stuff up until that point.  It was like candy in my mouth.  I actually had a similar experience in the same place with Moosehead the next summer, but that brew hasn't aged as well with me; but I do LOVE me some Hop City Barking Squirrel Lager (owned by Moosehead) so the connection continues in a way.  But Big Rock was definitely the first beer that did something different for me and brought something to the table aside from a quick buzz.  It was surprising and tasty and all my friends loved it too.  I don't drink it as much anymore, but I'll never turn one down and am always happy to see bars carry it, especially when it's their non-macro option.

In addition, Big Rock's Traditional Ale was my favorite beer on tap for quite a run at the start of my beer drinking experimentation when I first entered university.  They had it at Western's Grad Club and it helped make that place special to me.  In fact, writing this has made me think it's been far to long since I hooked up with a good old Trad Ale.  I should pick some up.

Gateways beers are important because they bridge the gap between macro and craft to help ease people in.  It's easy to get down on something like Big Rock IPA because it's not Boneshaker or Mad Tom (Even Madder Tom), but those are beers you give to novices as a joke to blow their heads off.  I know...I was ONE of them!  The hops hill is hard to climb if you don't have an immediate taste for them and beers like this offer a nice escalator at least part of the way up.

Since I don't hear this question asked a lot, but find it absolutely fascinating, I thought I'd ask: What are your gateway beers?  What brew showed you there was more to beer than cold, carbonated malty brown water?  I hope some of you will take some time to comment.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

All Day IPA Will Be the First Founders Beer To Be Available in a Can

Grand Rapids, MI

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that they plan to release their craft beer in cans for the first time in their fifteen-year history. The brewery will put its warm weather seasonal, All Day IPA, in 12 oz. cans that will be available in 12-packs across their distribution footprint this summer.

“Especially in our recreational home state of Michigan, cans are a very functional package,” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “It means people will be able to enjoy our beer at golf courses, marinas and while hiking or camping. And we think All Day IPA works in a can particularly well.”

The brewery did extensive research to find a canning line that delivers a sealed container meeting the same quality standard as what comes off their bottling line every day.

“For this new canning line, we turned to the same manufacturer of our bottling line, world beverage industry leader, Krones. We are 100% confident in both this line and this package,” said Vice President of Operations Brad Stevenson.

All Day IPA will be the only Founders beer in cans to start. More Founders products may make their way into cans in the future.

For information on the states in which Founders is available, as well as details on their 2013 beer lineup and release calendar, visit


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More