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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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

London Ontario Gets New Microbrewery

London, ON

Local brewers begin distribution, opening to public June 8th 

Forked River Brewing Company has announced the inaugural release of its beers to draught accounts will be starting Saturday, June 1st, 2013. London's only craft microbrewery will then have its first public hours, from  11am to 4pm on Saturday, June 8th, 2013 at the brewery. Located seven kilometres east of downtown London, at 45 Pacific Court Units 16/17, the 3000 square foot brewery and tasting room is ready to serve London and the surrounding area.

Forked River Brewing Company is proud to continue a tradition of brewing in London, which dates back over 175 years in the city. Named after the forks of the Thames River, the site of London’s brewing roots, the company represents an exciting new venture in a market which has been demanding its own craft beer.

By pairing innovation with tradition, the three founders/brewers are committed to providing all-natural, unfiltered, and unpasteurized brews both at local bars and restaurants as well as on-site at the brewery itself .

Founders David Reed, Andrew Peters, and Steve Nazarian, are all London residents and Western graduates who have a passion for handcrafting beer. An engineer and two microbiologists, their professional backgrounds form a perfect union of the technical expertise integral to making great beer. The founders have been producing award winning beer collectively for approximately 15 years and have been recognized at both the provincial and national levels within Canadian and American competitions.

Forked River prides itself on using only the finest quality water, malt, hops, and yeast in their beer. Recipes have been developed with no preservatives and the beer is unpasteurised to preserve the flavour the brewers intended.

Made in London for London:

• Capital Blonde: an easy-drinking, balanced blonde ale full of malt and hop flavour
• Riptide Rye: a hop-forward pale ale brewed with a generous proportion of rye malt
• Seasonal specialty beers available throughout the year on a limited-release basis

Forked River Brewing Company will showcase these quality products to the public through an on-site tasting room at the brewery where beer enthusiasts will be able to tour the new facility and purchase bottles, half-gallon growlers, and kegs of their favourite brews for consumption off-site.

Beau’s All Natural Announces The Tom Green Beer

Ottawa, ON

Beau’s and comedian Tom Green to launch collaborative beer at Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa & Session Craft Beer Festival in Toronto

Beau’s All Natural Brewing will be collaborating with Canadian actor and comedian Tom Green this spring to create The Tom Green Beer. The official launch of the Tom Green Beer in the nation’s capital will include five stand-up comedy shows featuring Tom Green, to be held at Yuk Yuk’s on Elgin St. in Ottawa June 13-15.

Milk stout is the chosen beer style for the collaboration, a tip of the hat to one of Tom Green’s comic antics of the past. A balanced black ale, The Tom Green Beer will display flavours of chocolate and coffee, while delivering a creamy, velvety texture and finishing with a mild sweetness.

Tom Green initially approached Beau’s All Natural with the idea of making a beer together last summer. When Toronto’s Session Craft Beer Festival proposed the idea of “Collaboration Nation” (having Ontario craft breweries pair themselves with an artist and develop a beer together), the plan became a reality.

“Growing up in the Ottawa area, I’ve been a huge Tom Green fan. Having the opportunity to brew a unique and tasty beer with one of my heros is quite amazing — really amazing,” shared Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beau’s. “We're having so much fun with this project, we may decide to make it available as more than just a one-off release… assuming we like the finished beer as much as we think we will,” he added.

Tom Green preferred to share his feelings about the collaboration in song:

“This is The Tom Green Beer
It’s not The Green Tom Beer
This is my favourite beer
Because it is my beer.”

Tickets and information for the upcoming Tom Green stand-up comedy shows at Yuk Yuks Ottawa can be found at On Thursday June 13, Tom Green, Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne and Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara will host a tasting event after the show. All performances will have The Tom Green Beer available for sale. (Ottawa media will be invited to share in a private tasting of The Tom Green Beer, prior to the June 13 show at 4:00pm.)

The Tom Green Beer will be available as part of Ontario Craft Beer Week, a week-long celebration bringing awareness of craft beer throughout the province — visit for all events. OCB Week will include the Session Craft Beer Festival and Collaboration Nation on Saturday, June 22 at Wychwood Barns in Toronto. Tickets and information for Session Craft Beer Festival can be found at

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beau’s Releases 3 New Beers in Anticipation of Summer

Seasonal and Wild Oats Series beer to hit LCBO shelves today + new collaborative beer 

With summer just around the corner, Beau’s All Natural Brewing is keeping things interesting by releasing three beers to mark the changing of the seasons. Of these three releases, two are appearing in LCBO stores across the province.

The first is Beau’s summer offering, Festivale Altbier. Back for a fifth year this amber ale displays a rich amber hue and provides assertive malt and hop flavours. Festivale pairs perfectly with nutty cheeses, grilled pork and long summer days. Sold in single-serve 600 ml bottles, Festivale will be available beginning today for a price of $4.35. In 2009 Festivale won Gold at Mondial de la Bière in Strasbourg, France.

Beau’s also welcomes the return of Festivale Plus Sticke Alt; a stronger, bolder, oak-aged version of the aforementioned summer seasonal, Festivale. Festivale Plus features a decidedly robust yet balanced blend of clean, crisp and bready malts, with an assertive hop backbone. Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara suggests the beer as the perfect accompaniment to barbequed ribs, smoked Gouda, or crème brûlée. Beau’s first released Festivale Plus in 2010 and sold out of the entire batch in only one day. This time around, Festivale Plus is available in 600 ml bottles for $7.85. Festivale Altbier and Festivale Plus Sticke Alt are both now available at the LCBO.    

“It’s a great treat when multiple releases coincide. It’s kind of like having your birthday on Christmas Eve. There is so much to celebrate!” remarked Beau’s co-founder, Steve Beauchesne.

Finally, Beau’s releases the latest beer in their Pro-Am Series: a Belgian IPA named Rudolphus VI. The beer presents notes of tropical and citrus fruit, accents of pine, and hints of clove. The bitterness is complemented by tropical fruit notes like star fruit, orange and unripened peach. To enhance the flavour further, O’Hara suggests barbequed chorizo or a spicy Thai curry for pairing. The Pro-Am Series are beers designed by talented and innovative homebrewers. Rudolphus VI was developed by 2012 National Capital Craft Beer Week Best of Show winner Joey Kilbride. This offering is available starting today in 600 ml bottles direct from the brewery, for home delivery in Ottawa via BYBO (, and at select restaurants and pubs.

For a list of LCBO stores carrying Festivale Altbier and Festivale Plus Sticke Alt, visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. - 4D (Fourth Dementia) Olde Ale

ABV 13.5% (Bottle 355ml)
The Brewery

The Brew
"Deep ruby red ale. Extreme malty/caramel flavor; sweet up front, finishing with hop bitterness and aroma. Very complex beer. We recommend at least four more months of age. But it is a delight to drink now."

The Pour
Pours brown, but is cola dark in the glass.  I got no head or lacing, but burnt orange shades present when swirled for a nice added touch.

Delicious and fascinating in equal measure!  The nose is big and thick with sweet roasted malts, red licorice, candied fruits and rich fruit cake on top of the earthy aroma of fallen leaves.  There is the faintest whiff of alcohol - which for 13.5% is impressive.

The mouth-feel is thick like oil as it coats the tongue.  There is very little carb to compete with the substantial body - which is nice because the massive sweetness of the malts get to do battle with the alcohol warmth and cheek sucking bitterness without interference from bubbles.  The warmth actually spread to my throat and chest like a nice sherry, making this a winning warmer for the cool spring months. 

This beer is big, and I mean BIG!  The alcohol is huge, but balances very well with an equally large palette of flavours that carry through from the fantastic nose.  I give this one an A.  It didn't blow my mind enough for an A+, but it is a substantial brew to be sure and well worth a try (get an extra bottle to age!)  I can see why it rates so high at  Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.

Up next...
Grand River Brewing's spring release of Dogstalker April Bock.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beer Mail from Cameron's Brewing

I was lucky enough to receive a very special beer mail from Oakville's own Cameron's Brewing.  It included both their RPA (Rye Pale Ale), Multi-Medal Winner at both the Ontario and Canadian Brewing Awards for two years running and their Obsidian Imperial Porter Rum Barrel Aged.

Having had the chance to try both, they are fantastic.  While complete different in style, the Obsidian blew me away.  Incredibly rich, dark and velvety smooth with hints of burnt sugar and toffee.  This roasty porter had a gentle sweetness with hints of vanilla imparted from the rum cask.  Complex and delicious.  Get this if you can!

For more information on the RPA click here.

For more information of the Obsidian click here.

And for heaven's sake go out and get some of each!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beau’s All Natural Brew Tanks on the Move to Ottawa

Ottawa, ON

Local brewery Beau’s All Natural “Pays It Forward” for The Love of Craft Beer

Eastern Ontario’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing and one of Ottawa’s newest craft breweries, Beyond The Pale, are excited to announce a plan that will bring even more great craft beer to the National Capital region. This week, four brewing vessels from Beau’s first brewhouse, purchased in 2006, will be loaned to Beyond the Pale, to help BTP meet the growing demand for their beer. BTP will compensate Beau’s for the loan with one case of their beer, featuring the re-released Hop on Your Face IPA.  

Beau’s installed a new 60-barrel brewhouse and larger tanks in 2012 as part of a brewery-wide expansion, and since then the older 15-barrel system has been used mainly for experimental and small-batch brewing. When Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne heard of Beyond The Pale’s capacity challenges, he saw the opportunity to pay forward the sense of community and shared passion that Beau’s encountered when first starting up.

“The greatest part of the craft beer movement is how good the beer tastes,” says Beauchesne. “The second-best part is that the movement is genuinely interested in supporting one another and working together for the sake of good beer.” Beauchesne notes that before Beau’s was able to purchase the tanks that will be loaned to Beyond The Pale, Church-Key Brewing in Campbellford, Ont. provided a home for Beau’s to brew the first batches of Lug Tread.

“Beau’s would not be where we are now without the support of craft breweries like Church-Key who came before us and helped us get our start, so it feels really good being able to pay it forward,” says Beauchesne. “It was an easy decision to loan the tanks to BTP because I like what they’re doing so much,” he added.

Beyond The Pale had difficulty meeting customer demand throughout the winter, and are looking forward to being able to ramp up their production for summer while continuing to grow. The two fermenters and two brite tanks on loan from Beau’s will increase their brewing capacity by 80%, and help them to run brewery operations more efficiently.

“In most businesses, if you called up the most successful and influential business in your marketplace and asked them to help support your unanticipated growth, they’d close the door in your face. Steve, on the other hand, took my call and has gone the extra mile to help support us,” shares Beyond The Pale co-founder Rob McIsaac.

“Beau’s has been great ambassadors for craft beer for many years and are truly interested in doing what’s best for both the industry as a whole, and for the community. They embody the mantra of doing well by doing good,” he concludes.

The borrowed equipment is expected to arrive at this week at Beyond The Pale, located at 5 Hamilton Avenue in Ottawa.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brewery Ommegang and HBO Partner for "Game of Thrones" Inspired Brews

Seize your destiny and the Iron Throne!

Brewery Ommegang and HBO are partnering on a series of beers inspired by the critically-acclaimed drama Game of Thrones. Launching ahead of the season 3 debut on March 31, Iron Throne, a blonde ale, is the inaugural beer in the series and the result of a creative collaboration between Brewmaster Phil Leinhart and HBO.

“No one enjoys their job more than I do -- producing and developing new brews to delight lovers of fine beer, add to that the opportunity to collaborate on a beer based on the cultural phenomenon of Game of Thrones and exploring ways to make the beer truly reflect aspects from the show. It made us approach development in a completely new way and I think the first edition Iron Throne reveals that. With a Lannister currently on the throne, it made sense to do a delicate, but piercing Golden Blonde Ale with Noble hops. Iron Throne is certainly fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for.” says Phil Leinhart, Brewmaster at Brewery Ommegang.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beer Mail From Innis & Gunn

There are some wonderful products in the pipeline from our good friends at Innis & Gunn.

They have their Melville's Craft Lager line, sporting strawberry, raspberry and ginger beer flavours.

As well, something that I am really excited about; their Canadian Cherrywood Finish.

"Strong, sweet and full bodied, we matured this Limited Edition Innis & Gunn over Canadian Black Cherrywood and then finished it before bottling with a touch of maple syrup to give it a sweet, toasty twist."

Some suggested food pairings would include, fresh figs and a soft goats cheese, or smoky pulled pork.

Be sure to enjoy some of these selections this summer!

Friday, May 17, 2013

LCBO Stores Closed on Victoria Day

Toronto, ON

The LCBO would like to remind its customers that, regardless of the status of negotiations with the union representing its bargaining unit employees, all LCBO stores will be closed on Victoria Day, Monday, May 20. Like most other retailers, LCBO closes on this statutory holiday.

Some agency stores will observe their normal business hours on May 20. Agency stores are locally-owned retailers that contract with LCBO to sell beverage alcohol, along with other products, in communities that are too small to support regular LCBO stores.

"In advance of the first long weekend of the summer, customers are encouraged to shop early for the best product selections," said LCBO Senior VP, Retail Operations Bob Clevely. "Customers entertaining this weekend can avoid any possible service disruptions by shopping our stores early and stocking up."

Negotiations with OPSEU are ongoing. For updates on collective bargaining developments, visit the LCBO Media Centre at or follow us on Twitter @LCBONEWS.

The Beer Store Closing Victoria Day

Toronto, ON

The Beer Store will close all stores across the province Monday, May 20th, 2013 to observe Victoria Day . All Beer Stores will observe their normal closing hours for the rest of the weekend.

For stores hours, visit them at The Beer Store would like to wish their employees and customers a safe Holiday. The Beer Store would like to remind you that they take back 100% of all beer packaging as well as all wine and spirit containers.

Please remember that many of your favourite craft brewery retail stores WILL be open for the holiday.  

For a list of breweries, click here.  

Support you Ontario brewer!

Beer Mail from McClelland Premium Imports - Stiegl Grapefruit Radler

Another treat from our friends at McClelland Premium Imports.  Specializing in bringing the finest European beers to Ontario, McClelland Premium Imports was founded in 2003.

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler, known as “The fruity one”, has a nice tart aroma and natural cloudiness.  Made with real fruit juice, this is a light and refreshing twist to the cooler market.  A beer cocktail low in calories: only 35 calories / 100 ml and also low in alcohol content: 2.5 % vol.

Should be refreshing after cutting the grass on a hot summers day!

Find out more about McClellands and their fine portfolio here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

LCBO Reaches A Tentative Agreement with Unionized Employees

Toronto, ON

The LCBO, Ontario's Liquor Control Board, has just announce that stores will be open tomorrow and it looks like a strike will be averted.

Released via social media, the LCBO announced "Breaking News: We’ve just reached a tentative agreement with our unionized employees so stores will be open for business tomorrow."

While this is good news, please remember that your local craft producers of fine spirits, wine and beer would still have been able to fill their gap at the various retail shops.  Please continue to support them!

Top 10 Reasons to Love Ontario Craft Beer Week 2013 ~ June 16 - 23 ~

Here are 10 reasons why you won't want to miss Ontario Craft Beer Week:

NUMBER 1: CRAFT BEER HAS FLAVOUR - Ontario Craft Brewers brew over 250 brands including lagers, ales, pilsners, porters and stouts. This number multiplies with all the new seasonal specialties, one-offs, collaborative brews and casks available during this week only. Ontario Craft Beer Week is your chance to taste as many varieties as you possibly can.

LCBO BEER FAIRS: On June 15, 2013, eight local LCBO stores across Ontario will host tastings with four Ontario Craft breweries sampling two products each. Drop by for a taste and stock up for your own OCB Week home tasting event. Stores include: Summerhill, Kingsway and Bayview (Toronto), Nepean & Rideau (Ottawa), Orion Gate (Burlington), Appleby Line (Burlington) and Howard Ave. (Windsor).

NUMBER 2: CRAFT BEER IS DOWN WITH DAD - June 16 - What better way to treat Dad on his special day than with great, local, fresh craft beer. Most Ontario Craft Breweries host Father's Day events at their breweries with tours, tastings and BBQs and some will host events at local restaurants and pubs.
Amsterdam will be holding a Father's Day BBQ + Tours + Tasting at our brewery at 45 Esandar Dr. (Leaside)
Beau's All Natural Brewery will host a BBQ for daddies on the brewery patio and will release the 2013 edition of its collaborative brew, Pan Ontario, a delicious barrel-aged creation that contains one beer each from Beau's All Natural, Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Amsterdam and Wellington. (Vankleek Hill)
Cameron's Brewing Co. hosts its 16th anniversary during the annual Father's Day BBQ at the brewery in Oakville with beer, food & free tours.
F&M Brewery Father's Day Bus Tour (12-4 p.m.) between F&M Brewery, Wellington Brewery, and local craft beer legend, the Woolwich Arrow. Tours and samplings at the brewery in Guelph. $5 per person.

Granite Brewery in Toronto will give Dad a pint in a special free Granite Father's Day glass.

Bring Dad down to Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke between 2-4 p.m. for beer and BBQ treats.

Muskoka Brewery Steamship Cruise: A four hour tour of Muskoka lakes with good craft beer, delicious food and entertainment.

Railway City Brewing's Railway City will be hosting a Father's Day Barbeque, Brewery Tours and Sample event in our new brewery in St. Thomas, ON.

Steam Whistle Brewing - Free tours for Dad at the Roundhouse brewery in Toronto.

Wellington Brewery Father's Day Ale Trail (12-5 p.m.) between Wellington, F&M Brewery and local craft beer legend, the Woolwich Arrow. Samplings at the breweries in Guelph (including Welly One-Off limited edition cask beer) & more.

There's also Beach, Brews & BBQ June 14-16 at Woodbine Park in Toronto with tasty food and Ontario Craft Beer offerings from Beau's, Black Oak, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery, Left Field Brewery, Mill Street Brewery, Nickel Brook.

NUMBER 3: ONTARIO CRAFT BEER GOES GREAT WITH FOOD - Fine dining, 4, 5&6 course meals, BBQ, cheese pairings, pig roasts, sliders and canapés - all better with beer. Highlights:

"Chef-Faced" ... Presented by Muskoka Brewery & The Hintonburg Public House - A Bartender and the Chef from the HPH and 3 of Ottawa's Top Restaurants (TBD) will battle it out to see who will be crowned "Chef-Faced". Each team is to come up with a beer cocktail and food pairing; judged by a group of their peers. (June 23)

Mill Street Brewery will offer its outstanding Beer & Cheese Pairing Program in pubs and restos throughout the province with Mill Street providing 7 oz glasses, sampling paddles and tasting notes so participating establishments can offer flights the right way! (week-long)

Muskoka Brewery's 2nd Annual "Epic Pig Roast" at the Arrow and Loon in Ottawa (June 15).

The Beau's Beer & BBQ Bash at The Compass Bar & Grill in Oakville will showcase the talent of the Group of Seven Chefs and the fabulous flavour of Beau's Beer. Each BBQ dish will be complimented and enhanced by a specially chosen Beau's beer to complete the flavour experience.

Mill Street's four course brewmaster dinner made and paired with Mill St. beers and featuring a rare tasting of their 5yr old aged Barley Wine at the Dominion on Queen in Toronto (June 18).

Beau's & Glen Echo Fine Foods visit the Queen's University Grad Club for a cheers to cheese! Five Beau's beers will be paired alongside five perfectly matched cheeses. (June 17)

NUMBER 4: CRAFT BEER TAP TAKEOVERS - Follow your favourite breweries when they take over the taps at your local establishment. Highlights:

Beau's All Natural and Great Lakes join forces at Toronto's Bar Hop celebrating OCB Week with 36 of each breweries finest brews on tap + two cask engines. (June 19)

Flying Monkey Tap takeover and tacos. Five of Flying Monkey's regular craft beers on and one specialty brew (Imperial Pilsner). Corner Bar will be showing off their new menu which includes unique Tacos. (June 19)

King Brewery and Steam Whistle gather for a side by side comparison of their award-winning pilsners AND a rare sampling of their un-filtered versions! Compare two great versions of a classic-style Ontario Pilsner in both their un-filtered and regular style beers! (June 20)

Mill Street Brewery Tap Takeover at Relish in Toronto with live music all day (June 22).

Tap for Tap - Beau's vs. Muskoka - A friendly head to head competition between Beau's All Natural and Muskoka. Decide who will win each battle in this all out throw down as they compare beer by beer! Beau's own Tim Beauchesne and Muskoka's Ross Muir play host. Beaver River VS Mad Tom? You be the judge! (June 20)

Wellington Brewery Tap Takeover at Relish in Toronto featuring a wide selection of beers and beer inspired menu pairings from Chef Joanne Clayton. Karaoke starts at 10pm with 5 dollar Wellington pints. (June 20)

NUMBER 5: ONTARIO CRAFT BEER & ENTERTAINMENT - The 2nd annual Battle of the Beer Bands at The Only Café - 1 MC, 2 Nights, 3 Judges, 8 Bands. Each band includes at least one member who works for an OCB brewery. The 2nd annual brewery band showdown will include great music, tons of fun and a whole lot of great beer from your favourite breweries, including some tap features. Tuesday, June 18 Audio (Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.) Julian Taylor Band - (Cameron's Brewing Co.) Clang (Great Lakes Brewery) Stone Face Dolly's - (Wellington Brewery). Wednesday, June 19 Bands & Breweries TBA.

Party like a rock star with WILLIE NELSON and Beau's! Beau's Big Birthday Bash with Willie Nelson at TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. A selection of 8 tasty Beau's beers will be on tap and the first 1000 ticket holders through the gates will receive a free Beau's branded bandana. (June 21)

STRANGE BREW - Mill Street Brewery's amazing celebration of craft beer, rock n' roll,       and the unusual. Featuring 10 seasonal brews from local craft brewers (Black Oak, Lake of Bays, Mill Street, Neustadt Springs & Steam Whistle among others!); performances by: DWAYNE GRETZKY; JUMPLE + more TBA. Hosted by: MYSTERION the Mindreader and featuring his clan of sideshow weirdos. (June 21)

NUMBER 6: ONTARIO CRAFT BEER TOURS - Sign up for a specially-priced, personalized regional beer tour, such as: the Old Toronto Beer Tour™ by Toronto Beer Lovers Tour Co., OR Ontario Group of Touring Companies, Ontario Craft Brewery Tours

Travel Round the World Tour with Beau's in four short hours! Experience Four Seasons, four Celebrations, four Countries & one Big Surprise! Join Beau's in Toronto for a tour around the world, celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa, Oktoberfest in Munich, New Year's Eve in Copenhagen and St. Patrick's Day in Dublin. Beau's will transport you through time and space to spend one hour at each of these magical destinations. (June 20)

NUMBER 7: ONTARIO CRAFT BEER COLLABORATIONS - Collaboration is a key theme of Ontario Craft Beer Week with breweries brewing, working and playing together.

Five Brewery Tap Takeover - "Crafters of the Brewniverse" Tap Takeover Event at Brothers Beer Bistro in Ottawa (Beau's, Muskoka, Nickel Brook & two TBD). (June 16)

Collaboration Nation - This year, Griffin Session Toronto has put together a collaboration nation of Brewers and Artists, teaming up 20 breweries and 20 Artists to create one-of-a-kind collaboration beers that will be available to try at Session. Highlights include - Beaus and Tom Green, Mill Street and Royal Wood, Great Lakes Brewery and Josh Rubin.  Follow @griffingastro on Twitter and hashtag #collaborationnation. (June 22)

Niagara Collabrewation - Niagara College is inviting local Ontario breweries to visit the college throughout the summer to collaboratively brew with their student hire(s). (all week)

NUMBER 8: CRAFT BEER CULTURE IS COOL - One of the unique things about Ontario Craft Beer is that you can get up close and personal with the people who make the beer. Meet the makers behind Ontario's awesome craft beer scene.

Beau's Masterbrewer Matthew O'Hara and his mentor Michael Hancock of Denison's for dinner. A delicious four-course beer dinner will feature two of each brewer's creative and wonderful brews. (June 18)

Mill Street sampling and seminar with a Mill Street Brewer at Sarah's Café in Toronto. (June 20)

Beau's brewer Andrew Bartle will be onsite at the Branch Restaurant in Kemptville to make sense of each beer and why it matches each bite. The impressive beer lineup features a cask of summer seasonal Festivale Altbier, Boubon barrel-aged Strong Patrick + Festivale, Burnt Rock and The Tom Green Beer. (June 19)

Session Toronto will have special education sessions led by OCB member brewers and beer experts. This is the place to meet many people in the Ontario Craft Brewing industry. (June 22)

NUMBER 9: CRAFT BEER IS CREATIVE - This is your chance to try specialty and on-off brews created for this week only.

Join Flying Monkeys brewery at the Wellington Gastro Pub in Ottawa and taste two specialty cask conditioned pins and one specialty keg. (June 18)

Mill Street Brewery's cask tasting at Pegasus in Toronto. (June 20)

Wellington Brewery will be on hand at Sarah's Cafe to sample a selection of their award-winning beers including a special Welly One-Off cask. (June 21)


GRIFFIN SESSION TORONTO - Official OCB Week wrap party in Toronto with 20+ Ontario Craft Brewers
When - Saturday, June 22nd - 4pm - 9 pm
Where - Artscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto
What - This year, Griffin Session Toronto teamed up 20 breweries and 20 Artists to create one-of-a-kind collaboration beers that will be available to try and at Session. Some of the highlights so far - Beaus and Tom Green, Mill Street and Royal Wood,  Great lakes brewery and Josh Rubin.  Details are updated frequently on twitter using @griffingastro and the hashtag #collaborationnation.

There will be an educational element featuring tastings, beer and food pairings and craft beer appreciation sponsored by OCB. There will also be an Ontario craft beer station sponsored by The Griffin Gastropub, UBC and Mom & Hops that will have many other Ontario craft breweries featured and on tap.  Special beers will rotate by the hour. Live music by Madison Violet, Grady Kelneck and Lindy.

Tickets available on line at for $50 and that includes all beer samples.  Food can be purchased from special food trucks and other food vendors on the grounds.

The goal of Ontario Craft Brewers' week-long, province-wide festival is to celebrate the local craft beer scene and expose consumers to the premium quality and culture of Ontario craft beer. OCB breweries will host events on-site at their breweries, in pubs, restaurants, and event venues throughout Ontario in cities such as Toronto, Guelph, London, Ottawa and smaller

Great Lakes Brewery Named Canadian Brewery of the Year at 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards

Toronto, ON

2013 off to a great start at Great Lakes Brewery

On May 11th, 2013 the 11th annual Canadian Brewing Awards was held at The Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, British Columbia. Canadian breweries from all corners of the country were in attendance to mix and mingle over some of the best beer in the nation, including the team from Great Lakes, Toronto’s oldest independent craft brewery, who returned home with a suitcase full of trophies; including the most prestigious of all – the Canadian Brewery of the Year!

The 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards was the largest in their eleven-year history, as 746 beers from over 120 breweries were submitted into 38 categories for judging. Awards of gold, silver or bronze were given to the top three ranking beers in each category. The judging was conducted in Toronto over five days  in April​ by 43 BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program)-certified beer judges in a blind tasting environment.

“We couldn't be happier with the results from the Canadian Brewing Awards,” stated Peter Bulut. Jr., President of Great Lakes Brewery. “There was a lot of competition this year and to receive an award of this magnitude is a testament to our entire brewing team.”

Great Lakes, who have had a strong showing in recent years at the Canadian Brewing Awards, took home the following medals:

Gold – Karma Citra India Pale Ale
Gold – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Robust Porter
Gold – Harry Porter
Silver – Crazy Canuck Pale Ale
Silver – Maverick & Gose (Collaboration with Amsterdam Brewery, ON)
Bronze – 25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout

This has been the first time that an Ontario brewery has been named Canadian Brewery of the Year since 2009, and Great Lakes vows to continue producing high quality craft beer for the citizens of Ontario.

“It’s so great to be part of this great brewing nation, especially in Ontario, and we’ll continue to brew beautiful beers for years to come,” said Bulut.

Great Lakes’ David Bieman and Troy Burtch were in Victoria to accept the awards before a packed event full of brewery representatives from all over Canada, and both were amazed with the outpouring of congratulations and the camaraderie between breweries after the award was announced. Great Lakes would also like to congratulate all the other medal winners, especially Powell Street Brewery from Vancouver for winning Beer of the Year with their Old Jalopy Pale Ale.

Fresh off 25th Anniversary celebrations in 2012, Great Lakes Brewery has started 2013 off on the right foot as they were named “Best Brewery in Ontario” by to winning the highest honour in the Canadian brewing industry on  Saturday May 11th.

Beer List Released for Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting

Asheville, N.C

All About Beer Magazine and Thirsty Monk Host May Event to Benefit Pints for Prostates

Organizers of the inaugural Asheville Rare & Wild Beer Tasting have released the list of 37 rare and exotic beers that will be poured by 24 of America’s leading craft breweries at the May 31 event.

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.

The beer list includes:

·         Against the Grain Port Barrel-Aged Bo & Luke, Tickle Me Alemo & Citra Ass Down

·         Allagash Smoke and Beards & Mattina Rossa

·         Asheville Ratri Double IPA, Bier de Mardi Garde & Big Thankful Porter

·         Bell’s Sweet Potato Stout

·         Big Boss Hell's Bizz-ness

·         Blue Mountain Barrel House Sour Cherry Lager & Barrel Aged Mandolin

·         Boulder BFU (Be Forever Unknown)

·         Brooklyn There Will Be Black & Silver Anniversary Lager

·         Deschutes Burgschrund Black & The Dissident

·         Founders Panther Cub Imperial Stout

·         Goose Island Bourbon County Cherry Stout & 2012 Bourbon County Coffee Stout

·         Haw River Farmhouse Ales Cotton Pickin' Farmhouse IPA, Sun Hands Tripel, Rusted Plow & St. Benedict's Brunch

·         Highland 2008 Cold Mountain & 2009 Auld Asheville Ale

·         Jester King Viking Metal

·         Mother Earth Brewing 2012 Tripel Overhead Barrel-Aged

·         New Belgium Barrel-Aged Love Oscar

·         Brewery Ommegang Game of Thrones Iron Throne

·         Oskar Blues Red Fox Ale

·         Samuel Adams 13th Hour Stout

·         Sierra Nevada Wolfinanny Wheatwine

·         Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale in Red Wine Barrels

·         SweetWater Gangsta IPA

·         Thirsty Monk Imperial Amber

·         Weyerbacher Sour Black Pinot Noir Barrel-Aged

“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. “A portion of the funds raised at this event are going to be used to help underwrite a free men’s health screening in Asheville on June 10.”

The men’s health screening event will be hosted by Asheville Urological Associates at 1 Doctors Park in Asheville on June 10 from 5-7 p.m.  The screening will include a digital rectal exam and consult with Board Certified Urologist, Dr. James Brien, plus blood testing for PSA (prostate specific antigen), cholesterol, testosterone, HDL/LDL, triglycerides and glucose. Solstas Lab Partners will be handling blood draws for testing. The screening will be conducted in cooperation with the Prostate Conditions Education Council, which will provide free informative literature to participants. Those interested in the testing should register by calling Renee Savickas at 303-999-2475.

“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. Fewer than 50 of the 250 tickets for theAsheville 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.

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.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Devil Is Coming! - Le Trou Du Diable Tap Takeover @ WVRST Beer Hall - May 26

Toronto, ON

A couple of events not to be missed!

Join Micro-Brasserie Le Trou Du Diable (Shawinigan, Quebec) on Sunday, May 26th, 2013 from 2:00pm-11:00pm with co-owner Isaac Tremblay and co-owner / brew master André Trudel at WVRST Beer Hall (609 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario) for “The Devil Is Coming”. We will be celebrating the arrival of Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake (Hopfenweisse) to the LCBO summer beer release in early June.

Here is what will be served on tap:

Le Trou Du Diable Amer Indienne (Belgian IPA)
Le Trou Du Diable Cholie Fraulein (German Dunkel)
Le Trou Du Diable Chose (India Wee-Heavy)
Le Trou Du Diable Claymore (Scotch Ale)
Le Trou Du Diable L’Epoque Opaque (Black IPA)
Le Trou Du Diable Mactavish (American PAle Ales)
Le Trou Du Diable Morsure (American IPA)
Le Trou Du Diable Ninja Pale Ale (Cascadian Dark Lager)
Le Trou Du Diable Angelus (Belgian Pale Ale)
Le Trou Du Diable Porter (British Porter)
Le Trou Du Diable Ruby Red (Irish Red Ale)
Le Trou Du Diable Saison D’Tracteur (Belgian Saison)
Le Trou Du Diable Sang d’Encre (Irish Dry Stout)
Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake (Hopfenweisse)
Le Trou Du Diable SMASH Citra (IPA Single Malt / Single Hop)
Le Trou Du Diable Désinvolte (Amber Ale) Cask-Conditioned
Le Trou Du Diable Dubaï Pillée (Double IPA) Cask-Conditioned
Le Trou Du Diable Sang D’Encre (Irish Dry Stout) Cask-Conditioned

Join Micro-Brasserie Le Trou Du Diable (Shawinigan, Quebec) on Saturday, May 25h, 2013 from 5:00pm-9:00pm with co-owner Isaac Tremblay and co-owner / brew master André Trudel at barVolo (587 Yonge St. Toronto, Ontario) for a very special barrel aged bottle tasting.

The following beers will be served by the bottle and sample:

Le Trou Du Diable Dulcis Succubus (Barrel Aged Imperial Sour Saison)
Le Trou Du Diable Buteuse Brassin Special (Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel)
Le Trou Du Diable Bretteuse (Barrel Aged Farmhouse IPA)
Le Trou Du Diable X DDC! Archeo Porter (Barrel Aged Sour Porter)
Le Trou Du Diable Nez de Poivrot (Barrel Aged Barley Wine)
Le Trou Du Diable Imperatrice 2009 (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And The Winners Are...2013 Canadian Brewing Awards

Victoria, BC

The 11th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards were held in Victoria, BC this past Saturday.

And the winners of the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards are;

North American Style Lager

Gold: Alpine Lager, Moosehead Breweries Ltd.(NB)
Silver: Cool Beer, Cool Beer Brewing Co. (ON)
Bronze: Brewhouse Pilsener, Great Western Brewing Co. (SK)

North American Style Premium Lager

Gold: Okanagan Spring 1516, Okanagan Spring Brewery (BC)
Silver: Moosehead Lager, Moosehead Breweries Ltd. (NB)
Bronze: Yellowhead Premium Lager, Yellowhead Brewery (AB)

European Style Lager (Pilsner) 

Gold: Traditional Pilsner, Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd. (ON)
Silver: Bohemian Style Pilsener, Propeller Brewing Co.(NS)
Bronze: Stone Hammer Pilsner, F & M Brewery (ON)

North American Style Amber Lager

Gold: Barking Squirrel Amber Lager, Hop City Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver: Premium Lager, Pump House Brewery Ltd. (NB)
Bronze: Belle Gueule Rousse, Les Brasseurs RJ (QC)

North American Style Dark Lager 
Gold: Waterloo Dark, Brick Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver: Cameron’s Dark 266, Cameron’s Brewing Company (ON)
Bronze: Hermann’s Dark Lager, Vancouver Island Brewery (BC)

Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager 

Gold: Alpine Light, Moosehead Breweries Ltd.(NB)
Silver: Laker Light, Brick Brewing Co. (ON)
Bronze: Cracked Canoe Premium Light Lager, Moosehead Breweries Ltd. (NB)

Bock – Traditional German Style 

Gold: Captivator Doppelbock, Tree Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: Amsterdam Spring Bock, Amsterdam Brewery (ON)
Bronze: King Bock, King Brewery (ON)


Gold: King Kellerbier, King Brewery (ON)
Silver: Central City Kellerbier, Central City Brewing (BC)
Bronze: Howe Sound Lager, Howe Sound Brewing Co. (BC)


Gold: Harry Porter, Great Lakes Brewery (ON)
Silver: Breakfast Porter, Indie Ale House Brewing Co. (ON)
Bronze: Black Death Porter, Russell Brewing Co. (BC)

Strong Porter (Baltic) 

Gold: Pothole Porter, Half Pints Brewing Co.(MB)
Silver: Okanagan Spring Porter, Okanagan Spring Brewery (BC)
Bronze: Lost River Baltic Porter, Bellwoods Brewery (ON)

Cream Ale 

Gold: Begbie Cream Ale, Mt Begbie Brewing Co.(BC)
Silver: Labatt 50 Ale, Labatt Breweries of Canada (ON)
Bronze: Mill Street Portage Ale, Mill Street Brewery (ON)


Gold: Lug Tread Lagered Ale, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver: St. James Pale Ale, Half Pints Brewing Co. (MB)
Bronze: Arctic Ale, Swans Brewpub (BC)

North American Style Amber/Red Ale

Gold: Red Racer ESB, Central City Brewing (BC)
Silver: Limited Release Irish Red, Granville Island Brewing (BC)
Bronze: Amber Ale, Steam Works Brewing Co. (BC)

North American Style Blonde/Golden Ale 

Gold: Northumberland Ale, Church Key Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver: Amsterdam Natural Blonde, Amsterdam Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Station House Blonde Ale, Shuswap Lake Brewing Co. (BC)

Brown Ale 

Gold: Nut Brown Ale, The Black Oak Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver: Old Boy, Parallel 49 Brewing Co. (BC)
Bronze: Nut Brown Ale, Dead Frog Brewery (BC)

American Style Black Ale 

Gold: Black IPA, Brasserie Dunham, (QC)
Silver: Malevolent BIIPA, Nickel Brook Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Insidious IBA, Rockbottom Brewpub (NS)

Scotch Ale 

Gold: Amsterdam Vicars Vice, Amsterdam Brewery (ON)
Silver: Iron Duke, Wellington County Brewery Inc. (ON)
Bronze: Stag Apple Scotch Ale, Tin Whistle Brewing Co. Ltd. (BC)

English Style Pale Ale (Bitter) 

Gold: Butler’s Bitter, Niagara College Teaching Brewery (ON)
Silver: Distillery Ale, Mill Street Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Pail, Pump House Brewery Ltd. (NB)

North American Style Pale Ale (Bitter) 

Gold: Old Jalopy Pale Ale, Powell Street Craft Brewery (BC)
Silver: Crazy Canuck Pale Ale, Great Lakes Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Wizard Wolf, Bellwoods Brewery (ON)

Wheat Beer – Belgian Style (Wit) 

Gold: Dominus Vobiscum Blanche, MicroBrasserie Charlevoix (QC)
Silver: Mill Street Belgian Wit, Mill Street Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Mons Abbey Witte, Brasserie Belgh Brasse (QC)

Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss) 

Gold: King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen, Howe Sound Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: Denison’s Weissbier, Denison’s Brewing Co. (ON)
Bronze: Belle Gueule Hefeweizen, Les Brasseurs RJ (QC)

Wheat Beer – North American Style 

Gold: Sun God Wheat Ale, R & B Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale, PEI Brewing Co. (PEI)
Bronze: Grasshopper Wheat Ale, Big Rock Brewery (AB)

Belgian Style Abbey Ale 

Gold: Vow of Silence, Parallel 49 Brewing (BC)
Silver: Seigneuriale, Unibroue (QC)
Bronze: Mons Abbey Dubbel, Brasserie Belgh Brasse (QC)

Belgian Style Strong Specialty Ale 

Gold: Blitzen, Bellwoods Brewery (ON)
Silver: New World BPA, Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (ON)
Bronze: Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus, MicroBrasserie Charlevoix (QC)

Barley Wine Style Ale 

Gold: Legacy Ale, Swans Brewpub (BC)
Silver: Old Cellar Dweller, Driftwood Brewing Co. (BC)
Bronze: Mill Street 2012 Barley Wine, Mill Street Brewery (ON)


Gold: Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout, Howe Sound Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: Stone Hammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout, F & M Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Lighthouse Keepers Stout, Lighthouse Brewing Co. (BC)

Imperial Stout 

Gold: Rang 10, Microbrasserie du Lac St-Jean (QC)
Silver: Hellwoods, Bellwoods Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Apocalypse, Les Brasseurs RJ (QC)

English Style India Pale Ale 

Gold: Beaver River, Beau’s All Natural Brewery (ON)
Silver: Devil’s Elbow IPA, Howe Sound Brewing Co. (BC)
Bronze: Mill Street IPA, Mill Street Brewery (ON)

American Style India Pale Ale 

Gold: Karma Citra IPA, Great Lakes Brewery (ON)
Silver: Lord of the Hops, Parallel 49 Brewing (BC)
Bronze: Cameron’s RPA, Cameron’s Brewing Co. (ON)

Imperial India Pale Ale

Gold: Central City Imperial IPA, Central City Brewing (BC)
Silver: Twice as Mad Tom, Muskoka Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Hop Therapy, Russell Brewing Co. (BC)

French and Belgian Style Saison 

Gold: Le Paysan Saison, Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (ON)
Silver:  Dominus Vobiscum Saison, MicroBrasserie Charlevoix (QC)
Bronze: La Tintamarre, Acadie-Broue Inc. (NB)

Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale 

Gold: St. Ambroise Maple Beer, McAuslan Brewing Inc. (QC)
Silver: Boréale Dorée, Les Brasseurs du Nord Inc. (QC)
Bronze:  Maple Stout, The Cannery Brewing Co. (BC)

Fruit Beer 

Gold: Steamworks Pumpkin Ale, Steamworks Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: False Creek Raspberry Ale, Granville Island Brewing (BC)
Bronze: Blueberry Ale, Pumphouse Brewery Ltd. (NB)

Wood and Barrel Aged Beer 

Gold: Bourbon Barrel Aged Robust Porter, Great Lakes Brewery (ON)
Silver: Maverick and Gose, Amsterdam Brewery (ON)
Bronze: Greener Futures Project Burnt Rock, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. (ON)

Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beer 

Gold: Central City Bourbon Porter, Central City Brewing (BC)
Silver: From East Van with Love, Parallel 49 Brewing (BC)
Bronze:  25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, Great Lakes Brewery (ON)

Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beer 

Gold: Yaletown Oud Bruin, Yaletown Brewing Co. (BC)
Silver: La Bretteuse- Brassin Special, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable (QC)
Bronze: Co-Hop V, À La Fût (QC)

Gluten Free Beer

Gold: Glutenberg Belge de Saison, Brasseurs Sans Gluten (QC)
Silver: Glutenberg Blonde, Brasseurs Sans Gluten (QC)
Bronze: Glutenberg Rousse, Brasseurs Sans Gluten (QC)

Experimental Beer

Gold: Glutenberg Imperial Sotolon, Brasseur Sans Gluten (QC)
Silver: Série Signature Hopfenweisse, Les Trois Mousquetaires (QC)
Bronze: Winter Brewed Coffee Amber, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. (ON)

Beer of the Year

Old Jalopy Pale Ale, Powell Street Craft Brewery (BC)

Brewery of the Year

Great Lakes Brewery (ON)

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Amsterdam Brewery Re-Releases Framboise in LCBO This Spring

Toronto, ON

The Amsterdam Brewery, one of Toronto’s oldest independently owned and operated craft breweries, is set to re-release one of their most decorated and sought after beers – “Framboise” in the LCBO next week.
Framboise is brewed using an old world recipe that blends Belgian wheat malt with real Canadian raspberries. In fact, 2.2 pounds of fresh raspberries goes into making every 750ml bottle, resulting in an abundantly obvious ruby red beer with a crisp fruit flavour. Brewed only once a year, Framboise is best served chilled and shared with friends.

Amsterdam Framboise is the brewery’s highest award winning beer taking home six awards in the past three years including 2 Gold Medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards, 2 Gold Medals at the Ontario Brewing Awards, and a Bronze Medal at the World Beer Cup.

“Framboise has a strong and loyal following which convinced us to bring it out of retirement” says Jamie Mistry, Brewmaster at The Amsterdam Brewery. “What makes Framboise so special is the amount of work we have to put into this brew for it to turn out perfect. From the selection of the whole raspberries and how much to put into each brew, to deciding how long to keep the beer on the fruit is very important.”
Framboise is available for sale in 750mL ceramic, swing-top bottles from select LCBOs starting the week of May 13, 2013 ($11.95, LCBO# 637769) and the Amsterdam Brewery Retail Store (45 Esandar Dr., 416-504-6882).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beer Mail from Unibroue - Seigneuriale

A nice surprise from the fine folks at Unibroue - Seigneuriale.

"The Seigneurial Regime of Medieval Europe flourished in New France until the mid 19th century. In 1667, Pierre Boucher Sieur de Grosbois established a Seigneurie in Boucherville on the South Shore of Montréal. The last three seigneurs resided in the sumptuous François Pierre Boucher manor of Boucherville built in the 1750’s and declared a historical monument in 1974. This ale is dedicated to these ancestral roots."

A Gold Medal winner in 2006 at the World Beer Championships, this ale boasts a hint of orange peel, spices, coriander, pineapple and candied fruit.  With smooth citrus and burnt caramel tastes, it would pair nicely with game, washed-rind cheese, apricot-glazed duck, Thai shrimp curry, crème brûlée, dark chocolate or a holiday fruit cake.

I am looking forward to tasting this delight!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cameron's Goes Dark with Obsidian - A Rum Barrel Aged Porter

Oakville, ON

The dark and intriguing rum barrel-aged brew available at the LCBO starting May 8, 2013

Hand brewed by beer artisans, Cameron’s newest release is Cameron's OBSIDIAN Imperial Porter Rum Barrel Aged. Dark and intriguing as the midnight sky, Obsidian is loaded with magnificent and robust flavor as Cameron’s brewers carefully aged it for seven months in Caribbean rum barrels. Look for roasted malt, chocolate character, woody notes and more layers of complexity in this unique beer that is inspired from life in the West Indies.

“Cameron’s Obsidian Imperial Porter follows the launches of the award-winning series of barrel aged brews including Deviator Doppelbock Barrel Aged, Very Special Pale Ale (VSPA) Cognac Barrel Aged and American Whiskey Oak Barrel Aged. Our beer fans expect us to surprise and delight them with new beer styles and I promise they will love the layers of complexity in this dark and intriguing, velvety, nectarous, magnificent ale,” says President and Co-Owner, Bill Coleman.

The name porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts.

“Cameron’s was granted the unique opportunity to procure Caribbean rum barrels, a rare find. Our challenge was to create a barrel aged, island-style export beer. This is our interpretation of a dark, strong and intriguing beer from the Caribbean. Historical records recount that dark, strong beers were always very popular in the southern climes for their life-giving properties,” says Jason Britton, Cameron’s Brewmaster.

“With a dark and intriguing color and a robust flavor, our new brew is very appropriately named. Obsidian is actually a dark black volcanic glass that is formed when molten lava is quickly cooled when immersed in water,” adds Coleman.

Obsidian volcanic glass is hard and brittle with very few fault lines so it can be polished to create mirrors and it fractures cleanly to create very sharp edges. Obsidian was used on Easter Island to create edged tools and in the pupils of the eyes of the Moai statues. The Mayas used it to fashion swords and it is still used today for experimental surgical blades.

Cameron’s OBSIDIAN Imperial Porter Rum Barrel Aged is best served at 13 to 15°C in a tapered glass. It is 9.2% ABV (alcohol by volume). The new beer will be available in 650 ml bottles at the LCBO for $10.95. The SKU number is #344036. It will also be served on draught at very select bars. Watch our social media sites for launch parties including May 16th at An Sibin House (709 Queen St East, TO) and May 23 rd at Rhino Bar & Grill (1249 Queen St West, TO).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cannery Brewing Set to Release "Wildfire IPA"

Penticton, BC.

The Okanagan, in the interior of British Columbia, is a wonderful place,
filled with beautiful lakes, forests and mountains. It’s dry and hot, making it a perfect holiday destination to soak up the sunshine and play in the lakes, rivers and channels. The dry heat in the summer, however, also means the area is at risk for forest fires.

Every summer, firefighters and emergency service workers prepare for these fires. During one particularly tough summer with a high risk for fires, Cannery Brewing launched a Limited Release beer called Wildfire IPA as a tribute to those that work so hard to fight these fires. The demand for this unique beer continued year after year, so Cannery Brewing has continued to produce periodic Limited Release batches of this specialty beer, which is known as a dark IPA (India Pale Ale).

This year, the Wildfire IPA has evolved and is now a tribute to the firefighters and emergency service workers who bravely fight wildifires throughout out great nation each year. To further acknowledge the work of these brave men and women, Cannery Brewing has partnered with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation ( and will provide a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Paul Buxton-Carr, Director (Wildland) of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation appreciates the support. “Our mission is to honour and remember firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty and to support their families. We appreciate both the financial support and the awareness that Cannery Brewing’s Wildfire IPA brings to the hardworking firefighters who work so hard to protect our properties and natural

Cannery Brewing’s owner Patt Dyck describes the Wildfire IPA as having fierce hops, but a gentle bite. “It is intensely dark, but with malts that are subtle and smooth. Like raging forest fires, this dark IPA has complex hops that rage through to the finish. We modified the formulation of the Wildfire IPA, and this year’s Limited Release version is dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. We hope to bring people a great tasting beer while also paying support to those firefighters we so desperately rely on each

Joe Wiebe, the Thirsty Writer and author of the soon-to-be published guidebook to B.C. breweries, Craft Beer Revolution, had a chance to try it before it was officially  launched this week. "I'm really impressed with Cannery Brewing's new Wildfire IPA. The brewers added some aromatic west coast hops that grabbed my attention even before I took a sip. Those hops also balance the dark roasted malts perfectly, adding
a dimension of tropical fruit and pine that kept me wanting to have another taste. And the fact that a portion of the sales of this beer goes to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation makes it a no-brainer to buy this beer."

The 2013 Limited Release Wildfire IPA will be available in Penticton at Cannery Brewing and at select liquor, craft beer stores and restaurants throughout BC.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Beau’s All Natural Announces OCB Week Events Line Up

Vankleek Hill, ON

30+ Beer Events, 19 Cities and 3 New Beer Releases

Beau’s All Natural Brewing has released its initial Ontario Craft Beer Week events list, featuring more than 30 events in 19 cities beginning Father’s Day, June 16, 2013. The week-long celebration promoting craft beer in the province is intended to increase awareness and highlight the rich offerings of local beer, food and music in Ontario. More events will be added in the weeks to come.

“I’m incredibly excited for the 4th annual OCB Week,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “We’re holding so many events in so many cities that I can’t wait for this week-long party to start!” Events will be held in Ottawa, Vankleek Hill, Toronto, Peterborough, Kingston, Oakville, Kingston, Campbellford, Kemptville, Cambridge, Carp, Etobicoke, Gananoque, White Lake, Kitchener, Guelph, Perth, Belleville and Dundas.

To complement the events, Beau’s will be releasing three new collaborative beers for the week; a Nordic pale ale with Anders Kissmeyer from Denmark,  a milk stout with celebrity Tom Green and the 2013 edition of Pan Ontario, a collaborative brew featuring beer from Beau’s All Natural, Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Amsterdam and Wellington.

During the week-long celebration, Beau’s will be presenting Willie Nelson in Ottawa, taking guests on a virtual beer tour around the world at a skateboarding park in Toronto, hosting a Group of Seven beer dinner in Oakville and holding many other events both big and small. The event details are posted on the OCB Week website,, along with events from the 28 other OCB member breweries. Some highlighted events include:

·         Ottawa, Friday, June 21 - Beau’s celebrates their 7th birthday with Willie Nelson at TD Ottawa Jazz Fest.
·         Toronto, Thursday, June 20 – Recreate Canada Day in Ottawa, Oktoberfest in Munich, New Year’s in Denmark and St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin in one evening with masterbrewer Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer and chef Rasmus Kliim of Restaurant Radio in Copenhagen.
·         Oakville, Monday, June 17 – Beer & BBQ Bash with the Group of Seven Chefs at Compass Lakeside Grill & Lounge with special guest Anthony Walsh of Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants.
·         Ottawa, Wednesday, June 19 – Beer dinner featuring guests masterbrewer Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer, chef Rasmus Kliim of Denmark's Radio Restaurant and Urban Element's chef Anna March pair six eclectic Nordic-themed dishes with Beau's latest brews.
·         Kingston, Friday, June 21 – Pan Ontario release in Kingston. A tasting of the 2013 edition of the collaborative brew featuring beer from Beau’s All Natural, Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Amsterdam and Wellington.
·         Vankleek Hill, Sunday, June 16 – Father’s Day BBQ at Beau’s All Natural brewery featuring their newest releases, The Tom Green Beer, Nordic Pale Ale and Pan Ontario.

More events will be added to the week’s line up in the weeks to come. All events will be posted on the OCB Week website and the Beau’s website

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10th Annual Ontario Brewing Awards Announces Winners!

Toronto, ON

Last night, the Ontario Brewing Awards (OBAs) celebrated their 10th year of honouring the fine beers and brewers of Ontario.

Every year they invite brewers to share their passion for brewing locally made beer with the drinkers of Ontario.   The Ontario brewing industry continues to grow and this market is the largest in Canada.

The OBAs are managed jointly by Beerlicious Inc. and Roger Mittag of Thirst for Knowledge.  Roger manages the entries, judging and awards ceremony while Beerlicious Inc. provide background support and marketing.

2013 Ontario Brewing Award Winners

North American Light Lager
Gold: Cold Stonewall Light
Silver: Laker Light
Bronze: Stonehammer Light

North American Lager
Gold: Amsterdam Natural Blonde
Silver: Muskoka Craft Lager
Bronze: GLB Golden Horseshoe

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
Gold: Big Rig Champion Pilsner
Silver: King Pilsner
Bronze: Steam Whistle Pilsner

Amber Lager
Gold: Nickel Brook Marzenbier
Silver: Cool Millenium Buzz
Bronze: Hop City Barking Squirrel

Dark Lager
Gold: King Dark
Silver: Big Rig Schwarzbier
Bronze: Waterloo Dark

Gold: Amsterdam Springbock
Silver: Camerons Deviator
Bronze: Creemore Urbock

Honey/Maple Beer
Gold: Mill St Spring Thaw
Silver: Mill St Royal York Stinger
Bronze: Stonehammer Maple Red

German Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Muskoka Summer Weiss
Silver: Beer Academy Hefeweizen
Bronze: Denisons Weissbier

Belgian Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Labatt Shocktop
Silver: Mill St Belgian Witbier
Bronze: Black Oak Saison

Cream Ale
Gold: Clocktower West Brew
Silver: Camerons Cream Ale
Bronze: Big Rig Gold

British Pale Ale
Gold: Muskoka Cream Ale
Silver: Black Oak Pale Ale
Bronze: Grand River Plowman's Ale

North American Pale Ale
Gold: Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour
Silver: Spearhead Hawaiian Pale
Bronze: GLB Crazy Canuck

British India Pale Ale
Gold: Mill St IPA
Silver: Clocktower Wisharts ESB
Bronze: Grand River Curmudgeon

North American India Pale Ale
Gold: Nickelbrook Headstock
Silver: Flying Monkeys Smashbomb
Bronze: Muskoka Mad Tom

Amber Ale (including red)
Gold: Niagara's Butler's Bitter
Silver: Clocktower Red
Bronze: Camerons Auburn Ale

Dark Ale
Gold: Magnotta True North Copper
Silver: Get Well Fuggle It
Bronze: Stonehammer Dark Ale

Gold: GLB Harry Porter
Silver: Get Well Porter
Bronze: Bellwoods Lost Porter

Gold: Railway City Black Coal
Silver: Sawdust City Skinny Dipping
Bronze: Spearhead Belgian Stout

Imperial Stout
Gold: Muskoka Winter Beard
Silver: GLB Bourbon Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Bronze: Amsterdam Tempest

Fruit Beer
Gold: Mill St Frambozen
Silver: Amsterdam KLB Raspberry Wheat
Bronze: Clocktower Raspberry Wheat

Flavoured Beer
Gold: Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout
Silver: Sawdust City Skinny Dipping with Friends
Bronze: Sawdust City Red Rocket

Strong Beer
Gold: Mill St Barley Wine
Silver: Mill St Ambre de la Chaudiere
Bronze: Wellington Iron Duke

Gluten Free
Gold: Nickel Brook Gluten Free
Silver: Snowman Top Hat
Bronze: Snowman Who's That Brown Ale

Barrel Aged
Gold: Amsterdam Order & Chaos
Silver: GLB 25th Anniversary Bourbon Aged
Bronze: Camerons VSPA

Homebrew IPA
Gold: Geoff Conway
Silver: Neal Fuller
Bronze: Steven Mills

Congratulations to all of the winners!

The Breweries of Niagara: Part 1

Over the Easter weekend I was privileged enough to visit two of the newest attractions in Niagara , and latest additions to the growing craft beer boom in Ontario. Oast House Brewery, Silversmith Brewery and the Niagara Teaching College Brewery have been busy creating names for themselves and enticing would-be and die-hard tourists to the vine capitol of Ontario with the tempting call of barley and hops. I was able to make quick visits to Silversmith and Oast House – the teaching college will have to wait – and thought readers might like a glimpse of what's brewing in wine country.

Silversmith Brewing Company

Silversmith Brewing, black lager, niagara on the lake, wine country, ontario
*This photo is from last summer
Since my last visit, Silversmith has seen quite a few changes to their home in a renovated old church on Niagara Stone Road, and I'm glad to say a healthy crowd of tourists was flowing through to appreciate it. The bar - created with massive timbers from one of rural Ontario's many decaying barns- is now complete and brings the rustic character and hard-working feel of farm country indoors, where it can speak to how Silversmith brews their beers; with blood sweat and tears. Their new brew-house addition is coming along nicely but unfortunately was not yet ready for a sneak peek. One feature I am very excited for upon my next visit is the oyster bar that promises future on-site food pairings for their tasty beers.

Silversmith Brewing, ontario, craft beer, black lager, church, niagaraSilversmith excels on originality and unique, seldom seen styles. Their four taps give regulars coming in for growler refills, and tourists passing through, a chance to see experimentation and development as it happens. All the beers I tried, except for their exceptional flagship Black Lager, are in the the process of development, and the management are not shy about it. Silversmith want you to participate in the creation of their beers and make you feel at home by starting the conversation or taking your feedback with interest and enthusiasm. Here are the brews Silversmith was working on during my visit:

Black Lager, Russian imperial stout, silversmith brewing, niagara, ontario, wine countryRussian Imperial Stout: This stout currently clocks in at a mild 7% for an RIS. But Silversmith isn't going for a lightweight version of the powerful style. They're testing out the taste of the beer as they go before increasing the alcohol content. This shows some serious focus and patience on producing a quality beer – kind of like how a smithy finds the perfect mix of alloys and metals and the right temperature to mold metal so as to forge the best possible sword. This RIS has plenty of coffee and dark chocolate flavours and a lean but strong body. I can't wait to see where they take it. 

Bavarian Breakfast Wheat: Lightly spiced and inviting as it is quenching; but it still needs a signature Silversmith touch to set it apart from the wheat beers that will soon be flooding LCBO shelves. I can't wait to see where this one goes as they find its voice.

Bavarian Breakfast Wheat, silversmith brewing, niagara, on the lake, tourism, wineOyster Stout: If there's one thing Silversmith is good at, it's accessible and drinkable darks. The oyster stout takes a few ques from the Black Lager in taste and feel (not necessarily a bad thing), and I couldn't quite detect the oysters added during the brewing process, but it's a solid light stout I could see sold as a session beer with a twist.

Overall, Silversmith is an up and coming Ontario brew house that produces unique and little seen beer styles while keeping them deliciously accessible. The fact they brew with passion and are one of the first in an undeveloped craft beer area - that already thrives on bacchanalian tourism - can only mean great things in their future.

Stay tuned for part 2 and my visit to Oast House Brewing.


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