Tasting the Innis & Gunn Winter Beer, 2010

October 4, 2010

Its coming, and its just around the corner… This winter as the Christmas beers begin to flood the LCBO again; we will be getting back the Innis & Gunn Connoisseur’s pack, and in this years pack is the strongest Innis & Gunn ever made – the Winter Beer. My good friends at Innis have been chatting about this beer for a long time now. In the summer I had heard that Dougal (the founder and BrewMaster) was working on a spiced beer, one that he was more excited about than any other beer he has made. This definitely got me excited – I already love the sweet, creamy and caramel oaky flavors of the Innis Original – the idea of a spicier and stronger version for the winter sounded perfect!

We should expect the Connoisseur’s Pack to be made available late October to November for the Christmas Release; probably the best overall beer release at the LCBO. I was fortunate enough to get the Connoisseur’s pack ahead of time thanks to my good friends at Innis & Gunn, and I have been saving the Winter Beer since – until now. The time finally came. I had enjoyed the Original and the Rum Cask that came in the pack, but have been waiting for the right moment to test the Winter Beer on my palate. It was a calm Sunday afternoon, football filled my living room, but my Innis & Gunn glass was empty. Time to fill it! Read the rest of this entry »


Canadian Brewing Awards Announced

September 29, 2010

At the end of Toronto Beer Week last week the Canadian Brewing Awards were handed out to the top three beer styles in 30 Categories as well as the Brewery and Beer of the Year Awards. From BC, Central City Brewing took home the Best Brewery Award, and their Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine won Best Beer. BC and Quebec brought home the most Gold awards, with Ontario getting some recognition as well. The biggest shock for me came in the Cream Ale category where Sleeman’s Cream Ale beat out both the Muskoka Cream and Cameron’s Cream. I would actually like an explanation on this. For the full award listings see the post at Great Canadian Pubs and Beer by Troy Burtch.


Guinness Foreign Extra Stout Will Hit U.S. Shelves

September 24, 2010

After being available to people outside of North America for almost 10 years now, Guinness will finally introduce the Foreign Extra Stout to the American market. I have never had the FES, but the reviews I’ve read, and rumors that I have heard build it up both as the best and worst Guinness there is. A FES is a bigger, more full bodied and richer stout than a typical dry stout, so this Guinness is 7.5% abv, appropriately. This leads me to believe that it is good. This version though is also carbonated in the bottle rather than nitrogenated as we are used to. It does appear to be full and creamy, but we will see I suppose.

Initial tasting notes reveal large roast on the nose, with a strong, bittersweet flavor. I thought Guinness could have been more descriptive, but I guess that is asking to much. Soon though, on October the 1st we can cross the boarder and find out for ourselves.


The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Tasting at the Beer Bistro

September 23, 2010

On Wednesday September 22nd, in the middle of Toronto Beer Week the Beer Bistro hosted a beer tasting of four Lost Abbey Beers, and two from Port Brewing. Cass Enright from the Bar Towel introduced Matt Tweedy, a Beer Bistro employee, and assistant brewer at Duggan’s Brewery who also spent 8 weeks at the Lost Abbey for a brewing apprenticeship. You couldn’t ask for a better journey through the six beers which Matt had very intimate experiences with. Each unique beer was introduced and described by Matt, who was able to regale us with stories straight from the brewery. The Lost Abbey focuses on Belgian inspired beer brewed in California, and Port Brewing creates classically west coast beers also in California. Read the rest of this entry »


New York Craft Beer Week Introduces a Truly Unique Viedo

September 23, 2010

Recently there has been a slew of Craft beer videos all resonating the same message about how much we love craft beer. Most of them are great, but absurdly repetitive uttering “I am a craft beer drinker” over and over again from different people at different angles. It was refreshing then to see the newest Craft Beer promotional video for the New York Craft Beer Week. This video is totally original, unique, and pretty awesome. I don’t think anyone has done a beer promotional video like this before. Hats off to ya guys. Oh, and NY Craft Beer week is going to be crazy! September 24th through October 3rd. If you are in New York, go get some great beer!


Great American Beer Festival Awards Are Handed Out

September 20, 2010

This past weekend in Denver Colorado the largest gathering of American beer and beer lovers enjoyed a flavor packed weekend of craft beer, great food, and good times. This year 3,523 beers were entered into the Great American Beer Festival brew competition, more than any other commercial beer competition in the world. Winners from the 79 beer categories were just announced over the weekend and Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were handed out. Pizza Port Brewing took an impressive 13 medals, and Firestone Walker to 6. For the full list of winners here is the PDF. Read more for some stats. Read the rest of this entry »


The National Post Pumps Toronto Beer Week

September 20, 2010

Last week on September the 17th the National Post published a listing of five things to do this week from the 18th to 24th. Number four on that list? The Toronto Beer Week. Obviously! Really though it should be number one, but I won’t complain to much. This is going to be a great week of beer events, as I have mentioned many times over the past few weeks. If you haven’t already, take a look at the events listing page to figure out where you want to be to enjoy all the amazing beer that you can!


A Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Tasting at the Beer Bistro

September 16, 2010

On Wednesday September 22nd during Toronto Beer Week the Beer Bistro will be hosting a tasting of 4 Lost Abbey Beers and 2 Port Brewing Beers for $25. Both of these Californian Breweries have made a prominent name for themselves amongst brewers and beer lovers. Their products perfume with heritage an passion, and are filled with life and excellence.

The Lost Abbey Beers Features will be the Carnevale (dry hopped saison at 6.5%), Avant Garde (Biere de Garde style malty beer at 7%), Red Bard Ale (a spicy farmhouse ale with roots in rustic Southern Belgium at 6.7%), and the Lost and Found (a trappist inspired Abbey Ale at 7.5%). The 2 Port Brewing beers are the Old Viscosity (nick named the big nasty, this is a 10.5% stout/barleywine/old ale that needs to be tried to be understood) and the Older Viscosity (A bourbon barrel aged version of the Old Viscosity that is up to 12.5%).


The LCBO Discontinued The Dogfish Head 60…

September 15, 2010

I am very sorry to report this, but just this week an inside source confirmed with me that the LCBO recently discontinued the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA; in my humble opinion, probably the best IPA available (previously) at the LCBO. This source did say that he wasn’t 100% sure if this was actually the case, but the LCBO website does not lie. On the product site for the 60 Minute it plainly exclaims that it is Discontinued.

I am currently unaware of the reasoning behind this, and it may have been a Dogfish Head decision rather than an LCBO one. Regardless, it is gone, sadly. To substitute the fresh, crisp, hope-forward awesomeness that was the 60 Minute, I would reccomend the Southern Tier IPA or the Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion.


Toronto Beer Week is Less Than One Week Away!

September 14, 2010

Ok, I hope by now that beer lovers in and around Toronto already know about Toronto Beer Week (TBW). If not, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the website, contain your excitement, and book off the week to drink beer! This is a week long beer celebration starting on Monday September the 20th, running till Sunday the 26th. Thats only 6 days away!

I was going to post a full list of all the events happening during this week around Toronto, but there must be 100 of them! Check out the TBW Events Page for a full listing of what events are taking place where throughout the week. This is a great chance to enjoy some of the best beer available in Ontario, meet some of your favorite brewers, and mingle with beer lovers, media, and professionals alike. This is going to be a grand week ‘o beer!


Stone’s Vertical Epic 10’10’10 is Announced

September 14, 2010

The Stone Brewing Co. does many things that makes me wish I lived in Escondido California, where the brewery is located. If its not just for their beers, its the festivals, the brew pub, the events, specialty and collaboration beers, and the sheer passion and enthusiasm for beer that the whole teem exudes. One of my favorite projects that they have which has been running since 2002 is the Vertical Epic Ale Series. Each year starting on 02’02’02 (ie. February 2nd, 2002) Stone releases a new beer intended to be aged until 12’12’12 (December 12, 2010), at which time they should be enjoyed ranging from a fresh beer to a 10 year old bottle. Read the rest of this entry »


Why I should be flown to Reno for CANFEST

September 7, 2010

CANFest is upon us, and I have been given the opportunity to win a trip to Reno to celebrate all things about Canned Beer! About a month ago I wrote about this festival, the second annual, and Buckbean Brewery decided to give me the chance to get there for free! But I need your help. Please click on the link and simply vote for me. I promise I will provide great coverage of the fest! Thanks everyeone!  Why I should be flown to Reno for CANFEST.


A Great Beer for Every City Traveled (part 3 of 3, Switzerland and the Czech Republic)

August 31, 2010

If I’m not travelling Europe drinking great beer, at least one of my friends is. My bud Calvin is doing exactly that, so I figured that I would help him out and point him in the right direction of some amazing beer. In this part of his trip he will be in one of the world’s ultimate beer havens in the Czech Republic, and the not so beer infamous Switzerland. Although I’m sure he will be occupied with the sites, and friends and other festivities in both locations, the man has got to drink, so why not enjoy the good stuff? Read the rest of this entry »


Toronto Beer Week Events Begin To Flow

August 26, 2010

Toronto Beer Week is fast approaching, now less than one month away. Over 30 venues have signed up and more breweries and importers are filling in the gaps every day. The events page on TBWs website is now begging to fill, so keep you eyes peeled and calenders open for September the 20th to 26th. Alreasy C’est What, The Monk’s Table, Bar Volo, Cloak & Dagger, and Ronnie’s Local have posted events up.

As the week gets closer and excitement builds more and more events will show up and more and more participants will see the light. This is going to be a great week!


Real Beer, with Stephen Rich: THE SHOW!

August 20, 2010

My love and passion for real beer… In video form.! Read the rest of this entry »