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 »


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!


Jealous of Anyone Going to The Great American Beer Festival

September 16, 2010

The Largest Beer Festival in North America, the Great American Beer Festival, Starts TODAY in Denver Colorado. I am madly jealous of everyone going to the fest to enjoy some of the best beers that the world has to offer – but I will be there one day! The GABF is also totally sold out, all 3 days will be packed to the fills with beer loving enthusiasts. There is a brewing competition, food and beer expos, meet the brewers pavilions, judging stations, and tons and tons of great beer! A lot of breweries even brew special one-off batches just for the show… *sigh*… One day! Next week I will post details on all the winning beers and find out who is crowned best of the fest!


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%).


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!


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.


The Golden Taps Were Handed Out

August 23, 2010
This past Saturday, August the 21st the Golden Tap Awards were held at the Beer Bistro in downtown Toronto to celebrate the best beers, bars and people in the Ontario Craft Beer Scene – and it was quite the scene on Saturday. The event was filled with beer media, brewers, bar owners, publicans, and beer geeks – it was an amazing night to share great beer with some amazing people! It was also a time to recognize those who have achieved great things in the beer community in the past year – Beau’s All Natural Brewing took home 2 awards, Granite 3, and Bar Volo 2. See more for the full list of award winners. Congratulations to everyone!
Read the rest of this entry »

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 »


I am Madly Jealous of Everyone Going to Stone’s 14 Anniversary Party

August 20, 2010

Every year the Stone Brewery does two things; they produce an anniversary IPA of some sorts, typically a very hoppy one, and they also have an anniversary party. This year the 14th Anniversary IPA is an Emperial IPA – and IPA inspired by the English, and designed with English ingredients. I have enjoyed that already, as well as several of their earlier Anniversary beers.

But what I have never had the pleasure of enjoy is their Anniversary Party, one which takes place tomorrow in Escondido California. I can’t even really begin to describe why this festival is so awesome, because it will just upset me even more that I won’t be there. But just see more for the list of the over 150 beers that will be available. Read the rest of this entry »


The Golden Tap Awards Celebrate Ontario Beer This Saturday

August 18, 2010

The Golden Tap Awards open their doors at the BeerBistro this Saturday, August the 21st at 4pm in Toronto. This is really an amazing opportunity to enjoy some of the best beer that Ontario has to offer at one of the best beer bars in Ontario. Breweries will be brining they flagship beers as well as one-off beers to sample and will be fighting for the best-beer-of-the-ceremony award. The Bistro clears our the dinning room and sets up sampling stations, so all you have to do is walk in, buy some sampling tokens and use them on beer or food to your pleasure. The choices are endless.

If you are a beer fanatic already, or are just starting to appreciate real beer, this is the event to get you going. Beer media, brewers, and lovers alike will be flooding the bistro – it is always a great event. See you there!


Stephen Rich is Featured on Great Canadian Beer Blog’s “Meet the Beer Bloggers” Feature

August 11, 2010

Several weeks ago Troy Burch, the publisher of the Great Canadian Beer Blog decided that it would be a good idea to introduce everyone to the people in Ontario who are writing, and blogging about the Ontario Craft Beer Market. Great Idea Troy! Today yours truly is the featured Beer Blogger. In the interview I discuss when I first saw the craft beer light, why I decided to blog, a bit about my thoughts on the Ontario beer industry, and more. Thats for the interview Troy, and keep up the good work!


Celebrate International Beer Day Today… With a BEER!

August 5, 2010

“Every August the 5th, we take a break from our everyday lives and take park in this beertastic elevation of the human spirit, though the drinking and appreciation of beer. On this day we celebrate the men, women, and organizations that bring us the beers we love.” It’s not just a dream anymore, International Beer Day is official! While employers and the stock exchanges may not see this as a statutory holiday, it is one that is good for your heart, soul and palates.

Quickly International Beer Day has flooded twitter, facebook, and the imaginations of beer lovers all across the globe. Hopefully your work day is ending soon, so why not finish the day by soothing your soul with a delicious and refreshing pint of your favorite beer. I could think of nothing better…

Wait! Maybe I can! Today just so happens to be the opening day of the Toronto Festival of Beer! What an amazing way to celebrate this amazing drink; an afternoon at a festival dedicated to real beer. Happy International Beer Day everyone!