Toronto’s Winter Brewfest Returns for 2nd Event

Well, well.

Seems that Toronto’s Winter Brewfest is determined to secure a place in the GTA; announcing on Monday that they would be returning for two days of beer, food, and fun at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition place for  March 24-25, 2017.

You may remember this name from the well-attended but poorly reviewed event last year – where the organizers took heat for inflated beer costs ($4/4oz on average), a jammed venue, and a few other missing pieces.  Read about our point of view from last year here.

This year’s event promises a few key changes:

 

Cashless RFID Wristbands – you’ll be able to charge up your wristband both pre-event and on-site with Brew Bucks (1 BB = $1), and upon requesting a sample, will simply be tapping your wristband for payment.  This is anticipated to relieve lines, and if it works anything like it did for RepublicLive’s WayHome this year, it should accomplish that.  Other features include a list being emailed to you with the beers you tried, so you won’t have angry twitter followers complaining about all your Untappd checkins.  Okay, this is neat.

 

Capped Pricing – With the absolute clusterfuck that was last year’s pricing, Brewfest has remodeled itself this year to be significantly more affordable – 70% of 4oz samples will be available for 2 BrewBucks, or $2, with any beer 6.1% ABV or higher coming in at 3 Brewbucks ($3).  This puts Brewfest at the middle-upper of Ontario craft beer festivals, and will certainly attract a larger crowd.  For some context, last year’s average was $1 an ounce – so you’re looking at nearly a 50% smaller investment here.  Let’s hope these prices don’t hinder great beers being brought in (There are 150+).

 

Venue Improvement – Last year’s Brewfest featured 37,000 feet of jammed, drunk audiences to a DJ, whose name I don’t care to remember, pounding the latest and greatest in some kind of house music (please god don’t bring this back) – and people were unhappy being “sardined” (that was the word I heard that made me chuckle).  It seemed the organizers underestimated how attended the event would be, so on the second day, added some more space.  For this event, they have more than doubled alst year’s commitment, up to 80,000 square feet, and promised more room for food trucks, places to mill about and drink with your friends, and maybe even some places to sit down and take it all in.

 

Beer Experts – Last year’s servers were volunteers, more than half of which didn’t even show up for their shifts.  It’s been noted that this was a horrible occurrence and beyond the control of the organizers, but none the less, contributed to overworked and under educated staff.  This year, Brewfest will be bringing in those with Cicerone qualifications (which level TBD, but don’t be surprised if there is a mix – I’d think the Cicerone CBS are more than enough for this role) as sort of like those people in Ikea that can guide you to the right shade of cushion for your Elsebet.  Seriously though, there will be well-marked staff to guide you and your friends to their style and brewery recommendations.  I like this, as they will use their experience to guide people to expand their tastes and their knowledge.

 

With the above changes, it sure seems that Brewfest has made a commitment to impressing the Toronto market and throwing an event that tries to push off the negativity that last year’s event has brought them.  In my article last year, I said I didn’t want them to come back in the format they were in – and it seems they’re seeking to address many pain points they were informed of.

After reading and speaking to the organizers, I have to say – it seems that this time they’re ready to throw a great event, readers!  If you’re interested, tickets are $20 here.  Oh yes, that also includes your first drink (3 BrewBucks).  Let us know on Twitter what you think!

As always, full release below.

– Mike


Toronto Winter Brewfest – Press Release – Dec 21 2016

BC’s Wheelhouse Brewing Co.

The following is a post in our ongoing welcoming of guest writers to the Bottomless Pint.  Find out more about Dylan in his bio below the article.  


Prince Rupert, a small fishing town of about 13 thousand people in Northern BC and home to Wheelhouse Brewing Company. Opened in 2013, The Wheelhouse set to fill a void that the small city was missing and they did just that. Walk into the cozy brewery and you’ll get the instant feeling of community. Fishing décor, dim lighting, open doors and the sound of strangers having conversations provides the perfect environment for a small-town brewery aiming to be everyone’s go-to drinking spot.

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Whellhouse Brewing Co.’s expansion being built

The Wheelhouse came together when Craig, the head brewer at Wheelhouse and a few of his friends (now partners in the brewery) decided to try homebrewing for the first time. Like many novice homebrewers do, the boys bought some kits from Dan’s Homebrewing Supply in Vancouver, owned by the late Dan Small. The beginners began their brewing experience with a grain/extract batch of Pale Ale.  Eventually the homebrewing lead to conversations about starting their own brewery and planning, without an actual timeline, began. The homebrew meet ups turned into business conversations over a few beers and slowly, a business plan was pieced together.


Fast-forward to 2016 and Wheelhouse Brewing Company is doing just fine. Owned and operated by Kent, James and Craig, three of the guys who began their homebrewing experiences together. The brewery was the winner of Prince Rupert’s 2013 Rookie Business of the Year and Canadian Beer Awards Bronze Medalists in the smoked category.
I met with Craig at Wheelhouse Brewing Company. He was nice enough to share some words with me during the end of his brewing day in order to get a more in depth look at the plans for the brewery and himself as a brewer.

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Craig, head brewer at Wheelhouse Brewing Co.

Craig became more invested in the brewing aspect of the brewery than the others and continued on as the head brewer. He currently brews about 5-6 batches a week on the 4-hectolitre system, qualifying them as a nano brewery at the end of each year. Currently the two most popular beers brewed by Craig at the Wheelhouse are the Flagship Pale Ale and Gilnetter Golden Ale. The First Mate White IPA being his personal favourite of them all.
Craig spoke on the expansion plans of the brewery. Currently only open to the public Thursday through Sunday, he prefers not to be in everyone’s way while he brews on the other days. The current expansion being built will hopefully be finished by mid spring, allowing for more brewing and drinking space.
Fairly limited with what yeast they can currently handle at the brewery, Craig expressed that the expansion will allow for him to begin experimenting with new beers, possibly integrating some Belgian styles that he enjoys to the brewery.  Amongst the current trend of craft breweries making beers simply to push the envelope and potentially losing sight of quality, it’s important to note a few points that were said to me by Craig during our conversation.  “I don’t need to take over the world,” He said when discussing the current state of the craft beer industry, “I would rather brew everyone’s go-to beer”. The boys at Wheelhouse are very well in tune with their current market and aware that people are not requesting the newest and most complex styles in Prince Rupert, however they plan to keep introducing newer styles to their market step by step.

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The menu at Wheelhouse Brewing Co.

Thankfully for them, not everyone is looking for the newest sour or aggressively hopped IPA. The Wheelhouse Brewing Company is consistently producing quality beers that people can rely on every time they drink them and hopefully with the expansion plans, the brewery will be able to introduce new varieties while still remaining consistent to their locals.
Nearing the end of our conversations, Craig was nice enough to give me an early taste of a Saison he’s been working on before its release. It has since been released and did very well in the uncharacteristic heat Prince Rupert experienced this Summer. We shared a beer and wrapped up our conversation as a truck was arriving to pick up some kegs, which Craig loaded himself.
Wheelhouse Brewing Co. has kept us beer geeks sane with sporadic and very limited cask releases. Most of these casks contain ingredients local to Prince Rupert, keeping the hometown vibe alive and creating a product truly unique to Wheelhouse.


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Dylan Palozzi, fresh out of Brampton, ON, quickly fell in love with the world of beer a couple years ago. He spends his time cramming as much beer knowledge as he can, in hopes to one day know a thing or two. Currently living in Prince Rupert, BC, a small fishing town on the north-west coast. He is passionately working as a CYW, rolling around on his skateboard and seizing every opportunity he gets to explore new beers and places.  Find him on twitter here.

Bar Hop Brewco to host Beer Dinner with Stephen Beaumont to celebrate book release

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Holy beer pairings!  Just as I was reading about this on Twitter, I recieved this over email!  As if anyone needs more reasons to attend BarHop Brewco.  Thanks a lot, Matt.

This looks fantastic.  If you’re a beer nerd in any capacity, I highly recommend you attend this.  Well-respected beer writer and traveller Stephen Beaumont will host a beer dinner on October 4 at BarHop Brewco!.  Tickets available here.

 


On October 4 beginning at 6:30 pm, Bar Hop BrewCo at 137 Peter Street presents a four-course beer dinner hosted by Toronto beer luminary Stephen Beaumont to celebrate the release of his ALL NEW, completely revised and updated second edition of THE WORLD ATLAS OF BEER, co-authored with Tim Webb.


unnamedThe new WORLD ATLAS OF BEER is a richly illustrated and comprehensive guide that kicks off in Europe and travels through the Americas and Asia before ending in the Middle East and Africa. Beaumont and Webb are tireless beer travellers who in this newly revised and expanded edition add coverage of nations such as Poland, Switzerland, India and China to fully updated information on beer lands both traditional and untraditional. In total, close to one hundred countries are covered, so that with this ultimate companion in hand readers can explore the best beers the world has to offer.

The dinner at Bar Hop BrewCo on October 4 will be the first beer dinner Stephen has hosted in Toronto in over a decade! He will relate stories about the creation of the new ATLAS, share insight into the changing nature of the world of beer today and generally talk about everything beer-related, all while sharing an outstanding four-course dinner designed by Bar Hop BrewCo chef Mark Cutrara and expertly paired by Stephen with an array of exciting and delicious international beers. After dinner, Stephen will stick around to chat and sign copies of the new WORLD ATLAS OF BEER.

The dinner tales place at BAR HOP BREWCO on Tuesday, October 4, beginning at 6:30.

Tickets are $75 (including all taxes & gratuities) and are available online at www.universe.com/worldatlasofbeer.

Pre-release copies of THE WORLD ATLAS OF BEER will be available for the reduced price of $32, tax included.

 

The 5 Events We Will Be At This Toronto Beer Week

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Ah, Toronto Beer Week.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

There are tons of events to be found this week, from tap takeovers, to beer dinners, to awards shows – there’s something for both the grizzled beer veteran and the fresh-faced newcomer to the Toronto beer scene.  The full event list can be found here!  Italic text denotes the events as described by those running it.  

As much as we love beer and all the amazing events there are to attend, we simply cannot hit them all!  With that said, we wanted to select a few events – one per night of the week – that you’re likely to see one of us at this week.  Keep an eye out for myself, Matt, Beth, or Victoria at any or all of the events below and be sure to say hi!


Monday, Sept 19 – Toronto Beer Week Industry Pub Crawl

Junction Craft Brewing and three Toronto bars have teamed up for a Monday to remember!  (be sure to buy a beer for Beth, this event lands on her birthday!)

Toronto’s BEST Industry night Pub Crawl begins at the Queen and Beaver Public House at 8pm Monday, September 19th with a special Cask Ale offering from Junction Brewery. We will be hitting up Duke’s Refresher as we continue the pub crawl. Then on to the Antler Room at The Loose Moose to finish off the party. Admission is free. Come thirsty!


Tuesday, September 20 – GLB x Rainhard Tap Takeover @ The Wren

Two of our favourite breweries, GLB and Rainhard, have got together in what will sure be hoppy glory – with a full tap takeover and the first ever GLB x Rainhard collab suprise beer on tap, we’re almost guaranteed a great time.  Look out for Mike and/or Matt, as well as a ton of ther friendly and familiar faces!

Great Lakes Brewery and Rainhard Brewery are teaming up to take over the taps at The Wren!

Each brewery will split the taps, including a special collaboration beer that all parties will brew.

Start time 4pm.

Beer list to be announced closer to the date of the event.

 


Wednesday, Sept. 21 – Baseball, Beer, and Brewery Tours

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The Great Left Side is an ESB, collaborated on by Left Field, Great Lakes, and Side Launch – and we can’t wait to get our hands on some!  Left Field exemplifies some of the friendliest and most captivating hospitality at their east-end brewery, and you just may spot all 4 of us Bottomless Pint writers out for this tasty, tasty event.  This, of course, is only two days after the release of Left Field’s Vermont IIPA, Laser Show, so hopefully they have a bottle or two left for us…

Join us at the brewery on Wednesday, September 21 to celebrate Toronto Beer Week. Enjoy a day full of beer, food, baseball and free tours. No reservations, just show-up and enjoy!

Festivities include:

– Tapping The Great Left Side at 11 am, an ESB brewed in collaboration with Great Lakes / Side Launch / Left Field

– Toronto Blue Jays vs Seattle Mariners showing in the Tap Room with full audio

– Arepa Republic Food Truck will be serving up delicious eats from 4-8pm

– FREE Brewery Tour starting at 6 pm

 


Thursday, September 22 – The Golden Tap Awards

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The Golden Tap Awards are Ontario’s most democratic beer awards, handed out every year as voted by the public!  Voting closed September 18, but we look forward to hearing about the winners in beer, breweries, beer-related activities, and most important to us, beer writers! Our friend, originally-Toronto-based-but-now-lives-in-London writer Ben Johnson is attempting to three-peat (having won the last two Golden Tap Awards for writers in a row), so we look forward to either basking in his defeat (maniacal laugh) by another deserving writer, or to raising a glass to his win (we’ll get you next year, ya haircut)!  Look out for us here and say hello!

The gala awards event to hand out the Golden Tap Awards will be taking place on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 as part of Toronto Beer Week at beerbistro (18 King Street East) in downtown Toronto.

Our event will feature an all-Ontario craft beer festival as we announce the winners.  Doors will open at 5pm, where you will be able to try sample sizes of all the beers available.  The awards show occurs at 8pm, and after the show all beers will be available in full pints.  Admission is free and no tickets are required.

We hope to see you at the Golden Tap Awards as we reveal this year’s winners and enjoy the best beer Ontario has to offer!

The Golden Tap Awards are presented in 2016 by the Ontario Craft Brewers.


 

Friday, September 23 – Taps Of The West @ Wickson Socialwest

Lots of love for the west this year at TBW – and it doesn’t stop here, as Rainhard, Junction, and Henderson take over the taps at the Wickson Social just off of Yonge St.    What a great party for a Friday!  Look out for all 4 of us here too.

Join us at The Wickson Social for the second stop on the Taps Of The West Tour! Junction Craft Brewing, Rainhard Brewing Co. and Henderson Brewing Co. are taking over the Wickson’s back room taps to bring you exclusive small batch brews!


Did we miss an event or get something wrong?  Tweet me @beermostly, or all of us @bottomless_pint.   See you at Toronto Beer Week!

Sexism & Beer

The following is a post in our ongoing welcoming of guest writers to the Bottomless Pint.  Find out more about Susannah in her bio below the article.  


It starts with the feeling of being invisible.

After several attempts to join the conversation going on immediately around you, to no avail, you realize your attempts are futile. You could say anything right now and it would go completely unheard and unacknowledged. Or, conversely, the ground could open up and swallow you whole and, unfortunately, still nothing. Because you are a woman… a woman at a beer event. 

It doesn’t matter how many articles about beer I write, how many free media passes to beer events I get, or how many facts I spout off about Brettanomyces lambicus, the fact remains that most people (women included) working behind the taps at beer events completely ignore my existence and choose to only speak to, engage in conversation with, acknowledge or even make eye contact with my (male) fianceé. I can’t tell you how angry and disappointed this makes me. First of all, in the words of our Prime Minister as well as, you know, common sense, it’s 2016! No matter what the scenario this behaviour is unacceptable, but since I don’t have enough years left in my life to write about all of the feminist travesties happening around us constantly, let me, for the moment, focus on my experience as a woman in the beer industry.

Let me begin by saying that I know for a fact that I’m not alone in my experience, and that far worse happens to women who are more deeply entrenched in the industry, brewers, brewery owners, etc., but someone else’s experiences don’t negate mine, and I can only speak to my own. Frankly, I am fed up and disgusted with some of the behaviour I have seen, and treatment I’ve received, from people serving at these pricey beer events that people are paying good money to attend.

It is unfathomable to some of these people that I’M the one who earned these media passes and that I, a wittle girl, could be knowledgeable about beer. Every single time this happens, my fiancé makes a point to say I’M the beer writer, and to try to bring me back into the conversation that the third party has decided I’m not worthy of, but by this point we are usually so discouraged and we just move on. This has happened at the booths of some of my favourite breweries, and these are not one-off situations.

The sexism in the beer industry is known to rear it’s ugly head in many different ways. Whether it is me being unable to profile or promote certain breweries because when I try to ask questions about their brews they completely ignore me and talk to the man beside me (penis = beer, didn’t ya know?), or when we order our samples (10% double IPA for me, 2.8% Berliner for him) and they mindfully hand him the strong one (this happens 9/10 times).

Luckily, I’m an aware and confident enough person that I don’t take it personally, rather I take it generally on behalf of all women, which makes me even more rage-y. Let it be known that, as a general rule in life, I believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt (I even call it the B of the D in case you needed further proof of my easy-going and understanding nature). But when I’m covering dozens of events over the course of the year, and see the same behaviour over and over again, it’s time for me to get on my soapbox, mainly because I’m 5’2″ so I mean, if I want anyone to see me… Now, do I have sudden urges to turn the tap on them and blast their faces with Sriracha stout? Of course, but where would that get us beside wasting delicious craft beer?

So instead I turn to you.

You, the breweries, brewers, readers, event volunteers, coordinators (… uh, humans?) to stop the cycle, and stop perpetuating the stereotype that women are good enough to sell beer (what half-naked young women have to do with beer I’ll never know, this coming from a former promo model) or be the face of beer (if I see another friggin’ pin up girl or “sexy” cartoon woman on a beer can I’m going to scream, use your imagination, creatives!) but couldn’t possibly actually be knowledgeable on the subject. This way, it can appear to be an inclusive industry, without ever actually having any intention of including women in this world. If we get rid of preconceived notions and perceptions of this former boys-club and eliminate sexism in the beer industry, maybe it’ll spill over to other areas in life, and the world will become a little more equal. (See what I mean? Total B of the D, you may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.)

So what say you? Let’s smash this Pilsner-glass ceiling together and all drink from the same stein, shall we? 

Wait… oh my God… you haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you? You’ve been talking to the guy behind me this whole time haven’t you?

Sigh.


susSusannah Kiernan is a writer, actress, singer, and comedian who currently resides in Toronto. She has worked extensively in stage, film, and television in Canada and the United States. Her female comedy duo, “L’il RasGALS”, writes and performs shows across the country and regularly
in Toronto, and were nominated for “Best Sketch Troupe” by Now Magazine. In the summer of 2014, Susannah sang back-up for the band Heart at some of their Canadian tour stops. She is also a graduate of the Fashion Management Program at George Brown and is acting as Managing Editor and writer at Chloe Magazine and is a writer for Bev Nine to Five.  Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Rainhard Brewery Releases Gold Medal-Winning Sweetback’s Milk Stout

Image care of @rainhardbrewing on Instagram

Whoa, whoa.  In case you have never had Jordan Rainhard’s award-winning Sweetback’s Milk Stout – it is now available at the Rainhard Brewery at 100 Symes Rd. in the Stockyards – the real news here is that it is going to be available year-round.  Thank you, based Jordan, for your awesome beer and what I’m sure is difficult brew-schedule-movement that allows us to get tucked into stouts right as we round the corner into fall!  Full press release below, folks.

 


TORONTO, ON: This Thursday, September 1st marks the return of Sweetback’s Milk Stout to the Rainhard Brewing taproom and bottle shop and to good beer bars in Toronto and throughout Ontario. It’s the first release of this beer since winning the Gold Medal in the Stout category at the 2016 Ontario Brewing Awards.

Milk Stout is a traditional beer style unique in its use of lactose, an unfermentable sugar, to add sweetness. Also known as Sweet Stout, it’s the alternative to the Dry or Irish stout. Our take on the style is creamy and easy-drinking, with notes of cocoa and cold-brewed coffee, and sits at 5.25% and 25 IBU.

With this release, Sweetback’s will be part of Rainhard Brewing year-round lineup, along with Armed ‘N Citra Pale Ale, Unfiltered Pilsner, and Kapow! IPA.

About Rainhard Brewing Co.

Located at 100 Symes Rd. in the Stockyards, one of Toronto’s last standing industrial areas, Rainhard Brewing showcases the craft and passion for developing our signature brews in a friendly, welcoming bar setting. We have designed our event space, taproom and bottle shop in the heart of our brewhouse. Once a refinery, our facility has been completely renovated with sandblasted walls, exposed ceilings and a glass paned store front. When you visit our brewery, you will be able to enjoy a fresh glass of our hand-crafted brews surrounded by the brewing vessels, fermenters and aging tanks and see firsthand the brewing process and the devotion that goes into making all of our small-batch craft brews.

Awards:

2016 –   Lazy Bones IPA, Gold Medal, Canadian Brewing Awards

Hop Cone Syndrome IIPA, Silver Medal, Canadian Brewing Awards
Sweetback’s Milk Stout, Gold Medal, Ontario Brewing Awards
Nosbeeratu Black IPA, Silver Medal, Ontario Brewing Awards

2015 –  Best Newcomer to the Beer Scene in Ontario, Golden Tap Awards


 

PRESS RELEASE: Ontario Self-Guided Brewery Discovery Routes Bigger and Better for 2016

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More news fresh from the brain of ever-helpful and informative OBN – Ontario Tourism has announced their 2016 initiative celebrating food, beer, and other Ontario-made goodies in their Brewery Discover Routes platform!  Take a look at the homepage here.

Check out the full Press Release below!

 


Self-Guided Tours of Craft Beverages and Local Food Across Ontario and Its Protected Greenbelt Launched for Ontario Craft Beer Week 2016

TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – June 09, 2016) – As Ontario Craft Beer Week celebrates local beer across Ontario, self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes provide five complete itineraries for folks looking to get out and explore breweries, cideries, Feast On restaurants, and local attractions. Along the way, participants can indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks.

First launched in 2015, the 2016 expanded version includes nearly 150 independent craft beverage producers, over 100 Feast On restaurants and additional points of interest across Ontario and its protected Greenbelt. Some 250,000 maps will be distributed for free to residents throughout the province and all the routes are also available online at brewerydiscoveryroutes.ca

“Brewery Discovery Routes are the full package, showcasing Ontario’s independent, craft beverage producers, restaurants, artisanal cheesemakers, shops and farmers’ markets. They are the backbone of the rural economy and tourism landscape,” said Greenbelt Fund CEO Burkhard Mausberg. “The experiences let you taste the difference local makes from drink to food.”

“There is a great story behind every brewery in Ontario,” says Cam Heaps, co-founder Steam Whistle Brewing and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers. “Ontario Craft Breweries are ideal places for visitors to learn about the local brewing process, tour historical buildings, sample premium, award-winning brands and meet the real people behind the real craft beer in Ontario.”

“In Ontario we’ve seen a major growth in brewery tourism with a new survey showing beer, burgers and gastropubs are the favourite destinations of 32% of food tourists,” said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. “The Brewery Discovery Routes Map is a great new tourism product that builds regional connections to deliver an economic boost to the tourism sector in rural communities.”

While sampling is part of any brewery tour, participants are reminded to drink responsibly and establish a designated driver if touring the Discovery Routes by car. Most breweries, cideries and distilleries have bottle shops on site so visitors can take their favourite craft beverage home with them to enjoy.

The project was made possible with an investment from the Greenbelt Fund to support local food literacy and encourage Ontarians to enjoy local more often.

About Brewery Discovery Routes:

Brewery Discovery Routes is a partnership of fifteen Ontario organizations and tourism partners, including: the Greenbelt Fund, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Greenbelt Fresh, Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Beverage Network, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Ontario Craft Cider Association, Ontario Craft Distillers Association, Central Counties Tourism Durham, Grey Bruce Tourism, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Ontario Hop Growers’ Association and the Centre for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare

About the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. Our innovative investments get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The Fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain, and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources.

For more information, contact:

Christine Mulkins
Ontario Craft Brewers
647-242-3686
pr@ontariocraftbrewers.com

Erica Woods
Greenbelt Fund
Communication Manager, Greenbelt Fund
416-960-0001 ext. 306
ewoods@greenbeltfund.ca

Nickel Brook announces Nickel Brook x Arkells x Detour Coffee “Morning Brew” Brett Coffee Pale Ale

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Are you attending Sessions Toronto this weekend?  I am, and if there’s anything I love, it’s music and beer.  As you can probably expect, I was pretty pleased to see this Press Release in my inbox this morning!

Fresh off the presses today, Nickel Brook has announced their partners for their Sessions Toronto/Collaboration Nation beer.   Full text of the press release below!

 

 

 


Burlington, Ontario – June 9, 2016 – For Immediate Release

In preparation for Sessions Toronto and the Collaboration Nation

contest, Nickel Brook Brewing Co. is excited to announce the details of

their collaboration with Hamilton-based rock band Arkells and

Burlington-based coffee roasters Detour Coffee. Called “Morning

Brew”, the beer is a Brett Coffee Pale Ale made with freshly-brewed El

Vendaval coffee from Costa Rica.

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Arkells – photo care of dinealonerecords.com

Inspired by their new album, Morning Report, and their love for great

coffee, Arkells, Detour and Nickel Brook wanted to create a truly special

coffee beer. Using a unique strain of Brettanomyces yeast , German and

American hops, and freshly brewed Detour Coffee, the three parties

have created a one-of- a-kind collaboration brew! Front-man Max

Kerman and lead guitarist Mike DeAngelis joined brewmaster Patrick

Howell and roaster Geoff Woodley a few weeks back to brew up 300

liters of coffee and blend it into the Brett Pale Ale. After ageing and

mellowing, it came out perfectly!

Aromas of apricots and biscuits make way for a mouthful of toffee,

pineapple, and gooseberry. Hints of jalapeno and chipotle are present,

along with a distinctive coffee bite in the finish.

Working with the Nickel Brook design department, Mike DeAngelis

also created an exclusive label that’s sure to become a collector’s item

for fans everywhere. A true collaboration, this beer brings the science

of brewing, the art of coffee roasting, and the creative spark of Arkells

for an exclusive beer you wont find anywhere else. 

Morning Brew will be premiering exclusively on tap at this weekend’s

Sessions Toronto festival at Yonge and Dundas square. Fans can vote

for the beer in the Collaboration Nation contest, with the winner

receiving a one-year LCBO listing.

Beer Subscription Boxes Part 1: OTR Bartending Services

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This is the first part of a series dedicated to exploring the newly popular option of Craft Beer Subscriptions – boxes delivered to your door, usually monthly, filled with craft beer.  The idea behind these are usually twofold: exclusivity (usually beer that one cannot find in the LCBO or TBS), efficiency (breweries from around Ontario or even Canada that one cannot access reasonably), as well as limited-time offerings catered to each month or user.

Reddit is a funny place.

If you have never been to the  r/TorontoCraftBeer sub-reddit, it’s a place where a very small number of Toronto beer nerds hang out and ardently discuss articles, breweries, and events in Ontario.  This was where Adam Kurello and Chris Tarsitano pitched their idea as an expansion to their existing service, On The Rocks Bartending Services; a craft beer-of-the-month club.

In some discussion with OTR, their offerings were originally not exclusive or efficient, and placed the link to the subscription site online for feedback from Toronto’s most savvy beer people, where it was promptly given (probably too much) constructive feedback.  Heading back to the drawing board, OTR sent me a their May Craft Beer of the Month club box for delicious evaluation, and I thought it’d be a great time to kick off a new multi-part series to educate beer drinkers and decipher which of the many beer subscription services in Ontario make their beer tastes and wallets happiest.

The Box

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OTR’s site about the club, while still under construction, is all about letting you know what you’ll get.  I found this system to be the opposite of some other subscription services, where the box remains a mystery until you get it at your door.  While there are benefits to both, I think there’s something positive to be said for the amount of planning ahead it takes to line up this type of brewery-tripping to get beer you can’t get at your LCBO.

OTR says that in each monthly box, you’ll receive two bottles or tall cans from 4 breweries (totaling 8), one each in the four compass directions of Ontario – In the case of the box I got, Stonehammer from Guelph, Brock Street from Whitby, Brimstone from Ridgeway, and Highlander from just north of Huntsville.  You also receive 6 bottles or cans of their Craft Beer of the Month, which is selected by the team at OTR, for your enjoyment, which in this case, was Barnstormer’s Billy Bishop Brown (which, at the time, was not yet in Beer Store locations, I am told).

As one can see from the image, I was not disappointed in the selection – the beers received were unique and not regularly available to me, a great selection of styles, and held up to the promise of the amount of beer I would be getting for what I would pay if i subscribed.  On to the stats:

Cost/Commitment: $49 a month, tax and hand delivery included.  3, 6, 9 or 12 month memberships.  No cancellation fees.

Predicted Value: about $40 for this particular box

Exclusivity: Save for the Barnstormer beer of the month, I would not normally make my way to these breweries from where I am located.  This will evidently vary geographically (for example, Brock St. in Whitby is a 10 minute drive away for me, and I’m sure there will be a point where a person receives cans from the brewery next door, but that’s just the way these things work), but for the cost and predicted value, you are paying so little of a premium that it’s not worth the complaint.  And, of course, these beers are not widely distributed, so you’re likely going to be trying a great majority of new stuff, which is the point, no?

Efficiency:  In a world where there’s tons of terrible craft beer that is often priced at the same as the excellent stuff, boxes like OTR’s give you the chance to try new things from places you may have never been or ever seen.  I find OTR’s box to be of excellent value for a dollar as far as exploration goes; the fun of peeking into your freshly-delivered beer box once a month is something that I really get a kick out of.

Interested in subscribing?  The folks at OTR have let us know that you can get 5% off by using “BottomlessPint” as a promo code here: Sign Up

Stay on the lookout for the next parts of our ongoing Beer Subscription Box series!

Are you a subscriber to a “Beer Box” already?  Have a favourite?  Let us know on Twitter @bottomless_pint!


 

 

BREAKING: Beau’s Sells Brewery to Staff via ESOP, Guaranteeing Independence

beausstaff

I almost made the title of this article “Beau’s Announces Intent To Sell Brewery”, but then I couldn’t stand the inevitable click-bait accusations.

With a raucous battle cry, Tim and Steve announced to employees on May 16 that, as of July 1, 2016, Beau’s will begin selling the entirety of it’s brewery to its employees via an Employee Share Ownership Plan, or ESOP, and employees will buy shares over time.

With that said, speaking with Steve Beauchesne this morning on an early phone call, it seems he wants everyone to know how proud he is of their brewery, and that he wants it to remain independent and “cement that independence, not for the next 10 years, but for the next 100”, he affirmed.

“It seemed an appropriate gesture for our upcoming 10-year anniversary” Steve explained. “News about craft breweries is dominated in the news by selling out, and not for their beer.  To me, it has been important for me to find a way to give back to the employees, and I feel this is now the time to stand up and say that independence is a viable business.”  Steve has no plans to leave the business.

 

steveempown

Late last year, Toronto brewery Mill Street was purchased by Labatt, which shook up the Ontario craft beer world and made a lot of beer nerds and writers alike think, for the first time that this could happen to any of them.

Beau’s was particularly vocal, issuing a press release touting themselves as “Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer” and encouraging Mill Street employees to apply for their open positions.  Independence has always been at the forefront of the Beau’s organization, and this move indeed signals an affirmation of independent existence forever.

Steve went on in our chat to talk about the fans – “The people who have supported us have been the reason for our success, and all they’re asking for is for us to always be around for them the way we are now.  The comments from fans are always, you know ‘please, never sell out!’, and this is how we’re giving back to them.”

Announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDzK4MOJO0

Full text of the press release below!


BIG NEWS BREWING AT BEAU’S ALL NATURAL:

CANADIAN CRAFT BREWERY ANOUNCES INTENT TO SELL

Vankleek Hill, May 17, 2016Yesterday morning, Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer, took centre stage in Ottawa’s ByTowne Cinema amidst the brewery’s employees to announce the news of its imminent sale under an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Since its inception in 2006, Beau’s has experienced rapid growth at a compounded rate of 45 per cent year-over-year, and now employs approximately 150 full time staff. The offering of the ESOP is in keeping with Beau’s legacy as a fiercely independent, Canadian owned and family-run operation. The employees will become co-owners and an even greater part of the Beau’s family, with shared responsibility for the brewery’s future and continued growth as it sets to expand across the country by the end of the year.

“My Dad and I started Beau’s ten years ago with the promise of making excellent, flavourful beer, and using our brewery as a force for good,” says Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “Our success during this time is strongly rooted in the support of our employees and fans, who have always believed in our promise.”

On July 1, 2016, Beau’s tenth anniversary, the company will start the process of selling the brewery to its employees.

ESOP offerings are particularly rare in the craft beer category, with only a select handful across North America, signaling Beau’s fearlessness to go against the grain in order to maintain the integrity and independence of their company.

“By handing the reins over to our employees we are saying this changes everything, because this change is everything,” adds Beauchesne. “We look forward to our expansion and success across Canada, with the help of our new company stewards.”

2016 marks an exciting year for Beau’s. This announcement comes as Beau’s reaches the milestone of ten years, and will be followed by a series of commemorative initiatives – from now through June 2017 – including philanthropic projects, community recognition, merchant appreciation, limited-edition brews, and a fresh new brand look and feel.

 

About Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Founded on July 1, 2006, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company (Beau’s) is an independent, Canadian craft brewery run by a close-knit family and friends. Beau’s is Canada’s largest craft producer of organic beer. The Certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) produces certified organic beer including its flagship Lug-Tread, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, and The Tom Green Beer. The company supports hundreds of independent arts and community-building charitable organizations every year. Founded by father and son, Tim and Steve Beauchesne, the independent brewery will be rolling out its portfolio of craft beers across the country, expanding into major markets from the west to the east coast. Beau’s is currently available in Ontario, Québec and New York.