That’s an Ontario Craft Brewery?

Ontario Craft Breweries have become destinations for beer and food fans, tourists and anyone seeking an authentic, local, ‘taste of place.’ Their architecture, history and unique features enrich the craft beer experience.

-Video courtesy of Ontario Craft Brewers

BC Beer Awards 2015 – The Best of The West…For The Most Part Anyway

BC Beer Awards 2015 Title

Annually, one of the pinnacle events for brewery bragging rights and sampling beer in BC is the BC Beer Awards which are held every October. This year, 78 breweries entered over 500 beers in 20 different judging categories all hoping to medal and best each other in this Provincial competition. Sporting everything from a Rookie tent that featured a new beer and brewery every hour, to a beer can derby and a sour beer brewers challenge, the BC Beer Awards always seems to capture the essence of the BC beer scene in one evening of festivities.

This year, I felt that the judges did a decent job but still picked a few odd ball winners in some of the categories, while perfectly nailing many of the other ones. As always, with any subjective evaluation, when you examine the list of winners there’s going to be a bit of controversy with the results (even amongst the judges too). To see the full list of winners, click here, but for the purposes of this article I wanted to highlight some of the big wins (beers to look for) and a couple unusual results that I felt didn’t belong. At the end of the day, all judging is subject just like my own personal tastes, however beers are typically judged by how closely the represent a particular style and not necessarily which ones have the best flavour – but that’s a discussion for another day over a pint or three!

First off, the hardest award to argue with is the People’s Choice Award, which for the second year in a row went to Four Winds Brewery and is voted on by attendees. They decided to add some lime juice and a couple bottles of Bourbon to their already amazing Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour, essentially creating a beer inspired Whisky Sour. This was, I have to admit, one of the best things I have ever tasted at a beer fest (and I am attempting to recreate at home). The vanilla, oak and spices in the Bourbon melded perfectly with the sour ale and Galaxy hops, giving it a nice one-two punch of sweet and sourness with a rich savory vanilla booziness for an extra kick on the side. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me as they are by far my favourite brewery in BC for a reason, so I was thrilled that everyone agreed with me at the fest and voted for them to win again.

BC Beer Awards 2015 -1

Secondly, the standard setting and ever popular North America IPA category, once again saw the return of Central City’s Red Racer IPA to the top of the medal running’s. In fact, Central City walked away with two medals, something that the bigger craft breweries tend to struggle with. This was a big deal because with so many new breweries opening up in BC and so many different excellent IPA’s being produced, it’s nice to see a classic and long serving BC beer get recognized for what it truly is. Notably absent from this category were Yellow Dog Play Dead IPA and Driftwood  Fat Tug, two beers that always come into the “best IPA in BC” conversation, if not all of Canada.

Three notable breweries finally won Gold for beers that were a bit overdue for some higher level recognition. First off,  Dageraad, our local but traditional Belgian style brewery, thankfully got recognized with Gold for their amazing Belgian Blonde Ale in the Abbey Ale Category. I’ve had this side-by-side with many imports and it wins every time in my books. Secondly, Steel and Oak who is often regarded for making Lagers cool again, got rewarded Gold for their Dark Lager in the Amber/Dark Lager category. The head brewer is a German trained brewer who grew up locally and has really mastered the art of lagering, using smoked malts and being creative with malt forward styles of beer and they deserve to be recognized. Lastly, Four Winds Brewing finally got a Gold Medal for their Juxtapose Wild IPA in the Sour/Wild Ale category, this is a Sacc Trios yeast brewed IPA that is by far one of the more creative beers to hit the BC market in recent times and well deserving of gold, despite the odd category entry.

BC Beer Awards 2015 -3

 

Finally, the Rookie of the Year award and Best Stout winner went to Doan’s Craft Brewery, a brewery run by the little brother’s of one of my best friends through Elementary school. They took home best Stout with their Rye Stout and Rookie of the Year, which is very well deserved because they make excellent stuff. It’s nice to see them get recognized, they’d been trying to open a brewery for three years and finally did it in 2015 to much excitement and relief. I was glad to see an award like this, the new breweries need ways to get their names out, especially the ones that make the best beer.

So who maybe didn’t deserve to win? Well personally I wasn’t a fan of seeing Big Rock Brewery (an Alberta owned brewery who opened up shop in BC) win any awards. I mean they make so-so beer in their Vancouver brewery, but still managed to claim a couple of awards that I don’t think were particularly well deserved based on both location and product quality. If you’ve ever had their country wide offerings, you’ll know what I’m talking about overall. Also, Stanley Park Brewing, often makers of mediocre beer in my personal opinion, somehow managed to snag two awards for beers I wouldn’t willingly drink. Lastly, although a good beer, the Sour Challenge winner went to a pretty basic sour ale and ignored three outstanding sours from better breweries. But, alas, that’s just the way these things go sometimes and all the beers were blind tasted so any bias has been removed from the equation and I’ve since heard that their were some politics in the judging and the beer I thought should win actually had more votes, but from less influential and acclaimed judges so it lost out.

BC Beer Awards 2015 -4

What’s the point of all of this anyway? While other than putting on an amazing tasting festival, most of the awards went to some excellent beers that are truly approaching world class levels of quality and flavour. Our best IPA is distributed pretty much across the country and in much of the United States as Red Betty, not Red Racer. Our newer breweries are pretty much leading the market in terms of creativity and awards, and you can expect to see them grow and eventually make their way into other provinces over time. You’ve got some amazing stuff headed your way Canada, the beer from out West is just getting bigger and better and eventually we’ll stop drinking it all and send more to the East! Unfortunately, with some recent changes in AB beer laws, it’s unlikely that’ll we will see many Eastern Canadian beers out west. Thanks for spending some time reading the article, the opinions above are mine, but I’d love to hear yours in the comments section, including how you think your local events compare!

Muskoka Brewery to withdraw from 3 Western Provinces

Looks like government is to blame for Muskoka Brewery withdrawing their beer from “New West Partnership” provinces, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Many Canadian independent brewers were shocked on October 29th, when the Alberta government made the decision to increase the tax rate for craft brewers outside the New West Partnership. Muskoka was forced to wind down operations as a direct relation to the tax increased, causing the brewery to remove their beer from those provinces by the end of 2015. According to Muskoka, the brewery was faced with a mark-up rate of 145% which equals $74/HL or $1.51 per 6 pack.

“We have remarkable customer support and sales momentum in these markets,” says Gary McMullen, president and founder of Muskoka Brewery. “Up until this new legislation was announced, we had no intention of leaving. In fact, we had plans to widen our footprint based on the growing demand for our beers. We’re sorry to leave our friends and supporters, but with this new tax increase it’s now unsustainable to sell our beer in these provinces.”

As one of the leaders in the Canadian craft beer industry for almost 20 years, the brewery is committed to continue to grow the craft beer industry within Canada despite the rules and regulations of the governments. McMullen says “We can’t allow this setback to divide the Canadian craft brewing community. We’d like to sincerely thank our customers for their support and passion for us, and we’ll be back when these trade barriers are squashed.”

Muskoka Brewery looks to be keeping true to growth of their beer with plans of expanding closer to home (Ontario), including the U.S. market and Quebec.

Labatt Purchases Mill St. Brewery, Invests $10M in Brewery Operations

Striking a chord in the hearts of beer lovers across the province, Mill St Brewery has been purchased by Labatt.  Cue violins.

These guys and girls make great beer. I hope it stays that way.
These guys and girls make great beer. I hope it stays that way.

Mill Street brewery opened in 2002, and has since been a key player in the craft beer movement in Ontario.  Popular beers include the only-craft-option-at-Jack-Astors Organic Lager, the first-ever-Ontario-pale-ale Tankhouse Ale, and this writer’s favourite dark ale, Distillery Ale (please, please, PLEASE DON’T CHANGE THIS).  They’ve also recently released Tankenstein IPA into the hands of the LCBO, a great foray into the highly competitive (and extremely delicious) IPA market.

From an editorial perspective, the reactions have not been extremely mixed.  Disappointment reigns supreme, as beer snobs everywhere divert their money to smaller breweries that are not corporately owned.   Another concern is quality of product – will the recipes get cheaper to make for mass consumption at the expense of a quality product?  All questions that can only be answered by time – and tasting.

We’ll keep you in the loop on social for now, so for more developments, check out our Twitter feeds.  Bottomless Pint is here, and I can be found tweeting through the 5 stages of grief here.

Love,

Mike

Toronto Beer Week is back

TBW2015_Twitter_OfficialParticipant-300x150

It’s that time of year again, when all Toronto Craft Beer lovers rejoice!

Toronto Beer Week is back, and in it’s 5th year, starting September 18th and going all the way through the 26th.

“What is Toronto Beer Week?” you ask? It is 9 days packed with amazing events throughout the city. There is truly something for everyone, including:

  • The Danforth Pub Crawl on Saturday, Sept 19th (which easily attracts 100+ people and hits quite a number of bars along and just off of Danforth Ave.)
  • Great Lakes Brewery 1st Annual Pig and Corn Roast, featuring a variety of Tank Ten beers, including casks, as well as live music
  • Craft Your Change, an event that taps into people’s talents by connecting them with non-profit organizations/social causes that are looking for volunteers
  • For the full list of events head over to Toronto Beer Week’s website as well as follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on all the news and updates during the week!

Victoria, Mike and myself will be attending a few events around the city during the week including The Official Launch Party at Berkeley Church, and The Golden Tap Awards at Beer Bistro.

Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts to keep up with all the action of the week to come, and let us know what events you’re attending!

Matt

Twitter: @bottomless_pint

Instagram: @bottomless_pint

Mike

Twitter: @beermostly

Instagram: @beermostly

Victoria

Twitter: @Love_Victoriaa

Instagram: @victoria_r

 

The Summer of Saisons

I went on a bit of a spiritual journey this summer.

Normally (aka previous summers) my beers of choice have been pretty regular: a cold Pils, a nice session IPA, or even a solid Helles or lager from time to time.  I think this goes for most of us beer people: if we’re outside relaxing, we like to have a few beers, not go BJCP on everything we drink, and enjoy the bliss that the heat of the sun and a cold beer brings, as the summer sunshine comes and goes far too quickly here in the Great North.

In my frequent browsing one May morning of my local LCBO’s shelves, I discovered a trend:  There are a lot of local Saisons being made.  I had never really explored the Saison before, mostly due to the fact that prior to this summer, there weren’t as many being made locally that my LCBO carried (and granted, I probably didn’t look very hard at this style).  Wish I’d discovered them sooner! (For those who don’t know what a Saison or Farmouse ale is, click here.)

Something I really love about summer is that I seem to remember the new beers I had contextually – the scene, my mood, the music playing when drinking it.  I think the environment really contributes to a beer drinker’s happiness in the moment, and in my blog writing, helps me to remember what I’ve had.  With that in mind, i’ve decided to tell you about my top five Ontario saisons – in no particular order – with some extras!  See if you can enjoy them the same way I did!

Sawdust City 7 Weeks of Staying Up All Night Picnic Table Saison

Where I had it first: Bar Hop during that massive July heatwave

What song was playing: I Got A Name – Jim Croce7

I list this first because, quite frankly, it is fucking stellar.  Came to me in a glass at Bar Hop around 5PM, where I sat with a couple hours to kill waiting for a friend of mine (and writing ideas for articles for this blog).  It had been a particularly stressful and hot day that day, and I’d seen this beer praised on social endlessly.

Notes of the inclusive pink peppercorn and lemon zest are immediately evident in the aroma, as well as a pleasant (yet thin) yeast ester that is present in the flavour, too.  Very light-bodied, fruity, and with medium carbonation, this is a complex beer I discover something new in every time I drink it.  I literally drove to Gravenhurst to get some.  You should too.  No word on if it will be back for next summer. Update: it’ll be back next summer. REJOICE.

Oast House Saison

Where I had it first: My backyard on a weekend when I had nothing to do but cut the grass

What song was playing: I Don’t Want To Know – Fleetwood Mac

oast

Anyone who wandered into the LCBO this summer saw a corked bomber bottle of this on the shelves, emblazoned with the comforting and familiar Oast House branding.  I enjoyed this while doing nothing but listening to the Spotify playlist my family had prepared for our little backyard relaxation sessions where we sit around and drink while playing with the neighbour’s cats that they leave out all the damn time.

Extremely faithful to the style, this one is incredibly balanced with an alcoholic spiciness in the flavour, a funk that is not easily forgotten in the aroma, an extremely light malt body, and a distinctly low-carbonation mouthfeel that made this entire bottle very, very easy to drink (and very hard to share).

Left Field Sunlight Park Saison

Where I had it first: Steamwhistle’s Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival

What song was playing: Something by Plaid on Flannel, i don’t remember

Dominated by citrus (grapefruit zing with lemony sweetness) in both aroma and flavour, this stands out as having a fairly grassy hop profile – while not overbearing, it certainly is there; complemented by a ever so slight tartness and the higher carbonation on this list.  Mandie & Mark picked a great name for this beer, as it is quite literally the defining qualities of a summer afternoon – sunny, grassy, and ever-so-refreshing.  “More-ish” is how I describe Sunlight Park.

Amsterdam Howl Farmhouse Ale

Where I had it first: Out of a growler on the first hot summer weekend of the year on a patio

What song was playing: Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder

I only had one pint of this because my mom drank the rest, after proclaiming it was her favourite beer in the known universe.  So there’s that.  It won an award in 2014 and came back this year!

Spicy.  Alcohol is the forward profile of this saison, with lots and lots of yeast complexities and a very (nearly overbearing) funk, thanks in part to the 2 Brettanomyces strains inclusive in this beauty .  As i got through my glass, I was greeted by a medium grain maltiness and a low-yet-notable floral hop character.  If you’re a Brett fan, you’ll love Howl.  If not, suck it up, because you’ll still like Howl.

Muskoka Moonlight Kettle Summer Saison

Where I had it first: A hot brew day in Mathew’s apartment

What song was playing: Matt screaming in the background of the Jays game about the beer he was making

When Matt (the guy I write this blog with) and I get together, there’s a lot of fawning over beers.  The rule at his place is as long as you bring beer, you may take whatever is in his two fridges full (“why are there vegetables in the beer crisper?” he loudly asks his lovely and tolerant girlfriend, Deb.)  So, I picked the Moonlight Kettle series beer – i’m told now has it’s 2nd installment, an APA.

Colouring on this saison was definitely the darkest I’d seen,  with an upfront yeast and clove presence in the thick white head (which, i must say, had the best retention and lacing of this bunch).  Very complex with a very present malt backbone, Moonlight Kettle was the heftiest beer in this bunch alcohol-wise, but hid it beneath beautiful carbonation and farmhouse funk.

– Mike


Honorable mentions include Bellwoods Farmhouse Classic, Collingwood Saison, and Cameron’s Into The Shade Saison.

Disagree with my analysis or picks?  Sound off in the comments!

The West Gone Wild, For Sour Beers

Sours

The West Gone Wild, For Sour Beers Out in beautiful British Columbia, we have amazing outdoor activities in the wild and a rocking beer culture, evident by the 30% share of awards BC took at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards. The craft beer industry has really taken off here, doubling the amount of breweries in the last two and a half years with no sign of slowing down. What’s most interesting about this growth is that most new places aren’t opening up with just a basic line-up, rather it’s become almost a standard to open with a barrel aging and sour program from the get go. We’ve experienced a rapid rise of sour beers in the BC craft beer market thanks to some early success and a few hard core brewers who’ve been doing it for years and of course a tight knit beer community.

Now sour beers are new to some folks, but they’ve been around forever in Europe, including some styles like a Polish Gratzer which has been recently revived in North America thanks to creativity and the need to be different. There are many ways to sour a beer, some are quicker than others, but essentially it involves introducing some form of bacteria or wild yeast into the beer and letting it go to work. It often takes many months or years before a sour beer is ready to drink. Beer can be soured during the brewing process with Lactobacillus, it can be soured in barrels by spontaneous fermentation from wild yeasts, or the brewer can add a wild yeast type like Saccharomyces or Brettanomyces to give the beer some funky notes among other unique souring methods. What likely started out as an oops, has long since become a meticulous brewing process that can produce some amazing flavours in craft beer.

Out West, we’ve been privy to a huge influx of soured beers this year.  I can think of over 30 breweries that have released a sour type beer on the market in the past month or two, typically to a lot of fanfare and excitement. Some places are even releasing them within their first year or so of operation. They typically brew the beer soon after opening and let it sit for 9-12 months to let it develop in a barrel. Others are kettle souring beers and putting them out on the market regularly in limited releases or in some cases have built long term souring and blending programs to keep a consistent sour on tap and in the market. Honestly, it’s been crazy to watch as we have more sour beers on the market than double IPA’s in BC, a style ratio that’s quite rare for the rest of North America where double IPA’s are worshipped like gods and celebrities.

This is standard family summer BBQ beer in BC, also a Gold Medal winner at the CBA’s
This is standard family summer BBQ beer in BC, also a Gold Medal winner at the CBA’s

Sour beers aren’t new to BC brewing, Yaletown and Storm Brewing have brewed sour beers forever and Driftwood brewery, who is famous for Fat Tug IPA, has been releasing them since they opened. However, they’ve been part of a fairly niche market until 2015 where you can’t go into a liquor store now without seeing at least a solid selection of sour beer. Clearly the population out this way has adventurous palates and desire to try new things and the brewers are happy to oblige, encouraged by the evolution of the craft beer community in British Columbia.

To give a few examples, sour beers like Four Winds Nectarous (which is a dry hopped sour ale that will blow your mind) are here to stay and are actually becoming hard to get because of demand. More breweries are dreaming up new ways to entice the market into trying a sour beer, like Dageraad Brewing’s Passion Fruit De Witte Sour Ale, a citrusy sour special release that was so popular they were compelled to brew it again for a second summer release. Parallel finally released Lil Red Redemption, a third year anniversary special release as a comeback from their first sour nightmare (hey, they don’t all go so well, sours aren’t easy to make). Finally, breweries are even releasing Gose beers, one of the more ‘out there’ sour styles I can think of, often tasting like sweaty tart lemonade but pairs great with sushi just to stay relevant. I can’t recall other markets that have embraced this style of beer so quickly.

British Columbian beer drinkers have gotten a taste of the sour bugs (literally, those are bacteria after all) and we aren’t going to back away from them anytime soon. Even some of the insanely mouth furrowing sour Cascade Brewing beers are on the liquor store shelves now, each Cantillon release flies off the shelves before you can blink and the importers are clearly reacting to the market accordingly by bringing in more sour styles to choose from. Be it a mild Berliner Weise, a sour Red Lager, a Brett IPA, a Sour Wheat Ale from a Belgian trained brewer in Powell River or an Imperial Flanders Red from the weirdest brewery in town, if you’re looking for a sour beer experience there’s never been a better time out West than now to get it. We are wild for beer, and even wilder for sour ales! In British Columbia we are ready to pucker up for even more, cheers!

Pints, Samples, and Bottleshops: A Guide

So. You’ve dropped into your favourite local brewery on a gorgeous day in the lovely province of Ontario, and you are hit with the sudden urge to sit down and have a pint. What could be better, right? A fresh pint, straight from the brewery, where the beer was probably brewed mere days ago. Great idea!!

Except it’s not, because unfortunately, a lot of the breweries across Ontario aren’t actually allowed to give you the beer they so artfully create by the glass. By this point, us Ontario Beer Drinkers should just be used to the red tape that we have to get through just to enjoy some home grown wobbly pop (don’t even get me started on growler regulations). Alas, this still catches many people by surprise. *sigh*

Basically, there are four different types of licenses that breweries can get. There are tons of conditions and variations to these licenses, but for the purposes of this article I’m hoping to keep it simple. Buckle up, I’m about to take you on a colourful (and hopefully not boring) regulatory ride through the different liquor licenses so that you can get a better idea what a brewery has to go through just to serve you a fresh pint.

 

  1. Manufacturer’s License

This is the most common, and it is a license obtained through the AGCO in order to sell products that a brewery produces in the LCBO. This type of license is technically secondary to a federal license under the Excise Act (2001) and has to be acquired prior to the making and packaging of any beer. From what my research tells me, this has to be renewed every year. This is your basic Government of Ontario Starter Package License in order to make yummy beer, and one of its main purposes is to collect tax. Cute!

 

  1. “Tied House” Liquor Sales License

This type of license works best for breweries that want to have a bottle shop on site. It is under the manufacturer’s license, and it allows manufacturers to sell and showcase their own products. Under this license, manufacturers do not have to follow rules of having a variety of different brands for the consumer to choose from, like the LCBO has to. There are more specific regulations that go along with this license in regards to manufacturer’s that also have special events in their spaces.

 

  1. “By the Glass” Liquor Sales License

Here’s where it gets complicated. This is the license needed to be able to sell pints at a brewery, and a manufacturer’s license is needed first. Beer can only be sold from 11am-9pm on any given day, and servings cannot exceed 12oz. What is important to understand is that some breweries will need to have all three of these licenses, just to please the occasional person who wants to have a pint straight from the brewery. For example, if a brewery has a Tied House License, this does not mean a customer can buy a bottle from the retail fridge and drink it on the premises and be able to get around needing a By The Glass License. Are you good and confused yet??
Mandie Murphy, co-founder of Left Field Brewing, told me about the issues she finds with having a “By the Glass” License. She explained to me:

“The purpose of the license as defined by the AGCO is that it’s aimed at promoting the manufacturer’s product and either providing an enhanced tourist experience or fulfilling an educational purpose. There are many events that we would like to host with the intent of fulfilling either of those goals after 9pm but the license restricts us from doing so.” However, she does see the benefit of having a Tied House License, because “sampling before purchasing is one of the key reasons people choose to buy beers directly from a brewery instead of from the LCBO or Beer store.” She is optimistic in hoping that someday soon, Ontario will take notes from B.C. and create legislation that allows breweries to pour other manufacturer’s beers or wines in their Tap Room, as a way to enhance the tourist experience and fulfill an educational purpose, as is stated directly in the verbiage of Ontario liquor licenses. So basically, even when you find a license that works for you, it isn’t always a perfect solution.

 

  1. The Brewpub License

In certain occasions, a brewery with a liquor sales license may obtain a Brewpub endorsement under section 57 (1) of the Liquor License Act. This seems like a great idea, right? However there are catches to this license as well; not every brewery has aspirations of becoming a brewpub. Also, there are regulations under this license stating how much interest of the business the license holder must have (51% to be completely silly and specific) and also, the brewpub cannot serve any brews that are above 6.5% ABV. So yeah, that 14% barrel-aged porter you had your eyes on? Not happening today, my friend.

On top of these licenses, Jason Fisher, the owner and self-titled Occasional Brewer at Indie Alehouse informed me that a Federal permit is also necessary, along with many permits from the City. “You need the city stuff to get the AGCO to give final approval, and that process was, and may still be, chaotic to say the least.” Jason went further to explain that the listed Provincial licenses were, unfortunately, the most expensive and complicated. Michael Clark, Brewer and Owner of Bellwoods Brewery, echoed Jason’s sentiments, and highlighted that municipal zoning is “the worst part about opening a brewery in Toronto.” Jason did take time to note that he, as well as many other Ontario brewers, has had great experiences with the staff at the AGCO, and everyone in the Ontario brewing community helps each other out during this process. He tells me “If it were ever automated and put on line it would be so much easier. There was talk about ‘modernizing’ the AGCO a few years back – not much has come of that.” Jason is very optimistic for the changes that City Councillor Mike Layton will (hopefully) be making to make life easier for future brewers.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “why does she care so much about any of this?” Well, the purpose of explaining these licenses to you, my incredibly good-looking reader, is that I want you to understand the complicated process that a brewery must go through to sell you a pint, when I’m sure it seems like such a simple thing to do. It is an incredibly difficult process, and one that includes a lot of risks, as our friends at Left Field Brewing can tell you.  My advice to beer drinkers: if you really appreciate the beer that a brewery creates, trust that they have the license that fits them and their values the best, and go to a bar that sells their beer if you’re truly dying for a pint. I bet the people at said brewery would love to give you a list of a few bars in the neighbourhood that pour their brews. Or, visit the bottle shop, and go home and drink a few bottles of your favourite brew with your pants undone while watching Netflix – whatever wets your whistle. But please, avoid hassling the good people at the breweries across Ontario that are doing their best with the licenses they’ve got to provide folks with some good, locally made craft beer.

Special thanks to Mandie from Left Field Brewing, Jason from Indie Alehouse, as well as Carmen and Michael from Bellwoods Brewery for letting me quote them, and also to Tom Paterson, president of Junction Craft Brewing Inc. for helping me out with my research!

Cheers!

– Victoria

 

About the Author

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.37.58 PMThrown headlong into the Toronto craft scene by her

adoration for the sustainable and local business, 

Victoria holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies.  

She works in the bottle shop of one of Ontario’s

best craft breweries, and adores the children she 

teaches dance, a good book, and investigating new beer. 

Find her on twitter here.

Tap into the Art of Beer

A short educational documentary explaining the history of beer, how it’s brewed, fermented, packaged and best enjoyed by Cool Brewing co. This 25-minute documentary, produced by Freeman McLarty and filmed by Francois Aubry, taps into the history of beer, how it’s brewed (ales vs. lagers), fermented, packaged and best enjoyed! We’ve also focused on trends in the Canadian beer industry.

The Ultimate Craft Beer and Cigar Pairing

Main-Poster

If you’re like me, there is no better pairing than a fine cigar with a complex locally made craft beer. If you agree, then I have a series of events for you!

Victory Cigars (victorycigars.ca)and Bottomless Pint present Craft Beer Saturday’s.  Starting May 30 through August 22, we will be inviting a different brewery to the shop to pair with a cigar supplier for the ultimate pairing. The events will run from 12pm-4pm every Saturday throughout the summer. We will be featuring breweries like Mill St., Steam Whistle and many Durham Region breweries including 5 Paddles, Brock St. and Manantler. Each customer will have the opportunity to sample the beer, with an option to purchase a full beer afterwards. The beer will be expertly paired with a cigar by shop owners Kevin Newell and Julian Luke. They will be selecting the right cigar that matches the flavour profile of the beer. There will be tons of cigar deals and swag for the customers who come to the event.

Why are we profiling craft beer at a cigar store, you ask? Well Kevin and Julian say,

“Victory Cigars customers love experiencing new and bold things, and pairing cigars and beer gives them the opportunity to expand their horizons (and their palates). In the past we have hosted the Durham Festival of Spirits, OktoberCigarFest, wing nights, Scotch tasting … you name it, our customers love it. So presenting a Craft Beer program is a great fit for our client group.”

So bring your friends and come by Victory Cigars 215 King St E, Oshawa from 12pm-4pm every Saturday, starting May 30, to enjoy an amazing craft beer and a perfectly paired cigar!  For the first 5 people who find me at the events and let me know you read this article and there will be a free beer in it for you!!!