Brew Tours officially launches and announces Brew Tours: Muskoka Edition for Spring 2016


Starting May 21st 2016, the Muskoka region will be getting their very own Brew Tour.  The tour will showcase three of the main craft breweries within the Muskoka region:  Lake of Bays Brewery, Muskoka Brewery, and Sawdust City Brewing Company, as well as lunch at The Griffin Gastropub.​ So if you are ever in the Muskoka area and wanted a behind the scenes look at 3 amazing Ontario Craft Brewers, be sure to look into these tours.

Full release below. Cheers!



TORONTO (March 7th 2016) – Brew Tours is excited to officially announce they are fully operational and starting this spring, they will be operating their first tours throughout Muskoka.Brew Tours officially launches and announces Brew Tours: Muskoka Edition for Spring 2016

Craft breweries have been exploding throughout Ontario over the last couple of years and with another 70 reportedly opening by the end of 2016, Brew Tours has noticed a void within the craft community. Similar to how winery tours are operated within the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, Brew Tours will be running day tours for local craft enthusiasts and tourists.

After a great deal of thought, Brew Tours decided to launch their first tour in the Muskoka community. Brew Tours: Muskoka Edition will feature Lake of Bays Brewing Company, Sawdust City Brewing Company and Muskoka Brewery. The tour will also visit the historic Griffin Gastro Pub for lunch. The Muskoka Edition has been designed to showcase the unique features of each brewery and how individually and combined they have done their part to continuously promote craft beer to larger audiences. Brew Tours: Muskoka Edition is starting May 21st 2016 and running consistently throughout the summer and into the fall.

Piers Simpkin, founder of Brew Tours is very excited for what the future holds. “Previously working within the music industry as a tour manager and booking agent, a common downtime activity I found myself doing was always looking for new local beers to try while on the road. Now that I have stepped back from touring and booking bands, I am very fortunate to be able to combine two of my passions into a new endeavor. Discovering great craft beers and creating exclusive touring experiences around the breweries has only produced positive feedback. Local residence and cottage goers to Muskoka this summer are definitely in for a great treat!”

For more information about Brew Tours, please visit or follow us on twitter @brewtoursca ( We are also on Facebook and Instagram

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.

Toronto Beer Week is back


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!


Twitter: @bottomless_pint

Instagram: @bottomless_pint


Twitter: @beermostly

Instagram: @beermostly


Twitter: @Love_Victoriaa

Instagram: @victoria_r


The West Gone Wild, For Sour Beers


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!

Brock St. Brewing Company – Durham’s Newest Brewery



“The most refreshing street in Canada.”

That is the tag line of Durham Region’s newest craft brewery. Brock St. Brewing Company, which had their soft opening back in April, is located at 1501 Hopkins St., Unit 3, in Whitby, Ontario. Yes that’s right, the name is Brock St. Brewery which is located on Hopkins, but I will get into that in a little bit. Brock St. Brewery was an idea that came from a night of 4 homebrewers enjoying a few beers a couple of years ago. The idea started to come to life in January 2014. The brewery was intended to be located in the old fire hall on Brock St.  Unfortunately the town was not ready for the sale of the building. That is not stopping the ownership group of the brewery from actively working with the Mayor, town staff, and council for the Town of Whitby to engage support to rebuild and establish a second location in Whitby’s downtown firehall.

IMG_8123The current brewery is run by brewmaster Eric Ross, who is a graduate of Niagara Brewing Collage, worked at Gananoque Brewery and Beaus before coming to Brock St. Eric, who developed all the recipes in conjunction with the ownership group, is brewing on a 30 hectalitre brewing system. The brewery also has four 60 hectalitre fermenters and 2 brite tanks. They have also introduced a new bottling line and in the summer they will be installing a grain silo which will gravity feed the mash tank inside the brewery. Currently the brewery offers a Blonde, American Brown and Traditional Red, with a Porter and a Pale Ale in the works. Brock St. Brewery is also working on a collaboration beer with 5 Paddles Brewing Co., located on the same street.

Currently, you can buy their beer in 1L and 2L growlers at the brewery, with bottles coming very shortly. If you are looking to try their beers at some local Durham restaurants you can find them at the following: Brock HouseBuster RhinosHot RocksChatterpaulsTetraVillage InnTap and TankardThree-Six Kitchen and Lounge and a few more in the area.IMG_8130

Mark Woitzik, one of the owners, said to me  “Brock St. Brewing would like to thank this amazing community for all the support we have received.”

Brock St. Brewery was the official beer of the Brooklin Spring Fair that took place June 4-6, 2015. Brock St. won 1st place at the Bowmanville Ribfest in the Light Beer Category for their Blonde. Brock St. will be participating in events over the summer including Craft Beer Saturday’s this Saturday June 13th at Victory Cigars inOshawa (sorry for the shameless plug of my event) Brock St. Brewing Company will be having their official grand opening, July 4th and 5th, 2015. There will be a few local radio stations that will be broadcasting live, as well as food and of course a ton of beer. If you want to try their beer soon, head over to the brewery or one of the local restaurants to grab yourself a pint or growler.

To see all the photos from the tour head over to my Tour & Events Gallery.

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


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 ( 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!!!