PRESS RELEASE: The Return of Samuel Adams Utopias coming to LCBO

The return of the highly-coveted Samuel Adam Utopias is coming to the Summerhill LCBO on September 23rd. If you miss the limted run of the $114.95 bottle of this one of a kind beer you will be able to buy it through the LCBO Vintages Shop Online Wednesday, September 28 at 8:30 a.m.  This 2015 edition of Utopias will go fast. I am personally looking to add a bottle to go along side my 2012 edition of the beer.

To celebrate the launch of Utopias in Ontario, Jim Koch Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer  will be hosting a tutored tasting of a number of Samuel Adams beers, including Utopias, at the LCBO’s Summerhill location at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the launch. He will also join a celebration of Samuel Adams beer at a Toronto Beer Week event called For the Love of Beer. Although Utopias will not be available to sample at this event, beer fans will be able to meet Jim and sample several Samuel Adams beers not typically available in Canada. For the Love of Beer starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 22 at 99 Sudbury.

Full Press Release Below


Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch to host tutored tasting in Toronto prior to launch

TORONTO, ON (September 7, 2016) – On Friday, September 23, the LCBO will release a limited number of bottles of Samuel Adams Utopias. A total of 700 bottles of the highly-coveted beer will be available both in-store and through the LCBO’s Vintages Shop Online at a price of $114.95 per 710mL bottle.

In-store, 350 bottles will be released for sale to the public at the LCBO’s Summerhill location (10 Scrivener Square, Toronto) at 4:00 p.m. on September 23. The remaining 350 bottles will be sold through the Vintages Shop Online beginning the following Wednesday, September 28 at 8:30 a.m.unnamed

For beer fanatics, Samuel Adams Utopias has become one of the most sought-after beers on earth. Meant to be savoured like a fine cognac or port, Utopias is known for its extraordinary flavour profile; wood, toffee, cocoa, raisin and maple aromas contribute to the distinctive flavour, which includes notes of molasses, earthy wood, dates, and light smoke, nuts and toffee. Utopias is a blend of batches, some of which have been aged for more than 22 years in a variety of barrels at Samuel Adams’ Boston Brewery. This Utopias release is 28% ABV.

To celebrate the launch of Utopias in Ontario, Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch will be hosting a tutored tasting of a number of Samuel Adams beers, including Utopias, at the LCBO’s Summerhill location at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the launch. A total of 24 tickets are available for the tasting at a cost of $75 each. The ticket also guarantees the right to purchase one Utopias bottle before its general release at 4:00 p.m. Tickets for this experience go on sale tomorrow, September 8, through helloLCBO at 1-800-668-5226.

While Koch is in Toronto, he will also join a celebration of Samuel Adams beer at a Toronto Beer Week event called For the Love of Beer. Although Utopias will not be available to sample at this event, beer fans will be able to meet Jim and sample several Samuel Adams beers not typically available in Canada, including Cinder Blonde Gratzer, Grumpy Monk and Chai Saison. For the Love of Beer starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 22 at 99 Sudbury.

In summary, beer lovers should mark the following dates and times on their calendars:

Thursday, September 8 (8:30 a.m.) Tickets to tutored tasting with Jim Koch (including the opportunity to purchase one bottle of Utopias) go on sale through helloLCBO at 1-800-668-5226 (limit of 2 per customer).
Thursday, September 22 (7:30 p.m.) For the Love of Beer with Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch at 99 Sudbury Street. Tickets and information available at
Friday, September 23 (2:00 p.m.) Jim Koch will lead a tutored tasting of Samuel Adams beers (including Utopias) at the LCBO Summerhill location.
Friday, September 23 (4:00 p.m.) Utopias released for sale to the general public at the LCBO’s Summerhill location (350 bottles available, limit of one per customer). Jim Koch will be available from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to meet with Samuel Adams fans and sign bottles.
Wednesday, September 28 (8:30 a.m.) An additional 350 bottles of Utopias released to beer fans across the province through the LCBO VINTAGES Shop Online (note that pre- registration with the VINTAGES Shop Online is required for telephone or online purchase, limit of one per customer).

For more information on the Utopias launch, customers can contact the LCBO through helloLCBO at 1-800-668-5226.

Beer collectors and connoisseurs already know Samuel Adams Utopias is unique among beers. Utopias is an uncarbonated blend of batches, some of which have been aged in different wood barrels for more than 22 years. The 2015 blend was aged in single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery.

With an alcohol content of 28%, Utopias is best enjoyed as a two ounce pour in a snifter glass at room temperature like a cognac or fine port. This latest batch has notes of fig, chocolate, molasses, tobacco and spice with a subtle sweetness and a deep, rich, malty smoothness.

Samuel Adams Utopias is considered by some beer collectors to be the culmination of the art of brewing. The 2015 batch produced less than 10,000 bottles, of which the LCBO is offering 700 for sale.

The ABCs of success to Steam Whistle’s Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest

Photo credit Mike Palmer

August 13th & 14th is the return of Steam Whistle’s Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (RHCBF); a summer must. Hosted in Roundhouse Park in Toronto, the festival embodies the laid-back, friendly nature synonymous with Ontario’s craft beer scene. Come experience the flavours from over 40 craft breweries and over a dozen gourmet food trucks as they share their bests in suds & bites.  Tickets are available at

Photo credit Jeff Rogers

Here’s your #RHCBF warm-up  a.k.a the ABCs of success to the Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest.


Appreciate: With + 40 craft breweries it’s tempting to over-indulge in sudsy deliciousness. Remember it’s not a race. Pace yourself and appreciate the flavours & the atmosphere, because what other festival can you bring a blanket, find a patch of grass and relax as you soak it all in?

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Be strategic: While a high IBU may be your go-to brew, it may blow-out your taste buds. It’s best to start by getting a feel for the breweries and their offerings (any limited editions?). Then make a plan – start off with lighter beers such as Steam Whistle Pilsner or blonde ales, then head into the darker ales from ambers to stouts. Save those Double IPAs and high-hopped brews for the grand finales.

Conquer your fears: Don’t be afraid to break the mold, be bold and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re committed to one style, try that style from a few breweries so you can appreciate their subtle (or big) differences.

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Drink water: Stay hydrated; match a water for every beer. Not only does water keep you hydrated it also helps cleanse your palate leaving you ready for the next taste. Complimentary waters stations are available at the #RHCBF.

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Eat, drink and be merry: Live by this rule! Eat first then worry about your thirst! With over a dozen food trucks to choose from, there is sure to be something to satisfy any craving. Start your day with a good meal and snack in between to ensure your day isn’t cut short.

Photo credit: Jeff Rogers

Find a friend: Or make some new ones. Take the opportunity to chat with brewers and learn about their craft. Not sure what to try next? Ask fellow patrons for their recommendations!

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Get dressed: It’s an outdoor festival, be sure to dress for the weather (whether rain or shine), bring a hat and keep the SPF coming.

HAVE A BLAST! And check out the full listings of breweries at

Beer In The Burbs- Putting the “Great” in the “Greater Toronto Area”

Or perhaps… making the GTA great again? Nah- I’d rather not go there…

For the past few years I’ve either been working or studying in Toronto while living in Ajax with my roommates (see: Mother and Father). I’ve found that it’s very easy to become very narrow-minded about the city, and all of the things going on in it. Many people can be reluctant to go North of a certain street if they live in the Entertainment District, hesitant to travel West of a certain street if they live in the Beaches, and so on. I’ve noticed that this hyper-local allegiance is also prevalent in beer, as well as when discussing better beer bars. Some people are choosing to drink only from breweries that are from their stomping grounds of Toronto, or will only support a bar that’s within spitting distance.

This observation has only been amplified by the recent adoration for the “Toronto VS Everyone” trend. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with this trend (much love to Peace Collective, do your thang dawg). I actually think it’s awesome to see people showing love for their city and remaining loyal to their neighbourhoods and local stops. However- there’s some seriously good stuff happening in the suburbs these days, and I don’t think they are getting enough recognition. You may be thinking I’m being biased since I’m a burbs girl born and raised, but I have actually just signed a lease on an apartment in the city, so I see firsthand the draws to both ways of living. I’ve also noticed while working at a brewery, that events like Ribfests or some of the specialty activations during Ontario Craft Beer Week are far more impactful and well attended in these regions. Of course this is, in part, due to the relative quietness of the regions in comparison to the city. But the significance of the events to these communities is, in turn, exponentially more impactful- and I think that needs to be noted and rewarded. I think there should be more attention paid to the suburbs and the GTA, because any effort exuded in these regions seems to be paid back tenfold by the appreciation and participation of consumers.

Outlined below are three examples of areas outside the city that are home to some awesome bars and breweries, with a few gems being highlighted as inspiration for you to get in a car, or dare I say it, on the GO train, to visit these not so sleepy suburbs.


Bar to Visit: Tap & Tankard

Live Music, daily specials, and two different bars with over 15 taps and plenty of tall cans to choose from. This bar is a hub for the community, and houses many different groups throughout the week including philanthropic and running groups. The food is excellent, proving it’s far more than just that bar you went to when you were perhaps slightly less than 19 years of age.

Breweries To See: 5 Paddles, Brock St, and while you’re out here, go to Bowmanville and see the nice folks at Manantler.

Photo by The Tap & Tankard.
Photo by The Tap & Tankard.


Bar to Visit: Rib Eye Jack’s Ale House

Ridiculously long bottle list (100+ beers in total between bottle and draught) with goodies from Ontario and Quebec, as well as rotating cask selections. Need I say more? Oh yeah, they also have pretty great whisky if that’s your thing. They try to use local ingredients when possible, and the atmosphere is laid back and welcoming.

Breweries to See: Trafalgar and Cameron’s in Oakville, Black Oak & Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke

Photo by Hungry Brew Hops.
Photo by Hungry Brew Hops.


Bar To Visit: Hungry Brew Hops

Amazing rotating tap selection that changes so often they have an “on deck” section in their beer menu so you can plan accordingly. The owner Boris is well known in the industry, and for good reason. Tons of variety in the food offered, amazing beer and the atmosphere is exciting and just upscale enough without feeling stuffy. If you know someone who’s been here or lives in Newmarket, people love to rave about this place! Good vibes all around.

Breweries to See: Arch Brewing

Photo by @rebeccabentolilaphoto on Instagram.
Photo by @rebeccabentolilaphoto on Instagram.

I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what these regions have to offer, but I hope this encourages you to venture outside of Toronto if you get the chance. Thanks to the following lovely folks for inspiring this article, who work (and drink) in these places and helped me create this blog post: Kristin MacDonald, Jen Reinhardt, Mike Relic, Jon Graham, Jared Allen.

Have any suburban spots that you think should have been included? Tweet me and tell me about them: @_VictoriaBrews

PRESS RELEASE: The Craft Brasserie & SOBDL Women of Beer event

The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies (SOBDL) and The Craft Brasserie (107 Atlantic Ave, Toronto) have partnered up for a one night only “Women of Beer” event. With the growing number of women involved in the beer industry this event with feature over a dozen one-off beers created and brewed by the women in the industry. The event will be held August 4th at The Craft will be a free admission event with a portion of the beer sales going to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

This event will give men and women alike to meet and mingle with some of the great women in the Ontario Craft Beer industry while helping raise money for a great cause.

Full Press Release below.

Press Release



PRESS RELEASE: Single-day tickets now on sale for Beau’s Oktoberfest

It’t that time of year again! Summer is almost over which means it’s time for the two-day fall festival of Bavarian proportions happen at Beau’s in Vankleek Hill. The festival in its 8th year has grown year over year and this year should be no different. Starting July 25th single day tickets are on sale. So if you plan on going get your tickets fast as last years Saturday was a sell out.

There are plenty of ways to get there with bus transportation and also if you’re looking to make a weekend out of it camping space is available. Tons of great acts will be on stage all weekend including 2016 Juno nominee k-os.  The festival will have biggest craft beer line-up in festival history, with 16 different Beau’s beers, 40 guest brewery taps, gluten-free beer and craft cider will also be available.

This is one event you don’t want to miss.

Full Press Release Below.

(VANKLEEK HILL – July 25, 2016) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Beau’s Brewery is kicking off single-day ticket sales today for the 8th annual Beau’s Oktoberfest, a two-day fall festival of craft beer and Bavarian culture held in Vankleek Hill, the small village where the local craft brewery is located. Last year’s event attracted nearly 19,000 festival goers over two days, with a sell-out crowd on Saturday.

Set for September 23rd and 24th, this year’s mainstage lineup will feature iconic Canadian rockers 54•40 and Toronto indie musicians Born Ruffians on Friday, and 2016 Juno nominee k-os and Vancouver singer/songwriter Hannah Georgas on Saturday. Additional entertainment includes Fast Romantics, Motel Raphaël, and Gazoline. Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostenek and his accordion will be back again to supply traditional German music during the day. The Black Forest stage will run daytime as well, featuring indie folk and punk music.Photo by Ben Welland.

The 2016 edition of Oktoberfest will have the biggest craft beer line-up in festival history, with 16 different Beau’s beers flowing on tap at bars set up throughout the festival grounds, and more than 40 guest breweries supplying a keg of their finest in the Craft Haus area. Gluten-free beer and craft cider will also be available.  28 Ontario and Québec restaurants will be on hand to serve up a vast selection of Bavarian-inspired cuisine.

As in previous years, round trip bus transportation is available from Montréal, Ottawa, and Cornwall – this year guests can also choose to upgrade to coach buses for an additional fee. Camping space has been expanded for this year, and in addition to onsite food options, the camp area will show an outdoor movie on Friday and Saturday nights. Camping space is limited and must be pre-registered. Tickets are also now on sale for School of Bock sessions, a series of seminars exploring the world of craft beer with guest speakers and brewers. Sign-up is open for select onsite activities too (malt sack races, sausage eating, and partner-carrying).

Oktoberfest is Beau’s signature fundraising event, and this year total dollars raised is expected to top half a million dollars. On that theme, registration is underway for the United Way Charity Bike Ride to Beau’s Oktoberfest. Riders receive a custom Beau’s cycling jersey and free bus transportation back to their departure location (Ottawa, Bourget or Cornwall), with additional perks to top fundraisers. New for 2016 is Gigs4Good, a contest that gets bands to fundraise for Ottawa- and Montréal-based charities with a top prize of three paid gigs in 2017: Pouzza Fest, Ottawa Explosion Weekend, and Beau’s Oktoberfest Black Forest Stage.

Adult admission to the festival is $32; 2-day passes are $45, and kids passes (18 and under) are $5. The ticket includes a voucher for your first beer or other beverage, and the first 2,000 people through the gate each day will receive a souvenir alpine hat. Single-day tickets, weekend passes and all add-ons and registrations can be accessed at the Beau’s Oktoberfest website: As in previous years, Saturday tickets are expected to sell out, so would-be festival-goers are encouraged to buy early to avoid disappointment.

Beau’s All Natural is an employee-owned and totally independent Canadian craft brewery. Founded in 2006 by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s brews interesting, tasty beers using best-quality certified organic ingredients & local spring water. In addition to flagship Lug Tread Lagered Ale, Beau’s portfolio of award-winning beers include the “Wild Oats”, “Farm Table” and “Gruit” Series. Beau’s has been a recipient of more than 85 awards for brewing, packaging design and business practices, including 2 Gold medals at Mondial de la Bière (Strasbourg, France, and Montréal, Québec); 6 Gold medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards, 7-times “Best Craft Brewery in Ontario” and 7-times “Best Regularly Produced Beer in Ontario” at the Golden Tap Awards. As a Certified B-Corporation, Beau’s meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Beau’s beer is available in Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, PEI, and New York, and is coming soon to Alberta and British Columbia. Beau’s is the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017. Oh yeah!


Twitter & Instagram: @beausallnatural


Glutenberg Craft Brewery – 5 years of activity, 7 internationals awards and many exciting projects ahead



Love beer but can’t have gluten? Well if that’s the case you need to get yourself some Glutenberg. The gluten free market has been somewhat lack luster in past yours but Glutenberg is one company truly making a name for itself. With 5 pillar products (Blonde ale, American Pale ale, Red ale, India Pale ale & White ale), and numerous awards the Montreal based company are brewing some of the best gluten free beers. With their recent induction into the LCBO if gives us Ontario beer drinkers another option to reach for. If you decide to give the beer a try let me know via twitter your thoughts on the beer.

Full press release below.

MONTREAL, July 12, 2016 – Glutenberg Craft Brewery celebrates its fifth year of existence with a flood of awards, first by winning both the gold and silver medals in the “Gluten Free Beer” category of the 2016 World Beer Cup, then by capturing all three steps of the podium at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Moreover, the brewery reached a new summit by being awarded the two most prestigious awards for the “experimental Beer” category, the Lapsang d’automne and the Myrcène de glace, two beers issued from the Série Gastronomie, conceived with François Chartier “Créateur d’harmonies”. These international recognitions highlight the local talent the young minds behind these award-winning beers. Glutenberg_One Pager Facts

Co-founders David Cayer and Julien Niquet (COO and CEO, respectively) see these rewards as a new step for the brewery: “Our first goal is and will always be to brew the world’s very best gluten-free beers. However, we quickly learned to see our gluten free methods as a springboard to our creativity rather than a barrier. It allowed us to come up with unique and singular recipes and it is truly wonderful to see that people know and appreciate our beers for what they are and not only for the fact that they are gluten-free”.

Glutenberg in a glance

  • Over 15 000 hectoliters (1 500 000 L) of beer produced in 2015;
  • 5 pillar products (Blonde ale, American Pale ale, Red ale, India Pale ale & White ale)
  • A gourmet collection, the Série Gastronomie, envisioned and created in partnership with world-renowned sommelier “François Chartier Créateur d’harmonies”;
  • More than 1 500 sales outlets in Quebec;
  • Over 50 % of annual production is exported in the United States, Europe, South America and Australia;
  • 6 different types of gluten-free grains are used in the brewing process: millet, buckwheat, corn amaranth, black rice and quinoa
  • 317 tons of grain as well as 6,8 tons of hops are used per year


National and international distinctions

Known as the world’s most prestigious brewing competition, the World Beer Cup takes place once every two years and welcomes contestants and judges from around the globe. The brewery snagged the gold medal for its IPA and the silver medal for its Lapsang d’automne, a limited edition gastronomic beer created with Francois Chartier. This category alone registered an impressive amount of 40 entries, an all-time records in the contest’s history. The brewery also defended its championship title at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2014 and 2015 by winning the podium for the third consecutive year in the gluten-free beer category.

About Glutenberg
Founded in 2011 by long-time friends Julien Niquet and David Cayer, Glutenberg Craft Brewery is a pioneer in gluten-free brewing. Under the watchful eye of head brewer Gabriel Charbonneau, the brewery boasts more than twenty beers, including a standard product line, a range of seasonal beers as well as few collaborations. Glutenberg is distributed across Canada, in 21 American states, in a few European and South American countries and in Australia.

PRESS RELEASE: Nickel Brook To Release “Dreamsicle” Orange Vanilla Pale Ale

Bring back your childhood memories with the newest beer from Nickel Brook Brewing Co. Nickel Brook announced yesterday “Dreamsicle”, an Orange Vanilla Pale Ale evoking memories of the classic orange Creamsicle™ dessert. The beer will come in at 4.1%ABV and 25IBUs. Dreamsicle will be available in 375ml bottles for a limited time at the Burlington Bottle Shop starting Friday July 8th, the Arts & Science Beer Garden and at very select licensees starting July 11th.

Be sure to check out Nickel Brook’s social media for more details. Full press release below.

Nickel Brook To Release “Dreamsicle” Orange Vanilla Pale AleNickelbrook logo(1)

BURLINGTON, ON – July 6th, 2016 – Nickel Brook announced today the newest beer to come from its Burlington funk facility will be “Dreamsicle”, an Orange Vanilla Pale Ale evoking memories of the classic orange Creamsicle™ dessert. Designed by the brewing staff and Head Brewer Patrick Howell, this one-of-a-kind summer treat is unlike any beer you’ve ever tried before. Brewed with orange peel, natural vanilla extract and lactose sugar, the beer combines citrus and ice-cream notes with the classic American Pale Ale base. “This beer is my childhood summer memories in liquid

form” said Howell. “Eating a melting popsicle on the front porch on a warm summer night, that was the idea we had when designing this beer.” The beer comes in at 4.1%ABV and 25IBUs.

Dreamsicle will be available in 375ml bottles for a limited time at the Burlington Bottle Shop starting Friday July 8th, the Arts & Science Beer Garden and at very select licensees starting July 11th. Details of licensees pouring Dreamsicle will be available on Nickel Brook’s social media feeds.

For more information please contact:

Matt Gibson,, (289) 208-8295

About Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Nickel Brook Brewing Co. was founded by John and Peter Romano in Burlington, Ontario in 2005. They have since expanded operations to Hamilton, Ontario when they co-opened the Arts and Sciences Brewery with Collective Arts Brewing. They are committed to using only the finest natural ingredients from around the world, and brew them in small batches for the highest standard of quality. Nickel Brook continues to be an award-winning Ontario craft brewery that constantly strives to push the boundaries of brewing culture.

864 Drury Ln, Burlington, Ontario @NickelBrookBeer

PRESS RELEASE: GTA Brews announces Brew Slam 2016 Homebrew Competition

Are you a homebrewer in the GTA? Do you think you beer is good enough to win some awards? If so GTA Brews (a homebrewing group) and Toronto Brewing Homebrew Supplies presents Brewslam 2. After the huge success of last years event with over 318 entries, this year is looking to be even bigger and better. The event deadline is a couple months away so start planning your beers and be sure to submit them before the September deadline.
Full Press Release below

Press Release
July 5th, 2016 – Toronto, ON
GTA Brews is pleased to announce the dates and details for our Brew Slam 2016 Homebrew Competition in Toronto. These dates might seem like a ways away, but it’s actually under 3 months away so get brewing and mark the deadline in your calendar!
Entry Deadline: Sept 24th, 2016
Judging Dates: Sept 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016
Account registration is open now! Visit the Brew Slam 2016 page for rules and entry details!
brewslam small fb-01

Brew Slam 2015 (recap) was our club’s first big competition. It was a huge success with 318 entries judged in only 2 days, almost 50 amazing volunteers, and thousands of dollars in prizes!

We are excited to build on last year and make Brew Slam 2016 bigger and better. Our goal is to make this the premier competition in the area for both judges and entrants. Toronto has the largest pool of BJCP judges in Canada which allows us to focus on the best quality judging and feedback possible. We are also excited to work with some fantastic sponsors for even better prizes than last year!

About GTA Brews

We are Toronto’s local homebrew club. Since establishing our club in 2013 we have gained momentum and grown into Canada’s largest homebrew club with well over 200 Paid Members. We bring Toronto area homebrewers together in person, and online, to create a friendly community where we share knowledge, talk shop, and provide feedback on each others homebrews. We welcome members of all experience levels including; potential brewers, new brewers, experienced brewers, and pro brewers.

PRESS RELEASE: Co-owner of Muskoka Brewery Takes ownership of Vancouver Island Brewery


VIBCORPTRANSPARENCYthumbYesterday, The president of  Vancouver Island Brewery Barry Fisher announced that he is passing the torch to new ownership and new leadership. Why is this relevent to us here in Ontario you ask? Well effective yesterday , Barry formally entrusts the ownership of Vancouver Island Brewery to Bob MacDonald, co-owner of Muskoka Brewery. As well, Barry announced that Tim Barnes will come on board as President.

We don’t often hear about one craft brewery owner taking control of another craft brewery but with the growth of Muskoka Brewery it is not a surprising move.

For the the full Press Release see below.

Media Release – June 15, 2016

To Vancouver Island Brewery fans and Canada’s local beer community, 

As you all know, I love Vancouver Island Brewery and we have been proud to serve premium quality craft brewed beers to the loyal communities of British Columbia for more than thirty years. Well, now, after all these years it is time to move on and pass the torch to a successor who will carry on the quality beer legacy that Vancouver Island Brewery has accomplished.

My old friend Gary McMullen, CEO and founder of Muskoka Brewery, introduced me to his partner and co-owner, Bob MacDonald. I first met Bob in January of 2015 and as I got to know him better I realized that Bob was passionate about the beer industry and his and my values were very similar.

Over the years, I have followed the growth of Muskoka Brewery with great interest as one does when he knows the founder. Like many craft brewers, Gary started Muskoka to live out his passion for beer; however, as the business grew, so did the need for financial resources for expansion. Gary was introduced to Bob as a potential investor. Seeing that Bob was committed to a long term vision, the two became partners in building Muskoka into the successful brewery that it is today.

Effective today, I formally entrust the ownership of Vancouver Island Brewery to Bob MacDonald. True to Bob’s ownership and management style, all operations and decision-making will remain on Vancouver Island and the brewery will continue to operate independently. I am certain that Bob’s long-term vision and orientation to investing for growth in the business will be welcome news to our long time loyal employees, many who have been with the brewery for twenty to thirty years – these are the people who built Vancouver Island Brewery.

To ensure the future growth and success of the brewery, Bob felt it was important to find a strong leader with a demonstrated track record, someone with similar values and roots in the beer community. I am pleased to announce that Tim Barnes will be the new President of Vancouver Island Brewery.

I have a great deal of respect for Tim and I believe he has the vision and experience necessary to lead Vancouver Island Brewery through this next chapter. Most importantly, I know that Tim shares Vancouver Island’s values and will uphold our commitment to our employees and our community.

In Bob and Tim’s hands, the brewery will now have the strong leadership it needs to go to the next level of producing award winning craft brewed beers.


Barry Fisher

PRESS RELEASE: Henderson Brewing Company Grand Opening


Yet another brewery opening up in the Junction. This time is it Henderson Brewing Company. They will be cutting the ribbon this Saturday (June 4th) 11:00 at 128A Sterling Rd. Henderson founded in 2014, is looking to celebrate the stories and culture of Toronto through the beers they will be brewing in their shiny new brewery. The Tap Room and Bottle Shop are now open 7 days a week from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Full press release below regarding the brewery and the grand opening.

June 1st, 2016

Henderson Brewing Company is calling all Hendersons to join them in
cutting the ribbon at their Grand Opening

Grand Opening events will take place on June 4th from 11:00am to 10:00pm at
128a Sterling Rd.

Toronto, ON – On Saturday June 4th, Henderson Brewing Company is opening its doors to the people of Toronto and is calling all Hendersons to come out and help them celebrate.

The newly open Henderson Brewing Company is located at 128A Sterling Rd. in the heart of the Junction Triangle. Named after the earliest known Toronto brewer, Robert Henderson, the brewery would like to honour its namesake and invite all beer-loving Hendersons to share in cutting the ribbon at their shiny new brewery. Every Henderson who participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony will receive a commemorative t-shirt and will be in the Opening Day photo. Hendersons are requested to arrive at the brewery by 10:45am on Saturday June 4th to get set up.

You don’t need to be a Henderson to come and join the party. Opening Day celebrations will be open to everyone from 11:00am to 9:00pm on June 4th at 128A Sterling Rd. Come down to catch some live entertainment from Mark Thackway Acoustic Band, The Sudden Valley Boys and DJ ShakeDown Street. There will be fun for the kids, free brewery tours, food by Feed the Six Food Truck and Henderson beer specials all day long.

About Henderson Brewing Company: Henderson Brewing Company is an award winning, independent, neighbourhood brewery in downtown Toronto. Founded in 2014, Henderson is all about celebrating the stories and culture of Toronto through the beers they brew. The Tap Room and Bottle Shop are now open 7 days a week from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

For more information on the Grand Opening, please visit: