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New Breweries and New Styles: A CBC Roundup

The interior of Biera by Blind Enthusiasm

Regular readers of this site will know that every second Friday I do a beer column on CBC Radio’s Edmonton afternoon drive show – RadioActive. One of my ongoing struggles is to get a copy of the column online so that I can post about it.

I understand why it is hard for the staff to get me an audio file or a link – their job is to run a daily radio show, not post columns about beer online for me to promote. At any rate, most of my columns disappear into the audio ether, which I am okay with.

However, sometimes they do get around to posting the columns, which means I can push them out on this website.

I recently got my hands on two of my recent columns.

The first aired the day before Blind Enthusiasm had its official launch of its brewpub Biera. Yes they have been open since the summer (read here), but in late September finally got around to doing a hard launch.  I took that opportunity to introduce CBC listeners to the brewpub and the overall brewery project. We tried the ZES on-air and I got to explain just what the hell a “spontaneously fermented” beer is and warn people to not expect burgers or nachos at Biera. You can give that column a listen here.

The other column was a couple weeks later and deals with what, for me, is a fairly contentious issue. Namely that of Extra Pale Ale, or XPA for short. XPA has become a thing recently, but I have been somewhat skeptical that it is actually a thing – as in a new style. Proponents say XPA falls in the middle of an American Pale Ale and an IPA, meaning it deserves its own designation. Traditionalists scoff at that explanation and argue an XPA is just an assertive pale ale, nothing more.

Until recently I was firmly in the latter camp – XPAs are just big pale ales. But then this summer I sampled Annex Ale Project’s Metes and Bounds (as I reviewed here) and that started shifting my thinking. Enough that I decided to do a CBC column on the topic – which you can listen to here.

I am not yet fully on board with the whole XPA thing, but due to Annex I am at least open to the idea. I don’t yet know whether XPA is a full-fledged style, but I do know two things. First, Metes and Bounds is a really tasty beer that makes a great case for XPA. Second, if someone gave me enough of it I could likely be talked into a more definitive position on the issue.

That hasn’t happened yet, but XPA at least deserves a conversation.

And that, dear readers, are a couple of my recent CBC columns. Happy listening!


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