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Ola Dubh! Oh My!

I have admitted before that I am quite good at stashing away quality cellaring beer, but that not so great at taking those beer out again to drink. Which means I have too many beer in my cellar.

But I am trying this summer to pull some bottles out and actually drink them. The latest […]

Are Contract Brewers Craft?

Does having a real brewhouse matter?

Yesterday in the Globe and Mail, Ontario-based beer writer Ben Johnson wrote a piece exploring whether contract brewing helped or hindered the growth of craft beer. You can read the original article here.

Johnson offers a very balanced and fair piece, asking questions and letting different people in […]

Vue Weekly’s Beer Issue is Out!

Vue Weekly’s annual Beer Issue is out, available at racks around town and online. The venerable alt-weekly in Edmonton has offered a corner of its magazine to my beer column for over a decade now, but I always get excited when they devote the cover and additional space for beer.

This year I contribute three […]

Beer 101: Graduation Day

You all, simply, have gotten too smart. You know too about beer these days. So, congratulations you graduate!

A couple weeks back Sherbrooke Liquor posted my final Beer 101 column on its website. You can read it here. I started writing Beer 101 back in 2009. The explicit mission was to provide a range of […]

The Ichorous Trinity Compared

Photo courtesy of Oak and Vine

I love side-by-side tastings. They really isolate the effects of a manipulation to a beer. Some are more challenging to operationalize than others.

Blindman Brewing recently released not one, but two barrel-aged versions of its imperial stout, Ichorous. Not long before they also released a new version of […]

An Old Time-y Beer from Olds College

Photo courtesy of somebody on Untapped

I admit I am writing this post so I can type the word “Kottbusser”. It would be even better if I could say it out loud 10 times, it is such a fun word.

What is Kottbusser, you wonder? I am glad you asked. Kottbusser is an historic […]

The Value of Blind Tasting and Other Lessons

This past weekend I served as the Head Judge for the Northern Lands Festival beer competition. For those who don’t know Northern Lands, it is a premiere beverage and food event profiled, exclusively, Canadian wine, craft beer and craft spirits along with some of Edmonton’s best restaurants. The second iteration of the event runs May […]

Swap the Malt? Troubled Monk’s Malt Experiment

Photo courtesy of thebeerdiaries.tv

So lots of breweries engage in hop experiments – swapping out varieties of hops to experience the flavour effect. Most breweries are not so fast to play around with their malt. Malt is the anchor for a beer. It lays down the core flavours that create a beer’s character.

I […]

New England IPA You Say? Yes, Indeed!

The original New England IPA??

A couple weeks back I introduced CBC listeners to a new kind of IPA – new at least for these parts. New England IPA. You can listen to the CBC column here if you wish.

The column was inspired by my sampling of the three-way collaboration brew Troubled Waters […]

The Allure of New and Why We Shouldn’t Diss Mainstays

A couple weeks back I wrote a post reflecting on my visits to Calgary’s newest and second oldest breweries (which you can read here). The visits got me pondering the similarities and differences between older and newer breweries. Since that post I have been pondering the issue further. More specifically I contemplated the tendency in […]