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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 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 […]

Comprehending Collaboration

The collaboration between Brooklyn Brewing and G. Schneider & Sohns is an example of what a collaboration beer can be.

You may have noticed on your favourite liquor store shelf recently the appearance of beer made by two breweries, the so-called “collaboration brew”. Collaborations have been around for a long time, but in the […]

Is Prairie Beer Coming of Age?

The prairie beer scene is changing rapidly, of that there is no question. Plenty of new breweries opening. But also new craft beer bars, improving beer selection in restaurants and just generally a higher profile happening.

Me being me, I have been reflecting on what this means and what we can expect next. The prairies […]

Qualities of a Great Pub

One of my favourite pubs in Canada

I spend a lot of time in pubs. Not a surprise. But while I find myself in a wide range of places at times, I gravitate to pubs that have the right atmosphere and a great (or at least intelligent) selection of beer. I have been travelling […]

Going Overboard on Session Beer?

Earlier this summer in a couple of my columns I mused about the expanded use of the term “session” and whether it really was appropriate. You can read the Beer 101 column here or, if you prefer the Planet S/Prairie Dog version here.

Session ale, of course, has a long and valid history. Some reports […]

Does a Canadian Beer Style Exist?

A few weeks back I was perusing the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines (yes, I do that for fun) and reflecting how many styles are anchored in a particular region. Not just the obvious of Germany, England and Belgium, but also places like Kentucky, Finland, Italy and Argentina. Beer styles really have a geographic grounding, even […]

Can Big Be Craft? Can Corporate be Craft?

I was challenged the other day by a representative of a unnamed brewing corporation. They claimed that my columns were biased against the big brewers and that I was providing distorted and misleading information about them. Specifically they took offense at how I frame some of their so-called craft-y or pseudo-craft offerings. As it turns […]

Getting Sweet on Sour

What do you do when sour beer goes mainstream? It is not a question that is immediately before us, as sour beer is not yet mainstream. But how much longer will it be before we see Rickards Sour or Coors Light Tart (hopefully a long, long time – ed.)?

I exaggerate to make a point. […]

The Challenges of Style-izing

Over the past few weeks I have quietly been studying and reflecting on the new 2015 BJCP Guidelines, which by all accounts is something of a sea change in the beer judging world. Longstanding groupings of styles and even the basic logic of the category divisions has been blown up, along with the addition of […]