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What Onbeer Did on Its Summer Vacation

I have mentioned briefly at times that over the summer I made a commitment to visit as many of the new breweries that have opened in Alberta in recent months. On a series of trips I worked my way around the province, hitting Lethbridge, Calgary, Cochrane, Olds, Didsbury, Red Deer, Lacombe, Edson and Grande Prairie. […]

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 […]

What IBUs Are and Aren’t

Recently I have had a couple of odd interactions with customers at one of my beer tasting events. I would be chatting about a beer and the person (so far always male, but not making any generalizations) would ask “how many IBUs in the beer?”

I found I would pause momentarily, mostly because I hadn’t […]

More on the Drunk Monks

I know I have written before on what I like to affectionately call the Drunk Monks (like here and here), who are more accurately called Trappists. Most beer fans know all about the Trappists and how high quality their Belgian ales are. Still, I find that, even today, most casual beer drinkers have no idea […]

The British (Columbia) Invasion

Over the past couple months I have noticed a fascinating trend on Alberta liquor store shelves. There has been a rather large increase in the number of B.C.-based breweries arriving in the province. I have counted about a dozen new arrivals since December alone. It is noticeable enough that I decided to focus my CBC […]

Have a Beer, Save some Land

An interesting beer on Alberta store shelves this month is the Edmonton and Area Land Trust Oatmeal Brown Ale. This beer is a charity beer produced by Phillip’s to support the Edmonton and Area Land Trust, a small non-profit devoted to saving and stewarding ecologically sensitive plots of land around the Capital Region.

I liked […]

Sour Beer the Easy Way

Kettle souring is a thing. It has gone from nowhere to relatively common in the U.S. in relatively short order. And now it has come home to Alberta. Wild Rose just released Cow Bell, their first kettle soured beer, and I am told the folks at Blindman Brewing will soon be working on one as […]

Brewing Up an Ethical Brewery

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this website that I bring a bit of social conscience to my passion for good beer. I believe beer is a product that can be made with an eye to the environment and to good social and ethical values.

So you can appreciate my interest […]

Take a Sip of History

In this day and age full of hopped-up IP-Everythings, it can be very easy to forget the origins of the style India Pale Ale. Before the Americans brought their big and brash to IPAs, the British had long been taking their own approach to the style. A modern British IPA is a fruitier, more balanced […]

AGLC Policy Changes, One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, the AGLC announced a package of policy changes coming out of a wide-scale policy review. At the time (you can read the post here) I opined that it was a mixture of small steps with some missed opportunities. It seemed as good a time as any to analyze what effect […]