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Changes Coming at Big Rock?

My CBC beer column last week centred around the news of the resignation of Big Rock CEO Bob Sartor. It was somewhat surprising news and it got me wondering what might this mean for Alberta’s oldest and largest craft brewery. You can listen to the column here.

For those not familiar with Big Rock’s long […]

Boo! Beer for Halloween

Photo courtesy of thebeerdiaries.tv

Happy Halloween!

My CBC RadioActive beer column on Friday took a look at what beer might be appropriate to serve on this day of spookiness. You can listen to it here.

I started with the obvious, mentioning beer names and labels that have a spooky association, including a classics such […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Beer Myths, Beer Trends and More

Image courtesy of Vue Weekly

I always like the end of June. In part because that is Vue Weekly’s annual Beer Issue. Sure, I like the fact that the issue gives me a fair bit of column inches (usually I write 3 different pieces), but mostly I appreciate that a local paper is committing […]

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 […]

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 […]