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The Great Gruit Comeback

My CBC column last Friday deviated from the usual and looked at the odd beverage that is Gruit. You can listen to the column here.

Today we generally know Gruit as a beer made with a mixture of herbs and spices and (mostly) without hops. And that is strictly accurate. But seeing it just as […]

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 […]

Does Pale Ale have a Country?

Beer fans have long understood the world of the Pale Ale. On one hand there is British Pale Ale – sometimes known as Strong Bitter (or Extra Special Bitter, a name the BJCP has done away with) – which offers moderate bitterness and a classic caramel, toffee character. On the other there is American Pale […]

Alberta’s First Terroir Beer?

Tool Shed’s Graham Sherman pours samples of his new terroir beer.

In the wine world terroir refers to the impact that local environments have on the flavour and characteristics of wine. The nature of the soil, water and air where the grapes are grown affect the final shape of the wine. Terrior is less […]

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 […]

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 […]

Taking Holiday Beer to the Next Level

The perfect Xmas spiced beer?

My CBC column last Friday took aim at the growing list of Xmas and holiday ale offerings (you can listen to it here). While in the piece I do talk about why holiday spiced beer and the like are so popular, I tried to offer up some extensions of […]

Really Great Time Had by All at Real Ale Fest

This past Saturday was the fifth annual installment of the Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous Real Ale Festival, held in the skating rink of Ritchie Community Hall. As usual a few hundred thirsty folks attended to sample some of the best, creative or just plain strange cask ales made by Western Canadian breweries.

For those not […]

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 […]