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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 […]

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 […]

Black and White?

Photo courtesy of thebeerdiaries.tv

I am going to start this post by admitting I don’t buy it. Regular readers will know that I am a bit old school when it comes to beer styles and how to identify what a beer is. If you are not sure what I mean read here and here.

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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. […]

La Trappe Falls into a Wood Trap

I have said plenty lately about the fine beer produced by the Trappist breweries. I continue to enjoy drinking one every now and again, even if here in Alberta the price point can be a bit steep.

I spotted a Trappist rarity the other day, the La Trappe Quadrupel Oak-Aged. La Trappe re-instated an oak […]

One Man’s (Late) Take on the New BJCP Guidelines

As I mentioned a week ago (in this post), I have been spending a bit of time studying the new BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines. I know I am totally late to the game on this as the new guidelines came out months ago. I did look at them at the time but with various life […]