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Reflections on the Evolution of Homebrewing

My homebrew system (at its old home)

I made my first kit beer in years this past weekend. And it got me thinking.

As many readers know, I have been a homebrewer for 26 years, 23 of those as an all-grain brewer. Like most homebrewers of my time, I started with the appalling concentrate […]

Olds, Homebrew and the Future of Beer

This past weekend, I headed down to Olds to judge at the Mountain View Homebrew Open, organized by the Olds College Brewmasters Program students. It was a good day of judging with a group of knowledgeable and convivial beer judges and professional brewers who donated their time to evaluate and score the 150 or so […]

How to Celebrate 25 Years of Homebrewing?

My pump-driven, RIMS homebrew system.

2016 marks my 25th year of homebrewing. It is an odd admission mostly because it makes me admit that I am older, balder and fatter than I would like. But, still, I feel like it is an anniversary worth marking.

Homebrewing is what started it all for me. Back […]

The Mental Health Benefits of Homebrewing

My homebrew system (set up at my old house – I brew out of the garage now) is an all-purpose beer website. I try hard to make it both accessible to a wide range of beer drinkers and interesting for those who have more knowledge about this wonderful elixir. I also, from time […]

Are U-Brews Worth It?

A typical U-Brew set up.

Last week the Manitoba government announced that it is legalizing U-Brews, sometimes known as Brew-on-Premises. The idea behind U-Brews is to allow people to make their own beer and wine on the site of a commercial operation. They get access to professional equipment, advice and oversight from professionals and […]

Girder Bender, Behind the Scenes

Neil Herbst stirs the mash while brewing Girder Bender Historical Stout while your humble author looks on.

As I mentioned here, last month the Edmonton Heritage Council hosted a beer history tour of Edmonton. One of the cooler aspects of the tour was an heritage beer made exclusively for the tour. The organizers rather […]

You Know It Is a Slow News Day When…

Doing what judges do. Photo courtesy of Edmonton Journal.

…The Edmonton Journal runs a page 3 article in the business section on the changing BJCP style guidelines, including a monster-sized photo of yours truly.

Seriously. This past Saturday. Check out the online version here.

The back story is that a young reporter with the […]

A Little Mid-August Clean Up

A beer you won’t actually be seeing on store shelves, unfortunately.

So things have been slower on the beer news front the past few weeks as I imagine most breweries in the region are busy trying to keep up with summer beer sales. But a few straggled bits of news have come across my […]

The BJCP World Turns Upside Down

In July the Beer Judge Certification Program, the leading amateur beer education and style defining organization, released the draft of its 2014 Style Guidelines (you can find a link to the PDF here). The changes are huge. Massive. Dis-orienting. So, though I might offer up a few of my thoughts and initial reactions to the […]

God is Goode, aka Beer Yeast

Our micro-orgasmic friends hard at work

In my latest Planet S column this week, I take a look at the role yeast plays in beer’s flavour and aroma. You can read the whole article here, but be aware the article is aimed at the average beer consumer (at least those who are interested enough […]