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The Dilemma that is Mill Street

I am in Calgary for a couple of days for some work stuff. As usual I am trying to find some time to do a little bit of beer stuff while I am here (hopefully more on that soon). Yesterday I dropped by the new Mill Street Brewpub that recently opened on 17 Ave SW.

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Hop Aboard Trolley Five

Calgary’s famous (infamous??) Red Mile is about to get a makeover. The site of the old Melrose Cafe and Bar, a longtime Calgary mainstay, is being demolished and will be replaced by Trolley Five Brew Company (no website yet), a project of two long-time Calgary restauranteurs. Ernie Tsu (former owner of 1410 World Bier House […]

Extolling the (Almost) Perfect Pub

British Essayist – and man who loved a good pint – George Orwell

Many years ago (1946 to be exact), George Orwell penned an evocative essay entitled “The Moon Under Water”. It was essentially an effort to extoll the virtues of his favourite pub, the Moon Under Water. You can read the essay on […]

Craft Pints in Fort Mac

Work found me in Fort McMurray last week (does anyone go to McMurray for reasons other than work?). In a fortuitous turn of events, the Wood Buffalo brewpub was a block away from my hotel. I had planned a visit to the pub, but had not planned being so close. I was able to pop […]

Doing the Math at National Beer Hall

As I have mentioned a couple of times, I was in Calgary recently and did a bit of beer work while there (shocker!). One thing I did is pop into National Beer Hall downtown to check out their offerings.

National is, of course, another of the burgeoning mega-craft pubs, with multiple dozen taps and a […]

RIP Brew Brothers, Vive Last Best and Other News

The big prairie news this week is the announced closure tomorrow (February 28) of Brew Brothers Brewery. The longtime Calgary operation opened its doors in 1994, making it the oldest of Alberta’s craft brewers. It had fallen on difficult times following the closure of its tap room a few years back, but they were still […]

Comparing Edmonton’s Craft Beer Bars

On my CBC column later this afternoon (Friday, January 10, 2014) – CBC Radio One (740 AM, 93.9 FM) at 4:45 – I will be looking at Edmonton’s rapidly expanding market for craft beer bars. These are larger pubs that actively anchor their business around beer, offering dozens of taps and centring their marketing around […]

Craft Beer Market Edmonton Opens Today

Today (December 19) marks the much-delayed and much-anticipated opening of the Edmonton location of Craft Beer Market. Craft claims to have “Canada’s largest selection of draft [sic] beer”. (Of course, good Canadians know we spell it “draught” around here, but we can forgive them this slip-up.)

I got a sneak peak the other day, and […]

A Cut Above, But Still Not Enough

A few months back I reported that Belgian Beer Cafe opened in the Edmonton International Airport. This corporate-owned Belgian themed restaurant was a mildly interesting announcement at the time, but it hardly seemed worth making a beeline for it, especially because it is behind security. However, this weekend I had time to kill waiting for […]

Beer Academy Is for Real

During my trip to T.O. a couple weeks back, I made a point of visiting Beer Academy, the brewpub/restaurant/beer tasting room opened last year by Six Pints Specialty Beer Company, the Molson spin-off that houses Granville Island and Creemore Springs. I wanted to stop by because I wanted to see for myself whether the place […]