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When Three Rich Kids Open a Brewery

Photo courtesy of Forbes

This isn’t my usual beer beat, but I came across this story the other day and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. It seems the best way to clear my brain of it it so write about it.

The story, in case you haven’t clicked on […]

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 […]

Are Contract Brewers Craft?

Does having a real brewhouse matter?

Yesterday in the Globe and Mail, Ontario-based beer writer Ben Johnson wrote a piece exploring whether contract brewing helped or hindered the growth of craft beer. You can read the original article here.

Johnson offers a very balanced and fair piece, asking questions and letting different people in […]

Vue Weekly’s Beer Issue is Out!

Vue Weekly’s annual Beer Issue is out, available at racks around town and online. The venerable alt-weekly in Edmonton has offered a corner of its magazine to my beer column for over a decade now, but I always get excited when they devote the cover and additional space for beer.

This year I contribute three […]

Beer 101: Graduation Day

You all, simply, have gotten too smart. You know too about beer these days. So, congratulations you graduate!

A couple weeks back Sherbrooke Liquor posted my final Beer 101 column on its website. You can read it here. I started writing Beer 101 back in 2009. The explicit mission was to provide a range of […]

More Thoughts on Corporate Buy-outs

Daddy Warbucks. A fitting role model for ABInbev?

Since my post the other day on the significance of ABInbev’s purchase of Wicked Weed I have had a few people (including Steve in the comments section – thanks Steve!) send me links to a recent story on the Good Beer Hunting website from Chris Herron, […]

The Ichorous Trinity Compared

Photo courtesy of Oak and Vine

I love side-by-side tastings. They really isolate the effects of a manipulation to a beer. Some are more challenging to operationalize than others.

Blindman Brewing recently released not one, but two barrel-aged versions of its imperial stout, Ichorous. Not long before they also released a new version of […]

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 […]

Swap the Malt? Troubled Monk’s Malt Experiment

Photo courtesy of thebeerdiaries.tv

So lots of breweries engage in hop experiments – swapping out varieties of hops to experience the flavour effect. Most breweries are not so fast to play around with their malt. Malt is the anchor for a beer. It lays down the core flavours that create a beer’s character.

I […]

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 […]