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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Allure of New and Why We Shouldn’t Diss Mainstays

A couple weeks back I wrote a post reflecting on my visits to Calgary’s newest and second oldest breweries (which you can read here). The visits got me pondering the similarities and differences between older and newer breweries. Since that post I have been pondering the issue further. More specifically I contemplated the tendency in […]

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 […]

Comprehending Collaboration

The collaboration between Brooklyn Brewing and G. Schneider & Sohns is an example of what a collaboration beer can be.

You may have noticed on your favourite liquor store shelf recently the appearance of beer made by two breweries, the so-called “collaboration brew”. Collaborations have been around for a long time, but in the […]

Boo! Beer for Halloween

Photo courtesy of thebeerdiaries.tv

Happy Halloween!

My CBC RadioActive beer column on Friday took a look at what beer might be appropriate to serve on this day of spookiness. You can listen to it here.

I started with the obvious, mentioning beer names and labels that have a spooky association, including a classics such […]

What is My Role in the Prairie Beer Scene?

This morning my plan was to publish the latest in my series of new brewery profiles (I am trying to catch up with the wave). But then I read Jason van Rassel’s thoughtful piece about the state of brewing in Alberta (you can read it here). It got me thinking – which is exactly what […]

Alley Kat’s High Wire Act with High Level IPA

With all the young, flirtatious upstarts popping up around Alberta, gathering the attentions of the wandering-eye beer consumer, one wonders what the established craft breweries need to do to re-capture some of the attention that used to go their way. Looking at the recent activities of Wild Rose, Alley Kat and others, the plan is […]