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Beer Tent Blues and How to Cure Them

Having completed my post-Edmonton Folk Festival recovery 2017 edition, I have had some time to contemplate the state of beer at one of Canada’s largest and most successful folk festivals.

I appreciate the Folk Fest is mostly about the music, and every year there is plenty of great music to go around, but I write […]

2017 CBAs Full of Surprises; 17 Prairie Medals

Over the weekend the results of the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards were announced (see the full winners’ list here).

I can honestly say they were full of surprises. Lots of new names on the list and a fascinating equality between regions (to a degree). There were more than a dozen breweries where I either barely […]

Big Rum from Big Rock

Big Rock has quietly launched a barrel-aged beer series with currently two releases under its belt. The second and most recent release is a rum-barrel Barley Wine. Their barley wine was aged an impressive 8 months in rum casks from a renowned Barbados distillery and then blended with a dark amber ale. The result was […]

Changes Coming at Big Rock?

My CBC beer column last week centred around the news of the resignation of Big Rock CEO Bob Sartor. It was somewhat surprising news and it got me wondering what might this mean for Alberta’s oldest and largest craft brewery. You can listen to the column here.

For those not familiar with Big Rock’s long […]

Prairie Breweries Score Modestly at CBAs

The results of the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards were announced Saturday night in Vancouver (see the full results here). As usual, B.C. breweries won an disproportionate number of medals, with Ontario falling second. However, perusing the list I was pleasantly surprised at the prairie brewery results.

[Note: Post edited shortly after publishing to include Black […]

B.C. Lowers Mark-ups, Saskatchewan Privatizes

A couple of interesting news bits this week.Thought I would offer a quick rundown on both and what they might mean in the region.

B.C. Lowers Mark-Ups

Last Friday the B.C. government moved to reduce the mark-ups on craft beer (press release here). As of July 3, the mark-up rate for small brewers will drop […]

April Showers Bring May New Beer

Someone really should tell prairie breweries to chill their heels and stop being so darned busy and productive. Just kidding. But I am constantly amazed these days at just how much stuff is going on with craft beer in the region – and that is only the things I hear about, which increasingly misses bit […]

Calgary Brewers Band Together for Fort Mac Evacuees

Within hours of the news that Fort McMurray was being evacuated, Mark Zemlak of Boiling Oar was on the phones and email talking to other Calgary breweries trying to work out ideas of how they could help. They had talked about a collaboration brew, but wanted to move faster than that.

A group of five […]

ASBA Hiring, Breweries Opening and More

Time for some prairie beer news. I find these days things move so fast that my semi-regular posts to offer a round-up aren’t really keeping up – however here is yet another just to get things back up-to-date.

The biggest news, industry-wise, may be that the Alberta Small Brewers’ Association is looking for a new […]

The Beer Keeps Flowing

It has only been a couple of weeks since my last news round up (read here), but the news has been flowing fast and furious so I felt I should put out another news roundup before I drown in all the happenings.

Much of this post has to do with Alberta, where much of the […]