Category Archives: beer events

Looking Back at 2012

So looking back at 2012.

My favorite beers I tried for the first time were (no particular order):

My Favorite beer events were:

Now looking back at my 2012 beer resolutions. Since I wrote them a year ago I never referred back to them and forgot most of them! I only fulfilled 6/13!

New Year 2012 Beer Resolutions

1. Do the Beer Makes History Better Toronto tour *nope

2. Do a Northern Ontario Brewery road trip – Lake of Bays, Muskoka Brewery, Flying Monkeys and Sawdust City. *nope

3. Visit The Blue Monk in Buffalo again. *sadly no

4. Road trip to Southern Tier Brewery. *agh..again no

5. Continue to facilitate corporate beer tastings *yes I did this year! whoot

6. Attend 2 out of province/country beer festivals. *yes – mondial and Great British Beer Festival

7. Read Last Call: Rise and Fall of Prohibition (which I bought 4 months ago!) *crap…no

8. Re-read Hops and Glory. *yes I did in England

9. Brew beer (kind of) – At Black Creek or using a Beer Making Kit. *YES!

10. Attend more beer dinners to expand my knowledge of food and beer pairing. *didn’t attend any in 2012

11. Attend a Cameron’s cask night. *nope

12. Beercation trip to California. *no!!!!!

13. Go to Granite brewery. Believe it or not I’ve never been !!! *yep

14. Blog more often. *yes

15. Drink more beer 🙂 *i want to say yes 🙂

I have some work to do this year…and I’m looking forward to another great year!! Happy new year all!



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2011 Wrap up

Just looking back at my beer related events this year. The best of them all was Volo Cask Days by far. I can’t stress what a great event it was – atmosphere, beers, people!!! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

Some other favorites were:

  • Brewing with Paul Dickey – I had the greatest opportunity to help brew a beer with Paul Dickey, a brewer that definitely knows his beer and what he’s doing. On top of it all he’s an awesome guy.
  • Toronto Beer week – In particular the bars staying open ’til the wee hours of the morning created an amazing atmosphere.
  • My Prud’Homme beer dinner at Beer Bistro. Roger treated us to Sam Adams Utopias and Brian Morin treated us to a few bottles of Westvleteren 12!
  • Facilitating various corporate tasting – love introducing people to craft beer.
  • Montreal pub crawling with my drinking buddy.
  • The American Craft Beer festival in Boston.

Best new beer I had in 2011?!! Black Oak’s Cafe au Lait – Black Oak night @ Volo!

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Beer Tasting for Cancer

A couple of months ago I was asked at work (I work in a corporate law firm) if I could facilitate a beer tasting. The goal was to raise money to help end woman’s cancer. We charged $20 per person and anything we made we donated it to Princess Margaret Hospital.

I called about 15 breweries in the GTA. I stressed that the donation could be beer (I asked for about 6) or could be t-shirts, coasters, posters, and/or other merchandise that could be used for giveaways. I understand that this is probably something they get asked all the time for. I was not feeling very encourage by the time I was on my 7th call. I received responses like: we don’t have resources for someone to drop it off (needless did they know I was willing to pick it up)…we don’t do donations due to demand…we’re too busy…we need at least 6 weeks to process your request…etc.

On the positive side of things I want to give a shout out to Great Lakes Brewery and Wellington Brewery ! Both were willing to donate any amount of beer I request in addition to some merchandise.

The tasting consisted of 40 lawyers and articling students. I would roughly say 17 considered themselves a beer drinker. And less than handful were familiar with Great Lakes or Wellington beers. A few of them came up to me and ask me for other availabilities on the beers and where they can buy Great Lakes or Wellington beers.

From this experience my thought is, from a local brewery standpoint, this is a great audience to try to target. Most corporate events consist of wine – beer unfortunately is not a common drink. A lot of these people were interested in knowing more about local breweries and asked me to recommend other local brews. I know for a fact that the people I talked to went to seek out Great Lakes and Wellington beers for weeks after due to that small exposure. Someone who claimed that they were not a beer drinker discovered Wellington Iron Duke, which we had at the tasting, and went out to buy more !

I look forward to doing more of these events (not necessarily for cancer). Love  introducing people to beer and I loved that the macro beer drinkers are now familiar with Wellington and Great Lakes.

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Cask Day 2011!

Cask Day – Otherwise known as the best beer event ever!

Last year was the first time I attended BarVolo’s cask days. I instantly fell in love. The atmosphere was amazing, the people whom I met were so passionate about beer and very welcoming, and it was great to see all the brewers come together for a celebration, so to speak.

This year’s was at the Hart House. The event was attended by over 1,000 people. They had 12 cask from Western Canada, 18 from Quebec, 6 from the UK (Fuller’s), and 42 from Ontario!

The atmosphere was amazing and the sun was shining. I had no complaints whatsoever. In a way I did prefer the BarVolo atmosphere were there were fewer people at each session and you were able to see everyone there. This time I wasn’t able to talk to a lot of people I wanted to talk to. But I really loved the atmosphere and the vibe and never having to wait in line for a toilet! Seriously it’s an issue at these events!

My favorites were:

  • Red Racer Citra and Amarillo
  • Trois Mousquetaires Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter
  • Dieu Du Ciel Aphrodisiaque
  • Howe Sound Cinnamon Fireball Pumpkineater
  • Great Lakes Fanboner India Brett Ale

Kudos goes to St. Andre for coming up with my favorite name dedicated to Steve Jobs!

Can’t wait for next year’s!

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Happy International Stout Day!

November 3rd is International Stout Day. I’m going to go home tonight and crack open 2 stouts I have chilling in my fridge –  Victory Storm King Stout and Southern Tier Choklat!

Here’s a bit of history about stouts from

Before going into the history and description of Stouts, one must first give props to its predecessor, the Porter.

Porters, a dark ale favored among London’s working classes, was first developed in the early 1700s. Street and river porters provided an eager market for this new, energizing beer. The word “stout”, after the fourteenth century, had taken on as one of its meanings “strong”, and was used as such to describe strong beers, such as the Porter. “Stout” as in stout porter, was the strong, dark brew London’s brewers developed and the dark beer that gave us what we think of today as the typical stout style.

The first stouts were produced in the 1730s. The Russian Imperial Stout was inspired by brewers back in the 1800’s to win over the Russian Czar. “Imperial porter” came before “imperial stout” and the earliest noted use of “Imperial” to describe a beer comes from the Caledonian Mercury of February 1821, when a coffeehouse in Edinburgh was advertising “Edinburgh Ales, London Double Brown Stout and Imperial Porter, well worth the attention of Families”.
Guinness had been brewing porters since about 1780 and are famous for their Dry or Irish Stout. Oatmeal stout beer is one of the more sweeter and smoother of the stouts. And for proof that we live in an evolving society, there’s Oyster Stout and Chocolate Stout. The first known use of oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1929 in New Zealand.

Originally, stout meant “proud” or “brave”, but morphed into the connotation of “strong” after the 14th century. Why on earth should this brave and strong beer style not have its own day of celebration?

Have a good one!

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Great British Beer Festival

This Video is from Pete Brown’s Beer Blog. I can’t wait to go to this next year!

British Beer Video Blog – August from Ian Hudson Films on Vimeo.

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Cheshire Valley Prud’Homme Collaboration Ale

The beer I help brew, Cheshire Valley and Prud’Homme Collaboration Ale, was available last week on Cask at BarVolo and Rhino! I was lucky enough to have them at both places. The beer was extremely clear and had a nice head 2 finger head on it. It was perfect. The nose was citrusy and the body was very earthy with a tiny bit of spice at the finish.  The earthiness came from the Northern Brewer hop we used and boiled for 1 hour. Here’s another picture and a video of the pour!

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