More than 100 events across Ontario are planned for June 19 to 25
Written by Laura Robin for Ottawacitizen.com
If you’re traveling pretty much anywhere in Ontario (or even if you’re staying home) during the week of June 19 to 25, you can probably take part in some sparkling beer-related activities. It’s the second annual Ontario Craft Beer Week and the celebrations go from Niagara Falls to Vankleek Hill and include everything from a steamship cruise to beer pong tournaments.
“The idea is to celebrate excellence in craft beer,” says Gary McMullen, chair of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, which has close to 30 members. “There are now craft brewers spread across the province, in big cities and small centres, and it’s a chance for everyone to get together and celebrate and taste the products.”
McMullen, who is 43, says that when he was a kid “there was only one brand of beer in the fridge” but now there are nearly 40 craft breweries across Ontario.
“It’s definitely not a fad,” he says. “Everyone talks about a renaissance in beer. If you step back and look at the cultural changes in North America as a whole, you realize that we’re only a few generations from being pilgrims, when people were just trying to make it through the winter. Now, we’ve developed to the point that we can appreciate culture and food and drink.”
More than 100 events are planned for Ontario Craft Beer Week. Here’s just a taste:
The weekend of June 17 to 19 in Toronto: CASK Toronto will be putting on its third annual Cask Ale Crawl. At more than 10 participating pubs in Toronto, you can order cask beer, get a special passport stamped and win prizes.
BOSTON (TheStreet) — Craft brewers who make low-alcohol beer and put their beer in cans seem to be ignoring history. In reality, they’re learning from it.
The trend toward low-alcohol “session beers” and cans instead of bottles can be a little troubling for anyone old enough to remember the direction American beer took in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When Pabst relaunched the Schlitz brand in 2008 and 2009, Schlitz senior brand manager Kyle Wortham lamented that the beer being sold under the brand’s name before the relaunch had suffered the same “death by 1,000 cuts” that had stripped Schlitz and brands such as Narragansett, Lone Star and others of their original flavor. Continue reading “Cans? Low Buzz? What’s Up With Craft Beer?”
Written by James Wigderson as a special guest-perspective for MacIver Institute
I have an acquaintance, TJ Buczak, who is a pretty good plumber. Everyone should know a good plumber, right? But what makes this plumber even better than most is that he has put his knowledge of liquids and pipes into a very fun hobby, making his own beer.
Unlike a lot of home brewers, our plumber friend TJ is actually pretty good at making his own beer. I know this because I’ve sampled it. TJ is now at the stage of entering his different types of beer in competitions and, very soon, he will start selling the beer to other people. With any luck, our friend will someday join the sixty commercial craft brewers that make up 5% of the beer market in Wisconsin.
It’s the Wisconsin dream. Frederick Miller. Frederick Pabst. Gottlieb Heileman. Jake Leinenkugel. And now?
Making beer is something Wisconsinites are naturally good at. That’s not surprising considering how much we consume. Heck, legislating in Wisconsin is a two-drink minimum. We even have a baseball team named after the brewing industry in a stadium named for a brand of beer. Continue reading “Legislature Brews Up Interference in Free Market”
Coincidentally, before I posted that item about Governor Scott Walker’s role in rigging the beer market, I happened to have picked up a six-pack of Pangaea Lillja Argosy IPA.
It was a good India Pale Ale, perhaps my favorite style of ale. Best of all it cost a mere $6.50, a good price these days.
If Walker gets his way, such small breweries will have a tough time making a go of it. Bottling and packaging costs about four times as much as the actual brewing process and it’s hard for a small brewer to make a profit if he can’t control his distribution.
I’ve interviewed many a microbrewer over the years and all complain that the toughest part of the job is getting wholesalers to push their product.
My wife and I recently dragged a friend to a local area winery in Fillmore, California, called Giessinger. Yes, I do occasionally do wine tasting just as hopefully many Professor Goodales readers do. I find it sharpens my palate for beer, and the reverse is also true. I can now appreciate wine in a way I wasn’t able to before I started seriously deconstructing beer flavors. It’s also good to enjoy a change of pace now and then.
Additionally, Giessinger is just a damn good winery, and I use any excuse to visit it.
But this piece is not about wine tasting, per se.
My aim is more to convince my fellow beer geeks to seek out and convert wine lovers to the pleasures of craft beer (however you may define that controversial term). We should convince wine lovers that good beer deserves an equal place at the table with good wine.
Many beer lovers will be open to trying fine wine, and many have already developed an appreciation for such wine. Unfortunately, there are a percentage of wine afficionados who regard beer geeks as little better than barbarians, and see our drink of choice as laughably unsophisticated and unvarying. Obviously, they’ve never sampled an Abbey Dubbel, a Flemish Sour, or an oak-aged Imperial Stout. Our task is to get them to do so.
As I explained to Rosie, our delightfully un-snobby sommelier at Giessinger, judging the world of beer based on the efforts of Bud/Miller/Coors, is like judging all wines based on the stuff in the box or the best efforts of Ernest & Julio. There’s just so much more to both! Continue reading “Beer, Wine, Food, Snobbery and Beer Geekdom”
Hidden Valley is a beautiful, serene setting that rests behind Watkins Glen State Park. There will be an indoor courtyard tasting area with music and specialty food and an outdoor courtyard area also with tasting and live music. Event is held rain or shine.
Some overnight group cabin rentals, sleeping 10-20, will be available for $120, email for details.
701 Eighth Ave. S.
Looks kind of lonely, doesn’t it?
Not for long!
The following was selectively edited from Dictionary.com to suit the purposes of this column…
The jackalope — also called an antelabbit , aunt benny , Wyoming thistled hare or stagbunny — in folklore is said to be a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope (hence the name), goat, or deer, and is usually portrayed as a rabbit with antlers.
The legend of the jackalope has bred the rise of many outlandish (and largely tongue-in-cheek) claims as to the creature’s habits. For example, it is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of “killer-rabbit.” The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. It has also been said that jackalopes will only breed during electrical storms including hail, explaining its rarity.
All “true,” Except for the whiskey part.
Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.
Brew Biz is a column written by Ken Carman for Professor Goodales
So, let’s see… fast as a rabbit? Well, perhaps a deer in the headlights might be more apt. Or maybe my Aunt E. Lope? Whenever you start something as complex and prone to snafus; legal and otherwise, well intentions take time to cross the road. But Jackalope was close the day I visited… Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”
In the battle between international brewing giants SABMiller and ABInBev, Wisconsin craft brewers could bear the heaviest burden. On May 31, the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved a measure to be added to the state’s budget proposal which would prevent brewers from owning distributorships and retail licenses in Wisconsin. This means that if you’re a brewer, you can’t also sell alcoholic beverages to customers or retail shops.
The biggest backer of the bill is SABMiller, or as it is known in the US, MillerCoors. They have been pushing the measure, they say, in order to protect the vitality of Wisconsin beer in the face of a hostile invasion from their main national competitor, AB InBev, aka Anheuser-Busch. InBev has reportedly begun a nationwide campaign to purchase distributors in many states, something that MillerCoors says threatens all other brewers’ ability to get their beers in bars and on shelves. That’s the line that MillerCoors is peddling, but craft brewers in Wisconsin say they, and their ever increasing presence in the beer market, is the true target of the proposal.
While the text of the measure has not been made available to the public yet, the proposal would reportedly remove brewers’ current right to own wholesaler and retail licenses. Brewers of less than 300,000 barrels annually will still be able to self-distribute, but current brewers and new wholesalers would be required to have 25 independent retail customers prior to being granted the right to distribute. According to a MillerCoors spokesperson, these new rules would also prevent small brewers from banding together to form their own distributorship. In addition to all of that, the measure would prevent brewers from owning retail licenses, meaning that they could have a brewpub, but they would only be allowed to sell their own product. Breweries that already own retailing outlets would be allowed to retain one.