Perhaps the beer should have been called “Dork in a sweatshirt”
A month ago, I contacted the folks at Great Lakes Brewery to see if I might come out to do little profile and photo spread for blogTO (a post that, aptly, ended up being called “Behind the scenes at Great Lakes Brewery“). When I called, the always congenial Troy Burtch, GLB’s resident social media dude and sales rep, said “Why don’t you come out and brew a collaborative beer with Lackey?” As you can imagine, my answer was something along the lines of “Fuck yes.”
And so on a rainy Friday last month, I got the opportunity to brew a beer with Mike Lackey, a guy who’s been making beer for over 20 years and who’s responsible for some of my favourite local options of the past little while. And when I say “brew a beer with” I mostly mean “added the stuff he told me to add then manned the brew kettle while he disappeared and reappeared sporadically to make sure I didn’t hurt myself/burn the place down.” Continue reading
On Wednesday I had occasion to finally get out to Mill Street’s new Beer Hall location (yes, secret revealed, I wrote a story about The Beer Hall for blogTO without ever having set foot in it. Sue me).
It’s a pretty spectacular place and despite what a handful of reviewers and snarky commenters have to say about the decor, I think most people will be impressed with the place–if only for its size. Pictures don’t really convey how bloody massive the place is and, given that Mill Street is embracing a “soft open” approach, the size of the place seems all the more cavernous given the sparse attendance (but expect that to change once word gets out about this place and once the absolutely massive patio opens later this month). Continue reading
As we rapidly approach the long weekend that unofficially marks the start of summer here in Canada and one that quasi-officially requires that we drink beer in order to celebrate it, we are also faced with the looming threat of an LCBO strike.
As has been repeated in the media ad nauseum as of late, the LCBO is urging us to “stock up” now lest we be caught without any other options for booze this weekend.
I’m growing fairly tired of this refrain for a couple reasons. First, I’m inherently suspicious of any solution being offered by an organization that stands to profit massively from said solution. Perhaps they really are just being nice, but hearing the LCBO say “You better come spend a lot of money at our stores ASAP!” really turns me off actually doing it and, given my tendency to leap to unlikely conspiracy theories, is almost enough to make me think that maybe the whole strike is just a massive, brilliant marketing campaign to get us all hoarding booze (Whether or not the ghost of Elvis is involved remains to be seen). Continue reading
There was a review this morning in Toronto Life for the new Parkdale “hotspot” Electric Mud which, surprisingly, rated the bourbon and barbecue joint a mere 1.5 stars. I say surprisingly because, since its inception, Electric Mud has received a series of just-short-of-rave reviews from most Toronto media outlets who pay attention to such things. For example, the Globe and Mail called the food “obscenely, shockingly good,” NOW noted simply that “Electric Mud Rocks,” and even blogTO offered some reluctant praise, admitting the fare was “pretty fucking good.” Everyone, with the exception of Toronto Life I guess, seems fairly enamoured with Electric Mud. And with a bourbon-heavy cocktail list, barbecue on the menu, a classic rock soundtrack, and Bellwoods beer on tap, Electric Mud seems to me to be just about everything I could ask for in a bar/eatery.
I should be itching to go there and see what all the fuss is about.
But I’m not.
The reason is simple: Electric Mud is yet another Toronto establishment that has seen fit to do away with what would seem to be one of the most basic elements of a dining establishment: Reservations. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Beer Store issued a press release announcing the launch of a new “pilot series” of stores with the idea of inviting Ontarians to ”meet beer.”
At a glance then, it would seem that the Beer Store had recognized that their sales model needed revision–one of the criticisms of the Beer Store is that their system of a conveyor belt and wall of labels didn’t lend itself well to introducing consumers to new products, so a re-visioning that literally invited consumers to meet beer must surely mean the Beer Store is listening to our criticisms! Right?! Continue reading
A couple weeks ago I was on something of a whisky kick; penning a post for blogTO about fledgling distillery Toronto Distillery Company, announcing the release of Still Waters Distillery’s first single malt whisky, and even finding new reasons to rant about the province’s liquor laws as a result of said writing.
Somehow, in the shuffle, I forgot to include my thoughts on what should always be foremost when it comes to booze and beer: the taste.
I was lucky enough to be shipped a small sample of Still Waters’ very limited first release (the 46% version) and, while it’s a touch late to inform you about whether or not you should line up to get yourself a bottle when they were released (back on April 27th), here are my notes on the province’s only commercially available micro-distilled whisky. Continue reading
I think it’s pretty clear by now that Muskoka Brewery is kicking ass. They’ve stepped up their game immensely since the days of “Muskoka Cottage Brewing,” Mad Tom has redefined gateway beers and has found a semi-permanent home in the fridges of casual beer drinkers and craft nerds alike, and they continue to churn out high quality seasonals. As a result, they’ve become one of Canada’s fastest growing breweries.
Also, if you’re into that sort of thing, Muskoka Brewery clearly has good marketing.