A beery list of beer lists

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In case you weren’t aware, I also write about beer for local website blogTO. Often, that website asks me to write posts for them in list format. And so, for no reason other than to cure your Monday blues, I decided to compile a collection of them here for what is surely the ultimate in internet entertainment: A list of lists.

Why the hell not? 

20141311-LouisCiferfridge 10 breweries where you can buy growlers in Toronto
20130503-590-MillSt7 The top ten local beers in Toronto for summer 2015
2015425-breweries-toronto The top ten breweries to visit near Toronto
05062013-castros590-02  The top 30 places to drink beer in Toronto by neighbourhood
20121217-old-breweries-toronto-ed The ten oldest breweries in Toronto
2015218-toronto-brewery Five Toronto beer brands you probably haven’t heard of
20111229-craftbeers5 The top ten ways to learn about beer in Toronto
06252013-wren590-05 The top ten underrated beer bars in Toronto
20111221-beer Five Toronto beer trends that need to die in 2015
20111227-parkdale-beer NOSTALGIC BONUS LIST: The top Toronto beer news from 2011 (My first ever list for blogTO. Smell the earnestness!)




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More details emerge about the LCBO’s growler program

LCBO Growlers

On Monday August 24th, the LCBO sent an email to some of Ontario’s craft brewers to invite them to submit products for the launch of their growler fill program that will start with their flagship Summerhill location.

Ben’s Beer Blog has obtained a copy of the email and it includes some details about the program that until now have been something of a mystery.

The email reveals that the space will include the LCBO’s first growler station as well as a craft beer tasting bar. Furthermore they are actively seeking beer that they don’t already have available for sale in packaged format (so we won’t see the Bud Zone Growler Station as some beer nerd grumbling posited).

The LCBO has indicated that their staff will dispense beer directly from kegs into the growler; however, it did not reveal if they would be investing in a proper growler filler or merely filling them from a draught tap (presumably–and hopefully–it’s the former given their investment in this). Continue reading


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A visit to Silversmith Brewing Company


Perhaps I’m a touch jaded from acting as Ontario beer’s resident angry old man for the last few years, or perhaps it’s a side-effect of not leaving the house all that much in the two years since my son was born, but it’s not often that I find myself wholly impressed by a new experience with a brewery.

But that was certainly the case this past week after I finally managed to pay a visit to Silversmith Brewing Company in Niagara On The Lake and I was altogether pleasantly surprised.

Founded in 2011, the brewery is in an Anglican church that was built in 1894, and was generally well preserved after having acted as an antique store for 25 years after its life as a church. Much of the church’s charm remains in the form of red-brick walls, exposed beams, and an ivy-lined exterior, but the interior has been converted into a down-right excellent tasting room and bar replete with live wood and thoughtful touches like draught handles made from repuprosed ball-peen hammers. Continue reading

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Contest: Win a Dine Alone / Beau’s All Natural prize package

Dine Alone Records, founded in St. Catharines and Toronto and now based in TO, Nashville, and Los Angeles, are celebrating their 10th Anniversary.

To mark the occasion, they’ve launched a handful of new initiatives including Dine Alone Rye Whisky, a mobile record store called Wax on Wheels, limited edition vinyl and poster series, and, most importantly, they put together a big ol’ box of swag that they want to give away to one lucky (Toronto-based*) reader of Ben’s Beer Blog.

Yes, Dine Alone has teamed up with  Beau’s All Natural Brewing to create a super cool package and one lucky reader of this blog (who lives in Toronto*) will get to take it home.

The package is valued at over $350 and includes:

  • A branded Beau’s / Dine Alone 12-pack case that doubles as a vinyl crate;
  • Eight Dine Alone LPs;
  • A bunch of Dine Alone swag, including sunglasses, playing cards, patches, stickers, and matches;
  • A bunch of sweet Beau’s swag, including coasters, bottle openers, a t-shirt, and a hat; and
  • A Dine Alone 10th Anniversary download card, featuring songs by Alexisonfire, Arkells, City and Colour, k-os, Monster Truck,Yukon Blonde and more.

To determine if you’re worthy of so much bitchin’ merch, I want to know about your combined love of music and beer: tweet or Instagram your favourite beer and record pairing and include the hashtag #recordsandbeer. 

On Friday August 28th, I’ll select one lucky reader (from Toronto) at random to go pick up their new tunes and gear.

*it’s a big heavy crate and it’d be too expensive to ship out of Toronto. Sorry folks who don’t live in the centre of the universe. 

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Bud Light expands successful Rita franchise and places brewers on suicide watch

ST. LOUIS, August 13, 2015

The Bud Light Lime Ritas franchise is growing.

Building off the success of the Lime-A-Rita, Straw-Ber-Rita, Mang-O-Rita, and Raz-Ber-Rita, Bud Light has announced a forthcoming Pineapple-Rita, the newest bold flavour in the lineup of Bud Light’s refreshing beer cocktails.

The brand anticipates continued success with the launch of Pineapple-Rita, which is an 8% ABV flavoured malt beverage blending all the exciting refreshment of Bud Light Lime with the taste of pineapple.

In anticipation of the production of large volumes of Pineapple-Rita, Bud Light has also announced that they have placed their brewmasters on round the clock suicide watch. Continue reading


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The LCBO’s statement on imported beer freshness


Depending on when you’re reading this, I am either just about to or just have published a brief post on blogTO about “The LCBO’s stale beer problem.”

For that post, I reached out to the LCBO for comment and though I included excerpts of their statement, the blogTO article was limited in terms of column inches and the statement couldn’t be included in its entirety.

Given that we beer folks so often lament the LCBO’s efforts on keeping their imported beer fresh, I thought it was worth publishing the statement in toto.

To my mind, it seems like we’re maybe giving them a bit of a bum rap. It looks like they’re making solid efforts to handle a situation that is presumably pretty big considering the size and scope of the LCBO’s import alcohol business.

What do you think? Continue reading


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Belgian Moon: Anatomy of a “crafty” beer

Seriously enough

Here we go again.

Canada is about to be the benefactor of a “new” beer thanks to the increasingly greasy quest for big brewers to create/market/re-imagine/co-opt brands that deliver some sniff of “craft” credentials.

That is, Molson-Coors has announced that Blue Moon, a hugely popular beer sold by Miller Coors in the United States is coming to Canada.

Er, coming back to Canada for the first time?

Staying in Canada?

Shit, I don’t even know where to start with this one.

So let’s start from the beginning: Blue Moon is a Belgian-style, cloudy, unfiltered wheat beer that advertises notes of coriander and citrus and is served with an orange wheel garnish. It was developed by Coors. Its labelling says it is a product of Blue Moon Brewing Co. In the United States, it is usually mentioned in at least the top three names of beers that seem developed by big brewers to intentionally mislead people into thinking it is a craft beer. Case in point, this statement from the American Brewers Association, issued in December of 2012: Continue reading


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