Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


Here’s a select portfolio of some of my beer-related writing that has appeared in a variety of publications. For some examples of my non-beer writing, please visit

1How Niagara College’s brew school has boosted Ontario’s craft industry
from The Globe and Mail January 12, 2016Now in its fifth year, Niagara College’s brewmaster and brewery management operations program gave rise to a substantial amount of the country’s current brewing talent.

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Labatt buying Mill Street Brewery is actually not a bad thing for craft beer fans
from Toronto Life October 9, 2015Early this morning, Labatt, one of Canada’s largest and oldest brewers, announced that it had purchased Toronto craft brewery Mill Street. If you like Mill Street Brewery—that is, if you actually like the people working at the company and making the beer—this buyout is clearly good news.

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Will Toronto ever be the craft beer capital of the world?
from blogTO May 10, 2015Could Toronto ever be the craft beer capital of the world? That’s the question that’s been raised by two city councillors who have recognized craft beer’s potential to draw tourism and create jobs.

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Does the LCBO have a stale beer problem?
from blogTO August 14, 2015

Why was it that one of only two places in the province that is legally allowed to sell a variety of beer so frequently has beer on its shelves so far removed from the date it was actually bottled?
Read more…


What supermarket sales might mean for Toronto’s craft brewers
from blogTO March 13 2015

The upcoming spring budget will allow large grocery stores to begin selling wine and beer. Torontonians thirsty for change were quick to rejoice, but is it really something worth getting excited about?

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How hard is it to open a brewery in Toronto?
from blogTO November 9, 2014

Toronto now lays claim to 10 fully operational microbreweries, and there are roughly half a dozen more in the planning stages. Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “Hey, I could start a craft brewery!” I talked with a handful of Toronto’s craft brewers and turns our it’s not quite as easy as local beermakers might be making it look.

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Ontario’s Beer Wars
from Torontoist June 12, 2014

The province’s Beer Store and convenience stores are battling over beer sales—why some Beer Store employees have joined the fight, and who’s helping them.
Read more…

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LCBO bureaucracy forces craft brewers into Beer Store
From blogTO May 12, 2014

When Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery and Kensington Brewing Company both announced new beer releases last week, the news from both companies was somewhat surprising: Both would be releasing their new beers in The Beer Store.
Read more…

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AGCO cracks down on contract brewers at beer festivals
from blogTO May 3, 2014

The list of breweries participating in Toronto beer festivals this season might be considerably shorter than you’d expect. That’s because today, the AGCO has ruled that the products of contract brewers won’t be allowed at events that are licensed with a Special Occasion Permit (SOP).
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Semi-important question: What do 2014’s mayoral candidates like to drink?
from Toronto Life April 14, 2014

We might not typically judge a candidate for public office based on his or her drink of choice, but considering how much we know about our current mayor’s drinking preferences—whether it be a few beers at a Leafs game or an early-morning bottle of brandy at his office—it seems only fair that we ask those who seek to unseat Rob Ford what beverages they turn to after a hard day.
Read more…

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Steam Whistle given the boot at the Rogers Centre
from blogTO March 21, 2104

Just short of one year ago, Steam Whistle announced we’d be able to buy their ubiquitous craft pilsner at Toronto Blue Jays’ games. Today, two weeks from their home opener, they’ve announced that the partnership is no more.
Read more…

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The foreign brewers who own The Beer Store may be price-gouging Ontario bar and restaurant owners
from Toronto Life February 18, 2014

Coors Light, Budweiser and Molson Canadian aren’t particularly pricey brands of beer—unless you own a bar or restaurant in Ontario. For the province’s tens of thousands of liquor licensees, these premium beer brands come at huge markup.
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photo 2Cutting through the B.S. in the Beer Store debate

from blogTO March 21, 2104

The Beer Store and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) have, as of late, been engaged in a very public and increasingly nasty fight over the state of the province’s beer sales. But let’s be serious here: The Beer Store currently enjoys roughly an 80% market share of all beer sales in this province and they are unlikely to relinquish it easily.
Read more…

photo 3In Toronto Pubs, Breweries Battle for Beer Taps With Persuasion and Cash
from Torontoist January 2, 2013Beer industry insiders say big breweries spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year trying to influence what your bartender decides to put in the fridge.Read more…
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Revisiting The Beer Store monopoly and why it sucks
from blogTO July 18, 2012

With its dusty wall of labels to choose from, metal conveyor belts, and line-ups, it’s easy to think of the Beer Store as a sort of provincial institution — a no-nonsense, government-controlled, beer distribution centre. The truth is, of course, that The Beer Store is not a government institution at all.

Read more…

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The rise of large scale brewing in Toronto
from blogTO July 19, 2012

The Davieses were big in the brewing business, but in terms of their reach and distribution, both the Don Brewery and the Dominion were still essentially “craft” breweries. It wasn’t until one man, EP Taylor — who some might call the anti-Christ of craft brewing — began to see the money-making potential in brewing that the industry in Canada really took off.

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 photo (2)brief history of booze in The Junction from blogTO March 21, 2104

Bars on virtually every corner, throngs of people and cops on city streets, fights, and public drunkenness making Toronto an embarrassment to visiting tourists. No, I’m not describing the Entertainment District on a Saturday night. It’s actually a scene from the Junction — then known as West Toronto — circa 1904.
Read more…

One thought on “Portfolio

  1. Pingback: Documentary on Ontario’s alcohol laws will stream online | Ben's Beer Blog

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