Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


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A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of beer drinkers in brewpubs and breweries from being a burden on their parents or other patrons

It is a melancholy object to those who choose to frequent brewpubs and breweries when they are forced to see communal tables, patios, and even bar tops populated by tired, weary parents sipping pints with their children in tow.

Almost everyone who chooses to go out to a local brewery for a tasting flight or just a pint or two would agree that having to see living breathing proof that other humans in your community have chosen to procreate is an experience that is inversely proportional to actually enjoying that beer-drinking experience. Human children are, at best, a nuisance. They’re loud, they spill things, and they demand unreasonable things like glasses of water, or, depending on their age, crayons or activities that can take the attention of bartenders or servers who could be doing more productive things like bringing more beer to legal-aged paying customers.

That said, it seems unfair to punish those beer drinkers among us who have had the misfortune of breeding, whether by accident or by design, simply because we may not be able to find childcare during the period in which we require alcohol, which, I can attest with certainty is just as often as the childless require it, if not much more. Continue reading


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In praise of awful bars

There’s something great about an awful bar.

As a beer writer, and one that has—admittedly—adopted tastes and a tone of voice in my over half a decade of semi-professional drinks writing that some folks have interpreted as rather snobby, I am almost as surprised to admit it as you might be to hear it: I sometimes love going to terrible bars.

And make no mistake, I’m not talking about “dive bars;” that subset of drinking establishments that are sometimes (and more often than not, intentionally) a little rough around the edges, but have a redeeming quality like amazing tacos, great draught, cool cocktails, etc.

No.

I mean that much larger swath of establishments that pepper most north american landscapes both suburban and metropolitan and that, from a snobby alcohol-enthusiast’s point of view at least, really have no redeeming qualities. Continue reading


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A Nice Little Saturday

Saturday, as I’m sure the handful of beer nerds who might read this are already aware,  Montreal brewer Dieu Du Ciel took over the taps at WVRST. It was set to be an epic evening replete with 16 great beers from arguably one of the country’s best brewers.

And I didn’t go.

I had every intention of going, I really did. Not only are DDC’s beers phenomenal, but I happen to big fan of WVRST’s selection of sausage too. And yet, I didn’t make it.

Instead, what began as a casual walk around the city killing time before a craft beer event turned into an impromptu craft beer event in and of itself. It started with a few Mill Street Lemon Tea’s on a patio with my wife, then we worked our way over to Bellwoods Brewery, where they were having the first of a handful of scheduled retail pop-ups where they’ll offer some of their amazing beer in bottles. Saturday they were selling select styles of their beer in 650ml bottles and growlers.

Continue reading


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Your Roadmap to Craft Beer in Toronto

There’s probably nothing more frustrating than being out in the city, suddenly struck with a powerful thirst and you find yourself surrounded by nothing but franchise bars pouring macro-lagers.

It’s these rage-inducing times–when servers offer up Blue when you ask for something local–that led me to create this, a Roadmap to Craft Beer in Toronto.

It’s just a custom Google map (so you may find it easier to navigate through Google as opposed to in this embedded map), but I endeavoured to include the finest bars offering up craft beer in the city, as well as local breweries, and Toronto-area LCBOs so that you’ll always be able to find the closest craft beer.

May you never be forced to drink a Stella again!

This should probably be an iphone app or something (if it isn’t already) but I don’t have the technical know-how or patience for that (I drink a lot). If you’re an app developer, please feel free to steal this idea so that I may a) use it and then b) sue you.

Got a great beer bar that I missed? Let me know about it in the comments section.