Loblaws set to launch beer sales

superstore

Early next week Loblaws will announce the details of their pilot program to be among the first grocers in Ontario to sell beer.

The grocery chain’s stores are among a select 450 Ontario grocery stores who will be allowed to sell beer by 2018 and they are also among an even more select 60 stores who will be allowed to sell beer “before Christmas,” a date that grows ever closer, despite what the weather might have you believe.

Ben’s Beer Blog has learned that, with an eye to that “Christmas” launch, Loblaws will likely be hosting a press conference next week where Premier Kathleen Wynne will be on hand to help the retailer announce the details of the launch of their beer program.

I’m going to add a big disclaimer here that I have been unable to verify all of what I’m about to reveal, but for the most part, I have the details that will be announced. Continue reading “Loblaws set to launch beer sales”

Six beer pairings for dealing with toddler behaviour

Cars and raspberry beer

For roughly the last four months, I have been the primary caregiver for my two year old son.

Yes, I’m a stay at home dad.

The experience has taught me a lot of things. It’s been an absolutely amazing experience to share the summer with my son and each day brings new joy as I get to see the world through his eyes and blah blah blah.

Yes, yes, all that.

But it’s also taught me some really useful things too: namely, that beer is a really important part of parenting.

Seriously. I’ve learned to appreciate beer on a whole other level.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not drinking all day or parenting my son under the influence. I still (usually) wait until around 5pm to crack a beer–I’m not a savage–but when I do, it often tastes far, far better than any beer I ever knew as a childless, amateur beer drinker. Because now almost always, more so than ever before, when I DO crack that beer, god damn it, I have earned that beer.

Accordingly, I’ve also learned that there are some beers that are just far better suited to helping you unwind at the end of certain days than others are. That is, there are without question certain trying circumstances that demand a beer at the close of the day, but I’ve found there are actually certain circumstances that lend themselves better to being remedied by specific beers.

As a public service, here are the perfect beer pairings to deal with six common toddler behaviours. Continue reading “Six beer pairings for dealing with toddler behaviour”

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!)

 

 

 

Let’s talk about growlers

Growler

With the recent news that changes to Ontario’s liquor laws could mean the LCBO will start to carry and fill growlers, it’s probably a good time to ask some questions about this development.

Namely, does anyone really give a shit?

The benefits and pitfalls of recent proposed changes to Ontario’s liquor laws, specifically as they relate to beer, have been debated fairly extensively as of late, and probably will be until the changes actually come into effect some time in the 3rd millennium, but not much has been made of the odd little item about growlers, and so it’s worth considering whether or not the potential “mainstreaming” of those fun little jugs is a good thing.

But before we get there, let’s cover some basics for the uninitiated. Continue reading “Let’s talk about growlers”

Come enjoy beer, bourbon, and smoked meat (with me!)

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A few months ago, I had an opportunity to host an event organized by the folks at Orchestra Marketing that combines the typically forced act of “networking” with the slightly more enjoyable act of drinking beer.

Dubbed “beerworking” the event was an exercise in learning a little about beer while meeting new people and has since blossomed into a popular ongoing series of get-togethers hosted by knowledgeable fellow beer scribe, Crystal Luxmore, for whom I was substituting when I last hosted.

Thankfully for me, Ms. Luxmore again finds herself otherwise engaged for an upcoming event and I’ve been asked to fill in.

Also thankfully for me, this event, taking place on Thursday March 12, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm  has evolved to include not just craft beer, but also bourbon and smoked meat. No really. It’s like they’ve taken a page from my dream journal. All that’s missing is 90s era Tiffany Amber Thiessen.

The event will feature beer from Sudbury craft brewery Stack Brewing who, rumour has it, are gearing up for broader distribution of their heretofore relatively unknown beers, so you’ll have a chance to try a few beers you probably haven’t had before.

We’ll also be enjoying a selection of bourbons from the portfolio of Kirkwood Diamond Canada, including Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare and I’ll make some effort to explain why beer and bourbon go well together (aside from the answer my grandpappy always gave that “you got two hands for a reason!”).

Lastly, because all this good drinkin’ will surely work up a hunger, we’ll be enjoying a selection of cured meats from none other that Toronto’s Caplansky’s.

I know, I know. At this point you’re probably already saying “Just shut up and take my money,” so here’s the link to get tickets

It’s just $50 a person which, considering you’re getting three beers, three bourbons, and three different sandwiches, is a hell of a deal (even if the experience will be marred slightly by having to listen to me pretend I know what I’m talking about).

If you bring a friend you can get a pair of tickets for $90, but considering the event is designed to meet new people, rolling solo is obviously cool, too.

See you there! I’ll be the guy covered in mustard.

My Top 10 Beer Lists

If writing for and reading blogTO has taught me anything, it’s this: People fucking love lists.

Accordingly, in what might be the smartest, laziest, SEO-ist thing I’ve ever done, I thought I’d post the ultimate click-bait this Friday afternoon in a blatant attempt at attracting some traffic to the blog while doing as little work as possible: A top ten list of  lists.

Brilliant, right?

Below is a linked list of my favourite lists that I’ve written. And while this is an exercise in supremely lazy writing, it turns out that this is actually pretty damn informative, and not a bad way to get you in the mood to drink a few beers this weekend, if I don’t say so myself.

Now I’ll just share a link to this post on twitter with some trending hashtags and badaboom bada bing, I win the internet today. #bonerpatrol Presumably if this goes well, I might one day conceive of a top ten list of lists of lists, but I assume the universe would implode if I did that so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy! Continue reading “My Top 10 Beer Lists”

Allowing booze sales in convenience stores is a dumb idea

Convenient Beer

Clearly, I’m among those who feel that the province’s beverage alcohol retail system needs modernizing.

I think most would agree I’ve been pretty vocal on that subject in the past.

You’d think then, that I’d be on board with recent initiatives from the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) to lobby the province to let them sell booze.

Well I’m definitely not. Booze in convenience stores is a dumb idea.

In fact, allowing convenience stores to sell alcohol will simply give us more of the same shitty system we already have, just in more locations. And more of the same isn’t better, it’s worse. Continue reading “Allowing booze sales in convenience stores is a dumb idea”

Win free admission to Beer 4 Boobs!


beer4boobs

It’s not often that you can justify your drinking by claiming that it’s for charity, but on Sunday April 7th, you’ll be able to do just that at the second annual “Beer 4 Boobs,” a unique event bringing a group of passionate local brewers together to help fight breast cancer.

As with last year, the event will feature an ample selection of specialty and one-off beers brewed especially for the occasion. Unlike last year, however, this year’s festivities have expanded to included not one but two evenings in two different cities so as to better showcase the selection of beer offerings from the likes of Amsterdam Brewing Co., Black Oak, Mill Street, Oast House, Railway City, Beyond the Pale, Camerons, Niagara College, The Ship, Grand River, Bellwoods, Silversmith, Trafalgar, Indie Ale House, Cheshire Valley, Granite and more. Continue reading “Win free admission to Beer 4 Boobs!”

There is no beer for Valentine’s Day

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There is no “appropriate” beer for today.

In fact, you don’t have to shoehorn beer into every occasion and you don’t need to make beer relevant to whatever holiday/event/celebration might be occurring on any given day.

Perhaps today, on Valentine’s Day, that’s all the more clear.

Sorry, but beer and Valentine’s day don’t really go together; as much as a large swath of marketing people, beer writers, editors, brewers, etc. might want you to believe it.

Beer isn’t really romantic.

Beer is comforting, yes. Beer is delicious, obviously. Sharing a beer with a loved one can be a great experience. But beer sexy? No. Sorry, it’s just not.  Continue reading “There is no beer for Valentine’s Day”

London is Getting a Microbrewery

Forked River

I resisted the urge to add an exclamation point to the title of this post; however, I can’t help but hum the tune to “Hallelujah” when I type the words.

You see, I’m from London and lived there for roughly 85% of my life and while London has always had a lot to offer, craft beer has not been one of those things.

Now, with the arrival of Forked River Brewing Company, that will change.

The recently announced craft brewery is the brainchild of David Reed, Andrew Peters, and Steve Nazarian–all London residents and University of Western Ontario graduates (Go Mustangs!). Reed is an engineer who worked a few years running an engineering department at a beverage R&D firm and has been brewing for ten years; Nazarian worked in the biotechnology sector, working in pharmaceutical manufacturing, drug safety testing, and quality control before getting the homebrewing bug in 2004; and Peters is also a microbiologist who got involved with homebrewing clubs in Ottawa and Toronto. Continue reading “London is Getting a Microbrewery”