Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


14 Comments

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


1 Comment

Still Waters Distillery: So how’s the booze?

sbbottle

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


5 Comments

How Canadian is Your Canadian Whisky?

It turns out that the bottle of “Canadian Whisky” you’ve got on the shelf of your bar isn’t really all that Canadian after all.

This weekend I visited Still Waters Distillery in Concord, Ontario, in order to do a little profile of their business for blogTO. In addition to learning a thing or two about how vodka and whisky are made (not to mention trying a few samples), I also learned a little bit about the whisky business here in Canada.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, it’s a bit of a tough go.

Still Waters, it turns out, is virtually the only micro-distillery operating in Ontario; and really, there are only a handful of micro or craft distillers in the whole country. Much like the handful of Ontario craft brewers I’ve come to know in my time writing about beer, Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein, the co-founders of Still Waters, face an uphill battle when it comes to trying to get their products out to the people who drink them. Indeed, given that the craft beer community is so collaborative and supportive, Still Waters arguably faces an even tougher battle given that they’re essentially the only little guys out there right now, so they’re trying to do it on their own. Continue reading