Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


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Sexist beer marketing: Meanwhile in Nova Scotia

A  few months ago I wrote a blog post discussing sexist marketing in beer and I called out–and chatted with–some Ontario breweries about marketing efforts I felt objectified women.

In the interim, there have been some changes worth noting. Whitewater Brewing, the Ottawa Valley area brewer who makes “Farmer’s Daughter Blonde,” has quietly updated the branding for that can and appears to have renamed their seasonal “Farmer’s Daughter’s Melons” to the decidedly less cringe-inducing “Watermelon Blonde.”

Niagara Brewing Company, the makers of “Amber Eh!,” an American-style Amber that features a semi-naked female lumberjack on the can, took the less strategic but still effective approach of responding to my repeated inquiries by simply blocking me on social media. I guess that works.

The other breweries mentioned have, to date, continued business as usual; including continuing to use the cans that I discussed.

As first reported here in August, Garnet Pratt Siddall, the then-newly-appointed chair of the Ontario Craft Brewers who spoke candidly with me for my article about sexist beer in the industry, has been terminated as the CEO of Collingwood’s Side Launch Brewing Co.

I’ve also confirmed with the OCB that she has likewise subsequently resigned as the chair and director of that organization. It remains to be seen who her replacement will be and, as such, it’s unclear whether the de facto figurehead of Ontario’s only organization advocating for small brewers will share Siddall’s interest in making changes related to offensive marketing.

Interestingly though, one of the most promising changes to come about since my article, and apparently as a result of it, comes not from Ontario, but rather from Nova Scotia. Continue reading


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Side Launch Brewing Company announces termination of CEO Garnet Prat Siddall

The board of directors of Collingwood’s Side Launch Brewing Company has announced the termination of the brewery’s President and CEO, Garnet Pratt Siddall.

In an announcement to staff and stakeholders of the company, Andy Wilder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said the board “has decided that Side Launch would be best served with a new leader and the search for a new CEO will commence immediately.”

The statement includes assurances to staff the company will “continue to prosper and grow” and lauds the brewery’s “strong balance sheet.” As the reason for termination, Wilder indicated that “[i]t is normal that as an organization grows, the skills and processes needed to manage the organization change.”

A source tells me, however, that the board parted company with Pratt Siddall over “fundamental disagreements over how to run the business.”

That Side Launch has chosen to part ways with Pratt Siddall, who served as President and CEO since the company’s founding three years ago and inarguably helped the brewery rise to its current prominence, is a puzzling decision to say the least. Pratt Siddall brought experience in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions to Side Launch, the company was named the 2016 Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and Pratt Siddall was recently elected by her peers to serve as chair of the board of directors for the Ontario Craft Brewers association. The first woman ever elected to that position.

I reached out to Pratt Siddall for comment but she indicated she was not prepared to discuss the situation.

Per the recent announcement, Side Launch Brewery’s interim CEO will be Al Stuart. Stuart is a Managing Partner of The Pilot in Toronto, former Vice President of Operations at Stuart Energy Systems Corporation, and is currently a director of the Bloor Yorkville BIA and sits on JAZZFM‘s board of directors.


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Ontario is getting tanked

Left Field Brewery New Tank

Apparently there was a sale on brewing equipment this month.

That seems to be the most valid explanation for the fact that a handful of Ontario breweries all opted to up their capacity and production capabilities this past couple weeks by adding a considerable amount of volume to their respective brewing operations.

Toronto’s Muddy York Brewing upped their capacity by 33% this week when they got in three new 7bbl (10hL) jacketed fermenters. Owner Jeff Manol tells me that this will give him the ability to lager things a bit more and do some bigger beers that can age (yay and yay). He hopes to have the new tanks in once they repaint their floors and finish the new glycol lines, and after that he says the company is set to build their taproom bar and hopefully have a tasting room open by June at the latest. Nice.

Left Field Brewery, also in Toronto, celebrated a fourth anniversary this month by not only coming to visit me (and other people) in London for an 11-tap takeover at Pub Milos, they also put in three 40bbl (40!)  fermenters and a 40bbl brite tank–upping their game from five fermenters and one brite. NICE. Continue reading


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10 totally true facts about Toronto Beer Week

tbw

In a few hours, Toronto Beer Week will kick off with a launch party at the Summerhill LCBO.

The next week will feature a slew of events in and around the city and even an official beer, Interloper, a barrel-aged, blended farmhouse beer made by Indie Alehouse and available at the LCBO, participating TBW bars and at Indie’s bottleshop.

That much you probably already knew.

But to help you make the most of your Toronto Beer Week and give you the inside scoop, I’ve put together this list of 10 totally true facts about Toronto Beer Week.

Everything written here is totally 100% true. Obviously. Continue reading