Saturday, September 30, 2017

Best Canadian 2, 4? An exercise in coaching

I was asked recently to offer suggestions of craft beer to buy for Thanksgiving guests. I get excited about these questions.

When answering, one should be wary of immediately advising and giving suggestions. You should remember to ask questions first.

Who are they buying for and what do they normally drink? You can then start offering craft related alternatives.

What is the goal? Trying new and adventurous? Impressing guests with table beer?

You don't want to turn people off of craft when they're looking to explore. Don't tell them to buy a double west coast ipa because you like it when they drink bud light. You lost them on their first sip.

Offer a comparable.

It seems logical, but I hear people do it all the time.

Lends me to think what my personal 2-4 would look like. And how it would differ from others.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Crossing Canada

The quintessential Canadian road trip. A right of passage of sorts for all Canadians.

I like themes and what if beer was the theme? We did it 10 yrs ago now and thought we could but 7 kids later, 5 within the last 2 years says we need to wait.

It'd be a lot harder now. The growth in craft brewing these 10 yrs has been exponential! Hitting ON alone would be difficult. But what if?

Been working on a find beer app and mapped Canadian craft. It's here:
Canadian Craft Beer Map

That would be an endeavour

Then started thinking... what about those other great crafts? Spirits, ciders, meads and wine - the original. Also great trip reasons.

Even if you're not going coast to coast, maybe just finding local drinks when you are traveling in Canada is wanted. Really it's part of being elsewhere.

Drink local!

Maps of others follow:

Ciders: Canadian Craft Ciders

Spirits: Canadian Craft Distillers

Wine: Canadian Craft Wineries

Meads: Canadian Craft Meaderies

Enjoy local

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Canada 150

I suppose I should have started this post a hundred plus days ago and posted a Canadian favourite a day, but as usual, didn't have the idea till too late

But my plea for now is to think through your beer of choice this Canada day weekend. If not beer then a Caesar or caribou. Prairie it up, too. If it's a vodka Caesar than use Last Mountain dill pickle vodka - great in the drink and very local. If a gin Caesar than maybe Park gin from Banff. If you're making caribou there are a lot of good Canadian ryes but use a Canadian wine please

Anyway, see the answer to what drink takes care and consideration to answer.

The Canadian beer you drink will depend on the availability in your area. For us it used to be that we'd buy a couple of favourites from all the AB breweries but that's become a large endeavour. Heck I remember one year way back 10 years where we had On, MB, SK and BC represented too.

If you try this, and are fortunate to live in Alberta, you can still do well

I haven't seen Quiddi Vidi in AB in a long time so Nfld may be tough and you used to find Propeller from NS and Gahan from PEI at Sobeys, but again, been a bit. You can still find Pumphouse and Moosehead from NB so that's a start.

Quebec's Unibroue has a great presence (I'll let you determine their fit based on parent company) but my go to is McAuslan's St Ambroise stout. Delicious!

ON comes and goes like those others with AB out of province tax, but I see Flying Monkey, Steamwhistle around still and Collective Arts from Hamilton a lot and they're good. Mill Street's got nice beers too but similar parental patterns as Unibroue

Manitoba has become tough. Half Pints would be nice to see a lot of again. Good luck it's worth the search

SK's most prevalent may be Great Western's Brewhouse but I see Black Bridge still around from speedy creek, too.

Alberta's rep in your cooler will be the toughest choice.  I'll leave it in your capable hands. I'm leaning toward a Wild Rose / Big Rock staple cooler, but if I was bringing a bbq host gift I like Banded Peak or Hell's Basement. Dandy for that beery friend. All good as are the ones not listed.

BC still brings a lot here and if you haven't had a Fuggles and Warlock get one, otherwise Nelson, Tin Whistle, Howe Sound, Red Truck and more are all great picks

You can't loose

As long as you read the label and keep it Canadian this weekend (and the weekends to come)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Finding beer in Canada

Been looking at a lot of 'what ifs' lately.

With the onset of so many craft beers in Canada, trying them all is becoming a challenge. Before it was finding them, now it seems to be finding the different ones.

Maybe beer will become come completely regional; sort of like Quebec's brasseries, but with money needing to be made, I doubt it.

I think traveling in Canada and drinking local will become more and more popular, but how do you find a local craft while traveling?

I feel a giant data base coming on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beer travels - If you brew it, we will come

This fascination with Canadian craft beer started 9 years ago with our cross Canada trip searching out and tasting Canada's new dawning

I don't know how we knew it, but we could feel the upswing of peoples' need for different beer

Becoming three of the first 10 members of Calgary's yeast wranglers beer enthusiast club contributed. No doubt. The enthusiasm of homebrewing and craft beer was infectious and it was great to know we weren't alone.

That year we visited most of Canada's craft breweries, but it has been difficult keeping up ever since.

Over the almost decade, we've maintained, but honestly, these last two or three really have seen the scene explode. Our Calgary hometown is the perfect example with near 20 spots set to be open by winter holidays. Thank goodness we live there and it allows us to keep up.

Regular vacations to family in BC and Nova Scotia help, too, as these are two other hotbeds.

Having missed the east coast last year it seems there 5 new breweries open and 11 in total with a craft spot now dotting each location around. There's some work to do in the coming weeks.

Thankfully it's still a labour of love. The craft community is still a small one in the nation comparably speaking and each conversation we have is still met with passion, pleasantries and well samples even though we've ultimately restricted ourselves to a twitter site, writing a little less all the time due to our other jobs.

We'll keep at it. Recent trips to Firkin Stein, Saltbox, Tatabrew and Spindrift have renewed our love of the craft and it's community so watch out Unfiltered, Schoolhouse and Meander River, and the rest of the nation because we're coming and we believe everyone else is too.

If you brew it, they will come

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bring a Local Beer this Holiday Season

Ok, ok I know we start each blog with 'sorry we don't blog anymore' but here we go. 

So this holiday, living in the prairies affords you all sorts of wonderful local brews to enjoy

There's a lot of visiting and I say, instead of bringing that bottle of wine you'd normally bring, bring a couple big beers. 

The obvious standards of Big Rock (great new recipes lately), Wildrose (cherry's out again), Alley Kat (dragon anyone?), Paddock Wood, Fort Garry, Half Pints, Grizzly Paw Norsemann, Bushwakkers and Brewsters (as if that's not enough) there's a few newer ones some guests may not have tried 

Tool Shed
Last Best
and all Bearhill national park beers (Banff Ave, Jasper, Wood Buffalo)
Ribstone Creek
Boiling Oar
Something Brewing
Troubled Monk
Two Sergeants
Olds College

Black Bridge
Nine Mile
Saskatoon Brewery


There's lots to choose from so keep it local this holiday

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Canada's Best Beer

Well this question is addressed each year at the Canadian Brewing Awards but today was asked by a local radio station

I think the growth of craft beer had made this much harder to answer these days. 

Is it 'best' by most sold in a year? 'Best' regionally? 'Best' by style?  I think it's this last one that you have to go by as so many beers are so different from one another. If you are pilsner drinker than you probably wouldn't vote for a Russian imperial or a barley wine but it doesn't mean they're not great - or even the best. 

Try beers out of your comfort zones. Your world will vastly expand. 

Oh what are our thoughts?

Tough but:

ESB - Propellar
Stout - Wildrose Alberta Crude
IPA - mad Tom from Muskoka
Lager - liking Big Surf right now

This may take some time