Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Loving shopping again

It's so fun going into local liquor stores now. So many are supporting AB breweries with shelf space.

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Monday, January 1, 2018


Well 2017 was one for the beer books and it looks like 2018 will continue. With another 5 or so breweries coming there is talk now around saturation points.

Recent interviews and pieces say there's still market for these new beers and people to buy but when will we hit saturation? I think SK has room and MB, though we're only talking Winnipeg but AB has many breweries now. Hitting about 80 breweries this coming year
seems like 3 million people can drink more but where does it go? Check the map - Canadian craft map

I feel the saturation is in shelf space and pub taps. A bar with 10 taps welcomes local craft - we're seeing it, 10 taps is still only 10. The fight for tap space is here. Shelving, too. Tough to give all your space to only craft, only local. AB interprovincial tax has helped local beers here as we don't see much of SK, MB ON beers as we once did. BC still arrives.

What will happen?

I think we'll see two things.

We'll see some crafts not survive. That's sad to say as we love to see them come, but likely.

We'll see super local now form, too. We'll see brewpubs stay neighbourhood craft pubs. Like a lot Quebec brasseries they'll make their beer and sell in house. Hopefully the local sustains. This will see those in small AB towns do alright and make local Calgary/Edmonton strive for area business. There's got to be a Bowness brewery coming. Anyway there's the prediction.

We'll keep supporting local craft coast to coast and we hope you do, too.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beer Pairing Dinner

We recently hosted a pot luck where invitees were instructed to bring a dish as well as a beer they would pair with it. If you have the chance to, I totally recommend this undertaking. It doesn't take too much planning as you can find beer score ideas on the net as well as pairing hints. We ranked aroma, mouthfeel, taste and overall impression as well as pairing. Depending on your guests you can take all or some scoring from the bjcp program.

We paired Fernie's grapefruit IPA with samosas and it worked well. The grapefruit worked well with the spice. We also paired pulled pork with Longboat chocolate stout and, well, it won.

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.