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 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Still Here - Just with less to say

Yes, we know we're the worst bloggers ever.

There's constant excuses with time and our real jobs, but as we discuss this blog, the true realization is that perhaps there's less for us to discuss.

We started this idea years ago in hopes to be a part of the future craft beer revolution in Canada by promoting the great beers many were undertaking.  I feel we were a part - maybe a small one, but in the beginning, maybe not.

Anyway. we're still promoting the great beer that comes to the west and more importantly, produced in the west but it's not in this post.

Keep drinking good, local beer.  Seek new ones out.  Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta - you all have newer breweries - find a beer they make that fits your taste and drink local.  If not truly local, than western, at least.

If you happen to not be a beer drinker, there are so many cider houses, distilleries and wineries in Canada and in the west, you can still drink local.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oh Canada

As it's Canada Day, our favourite thing to do is host a Canadian Craft beer BBQ. In the prairies you can get a sampling of beer from each province! A dream we had years ago when we did our first cross country beer run. We've done regional tastings each year afterward but the availability of Canadian craft in the prairies is very impressive

We realize that Alberta rules this more than the others, but Saskatchewan is close - you just have to dig a bit. Manitoba, though, you're less likely to find all provinces but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try Quebec and BC beers.

We've been, and will continue, tweeting this week on the various beers available in the prairies to try. Follow and go out and try something new from Canada. Your province or from another


List includes:

Nfld - Quidi vidi
NS - Garrison and Propellor
NB - Pumphouse, Moosehead
PEI - Gahan

PQ - St Ambroise, Charlevoix, Trou du Diable, Biere Brisset, Glutenburg, La Nouvelle France, Le Bibloquet, Trois Mousquetaires, Dieu Du Ciel

ON - Flying Monkey, Lakes of Bay, Steam Whistle, Cameron's, King, Muskoka, Mill Street, Waterloo, Amsterdam

MB - Half Pints and Fort Garry - Farmery locally

SK - Paddockwood, Great Western - Bushwakker, District, Bin, Prairie Sun locally

AB - Wildrose, Big Rock, Alley Kat - Village, Toolshed, Grizzly Paw, Hogshead, locally

BC. - Phillips, Howe Sound, Dead Frog, Tree, Big Surf, Parallel 49, Whistler, Fernie, Stanley Park

YK - Yukon brewery

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ontario craft week

So it's Ontario craft beer week (@OntCraftBrewers) and being from that province originally, I always take notice. I've never got to partake, but usually end up there sometime in the summer.

My first thoughts are how there should be prairie beer week to celebrate and promote prairie craft beer - good idea- I know. Maybe we should organize it

My second is to talk about the great ON craft we can get in the prairies. Alberta for sure anyway. So that is what follows

Cameron's - found recently in 4 pack tasters. They're known for their cream ale, but my fave is the auburn ale.
http://www.cameronsbrewing.com/ @cameronsbrewing

Muskoka - we visited this (and Cameron's) on our first cross country beer tasting trip some 7 years ago and LOVED their Weiss beer and dreamed of the day we'd taste it again. Well you can find it out here now along with their cream ale and very popular Mad Tom ipa - arguably Jason's favourite ipa. Their Harvest and Winter seasonals are often around as well
http://www.muskokabrewery.com/beers.php @Muskokabrewery

SteamWhistle - a staple pilsner in many pubs now and I am happy about that. Their concept of doing one thing well rings true.

Mill Street - if you're ever in an ON city with a Mill Street pub go visit - great beers. Organic - good. Wit - good. Tankhouse - good. Coffee porter - so good. Jeez I want a Mill Street right now

Waterloo - found as a taster pack you should pick one up if for only the Waterloo dark. Anyone who reads our infrequent blog posts or more common tweets knows this is one of our absolute favourite beers
http://waterloobrewing.com/ @BrickBrewery

We've had a few lakes of bay in our day but just recently have I seen the NHL alumni Top Shelf out here. Give it a try

Flying Monkey - we visited here back when it was Robert Simpson and we left it in Barrie Whatever the name the best thing is we can now drink Hoptical Illusion and Smashbomb Atomic ipa in the prairies. Go on hop heads

King - now I found their Vienna lager around a year ago, but struggle to find it consistently. If you do see it - grab it. One of my favourite beers!

Amsterdam can be found as well. Either missed or relatively new, we haven't bought any here. We have visited the T O brewery and the beer is great. Actually funny event when we were there they were hosting a wrestling event upstairs. Full on squared circle but that's another post

There you go. That should introduce you to Ontario beers. Maybe you should have an ON craft beer party? Be sure to invite us!


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