Category: beer

why our liquor laws need an update

My letter to my MPP, Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.

I recently read the story of Mark and Mandie at Left Field Brewery from Toronto, Ontario. I first heard about this brewery when they threw an open house for their community in their future brewery site. I finally got the chance to taste them at the Spring Sessions of the Toronto Festival of Beers. I love the beer festivals in this city because it’s a great way to celebrate these hard-workings brewers making great tasting beer. It’s also a chance to try something new, learn more about beer and be social. The brewers like these events because it’s a great way to get their product out to customers and a lot of these brewers on contract brewers, meaning they rent brew space in order to make their product. It’s an easier way for them to break in to the market without putting up the huge capital needed to open their own brewers.

Problem is, these contract brewers have just been informed by the AGCO that they are not allowed to sell anywhere that is operating under a special occasion permit, which is the majority of festivals and special events. As mentioned in their post, this is special events like YumCha and the very many BEER festivals that take place across the province every year. If this law had been enforced 6 months ago, I may never have found this or other breweries that I really enjoy. It was about 3 years ago that I started going to beer festivals in the city and I’ve noticed in that time more and more communities hosting their own events because craft beer is gaining popularity. This law means that these events will have less options and the brewers will have a lower chance of meeting new customers. Not only does this law not make sense, like many of our archaic liquor laws but it is going to hurt the industry and the local economy, for no good reason.

I was recently at an event and someone asked me how I got into craft beer, and my answer was simple, at first it had nothing to do with it being craft, it was because I wanted to buy local. I think it’s extremely important to support the local economy and these contract beers are a great way to support the growing craft beer scene in our vibrant city. This law is not only bad for beer, it’s bad for business.

If you also agree that this law is ridiculous and out of date, I urge you to share your opinion the MPP in your community, before and after the election and let them know that you want to see beer, from any brewer at your beer festivals.

 

 

tafelscene: baroque + beer [giveaway]

You may remember a few months ago when I learned that “Bach is the New Black” when my friend and I attended a Tafelmusik’s Tafelscene concert. Tafelscene is Tafelmusik for people under 35, a way for the next generation to enjoy beautiful classical music. My friend and I had a great time, the music was absolutely remarkable so I’m so excited that Tafelmusik is expanding this program with “Baroque and Beer”.

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This event will bring Tafelmusik to the Tranzac Club on May 15th. This smaller venue will allow the audience to experience baroque music as it was intended, in a small, party-like atmosphere. Tafelscene wants to break down the barrier between musician and audience and the Tranzac club is the perfect venue for this. The evening will feature Vivaldi’s Spring and Summer from The Four Seasons. The event is only $20 if you purchase in tickets in advance or $25 at the door and that includes two beer samples courtesy of McAuslan Brewery. Doors open at 8pm and music starts at 9pm

And now, for the giveaway! Tafelmusik has graciously provided two tickets for my one of my fabulous readers. This giveaway is for people that can make it to the event in Toronto on May 15th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

beerworking: combining the best with the necessary

We’ve heard it a thousand times, and now you’ll hear it again “your network is your networth”. Over the past year or so, I’ve realized how important networking is. One of my first posts on the blog was about a networking event I went to. I’ve been trying to grow that network ever since for so many reasons. Yes, it could possibly help you get a job someday, but it could also help you build side projects (like my blog), make friends, get new contacts because you never know when you’ll need to find a fire eater, and there may just be one in your network (this is a semi-true reference to my life). One of the best speakers I’ve ever seen is Bobby Umar, his line about networking is not about what I can get from you but it’s what I can do for you, which is great, maybe you can help a new local company, maybe you can make that connection that will land someone their dream job – wouldn’t that be an awesome feeling?

So anyways, back to the event. Although most of us have accepted that like booking our own dentist appointments or paying our bills, networking is part of being a grown-up. But that doesn’t make it fun or easy – until now. Beerworking is exactly what it sounds like, it combines the networking with beer. It’s designed for young professionals who know that this is an important part of our careers but hate being thrown into a room with a bunch of business cards, not knowing what to do. Even though I was going with a friend, I was still feeling nervous, until I read the event description and thought “no, this is going to be fun”.

My friend and I signed in and we were given a few beer tickets and some instructions. Our first beer ticket was for our first half pint and we would receive samples throughout the network-speed-dating and two tickets for after the session to enjoy two more half-pints while continuing conversations with people or starting new ones with people we hadn’t met.

My friend and I headed over to get our beers (the event was sponsored by Wellington Brewery, great beer by the way, definitely will come up in some thirsty thursdays in the next couple of weeks). We started talking to a few people, we arrived on time and it was a little empty. The event was in an open meeting room like space so it was easy to see and speak to people. About a 45 minutes later, the room had filled up nicely and an announcement was made and the speed-networking would begin.

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We stood 6 people to a table, one side of the table would rotate after about 5-7 minutes to the next table. The extremely lovely Crystal Luxmore, beer writer for the GridTO walked us through how to properly “taste” beer and each one of the beers we tasted. The table also had a list of talking points for each of the beers, in case you encountered that awkward networking silence, but to be honest, I didn’t have that problem at all.

my tasting cup and half-pint
my tasting cup and half-pint

I learned about some great events, great companies (some of which I hope to feature on the blog in the future) and met some great people. Although I was glad I came with a friend because that always makes things easier, we definitely did not stick together all night. We talked to different people and made different connections.The event wrapped up around 9pm, a perfectly reasonable hour and I went home with my clutch full of business cards (and myself, full with a little beer).

I would highly recommend this event in the future, in fact, I plan on attending the event on April 30th sponsored by Beau’s because, I love Beau’s and I really found some value in the event. Tickets are $25 for the event which includes the beer I mentioned and some snacks (popcorn, chips, pretzels). The last event had a 2 for $40 that I took advantage of, I don’t know if the same promotion will run again but the event is definitely worth the $25. I’ve even convinced a few friends to join me at the next one.

The next three events are April 30th, May 14th and May 28th. Check the website or their twitter for the brewery details and to follow along with this awesome event. If you know you need to start networking but the whole idea terrifies you, this is an event to try, everyone is so great, friendly and welcoming. If you’re someone is who is really comfortable with networking, you should still come because it’s a great way to meet young professionals doing some pretty remarkable things in this city. Hope to see you there!

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I also grabbed dinner before the event next door at the chickery. My friend wanted to include his short review!

“The chicken finger sandwich was incredible. Hot sauce would have made it perfect. Don’t bother trying to fool yourself that you’re being healthy by getting the collard greens and get the mac instead.”

thirsty thursday: galaxy hop

This week will be the last of my features from my Spring Beer Fest. This was a beer I had wanted to try for a while but was weary of committing to a whole case, even a 6-pack is a big commitment for me. The galaxy hop by Alexander Keith’s in part of their hop series. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge hop fan but promises of tropical fruit were calling my name.

And it did not disappoint. Although you could definitely taste the hops, there was definitely fruit flavours that made this hoppy beer easy to enjoy. I may purchase a case, just so I can get the infuser (I know, I’m a marketer’s dream but I really love flavoured beer). I don’t think I could drink a lot of this beer at one time but if you’re a fan of hops and like a little sweetness to your beer, this is the one for you.

Enjoy your Thursday evening and (hopefully) your day off tomorrow!

thirsty thursday: orange mungus

Another week nearly behind us and the weather is getting better each day. I hit up my first patio this weekend and I will tell you it was glorious, sure it got cold at 6pm but that didn’t matter. The sun was gorgeous.

Continuing on my Spring Sessions inspired Thirsty Thursdays – this week’s beer is Orange Mungus from Flying Monkeys in Barrie. I’ve had them in the past and I think I just tried the wrong kind for me because I loved both that I tried at the festival. The Orange Mungus as you might suspect was orangey, it wasn’t overly sweet but it was a very light drink. I think the best way to describe it would be like mixing an orangina and beer. It was light and refreshing, perfect for the sunny days ahead (a girl can dream, right?)

Hope you have a fantastic Thursday evening!

thirsty thursday: winter ale

Happy Thursday everyone!

I checked out the Spring Session of the Toronto Festival of Beers last Friday so have lots of beers to share with you over the next few weeks. I thought I would start with the Granville Island Winter Ale because it is seasonal and won’t be available soon and it was one of my favourites. I’ve had “chocolate” beers in the past but usually they’re a stout or way to o dark for my liking, this was not the case. This beer was a little on the darker side, but was smooth and was honestly like drinking chocolate. I really enjoyed this beer but was told that what’s available at the LCBO and Beer Store now are all that is left for the season. I highly recommend picking it up if you see it on your beer consuming journey.

Enjoy your evening!

thirsty thursday: molson canadian

Now this beer may seem just so everyday that it doesn’t need to mentioned but I think these guys deserve some love.

The Olympics wrapped up on Sunday with Canada winning the gold in men’s hockey. Overall, I think the games were great for our athletes and buzzfeed even had a list of all the awesome sportsman like conduct that Canada did through the games, which can often be forgotten.

Like many Torontonians, I woke up at 6:30am on Sunday to watch the game. I’d say bright and early but the sun wasn’t even up yet. My friends and I headed to the bar, I really wanted to go because I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Of course I’m sure the Canadians will make it to the finals again in the future but will laws be adjusted to allow us to celebrate again? No one really knows.

So, at 7am, I ordered my first drink. I decided that I must get a Molson Canadian. Not only did it seem like the patriotic drink of choice for the morning but I had also really appreciated their social media over the past few days. I have a fondness for great social media,

'breakfast beer'
‘breakfast beer’

This beer was fun to drink at such an exciting game. I assume that most people who have had beer in Canada have tried a Canadian at some point. It’s a great ‘everyday’ beer. It’s great for watching the hockey game in the winter or sipping on a dock in a muskoka chair in the summer.

Happy drinking!

 

thirsty thursday: unibroue

This week’s Thirsty Thursday is brought to you by jamieleighTO, she recently ran a contest on her blog which I was lucky enough to win. With my $50 at Fionn MacCools tonight, my friend and I caught up over apps and beverages.

I tried Unibroue this evening. This blonde brew is similar to a shocktop or a ricards white. This beer was a little hoppier than my usually blonde beers but I still enjoyed it. This brew had a bit more of a bite than most regular white beer. This Quebec beer, brought to you by the makers of Blanche de Chambly is a nice option if you’re looking for a stronger, white beer. The food was also awesome, they have a special menu on until St. Patricks Day!

Happy Thursday!

 

thirsty thursday: beaus lug tread

I am a fan of (some) craft beer and love buying ‘local’. This week’s beer is Beau’s Lug Tread. I say ‘local’ because this one isn’t from Toronto but is still from Ontario. This brew is from Vanklee Hill in Western Ontario, according to their website, it’s the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario. I’ve tried it at a number of events in the past few months including the Tasting Fair, the Delicious Food Show and it’s on tap at the Loose Moose on Front St.

 If you read my Hogtown review, you know I’m not a huge fan of overly hoppy beers and this brew is a great craft beer that doesn’t leave that hoppy aftertaste. This award-winning beer is great when you’re like me and want a refreshing beer that can go with just about anything. The Beaus website does provide some food pairings, in case you’re looking for some inspiration.


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I took a picture but can’t find it… sorry!

thirsty thursday: hogtown brewers

I wanted to try to do only holiday themed posts but sadly I did not have time in the last couple days so I’m going to share an awesome local beer I tried recently.

I’ve seen hogtown brewers at a few festivals in the past, but I finally tried them. I was really happy I did. I love supporting small breweries, particularly ones from Toronto but I always have the problem that most craft beers are too hoppy for my liking. 

This was a great beer. It had a bit of a bite to it but didn’t leave that funny after-taste that some beers will do. I was so happy to find this beer at a festival, but it is available at the LCBO. Next time you’re looking for a delicious craft beer from Toronto, definitely grab a couple cans of Hogtown Ale.