Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Scotch Irish: Black Irish Plain Porter

Alan from 'A Good Beer Blog' and Greg from 'Beer,Beats,Bites' have already beat me to profiling this beer, but hey, I want in on the fun too.

Black Irish Plain Porter, a new offering from Perry Mason at Scotch Irish brewing, made its much anticipated debut September 14th at select LCBO's throughout the province to high acclaim.

It was slated to be released September 19th, but when a member of came across some at his local LCBO, he quickly informed his fellow beer enthusiasts and sales soared.

"Some stores sold out very quickly and I had to make a quick trip back to Toronto to re-stock", claimed Mason. He mentions this only four days after the porter hit the shelves.

The beers pours a dark black that releases a chocolaty aroma. Hints of nuts and cocoa show up and attack the palate and the soft water used to brew it make the Porter a nice refreshing, smooth beer. It is also bottled in a stubby, making it easily recognizable at the stores.

The Black Irish Plain porter would make a great companion for a hearty stew in the cool days of an Ontario autumn. It is a terrific beer that Ontario was in desperate need of and should be proud of it.

Good Work Scotch Irish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Propeller Brewery: Halifax, NS

When John Allen opened the doors to his Propeller Brewery back in 1997, he opened the door for change in a beer market dominated by the popular Alexander Keith's IPA.

Allen, a self proclaimed, dedicated homebrewer, wanted to take his passion to new heights by offering Nova Scotia residents an alternate choice. He started brewing Extra Special Bitter and Pale Ale and expanded his repertoire with a Honey Wheat and London Porter years later. The pure all natural ingredients created a beer that citizens came to adore and soon Propeller became a reputable brewery for excellent ales.

Due to the success of his flagship Extra Special Bitter, Allen started brewing seasonal ales like Pumpkin and Christmas ales. Just this past winter, Propeller introduced a terrific Revolution Imperial Russian Stout. At 8%, this stout was brewed to the traditional imperial standards and it sold out fast.

But the most successful one-off was Propeller's India Pale Ale that has since evolved into a year round beer. Compared to Keith's, which tastes more like a lager, Propeller's IPA is a hop bomb. India Pale Ales were brewed with extra hops to withstand the long sea voyages to serve the British troops stationed in India in the 1700's (hops are used as a preservative). Allen's IPA is as he describes it, "not for the faint of heart". The beer is dry hopped for up to a week which creates a wonderful flowery aroma.

The London Porter is a very popular beer in Halifax. It's based on a 200 year old recipe that includes a blend of pale, roasted and chocolate malts with English and North America hops. The ESB is a terrific ale made with pale malt, chocolate malt and crystal malts that pairs well with the williamette and fuggle hops giving it a 30 bitterness unit value.

Throughout the years, Propeller has won many awards at various beer festivals and championships throughout the world. Their IPA and ESB both won gold medals at the 2006 and 2007 World Beer Championships in Chicago. The London Porter picked up a gold medal at the 2005 Canadian Brewing awards and bronze in 2006. It also won silver medals at the World Beer Championships in 2002 and 2003. Propeller's Pale Ale picked up a silver at the 2006 Canadian Brewing Awards. Along with the beer awards, the brewery has won many times in newspaper polls for the best microbrewery in Halifax and Nova Scotia.

The Propeller Brewery is located in the North end of Halifax at . Tours can be arranged at the brewery for groups of 10 or more and staff will explain the history of the brewery, the beer and offer samples. Propeller also has a retail store where they sell t-shirts, hats, glassware and beer. Growlers can be purchased as well and make a great birthday gift.

It is a fantastic brewery brewing terrific beer that I only wish was available in Ontario. Highly recommended should you visit the East Coast.

Halifax, NS

Owner: John Allen
Sales: Rob Poirier

Monday, September 24, 2007

Castro's Lounge: Toronto, ON

The Beaches in Toronto is a great place for a stroll on a nice day. Sunday just happened to be one of those days and I found myself walking by Castro's Lounge on Queen Street East.

As soon as I entered the pub, I could tell that this was a place that survives on the loyalty of regulars. There were people in the middle of a card game at the bar and a group of men sharing stories over some pints by the open window overlooking Queen street. The servers seemed to know everyone that entered and greeted them with a friendly hello. I arrived around 3pm and there was a handful of customers, but by 4:00 the pub was buzzing with conversation as the crowd grew.

Fabin, the general manager, informs me that Castro's was once home to a crepe eatery with another name that eventually obtained a liquor licence and soon evolved into a pub. It is a small place with a capacity for 35 people and serves a wide array of terrific, hard to find beer. If you walk into the building, you will notice a set of stairs that lead to a basement. This was the first Castro's Lounge, but it is only used for storage and bathrooms now. Fabin mentioned that they are trying to convert it back into a pub in order to increase capacity.

The draught line-up consisted of some good Ontario craft beer in Wellington Pale Ale, Cameron's Auburn, Creemore Springs, Mill St. Tankhouse and Wit and also featured the ever delicious Beligum based Delirium Tremens and Belle Vue Kriek. The bottled selection is also very nice. Quebec's terrific Unibroue beers are available like Raftmans, Fin du Monde and Trois Pistoles and Belgian beers like Chimay, Leffe, Duvel and Rochefort. There is some good US beers available as well in Rogue and Anchor. The only mainstream beer available is Alexander Keith's, and Fabin mentions it is not one of their bestsellers. 20oz pints run from $5.75 to $8.75.

The first thing I noticed as I walked through the front door is the number of pictures on the walls. Framed photos of world leaders from the past, along with movie stars and Castro himself, cover the walls and were very neat to through. Some of the wooden tables feature a chess board as the table top and Fabin confirms that many regulars take part in contested matches. The tables also have a small lamps sitting atop emulating a nice glow. There are a couple of televisions throughout the pub showing some football games but the volume is kept off.

The layout of the pub works well for this small establishment. There is a garage door that opens up to Queen street and stools offer you the chance to drink in the sunlight. The bar is located at the back of the pub and a small island bar sits immediately in front. As mentioned, there were a group of regulars tossing around some cards and I think I even saw a box of dominoes that weren't in use. The bar can seat up to 10 people and would be great for taking a group for some beers. Above the bar is a collection of empty Beligum imports and Unibroue bombers along with glassware. I order a Raftman's and I am delighted to see that it is served in the appropriate glass.

Castro's would be a hard place to read in as the music is a little loud and the regulars are having conversations all around you. But that creates its own ambiance. This would be a great place to take a bunch of friends who are visiting the city for some live music and good beer. As for food. I didn't have anything as I was just there to drink. Fabin states that they serve traditional pub food along with pasta's and bar snacks.

A good place to try and a nice walk down Queen Street East.

Toronto, ON

Interview with Mill Street's Joel Manning

This video belongs to, this is part 1-4. You can view the rest of the video's by visiting their website.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Seems Thieves Like Moosehead Beer

Moosehead Brewery reported yesterday that they got ripped off again. 70,000 cans and 44,000 bottles were stolen from their distributor in Mississauaga, ON.

This is the second time that the brewery has saw a large quantity of their beer go missing as a former New Brunswick driver decided to keep the truckload for himself. The beer was destined to Mexico but never arrived and it garnered a lot of media attention. Some of the beer was recovered as it was easily recognizable because of the Mexican language on the cans.

This second hi-jacking involved two trailers from the Armoury Transport yard that were driven away by two trucks that had been stolen from another compound. Moosehead estimates the value of the missing beer to be $200,000 and advises people to stock up before the weekend as stores may run out.

The first heist back in 2004 created a soar in sales as did the publicity gathered from the, "Free Bob the Moose" campaign, in which a man tried to sell a stuffed moosehead through eBay, but was charged instead. There was also a book written called the Beer Bandit Caper (see picture).

Am I safe to assume this free publicity will again drive up sales??? I'd bet on it.

Thank god it wasn't Mill Street Tankhouse Ale, I'd be going crazy.

Creemore Springs Brewery

"One hundred years behind the times"

Nestled away in the sleepy village of Creemore, ON, stands a former hardware store on the main street that was turned into a local brewery in 1987.

Creemore Springs Brewery was founded on the heels of marketing executive John Wiggins in 1987 offering citizens another option in the beer segment. Unlike the National brewers at the time, that brewed mainstream, fuzzy, carbonated lagers; Creemore introduced a premium lager brewed with darker malts giving off an amber colour and pure natural spring water. The beer was also direct fire (fire under kettle) brewed and fermented for a shorter period. The beer was an instant success and the rest is history.

As I entered the small town of Creemore with some friends, we immediately felt like we were in a movie about a small town. The downtown region is very nice and local friendly as it seemed everyone knew every one's name. We found the brewery by sniffing our way there as they were in the middle of brewing a new batch and the smell hovered over the village.

It is a beautiful old building painted in a nice cream colour that fits in well with the other maintained storefronts located in historic buildings. Walking through the front door leads you into the retail store that sells hats, t-shirts, bottle openers, jackets and most importantly - beer! I made my friend who just happens to be a Bohemian (I know) drinker pick up a six pack and he actually loved it. We also visited as the brewery was introducing their summer beer Creemore Springs Pilsner which was nice.

The tour was great and very informative. We walked through the brewery as the workers (around 50 or so) were in the middle of canning their products. They were nice enough to talk to us and the group we were with about the brewery and the beer which is great for people looking to gain more knowledge of craft beer. Even though Creemore was purchased by Molson in 2005, it appeared to me anyways, that the brewery was still run on a smaller scale keeping it personal.

It was a good visit to the brewery and everyone there treated us great. My friend left with a greater appreciation for craft beer and the girls loved the Pilsner. Creemore no longer associates with the Ontario Craft Brewers Association but people that follow the 'brewery map' should make a stop in Creemore and check it out.

**Creemore Springs is set to release their annual winter session beer "urBock" October 1st. Enjoy.

Creemore, ON

Photo credits: Pete Gaffney.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Update: Boast and Toast Event

Here is an update from Industry SOS regarding the Boast and Toast event they are hosting October 14th at Rowers Pub in Toronto.

Tickets are on sale now for the October 14 Independent Boast & Toast being held at Rowers Pub. $40 gets you entrance to the event, a beer-paired menu that compliments each of the featured beers by our guest brewers, a commemorative glass and most importantly, a chance to meet and interact with the local independent business community and other beer lovers. The brewers will, of course, be offering samples of their craft throughout the evening.

To keep the event personal and intimate, and taking into context the space available at the pub, the number of brewers for this event has been limited to 5- Great Lakes Brewing, Wellington Brewery, Denison’s Brewing, Nickelbrook and Trafalgar Ales & Meads. Each will be bringing a draught (or two) and a selection of bottles, and the likelihood of a seasonal offering making an appearance is high…

Tickets are unfortunately not available online- we apologize about the inconvenience of this. The easiest way to obtain them is directly at Rowers Pub (150 Harbord; ) but if this is too much of an issue, contact Russ Rowlands (see above) and something will certainly be arranged.

A small number of media passes are available, but we encourage anyone who desires to cover, or associate their business with, the event, to contact Russ Rowlands of the Industry SOS. He can be reached through or directly at .

Russ Rowlands

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

C'est What's 19th Annual Fall Festival of Craft Breweries

On Friday September 28th, George Milbrandt, publican of C'est What, will be hosting his 19th annual Fall Festival of Craft Breweries at his downtown Toronto location.

From 5:00pm until 10:00pm, people can discover the taste of some of Ontario's best craft beers. There is no admission charge, but samples can be purchased for a dollar a drink.

A variety of fifty different beers will be featured from small breweries throughout Ontario. Here is a list that have been confirmed so far: Church-Key Flanders Brown, Grand River Highballer Pumpkin Ale, Mill Street Octoberfest, Trafalgar Black Bullet, Black Irish Porter, Trafalgar Smoked Oatmeal Stout, County Durham Hop Head (cask), Stratford Bohemian Lager, Taps Vanilla Bean Wheat, Barley Days Wind & Sail Dark Ale, Great Lakes Double Pumpkin Ale. Many more to come from Neustadt, Granite, Black Oak, Nickelbrook, and Scotch Irish.

C'est What will also introduce two new brews from their house lineup: Hazelnut Chocolate Ale and Caraway Rye Beer that are brewed by County Durham micro-brewery.

This is a great event to introduce yourself to the terrific beers that are being brewed by dedicated professionals in your Province. You will also be able meet with brewers, as most will be on hand talking about their brand. It's always neat to tell people you met the brewers of the beers you drink.

For more information on the festival, visit or

See you there!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The business of Canadian craft beer making

This video is a bit dated, but I thought I should still post it for those that have not watched it.

It features brewer Ken Woods from Black Oak Brewing Company in Oakville, ON and Canadian beer author Stephen Beaumont. The two are discussing the Canadian beer industry on the Business News Network television show.


Poll Results

Thanks to all those that voted in the first poll here on Great Canadian Pubs and Beer!!

The votes have been tabulated. Here are the results for the question, "What is your number 1 reason for visiting a pub?"

54% of voters look for a good beer selection when venturing out to a pub.
4% go to pubs for the unique and interesting buildings
4% go to pubs as a way of trying something new
50% claimed that they love the pub culture

I appreciate people voting and I have appreciated the feedback generated from this blog.

Book Review: Man Walks into a Pub

Like I have mentioned before, I am new to this, and in order to pass myself off as a somewhat knowledgeable beer/pub guy, I have had to read some books to better educate myself.

I have read quite a few beer related books over the years, but I have just recently completed a fabulous read in Pete Brown's "Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer Drinking".

Brown is based in London, England where the pub culture is well established and well known. He is an advertising executive who works on key accounts for Stella Artois and Heineken but doesn't try selling the reader on them. *He did succeed brilliantly in making me want a good hand pulled bitter though*.

He takes you on a fun ride throughout the history of English drinking laws which at times are as laughably, if not worse than past Canadian laws regarding public houses and beer. He talks in great detail about the social aspects of pub life and how they have helped shape Britain as a nation.

What I found most interesting was the way Brown broke down the differences between inns, public houses, saloons and taverns providing a novice like me information that is hard to come by. I found his writing easily read and enjoyable and his charming English wit made it entertaining to read about beer's history.

It was an interesting read that any serious beer/pub lover would enjoy and I highly recommend it. I look forward to purchasing his latest book, 'Three Sheets to the Wind'.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

C'est What Vin/Brew Pub: Toronto, ON

On a fantastic day in Toronto, my fiance and I took the streetcar down to Yonge street where throngs of people were waiting for a glimpse of Brad Pitt and his companion Angelina. Although I would have enjoyed seeing Jolie, my goal was to walk down to Front street and visit the much hyped C'est What Brew Pub. I called ahead and arranged a meeting with pub owner George Milbrandt so I could gather some first hand knowledge about the history of the pub.

C'est What is known as a terrific beer destination as they serve 35 different Ontario and Canadian craft beer on tap. The pub also features six house beers brewed by County Durham micro-brewery in Pickering. Al's Cask Ale, Homegrown Hemp Ale, Coffee Porter, Chocolate Ale, Rye Beer and Mild Brown Ale which was delicious. Milbrandt has a beer manifesto that brewers must follow in order to get added to his draught line-up which is good as it limits the amount of similar style beers:

1. Single Batch Brewing (The contents of each brew kettle are used for one beer only)
2. All Natural Ingredients
3. Fresh (the beer must be fresh when it arrives)
4. Only Canadian brews to be served

The pub is located in the basement of a building that has been on Front street in Toronto since 1890. It is just down the way from the St. Lawrence Market and the Esplanade.

As you open the front door, you are greeted by a large poster welcoming you into the pub. At the bottom of the stairs you are faced with the decision of entering one of two sides of the establishment (if their both open). On this day, the right hand side is not open during the day, but I was informed that this is where the music is played three to five times a week. So, we head into the left side of the pub and we meet our server at the door. She graciously welcomes us in with a big hello and promptly brings us over some drinks.

The bar is located to the right as you enter and it is a nice long wooden bar with 20 or more wooden stools. All the wine and beer glassware hangs overhead in racks. There are two tv's behind the bar playing sports with no volume. The draught beer is located directly behind the bar with each brand clearly identifiable by their unique tap handles. Because of the amount of draught available, half of the beer is located in the left side of the pub and the rest on the right side. Needless to say, bar staff get a workout going back and forth serving beers. C'est What also has room for some rotating brands and Great Lakes Devil's Ale is featured this month after Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale ended as a seasonal. For a complete beer list, visit

The layout of the pub has a lot to do with Milbrandt's University education in architecture. He designed the original pub largely on his own and with the help of a former bartender (who was also an interior designer), Milbrandt created a more modern look for the left side of the pub, which has been in use for four years. When you enter, you'll notice two pool tables as well as a couch against the back wall. A fish tank and other creative art work create a sense of hominess along with the three circular couches surrounding the large fireplace. Milbrandt confirmed that the fireplace is active and gets going in the winter. I assured him that he would see me hanging out there come winter. It is very homey and attractive. A great place for a group to come and relax while sipping on some terrific beer.

As you continue past the fireplace you'll come to the dining area with square tables seating up to four. For larger crowds, staff put some tables together and everything is peachy. (can you believe I just said peachy)? In this area you'll notice a lot of exposed brick from the original foundation as well as the wooden rafters. The copper light fixtures provide a dimmed lighting experience adding to the rustic look that complements nicely with Milbrandt’s modern additions. There are two larger tv's on stands in the dining area, but they are turned off. Continue pass this area and you come to a game room. Two more pool tables that get regular usage are against the back wall and a golden tee arcade game sits along the ride side. The arcade game is the only thing in this pub that looks out of place, but Milbrandt’s goal is to satisfy all customers.

The right side of the pub is “more puby” in appearance. Dark, without lots of tables and a stage for the music, it looks like a great place to share some drinks with friends. I will have to return to listen to some live Jazz and have some drinks on the couch. The music playing overhead was a mix of jazz, classical, electric etc. It wasn't too loud and bothersome and there wasn't any pop rock thank god.

I have to comment on the bathrooms as well. In Nicholas Pashley's book "Notes on a Beermat", he claims his wife can tell if a pub visit is going to be good by the condition of their bathrooms. Well, lately my fiancé has been doing the same. When we arrived, she came back from the bathroom and loved it. The men's was very clean and organized, which tells me that if they look after the bathrooms this well, then they must care about everything else too.

C'est What is a great place to go to have some delicious craft beer made by your Ontario Craft Brewers. A very nice and clean location with the pub touch in the heart of Toronto, it is a must stop for beer enthusiast's and tourists in general. Milbrandt is a great publican who truly loves what he does.

phone Hours: 11:30 - 2am 7 days a week Publican: George Milbrandt

Appreciation Night for Micheal Jackson


Since a short time after Michael Jackson's death, a bunch of us have been making plans for a continent-wide toast to his life and great achievements. All the pieces are now in order and the time has been set for September 30 at 9:00 pm EST. This is one of my first few posts on the subject and I haven't yet contacted any Ontario bars, but I'm hoping all of you will help spread the word.

Details are available at, including a poster for downloading. Hopefully, once things get rolling we'll have a listing here of all the participating bars. In the meantime, tell everyone you know, but especially those who own or operate bars and restaurants!

Monday, September 10, 2007

McCarthy's Irish Pub: Toronto, ON

There are hundreds of faux-pas Irish pubs in this country but I think I've found one of the authentics.

"We're only real Irish pub in the East end of Toronto" exclaims Sinead McCarthy, who co-owns the pub with her sister Maeve. From what I experienced, she is right on the money.

The McCarthy sisters who hail from Countycork, Ireland, moved into the building five years ago and converted it into a quaint little pub on the corner of Gerrard Street and Bowmore Avenue just east of Coxwell. The pub is located in a residential area off the Gerrard street-car line and caters to many locals, soccer players(football to the Irish) and rugby players.

Well, I wandered into McCarthy's and immediately felt at home. I arrived at 2pm just as Sinead was getting ready to open and took a seat against the rear wall on the bench seating and right away I knew I loved the place. I glanced around and estimated that less than 30 people could fit in the place, which creates an intimate atmosphere.

Inside the pub you walk a mere 5 paces from the front door to the bar where you can choose between a pint of Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Carlsberg, Carlsberg Light, Mill Street Wit, Mill Street Tankhouse Ale, Upper Canada and Magners Irish Cider. Sinead confirms my guess that Guinness is the top seller followed closely by Mill Street's Tankhouse. I had a delicious Guinness that was poured nicely and tasted fresh served in the proper glass. It is a small bar with room to fit five stools around it to sit and chat with one of the sisters. Behind the bar is a bookcase with Irish travel books and Maeve's cookbook's for her side catering business.

The pub's indoor capacity sits at 20 people and 15 for the patio, making it hard to get a seat on busy nights but this gets people talking to each other that may not have otherwise. There are about a half dozen small tables scattered throughout the pub and some single chairs you can position wherever you like. Dog lovers we be happy to know that McCarthy's caters to dogs as they permit them on their patio. They even provide a bowl of water.

The decor of the pub consists of mostly Irish photographs such as the large image of the Blarney Castle and a framed copy of the famous Irish song "Danny Boy" lyrics. There are pictures of the McCarthy's hometown of Countycork along with a photo of IRA founder Michael Collins. There are some local pictures on the wall that were taken by a Toronto Police officer that cover the green paint on the walls and offer a view into a beautiful Toronto.

Every Monday night McCarthy's offers their customers a trip to Ireland as local musician's perform sessions of traditional Irish music complete with penny whistles, fiddles etc. This is the busiest night of the week as neighbours and Irish descendants make their way to the pub for the music. A jukebox plays Irish music and oldies when there is no band which is kept to a respectable volume. Sunday's are also busy as the Gaelic football team, that also happens to be sponsored by McCarthy's, comes in for some pints after their game. Sinead tells me that only "snacks" are offered and the odd time a catered meal is available for a group event. This fascinates me as I have never been to a pub where no food menu was offered.

It was a fantastic visit, and as mentioned, Sinead was a gracious host and even lent me a book to read called "McCarthy's Bar" written by deceased Irish author Pete McCarthy. It is a very homey pub, a great place to bring your father or some buddies for a couple of pints and good conversation.

As my time to move to Toronto approaches, I think I have found my local.

McCarthy's is open seven days a week from 2pm until 2am.
Publician: Maeve McCarthy

Friday, September 7, 2007

Steam Whistle Brewery Greening Initatives

Press Release from Steam Whistle Brewery

Hope this email finds you well Troy. For over seven years, Steam Whistle Brewing has been crafting beer. They have also been leaders in "greening" their brewery. Over the last few years, the brewery has undertaken several environment initiatives. I have included several of those initiatives below.

Steam Whistle's Current Day "Green" Building Features
Inspired to reduce our footprint on this earth, Steam Whistle Brewing continues the tradition of considering renewable resources in our building maintenance and beer production.

Deep Lake Water Cooling
Rather than using conventional air conditioners that rely on mechanical chillers using harmful CFC refrigerants and enormous amounts of energy, Steam Whistle Brewing has opted to use Enwave's Deep Lake Water Cooling, a smart energy that will lead Toronto towards a sustainable future. Through three intake pipes 83 meters below the surface of Lake Ontario, Enwave draws water from a permanent layer of icy cold (4 C) water. This naturally chilled water make's it way to the John Street Pumping Station where heat exchangers facilitate the energy transfer between the icy-cold lake water and the Enwave closed-loop chilled water supply. This cold energy cools our brewery (the first stop on the line) using only the coldness from the lake water, not the actual water.

This system uses 90% less energy than conventional air conditioners, eliminating 61 megawatts from Ontario's electricity grid – the equivalent of the energy needed to annually supply 6800 homes.
It also removes 79,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air, equivalent to taking over 15,800 cars off the road.
This system also reduces ozone-depleting refrigerants, noise, pollution and humidity generated by chiller, fans and cooling towers of conventional air conditioners.

Steam Heat
In our manufacturing and building climate control systems, Steam Whistle uses steam, the most ecologically efficient form of heat energy. Better yet, we get our steam from Enwave's Centralized Steam Plant eliminating the need for Steam Whistle to have its own boiler on site. We use steam heat to boil water in brewing, to wash our beer bottles, in heating our building, and of course to sound-off our functioning steam whistles!

100% Green Electricity
Steam Whistle is an early adopter of Bullfrog Power, the first 100% green, carbon-free electricity retailer in Ontario. Bullfrog sources power exclusively from wind and low-impact hydro generators who meet or exceed the federal government's Environmental ChoiceM Program EcoLogoM standard for renewable electricity. Wind power is among the cleanest sources of energy available, producing no emissions that contribute to air pollution or greenhouse gases. EcoLogo-certified low-impact water power must meet a range of environmental criteria including the protection of indigenous species and local habitat, and measures to minimize fish mortality and to preserve fish migration patterns.

Reduce – Reuse - Recycle
The Good Beer Folks continue to look for environmentally friendly products and programs to support Green Manufacturing.

We use only bio-diesel in our fleet of delivery vehicles.
The 'spent' grain from our brewing process is reused as farmer's feed.
Our green glass bottles have 30% more glass than industry brown bottles so are built to last for up to 35 uses, twice as long as the industry bottle.
Our painted label reduces to zero the amount of glue and paper that would enter our effluent if paper labels were washed off our bottles with each refilling.
All packaging materials (cardboard, shrink-wrap, broken glass) are collected for recycling from our operations.
We use Biodegradable cups to serve our draught beer at outdoor events.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The 2007/8 Independent Boast and Toast Series

I was contacted today by Russ Rowlands, the Director of Operations for Industry SOS, regarding the content of this blog. Rowland's goal is to encourage and assist the profitability of Toronto's independent and locally-owned pubs/bar/restaurants through education, operational help and more to help them compete against big name pub/restaurant chains. He noticed the blog and was very happy to see that there are others that care deeply for "locals" and are doing something to encourage the public to explore these options. Industry SOS is holding a boast and toast at Rowers Pub in Toronto on October 14th. Please read the following press release from Rowlands and visit their website for more information.

A series of events brewed up to support Toronto's independent and locally-owned pubs & bars, the Boast & Toast evenings are the amalgamation of good business and good will. By invitation, members of the Ontario Craft Breweries and other independent brewers will appear at various pubs around the city, to offer samples and discuss the qualities and quirks of their particular brew. Hence, a Boast from the brewers and a Toast to the host pub.

The events cost nothing for the pubs or brewers, other than their time, hospitality and expertise. The pub benefits from new foot traffic and the chance to host a group of industry and beer aficionados; the breweries benefit from increased exposure in central Toronto and the opportunity to speak directly to an intimate crowd of genuine beer lovers. And of course, both pub and brewery benefit from the free advertising associated with the event.

On Sunday, October 14, 2007 the first Independent Boast & Toast evening will take place at Rowers Pub at 150 Harbord (just south of Bloor & Spadina, Toronto.) Tickets are $40, which includes a custom brew-paired tasting menu, a commemorative glass, and the chance to meet and discuss the brewing industry & process with some of Ontario's hardest working and knowledgeable professionals. Of course, the brewers will be offering samples of their beers throughout the event.

For tickets, please call or visit Jeff, the publican of Rowers Pub- . For event planning & organizational inquiries, please contact Russ at the Industry SOS- or . If you think your pub or brewery could benefit from participation in an event such as the Boast & Toast, we would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss the details.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lazy Long Weekend

So, the long weekend has passed and I made it to a total of zero pubs! I am ashamed to say so. I was in Stoney Creek for a birthday party on Saturday and enjoyed a bunch of Mill Street's Wit Beer, which was perfect by Lake Ontario. I had planned to visit both C'est What and McCarthy's Irish Pub in Toronto on Sunday and Monday, but due to lack of sleep Saturday, I couldn't muster up enough energy to make it on Sunday. I headed to C'est What on Monday afternoon only to find out they don't open their doors until 5pm on holidays. So I ended up at the Duke of Richmond; which I won't comment on, and McCarthy's just didn't happen. I will make it there next weekend for sure.

I have put together a list of places around the Province that I plan on attending in the coming months. My goal is to write about one or two pubs a week, granted I make it out somewhere new. I also plan on posting one editorial piece a week and news updates regarding pubs/beer as they happen. Here is what I am asking of you, the reader.

I would like to know where you go, what you drink and any suggestions or ideas that you have that you would like to read about. I am open to anything and would love to hear your thoughts. Either email me at or leave a comment under this post by clicking on the comment link and you can choose anonymous as your name.

Also, stay tuned for the upcoming re-debut of TAPS magazine where word has it that I will have a featured column every issue. The magazine will focus on the Ontario beer industry as well as pubs. Copies of the magazines will be available in all Chapters/Indigo bookstores in Ontario. No word yet on publication date.

"Support your locals"
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