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.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Ontario Hop Growers' Association Forms

The following is a press release from the newly formed Ontario Hop Growers' Association

‘Ontario’s hopping’ - re-establishing a heritage crop in Ontario

March 25, 2012: The re-emergence of commercial hop production in Ontario took a major step forward this past week with the formation of the Ontario Hop Grower’s Association.

Formed as an initiative by a network of 28 independent growers, both conventional and organic, from across the province – the Ontario Hop Grower’s Association (OHGA) is a non-profit association of hop growers, brewers, herbalists and enthusiasts interested in supporting the re-emergence of the Ontario hop industry.

Commercial hop production has been all but non-existent in Ontario since the 1920s. That direction is now changing due to a strong interest amongst the Ontario Craft Brewing Industry to produce an all Ontario beer made from local ingredients. This is part of a national trend, reflecting the growing awareness and/or interest in food sustainability by both consumers and businesses alike. Currently, there are 8 hectares (20 acres) of land in hop production in Ontario, with another 4 hectares (10 acres) planned for this year.

An elected five-member executive took over their official positions March 7, 2012. The new Board of Directors is: Nicholas Schaut, Hugh Brown, Melanie Doerksen, Dai Matthews and Shane Eby. The mission of the association is to act as a central voice for growers in Ontario; thus serving as an advocacy group recognized by the provincial government, brewers and related businesses. The OHGA will also promote hop-growing fundamentals through education, research, promotion, and marketing. Some of the early objectives include setting up a database of relevant growing and management information specifically for Ontario. In addition to, working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to make affordable Alpha Acidic Unit (AAU) testing available to growers across the province.

For more information about the Ontario Hop Growers Association contact President, Nicholas Schaut at or Vice-President, Hugh Brown at or email: .

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March CASK! Social

From the folks at CASK! Toronto:

March CASK! Social
Date: Saturday March 31st
Time: 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: Cloak & Dagger, reet, Toronto

Greetings CASK! Members,

This month's Cask Social takes place on Saturday March 31st from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at the Cloak & Dagger pub, reet, Toronto. There will be four different cask ales available, specially selected for our Social. Join us next Saturday for our first Social at this location and lend your support to yet another cask ale pub.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 31st.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Carling - Kuntz Breweries Limited: Serving Tray

Breweriana - Tray

Item: Carling - Kuntz Breweries Limited serving tray

Date: 1936 - 1940

How obtained: Flea Market (Barrie, ON)

Details: This tray is not in the best condition as you can see in the image. However, I picked it up very cheap at a flea market in Barrie, ON and it fits nicely into my collection.

The inner part of the tray reads:
Black Label Lager
Carling's decal (rubbed off) 
Carling's Red Cap (w/ Red Cap logo)
Special Ale

Interesting notes: 
1927 - Carling became The Carling Breweries Ltd.
1930 - Carling became a member of Canadian Breweries Ltd.
1936 - London, Ontario plant continued until 1936 when it became Carling - Kuntz Breweries Ltd. and operations were transferred to the Waterloo brewery of the former Kuntz Brewing Co.
1940 - Named changed from Carling - Kuntz Breweries to Carling Breweries Ltd.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

LCBO Individual Beer Ration Coupon Book

Breweriana - Paper

Item: Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) Individual Beer Ration Coupon Book

Date: 1946

How obtained: Gift from a friend

Details: The LCBO used to provide "residence consumers" with an individual beer ration coupon book in order to purchase beer in the province under the old Liquor Control Act of Ontario (now Liquor Licence Act).

This book (#52253 D) belonged to a gentleman by the name of Oscar Baker of Sunderland, Ontario and was issued on February 7th, 1946 at LCBO store #406 in Lindsay (which is now store #82).

Interesting notes: "The gallonage of beer available for consumption is not sufficient to permit an unrestricted sale, and thus has made necessary the issuance and use of this individual Beer Ration Coupon Book. Prior to the issuance of this book, the applicant's (if civilian) National Registration Certificate must be endorsed"

"Beer purchased by the holder of this Individual Beer Ration Coupon Book is required by law to be consumed only in his or her residence."

1 unit of beer = 1 carton of six small bottles
2 units of beer = 2 cartons of six small bottles or 1 carton of twelve small bottles or 1 carton of six large bottles

The actual coupon states the following information:
This coupon when detached by supplier permits sale of 
Canadian Beer When Available 
W.G. Webster, Chief Commissioner, 
Liquor Control Board of Ontario
*Click on images to enlarge

CASK! Toronto - Beer For A Cure 2012

From the folks at CASK! Toronto:

Beer For A Cure - St. George's Day Festivities
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Time: 7 PM
Location: Granite Brewery, 245 Eglinton Ave East, Toronto

CASK! is holding its annual fundraiser, Beer for a Cure, in support of Prostate Cancer Canada. As a perfect accompaniment to the St. George’s Day festivities, a delicious curry dinner featuring four cask IPAs will be served. Plenty of vegetarian options are available.

Celebrate all things English with MC Robert Hughey, guest speaker Nick Pashley, auctioneer Julian Mulock, fancy hats and door prizes.

Tickets are $65 per person, which includes a partial donation receipt. Please call Caroline or Robert Hughey at to purchase tickets. Have your credit card and address details ready. Email:

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Direction For Great Canadian Beer Blog

As I pointed out in a post back on February 22nd, I will be joining the team at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. next week. It's an exciting change for me. I'm heading to a brewery with a great line-up of beers and one that loves to experiment with bold flavours and unique styles.

That being said, I recently sat down and thought about what it will mean for me and this blog. Keeping a fair and impartial blog is something that I've always strived to do. With TAPS Media, anytime I'd mention the magazine I'd make sure to post a small mention of my employment with them so as to not give anyone the impression I was using my blog to showcase them. With the move to a brewery however, it gets a little more complicated. You're working with more licensees, consulting with other breweries, developing new events and marketing pieces etc., things that aren't necessary meant for airing out on a blog.

There have been many people inquire about this as well, asking me "how can I continue blogging about other breweries, provide tasting notes on beers from other breweries, or do a profile on different pubs?" I guess I could, but for me it wouldn't seem right. And that are many many other excellent beer bloggers out there who do an amazing job spreading the craft beer gossip! So, I've come up with a new direction to take this blog in - Canadian Brewing/Beer/Pub History.

I'm thinking that I'll start showcasing various pieces from my collection of Canadian breweriana. Post a couple of images of the piece and provide some notes about it -like the estimated age of the piece, some history about the brewery, where I obtained the piece and what I like about it. My goal will be to hopefully show you a small glimpse of our Canadian beer history. Interviews with various breweriana collectors will also be something that I'll be introducing, which I know will be fascinating.

I'll still be adding events to the event page and I'll still be updating the CDN Beer Directory page. I'll still be posting the odd interview with various beer bloggers as I truly believe that all craft beer drinkers should be made aware of the people out there who are helping spread the good beer word in their own unique ways.

Guest posts about Canadian beer bars/pub from other individuals (guest contributors) will also be put on the site. There are some already lined-up, but if you have any interest in writing pub reviews, please contact me at . Also, if you have any Canadian Breweriana pieces that you'd like to share/highlight on this site with readers, please don't hesitate to contact me.
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