Monthly Archives: January 2009 Launches “Wine Guy/Beer Guy” Video Series

drinksvilleTORONTO,, a video blog featuring tastings and reviews of various alcoholic beverages, has launched “Wine Guy/Beer Guy”, a new series hosted by master sommelier John Szabo and beer writer Stephen Beaumont.

The first instalment was posted earlier this week, and features Szabo and Beaumont discussing several flavoured beers, including a tasting of Dieu Du Ciel!‘s Route des Epices.

According to Beaumont, four instalments have been filmed so far, with two on beer and two on wine, and future editions will be dependent on response to the first series.

Half Pints St. James Pale Ale

halfpints_logoWINNIPEG, MBHalf Pints Brewing have announced the release of their newest beer, St. James Pale Ale, which is being brewed especially for draught accounts in Winnipeg and area.

Here is how owner and brewmaster David Rudge describes the beer in a post on his blog:

This brew is gold in colour with a tight white head. The aroma is of sweet grain, while the body has a toasted honey character from the melanoidin malt we add. There’s an herbal hoppy nose from the Mount Hood hop (a Hallertau variety grown in the NW United States) and a fruity finish from a cool ale fermentation.

Stylistically speaking, this beer straddles the guidelines between a German Helles (a soft, grainy lager) and Kolsch (a lagered ale). It is an ale, but with a refined, almost lager-like finish from the cool fermentation.

CAMRA Vancouver Announces Results of Members Poll

camrabc_logoVANCOUVER, BC – The Vancouver chapter of CAMRA BC recently held their annual general meeting, and in addition to electing their new executive, the group announced the results of their annual members poll which recognises the best in Vancouver and BC brewing.

The full press release, including the list of winners, appears below:


The Vancouver chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale has announced the results of its annual members poll recognizing local and regional excellence in brewing and beer service. Dix BBQ & Brewery was awarded Best Local Brewpub; The Alibi Room is Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant; and Brewery Creek, Best Local Liquor Store for beer selection.

“While it may seem curious that the best beer is in Surrey and the best brewery in Victoria, this year’s results reflect the growth in popularity of real ale in Vancouver,” explained CAMRA Vancouver President, Rick Green. “We are fortunate to have brewers throughout the province willing to meet the demand here.”

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Phillips Hammer Imperial Stout

phillips_logoVICTORIA, BCPhillips Brewing have brought back their winter seasonal, Hammer Imperial Stout, for another year. Here’s the announcement from their website:

Here’s your excuse to drop those pesky New Year’s Resolutions. The Hammer is making it’s come back. Made in the tradition of the Russian Czarist courts, this heavy hitter packs enough alcohol to cross the Baltic, or the Malahat for that matter. Rich, deep and flavourful, it’s what dark, winter nights were made for. Better stock up, it’s going to be a long one….

Available at private liquor stores for a limited time.

NB Liquor To Offer Private Label Beer

nbliquor_logoFREDRICTON, NB – The CBC reports that theĀ  New Brunswick Liquor Corporation plans to start selling two private label brands of beer this spring in an attempt to stem the flow of New Brunwick consumers to Quebec where beer is cheaper and widely available in groceries and corner stores. This follows a report earlier this week stating that NB Liquor lost approximately $12 million in sales last year due to cross-border shopping for beer and other alcohol.

NB Liquor spokeswoman Nora Lacey told the CBC that the agency will “guarantee that (a) 12-pack of cans will be available at the lowest possible price, $18.67,” referring to the current floor price for beer in New Brunswick. This price is still much higher than in Quebec, however, where mainstream brands often sell for as low as $10.82 for 12 cans before taxes and deposit.

The beer will be brewed in New Brunswick, but the brewery making the beer and more information about the two brands will not be announced until they are made available in the spring.

Central City Brewing Celebrates 5th Anniversary

centralcity_logoSURREY, BCCentral City Brewing, a brewpub, restaurant and liquor store located in the heart of Surrey, BC, is celebrating their 5th anniversary with a customer appreciation event this Saturday, January 17th.

Brewmaster Gary Lohin will be setting up a pour station serving the following CC beers:

  • Belgian Trippell – brewed December 06, 9.0% alc/vol
  • Smoked Porter – brewed October 07, 8.5% alc/vol
  • Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine – brewed October 07, 10.5% alc/vol
  • Imperial IPA – brewed June 08, 8.5% alc/vol
  • Red Racer Winter Ale – brewed September 08, 7.5% alc/vol

There will be brewery tours and the chef is working on a special menu that will include dishes made with beer. Along with the special beer and food menu, there will be 25% off all menu items and some appetizers handed out during the course of the day.

Le Sergent Recruteur Brewpub Closing

sergentrecruteur_logoMONTREAL, QC – Veteran Montreal brewpub Le Sergent Recruteur is closing today after 15 years of business.

Located at 4801 St-Laurent since a move in 2005, Recruteur was the city’s second-oldest brewpub, and was known in recent years for offering a wide selection of gourmet pizzas to enjoy with their house-brewed beers.

Taps Brewing Set To Relocate

tapsbrewing_logoVIRGIL, ONTaps Brewing have announced that they will be relocating this spring from Virgil, just southwest of Niagara-on-the-Lake, to a more accessable location in the city of Niagara Falls.

In an interview with the Niagara Falls Review, brewer Bob Wallace notes that the brewery’s current location in a relatively remote industrial park means very little walk-by trade, and they anticipate the new location at the corner of Queen Street and Buckley Avenue in Niagara Falls will give them more visibility.

If the move goes as planned, Taps should be up and running at the new brewery by May 16th, just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend.

National Homebrewers Competition Canadian Regional Qualifier – April 13-18, 2009

alesbkgrndsmallREGINA, SK – The Ale and Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan is once again hosting the NHC Canadian Regional Qualifier/ALES Open homebrew competition from April 13 to 18, 2009 at the Bushwakker Brewpub in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Not only is this the largest homebrewing competition in Canada, but it is the only way for Canadians to advance to the AHA National Homebrewers Competition, which is the largest homebrew competition in the world (5600+ entries last year). The competition is sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association and Beer Judge Certification Program. Judging is conducted by certified BJCP judges in accordance with BJCP competition guidelines.

The competition is open to all 28 BJCP categories of homebrewed beer, mead and cider. Medals and prizes are awarded to Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in each category. Major prize packages are awarded to Best of Show, Homebrewer of the Year, Cider Maker of the Year, and Mead Maker of the Year. Don’t forget about Club of the Year; the winner earns the right to claim best in Canada for the next 12 months!

Full competition details, information, rules, sponsor list and online registration will all be available on the ALES website in February. To receive notification when details are posted, or for more information, contact

Wild Rose Imperial IPA

wildrose_logoCALGARY, ABWild Rose Brewery will be launching their latest seasonal release, Wild Rose Imperial IPA, on January 16th, 2009.

From the press release:

Wild Rose Brewery’s Imperial IPA expertly blends the finest Alberta two-row barley and crystal malts with Chinook, Bravo & Cascade hop varieties resulting in an extremely hoppy brew with floral notes of pine and citrus. Described as an India Pale Ale “on steroids,” Double IPAs are robust and malty with a higher alcohol and a very intense hop flavour. There is no doubt that these hoppy brews are one of the fastest growing styles in the craft beer industry.

“Pacific Northwest meets Alberta South,” is how Wild Rose Brewer, David Neilly describes the Imperial IPA. “Wild Rose has brewed a delicious, light golden-coloured Imperial IPA with a unique balance between the hops and malt. It’s sure to blow your socks off.”

Wild Rose Imperial IPA will be available in 500ml flip top bottles at select liquor retailers in Alberta and at Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom in Calgary. A special cask-conditioned brew of the Imperial IPA will be served in the Wild Rose Taproom at 4pm on January 16th to celebrate the launch.