Monthly Archives: May 2009

Niagara College Considering Brewmaster Program

niagaracollege_logoNIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONThe St. Catharines Standard reports that Niagara College is considering starting a 2 year brewmaster program at their Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, with the first courses to be offered as early as Fall, 2010.

Niagara College is already well known for their wine-making program, with the students producing a number of award-winning wines in the past couple of years, and many graduates going on to work at wineries in the Niagara region and elsewhere. College winery & vineyard manager Steve Gill told the Standard that the proposed beer program “fits the model of the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, with the wine and culinary and beer. It’s another gastronomic feature of the campus.”

Should the program be approved, it will be the first of its kind in Ontario, and one of very few in North America.


Granite Brewery Beer Store Opens in Halifax

granite_logoHALIFAX, NS – The Shop Talk blog on the website of Halifax weekly paper The Coast reports that the Granite Brewery have opened the retail store at their new location (6054 Stairs Street), and are selling growlers of their various beers, including:

$9 for Peculiar, Best Bitter, Keefe’s Irish Stout, Ringwood and IPA
$10 for Greene Man Organic Ale
$12 for Gin Lane Barley Wine

There’s a $9 deposit per growler, and they will not take growlers from other brewing companies because they come pre-filled.

Cans will be available later this year, and Granite beers can also be found on draught at several locations in and around Halifax, including Henry House, Wooden Monkey, Spitfire Arms and the Lion’s Head Tavern.

New Brewpub Coming to Halifax

HALIFAX, NS – Several years after the closure of John Shippey’s brewpub in the Historic Properties on Halifax’s waterfront, a new gastropub & brewery called The Hart & Thistle is currently under construction in the same complex.

There is no word yet on when it’s expected to open, but according to the website, it will feature a 200-seat patio on the waterfront. We’ll pass along more details as they become available.

Yukon Brewing Fares Well in UK Cask Festival, Sends Ice Fog IPA to Alberta

yukon_logoWHITEHOUSE, YK – As we reported back in February, Yukon Brewing was invited to participate in this year’s JDW Beer Festival, a cask ale event that takes place each April at J.D. Wetherspoon pubs throughout the UK. Brewer Alan Hansen flew to England and brewed a special batch of Yukon’s Lead Dog Ale at the historic Banks Brewery in Wolverhampton, England.

The Festival included a competition, with drinkers invited to vote online for their favourites, and Lead Dog ended up finishing second behind St. Peter’s Golden Ale. Congratulations to Yukon and Hansen for the great showing.

In other Yukon news, their Ice Fog IPA has been shipped to Alberta and should be on store shelves soon.

Ontario Craft Brewers at Mondial de la Bière

ocb_logoTORONTO, ON & MONTREAL, QC – For the first time in the festival’s 16 year history, breweries from Ontario will have a big presence at next week’s Mondial de la Bière in Montreal.

Long known for having strong representation of breweries from Quebec, the US and overseas, this year’s edition will feature beers from several members of the Ontario Craft Brewers including Beau’s, Black Oak, Cameron’s, Great Lakes, Mill Street, Neustadt Springs and Wellington Brewery. All of the beers will be poured in the Petit Pub area of the festival, and representatives from some of the breweries will be on hand.

In addition, beer expert Mirella Amato will be holding formal tasting sessions featuring Ontario beers each day of the festival, and will also spend a few hours in Le Petit Pub each day helping festival attendees discover and learn about the Ontario craft beers on offer.

Steam Whistle Releases Retro Opener for 2009


TORONTO, ONSteam Whistle Brewing has revealed the design of the 2009 edition of its retro bottle opener, a popular promotional item that is returning for the fifth summer in a row.

As in previous years, the opener was designed by Steam Whistle Creative Director Elton Clemente, and will be included in 12 packs of Steam Whistle Pilsner sold at Beer Store outlets in Ontario while quantities last.

Labatt Suing Brick Over Red Baron Packaging

WATERLOO, ONBrick Brewing announced today that it has received a Statement of Claim commenced by Labatt Breweries claiming that the recently redesigned packaging for their Red Baron Lager is too similar to the packaging of Brava Lager, a brand brewed by Lakeport Brewing which has been owned by Labatt since 2007.

Labatt is seeking an injunction against Brick as well as damages or an accounting of profits from Brick’s sales of Red Baron since adopting its new packaging. Labatt is claiming that the colour scheme and bottles are too similar to Brava and this could result in irreparable harm to the Brava brand. baron_brava

George Croft, Brick’s President & CEO said “Their claim is without merit, we do not believe consumers are being confused and we tried to talk through the situation with Labatt and avoid an adversarial relationship. Brick is disappointed that despite our best intentions, Labatt has launched this lawsuit. Notwithstanding the differences in packaging, based on The Beer Store retail layout and policies, consumers normally have to ask for Red Baron by name, which makes confusion over packaging seem unlikely.”

Lakeport Relauches Brava Light

lakeport_logoHAMILTON, ONLakeport Brewing, a subsidiary of Labatt Breweries, has relaunched Brava Light as a brand extension for their “Mexican-style” Brava Lager.

At one time, the Brava line-up included four beers including Brava Negra (a dark lager) and Brava Lime in addition to the Lager and Light, but all except the Lager were retired several years ago.

Both Brava brands are available at Beer Store locations throughout Ontario, with cases of 24 selling for the lowest legal price of $28.00 ($25.60 + $2.40 deposit).

Whistler Brewing Returning to Whistler

whistler_logoWHISTLER, BCWhistler Brewing officials have announced that the brewery will be returning to its namesake town later this year.

Founded in Whistler in 1989, the original Whistler brewery was shut down in 2001 after it was purchased by Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery and consolidated with several other brands owned by the company. Whistler was subsequently purchased by a new ownership group in 2005, and the brands are currently being contract brewed at Kamloops Brewery in Kamloops.

Last month, the owners signed a lease agreement for the current Whistler Transit maintenance facility in Function Junction, the industrial park where the brewery was originally located. Whistler Transit is moving to a new facility, and the brewery will be installed over the summer and fall, with an official opening planned for November 6th.

Once the new brewery is operational, it will produce all of Whistler’s kegged and canned beer, as well as some bottled beer for local distribution, while the majority of the bottled product will continue to be produced in Kamloops.

[via: Whistler Question]

Black Creek Historic Brewery

blackcreek_logoTORONTO, ON – In what may be a first for Canada, a functioning historic brewery styled after those in use in the 1860s has been built at Black Creek Pioneer Village, and will be opening to the public next month.

Run in partnership with Pioneer Brewery Ltd., a new company created by the owners of Trafalgar Ales and Meads, the Black Creek Historic Brewery is located in the Half Way House Restaurant at the Village. The brewery will focus exclusively on ales made using recipes of the 1860s period, including porter, dark ale and pale ale.

The beer will be served in an adjacent pub, as well as in the Half Way House where a new menu will be launched with suggested beer pairings including beers brewed on the premises as well as a selection of other Ontario craft beers. Growlers will also be available for take-home sales.

An official website for the brewery will be online soon, but in the meantime, updates are being posted regularily to a blog called The Black Creek Growler.