Monthly Archives: October 2009

“Cheers! A History Of Beer In Canada” by Nick Pashley

nickpashley_cheerscoverTORONTO, ON – This week saw the release of Cheers! A History Of Beer In Canada, the latest book by author and beer-drinker Nick Pashley. The full release announcement appears below:

Cheers: A History of Beer in Canada
By Nicholas Pashley
HarperCollins Canada $19.99

The author of Notes on a Beermat: Drinking and Why It’s Necessary is back. Nick Pashley brings his wit to bear on beer’s illustrious history in Canada, from Prohibition (and who thought that was a good idea?) to the beer that turned Quebec City drinkers blue and actually killed sixteen of them in 1966. Where else this season will you find a book that includes Prince Charles, Paris Hilton, Ron Keefe, and Rocco Perri, the great Hamilton bootlegger of the 1920s (you may be able to find him today encased in cement at the bottom of Burlington Bay)?

Because you can’t drink Canadian beer without leaving the comforts of home, Nick went out to drink beer across this very big country, from St. John’s to Victoria, Winnipeg to Whitehorse, using twelve airplanes, five trains, two Greyhound buses, and a catamaran. His tireless quest for local beer is recorded for posterity in this amusing and fact-packed new book. Cheers is now available in fine bookstores (and probably one or two mediocre ones as well) across Canada.

Watch for news of a live event at Bar Volo in Toronto this fall. Otherwise, Nick can usually be found in fine pubs, bars, taverns, and taprooms somewhere near you.


Brick Red Baron Light

brick_redbaronlightWATERLOO, ON Brick Brewery released Red Baron Light this week, a new extension of their Red Baron brand that joins the brewery’s flagship Red Baron Lager and recently launched Red Baron Lime.

A 4% light lager, Red Baron Light is described as “a premium light, full flavored beer that is brewed with all natural ingredients, has less hop content and is extremely refreshing.”

Red Baron Light is available now at The Beer Store in Ontario, selling for $15.95 per 12-pack.

Vancouver Island Spyhopper Takes Medal at World Beer Championships

vancouverisland_logoVICTORIA, BC Vancouver Island Brewery have announced that their Spyhopper Honey Brown has won a bronze medal in the 2009 World Beer Championships.

Run by the Beverage Tasting Institute, the WBCs are North America’s oldest international beer competition. The judges awarded Spyhopper an 84 out of 100 (“Recommended”) in the Specialty Beers category, and recorded the following tasting notes:

Brilliant clear amber color. Very pleasant aromas of honeyed raisin toast follow through on a soft, satiny entry to a dryish medium body with a toasted grain, light molasses, and straw-like hops on the relaxed finish. An easy going, mellow beer to chill with.

Spyhopper Honey Brown is the latest addition to the Vancouver Island Brewery line-up, offered for the first time in April of this year to mark the brewery’s 25th anniversary.

Half Pints Punk N’ Fest

halfpints_logoWINNIPEG, MB – To celebrate Hallowe’en, Half Pints Brewing have created a special version of their Oktoberfest Lager called Punk N’ Fest, brewed with the addition of pumpkin pie spices.

The beer will be available a the Hallowe’en party taking place a the brewery on Saturday, October 31st. Doors open at 9 AM, and the day will include live entertainment and treats, prizes for best male and best female costumes, a pumpkin carving contest, and more.

Wild Rose Cherry Porter

CALGARY, ABWild Rose Brewery will be releasing their latest seasonal beer, Wild Rose Cherry Porter, this Friday October 30th. A specialwildrose_logo cask of the beer will be tapped at 4 PM in the brewery taproom, and 1 L swingtop bottles will be available at the brewery as well.

Here is how the folks at Wild Rose describe it:

Brewed using only the plumpest, ripest whole BC cherries, each glass of Cherry Porter is lush and creamy with a fruity aroma.

Rich and sensual, the flavour is reminiscent of Black Forest cake with sweet chocolate notes and a slightly smoky character from the roasted malts.

Alberta Brewers To Collaborate on Charity Brew

grizzlypaw_logoCANMORE, AB – On Saturday, October 24th, brewers representing every microbrewery and brewpub in Alberta will be coming together at The Grizzly Paw Brewing in Canmore to brew a collaborative beer for charity.

Grizzly Paw brewmaster Michele Lowney came up with the idea of an annual collaborative charity beer, and for the initial year, the brewers have decided to make a Dark Rye India Pale Ale. Each brewery will receive 3 kegs of the 2000 litre brew, and all proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to each brewery’s charity of choice. All ingredients for the brew have been donated by Canada Malting.

In addition to Grizzly Paw, other breweries participating in the project include: Alley Kat Brewing (Edmonton), Amber’s Brewing (Edmonton), Big Rock Brewing (Calgary), Brew Brothers (Calgary), Brewsters Brewing (Calgary), Drummond Brewing (Red Deer), Jasper Brewing (Jasper), Roughneck Brewing (Calmar), Wild Rose Brewery (Calgary) and Wildwood Brewing (Calgary).

Creemore Springs Brewery to Acquire Granville Island Brewing

creemore_logoCREEMORE, ON & VANCOUVER, BC – It was announced this afternoon that two of Canada’s oldest craft breweries will be joining forces, as Creemore Springs Brewery (a subsidiary of Molson Coors Canada since 2005) plans to acquire Granville Island Brewing from Andrew Peller Limited.

The full press release follows below:

granvilleisland_logoVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Oct. 19, 2009) – Granville Island Brewing and Ontario-based Creemore Springs Brewery will be joining forces, to continue bringing Canadians superior craft and specialty beers.

Creemore announced today its intention to acquire Granville Island Brewing from Andrew Peller Limited. These two leading Canadian craft brewers, each with specialty product portfolios that complement existing offerings across Canada, will be able to offer their wide range of brands to more markets in Canada, while continuing to maintain their distinct positions in BC and Ontario.

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Rickards Dark and Molson M Coming Soon

molson_logoMONTREAL, QCMolson Coors Canada has two new products set to be launched soon.

The first is Rickard’s Dark, a new addition to the Rickard’s family of beers. Described as being “brewed in the style of English porters (with) just a hint of pure Quebec maple syrup”, Rickard’s Dark will be available later this month in 6 and 12 packs in Quebec and the Maritimes, and as part of Rickard’s Taster’s packs in the rest of Canada

The other new brand is Molson M, “The First MicrocarbonatedTM Lager”, which will be available in Quebec starting on November 16th. A teaser site for Molson M is online now at

Phillips Grow Hop Fresh Hop Bitter

phillips_logoVICTORIA, BCPhillips Brewing have just released their newest seasonal beer, Grow Hop Fresh Hop Bitter.

A hoppy harvest ale brewed using freshly picked Chinook hops, Grow Hop is available in 650 ml bottles at the brewery and in select beer & wine stores in BC.

Phillips is also planning food and beer pairing events in collaboration with Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen and Vista 18. Visit the Phillips website for more details.

Big Rock McNally’s Winter Spice Strong Ale

bigrock_logoCALGARY, ABBig Rock Brewery announced that their winter seasonal from 2008, McNally’s Winter Spice Strong Ale, will be returning for another year.

Here’s the description provided by the brewery:

Winter Spice Strong Ale is a beautifully balanced strong amber ale. Brewed with both pale and caramel malts, it gives off a warm amber glow and, upon first sip the depth of flavour is revealed: notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a hint of ginger. This seasonal brew has an alcohol content of 6% and is sure to warm your heart – and cheeks!

McNally’s Winter Spice Strong Ale will be available in 6 packs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Maritimes.