The Summer 2010 issue of TAPS Magazine is out now, and you can read a bit more about it (including details of both a format and subtitle change) over at Canadian Beer News (aka the blog that I actually post at more than once a every few weeks). Over here, I’ll just mention that it includes the 11th installment of my “Beer Styles 101” feature column, this one focused on Belgian-Style Ales.
This will likely be my final column in the series as well. While it would be nice to hit an even dozen, the 11 styles I’ve featured so far – Pilsner, Dunkel & Schwarzbier, Hefeweizen, Porter, Barley Wine, Pale Ale & Bitter, Belgian Witbier, Stout, IPA, Fruit Beer & Belgian-Style Ales – encompass the vast majority of the craft beers brewed in Canada. And since half the point of the column is to mention Canadian-brewed beers in the style being discussed, it would be tough to get a full feature out of any remaining style.
(You may also notice that only a few of the styles in the list above are linked to earlier posts that reprint the articles. That’s something I really should rectify, so I’ll try and get the rest of them posted here soon.)
In the meantime – here are the beer reviews & articles I’ve written for Taste T.O. since my last round-up at the end of March.
July 13: Hockley Black & Tan and Headstrong Black & Tan
July 6: Samuel Smith Organic Raspberry Ale
July 1: Read Local, Drink Local – Article about an initiative of the Ontario Media Development Corporation to pair the books shortlisted for the Trillium Book Awards with Ontario beers and wines.
June 29: Georg Schneiderâ€™s Wiesen Edel-Weisse & Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse
June 22: Ã–lvisholt BrugghÃºs SkjÃ¡lfti
June 15: Drinking for Politics & Pleasure at Ontario Craft Beer Week – Preview of the first OCBW.
June 8: Mill Street Lemon Tea Beer
June 1: Third Timeâ€™s The Charm For The Brewers Plate – Re-cap of the third annual Brewers Plate local beer & food event.
May 25: The Beers Of Summer – Preview of the LCBO’s Summer beer promotion.
May 18: Brewers Plate 2010: Bigger & Beerier Than Before – Preview of the Brewers Plate.
May 11: Quaffing Local Beer at Queenâ€™s Park -Re-cap of a craft beer event at Queen’s Park, hosted by Steve Peters, the Speaker of the House.
(There were no posts in April or early May due to Taste T.O. being on a publishing hiatus.)
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these, so here’s a round-up of my latest batch of weekly reviews from Taste T.O.:
March 30th: COEDO Beniaka
March 23rd: Christoffel Nobel
March 16th: Alexander Keithâ€™s Light Ale
March 9th: Spaten MÃ¼nchen [also includes a review of the “Marchtoberfest” menu at Bier Markt]
March 2nd: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
February 23rd: Flying Monkeys Netherworld
While attempting to catch up on my reading of other beer blogsÂ this evening, I got to thinking about the old “quality vs. quantity”Â equation. It applies to more than just beer blogs, of course – to more than just blogs in general, even – but I found it interesting to analyze things just in terms of those of us who fill our little corners of the Internet with ramblings about beer and brewing.
While I won’t mention any names in order to avoid unnecessarily offending or ego-boosting, I was especially struck by the vast variation on both sides of the equation amongst our clan. There are highly skilled writers who post very infrequently; remarkably prolific bloggers who can barely string a sentence together; those who manage to write both often and well; those who offer their clunky and turgid content on a mercifully infrequent schedule; and any and every combination in between.
As for this blog, it’s pretty obvious where it fits on the quantity scale (i.e. pretty freakin’ low), and as the sloppy image to the right indicates, I have enough confidence in my writing ability to think (or at least hope) that it sits somewhat higher on the quality axis. I often wish that I could even things out with some more frequent content, and I always have at least a half-dozen ideas that I’d like to write about. But as long as this poor little blog continues to play fourth or fifth fiddle to my writing for other places, not to mention my job and other real life stuff, posts here will likely always come in fits and starts. I can only hope that the quality is high enough to keep people coming back for my less-frequent-than-I’d-like-them-to-be musings.
Anyway, speaking of those other places I write for – here are my beer-related articles for Taste T.O. from the last couple of months:
Feb 16th: Beer of the Week â€“ Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale
Feb 9th: Beer of the Week â€“ Michael Duggan Number 9 IPA
Feb 2nd: Get Yer Drink(vine) On (profile of a handy new website for Ontario booze drinkers)
Jan 26th: Beer of the Week â€“ Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40
Jan 19th: Beer of the Week â€“ Black Oak Ten Bitter Years
Jan 12th: Beer of the Week â€“ Amsterdam Dry Dock Porter
Jan 5th: Beer of the Week â€“ BrewDog Punk IPA
I think I might’ve mentioned this before, but even if I have, I’ll mention it again: One of the main reasons that I’m such an infrequent blogger is because I have yet to master the habit of writing things in a short and to-the-point manner. I constantly have a few different ideas for posts bouncing around in my head, but can never find the hour or so of spare time that I make myself think I would need to get said posts written.
So with that in mind, here is my attempt to get a few of those things covered quickly and concisely.
- As per usual, I’ve been writing beer-related posts for Taste T.O. on a regular basis. Here’s what’s gone up there in the last couple of months:
- I’ve given in to peer pressure and got myself an iPhone. Which means that I will most likely be engaging in some hot live Twitter action at the Mondial de la BiÃ¨re in Montreal next week. Follow @beerbeatsbites if you think you can handle the excitement.
- My new deodorant has hops in it. It’s also the most effective deodorant I’ve used in ages, which I’m sure will make my suite-mates in Montreal very happy.
- The awesome folks at Mill Street delivered one of their new Seasonal Sampler six-packs for me yesterday, and I enjoyed a couple of bottles from it tonight. Ontarians can watch for it to hit LCBO shelves this coming week, and I’ll have a full write-up about the pack over on Taste T.O. soon.
- Nothing to do with beer (or beats or bites, for that matter), but I watched Milk tonight, and wanted to mention how great it was. Sean Penn was stunningly good, deserving of every award and nomination he got, and even though I knew how it ended, I was still engrossed by it. And given recent events in California, it was especially poignant. If you haven’t seen it, do.
The above image is the first result when you do a Google Image search for “greg beer”.
It’s also a nice non sequitur to distract you from the fact that it’s been about a month and a half since my last post.
As always, there have been some good reasons for the lack of posts here, not the least of which is my work on Taste T.O. where we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to try and drum up for advertising while also keeping the new content coming. Since my last post here, I’ve written few things for Taste T.O. including several beer reviews (Grand River Curmudgeon IPA, O’Hara’s Celtic Stout, Great Lakes Green Tea Ale); a couple of pub profiles (The Abbot on the Hill, The Roy); a preview of the LCBO’s Spring beer promotion; and a review of two cask ale events that happened in Toronto this past weekend.
I’m also trying to keep the info over on Canadian Beer News and Bar Towel News as fresh as possible. And I’m on Twitter now, in case you do that sort of thing. And there’s also that pesky day job to deal with…
Anyway, more to come soon. I’ll be hitting five different beer events on four consecutive nights next week, so assuming I survive, I’m sure I’ll have something to say about at least a couple of them.
My latest bi-weekly Pub Crawl column is up on Taste T.O. today, and it’s a profile of Sin & Redemption, a fairly new bistro-pub that’s located across the street from a large Catholic church. It’s been a popular place since it opened a few months ago, and has a fairly decent tap list. OK, there are a few stinkers, like Bud and Bud Light, but at least half of the 32 lines have something good coming out of them, and at some of the best prices in the downtown core.
One beer that they don’t have on tap is Frank Booth’s favourite, Pabst Blue Ribbon. But it’s been showing up at a lot of other bars in Toronto recently, especially the sorts of places where young hipsters congregate. (Or so I’ve gathered from looking through the windows of such places, as I’m neither young nor hip enough to be welcome inside most of them.) My thoughts on this, and the beer itself, appeared on Taste T.O. last week.
I just noticed that I forgot to post a link to my latest Pub Crawl feature over on TasteTO. For this one, we visited a great little pub called The Liver Bird (it’s named for the official symbol of Liverpool, and is oddly pronounced like “driver”). This place isn’t exactly a beer destination – only four beers on tap and a small handful of bottles – but it’s a cozy and friendly place tucked in behind a first-rate bistro, with the bistro kitchen also providing excellent food for the pub. Well worth a visit if you’re in the ‘hood.
Also, I don’t think I ever mentioned my post about Harviestoun Old Engine Oil that went up over there a couple of weeks ago. So I’m mentioning it now.
The latest in my bi-weekly “Pub Crawl” series went up on Taste T.O. yesterday, featuring a profile ofÂ The Granite Brewery, which is one of Toronto’s very small number of brewpubs.
Well, except it’s not a brewpub, because Toronto doesn’t have any real brewpubs. But it’s still a restaurant with an on-site brewery.
Yeah, it’s kind of confusing. Just read the article, and it might make more sense.
Also, a cookie for whoever knows the origin of the title of this post. (Hint: I also killed Louie the Fly.)
I’ve been neglectful in posting links to my beer-related articles over on Taste T.O. (although they’re showing up in one of the funky little widgets in the right sidebar over there, for those who pay attention to such things).
Rectifying that, here’s a link to my profile of Toronto’s oldest craft beer bar, C’est What, which was posted last week as part of our Pub Crawl series.
While I’m doing the linky thing, you might also be interested in my Beer of the Week posts on Samichlaus and Innis & Gunn Rum Cask that went up before the holidays. And if you’re reading this after 7:30 AM (Eastern) on Tuesday, my review of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MÃ¤rzen should be available.