Things you need to know today – Beer News – June 15th 2011

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of beer news in and around Toronto.  It’s summer, go figure.  I’m likely going to miss some things here, so I’ll edit and revise and generally make things right, but feel free to remind me in the comments, on facebook, at the bar, where ever.  Okay?

Beer Boutique

So the Beer Store just opened a new location, called The Beer Boutique.  I skipped the launch in favour of the Somersby Cider event at the Monk’s Table, but I know a bunch of people who went and have read a few accounts of it.  Stephen Beaumont and Jordan St. John both have good first-hand examples. The good news is, if you want to look hip buying beer in a hip looking store in a hip neighbourhood, they’ve got your back.  There is also evidence that there will be events hosted there, promoting beer and educating people and that sort of thing.  Which, as noted by others, makes this the Beer Store equivalent of the LCBO in Bayview Village.  This isn’t bad, and is certainly a huge step-up in terms of the usual Beer Store decor. All that being said, this is still a store owned by the three biggest brewers selling beer in this country, and the share of shelf/marketing is reflected.  While there is a thorough representation for craftbeer, there is nothing there you couldn’t get at a different Beer Store.  You’ll just feel more like your in a real store, instead of the hallway outside the passport office.  I am interested to know about breweries getting listed in the Beer Boutique.  For the uninitiated, to get your product listed at the beer store, there is a criteria it must meet, then it is a matter of paying a fee per store you’ll be listed at up, up to a fixed maximum, at which point you will be listed in all of them.  So I wonder if the store-fee is the same for Beer Boutique.  I will make it out to Liberty Village eventually, but I expect I’ll still get most of my beer at the LCBO or directly from brewers.

Spearhead Brewing

The official launch of Spearhead Brewing is this week.  Many people have been waiting a long time for this.  There are a bunch of events related to this, and I assume you can probably get full details on their website, I got an email about a specific event at the Rhino, details are:

The Canadian craft beer market is abuzz with talk of extreme beer. Hoppy, fruit- and spice-infused beer with high alcohol content. It’s the topic of this year’s Great Canadian Homebrew Conference, and the passion of its sponsor, Spearhead Brewing Company.

On Saturday June 18th at 9 a.m., the Canadian Amateur Brewers Association holds its annual homebrew conference at The Rhino Bar & Grill (1249 Queen St. West). Spearhead founder Dimitri van Kampen will offer a behind-the-scenes tour of Spearhead’s recent launch into the Toronto market and share the inspiration behind Spearhead’s Hawaiian Style Pale Ale, a hoppy West Coast pale ale brewed Hawaiian style—with pineapple. Spearhead brewmaster Tom Schmidt will be on-hand to talk about brewing Spearhead’s inaugural brew. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door if space is still available. After the conference there is a Spearhead beer night at The Rhino.

Beach BBQ and Brew Fest

This weekend, June 17-19, Woodbine Park will play host to the (now) annual BBQ and Brew fest, featuring some of the best BBQ cooks in the country, amazing beers a variety of vendors, and live music and entertainment. I hear Black Oak will be there, so despite not eating meat, I might wander over with the little dude on Saturday, and check things out.  Details here:

CASK! Annual Crawl Ale Crawl

From the good folks at CASK! Toronto:

Gather your friends once again for this fun and informal trail around several of Toronto’s cask ale pubs. No fixed schedule or sequence, and no admission charge.

Just pick up a passport at any of the participating pubs:
C’est What – 67 Front St E, Toronto
Granite Brewery – 245 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
Bryden’s – 2455 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Victory Cafe – 581 Markham Street, Toronto
Cloak Dagger – 394 College Street, Toronto
Burger Bar – 319 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
Twisted Kilt – 1954 Yonge Street, Toronto

Sample one or more of the cask ales available and get your passport stamped to be entered into a prize draw.

Beer from the 25+ members of Ontario Craft Brewers. Among them: Cameron’s Brewing Co., Beau’s All Natural Brewery,Great Lakes Brewery, Wellington Brewery, King Brewery, Mill Street Brewery, Muskoka Cottage Brewery

For detailed information visit:

America Walks into a Bar – Launch Party

Celebrating the Launch of Christine Sismondo’s new book, America Walks into a Bar, at the Gladstone Hotel.  From the event page on facebook:

This is Not a Reading Series presents: Drinks by Sandy! Vintage jazz with DJ Erica – Bar anthems with DJ punchy. Add to this a talk with the author and a chance to buy as many personalized copies of the book as you can carry out the door!

You can RSVP on facebook, here:

Session 99

One of the stand-out new events last year, was the wonderful Session Craftbeer Festival.  This year, they’re back and bigger and better.  Already guaranteed to be easier to get to (no anti-G20 protests and riot police to navigate!), it will be located this year at 99 Sudbury, a killer event space here in Toronto.  I, of course, have a wedding to be at (’tis  the season), so will be trying to make it to the after-party.  Plan on going, it will be totally worth it.  Full details at

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

On the other end of the age-scale, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is happening again, in the first week of August, and I’m excited.  It’s still a good way off, but I mention it, as I wanted to let everyone know, this year I’m planning a contest for the event.  We’re going to be doing a happy fun times photo scavenger-hunt at the festival.  I will be getting the list of search things together, but the deal will be, take pictures of stuff on the list, upload them to a photo album on facebook and tag me in them.  I’ll use an impartial panel (bribed into judging with the promise of beer), to decide which album we like the most.  Sweet swag-related prizes for top performers.

Got any more beer news? Let me know, and I’ll add it here.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting