The LCBO Gets With The Times

Beersel Morning

The LCBO now offers online orders for local pick-up and even home delivery.

I celebrated this momentous occasion by ordering a case of Beersel Morning, Drie Fonteinen lambic blended with Del Ducato‘s Morning saison and refermented in the bottle. Imported by Volo’s Keep6 Imports, of course.

So, while we’re completely behind the times, what with our alcohol controlled by the government and all, we’re at least getting on the ecommerce train #wayofthefuture. This convenience, in partnership with the world-class beers Keep6 is steadily importing, makes our situation almost bearable. Almost.



Vice Feature: New Belgium


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Vice Munchies recently featured one of the most hipster craft breweries in the world, New Belgium. Like most established American craft breweries, they make some world-class IPAs and have an extensive barrel aging program.

I hope to try more of their beers… Got to try the delicious sour brown La Folie at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica this past May. Their 25th anniversary six-pack looks awesome.

I hear they pay their employees to ride their bike to work… And give them a sweet New Belgium bike after working there for a year. Yeah they have some great benefits.

Bikes and good beer for all!

We All Taste Differently: The Cilantro Effect

Guac and beer

There’s this beer at Halo called Wit or Without. It’s a ginger lime witbier with smoked malts, and is drawing attention to an interesting phenomenon. Some people think it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of their favourite beers at the brewery (I’m in this camp). Others think it’s too ginger predominant. Others can’t taste the ginger. Others can’t taste the smoked malt. Others think it tastes like soap, even “fresh Band-Aid.” What is going on? Continue reading

Bellwoods Brewery’s Apricot Jelly King



Jelly King on tapThe new-ish Bellwoods 5.6% dry-hopped mixed fermentation sour, otherwise known as Jelly King, is coming out with even fruitier variations this summer. Apricot Jelly King, the most apricot-ey beer I have ever had, launched a couple weekends ago, and sold out in a few days. I am cherishing my final bottles. It tasted like fresh apricot juice on tap, and is more dried apricot in bottles (where its base shines through a little more).

Brewer and Communications Manager Carmen Vicente tells me: “The name Jelly King lends itself so well to fruity flavours (fruit jellies!), and then of course fruited sours are delicious, so making an apricot version seemed like a no-brainer. We plan to do many more fruity versions.” Indeed, kettle sours* are hot this summer, due to their fast turn-around time (one month) and Ontario’s burgeoning obsession with tart drinks. I ain’t complaining.

*Jelly King technically isn’t a kettle sour because the souring happens in the fermentor (and not the boil kettle). Thanks for letting me know, Carmen!

The SOBDL Does Session


After a couple years of throwing packed monthly events, the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies is organizing bigger beer fests in addition to their regular bevies.

The first SOBDL beer fest (Bevyfest) took place at the Evergreen Brick Works on April 1, and sold out with 800 women in attendance. That festival earned my eternal praise, because it set the bar for how great beer fests can be: well organized and executed, friendly volunteers and organizers, delicious food and most importantly, incredible beer. They even had Muskoka chairs around several firepits to offset the cold. Continue reading

Boom Goes The BUMO


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Burdock is making fancy vinous beer.

Their rosé wine beer hybrid with Pearl Morissette debuts tomorrow at 11 am. While April’s orange wine collaboration with Southbrook was simply aged in wine barrels, BUMO is 60% beer and 40% wine, and is meant to be slightly agitated (i.e. turn the bottle upside down like you would kombucha; do not shake). It contains “wild wine yeasts & bacterias from Niagara and choice Saison & Brettanomyces cultures from Escarpent Labs” and was bottle conditioned for three months.

2016 is the summer of rosé, and this drank will be hella refreshing when shared with friends and some kind of fancy charcuterie plate.

Burdock’s wine barrel aging program might be a big cause of financial distress for me in the future: I must try everything and they have at least 111 barrels to do fun things with.

I’m excited for what’s next.

Burdock’s Orange Wine Saison


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Burdock's Orange Wine & Saison

I am a huge fan of Southbrook’s Orange Wine. So when I heard that Burdock aged a saison in Southbrook barrels and was releasing the beer in a special tasting alongside reserve bottles of their 2014 Orange Wine, you best believe I was there. I had tasted the 2015, available by the glass at Burdock, earlier in the month, and found it delicious but smoky rather than funky. The 2014 had the sour feature I was looking for, and was a bit more delicate.  Continue reading

Cuvée des Jacobins is back.


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That deep vinous red Flemish Sour Ale we all know and love, dear old Jacobins, is back in the LCBO. Stock up!


The beer Cuvée des Jacobins is unblended old lambic, aged for at least 18 months in (French) oak barrels from the cognac region. These oak barrels are called ’Foeders’ in Dutch. It has a robust character but is beautiful and sophisticated with a full body and overtones of vanilla, dried cherry, stone fruit and cocoa. It is a complex, beautiful sour beer.

Photo from my Instagram.