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beer

From Tool Shed to Tap: Meet Calgary’s Newest Brewers

By ADELE BRUNNHOFER

“Calgary wants more craft beer,” says Graham Sherman, co-owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company, the city’s newest craft beer producer. Though the city is home to few brewers, the proliferation of its beer halls and the diverse, international flavour of their menus supports his claim. The city’s thirst for beer is a natural match for its well-known entrepreneurial streak. Sherman and business partner Jeff Orr have suitably transformed their onetime backyard project into a refreshing new beer business. (more…)

Hot Dining: Vancouver’s Portland Craft Celebrates Oregon Beer

Braised pork belly with roasted shallots and crispy baby potatoes. Photo by KK Law

In a twist from more BC-inclined locales, Portland Craft unabashedly celebrates Oregon’s brewing scene, which kick-started the craft beer revival. Drop by this friendly Mount Pleasant room for stalwarts such as Deschutes, Pyramid, Rogue, Hopworks and more, all properly poured and easily paired with a daily pizza, house-built burger or perfectly crunchy pork belly slices with fingerling potatoes. Also not to be missed: the stout chocolate lava cake.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dates: Cornucopia, Whistler’s Celebration of Wine and Food

Cornucopia photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler

November 7 to 11

More than 6,500 foodies and oenophiles follow their taste buds to Whistler for Cornucopia, the annual food and wine extravaganza in the town best known for skiing and snowboarding. In addition to palate-pleasing tastings, luncheons and winemakers’ dinners, the deliciously long weekend offers hands-on seminars, extravagant galas and over-the-top parties. New this year is a cocktail competition, in which bartenders have just 15 minutes to create a unique concoction. Also new is a night market that focuses on pairing Asian cuisine with wines, beers and spirits. If you intend to fully indulge (and really, why wouldn’t you?), then loose, comfortable clothing is a good idea. Bon appétit!—Sheri Radford

Hot Dining: Local Beer and Wine at Olympic Village’s Tap & Barrel

Wine kegs and beer taps at Tap & Barrel. Photo by KK Law

The games may be long gone but False Creek’s Olympic Village has been re-energized by the arrival of Tap & Barrel, a pub-style, two-tier emporium that dispenses 24 BC beers and 14 wines on tap. Owner Daniel Frankel says the wines are as fresh as when they leave the winery and more environmentally friendly than bottled ones—and we agree! Go for AAA Alberta beef burgers, baked pretzels, made-to-order wood-stone-fired pizzas (including a version with roasted pork belly and soft-poached eggs), “drunken” mussels, or even “sticky” yam fries with Marshmallow Fluff.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: Rickard’s Launches Cardigan, Its First Seasonal Beer

Rickard’s Cardigan Autumn Spiced Lager

Winter’s just around the corner, and we’ve got something that will warm you up better than your favourite sweater. Even though it’s served in a cold pint glass, the new Cardigan Autumn Spiced Lager from Rickard’s is the season’s hottest brew. Its cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and brown sugar notes echo a tasty pumpkin pie and will have you pining for a fireplace. Too chilly for a cold drink? Warm some of this preservative-free beer on the stove for a fun twist on the hot toddy. Rickard’s first seasonal beer is wrapped in too-cute sweater label, so look for the distinctive bottle the next time you’re at BC Liquor Stores.—Kristina Urquhart

 

East Coast Beer and Breweries: A Historic Maritime Tradition

By ALINA SEAGAL

Garrison Brewing Company in Halifax (Photo: Nicole Bratt)

Canada’s east coasters love their beer and it shows. The Martimes region is famous for its historic breweries and has been producing the delicious amber drink since the early 19th century. It has given the rest of Canada notable brands Alexander Keith’s and Moosehead. Jason Foster, a CBC beer columnist, insists that Atlantic Canada has developed a unique beer personality that is essentially British in balance and fruitiness, to reflect local history and culture. (more…)

8 Great Montreal Bars and Pubs for Beer Lovers

By RED HUNT

Fourquette Forchette (Photo: Red Hunt)

Montreal has a burgeoning beer scene and is home to more than its fair share of Canadian brewpubs and microbreweries offering everything from Belgian-style ales to thirst-quenching wheat beers and savoury stouts. There are literally hundreds of flavourful local beers to choose from, making a quest for great beers a somewhat daunting task in this city. (more…)

Hot Dining: Mill St. Brew Pub

The Mill St. Brew Pub

Located in a 165-year-old heritage building that started its life as a pulp mill, Mill St. Brew Pub is a new — and welcome — addition to Ottawa’s dining scene. Several Mill St. beers can be found on tap and are switched up regularly, and three are brewed on site (and boast locally inspired monikers to boot): the Portage Ale, the Ambre de la Chaudière, and the Valley Irish Red. In keeping with the Ottawa trend, many of the ingredients from the pub’s menu are locally sourced. Popular dishes include flatbreads, tourtières, and mussels, and brunch is always a crowd pleaser. Bonus: Mill St. is a short walk away from the Bluesfest site at LeBreton Flats, making it the perfect spot for a pre- or post-concert meal.

555 Wellington St., 613-567-2337. ottawa.millstreetbrewpub.ca.

The Best Canadian Beer Fests of 2012

By RED HUNT

Cask Days, Toronto (Photo: Crystal Luxmore)

With summer upon us, there are beer festivals sprouting up in nearly every city and town across the country and 2012 is shaping up to be a dream year for the Canadian beer lover. The beer scene in Canada is currently going through a transition, with small craft brewers and microbreweries getting more confident and exploratory with their brews, meaning the range of flavours and styles of beer has never been better. (more…)

Hot Dining: Perfect Pints at Whistler Brewing Company

Whiskey Jack Ale by Whistler Brewing Company

Hail a cab to visit Whistler Brewing Company, a craft brewery that offers tours, a tap house and cold beer to go. Purchase the party pack for the always-popular Powder Mountain Lager, Whiskey Jack Ale, Bear Paw Honey Lager and Black Tusk Ale. Try the rotating selection of seasonal brews for something different, including the Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale and the Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale. Also for purchase at BC Liquor Stores.—Jennifer Patterson

Hot Dining: Perfect Pints at Gastown’s Bitter Tasting Room

Bitter Tasting Room. Photo by KK Law

It’s all about the beer at Bitter Tasting Room. This beautifully restored 1909 Gastown ale emporium offers only the best craft brews on tap and by the bottle, from BC and beyond. Purists hoist freshly poured pints of Driftwood Fat Tug IPA, R&B Milk Stout and Unibroue’s heavy Maudite, while a suitably matched gastropub menu tempts with cassoulet, Scotch eggs and artisan links by master sausage maker Drews Driessen. BC wines are also offered for the less hop-headed.—Tim Pawsey

Meet Greg Clow of Canadian Beer News

Dedicated to all things beer and brewing, Canadian beer expert Greg Clow edits and publishes Canadian Beer News, a one-stop-shop for beer news and happenings (festivals, awards, events, brewery openings, etc.) across the country. (more…)