A lovely reddish-brown beer with a nice roast and toasty malt backbone with a tinge of caramel sweetness brewed by Toronto’s own Amsterdam Brewery.

Wee Heavy


I am going to do something a little different in 2012.  Since I have not been able to write much over the last year I am going to post more, but in fewer words.  If you have any questions about the beers ask in the comments.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, this is a great yeasty, malty, tasty, slow sipper!

Breakfast Time!

Love the shape of this bottle.  I understand the finacial aspects of having a unique bottle design, but I wish more Craft Brewers did it.

About the Beer – It poured a dark reddish-brown colour with a quickly receding head.  The aroma was of roasted coffee, wood, and chocolate.  The flavour was of roasted coffee to start, a bit bitter in the middle, and a lovely caramel finish.  Lots of espresso in the aftertaste.

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, this would go great with bacon, eggs, and hasbrowns at breakfast.

I love the smell of peaty Scotch or Beer but I can never seem to get through more than a few sips!

The first few sips of a beer that has a smokey or peaty tone I find really enjoyable.  It is after a few sips that I start to feel overwhelmed by it though….smoked beers are for sharing in my opinon.

About the Beer – It poured black as the night up North.  The aroma was peaty like Scotch with a distinct sweetness.  The flavour was very smokey (roasted) with a molasses sweetness.  Very warming.

Would I Drink it Again? – Probably not unless I shared a small taster with someone.  This is a great beer for fans of the smoke though!

This sounds like a blast!



First Dinner To Feature An Organic Brewery & Gourmet Vegan Chef In One Of Toronto’s Landmark Venues

TORONTO, ON (November 21, 2011) – Canadian Beer News, one of Canada’s leading sources of beer industry news and information, is pleased to announce the launch of the Canadian Beer News Dinner Series. This ongoing series of dinners will bring together some of Canada’s top craft breweries and beer importers with outstanding chefs and restaurants to create unique and exciting beer and food pairing experiences.

For the debut dinner on Tuesday, December 6th, the organic beers of Beau’s All-Natural Brewing will be served alongside a gourmet vegan meal prepared by Chef Doug McNish, all presented in the luxurious surroundings of The Windsor Arms Hotel. Each course will be paired with a different beer presented by Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne – including rarities from the brewery’s “Wild Oats Series” and “Greener Futures Bourbon Barrel Aged Series” – and Chef McNish’s healthy, hearty and beer-friendly creations will prove that there is much more to vegan food than tofu and sprouts.

“The intention of the Dinner Series is to partner unique and distinctive craft breweries with top rate chefs that aren’t normally known for working with beer,” said Canadian Beer News publisher Greg Clow. “Beau’s is a brewery that pushes the boundaries with every beer they release, and while vegan cuisine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to pairing food with beer, Doug is ready to wow both the converted and the naysayers.”

Tickets to the first event in the Canadian Beer News Dinner Series are available now for $95 (inclusive of tax and gratuities) at www.organicbeerandvegandinner.eventbrite.com. More information about the series can be found at at www.canadianbeernews.com/dinner-series.

For further details, contact Greg Clow at greg@canadianbeernews.com.


Canadian Beer News Dinner #1: Beau’s Brewing & Chef Doug McNish

The Windsor Arms Hotel
18 Saint Thomas Street, Toronto

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
6:30 PM – Reception with passed hors d’oeuvre & beer pairing
7:15 PM – 4-course Dinner with beer pairings

$95 per person including taxes and gratuities


Beau’s All Natural Brewing (www.beaus.ca) is a family-run and totally DIY beer company based in Vankleek Hill, a small town about an hour east of Ottawa. They brew interesting, award winning, tasty beers using the highest quality, all natural ingredients like certified organic hops & malts and local spring water. Best known for their flagship brand, Lug-Tread Lagered Ale, they also brew a number of seasonal and one-off beers, and are well-known for their support of charitable initiatives in their local community and beyond.

Doug McNish (www.dougmcnish.com) is one of the foremost vegan/raw food chefs in the world. After losing 100 pounds on a plant based diet, he decided to change his career path and become a professional vegan chef. He is a Consulting Chef at The Windsor Arms, where he has developed vegan options for the hotel’s dinner and brunch menus. Doug is a contributor to health and wellness websites and various magazines, has been broadcast on both local and national television, and is currently writing a raw food cookbook to be published in March 2012.

Consecutively voted the #1 hotel in Toronto by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, The Windsor Arms Hotel (www.windsorarmshotel.com) is nestled on a quiet street ideally located just steps away from Yorkville, the heart of Toronto’s most fashionable shopping and entertainment district. An aura of warmth, discreet luxury, and the latest technology combined with our exceptional level of service makes Windsor Arms Toronto’s most luxurious boutique hotel. The Windsor Arms is host to the Courtyard Cafe – open for Sunday brunch and special events; Prime Steakhouse – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Tea Room for traditional afternoon tea; and Lounge 22 for tapas and cocktails.

Canadian Beer News (www.canadianbeernews.com) is a website and news blog dedicated exclusively to coverage of Canada’s beer and brewing industry. Presenting news and information with minimal editorializing, Canadian Beer News features announcements of new beer releases, brewery openings and closures, news about festivals and events, and other information from breweries all across the country.


I keep going back to Bock only to realize it is not my thing!

…..Do I not like Bock beer or have I just never had a good one???

About the Beer – It poured a reddish-brown colour, very hazy, with a small head.  The aroma was malty with big hits of molasses, raison, and dates.  The flavour was of dark fruits and alcohol.  Very warming.

Would I Drink it Again? – No, like I mentioned earlier is not my thing.

I have been negligent with posting this summer but hey everyone needs a vacation right?

It is time to bring it up a notch as Toronto Beer Week is about to start!  To kick things off with a bang, tomorrow Friday September 16th there will be a great event at the Monk’s Table called Barrel Bragging Rights!  A bunch of critics like myself got together with a group of amazing brewers to come up with 11 one-off creations for your drinking pleasure.  

I am not going to expound much more about it since Mike Warner of A Year of Beer has a great blog post giving you all the details, Check it out! : Barrel Bragging Rights

This is a can’t miss event!

This beer has been making the rounds in Toronto for a while and I always really enjoy it.

So this has been a long overdue review since I have had this beer so many times.   It is one of my favourite IPA’s.

About the Beer – It poured a reddish copper colour with a great head.  The nose is full of malt and hops.  Lots of floral and citrus notes, you definitley pickup grapefruit.  Very complex hop aroma.  The flavour was great.  Some sweetness and rich malt at the start then you are hit with some bitterness.  Again floral and citrus on the palate mixed with some orange peel and pine.  So yummy!

Would I Drink it Again? – Yes, I love this beer.  Wish it was available all the time.

EDIT:  It is now available in the LCBO

I had the chance to interview Les Murray, he is the President of the Toronto Festival of Beer which takes place next week starting on August 5th

Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo Provided by the Toronto Festival of Beer


<Matt> What is your history and how did you become involved with the Toronto Festival of Beer?

<Les> I’ve been involved with the festival as President for 6 years….the festival was founded by my business partner Greg Cosway

<Matt> How many people visit the Festival each year?

<Les> We continue to grow each year,,,,we expect 30,000 people this year…

<Matt> What is your favorite thing about being involved with the Festival?

<Les> The opportunity to work in a great industry and engage some very passionate and creative brewers….

<Matt> I have noticed much more Social Media involved in promoting the Festival this year, do you consider this one of your main marketing streams now?

<Les> Absolutely….social media will continue to have a major role in promoting the event…this year we have launched a social media lounge, exclusively for bloggers, tweeters, and media folks to power-up and wire-in…

<Matt> How has the move to the new location (Bandshell Park) worked out compared to Fort York?

<Les> Love it ….loved Fort York, but realistically, the Fort was built to keep people out…loading a large trade show and 30,000 people was difficult…

<Matt> In the past the Festival has been criticized about being more geared towards the Macro brewers such as Labatt’s, I noticed quite a few craft brewers on the exhibitor’s list this year and last.  What are you doing this year to promote the growing craft beer industry at the event?

<Les> We have many craft brewers participating at the festival…we created an area right smack in the middle of the site, infront of the stage, under 3 big tents , that we call “ The Local”…these tents feature all Ontario Craft Brewers…we also developed a new program this year called the MASH UP, featuring 8 craft brewers paired in groups of 2 creating a unique “mash” just for the festival…..

<Matt> Who are your favourite brewer’s at the event?

<Les> ….there are so many great brewers, Beaus, Great Lakes, Nickel Brook, Mill Street, Premium, doing great activations at the event                                                                                                                                                          

<Matt> What was the last craft beer you drank?

<Les> Beaus Lug Tread…..last night

<Matt> What are you most looking forward to at the Toronto Festival of Beer this year?

<Les> Love seeing all the brewers and consumers enjoying themselves..

<Matt> Besides beer what else can you do at the Festival?

<Les> We have grilling demonstrations in the Napoleon Tent with Celebrity and Local Chefs, we have great interactive games in the bet365.net tent, we  have great food vendors serving up everything from oysters to smoked meat, from bbq to gourmet grill cheese, from meatballs to thai food, and more….we have great entertainment all day on the main stage ,,,,,if you’re a girl and would like to know more about beer, you can take the Girls Guided Beer Tour with cicerone Mirella Amato….

<Matt> Do you have any future plans for the Festival that you can share with us?

<Les> we continue to look for opportunities to expand the beer selection and bring new and unique products for consumers to enjoy…we are also looking to expand our beer knowledge and education seminars …..stay tuned

<Matt> Where should people go for more information about the Toronto Festival of Beer?

<Les>  Beerfestival.ca 


I had a follow-up question for Les about the involvment of the Niagara Brewing College.  Les forwarded my question to Lorraine Snihur who is the Hospitality and Events Manager Wine and Beer Operations for Niagara College.

<Matt> I Noticed the Niagara brewing College Is exhibiting this year how did you hook up with them?

<Lorraine> As we are Canada’s first and only Teaching Brewery we thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to join the Toronto Festival of Beer this year!  We just opened in December and had our Grand Opening this past April and have already received some awards for our beer!  We hope that you will be able to visit us at the festival and taste some our First Draft Lager and Ale!



There are 2 summer beer festivals coming up in the next few days.

Image Courtesy of The Hart House

First is the awesome Hart House Craft Beer Festival that will be held this Thursday August 28.  The event is held in the courtyard which is a stunning location.  Pretty much every craft brewer I can think of is there pouring beer and Hart House Executive Chef Marco Tucci provides an awesome BBQ.  I will be there helping Brock Shepherd pour for his Kensington Brewing Company.  Stop by and say hello!


Just 8 days later is another huge event.  The Toronto Festival of Beer which starts August 5th at Bandshell Park.  Beer, Music, Food, what else do you need on a summer weekend?  Look back here for an interview in the next few days with Les Murray President of the Festival!


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