Trillium Flyer_Spring 2015_RevTrillium Chapter: Brewery Collectables Buy/Sell/Trade show at Great Lakes Brewery on March 28th. 

11am – 2pm ~ Free Admission ~ $5 GLB beers

Booths with brewery items can include labels, coasters, tap handles, growlers, posters, signage, bottles, cans, trays and more. Come out and see Canadian brewing history in person.

Have any interesting old brewery items? Bring them out on the 28th for collectors to see and possibly buy/trade with you. 

Great Lakes will also have an in-depth display of their history, including bottles, tap handles, posters, glassware, packaging, etc

Jordan St. John, author of “The Lost Breweries of Toronto”, will be on-site selling and signing copies of his fascinating look at Toronto’s rich & storied brewing past.

Questions – troy.b@greatlakesbeer.com


Listen to Bar Towel Radio Live from Goose Island

IMG_6583Bar Towel Radio returns with a special episode recorded last November at Goose Island’s Black Friday tasting event, featuring their famed Bourbon County Brand Stout series of beers.

The event, held annually at their brewpub in Chicago to coincide with the launch of Bourbon County Brand Stout, is a live tasting of the BCBS lineup, hosted by brewers and other staff from Goose Island.

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the Black Friday tasting and was permitted to record the event for Bar Towel Radio.  You can listen to the episode below or via iTunes:

Live from Goose Island’s Black Friday BCBS Tasting

This is the first part of a special two-part “Live from Goose Island” series, and our next episode will be a live recording of the brewery tour from Goose Island’s Chicago brewpub.  Stay tuned for that one, and in the meantime enjoy this episode!


Let’s chat about The Beer Store!

Well, today’s been an exciting day for beer, with the surprise announcement from The Beer Store that “ownership” will be offered to brewers in Ontario.  And there’s no shortage of opinions and discussion about it online and in the media.  Join in the conversation in our Forum and chat about The Beer Store’s announcement, and stay on top of what everyone is saying about this development in the craft beer scene in Ontario.


Toronto Bourbon Week Returns on Friday

BW-Toronto-Def-Eagle smallOnce again, The Bar Towel is happy to be involved in Toronto Bourbon Week, launching this Friday, November 14th and continuing until November 20th.  And then on the very next day, the first-ever Ottawa Bourbon Week begins and runs until November 27th.

This years’ Bourbon Weeks feature 20 events across Toronto and Ottawa, each at a different venue and each having its own unique theme, including a number pairing bourbon with bourbon barrel-aged beers.  The events in Toronto include:

An in Ottawa:

The events are a mix of ticketed and general admission, so check the specific event listing for more details.  We hope to see you out this year at Toronto & Ottawa Bourbon Week!


Join us at Hintontoberfest on Saturday


Our Beer Lineup for Hintontoberfest

Our final Brewery Market of 2014, Hintontoberfest, promises to be an amazing wrap up to the season on Saturday, October 25th from 12-6pm at Hintonburg Park in Ottawa.

We’ve got a stellar lineup of over 45 beers from 9 Ontario breweries, including Flying Monkeys, Bicycle Craft, Turtle Island, Nickel Brook, Dominion City, Broadhead, Lowertown, Stone City Ales and Whitewater.  Check out the roster of beers here.

One of the special beers available on Saturday is the debut of “The Amarillo Chainsaw Massacre” Red IPA, a Pro-Am collaboration between Broadhead and homebrewer Andy Morrison, which Andy won the opportunity to brew as part of the National Capital Homebrew Competition.

We’ll also be serving delicious sausages by Sunnydays Gourmet Dogs and Sula Wok will be there with tasty Asian tacos.

As always, the Brewery Market is free admission, goes rain or shine and is all-ages and family-friendly.  We’re on from 12-6pm at Hintonburg Park, and proceeds help support the great initiatives of Ottawa Riverkeeper.  Beer and food tickets can be purchased with cash or credit card.

We hope to see you there!


Join us at Torontoberfest tomorrow

PrintOktoberfest isn’t over yet, and we’ve got one more Globe and Mail, CTV, Where and CityNews-approved bash in Toronto to celebrate.  Join us tomorrow, Monday, October 13th for the final Brewer’s Backyard of the year, Torontoberfest at the Evergreen Brick Works.

We’ll have up to 22 different beers available from our participating brewers Beau’s All-Natural, Black Oak and Junction Craft.  Plus, we’ll have a selection of sausages freshly grilled up by WVRST.  You can see the entire menu for Torontoberfest here.

As always, admission to the Brewer’s Backyard is free, and we run from 11am-4pm at the Koerner Gardens and Holcim Gallery areas of the Evergreen Brick Works.  The event runs rain or shine, and Holcim Gallery is covered so we can all stay out of the rain in case it’s wet.  The Brewer’s Backyard is an all-ages and family-friendly event.  We hope to see you there!


Listen to Bar Towel Radio live from Beau’s Oktoberfest

BeausOktoberfest2014-smlThis past weekend I was at Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill, with the great privilege of moderating two panels at the “School of Bock“, an entertaining education-focused program at this fantastic event.

With the return of Bar Towel Radio after a prolonged absence last month, we felt it was a good time to keep the podcast party going!  So, we recorded both sessions live if you’d like to listen to (or relive) them.

The first session, entitled Dr. Beerlove (Or how we learned to stop working and start drinking more beer), was a lively chat about the history of Beau’s, with great stories told by Steve Beauchesne, Tim Beauchesne, Matt O’Hara and Jordan Bamforth.  Listen or download the episode here:

Dr. Beerlove live from Beau’s Oktoberfest 2014

The second session, entitled Beau’s Brewer’s Battle Royale, was a raucous debate where four pilot beers were tasted, which were made by different staffers at Beau’s, competing for a production run in the Wild Oats series. Listen or download the episode here:

Beau’s Battle Royale live from Beau’s Oktoberfest 2014

Note: as the audio was recorded live in a large room, volume levels are variable and not all audience questions are completely audible.

If you’d like, feel free to listen to or subscribe to Bar Towel Radio via iTunes.  We hope you enjoy them!


Bar Towel Radio Returns

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington, Vermont.

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington, Vermont.

Well, it’s not quite the return of Arrested Development, but after a 6 year (!) hiatus, The Bar Towel’s podcast, entitled Bar Towel Radio, has returned.

In July of this summer we traveled down to the Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, Vermont, and had a chat with Jeff Baker, the Director of Liquid Assets at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, an great beer bar and restaurant in town.  And that visit and chat is now our latest podcast!

You can give it a listen right here:

Bar Towel Radio – Jeff Baker & the Vermont Beer Scene

If you’d like, feel free to listen to or subscribe to Bar Towel Radio via iTunes.

Here are some of the spots referenced in the episode, if you can make it down to visit Burlington:

You can read our past Bar Towel On the Road Report about Vermont here.


Golden Tap Awards 2014 Announced

GTA - logo - Black and ColourLast night at beerbistro the 2014 Golden Tap Awards were announced:

  • Best Brewery in Ontario: Great Lakes Brewery
  • Best Brewery for Cask-Conditioned Ales in Ontario: Great Lakes Brewery
  • Best Brewpub or Tied House in Ontario: Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best Cidery in Ontario: West Avenue Cider Company
  • Best Regularly-Produced Beer in Ontario: Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale
  • Best Seasonal or One-Off Beer in Ontario: Great Lakes Brewery Thrust! An IPA
  • Best Cask-Conditioned Ale in Ontario: Granite Brewery Hopping Mad
  • Best Bar for Draught Selection in Ontario: Bar Hop
  • Best Bar for Packaged Beer Selection in Ontario: Bar Volo
  • Best Bar for Cask Ale Selection in Ontario: Bar Volo
  • Best Beer Event in Ontario: Cask Days
  • Best Beer Writer in Ontario: Ben Johnson
  • Best Staff in Ontario: Bar Hop
  • Best Newcomer to the Beer Scene in Ontario: Side Launch Brewing Company
  • Most Innovative Brewery in Ontario: Bellwoods Brewery
  • Best Beer Design and Branding in Ontario: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
  • Brewmaster’s Choice – Best Beer in Ontario: Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Buster Rhino’s & Durham Craft Beer Festival
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Society of Beer Drinking Ladies
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Beau’s Oktoberfest
  • Editor’s Circle Award: George Milbrandt
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Nickel Brook Brewery
  • Best Beer of the Fest: Bellwoods Bounty Hunter

Thanks to all who made the Golden Tap Awards a success!


Countdown to the Golden Tap Awards

GTA - logo - Black and ColourThe 2014 Golden Tap Awards will be handed out tonight at beerbistro as a part of Toronto Beer Week.  This year is the biggest Golden Tap Awards ever, with more categories added reflecting the expanded craft beer culture in Ontario.  Tonight’s event will feature an all-Ontario beer and cider festival, with over 30 breweries and cideries available, including:


  • Great Lakes Thrust! An IPA
  • Junction Brakeman’s Session Ale
  • Spearhead Sam Roberts Band Ale
  • Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA
  • Black Oak Oaktoberfest
  • Nickel Brook Le Paysan Saison
  • Amsterdam TBW Farmhouse Ale
  • West Avenue Spy: Northern Spy Apple Farmhouse Cider
  • Left Field Sunlight Park Saison
  • Boshkung Tart-an Spruce Ale
  • Beer Academy Rauchbier
  • Bellwoods Bounty Hunter Strong Porter with Vanilla + Coconut
  • Beau’s Haters Gonna H8 Kolsch Bock
  • Spirit Tree Double Pagan Crabapple
  • Kensington FishEYE-PA
  • C’est What Burnt Offering Harvest Ale
  • Side Launch Wheat
  • Cameron’s Roggenbier
  • Hop City Hopbot
  • Publican House Highnoon


  • House Ales Punters Gold
  • West Avenue Cider Wild Blueberry Scrumpy


  • Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale
  • Spearhead Moroccan Brown
  • Steam Whistle Pilsner
  • Arch Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA
  • Creemore Springs Traditional Pilsner
  • Collective Arts Saint of Circumstance
  • Beau’s Dial “Z” for Zwickel
  • Side Launch Dark Lager
  • King Dark Lager
  • King Pilsner
  • Oast House Biere de Garde
  • Brick Works Ciderhouse Batch: 1904
  • Innocente Bystander American Pale
  • Mill Street Nightmare on Mill Street
  • Mill Street 100th Meridian
  • Mill Street Oktoberfest

The Golden Tap Awards are free to attend and you can purchase beer at the event.  Doors open at 5pm, and the awards show is at 8pm.  Beerbistro is located at 18 King Street East.  We hope to see you there!