On Beer

I am the beer columnist for CBC Radio One's Edmonton afternoon show, Radioactive, for Vue Weekly magazine in Edmonton and for Planet S magazine in Saskatoon. Despite being a rather non-tech savvy guy, I realized the natural extension of my beer writing is to go online in some fashion. So onbeer.org is my attempt to offer my observations about beer, brewing and the beer industry to the world of the internet (whoever you are).

Recent Blog Posts

I’m Going on Hiatus, Here’s Why
Posted
So I have an unexpected admission. Starting in January I will be taking a step back from my beer work for a year or so. I am choosing to take a rare and temporary job opportunity of which one of the consequences is that I have to give up my paid beer gigs, partly because [...]
Published at On Beer
Sorry, Mickey, I’m Here for the Beer
Posted
It’s funny, when you tell people you are going to Anaheim their first question is always “are you going to Disneyland?” That question makes sense to me if I said we were taking the kids to Anaheim. But in my case my spouse had a conference there and I decided to make the trek wi...
Published at On Beer
Are We Reaching Peak Craft?
Posted
Are We Reaching Peak Craft?
Is a day of reckoning coming for craft brewers? (photo courtesy cbc.ca) A CBC news article posted yesterday (read it here) looking at Alberta’s booming craft beer industry offers the take that Canada might be reaching the limits to its market reach. It quotes a business professor, Dr. Larry...
Published at On Beer
Blinded by the Barrel Aging
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Blinded by the Barrel Aging
Barrel-aging can no longer be called the sexy new thing in beer. Almost every new brewery is trying their hands at it at least once in a while. But that doesn’t mean all are making the kind of quality consumers have come to expect from barrel-aged beer. The key is balance (like in so many [...
Published at On Beer
The King of Bellwoods, No Doubt
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The King of Bellwoods, No Doubt
Photo courtesy Now Toronto Every Ahab has a Moby Dick. That extends to the beer world. My recent elusive target likely does not rate the tragedy of Captain Ahab, in particular because I was fine waiting, but this is a nice way to start a column about a hard-to-find beer. (Also Moby Dick is [...]
Published at On Beer
The Great Gruit Comeback
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The Great Gruit Comeback
My CBC column last Friday deviated from the usual and looked at the odd beverage that is Gruit. You can listen to the column here. Today we generally know Gruit as a beer made with a mixture of herbs and spices and (mostly) without hops. And that is strictly accurate. But seeing it just as [...]
Published at On Beer
Reflections on the Evolution of Homebrewing
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Reflections on the Evolution of Homebrewing
My homebrew system (at its old home) I made my first kit beer in years this past weekend. And it got me thinking. As many readers know, I have been a homebrewer for 26 years, 23 of those as an all-grain brewer. Like most homebrewers of my time, I started with the appalling concentrate [...]
Published at On Beer
Beer Policy Matters, It Really Does
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Beer Policy Matters, It Really Does
It is well-known that the Alberta beer industry is in the midst of a huge explosion. We now have over 60 breweries (almost 70 licenses, but I count independent operations, not AGLC licenses). Of which 46 have opened their doors in the last 2-and-a-bit years. Eighteen have opened so far in 2017 al...
Published at On Beer
Take an Alberta Beer Trip This Weekend
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Take an Alberta Beer Trip This Weekend
Image courtesy of Little Guy Liquor in Sherwood Park. My last Vue Weekly column offered up a theoretical beer trip down Highway 2 (which you can read here). In an afternoon you could hit a half a dozen or so breweries without really venturing off Alberta’s busiest highway – and withou...
Published at On Beer
A Hop Association is Born
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A Hop Association is Born
On Saturday afternoon Alberta witnessed the creation of something that I am pretty sure almost none of us coming a few years ago. I had the privilege to attend the launch of the Alberta Hop Producers Association. The group has formed to support the growing hop farm industry in Alberta. They want ...
Published at On Beer