At the recent Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon we were fortunate to record a few conversations for Bar Towel Radio. And we’re thrilled to release another one of those chats, this one with Jesse Friedman of Almanac Beer Company of San Francisco. In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we discuss with... > READ MORE

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The Bar Towel Discussion Forum Relaunches

The Bar Towel Discussion Forum Relaunches

The Bar Towel’s Discussion Forum, home to the most active online beer conversation in Canada, relaunched yesterday with a long-awaited software upgrade, allowing for increased user access and functionality.

The Discussion Forum, in existence since 2001, has over the years become an archive of Ontario’s craft beer history, with thousands of conversations about the local beer scene both here and abroad.  In the forum there are close to 10,000 conversations and over 140,000 posts and counting about beer (and other related topics).

So, if you want to chat about what’s happening with the LCBO or Beer Store, your favourite pubs, most loved or hated beers and breweries, recent beer adventures, upcoming beer events and more, join in on the conversation now.

Almanac Beer Company on Bar Towel Radio

Almanac Beer Company on Bar Towel Radio

At the recent Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon we were fortunate to record a few conversations for Bar Towel Radio. And we’re thrilled to release another one of those chats, this one with Jesse Friedman of Almanac Beer Company of San Francisco.

In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we discuss with Jesse the history of Almanac and where the brewery is going, what makes for a good beer dinner, some of the great beer spots to check out in San Francisco, and more.

You can listen to the episode below, on our Podcasts page, or via iTunes.

(Photo above courtesy of Almanac Beer Company.)

Introducing The New Bar Towel

Introducing The New Bar Towel

The Bar Towel has been one of the original craft beer focused web sites in Ontario, dating back to the beginning of the century.  Launched as the first beer news site in Ontario, we’ve grown to house a popular discussion forum where both beer lovers and industry alike chat about the ever-changing beer scene, and we host unique events such as the Golden Tap Awards.  We’re still very much about the social side of beer in our forum, but our emphasis isn’t so much about news anymore.

Today we launch The Bar Towel’s first major site redesign in its history, and we want to be something new as we move forward in the rapidly growing craft beer landscape.  Something that’s not focused on breaking news and reporting.  Instead, something that’s thoughtful, smart and treats craft beer and its drinkers with the maturity accorded to an industry that is growing up.

We are thrilled to announce that The Bar Towel is going to evolve into a digital journal about good beer and culture. Written by a collective of good beer drinkers, for good beer drinkers.  We want to be like a literary journal, mixed with a zine mentality, soaked in beer.  We will focus on smart, intelligent and informative writing about beer, its personalities, its culture, and more, across Ontario and beyond.

The Bar Towel has been a groundbreaker since our inception. We want to do it again, by providing informative, entertaining and thoughtful content about this great industry.  We want to be as layered, complex and delicious as a beer itself.   And we want to provide opinions that get people talking, both on the main site and in our discussion forum (which is re-launching in the coming days).

We’re excited about this new era for The Bar Towel, and we’re looking for those who’d like to be a part of it.  If you have something to say about beer and would like to contribute to The Bar Towel, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at contribute@bartowel.com and let’s have a pint.

Retail Roundtable with Ontario Brewers

Retail Roundtable with Ontario Brewers

This week is the Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, where there are a significant number of Canadian brewers present. So when the news broke that the Ontario government was making changes to the beer retail system in the province, many brewers and others within the industry were together to discuss its impact.

So, we recorded a “Retail Roundtable” for Bar Towel Radio to chat about the news!  In this episode we’ve got Ben Johnson from Ben’s Beer Blog, Jason Fisher from Indie Alehouse, Dimitri van Kampen from Spearhead and Rob McIsaac and Shane Clark, both from Beyond the Pale.  Give it a listen below or via iTunes:

Bar Towel Radio with Dave McLean of Magnolia Brewing

Bar Towel Radio with Dave McLean of Magnolia Brewing

I’ve written fondly in the past about San Francisco, one of my favourite beer cities in North America. This year I was fortunate enough to visit again, and while I was there I recorded an interview with Dave McLean, the founder and brewmaster of Magnolia Brewing Company, now featured in our latest episode of Bar Towel Radio.

In the episode I chat with Dave at Magnolia’s Smokestack, their new production brewery and BBQ restaurant, and highlight some of San Francisco’s top beer destinations. Give it a listen here:

 

If you enjoy Bar Towel Radio, please consider subscribing to via iTunes.

Our Seminar Picks at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference

Our Seminar Picks at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference

The Bar Towel is proud to once again present our annual preview of the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America (CBC), taking place from April 14th to 17th, 2015 in at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Part One of the preview covered our highlights of breweries, bars and other sights of the city, and Part Two covers our picks for the conference seminars.

The Craft Brewers Conference in Portland is only days away, and now’s the time to begin planning to get the most out of your experience. As the largest conference of its kind in the U.S., the CBC can almost be overwhelming nowadays, with non-stop panels, seminars, demonstrations, hospitality events, meetings and vendor showcases. Oh, and the thousands of beer industry folks from all over the world descending on the Oregon Convention Center for three days of camaraderie, connecting and, of course, drinking.

The core schedule format of the CBC is consistent from recent years past, with sponsored demonstrations and hosted seminars occurring throughout the day, and the BrewExpo America trade show running simultaneously, along with various other group meetings, hospitality suites and official nightly events taking place. (See Part One of our preview for a rundown of a number of events happening around Portland, not officially affiliated with the conference itself.)

The big news this year is the addition of an extra half day of BrewExpo America.  (Previously only running on the Wednesday and Thursday, BrewExpo America now runs from 9am-5pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and 8:30am-12pm on Friday.)  This trade show attracts 600 vendors and is a brewery owners’ dream, as suppliers offering everything from basic needs such as equipment and ingredients to neon signs and specialty merchandise are all here. And with over a dozen beer stations throughout the show, it’s easy to stay liquified as you wander up and down the aisles. And speaking of beer, keep your eyes open for the six Symposium Beers produced by Oregon brewers for the CBC.

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