Posts in Beer Store Releases

Stone in Ontario: A Sign of the ‘Taps’?

February 17th, 2015 Posted by Beer Events, Beer Store Releases, New Beer Releases No Comment yet

footer-logo Next week marks the official launch of famed California brewery Stone into the Ontario market, with a pair of beers arriving on draught: Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale. Not only are these beers a great addition to the Ontario beer scene, but they continue a recent new strategy with a few U.S. breweries, namely to debut via draught versus bottles.

The draught importation business in Ontario is a web of stickiness, as the LCBO has granted and maintained distribution rights exclusively to three private companies (Premier Brands, Premium Beer & Diageo), all of whom are importers themselves. The Beer Store, by nature of their overarching beer presence in Ontario, also has rights to distribute draught. So that means that any draught beer not made in Ontario must pass through the hands of one of these entities. This makes importing draught beers very complex, challenging and costly – and is a major reason that many of your favourite beers you find on draught elsewhere are not available here.

However, importers and brewers are persevering. As evidenced by the debut of Stone, along with the recent debuts of Sierra Nevada, Atwater and Redhook, these brands are hitting the street first by way of draught, as opposed to a seasonal release at the LCBO, which has usually been the case for the past few years.

Let’s hope this strategy pays off, as it means better beers for Ontario consumers, and hopefully more awareness of how the draught importation game is played in this province. (Side note: we’ll have more to say about the draught game in the future, but for now let’s enjoy some tasty Stone.)

Stone is launching with multiple events across Ontario – see below for details.  More information and times can be found on Stone’s Ontario event page.

Toronto:

  • Monday, February 23rd: Launch Party at Bier Markt Esplanade
  • Tuesday, February 24th: Meet the Brewer at beerbistro
  • Wednesday, February 25th: Beer Feature Menu at Indie Alehouse
  • Friday, February 27th: “Cut Out of Work with Stone” at Bar Hop
  • Friday, February 27th: Beer Dinner at Amsterdam BrewHouse

Hamilton:

  • Wednesday, February 25th: Meet the Brewer at Winking Judge

Kingston:

  • Wednesday, February 25th: “Look Who’s Rolling into KTown” at The Brooklyn

Kitchener:

  • Tuesday, February 24th: Introduction Party at The Bent Elbow

Newmarket:

  • Thursday, February 26th: Meet the Brewer at Hungry Brew Hops

Ottawa:

  • Monday, February 23rd: Launch Party at Bier Markt Ottawa
  • Tuesday, February 24th: Introduction Party at Brother’s Beer Bistro

BC Beer – June Releases

June 21st, 2011 Posted by Beer Store Releases, British Columbia No Comment yet


The Summer Solstice marks the start of what many Canadians refer to as “Patio Season”. As the long days begin to warm up, people reach for the lighter brews and these releases certainly reflect that.

Tree Brewing’s Hefeweizen, crafted by the German Braumeister Stefan Buhl, won a gold medal at the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards. Individual bottles are already sold out at the brewery, so you’ll have to check the Private stores or pick up a Summer Character Pack with the Hefeweizen, Kelowna Pilsner, Thirsty Beaver Amber and new Beach Blonde Lager.

There’s a couple of refreshing fruit beers now available: Whistler Brewing’s Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale and Granville Island’s False Creek Raspberry Ale. For a little warmth in the cooler evenings, Driftwood Brewing has released a new batch of their Belle Royale Strong Cherry Belgian Ale.

Pacific Western Brewing has just launched their new Cariboo Pale Ale. It’s 5.5% abv, finished with Cascade hops, and lists at only $7.99 for a 6-pack of cans!

The AFIC Group has brought in some Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes. There’s currently only 10 cases in B.C., with more to come in July.

BC Beer – April Releases

April 19th, 2011 Posted by Beer Store Releases, British Columbia No Comment yet

Driftwood Brewing has brought back the Naughty Hildegard. Named after a Benedictine nun, who is reportedly the first to have recorded the use of hops in brewing, this ‘west-coast’ E.S.B. is bursting with traditional English hop flavour.

Phillips Brewing has released their Double Barrel Scotch Ale again. It spent 6 weeks in Jack Daniels barrels, and then 4 weeks in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for a well-rounded barrel character.

Tree Brewing released the 3rd edition of their barrel-aged series: Serendipity. But if you missed their tweet in the morning, you’re out of luck. They sold out by the end of the day!

Dead Frog is shipping their summer mixer out to BC and Alberta this week (featuring their Lager, Honey Lager, Pepper Lime Lager and Nut Brown Ale). Ontario will be getting this mixer in select self-serve Beer Store’s soon (something to consider when you’re returning your empties)!

BC Beer – March Releases

March 20th, 2011 Posted by Beer Store Releases, British Columbia No Comment yet

After some trouble with the law (concerning the original name ‘No Jail Pale Ale’), Cannery’s No Justice Pale Ale has finally hit the shelves. At only 3%, you can drink the bomber without getting bombed.

Granville Island Brewing recently bottled their Limited Release Imperial IPA. Available at their retail store, and should be in select LDB stores soon.

Great Western Brewing is releasing the Original 16 Canadian Pale Ale to honour the “employees who saved this regional brewer from the wrecking ball more than 20 years ago”.

There’s a bunch of news from Tree Brewing. They’ve ditched the industry standard twist-off for an attractive new bottle and open 6-pack design. The Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale, Cut Throat Pale Ale, and Hop Head IPA are already on the shelves, and the Kelowna Pilsner will be joining them soon.

Tree’s Beach Blonde Lager is now canned and available in 6-packs, which will be great for the summer.

And finally, Tree just bottled their Captivator Doppelbock. Stefan Buhl is the German Braumeister behind this malty delight that won Gold at the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Paddock Wood in Ontario – But Not How You Might Expect

October 10th, 2010 Posted by Beer Store Releases, Brewery News, LCBO Releases No Comment yet

Paddock Wood, Saskatchewan’s first craft brewery, is entering the Ontario market with two of their brands: 606 India Pale Ale and Czech Mate Pilsner. But the tale of how and where the brands are available is an interesting one, and not the usual way a new brand arrives in Ontario.

Earlier in the year Paddock Wood pursued a general listing in the LCBO (meaning the beer would be available all the time, not just as a seasonal release) and also a listing at The Beer Store. What ended up happening is that Paddock Wood was approved for LCBO “Combination” stores – which are stores in rural communities where there is no Beer Store – not regular LCBO stores. So, regular LCBO stores will not be getting Paddock Wood, but the combination ones can do so (according to the LCBO’s inventory, the 606 IPA is available in Paisley, ON).

Believing that regular LCBOs in Toronto would be able to get Paddock Wood (before the “Combination” clarification), the brewery did not list in any Beer Stores in the city. Which is why, at this point in time, you will only be finding Paddock Wood at select Beer Stores or LCBO combination stores outside of Toronto. This is probably the first time a craft brand has hit the province and it is not in Toronto!

But this is going to be changing quickly. Paddock Wood will be listing in about 20-25 more Beer Stores, including Toronto. So beer fans in Toronto, you’ll be able to get it soon enough if you don’t want to take a drive to pick some up.

Both 606 IPA and Czech Mate will be sold for $13.20 per six pack. The 606, named after the 606 jazz club in London, originally began as Paddock Wood’s Rye IPA, but lowered its alcohol percentage at the request of bars in Saskatchewan to 5.4%. Over the last couple of years the hops in 606 have changed but presently it’s hopped with Cascade and Amarillo.

Czech Mate was driven by Paddock Wood’s brewmaster’s (Steve Cavan) challenges finding fresh Czech-style pilsners in Saskatchewan when he was a homebrewer – so he did something about it! This brought about the opening of Paddock Wood so Steve could get the ingredients and make the pilsner he wanted to and so Czech Mate was born.

Currently both brands will be available (if not already) at the following Beer Stores: Kitchener (Bleams Road), Oshawa (Taunton Road E), Peterborough (Landsdowne), Georgetown, Orangeville, Barrie (Bayfield St), Brampton (Bramalea City Centre), Ajax, Lindsay, Guelph (Willow West Mall) and Aurora.

For many years it has been unfortunate to not have access to many Canadian craft beers in Ontario. The founder of Paddock Wood, Steve Cavan, is originally from Ontario and it is great to see some new Canadian craft brands in the province. Welcome Steve & Paddock Wood!

Desperados at The Beer Store

September 2nd, 2006 Posted by Beer Store Releases No Comment yet

New to the import selection at The Beer Store is Desperados, a 5.9% lager from France’s Fischer that is flavoured with tequila. This unique beverage has previously been available at a couple of bars in Toronto, but this is the first time it has been available for retail purchase. Desperados is available now in 300 ml bottles being sold in units of 3 ($6.50) and 24 ($52.00).

Niagara’s Best Lager

July 9th, 2006 Posted by Beer Store Releases No Comment yet

While there has been no official announcement from the brewery, it appears that Niagara’s Best Beer in St. Catherine’s is now brewing a Lager to compliment their Blonde Ale. The Beer Store lists it as being available at 18 locations in the Niagara region, and provides the following commercial description:

Niagara’s Best Lager is a Canadian style lager with a sweet malt character and a smooth clean finish. This product contains 5.5% alcohol by volume and is lightly hopped to appeal to the tastes of the mainstream beer drinker.

This beer seems to represent an attempt by Niagara’s Best to grab a slice of the lucrative but increasingly crowded buck-a-beer market, as it’s currently available only in cases of 24 bottles priced at $26.40 including deposit.

Unibroue Collection 2005 Out

November 30th, 2005 Posted by Beer Store Releases No Comment yet

Unibroue’s latest mix-pack has been released in Beer Stores. The 12-pack contains the following brands:
Blanche de Chambly (2)
Maudite (2)
Fin du Monde (2)
Raftman (2)
Ephemere Framboise (2)
Chambly Noire (2)
Chambly Noire is new to Ontario.