It was 10 (!) years ago today, June 17th, 2001, that the Bar Towel Discussion Forums went live. The Forum has become the lifeblood of the Bar Towel, and a pulse of the craft beer scene in Ontario. Over the years tons of craft beer news has been broken on the forum (you can listen to a recap of some of the tales from a talk Bar Towel founder Cass Enright did at Beau’s Oktoberfest here) and countless debates and discussion have occurred covering just about everything imaginable in the beer scene in the province, and beyond.
There’s over 85,000 posts about beer in that forum, which equates to roughly 23 posts per day over 10 years, which is quite incredible as anyone who was around in the old days would know that we would go days without much happening. But as the craft beer scene in Ontario has taken off in the past few years, with more breweries, beer pubs and events than ever before, as has our collective desire to discuss, debate and celebrate them.
And part of that celebration is something very special today. Organized by longtime Bar Towel friend and member Jon Walker (joined July 27, 2001 – his avatar included in this post), he has organized a special Bar Towel Forums Brew Day at Great Lakes today. At the brewery today, Mike Lackey and a few dozen Bar Towel regulars will be brewing a special 10th Anniversary Bar Towel beer, tentatively named CASScadian Dark Ale (with a touch of Belgo added in). You can, of course, read all about it in the discussion forum thread here.
Having created this site and forum 10 years ago it is remarkable to see how the beer landscape has evolved and grown in Ontario. We have a great brewing scene and a passionate and dedicated beer community. The Bar Towel is one of the few online discussion forums where you’ll see a such an intermingling of consumer and industry, and I’m very proud of that fact, as it goes to show just how great this beer community is. Here’s to continuing the great thing we’ve got going, and if you haven’t joined in please do.
Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who’s posted, contributed, lurked or stopped in at the Discussion Forum over the years, including Greg Clow who has been a co-moderator for many of those years. And of course a huge thank you to Jon Walker and Mike Lackey for generously setting up the 10th Anniversary brew, it is quite an honour. Stay tuned for how the brew turned out and how you can give it a try when it’s ready. In the meantime, join in on the latest in the forum!