I had heard amongst the beer community that the Cowbell Brewery in Blyth, Ontario (a small village in Huron County) had to be seen to believed. And when I visited for the first time at the end of the summer, I realized that the early architectural illustrations and photos I had seen definitely did not do it justice.
Cowbell is a very impressive facility, a sparkling brewery and restaurant that emerges up from the Ontario countryside as a beacon for beer in this small community. During my visit I was fortunate to chat with Stephen Rich, the Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations at Cowbell. In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we chat about Stephen’s start in beer and how he got involved in Cowbell, the beer program and some of the unique methods and equipment that Cowbell employs at the brewery, and what’s in store for Cowbell now and in the future. You can hear the pride that Stephen has for Cowbell and what the Sparling family is doing in Blyth, so give it a listen and get yourself up there for a visit soon.
Last night alongside the Ontario Brewing Awards, the 2018 Golden Tap Awards were announced. Now in it its 16th year, the Golden Tap Awards are Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event and recognize the best in beer, as decided by the beer lovers of the province. The winners were:
Best brewery: Beau’s All Natural
Best bar for draught beer selection: Bar Hop
Best bar for bottled and/or canned beer selection: Birreria Volo
Best brewpub or tied house: Bellwoods Brewery
Best regularly-produced craft beer: Beau’s Lug Tread
Best seasonal, limited release or specialty craft beer: Great Lakes Karma Citra
Best craft cidery: Revel Cider Co.
Best Beer Design and Branding: Collective Arts
Most Innovative Brewery: Bellwoods Brewery
Best Newcomer (Bar): Bar Lupulus
Best Newcomer (Brewery): Little Beasts Brewing Co.
Best Event: Cask Days
Best Staff: Beau’s All Natural
Best Beer Writer: Robert Arsenault a.k.a. Drunk Polkaroo
Brewmaster’s Choice: Tooth and Nail Vim and Vigor
Editor’s Circle Award: Liquid Art Festival
Editor’s Circle Award: Huether Hotel/Lion Brewery
Editor’s Circle Award: Kingston Brewing Company
Editor’s Circle Award: Evergreen Craft Ales
Editor’s Circle Award: People’s Pint Brewing Company
In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we share a few beers and many beer memories with acclaimed beer writer Stephen Beaumont. Catching up at Toronto beer hall WVRST, we chat about how Stephen got into beer, the past and present state of the beer industry, his beer travel adventures crossing the globe, his writing and publishing and more. I’ve known Stephen for 20 years and it was a real treat to be able to chat with him about many beery things.
The Golden Tap Awards, Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event, is back for 2018.
From now until September 6th, 2018 you can vote for this year’s awards, which recognizes your favourite beers, breweries, bars and more. The Golden Tap Awards have been recognizing the best in beer in Ontario since 2003.
The Golden Tap Awards will be announced on September 13th, 2018 during Toronto Beer Week alongside the Ontario Brewing Awards. More details will be announced about the gala festivities.
In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we have a chat with Ryan Morrow, the award-winning head brewer of both Collective Arts Brewing and Nickel Brook Brewing. We share a beer at Collective Arts’ recent Liquid Arts Fest, the new festival in Hamilton which featured a remarkable slate of beers from around the world. We chat about how Ryan got into the brewing world, the background of the relationship between Collective Arts and Nickel Brook and being a head brewer for two breweries, and the burgeoning beer scene in Hamilton.
In this episode of Bar Towel Radio, recorded at our recent Collingwood Brewer’s Backyard, we have a chat with longtime friend Carl Milroy, founder and partner of the Red Thread Brewing Co.We share a beer and discuss how Red Thread came to be, and what it’s like to launch in Ontario without a bricks and mortar brewery.
In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we have a beer and a chat with an good long-time friend of The Bar Towel, Michael Hancock. Michael was the brewer and owner at the legendary Denison’s Brewing Company in Toronto, and has been for the past number of years the founding brewer and currently beer ambassador at Side Launch Brewing Company in Collingwood. We had our chat at the Brewer’s Backyard in Collingwood about Michael’s history in beer, some stories about Denison’s, his role currently at Side Launch and the beer scene in Collingwood.
Earlier in the year I was fortunate to have a beer and record this special podcast with famed beer writer Pete Brown. Pete and I met at the Camden Town Brewery in London, England and had a great chat about his background in marketing and beer, his latest book Miracle Brew, the Beer and Cider Marketing Awards, the craft beer scene in the U.K. and how it differs from North America, what’s in store for the future, and more.
In this episode of Bar Towel Radio we have a chat with beer historian Gary Gillman and brewer Cody Noland about Amsterdam’s 1870 AK Bitter, a special collaboration beer between Gary and Amsterdam that was a recreation of an historical recipe from nearly 150 years ago. Chatting at the Amsterdam Brewery taproom, we chat about how the beer came out, what it was like to brew in those days, and how technology played a key role in the beer’s development.