Here's my podcast with Mike:http://www.bartowel.com/chatting-buffal ... e-shatzel/
It was great to chat with him and learn about his own personal beer history and reminisce about the changing beer times both here and in Buffalo.
It's funny how times change - we don't really need to go to Buffalo for IPAs and the types of beers that we were dying for for so many years. But to visit a place like Colter Bay with 40+ taps and ABV with 20+ and all the interesting things available, it's still worthwhile to make a trip or two. It's just not for a specific style anymore. Even with the slightly expanded flexibility of keg importing that we're seeing at places like Volo, there still isn't the kind of multi-taps possible here like there. We've got great local beers & great places to go for them, but a scan of the list at a place like Colter Bay you realize we're still not there yet. Makes going to Buff still a special experience as it was 10 years ago.
Thanks Cass, this is great content.
I can certainly relate to much of it so the perspective is interesting, all the added Shatzel history, etc. And I do want to go the The Buff / Elmwood someday soon to blow off some steam for a day or two; Buffalo isn't just beer shopping, it's also a place I really appreciate - a very American place, pretty easy to get to & people there are awesome.
And a couple of bars (Colter Bay and Moor Pat) I've never been! Cool.
The comment about the (formerly) great CAD>USD exchange is so spot on though, I do miss that. I recall that even pre-2009 eating and drinking at Coles seemed amazingly cheap and cheerful, as was shopping. Nowadays it feels like a LONG way to go to spend, say (with tax, tip and exchange) $12-15 bucks on each little pour of something especially good - which is why I will sometimes economize on food with a few Buffalo wing pizza slices, part of the local charm. It's still a great trip.
So yes of course we have to let go of what used to be, change is constant and that's not all bad - we have some great things going on here now a well. I'm so happy about what I can go out and just get from around Toronto these days, whether it's a killer Bourbon RIS from GLB or Cognac barrel sours from Burdock or some really fine fresh pales/IPAs of many kinds. Even the LC has picked up the slack with desirable imports like Rochefort, Oude Beersel and some outstanding Founders stuff. As you say the LCBO have gotten smarter about what to put on their shelves VS what our brewers can make well here.
Again, 'perspective'. Everything is constantly changing, even if we only note of how much it's changed in hindsight.