Posts in Site News

The Bar Towel Launches A Quick Beer

January 31st, 2021 Posted by Feature, Site News No Comment yet

The Bar Towel is excited to launch A Quick Beer, a new video series that profiles breweries in Ontario. In the series we’ll meet with different breweries to learn more about them, let you know about the kinds of beers they make and provide information about how to enjoy them. Your local breweries need our support during this challenging time and hopefully this series can help spotlight breweries for you to enjoy.

Our first episode is with Katie Ross of Indie Alehouse, and our second episode is with Peter Caira of People’s Pint. You can watch both of the episodes on below or on YouTube, and please subscribe to the channel to be the first to know about future episodes!

If you are a brewery and would like to be featured in A Quick Beer, please contact Cass Enright.

The Bar Towel Launches Ontario Beer Delivery Index

January 14th, 2021 Posted by Feature, Site News 5 comments

In response to the increased home beer and cider delivery options during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Bar Towel has launched the Ontario Beer Delivery Index (OBDI). The OBDI tracks over 270 breweries and cideries across Ontario and their delivery options, with links to their online stores. You can find the OBDI at

The OBDI highlights breweries with female, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ ownership, management and/or brewers. If your brewery is this, please reach out to Cass Enright and let us know.

The OBDI offers sponsored positions at the top of the index for breweries wishing to increase their exposure and help support us. Please contact Cass Enright for more information.

We wish full health to everyone in Ontario as we reduce the spread of COVID-19, and thank the breweries of Ontario for what they’re doing during this challenging time.

Thank you to illustrator Dave Murray for the OBDI illustration, and The New Beat for web design and development.

The Bar Towel Launches Cellar Diving

May 2nd, 2020 Posted by Beer Events, Feature, Site News No Comment yet

We’re going deep into classic beers saved for the right moment. That’s now. Introducing Cellar Diving, a new virtual drinking session with Ontario brewers & beer lovers.⁠

Every two weeks we’ll be gathering beer folks from the industry to chat about what’s been happening with them during the pandemic, and other various beer-y topics. We have done three so far, and the next one will be Saturday, May 16th at 8pm. You can find more details and register at the Cellar Diving site.

In each session we’ll be drinking (at least) two beers, and encourage you to do the same:

  1. Find an interesting, vintage, or unusual beer that you’ve been keeping in your cellar. We’re going to have that one first.
  2. Get a fresh, local, Ontario-made craft beer which we’ll enjoy after the cellar dive. We’ll have that second.

If you want to get yourself some delicious Ontario beer delivered to home, check out the Ontario Beer Delivery Index at

We’ll have a text Q&A during the session so you can ask questions if you’d like.

We hope to see you at the next one!

The Bar Towel Discussion Forum Relaunches

May 4th, 2015 Posted by Site News No Comment yet

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.

Happy Anniversary, Bar Towel Forum!

June 17th, 2011 Posted by Site News No Comment yet

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!

The Bar Towel GPS Beer Maps

January 8th, 2011 Posted by On The Road Reports, Site News No Comment yet

The Bar Towel loves to travel.  What better way to experience great beers from other cities and countries, than to go and visit?  And when we visit places we always bring along our trusty GPS to guide us on our beer travels.  This way we’re never too far from a good beer spot!  So we thought it would be a good idea to share the GPS maps for other Bar Towellers travelling about, if you happen to be heading to one of our past destinations, that is.

Below you can download GPX files (within zip archives) of a number of the major beer bars and brewpubs in the respective cities.  They are certainly not comprehensive lists, but generally have the most popular pubs and bars.  Hope they can help on your travels!

United States
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco, CA

Antwerpen, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
Koln, Germany

If you have any GPS beer maps that you would like to share, please contribute in the GPS beer map discussion thread.

Bar Towel / Blue Monk Bus Trip Featured in Buffalo News

December 1st, 2010 Posted by Beer Events, Site News No Comment yet

The Bar Towel’s recent bus trip to the Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY, which saw over 50 Ontarians make the trek for beer, was featured today in the Buffalo News.

Written by Andrew Z. Galarneau, News Food Writer for the Buffalo News, the article discusses the emerging trend of “beer tourism” in Buffalo due to the desire of Ontario beer drinkers to seek out more than what’s available within our provincial borders.  The article also goes on to talk about the lack of American craft beer in Ontario and mentions The Bar Towel’s spinoff initiative FreeOurBeer.

The article features quotes from Cass Enright, Bar Towel (and other beer site) regulars Troy Burtch and Harry Heatherington and Blue Monk co-owner Mike Shatzel.

You can read the article here or after the break.


The Bar Towel Announces Bus Trip to Blue Monk

October 17th, 2010 Posted by Beer Events, Site News No Comment yet

The Bar Towel and The Blue Monk are happy to announce an exclusive day trip to Buffalo!  The Blue Monk is a new Belgian-themed bar and restaurant in Elmwood Village in Buffalo, NY. Owned by Mike Shatzel and Kevin Brinkworth, Mike being the great beer guy behind Cole’s (also in Buffalo), the Blue Monk is a new beer destination definitely worth checking out.  The Blue Monk has a mouth-watering tap selection – on opening night they had beers from Cantillon, Dogfish Head, Victory, Stone, Great Lakes (the Ohio one), Nogne, Ommegang and others – with more interesting ones arriving all the time.

The Blue Monk will be welcoming Torontoians with open arms for this event.  For the ticket price ($52.25) you will receive round-trip transport on a coach bus (with washroom!), lunch and a beer of your choice.  And the Blue Monk will be getting some special beer exclusively for our trip!  And everyone’s welcome to wander down the street to Cole’s if you’d like to have a beer there too.

We will meet out front of Union Station in Toronto at 10am on Saturday, November 20th. We will leave Buffalo around 8pm to aim to be back in Toronto around 10pm.  You can purchase your ticket(s) to for the bus trip online here, or using the big orange button below.  Tickets are limited, so purchase yours now!

Register for Event

Sign Up for Bar Towel E-News

October 17th, 2010 Posted by Site News No Comment yet

We’ve already sent out our first e-mail newsletter about the latest on The Bar Towel and what’s being talked about in our lively discussion forum, with more coming soon.  So, if you’re interested in receiving periodic e-mail updates on what’s happening with The Bar Towel and the beer scene, please register here or using the form below.