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 www.obdi.ca.
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.
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:
Find an interesting, vintage, or unusual beer that you’ve been keeping in your cellar. We’re going to have that one first.
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 www.obdi.ca.
We’ll have a text Q&A during the session so you can ask questions if you’d like.
Voting is now open for the 2019 Golden Tap Awards, Ontario’s most democratic beer awards event. The Golden Tap Awards are the leading awards event recognizing favourite craft beer achievements in Ontario, as decided by beer lovers themselves.
Now in their seventeenth year, the Golden Tap Awards is Ontario’s most democratic awards event, with all voting taking place online by the general public in the following categories:
Favourite brewery in Ontario
Favourite beer bar in Ontario
Favourite brewery taproom or brewpub in Ontario
Favourite beer in Ontario
NEW FOR 2019: Favourite beer personality in Ontario
NEW FOR 2019: Favourite beer marketing in Ontario
NEW FOR 2019: Favourite brewery retail store in Ontario
NEW FOR 2019: Favourite food in Ontario
Favourite NEW brewery in Ontario (opened since September 2018)
Favourite NEW beer bar in Ontario (opened since September 2018)
NEW FOR 2019: Favourite NEW beer in Ontario (released since September 2018)
Brewmaster’s Choice (best beer in Ontario, as decided by brewers)
Voting is free and open to the public until September 4th, 2019. There are no nominees – you are free to vote for whomever you wish in the categories, as long as they represent craft beer. All breweries, brewpubs, bars, restaurants, beers, people and entities that exist in Ontario qualify for nomination.
Voting closes on September 4th, 2019 and winners will announced on Thursday, September 12th alongside the Ontario Brewing Awards in Toronto.
Brad Clifford (with Bruce Phillips), winning numerous medals at the 2012 Canadian Amateur Brewers Association awards.
In our latest episode of Bar Towel Radio, we have a chat with long-time beer friend Brad Clifford, founder of Clifford Brewing. Clifford was recently awarded Canadian Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and is very well known for their lauded Clifford Porter. Brad and I chat about how he started in homebrewing and his stops along the way at Duggan’s, Get Well and more, leading up to his launch of Clifford Brewing’s bricks and mortar brewery in East Hamilton.
A few months ago I visited London, Ontario and was fortunate to have a round-table chat with Dave Reed of Forked River Brewing Company, Gavin Anderson of Anderson Craft Ales and award-winning beer writer Ben Johnson about the local beer and brewing scene. Recorded at Forked River, we discussed their backgrounds in beer, how the London beer scene has developed over the past few years, and some of the interesting places and beers in the city.
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.