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My Work with Qualifirst Foods

Qualifirst Roka Cheese Puffs

The waters where day job meets personal blog are often swimming with sharks. Problems arise when the two parties – employer and blogging employee – have different ideas about who’s the appropriate audience for what information and how time should be spent. I’m lucky to have found a way to make the blog work and regular work connected and supportive of each other and I’d like to share great news today about a new project I’m starting. Over the last week I’ve joined the social media team at Qualifirst Foods and will be helping them with their community building efforts on Twitter and elsewhere. (more…)

Second Draught: an Italian craft beer that brings on the funk

Panil Barriquee Sour

When I’m looking for a beer to write about for my Post City blog I take into account availability and seasonal timing, but mainly it’s a balance between what I think readers will enjoy and what I like to drink. I’m regularly impressed by how well-received some of my recommended beers are. In a lot of cases, I would found some of them too challenging five years ago. That’s especially true of the delicious but bitter hop-bombs that are in vogue.

This Panil is the first sour beer I’ve written about, so I’m wondering what the reaction will be like. Sours are remarkably different than all other beers. I think this one is excellent and look forward to reading your feedback. (more…)

Second Draught: Chaman, a hoppy and aromatic imperial pale ale from Quebec

Green beer annoys me. It’s a gimmick and another plank, roughly patched over a hole in the leaky SS International Pale Lager. I guess the hidden irony here is that DDC makes some of Canada’s best stouts. Many of them are good options for St. Patrick’s Day; better some would say than the Irish stouts we get here.


Second Draught: an American-style IPA from Kensington Brewing Company

Even after talking to about a dozen of the founders of Toronto’s new craft breweries I’m still surprised how they each took a slightly different path into the industry. Some were homebrewers, or worked at big breweries, and others start with just a business and marketing plan.  The unique aspect of Kensington Brewery Company’s history is that they built their base in the back of The Burger Bar, a successful restaurant in Kensington Market. (more…)

Second Draught: Nostradamus, a Belgian strong ale that’s perfect for winter stews

Rather than just (re-)introducing this beer I’m going to offer a relevant and quick lesson on reading the LCBO website. The product page for the Nostradamus Belgian strong says that it’s discontinued, but the inventory page shows 1,800 bottles (a very rough estimate) spread across 65 stores. That’s a hell of a lot of beer for a special season release. For regular listings the discontinued notice means that the LCBO no longer adds to their inventory of that product, in that packaging format. For the seasonal release beers or brewery feature beers it seems to just mean that a product is from the previous cycle. In this case, Nostradamus was part of the winter release and the spring release has started to roll out.

Beer is a fragile product, so the discontinued notice might often be a good indicator to steer clear. With its higher alcohol and low hop bitterness I’m less concerned about the Nostradamus and may pick up a few bottles myself for some cellar aging.