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L is for Beer

lisforbeer01On a very cold evening in January I joined fellow beer fans for a special  dinner by the L is For… team at Toronto’s Beer Academy. The meal was prepared by Chef Eyal Liebman, courses were introduced by his wife, sommelier Rebecca Meir Liebman, and the paired beers were presented by the Beer Academy’s head brewer, Stephen Rich.

The menu for the night.

The menu for the night.

Even with six full courses — two appetizers, a fish, main, cheese, and dessert — Chef Liebman did a commendable job of walking the fine line between satisfying and over-stuffing diners. He also showed that plates at beer dinners don’t need to be a four-foot slab of barn board covered in a mountain of meat. Instead his her attractive and carefully presented without being fussy. (more…)

Weekly Roundup II

IMG_7769I managed to get a bunch of writing done this week — much of it here on Food with Legs in fact — so I’m happy to say that this, the second weekly collation of my web writing, is longer than round number one. (Feel free to keep your comments to yourself about how it’s been more than a week since the last roundup.) (more…)

Second Draught: Granville Island’s Winter Beer

For craft breweries identity is important–and occasionally controversial. A central question in that debate is: Can a craft brewery keep that label after it is bought by a large, multinational brewing company? For instance, Ontario’s Creemore Springs Brewery was bought by Molson is 2005 and then B.C.’s  Granville Island Brewing was in turn purchased by Creemore in 2009.

Both companies have kept many of their fans despite the takeover by Molson Coors. I think this is especially true when it comes to special or seasonal releases. Granville Island’s Lions Winter Ale is a typical example.  (more…)

New Loblaws, Bulk Barn, and Matt Kantor at Longo’s

Maple Leaf Gardens restored awning and the lineup for the new Loblaws.

Yesterday grocery stores were front page news in Toronto. Loblaws has bought Maple Leaf Gardens and turned it into a massive store with wide aisles and separate wall-sized displays of cheese, prosciutto and other goods.

Mural of Leafs heroes at new Loblaws.

Mural of Leafs heroes at new Loblaws.

I joined the lineup under the restored, retro awning on Carlton to get into the Gardens and only scalpers shouting “who’s buying, who’s selling” could have made that more nostalgic. There are some touches like the large mural pictured above, tables topped with posting posters from when Ali was still Clay, and the art installation made from old blue seats above the escalator that are definite nod to the building that was the setting for millions of hours of frost-bitten boyhood fantasies. (more…)