Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ontario Craft Brewers Book: By Bill Perrie

Canada's self proclaimed pub guy, Bill Perrie, wrote this colourful book about some members of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association back in 2006 which was his fifth book in less than 10 years on pubs and beer.

To create this book, Perrie had to visit many smaller breweries situated throughout the vast province of Ontario to speak with the brew-masters, sales representatives and owners - who sometimes wear all three hats. From visiting Walkerville Brewery in Windsor to Heritage Brewery in Carleton Place, Perrie covers his tracks in documenting the story of some great up and coming breweries.

The book is the only one of its kind for the province with the exception of Stephen Beaumont's book The Great Canadian Beer Guide (2001). Where they differ though is through the wonderful photos that accompany each brewery. The book is very colourful with pictures jumping off the page and they peak your curiosity to see the brewery up close and personal to learn more. Perrie also includes many pictures of brewery owners, adding a personal touch to the book as readers get the opportunity to impromptly meet the person responsible for brewing the beer they drink.

The book was written to promote, or boost Ontario Craft Brewers, so naturally it sings praises for their beer and for their initiatives, and Perrie succeeds in doing so. I enjoy Perrie's writing style as it reflects my own. He writes like if he were talking to you personally - a conversational tone if you will. There is a brief description of each beer the brewery offers along with a blank page for tasting notes. Perrie has told me before that he left this section blank because he would rather the consumer enjoy the beer their own way and not be told how to enjoy it.

Fellow beer writer Alan over at A Good Beer Blog, rated the book back in August of 2006 and even though we may not agree in our reviews, he did made a good point. "This book will provide something of a snapshot of the craft brewing industry in Ontario in the mid-00's of the 21st century."

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I used it many times as a reference when I moved back to Ontario when heading out to visit breweries. It would have been nice to see some more members of the OCB profiled like Denison's or Black Oak, but that could be for another time.....

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