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.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

So Long 2007

I’m going to miss the 2007 year as it provided a lot of ‘firsts’ for me in the beer world. I lived in Halifax, NS and worked for a beer company where I spent every free minute learning more about my favourite beverage. This was the first real eye opener I had into the Canadian beer market and I was thirsty for more. Halifax is also where I gained a great appreciation for unique pubs after reading Nick Pashley’s ‘Notes on a Beermat’. I decided to tour Nova Scotia stopping at local hangouts and upon moving back to my home province of Ontario and joining my fiance in Toronto, I was determined to continue on my quest of searching out interesting pubs and trying a variety of craft and imported beer.

Like I said, 2007 provided me with a lot of ‘firsts’: Toronto Festival of Beer, Golden Tap Awards, Volo Cask Days, C’est What Fall Festival, Canadian Brewing Awards Judging and Gala, being part of TAPS Canada’s Beer Magazine, Mill Street’s celebration, feast at Creemore Brewery, visiting the numerous Toronto beer spots, working with the OCB etc, etc…

I thought it would be fun to compile a couple of top five lists of 2007. So here they are, based on my own personal opinions, which really don’t amount to anything…

Top Five Pubs I Visited in 2007

5. C’est What – Toronto, ON
4. The Knot Pub – Lunenburg, NS
3. The Granite Brewery – Toronto, ON
2. The Feathers Pub – Toronto, ON
1. The Henry House – Halifax, NS

I can’t say enough good things about this very popular Halifax pub. Located in a granite and ironstone building that dates back to the early 1800’s, the Henry House offers delicious English ales brewed by Kevin Keefe from the Halifax Granite and serves fabulous pub food. A testament to the pub is the parking lot. It is busy every night but you wouldn’t tell from the parking lot as it usually remains quite empty. A true local pub.

Five, Okay, Ten Favourite Beers of 2007

10. Mill Street Tankhouse Ale
9. Brooklyn Lager
8. Hop Addict
7. Black Oak Nutcracker Porter
6. Great Lakes Devil’s Pale Ale
5. Delirium Tremens
4. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
3. Mill Street Barley Wine
2. Schneider Weisse / Denison’s Weissbier
1. Garrison’s Imperial Pale Ale (Garrison Brewery – Halifax, NS)

These are beers that I enjoyed drinking during the 2007 year. Some were my go-to beers and some were ones that I was sure to have a stock pile of. This was very difficult as I usually drink whatever I feel suites my mood during a particular period. It could change at any given time. Runners up: Church Key West Coast Pale Ale, Granite Best Bitter Special, Anchor Liberty Ale, Propeller IPA. Garrison’s IMPA was named the 2007 Canadian Beer of the Year by the Canadian Brewing Awards.

Top Five Beer Events 2007

5. Halifax Beerfest
4. C’est What Fall Festival of Beer
3. Canadian Brewing Awards Gala
2. Golden Tap Awards
1. Volo Cask Days

This was my first Volo Cask Days appearance and was I glad I went. Ralph Morana (owner) graciously provided me with a ticket for the Saturday morning/afternoon session where I was able to have a nice breakfast while socializing with some very fine brewers. Getting to sample all the creations was icing on the cake as was meeting all the wonderful beer people I did.

Top Five News makers in 2007

5. Great Lakes winning Golden Tap Editor’s Choice Award
4. OCB News – Discovery Pack/Walkerville Bankruptcy/Number of CBA awards
3. Mill Street winning Canadian Brewery of the Year
2. Passing of Michael Jackson
1. Re-launch of TAPS Canada’s Beer Magazine

New ownership, new focus and new writers make up the recent re-launch of TAPS magazine which is strictly focused on beer. Gone are the cars, girls and cocktails. The first issue featured a great article on Pilsners by Greg Clow, updates from the CBA’s, a tribute to Michael Jackson, lots of pictures and a promise to keep getting better and better.

So there you have it. My 2007 beer year broken down into a couple of small lists. The biggest thing I gained from the past year is the friendships I’ve made with the people who brew the beer I drink, other beer writers and the hospitable pub/café owners. I promise that I will continue this blog into 2008 and I would like to thank all those that have tuned in daily to hear my rants and read my profiles.


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