128-Mass-Edited-1280

“A Piece of Mass in Every Glass” – Massachusetts Craft Beer and the Importance of Drinking Local

Step into any thriving bar these days and you are bound to come face-to-face with an imposing selection of ornate beer taps offering a wide range of drinkables. Craft beers have taken over and the variety, from tart gose sours to smooth chocolate milk stouts, means a greater choice than ever. Small town breweries are … Continue Reading →

O'Haras Stout

Toronto Festival of Beer rejoices in the coming of Irish Craft Beer to Canada

“You can’t choose your family but you can choose your beer,” joked Padraig Fox, Export Manager for Rye River Brewing Company, in conveying the tagline for McGargles Irish Family Brewing. The beers, deftly personified by caricatures of a dysfunctional family, range from the elder matron Granny Mary (Red Ale) to hipster Cousin Rosie (Pale Ale). A very modern advertising approach that stands out in a beer field traditionally branded with stereotypical harps and shamrocks.
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Right: Blue Elephant's strawberry lager

Four Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ontario’s Southwest

The jig is up! Although Ontario’s Southwest has flown under the radar for awhile, this region is becoming uber popular for foodies seeking a gastronomic retreat. After a weekend in Norfolk County, I’m sharing four of the best kept (and delicious!) secrets about the food scene in Ontario’s Southwest. But go quickly: once the hipsters find out, tourists will flood this region. Continue Reading →

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Edwardson

Gearing up for “Canada’s Tiny, Perfect Festival”: The Dawson City Music Festival

Up in the Yukon town of Dawson city, the summer is short. The snow and ice hang around town until about May. But once warmer weather finally hits there’s only one thing to do: party until the first leaf drops. And there’s no better way to make hay while the sun shines than to revel in the Dawson City Music Festival. Continue Reading →

WorldOfWhiskyLounge1

World of Whisky: An Intercontinental Whisky Tour at The Forth, Toronto

Scotch from Scotland is always the first thing that crosses my mind when I hear whisky. That connection has been broken for me due to this event. For the first time this year, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015, has not a Scotch in the top five.

Both the Scottish and the Greeks claim to invented the whiskey world, so it is no surprise that on a cold Thursday evening, I found myself attending the World of Whisky event at The Forth on the Danforth. I could tell you all about an event that passed in breathless language in such a way that would make you wish you were there but I’m not about inducing jealousy. Instead, what knowledge I learned about world whisky and food pairings, I’ll share. Continue Reading →

Bar Fish Toronto

Introducing Barfish: Toronto’s Narrowest Cocktail Bar

Have you been inside Toronto’s narrowest cocktail bar yet?

Squeaking in with a liquor license just in time for its official launch, BarFish, nestled as cosily as you can get alongside neighbourhood veteran BlowFish, made its King West debut elegantly. Take one step too many and you’d walk straight past this modern addition, wedged between the old Bank of Montreal building (that has housed BlowFish for 13 years) on the corner of King and Bathurst and somewhat dwarfed by office spaces next door. Continue Reading →

Innis and Gunn Christmas Cocktail

Five Festive Beer Cocktails with Scottish Ale

The holiday season brings out the best and worst in humankind. We celebrate by sharing “cheer” with our friends as they come in the door from the cold with a warming drink. Sometimes, we appreciate those punchbowls as a way to survive the holidays. Whichever type of cheerful person you are, we have a cup for you.

We were reminded of our obligation to turn away from our inner Grinches by receiving three recipes from Innis & Gunn, which we promptly tried, and thought up two more to help you through the winter and holiday season.
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Absinthe Fire cocktail in Banff Alberta

Come on Baby Light My (Banff Cocktail) on Fire!

At the Balkan Restaurant in Banff, Alberta, drinks are conceptualized by mad scientist, Matthew Hendricks, the restaurant’s head Mixologist. Hendricks uses creativity (and fire!) to bring unique cocktails to even the most discerning drinkers.

Their menu has at least 25 drinks cocktails available at all times and a team of (good looking) bartenders at the ready to make them. At The Balkan, juices and syrups are made from scratch onsite along with massive deoxygenated ice cubes—I’ll get to those in a minute. Continue Reading →

Tea and Sandwiches at Wickwoods Country Club, Hotel and Spa

Guilt-Free Cream Tea (& Other Luxuries) in Southern England

On my lifelong search for the quintessential holiday fitness facility, I came across Wickwoods Country Club, Hotel and Spa, tucked away in England’s verdant Sussex Downs. It’s not just a private hangout for local ladies who lunch; it’s a boutique hotel with spa and gym with exercise classes, tennis and a ritzy restaurant. Oh, and an English cream tea destination to boot! Continue Reading →

Brugges Bruges Belgium

Where Can You Snort Chocolate and Drink 650 Types of Beer? Only in Bruges, Belgium

Squeezed between racy Amsterdam and cheese-mongering Paris, Belgium’s Bruges may seem small potatoes at first glance. But this fairy tale-like town has more to offer than Medieval architecture and canals. Foodies and ale-lovers flock to Bruges to indulge in calorific cuisine, craft beer, and some bizarre ways of ingesting chocolate (think: cocaine-style). Here are five things to love about Bruges’ food scene: Continue Reading →

Okanagan Valley Wineries, British Columbia

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley: Second Best Wine Region in the World?

As I wind my way through the grape-heavy vines of the sun-dappled Naramata Bench in mid-September, I can’t shake the feeling that I must be in the viticultural heart of France or Italy. Surely not British Columbia in Canada.

But believe it. Travelling through Naramata, one of the richest wine-growing regions in the world, the only thing more arresting than seeing the Okanagan Valley is tasting it. USA Today readers seemed to agree when they named the Okanagan Valley the second best wine region in the world.

My mission for the day: taste as many different wines at as many different wineries as possible. Continue Reading →