The first week of frosty winter can be a little disheartening—until you realize that it’s also a time of change on the LCBO’s shelves. Festive, seasonal beers are trickling onto the shelves, and there’s no better way to salute the snow than with a beer designed to keep you warm and cosy. Here are the three beers (and one cider) that I can’t get enough of at the LCBO right now.Read More
“I use beer to shine leaves on my big rubber plant,” says Alma Lekic, a Toronto-based gerontologist “works wonders.” Beer’s acidity also make it a natural polish for gold, silver and copper jewelry. Just drop tarnished jewelry in beer, leave overnight, (or longer if the piece is really nasty,) and polish with a dry cloth. Use flat beer to buff wood furniture.Read More
As the sommelier and wine agent for The Living Vine, an organic wine agency in Toronto, Ontario, Zinta Steprans drinks a lot of vino. But she goes home to beer. "Honestly, I tend to drink more beer than wine," she says. "At the end of a long day of tasting there's nothing more enjoyable than a crisp, cold beer," she says. But for us beer nerds, wine can seem a world apart.Read More
Do you love Unibroue, or really dig oversized beer bottles that could later be turned into table lamps?
In that case, this tasting is for you. Next Thursday, November 27th, Unibroue's brewmaster, Jerry Vietz is making a rare appearance in Ontario, alongside beer sommelier, Sylvain Bouchard and offering 24 people a guided tasting featuring limited release Unibroue products including its newest offering La Résolution, as well as the 2014 vintage release of the Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve. And they'll be paired with dishes from beerbistro chef Michelle Usprech.
The whole shabang is really around promoting Unibroue's giant bottle of La Fin du Monde (an excellent beer in its own right) but I'm sure I wouldn't fork out $149 for a 6-litre bottle of the stuff. But then again, I'm not a fan of beer decor in general. Still, there's nothing I love more than sitting down with a brewmaster and tasting his or her beer, it's a real treat, and I think the $35 ticket price for an exclusive guided tasting (just 24 tickets, with food pairings) is a bargain.
Here's how the Unibroue press release spins the bottle:
This event will celebrate the limited release of La Fin du Monde in an exclusive, hand-poured 6-litre bottle format...
Ticket holders will be among the first to be able to purchase the exclusive 6-litre bottle
for $149.00, and will have the opportunity to take a photo with Jerry Vietz and Sylvain
Bouchard, and to have their bottle autographed. Only 343 of the hand-poured bottles are available in Canada, 50 of which will be available in Ontario, exclusively at LCBO Summerhill.
And here's how to get your tasting ticket:
Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Vietz will also lead a guided tasting for a very limited number of customers from 1:00-2:30pm. Tickets to this event are $35 and will be on sale by phone through the helloLCBO Contact Centre beginning November 4. Customers can purchase a maximum of two tickets per person, to taste a selection of limited release Unibroue products with food pairings by beerbistro chef Michelle Usprech.
Ticket holders will be among the first to be able to purchase the exclusive 6-litre bottle for $149.00, and will have the opportunity to take a photo with Jerry Vietz and Sylvain Bouchard, and to have their bottle autographed.
Only 343 of the hand-poured bottles are available in Canada, 50 of which will be available in Ontario, exclusively at LCBO Summerhill.
Tickets to the tutored tasting event for customers will be available for purchase by telephone beginning at 8:30 am on November 4 by calling the helloLCBO Contact Centre at 1-800-668-5226 or 416-365-5900 (Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 6 pm and Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. helloLCBO will also be open on Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm, beginning November 16).
NOTE: Only 24 tickets will be available due to space restrictions.
I recently wrote a story for Sun Media exploring the beauty benefits of beer (see below) and I'd love to hear what you think: Do you believe beer can help improve your appearance? Have you tried any of the beer treatments I mentioned? Or do you have your own beer beauty secret to share? I'd love to hear your tips or tricks.Read More
If you missed out on my first Fall Beer School class, Hops’ Rubbing & Loving: IPAs & Pale Ales, you’re in luck. Here's all you need to know to how to host a hoppy tasting for your next shindig. Impress your guests with your hop knowledge and serve these six beers with their respective hops. I suggest picking up some whole hops from Toronto Brewing. Before you taste each beer, explore the aroma of the hops by rubbing a few cones vigorously in your hands and then taking some deep sniffs.Read More
A thirst for the game:
For most of us, watching hockey without a beer in hand is sacrilege. But why reach for just any beer, when you can pick one that pairs perfectly the team you’re cheering on? In this break-down we match each franchises’ skills and personality to a beer. So read on to find out what to drink come game time.Read More
It is a proud thing to be a Torontonian on the eve of Cask Days—North America’’s biggest cask beer festival and maybe even the largest dedicated firkin festival in the world. This year, Bar Volo’s Morana family has outdone themselves, bringing in 363 firkins from the UK, California and seven Canadian provinces and over 20 craft ciders. All 6,000 tickets for this Friday, Saturday’s and Sunday’s sessions are gone.
With so many one-offs, rarities and wacky casks to choose from, where does one begin?
To make things easy, I've asked three beer experts from L.A., Vancouver and Halifax to recommend their top local brews that you MUST TRY at Cask Days. Plus I've chosen 5 Ontario Must-Drink Casks. Here they are:Read More
Here's a list of Winter Beers being brought into the LCBO, starting, (they say), November 24th. It looks like a stunning list, perfect for rich holiday fare. Let's hope we have the beers in our hands well before holiday party season kicks off.Read More
Craft brewers like to mark the passing of time, 10th Anniversary, 15th, 20th — they celebrate 'em all. It would be annoying, except that they usually do it by creating a special beer, or five.
Here's a roundup of four Canadian Brewery-versaries happening this year — and four fine ales to toast them with:Read More
It was an honour to present Luxy's Beer-cathalon featuring my Wheel of Beer at Beau's School of Bock at their annual Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill this past weekend. Despite the rain, 17,000 muddy patrons came out to raise money for local charities, eat fantastic German fare, and drink steins of Beau's brews. Hands-down best Oktoberfest in the country, I was lucky to persuade my sister, Tara Luxmore, to join me.
Below you'll find some snaps from the weekend (we like to eat, lots).
And, by popular demand, here's the recipe for the Gingerbread I baked for the Beer School. I lifted the recipe from epicurious, who in turn lifted it from the Gramercy Tavern in New York City. I used Beau's Matt's Sleepytime Belgian Imperial Stout for the beer.Read More
Recently I've gotten a lot of questions lately about how to set up a beer tasting for friends. Luckily, I was interviewed on the subject by Lisa Hoekstra along with my colleagues, Roger Mittag and Tracy Phillippi, for Quench Magazine. Just read the story below, and you'll be ready to host a tasting.
Not into DIY? I often lead tastings for special occasions and corporate events. I put a pretty package together listing all of my guided tasting services, like team-building, beer dinners and food pairing workshops. And thanks to BizBash for including my services in their 6 Ideas for Fall Entertaining in Toronto.Read More
It was a tough job (really!). Eventually, palate fatigue, a slight alcohol buzz, and so many similar flavours can make it hard to separate the good from the very good.
Still, I gave it my best shot. Here are my picks of 11 beers to grab off the LCBO shelves, and a couple that you might want to leave in the store.Read More
I'm excited to announce the fall series for Luxy's Beer School at Tequila Bookworm. The four classes are a series of guided tastings exploring everything from the terroir of hops, to how to pair beer with chocolate, to craft cider and extreme brewing.
Tickets are $35 (the chocolate one is $40) and include five beer samples, light snacks & guaranteed good times.
Grab ‘em here: crystalluxmore.com/eventsRead More
The ‘beer belly’ myth: A Q&A with beer sommelier Crystal Luxmore by Lia Grainger
Ever heard of the beer belly? Though Canadians adore downing beer by the pint, can or bottle, it has a nasty reputation as an unhealthy and fattening beverage.
Now, a British nutritionist has conducted a review of the scientific literature on beer, and has come up with some pretty interesting findings.
Nutritionist Kathryn O’Sullivan claims in her report that the beer belly is a myth, and that replacing wine with beer may actually help you lose weight. The Telegraph reports she also claims beer has myriad health benefits, and that it is generally misunderstood to be bad for you.
Before we go any further, we should note that O’Sullivan was commissioned to write the report on behalf of the beer industry, and if that’s not a conflict of interest then Guinness isn’t delicious (Editor's note: Guinness is delicious).
That being said, O’Sullivan makes some interesting claims that we thought would be worth fact-checking, so we got in touch with Crystal Luxmore, a Canadian Prud’homme beer sommelier and beer columnist. She gave us the down-low on whether the ultimate Canadian beverage is helping or hurting us.Read More
I love wine, but I don't know much about it. So maybe that's why whenever I taste one, my mind goes to beer—which beer has similar flavours? Have I ever tasted a beer with this much acidity, cherry or leather?
Usually when beer and wine are in the same conversation, it's all about rivalry: which beverage is best? But that's just silly—if you love great beer and food, why wouldn't you adore wine too? So, I love to bring them together, finding similar flavours, balances and mouthfeels—and noticing their vast differences.
It's kind of like beer and food pairing, but more fun.
You should try it! This week I'm hosting a small tasting for 10 ticket holders to The Beer Experience, but you don't have to win to try it at home, here are my suggestions. Pair one or two up and let me know what you think!Read More
Another year, another Toronto Beer Week. With so many beer events on the calendar all year round, some folks wonder why we still need, not one week, but 11 DAYS of knocking back craft pints—but Beer Week forces breweries to bring their A-Game. With over 100 events, they compete with one another for us thirsty imbibers. And short of cloning yourself, it's going to be impossible to hit them all up. Let me make it easier for you. Here's my rundown of 14 TBW 2014 events you don't want to miss:Read More
Labour Day Weekend is almost upon us and the forecast says it’ll be a hot one. So embrace these last few days of summer by cooling off with some crisp, bubbly (and always gluten-free) ciders. Skip Somersby and Strongbow, commercial brands, which are made using apple concentrate and sugar. Instead, opt for an artisanal or craft cider that uses only two ingredients: the juice of pressed apples and yeast.Read More
Last year, I wrote on beer-wine hybrids or "vinales" in The Globe and Mail and talked to Amsterdam’s brewmaster Iain McOustra. One of the first in the country to put barley and grapes into the same brew pot, McOustra is truly a pioneer in this area. His experimental process, local inspirations and focus on ingredients when creating wine-influenced brews was enlightening and informative, so I'm sharing it with you here. See you at Bar Hop to taste his latest vinales.Read More
The Beer Experience returns to the Berkeley Church and Field House (315 Queen St E) on September 11th for the annual kick off to Toronto Beer Week! Each brewery has either brewed something totally unique specifically for this event, they are offering a cool new seasonal, or they are bringing you a brand new brew that hasn't hit the shelves yet!Read More