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Old Fashioned Cocktail: A Brief History  There are many competing narratives surrounding the history of the Old Fashioned – many have been credited with its invention and many more have debated what constitutes a “real” Old Fashioned. So, here’s a brief, anecdotal and at least partially accurate account of this classic cocktail.  In 1806, the...

Beer & Wine Hybrids Beer & wine hybrids have a long history in the craft beer world, dating back to at least the 1970s when Cantillon made Vigneronne, a blend of Lambic beer aged on Muscat grapes. Over the past several years, an increasing number of breweries have been experimenting with hybrids by blending wine...

Pasteurization & Beer  For over 150 years, pasteurization has been instrumental in extending the storage life of food and drinks. French microbiologist Louis Pasteur developed the process in the 1860s, initially revealing that pasteurization could combat unwanted acidity in wine by inhibiting the growth of unwanted spoilage organisms. Similarly, he found that pasteurization could extend...

What is a coolship? The term coolship, from the Flemish koelschip, is a large shallow vessel made of stainless steel or copper, used to cool wort. Coolships are often housed in large rooms, where they lie open to the elements allowing for airborne yeast to flow in and inoculate the beer. This type of fermentation...

Barleywine  A descendant of ancient English strong ales, barleywine (or barley wine) is a full-bodied, high strength ale usually between 8% and 12% ABV. Barleywine owes most of its heritage to its old ale predecessors, which by the nineteenth century was hardly a distinct beer style, but was variously known as old, stock, strong, or...

Beer & Food Pairing With a growing number of craft beer delivery options and, for many of us, a bit of free time on our hands, we have the perfect opportunity to experiment with pairing beer and food. While we often consider wine and food together, beer actually offers incredible diversity in flavour, aroma, colour...

What are Phenols?  Phenols are a broad class of organic compounds that add both desirable and undesirable flavours to beer.  While phenolics are generally known for producing off-flavours, they can contribute positive flavouring compounds too.  Approximately 75% of beer phenolics come from malt, while the other 25% from hops. In barley, the husk and tissue...

What is a White Stout? A contentious beer style for many, the white stout has reputation for inspiring arguments among beer drinkers. Some call it gimmicky – remember Crystal Pepsi? – while others have embraced it as a fun and unique beer style.  Although it is not officially recognized as a beer style, the White...

Aging Beer While it is true that most beer is best served fresh, there are some brews that can actually improve with age. The best beers to age are ones that are barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned, strong or sour.  Not all types of beer are suitable for aging. Hops are the first component of a beer to...

Solera Beer The Solera system is a dynamic aging method that was developed in Southern Spain, in the mid 18th century. Solera describes a fractional blending system originally used for sherry production, where a number of casks containing the wine are stored for consecutive ages. A group of containers, criaderas (nurseries) are filled for each...