That recap post was a little clinical and academic, full of numbers and elementary stats while not mentioning actually drinking any delicious beer or providing any real summation for the past twelve months. Yes, it answered the questions I set out with initially, but this year has been about more than just total consumption. All the emotion, drama and excitement of the past year was cast aside, leaving out the sheer joy that often came over me as I drank those 159L of beer. Sentimentality isn’t really for me, but it’s nice to look back at my first visit to the Mondial festival, meeting lots of fellow beer drinkers at events around the city, sometimes drinking too much and the patios of Volo and Victory. Blogging has helped me get out of my living room, off of The Bar Towel and into the bars and breweries of this city. My book deal never came through, but perhaps I should have tried to drink my way through a Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide (Mike vs. Michael would have been a hilarious spin on Julie vs. Julia – I just might try it).
While there has been a personal journey, the landscape in Ontario has also changed somewhat significantly in the past twelve months. The Black Oak Ten Bitter Years has broken the ground for well-hopped beers in Ontario (or Toronto, at least). HMH Negotiants started to bring craft beer from across the country, including getting Dieu Du Ciel! into the LCBO. Chancey Smith’s has become the best bar not located in Toronto. Duggan’s Brewpub opened in downtown Toronto, Bryden’s brought cask ale to the west-end. The first-ever Ontario Craft Beer Week aimed to put the spotlight on the delicious beers of our brewers. The LCBO brought in expensive beer (Ola Dubh 40, Southern Tier Creme Brulee) and it sold (which may have been a surprise to some, but not to the beer community).
The future is even brighter with LCBO brewery features on the horizon, the inaugural Toronto Beer Week and the increasing availability of craft beer (local, national and international). Bought obviously craft beer still has a long way to go and I don’t really stop writing this blog even though the name is now pointless and the central crux has fallen away. There won’t be a gimmick anymore (sorry if you were reading just for that fact), just hardcore beer reporting. In the future expect to see interviews with beer individuals (brewers, publicans, other industry types – ideally from around the province), more event reviews, editorials and a weekly beer review. I might even try to learn some CSS to get away from the WordPress-template. September will probably be slow up until the chaos and madness that will be Toronto Beer Week. The main focus in the future will be quality over quantity, which hasn’t been the case till now thanks to the theme of the past year. If there’s anything you want to see covered or want to send a long rant in which you call me a drunken lout, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. It may not be the smoothest transition, but hopefully will setup for a nice, long run. Thanks again for reading!