A sign of a great brewery is that it is impossible not to order their beer when you’re at a bar. That is my relationship with the beers of Cheshire Valley, a one-man operation from Paul Dickey. The Cheshire Valley lineup is filled with excellent English ales that are great session beers. Here are Paul’s thoughts on 2011.
A Year of Beer!: 2011 was an exciting year for craft beer in Ontario. What were some of your highlights?
Paul Dickey: 2011 was the first full year of operations for Cheshire Valley. It was great to see how well each of the products were received and the great bars that carried Cheshire Valley products. A couple of the highlights were the collaboration with Brock Shepard which has resulted in the development of Augusta Ale, and the collaboration with Claude Lefebvre with the development of Hops and Robbers.
AYOB!: What was your favourite Cheshire Valley beer in 2011?
PD: My favourite was a toss-up between the Robust Porter and the Out of this World, Galaxy Pale Ale.
AYOB!: What was your favourite beer made by another Ontario brewery?
PD: This is tough. I like pale ales and so have really enjoyed both Mad Tom and Crazy Canuck, however I keep coming back to Denison’s Weissbier.
AYOB!: What was the biggest trend in craft brewing this past year? What trends do you predict for 2012?
PD: Cask is certainly taking off. More places are learning to do it right, which in turn is convincing more people to not only try it but to seek it out. More breweries are doing one-offs and it really is exciting to see all the variations. Ralph Morana and sons have done a great job of promoting cask and I think we will see even more cask events next year.
AYOB!: Any hints as to what we can expect from Cheshire Valley next year?
PD: I plan on doing the same basic line-up however will be doing more small batch one-offs.
Thanks to Paul for his time! Be on the lookout for Cheshire Valley beers in better bars across Toronto.