Trying to guess what is going to happen over the course of a year is a fun process, even if it is relatively pointless. My first crack last year went pretty well, so I decided to go another round. The stakes are the same (ie. there are none), but it would be nice to beat last year’s score (71%). To make things a little more interesting, the number of predictions has been raised to thirty (last year was supposed to be twenty, but a mathematical error meant there were twenty-one).
The predictions also seem to be a rather popular topic that people talk to me about, so I wanted to mention a couple of things. The predictions I make are things that can be answered quantifiably, which makes it hard at times. Nothing about the quality of beer can be mentioned. Some predictions would be too vague and easily debatable (for instance, “Five new good beer bars/restaurants will open in Toronto”). This is part of the reason that so many predictions deal with the LCBO and the type of beers that will appear on their shelves.
The LCBO also features in a lot of the predictions is because it affects the whole province. A lot of interesting, pilot batch beers get released in this province, but most gets bought up by a relatively small (but growing) number of bars or is sold at events. What happens at the LCBO impacts the whole province and reflects the larger changes happening in the Ontario beer world. Keeping those factors in mind, here are the 2013 Predictions!
- Three new beers will be released into the LCBO from Ontario breweries that are Belgian in style. (Hybrid styles like a Belgian IPA will be worth a half point.) (One: Lake of Bays Spring Maple Belgian Blonde Ale. Two: Radical Road Wayward Son. Three: Beau’s Doc’s Feet Dubbel.)
- One Ontario brewery will go out of business.
- Five Ontario beers will end the year with scores of 100 on Ratebeer. Bonus point if one is Great Lakes Dirtbag McQuaig’s Malt Liquor For Fine Gentlemen. (There are currently zero as of Jan 1/2013.)
- One new brewery will be announced in Toronto within the borders of Broadview, Lakeshore/Lake Ontario, Victoria Park and O’Connor/St Clair East.
- Two Canadian breweries will be purchased by multinational corporations. One will be an Ontario brewery.
- A Black Oak beer other than the Pale Ale or Nut Brown will appear on LCBO shelves. (One: 10 Bitter Years.)
- The LCBO will release eight new barrel or oak aged beers from Ontario breweries. (One: Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. Two: Radical Road Canny Man. Three: Flying Monkeys The Matador. Four: Cameron’s Obsidian Imperial Porter in Rum Barrels. Five: Beau’s Festivale Plus Sticke Alt. Six: Radical Road Wayward Son. Seven: Amsterdam De Wallen. Eight: Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard.)
- Two new beers from Ontario with an ABV of 4.5% or under will be released at the LCBO. (One: Hockley 100. Two: Railway City Canada Southern Draft.)
- There will be a gueuze or lambic at the LCBO (not including the Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene). People will go crazy for it and lineups may ensue. [One: 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze (Armand & Tomme)]
- An Ontario beer will be released at the LCBO that costs more than $15/bottle.
- At least one new beer will appear at the LCBO for Ontario Craft Beer Week. (Or a week or two after. It is the LCBO after all!)
- An Ontario brewery will release a collaboration beer with a non-Ontario brewery/brewer and the beer will be in the LCBO. (One: Flying Monkeys/Central City Red on Red.)
- An Ontario brewery will get an LCBO brewery feature. (A co-feature would not count, but collaboration beers would be okay.)
- There will be an Ontario beer in the LCBO that (purposefully) contains either the brettanomyces or lactobacillus yeast. Bonus point if it contains both yeasts. (One: Amsterdam De Wallen.)
- The LCBO will once again sell a beer via lottery.
- An Ontario brewery will win either Brewery of the Year or Beer of the Year at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards. (One: Congrats to Great Lakes for winning Brewery of the Year!)