Bar Towel News Editor
Toronto Star beer writer Jon Filson has taken cranked up his battle to bring craft beer to the masses with a feature article entitled “Need for new beer is here” that puts the spotlight on the American craft brewing boom, and speculates on why a similar rennaissance hasn’t happened on the same scale in Ontario:
Our microbreweries have established themselves as viable businesses but not yet as creative ones. Instead of developing their own flavours and styles, Ontario micros generally try to replicate European products or mainstream Canadian beers. Light-tasting pale ales, lagers and pilsners make up the largest share of the Ontario Craft Brewers’ brands.
The piece features quotes and insights from a variety of industry insiders, including Ontario brewers Phil DiFonzo (King Brewery) and John Graham (Church-Key Brewing), and their American brethren Jack Joyce (Rogue Ales) and Greg Koch (Stone Brewing). And as you might expect from the brewer of a beer called Arrogant Bastard, Koch doesn’t mince words when he gives his opinion of our situation north of the border:
In his brewery’s early years, Stone required a lot of “free thinkers” who encouraged him and kept selling his beer. He emphasises “required.”
“I’m not an expert on Canada,” he continues. “But I understand the distribution mechanisms are, frankly, archaic, protectionist and not very functional.”
Ouch! It’s harsh to hear your rep out loud, isn’t it?