Categories: Beer In The PressPublished On: April 5, 2006


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?

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