Depressing Map of Dry States.

The above image shows all the places in America where alcohol is still banned. It’s been 79 years since prohibition ended in the USA yet a good portion (particularly the Bible Belt) of America have since voted to alcohol bans in place.

It makes me incredibly sad. It’s just another example of draconian laws in our society. The only bright spot is that prohibition most likely helped homebrewing explode into what it is today.

In many ways, prohibition was the catalyst for the first (and arguably biggest) large-scale Do-It-Yourself science movement in the nation’s history; home-brewing became extremely popular during prohibition, with magazines like Popular Science publishing how-to guides for assembling DIY distilleries, and measuring your alcohol to keep it within the ABV standards outlined by the eighteenth amendment.

Add this to the list of beers I need to drink: 8-Bit Pale Ale

Tallgrass Brewing Co. has a new beer out that is obviously marketed to kids and geeks. And it worked because I wanted to try this even before I read the description of hops used. This is some brilliant marketing and can design.

Just like those classic video games we all grew up with, 8-Bit Pale Ale is spectacularly simple at first glance yet remarkably fun and complex when you get into it. Our Hop Rocket infuses the character of Austrailian grown Galaxy Hops into an American Pale Ale, giving a unique tropical, almost melon aroma in a classic American style.
ABV: 5.2% IBU: 40 Malts: 2 Row, Victory, Vienna & Munich Hops: Magnum, Centennial, Cascade & Galaxy

Tropical melon aroma? Count me in. Too bad this is not availble in Canada though.

Celebrate Global Warming March with a Beer

Spring time is upon us and the weather is amazing. The sun is out and the birds are chirping… And you and your friends should be celebrating with a beer! For all the Montrealers out there, McAuslan announced it is opening the terrace on Wednesday for a 5 a 7 BBQ.

It`s SPRING FEVER!! The weather is beautiful and it is warm, so we are opening the terrace for 1 day only, this Wednesday march 21st for a 5 a 7! BBQ, beer on tap and lots of fun! See you there!

A microbrewery brewed out of spite: Spiteful Brewing

Here is a great interview with two lifelong friends born out of a hockey fight who are starting a brewery in Chicago. Small and at their own pace. They describe themselves as a nanobrewery and are trying to supply a few bars in the Chicago area.

Shaffer and Klein’s hockey friendship strengthened in high school when they played for the same team for three years before they ditched the ice for the warm sun of Arizona during college. After a year there together, Brad transferred to Colorado, where his craft beer obsession took root. It hasn’t let go.

I like the idea of two guys who spent a few years brewing in their kitchen going at it incrementally. Instead of trying, and potentially failing, by opening a big brewery right out of the gate. It seems like they are doing it the right way. More craft beer can only be a good thing. Keep an eye out for them when you’re in Chicago.

Dark Chocolate Bacon Porter? Yes please.

Although I find the idea of brewing with actual bacon weird, Blue Moon is going to make an attempt at it. Blue Moon Brewing had a promotion running on Facebook to choose the next seasonal they would make upon the next lunar blue moon. They just released the 3 finalists that will be competing against each other during a month of tasting. While the Dark Chocolate Bacon Porter sounds delicious, I think the Blackberry Tart Ale is more inline with the Blue Moon brand and it sounds really refreshing.

Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale: A blend of cinnamon and nutmeg combine with roasted caramel malts and fresh apple juice for a warming, spiced taste.

Blue Moon Blackberry Tart Ale: The aroma of rich blackberries sets up the slightly sweet yet tart taste that’s balanced by the subtle malt character.

Blue Moon Dark Chocolate Bacon Porter: This deep mahogany colored ale is brewed with hickory-smoked bacon and dark chocolate for a slightly sweet yet savory taste.

Maple Cream Ale

I do not know exactly why it took so long for me to brew up my next batch of beer. I guess I wanted to wait to see how the pumpkin beer was received. Then I suppose the winter holidays came and went pretty quickly, filled with days of shopping and drinking said pumpkin beer. As I got to the end of my supply of homebrew, I quickly ealized that I didn’t have another batch to replace it with.

Which taught me a very important lesson about timing homebrews: Always have one fermenting in the pipeline.

I was thinking about the beer though. I wanted to go a bit seasonal again to celebrate the melting of the snow and one of Quebec’s greatest staples, maple syrup. If I wanted to get the beer ready for March (and not two months after the season like my pumpkin beer) I would have to start soon.

It’s easy to get lost in research and the science of homebrewing but at a certain point you just have to go for it. After looking up recipes suitable for maple syrup and how the syrup reacts with the yeast and what flavours it imparts I got my ingredients and hit the ground running (or boiling). So I present to you my Maple Cream Ale.

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Guinness Porter Cake with Orange-Whiskey Butter

Alright, we ain’t messing around this St-Patrick’s day. Here’s a Irish Bread Cake recipe adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen. This is an easy recipe that doesn’t require any complicated techniques involving yeast and rising dough. Just crack open another Guinness in preparation for this weekends celebrations and then crack open another for this recipe. Then top it off with some Whiskey butter for the total beer and spirits package in a desert. Enjoy.

Guinness Porter Cake


3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped prunes
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
1-1/4 cups Guinness
2 large eggs, beaten
Orange-Whiskey Butter, for serving (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-3-inch round cake pan, line with parchment, and butter again.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon over a large bowl. Crumble in brown sugar and mix well. Rub in butter until crumbly. Mix in the dried fruit.

Mix together the Guinness and beaten eggs. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Mix until well combined. Turn batter out into the parchment-lined pan, smoothing top. Bake for about 2-1/2 hours. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool in the pan for about 25 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with orange-whiskey butter. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Yield: 16 slices.

Orange-Whiskey Butter


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Whip together butter and sugar, orange zest, and whiskey until smooth. Yield: 1/2 cup.

Guinness Cupcakes

Well, it’s that time of the year. Guinness branding day… I mean St-Patrick’s day. Which I am OK with since Guinness is an unoffensive stout. And thanks to marketing when you think of St-Patrick’s day you think of drinking a Guinness, which is also OK because you can’t make it green. Guinness is also great to cook with. I have a great Guinness BBQ sauce that works with anything you throw it at. Stouts also work very well with chocolate, although I would never recommend you cook with a bottle of Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodisiaque, I wouldn’t mind you throwing in a couple of Guinness into a recipe.

That being said, here’s a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Guinness Cupcakes


1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Scharffen Berger Cocoa)
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
4. Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
5. Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
4 tablespoons very cold milk


Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

Ask Men – Fancy Beer

Recently, posted an article on what he calls “Fancy Beer” and how its time for everyone to admit that they taste like crap and that we should just go back to only having very limited selection of beers.


If I’m going to get a carbon dioxide headache, let me get it drinking something that doesn’t require an advanced degree to appreciate.

You can deny it all you want, but I’ll never believe you wouldn’t rather shoot pool with a couple of Pabst Blue Ribbons than with a cedar-spiced holiday ale.

I don’t know where he is going off on this, I have no advanced degree in anything taste related nor am I a connoisseur by any means, however, PBR is by far the worst thing I think I have ever ingested. My fridge right now is filled with Molson M and Moosehead, I like “regular” beer as much as the next guy, but I can appreciate when something is “fancy” and different, breaks out and tries something different.

I am not saying he is wrong here, there are a lot of beers out there that just aren’t good, and people may be lying to themselves that it has hints of this or that, but there are so many excellent beers that you can’t lump all “fancy beers” into one category.

If people like him ran the world pizza would only come in pepperoni, and if you wanted mushrooms, you’d be crazy and lying to yourself that you might like it. There would only be 3 choices of cars, small, medium and pick-up truck, all American too, can’t have any European or Japanese “infiltrating”. Some people like variety and some don’t.

This article really bothers me as to just being ignorant and close minded. There are so many different and excellent beers out there that you can’t just say, go back to the old way, I am uncomfortable with this many options.

When I finish work and on a hot day, I do prefer a beer like Moosehead or M, maybe even something crazy like a Corona, but when I’m sitting and reading or chatting with like minded friends, it’s really nice to have something different and new. New flavours, new experiences, buddies bringing in something new and saying “Hey, I found this and really enjoy it, hope you do too!”

However, drinking while reading is probably too “fancy”.

Article can be found Here


This article was written while drinking a Moosehead or two.


A Trick to Pouring a Good Pint of Guinness From a Can

While already making the compromise of drinking Guinness in a can… in North America… there are a few things you can do to make the experience better. Forget the 45 degree angle and just place the can upside down into the glass. You will get a creamier head and body allowing the gasses to escape the liquid. Just make sure the can is clean before you go dipping it into your beer. Check out the video below for some gratuitous close ups of Guinness head.