Canadian Beer!!! Burrrrp!
June 27, 2003 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Something to think about while you plan your weekend . . . Mmmmmm, Canadian beer: Sleeman - Annoying Flash site, great music. Labatt - annoying pop up ad with a fantastic idea. Molson - another annoying pop-up, but it's The Stone's! Click on Don Cherry for some fashion. And who can forget about The Rant? Then there's the mother of beer sites,, featuring beer, sex, music, fun and free. Admit it, nothing compares to beer, especially Canadian beer.
posted by ashbury (33 comments total)
Please remember: there's a lot of shitty Canadian beer, too.

But also, the good. Draft Moosehead. Mmmmm....
posted by Marquis at 5:36 PM on June 27, 2003

Molson: horse piss. Labatt: horse piss. Kokanee: donkey piss.

Sleeman's is okay.

Better still are ones like Okanagan Springs, Granville, Big Rock, Nelson, Bear.

Black Bear is very good.

Nelson After Dark is tremendously good. Wonderful, wonderful beer and all too difficult to find.

Okanagan Spring Pale Ale is decent. Shame they don't make a dark ale.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2003

No Keith's? Those who like it, like it a lot! Then they go into rehab.

Canadian lagers strike me as being just as crappy as mass-produced American lagers. The ales are nice though.

Where Canada (or at least Tronna) is heads and shoulders above the US is in having a decent pub culture. Much nicer than awful noisy sports bars.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:52 PM on June 27, 2003

Before this thread gets rolling, I just want to say that I agree with you about Molson's and Labatt's. I mentioned the two big ones for international recognition. I am a microbrew fan from way back, and after living in Vancouver for over a decade, I've been spoiled from all of the fantastic micro's they have such as Vancouver Island Brewery, Granville Island Brewing and the aforementioned Okanagan Spring Brewery. Here is a list of the many other fine micro's in British Columbia.
posted by ashbury at 6:01 PM on June 27, 2003

Just for you, ROU, Alexander Keith's.
posted by ashbury at 6:04 PM on June 27, 2003

"...another annoying pop-up, but it's The Stone's!"

It's the Stone's what?

Or did you mean it's the Stones, as in the Rolling Stones?

posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:27 PM on June 27, 2003

Do they still make Brador? Used to be my favorite.
posted by Oriole Adams at 7:27 PM on June 27, 2003

nothing compares to beer, especially Canadian beer

And nothing compares to cuisine, especially Scottish cusine.
posted by sharksandwich at 7:33 PM on June 27, 2003

Canadian beer huh? We _definitely_ must not leave out Maudite from Unibroue. Unibroue is one of my global favorites, so good :).
posted by rudyfink at 7:36 PM on June 27, 2003

Unibroue? That hirsute, angry fellow from Oasis should be drinking that.
posted by sharksandwich at 7:44 PM on June 27, 2003

Thx for the list, Ashbury! Tree's good, too. I'm surprised to see that Shaftebury is delisted: I can still buy it (and it's good); p'raps they relocated.

Pacific Western is in there. They used to be owned by Ben Ginter, way back in the 70's. Today, they make cheap horsepiss. Remember the no-name brand beer? That was them...

I want to open a brewpub!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 PM on June 27, 2003

I agree with the opinions about Canadian and Blue. I'm a big fan of Sleeman's and Keith's as well.

I've recently discovered the joys of SteamWhistle.
posted by aclevername at 8:19 PM on June 27, 2003

five fresh fish, it seems that Sleeman bought our Shaftebury, reduced the selection from nine beers to three, plus two seasonal ones. Sleeman is acting very non micro, as they also bought up Okanagan Springs a while back. Shaftebury has a great site, however, that should be checked out.
posted by ashbury at 8:23 PM on June 27, 2003

The fact that Maudite advertises the "fine layer of sediment" at the bottom of every bottle made me fall in love with the stuff, undrinkable though it may be. On the other hand, I had been high for four days and eaten nothing but cheerios and peanut butter during that time (Montreal's lovely at times), so my memory of its taste may be slightly off.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 8:28 PM on June 27, 2003

mmm....creemore. And don't forget about amsterdam.

wonderful is the c'est what pub/microbrewery at front & church in toronto - great music (especially their ambient night), great food, and the best selection of fruity and other microbrews....anyone else been there?
posted by avocet at 8:41 PM on June 27, 2003

never heard of it but it sounds interesting... might take a look
posted by mckayc at 9:14 PM on June 27, 2003

Semi amusing story about

My college roommate was in New Orleans for mardi gras shortly after the company formed and was there with the standard balcony and models wearing company shirts. Streetgoers are of course yelling for them to flash them, but the girls aren't and after quite a lot of persisting one of the girls explains that it's company policy and they were directly instructed not to. Upon returning home my friend writes the company and tells them that their policy effectively amounted to negative advertising. He recieved a response from a VP that said "touche, good point".
posted by rudyfink at 10:26 PM on June 27, 2003

eek! my take: stay away from the abomination that is watery pisspoor Steamwhistle. Ugh - it's a beer I wouldn't drink for free!
posted by Marquis at 10:39 PM on June 27, 2003

Well, then, I guess I'm boycotting Sleeman entirely, and will try to avoid OK Spring and Shaftesbury. Say, isn't Sleeman owned by Molson?

Tree Amber Ale, Black Bear, and Nelson After Dark for me it is! (Speaking of which, maybe I'll head into Nelson after backpacking, and grab me a case o' brew. If it weren't for being on a motorcycle, I'd imbibe right there and then...)
posted by five fresh fish at 11:41 PM on June 27, 2003

Back about ten years ago, or so, during my broke-ass student days, I was hitchhiking into Castlegar from the inconveniently-located (although it was a beautiful setting) Selkirk College campus, when this rusty old Ford pickup pulled up, with a bunch of empties rattling around in the back--some of them kegs--and in the cab. Thoughts of drunk-driving fatalities entered my mind, but I managed to force them away under the power of the hitchhiker's almighty mantra of "At least it's a ride." So I climb in, slam the door--Ford trucks from the Trudeau years are not noted for precise, delicate doorclosing--and begin the inevitable small talk.

"How's it goin', eh?" Yes, I do talk like this much of a hoser in person. Pass the back bacon, eh, my brother Doug is gonna tell you what today's show is about.
"Not too bad, just gettin' off work."
"What exactly do you do?"
"Oh, I run the Nelson Brewing Company."

Moral of the story: If you can find their beer--and you may need to go to the Kootenays to do so, but at least you get a trip to the Kootenays out of the deal--if you can find it, buy some, 'cause the president/braumeister/whatever is a helluva swell guy.

You need to get into some Brew Brothers Black Pilsner or maybe some Fort Garry Pale Ale. Even though I can't personally vouch for the swellness of either company's people or their propensity for picking up hitchhikers.
posted by arto at 2:23 AM on June 28, 2003

Sleeman is acting very non micro, as they also bought up Okanagan Springs a while back.

Sleeman also bought out the maritime Beer Company (Halifax, Nova Scotia) a few years back, and quickly put an end to local favorites Frosted Frog and Black Pearl in favor of more generic, and thus more marketable, flavors. Thankfully, we still have Garrison Brewing Company, whose raspberry Wheat, Moka and Jalapeno ales add variety to the local beer scene.

Other noteworthy Canadian independent- and micro-brewers: Granville Island Brewing and Big Rock
posted by astirling at 6:21 AM on June 28, 2003

Canadian beer huh? We _definitely_ must not leave out Maudite from Unibroue.

Haven't tried Maudite, but I can heartily recommend Unibroue's La Fin du Monde. Very, very good stuff.
posted by given2fli at 8:05 AM on June 28, 2003

If you're in the Toronto/Oakville area, try Black Oak Pale Ale. Hard to find, but well worth it: very hoppy (like Pilsner Urquell), but full and well-balanced. Kawartha Lakes Brewery also makes an apricot wheat beer that is incredibly refreshing - and I'm not normally a fan of fruit-flavored beers.

But Czechs, I have to say, make the best mainstream beer in the world.
posted by stonerose at 8:06 AM on June 28, 2003

But Czechs, I have to say, make the best mainstream beer in the world.

Being of Czech parentage, I can't disagree with you.

I well remember the only time I visited Czechoslovakia, in 1989, before the Wall had come down. I visited a pen-pal who fed us and gave us a place to stay, and to repay his hospitality I exchanged some US money with him. He gave me double the bank rate, which sounded like a good deal to me.

I was to find, though, that I now had all these Czech crowns and nowhere to spend them. The "stores" that were open had very little to offer for sale. We stood in line at a Bavarian crystal store for over two hours without being served. Desperate to get rid of the money before I left, I invited my pen-pal and some of his friends out to lunch, where the Pilsner flowed freely. The food wasn't bad, better than some I'd had in, say, England, but the beer...! A delightful lunch time, indeed.

The downside to the story was that when the bill came, it amounted to little more than $20US. My pen-pal proudly pointed out that I'd gotten double the bank rate, so it had only cost me $10! Normally I'd be pleased with the savings, but I still had all this money to ditch or try and smuggle out of the country.

posted by Oriole Adams at 8:23 AM on June 28, 2003

Umm, Molson and Labatt are about Canadian as clog dancing. Labatt is owned by Interbrew SA (Belgium), and Molson is partly owned by Fosters (Aus) and someone else (can't find it).

You want REAL Canadian beer? Big Rock, Creemore, Kokanee, Sleeman, the list goes on.

To be fair, I've had some amazing local brew in the US, everyone there knows to stay away from Bud and Coors.
posted by CrazyJub at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2003

I saw someone drinking Colt45 the other day. Is that even beer?

Say, I should relate an embarassing experience here: I foolishly purchased a six-pack of Molson Excel (near-beer), thinking to myself "how bad can it be? People buy this stuff."

It was godawful. No beer flavour at all. Served with a healthy shot of lemon, it became somewhat drinkable, but not enough so that I'll ever, ever buy it again.

Which, I suppose, is about what I should have expected from a beverage that's cheaper than water.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on June 28, 2003

I was the last one left after the nuclear holocaust, eh. The whole world had been destroyed, like U.S. blew up Russia and Russia blew up U.S. Fortunately, I had been offworld at the time. There wasn't much to do. All the bowling alleys had been wrecked. So's I spent most of my time looking for beer.

- Bob McKenzie (Strange Brew)

Screw Molson Eh, Make Mine Elsinore!
posted by Dreamghost at 12:34 PM on June 28, 2003

Consider this yet another endosement for Sleeman, Creemore, and Big Rock (especially Grasshopper).

I'm a little surprised nobody has mentioned Upper Canada, although I know for a long time it was only available in Ontario. I believe that they're now owned by Sleeman, but they still make it right.
posted by pooligan at 1:05 PM on June 28, 2003

Grasshopper good, Big Rock Maibock even better. (Though it may well be seasonal...) I sometimes forget they're not quite as omnipresent in the rest of the country as in Calgary...
posted by arto at 2:42 PM on June 28, 2003

Are brew pubs that sell their own beer for consumption off-site considered micro-breweries? If so, the link will lead you to some of the best beer in Canada. Bushwakker's is one of "Canada's Top Five Brew Pubs" (as rated by the Globe & Mail.)

Half-remembered fact: Regina, Saskatchewan (yes, believe it) has the highest number of brew pubs per capita in all of Canada. Nearly a dozen brew pubs for just under two hundred thousand people.
posted by Jaybo at 4:30 PM on June 28, 2003

Grrr... Bushwakker Brew-Pub
The other link is supposed to go to the Saskatchewan online phone book listing the eleven brew pubs in Regina. But because I'm terrible at including links today, you'll just have to trust me!
posted by Jaybo at 5:21 PM on June 28, 2003

"To be fair, I've had some amazing local brew in the US, everyone there knows to stay away from Bud and Coors."

You're right, there is plenty of awesome beer in the states:
Red Hook
Stone Brewing Company
Sierra Nevada

The list goes on....

It's sad everyone thinks Bud, Coors or Miller when they think American beer or beer in general. It wasn't until I tried micro brews and German beers (Spaten, Paulaner) that I even liked beer. Now I brew it myself. There is so much more to beer than Yellow Fizzy swill.
posted by Akuinnen at 5:28 PM on June 28, 2003

Muwhahaha. Scored myself a dozen After Dark. Damn, 'tis a fine beer. Yum.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:38 PM on June 29, 2003

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