Straight Up, a Film About Ontario’s Alcohol Laws, is Worth the Watch

Ottawa Screening of Straight Up Ottawa Screening of Straight Up

Earlier this week Katy Watts, Ottawa’s longtime champion of all things brewed and sometimes freelance food writer, invited me to attend the somewhat exclusive screening of Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario, an independently-produced documentary about the archaic and oftentimes punitive laws that regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol in Ontario. Ours would be the second screening of the documentary worldwide. Sponsored by Ottawa’s growing microbrewery Beyond the Pale, the screening was very well attended at the newly relocated Orange Gallery. The room easily sat fifty people. When seating ran out, a... | Continue reading article

Beer Friday – Spearhead Moroccan Brown Ale

Note: I wrote this piece at the height of Ottawa’s July heat wave. Although things have cooled down considerably, I still think this makes a great summer beer. This heat reminds me of Mediterranean summers: hot, sticky, humid and fabulous! What better way to end a day than with a Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead Brewery? (LCBO $13.95 6 x 355mL) Moroccan cuisine, unlike the Tunisian cuisine with which I grew up, contains more fragrant spices such as cinnamon, sugar, raisins etc. Spearhead’s Moroccan Brown ale is an American-style brown ale to which dates, figs,... | Continue reading article

BeerFriday – Beer to Beat the Heat

It’s hot. I’m not complaining because it has not been hot much this summer. I’m just stating a fact. On a hot, sticky day, I think of beer: casual, cold, and refreshing. I was sent some new beers to try a few weeks ago. Innis & Gunn, the Scottish brewery about whom I have written about before, have a line of fruit beers under the name Melville’s Craft Lager, and I was sent two to try. It’s unclear to me if Melville’s is a truly independent brewery given its association with Innis & Gunn but,... | Continue reading article

#BeerFriday is back

Beer for Canada Day An interesting mix of patriotism in a bottle.

Inspired by Don and Jenn’s #FoodTruckFriday series and the arrival of summer, I thought it might be fun to revive #BeerFriday for the next couple of months. I’ll be concentrating on local beers but, let’s face it, I’m likely just to write about what strikes my fancy! Still, I hope you enjoy this summer series and find a beer to enjoy. I think it’s fair to say that much has changed in the world of beer in Ottawa over the past two years; most notably with the creation of Ottawa’s own Chapter of Barley’s Angels... | Continue reading article

Tempura Maki with Cured Fish, Because Cowboys Eat Sushi Too

Cowboy Maki Rolls Cowboy Maki Rolls

Fair warning, this post is going to be a lengthy one. Lions, tigers, and bears, there will be a recipe; our advocating cooking by mass; and a review of a kitchen scale. Seemingly disparate subjects, there is a connection. We accepted an inexpensive digital scale to test with our “everyday cooking,” so used it to measure the ingredients to make arctic char crudo with which we made “cowboy” maki rolls (translated: deep fried “tempura” maki rolls). It seemed the thing to do… To begin, home cooks are losing what makes them cooks, the skills and... | Continue reading article

A Glimpse of Beau’s Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012 Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

For a good number of us in Ottawa, Monday was a trying day, dragging on as we nursed the aftereffects of participating in Oktoberfest festivities. Some of us gave the snooze button a little extra love yesterday morning. Others reached for the Advil or Tylenol. I brewed some extra strong coffee. Suffice it to say, the weekend was a busy one in the National Capital Region. So many events came to pass: Beau’s Oktoberfest (held in Vankleek Hill), Oktoberfest Ottawa (held in Barrhaven), Harvest Noir, and Taboo Eats. The latter two food-related events were a... | Continue reading article

A Glimpse of National Capital Craft Beer Week’s Festival 2012

What does a food blogger do with a week to go before he is married? He jumps at the opportunity to lend a hand to Mike Mckenzie of Seed to Sausage. You see, not only can you find Mckenzie’s hand made meat products at many a local retailer, from Westboro’s The Piggy Market to the Glebe’s McKeen’s Metro, but his team participates in community events like the National Capital Craft Beer Week’s (NCCBW) festival. While the mayorally-proclaimed NCCBW ran August 10th to 18th, on the Friday and Saturday, a large number of breweries assembled on... | Continue reading article

Beer Friday – Summer wheat beers

It’s been a hot summer. And what is better on a hot summer day than a cold, refreshing drink? Even though the weather has been less punishing of late, there are still a few lazy days ahead of us. Weiss is the German word for White. When it is used in reference to beer, though weiss refers to wheat beers. There are many different types of Weiss beers with as many different flavour profiles. But, in general, they tend to be lighter in colour than Stout or Porter, and coriander, orange peels and other citrus... | Continue reading article