Wednesday, June 1, 2011

O, What a Community

There is no better community to be a part of than the Ontario Craft Brewing Community.

When it all boils down, the best part of being an Ontario Craft Brewer is that we are all doing our best to make good beer. We aren't fighting or boasting or trying to best our friends. We are all trying to make flavorful beer. Beer that can be shared with friends. Beer that can either make our friends' faces light up with joy or beer that can make our friends' faces squinch up with a desire for another beer.

Its not about making people turn against one flavor. Its about finding a flavor that our friends enjoy. If they don't like stouts, then we give them a pilsner. If they don't like ales, then we give them a lager. Its a communal joy that we want to share. A discovery that can only be shared amongst friends.

When you are out on a patio this summer season, please point your friends towards a beer that you enjoy. Like a song, you your friends may not like your first choice but they may dig your second or third. No matter how many tries it takes, they will appreciate something new, soon enough.

It is better to try something new and not like it than to turn your back on new flavors altogether. You may be turning your back on your favorite beer and that would be the worst thing you could do that you would never know.

Yoda said that at 1.20am at the Wooly.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Year Brewing Beer

Heya Everyone!

Its been quite the year in brewing for us and we are looking forward to another great one in '011.
Are we still saying 'oh' before the year? I mean, the whole century is going to have a zero between the two and the last two digits. I just think that saying 'oh' before the year makes everything sound a little more precious.
"Oh Ten, you were so good to us"
See what I mean? But I'm getting off topic.

This year we had another Canadian Brewing Award bestowed upon our fine beverages. We won the bronze in the 'Brown Ale' category for the Stoney Dark. Not bad for a little brewery from Guelph to get recognition on a national stage.

For the third year in a row, we rolled out our StoneHammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout to 'mmmm's and 'aaah's from everyone who had the opportunity to taste it. Some people are saying that its the best Coffee Stout yet. For that we can thank our brewers and our partners at Planet Bean. The extra tasty goodness is the local love.

Speaking of our brewers, we have to give a big thanks to George, Andrew and Charles for producing, what we like to think, some kickass beers. Also lots of love for Don and Dylan, too. These fine gentlemen don't often get the credit they deserve but they every time a Stoney or MacLean's gets poured one of our brewers get their wings.

But we have seen some of our 'Beer Delivery Guys' move on this year. A lot of you worked with Mr. Matthew Arnold and his shoes were incredibly difficult to fill as he embarked on his teaching career, shaping young minds. Mr. Spencer Shewen ventured into shaping young yards as a budding entrepreneur in the landscaping industry while also giving the gift of music with his Fortnight Music promotions. Mr. Bill MacTavish continues to educate and enlighten people in the beer industry. His passion for every last hop and malt is missed. His successes at Flying Monkey, as they were with StoneHammer, are a credit to people passionate about Ontario Craft Beer.

Its not all tears and farewells, though. We have gained some new 'Beer Delivery Guys' this year. Mark LaFontaine is our Toronto BDG and Brandon Rank is our West Ontario BDG. Both guys started at the beginning of our busy holiday season and they have risen to all of the challenges that 'Beer Delivery Guy' has to offer. The challenges are overshadowed by all of the research that they have had to drink. Oh, and some guy named Scott is the new Guelph guy. He writes all the facebook and twitter gibberish. Does he blog, too? Yup. And he drinks the beer like it is his job. He delivers some of it too.

Our plans for Oh-Eleven are to continue brewing the finest Ontario Craft Beers, supporting our licensees and getting our beer into into pint glasses all over Ontario. An upgraded website, a higher profile in our social media and a general plan for expansion in order to rule the province, not with an iron fist but with a Stone Hammer.

As always, a big thank you from Frank and Karen for your continued support.

Have a great New Year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's almost Stout Time!!!

A lot of people complain about the winter, I am not one of them (that's not entirely true, I do complain, but for the most part, I very much enjoy winter!).

Hailing from Saskatchewan, I can't really complain about the weather here. I'll take a wet -20 before a frigid -40 anytime.

There are many things that I like about Canadian being chief among them, The World Series, since when did that become a November event??? Speaking of November, the only cool month to grow a mustache, yes, the ONLY time when a mustache on a 20 something year old is cool...! Christmas, obviously, and last but not least, the StoneHammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout!..mmmm, Stony Stout!

Once again, F&M Brewery and Planet Bean will be pairing their fine wares to brew the much anticipated StoneHammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout. George Eagleson and Andrew Henry, the geniuses in the back, will be brewing the first batch tomorrow, I can't wait!

Where can you find it you ask? Well, in Toronto you will be able to find it at The Victory Cafe, C'est What, Bar Volo, among many other fine beer establishments! In Guelph, where we like to call home, I suggest going to The Wooly or to The Cornerstone, where you will, in all likelihood, find one of us there!

And a gentle reminder to follow us on facebook, and on twitter where you can keep updated and informed on all things StoneHammer!


StoneHammer Bill
Drink Craft Beer, it just tastes better!

Monday, October 25, 2010

CASK DAYS are among us!

It's been longer than a week since I last wrote about what's been going on at the Brewery, so here it is...
StoneHammer was well represented at the Evergreen Brickworks Annual Picnic in Toronto, a great event promoting Sloe Food and pretty much anything local and's the kind of thing that we at the brewery dig.

Longo's opened a lounge in their new flagship location at Maple Leaf Square, and what's on tap you ask...StoneHammer Pilsner, of course! So why not have a pint of Stoney P before you catch a Leafs game while they are playing well...I fear it will not last long! Or if you're not a Leafs fan, and would rather enjoy a pint with a fantastic view of Toronto, why not a pint of Stoney D at Canoe!

Scott, the Guelph guy, and I brought our 7 irons and our putters to the Toronto Festival of Beer's Golf Tourny, and while we are great with beer, we're not with golf...but we were better then everyone else! So we have a guaranteed spot at next year's fest, so look for us...mmmm, beer fests!

Speaking of which, George and Andrew are working hard in the brewhouse, as CaskDays are upon us. Grand River Brewery in Cambridge was host to Cask Fest West, where we brought a StoneHammer All Hallows Imperial Brown Ale, certainly not for the faint of heart! (We claimed it to be 8.6%, but methinks it was a little more than that!).

Tonight, we head to BarVolo to say Hello to Ralph, the brains behind Cask Days, where the StoneHammer Bitter will make its debut, Friday a StoneHammer Beta Red Ale (a belgian beat beer with hints of clove...yummy!) will be pouring at Volo as well...oh Cask Days! Quite literally, I am sampling it as I type...

So all in all, lots and lots of tasty beverages to be had and a shout out to Zach at Grand River, who concocted a wicked Maple Ale, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
And stay tuned as StoneHammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout is about to make its return!
But for now my computer says its 11:00am, so I can go buy a beer now...anybody down for the Wooly?!

Til next time,

StoneHammer Bill
Drink Craft just tastes better!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stoney Dark Wins again and Chachi loves Pilsner!

I love my job! And I love beer, so I am very grateful that the two kinda coincide!

Friday night was a big night for the crew at StoneHammer as we created a new beer for the C'est What beer festival and left our mark at the Canadian Brewing Awards.
In recognition of Scott Baio's 50th Birthday, we brewed what we affectionately named "Chachi loves Pilsner", a dry-hopped version of our award winning StoneHammer Pilsner...speaking of award winning...

Friday night was also spent at the Canadian Brewing Awards, our industry's take on the Grammy's, scratch that...the Juno's! StoneHammer Dark did us proud in bringing home the Bronze Medal for Canada's besk Brown Ale, coming third only to The Cannery Brewery in BC and our neighbours, The Wellington Brewery who won the Gold for their County Dark! Our Dark had previously won the Gold Medal in 2003 and 2007, while last year our Pilsner won the Gold Medal for you guessed it...Pilsner!

Side note: Have you seen a sexier group of guys!
All in all, it was a great weekend, and now to another week of beer!


StoneHammer Bill
Drink Craft just tastes better!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh yeah!...We have a blog, I should write something!

It has been a good amount of time since I've had time to blog. The summer, needless to say, has been craaazy busy!

I dont' want to go over our entire summer at the brewery except to say that it was a blast from Hart House Beer Fests, to the Toronto Beer Fests and smaller festivals in between, and now the inaugural Toronto Beer Week which began yesterday! Mmmm, a whole week dedicated to the consumption and appreciation of one of lifes greatest pleasures....BEER!

If you haven't already heard about it, check Toronto Beer Week out for all the many events going on throughout the GTA. Friday you can check out a cask of our dry-hopped gold medal winning StoneHammer Pilsner at C'est What during their own little beer fest!

And wish us luck as the Canadian Brewing Awards are being held at Cool Brewery Friday night, we won the Gold Medal last year for our Pilsner, and have fared very well in previous years. I am currently knocking on wood and crossing my fingers! I will let you know how that goes in what I hope will be our new weekly blog! T'was the intent the whole time, but alas, the beer business keeps me busy!

So, go out, have a pint of craft just tastes better!

Til next time,

StoneHammer Bill

Monday, May 31, 2010

Whoa! What a Weekend!

What a phenomenal weekend! The weather was fantastic, I mean, if you like the warm weather with a little breeze, no clouds in sight and very little humidity. Can you say patio weather!?

My 'weekend' started on Wednesday with a fantastic fundraiser, The Brewers Plate, for Green Enterprise Ontario where great beer was paired with great chefs, including Chefs Jamie Kennedy, Mark Cutrara and Brad Long. It was a fantastic event raising funds for a good cause, how could one complain.

Friday night was the Spring Beer Festival at C'est What, where there were 42 different beers to try, a night of imbibing was to be had by all. StoneHammer's very own IPA made it's debut to much fanfare, I too, had the opportunity to try it for the first time, and oh yeah, tasty! George Eagleson, brewer extraordinaire, did us all proud. The stars of the night, in my opinion, were the StoneHammer IPA, Great Lakes Imperial HefeWeissen, Duggan's Porter #8 and Flying Monkey's Atomic SmashBomb.

Saturday was a quiet day for the brewery as we all recovered from the night prior.

Sunday our StoneHammer IPA put its boxing gloves on and duked it out with Sgt. Major IPA from the Scotch Irish Brewing Company and Trafalgar's IPA in an IPA Challenge hosted by Volo.
I will keep you posted as the results are not yet in. Mmmmm, IPA!

In non-beer related activities, much packing was done as my family is moving, my ball team was somewhat humiliated on the diamond but most importantly, Matt Arnold, not this weekend, but a couple weeks ago added a little baby boy to his family. Welcome to the world little Duncan!

'Til next time.

Bill, The Toronto Guy