Wednesday, 22 February 2017

At the OMDC "From Page to Screen" Event, 2017

Today my publisher, Robert, the owner of Bookland Press, invited me to attend the Ontario Media Development Corporation From Page to Screen event at the Toronto Reference Library.

Robert was promoting my book, Defending the Inland Shores, along with many others from his catalogue in hopes that one may be picked up as a film, TV series, or in my case, a documentary.

This event has been created to promote the adaptation of Canadian fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature published by Ontario publishers to the big and small screens. It provides a forum for Ontario film and television producers to meet with publishers in scheduled, one-on-one meetings.

In the past nine years, this event has brought over 60 works to the screen. Hopefully more will join that list this year.

Here is the poster from the event. Robert was quite happy to see that one of the books he published, Literia, was top and centre of it.

Here is the Bookland Press table. There's my book on display!

It was busy. We met with 16 different production companies ranging from film, TV and even gaming.

After lunch, there was an interesting panel discussion with the writers and producers of Kim's Convenience.

The Reference Library has a copy of my book so I took some time at lunch to go find it.

It was a long day and afterwards there was a reception with wine, beer and snacks

A long shot of the crowd.

Robert has a lot of follow-up emails to send today to most of the people we saw.  For me, there was one company that seemed interested in my book. All in all, it was a very interesting, enjoyable day.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

My February 2017 Canada Craft Club Delivery

Teena was home today when my Canada Craft Club delivery arrived which meant I didn't have to wait an extra day and head up to the post office to pick it up.

We did all the work so you don't have to. We've scoured the planet and found true gems especially for our members — delivered direct to your home or office every month.

Our packs are delivered in discreet packaging (so no one swipes your brews) and prices include shipping. You can trust that every single beer has been hand-selected for your pack by Canada Craft Club’s experienced tasters and experts, some of whom sit on tasting panels in prestigious worldwide brewing competitions. What this really means is that we tasted, tested and rated every single beer before giving them our stingy stamp of approval for our treasured members. We try to shake it up for you, and fill your pack with beers you might not have had or can’t get anywhere else.

Each month they send two 650 ml bottles from two different breweries. There is a card included for each. One side describes the beer.

The other side has tasting notes.

So what did I receive this month?

I received a bottle of Bomber Choqlette Porter from Bomber Brewery in BC. The other is a collaboration brew, a Belgium Tripel called Friend from two Alberta breweries, Village Brewery and Banded Peak Brewery.

Every month I look forward to my delivery and I look even more forward to tasting them.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Beer of the Week - Rodenbach Vintage 2014

This week's Beer of the Week comes from Rodenbach Brewery located in that most favorite of ale countries of the world, Belgium.

According to, Rodenbach Brewery has been around since 1836 and was founded by Pedro Rodenbach and his wife, Regina Wauters, who just happened to be the daughter of a a rich brewer. In 1864, their son, Edward, took over the brewery and expanded it. The Rodenbachs again kept the brewery in the family when Edward's son, Eugene, took it over in 1878.

Eugene brought in the huge oak foeders, giant wooden barrels, to age the beer in. Some of those original foeders are still used to day while most others have been replaced. When Eugene died in 1889, the brewery was run by his daughters and granddaughters for a hundred years until it was finally sold to Palm Belgium Craft Brewers.

The Rodenbach Vintage 2014 sour ale undergoes two fermentation stages and is aged in the oak foeders for two years. Before being bottled, one quarter of the mature sour ale is blended with three quarters of younger ale to smooth out the sourness.

So, how is the sour ale?

The first thing that is noticeable is that the beer is not capped but corked. It's a nice looking 750 ml bottle with a faded picture of brewery, glass in hand, standing in front of a foeder.

The sourness is noticeable right away in the aroma and is quite pronounced. It pours with a reddish hue to it and an off white head.

On my first sip, my mouth explodes with a wonderful sour kick and I notice a slight tingle on my lips. During my next sips, I notice that that sourness has leveled off and is replaced somewhat with an oakiness.

This ale is full of flavour. Because of this, it will be very hard to drink in one sitting. I'll have to save half for tomorrow. I would buy this again but only if I had someone to split it with. Teena does not like sours and will definitely scrunch her nose up at this one.

Me? I'm pouring another.

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 344 
Breweries 315 
Countries 49

Friday, 17 February 2017

Toronto Rock and Georgia Swarm Battle for First

Tonight two things were going on at the ACC tonight. The first was the battle for first in the Eastern Conference between the 5-1 Georgia Swarm and the 4-1 home team Toronto Rock. Secondly, it was Toronto Rock's goalie, Nick Rose bobblehead night.

We were looking forward to a great game and were not disappointed.

Season ticket holders receive four free passes to a game for family or friends. Tonight Teena and I took our friend, Roger, and his father, Ben.

Game time.

As always, Scotty Newlands did a great job singing the national anthems.

The opening face-off.

Toronto started off great and led at the end of the first quarter 5-2. During the entire game, we were the victim of goal posts and crossbars.

Action in the Georgia end.

The Toronto Rock Cheerleaders were in great form too.

Georgia closed the gap in the second quarter. Toronto still led but only by a 6-4 score. There was some pushing and shoving before the players made their way to the locker rooms.

Third quarter action. At the end of the quarter, Toronto still led, but only by one, 10-9. Here Rock player Sandy Chapman is being chased down by three Swarm players.

Iggy kept the crowd going.

So did the Rock Cheerleaders.

Toronto were leading 12-11 with just four seconds to go, 3.9 to be exact when Georgia scored to send the game into overtime.

The Rock had the first chance to score but couldn't put it in.

Georgia came back on the next rush and scored. It was all over after just 46 seconds of overtime. It was the only time the Swarm led all game long. Obviously the best time. Oh so close to being in first!

It was a fast and exciting game with great goals, great saves but a disappointing ending for the Rock fans. As usual, the Rock circled the arena and thanked the fans.

The Rock are on the road for their next two games against Rochester and Buffalo, then return for "Star Wars" night on March 3. Yes, Teena and I will be there in our Rock gear, cheering on the boys!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Beer of the Week - Andy's Stout

Before Christmas, my neighbor Andy, who is a homebrewer, gave me a bottle of his IPA to try. It was fabulous. I could only hope that one day he would give me another of his brews to taste. Last week he called me up and gave me a bottle of his newest brew, Andy's Stout.

As I poured it, I could smell dark chocolate tones coming off my pour. The head was silky brown like a stout should be until I tipped the glass upright too quickly and lost that creamy head. As for the beer itself, it was either a deep deep brown or black.

Andy's Stout is full of rich tasting dark chocolate flavour. Normally I will notice some coffee tones in a stout but not here in this one and really not missed. There is a nice little bitterness that comes in through the finish.

It's a wonderful tasting beer, one that I would be only able couple of pints of due to its richness.

I know that homebrewers will have some less than successful creations, that comes with the learning and experimentation process. I also know that I will only ever get to taste his successes, that is what I would do, but the two beers that Andy has given me shows me that he knows his stuff.

Not only am I looking to getting another from him in the future but when summer comes around, sitting on his or our patio and trying some different beers that I have cellaring and if he should bring a few of his own brews, they sure would be welcomed.

By the way, Andy, the bottle has been rinsed well and ready to return to you.

Beer of the Week Stats 

Beers Profiled 343 
Breweries 314 
Countries 49

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The 2017 Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Fesitval

Here I was, sitting at a picnic table, outside in the cold and snow, with a beer in hand, watching others playing games, drinking beer, and listening to a Tragically Hip song blasting out from huge speakers. Just how Canadian is that?

Where were we? Teena and I were at the 2017 edition of the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival down in a park beside Steam Whistle Brewery.

It was a great day for it. Although it wasn't sunny, there was snow on the ground and there was a nice chill to the air. We were dressed for it and also received free toques!

There were more than 40 breweries from all over at the festival. So much variety to taste! My first beer was a spiced stout from Brock Street Brewing.

I followed that up with a Skull Rock Stout from Sleeping Giant Brewing from way up in Thunder Bay.

Then it was over to Black Oak Brewing, a brewery that has been around since 1999. Here I had a Snowbird Black Mojito. I had no idea what to expect but it was a much lighter tasting beer than the darkness suggested and was quite complex and enjoyable. It was my second favorite beer of the day.

Next stop was for a Raspberry Uber-sour from Nickel Brook Brewery.

Coffin Ridge Cider was there. I love the little coffin.

Royal City Brewing had a Earl Grey Porter made with real earl grey tea.

We met up with friends. Here I am with Christine, Darlene and Teena

This man worked without a break until he got that ice sculpture out of these blocks of ice.

There was a row of breweries from Alberta in attendance. Two Sergeants Brewing from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, had my favorite beer of the day, a Bangalore Torpedo IPA.

Teena really enjoyed the sweetness and full flavour of the Aprikat from Alley Kat Brewing located in Edmonton, Alberta.

There were games

We bumped into more friends. Here I am with Denyse, Jessica and Dea.

I had an excellent tasting Grisette, which is a French style saison, from Dandy Brewing in Calgary. I loved the name, Old Mattress.

We met Gillian last year at the Craft Beer Awards at the Royal Winter Fair and had a fun time talking with her. Now she is working for Lost Craft Beer. Teena liked their Lagered ale and I enjoyed their Sirius APA.

 People were dressed up in different kinds of gear.

I had a delicious Chocolate Milk Stout from Wellington Brewery.

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery offered an excellent IPA both in taste and name, Juicy Ass IPA

With hundreds of people trudging through the snow and the weather warming, the snow melted and it became a little muddy. That never stopped the fun. It was still cold enough though to enjoy the warmth of the heaters that were spread around the park.

Despite having a couple of cans on Barn Raiser Pale Ale from Oast House Brewers in my fridge at home, I had one here.

More mud, beer and fun.

I see this fella at many beer festivals running the Barnstormer Brewing tent. He like to pose. I always enjoy their Flight Delay IPA.

I enjoyed the Cranberry Festive Lager from Railway City Brewing.

It was another fun day at the Roundhouse Winter Festival. For Teena and I, it is always a definite "go to" event every year. Looking forward to next year's, hopefully with more snow.