A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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DR Hammond -

Hi Alan: Love the site/blog! Very well put together and informative with a great personal touch. I assume you post reviews on either the Beer Advocate or the Oakes Rate Beer site? If so under what handle? I'd be interested in reading your reviews. You seem to be a fellow beer traveler who knows what he likes and I'm always looking for new beers to try...half the fun of drinking craft beer is making the beer tour to get them.

I have been a craft beer drinker for about 10 years ever since I had my first McNally’s extra.....I have traveled extensively in Canada and the US (motorcycle touring) sipping the local brews along the way. Only recently have we started to see some of these show up on Canadian state liquor monopoly shelves....and only in the last 2 years have I been involved with writing reviews on the BA/RB sites. I love sharing the experience of good beer with others who may not have the chance to taste what I have.

Through the wonders of Internet info-search I have been investigating the depth and complexity of the craft beer culture and craft brewing industry expansion.....I must say no single cultural revolution has pleased me more than seeing people return to quality all natural locally crafted beers. It fills me with a sense of awe how this old world imbibing cultural phenomena has established itself in the mass marketed, uniform franchise retailing, instant gratification, yuppy-ized mall culture of century 21 North America. Well crafted beer is a delightful reminder/link to the finer things our ancestors in the past eras of low volume hand craftsmanship.

Anyway, I thought I'd message you Alan to give you 2 thumbs up on the site and for your effort and passion in promoting good beer and the culture that surrounds it. It's nice to see Canada growing up....from a yellow fizzy corn water guzzling teen to a more mature responsible imbiber who demands quality and variety. Perhaps we'll out grow the two restraining forces that holds us back culturally as well; state liquor monopolies and state protected mega brewers. It's inspiring to see even the state monopolies acquiescing to demands from more sophisticated consumers for good (mostly non domestic) beer. Local microbrewers are becoming more emboldened to stray from status quo blandness and produce some more traditional and flavorful beers. A final good sign is the continued deflation of the mega brewer's sales and their constant amalgamations and operational downsizing to survive.

As a Gen Xer Alan I think you were too young to remember the way beer was in Canada and the US before the vast corporate consolidations in the late 60s and 70s reduced some 400 plus local brewers/brands to 5 major labels. I'm only 10 years older than you but in my late teens I was a home brewer and did some traveling and beer exchanges (beer runs) in Canada and the US. At that time (early 70s) the old post prohibition brewing industry was a matter of 5 major national brewers and hundreds of small local brewers who supplied local markets and survived on a 10-15 % share by providing a better tasting all malt beer that the Mega Brewers could not....I was fortunate to taste quite a few of those beers before the brands were deleted after take overs or watered down with high gravity adjunct processes to max profits.

I must say that the new micro-brewing explosion is resurrecting the days where local, small capacity craft brews that are not nationally distributed dot the nation once again. It is fun traveling for the beer again...something different and unique to drink in each province or state. The passion for beer drinking has returned and I see it in hundreds of enthusiasts like yourself who take the time and effort to promote and celebrate the good beer cultural rebirth.

I have book marked your blog, Alan, and will return often to see what's new and perhaps offer a comment or two if you so wish.

DR Hammond
Kitchener, Ont

Alan -

Thanks very much! The short answer is I have not posted opinions anywhere else. I had been posting on my main blog but wanted to encourage specific discussion. I usually link the Beer Advocate as a second opinion on what I am thinking but have never posted there. Please comment anytime as your passion and writing strength is a great contribution.