I was pleased to see Canada's other national newspaper, The National Post, feature some information about craft breweries in Ontario but was a bit saddened to see the odd approach that was chosen - five generic questions leading to an opportunity to trigger five Pavlovian advertising copy responses. Consider this one exchange:
Q: Describe your facilities.
A: Wellington Brewery is noted for its distinctive exterior appearance with the look of a traditional hop roast house and hop vines. At 7,200 square feet, the brewery has a hospitality room available to the public, retail store and a production facility, housing its traditional English infusion mash tun and direct fire brewhouse, as well as it's state of the art canning line.
I don't know why the description of the facilities is a question that represents 20% of the "best possible questions to trigger interesting information about the subject" that one might hope is a part of a journalist's skill set. But I did learn that hops are roasted and that this is one of the two traditions celebrated in the architecture. Key to attracting me as a craft beer buyer is, after all, the architecture. Other gems gleaned using up another 20% of the allotted Q+A time include that their "brewing philosophy is to use the finest ingredients available and to strike a careful balance with the malts and hops" and that their "business philosophy is service, service, service to our over 700 customers throughout Ontario." Now, call me old fashioned but if a brewery says it is the oldest in Canada, soon to be celebrating its 25th anniversary and I, the potential customer, learn it only has 700 customers in a province of over 13 million souls? Well, you can fill in the rest.
How did such a thing happen? How did hop drying become hop roasting? How do (what one hopes) 700 successful bar accounts come off sounding like 700 measly consumers? How does this opportunity get lost?