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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itslunchtimeca -

What drives me a little bonkers about this setup is where the board is located. It is almost impossible to see the full list and make a decision without stepping out of line. There is no ability to discover interesting, new or even new to you brands with this type of setup.

The other 'updated' beer stores where you step into the back and peruse the shelves are one step up and I guess fits their original name around warehousing...or was their original name Brewer's Retail. I can never remember. There are so few singles, so you are dissuaded from trying any other brands. Plain and simple, this store is to maximize profits for its owners. It does that well. The store is not to sell beer but to sell the big brands in larger quantities.

That is about all I can see in the picture. The inability to read those boards just irk me.

Brian J. Papineau -

For all the ragging people do on TBS, I must admit that my local store (1845 Carling, Ottawa) really does do a good job of keeping Ontario, Quebec, BC Saskatchewan and Alberta craft beers in stock. It certainly is a rarity, but there are a few "good" The Beer Store locations out there.

You're right though Alan, the stores smell awful and they never seem to even rinse the bins.

Alan -

Good point. I forgot about the use of 12 font sized lettering at 11 feet above the floor level. I go so rarely these things don't affect me.

Patrick Hirlehey -

On the plus side, you can exchange your empties for dusty, pre-aged La Fin Du Monde (they have a very robust cellaring program on some of their less well advertised brews)... and they are always diversifying their offerings, they carry Four Loko now.

Craig -

That looks like a line at the DMV.

Chris -

I never knew how bad these stores were until I went to the US. I always wondered why the people of Ontario put up with it. The Beer Store did one good thing to me, and that is make me so disgusted with the whole buying experience that I started to make my own beer 20 years ago. I haven't gone there in years and will never, ever go there as long as I live.

Alan -

And how many times a year do you go to the DMV, Craig? I should have taken you to one when you were up. Stick got in the way.

Craig -

I got to go on my birthday this year—that's enough. By the way, the Albany DMV is on the site of the Boyd Brewery/Albany Brewing Company. That fact didn't much console me when I was waiting in line.

Come to Albany and we'll go to Oliver's and/or Westmere Beverage.

Alsiem -

In the location near me, the board is above the space where you return the empties. You then walk across 30 feet of empty space which house a line of coolers along the back wall of molson/coors/labatts 12/24 packs to get to the cashier to buy beer. Try to read 12 point font/make out labels from 30 feet away.

You better have remembered what you wanted.

Ryan Morrow -

Just wanted to clear something up I saw Brian talk about. An individual TBS does not decide what 'outside' breweries beer are sold at a location.

The process works like this, unless you're one of the original grandfathered in micro's back in the day. If I, as an outside brewer, want to sell my beer at the beer store we first have a to pay a listing fee for an individual product. We then choose which store we would like it sold at and then pay another fee to sell it at said store. Thus, if a certain beer store has a decent selectio of craft beer at the store it has nothing to do with said beer store's operators but actually the breweries paying to be sold at that store.

That's the TBS system. We pay our most disliked competition twice in order to sell at any given location. And of course they are going to treat our products with the utmost care once it gets in their hands..