Take your pick:
Good News first (cheery pick-me upper.. of sorts)
Bad News (unless you are an alcoholic)
Those are the original links to the stories. I will now paste the full text of both in the .. unsavory event of their text being altered or deleted in the near future.. something I find happens to controversial topics more than I’d like to see.
*Complete with Tasting Notes at the very bottom for the Brewdog Beer!
Denying long-term support to alcoholics is discrimination: Ontario court
Ontario disability program argued against given benefits to people whose sole impairment was alcoholism
The Canadian Press
Published on Friday, Sep. 17, 2010 10:59AM EDT
Last updated on Friday, Sep. 17, 2010 12:01PM EDT
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld
rulings that said denying two chronic alcoholics long-term support
payments would violate the province’s Human Rights Code.
The Ontario Disability Support Program had argued over the years the men
should be ineligible for benefits because their sole impairment was
That argument had been rejected by the Social Benefits Tribunal in 2006
and last year by the Ontario Divisional Court, and the support program
director took the case to the Appeal Court.
The Appeal Court on Thursday upheld the earlier rulings, saying that
denying benefits to Robert Tranchemontagne and Norman Werbeski — who
died a year ago — would be discriminatory, based on their disability.
It rejected arguments the men should instead collect welfare, which
would require them to look for a job and get help with their alcoholism.
Welfare payments would be about half of what recipients receive in long-term disability.
Brewdog hops the ante with super strong beers
Controversial offerings include The End of History — which has 55% alcohol and comes packaged in roadkill
Published On Mon Sep 20 2010
End of History bottles from BrewDog
If a beer has no bubbles, an alcoholic bite stronger than some
whiskys, and brewing experts around the world are sniping at it, is it
still a beer?
James Watt, founder of Scotland’s controversial BrewDog brewery, sure thinks so. Then again, the beers in question are his.
Watt, who’s hosting a dinner at beerbistro Tuesday as part of Toronto Beer Week,
has produced a series of high-octane brews checking in at 32 per cent,
41 per cent and 55 per cent alcohol, respectively. That last one, The
End of History, came packaged in roadkill squirrels preserved by a
taxidermist, earning him the enmity not only of anti-alcohol
campaigners, but animal rights groups as well.
“We wanted to push the boundaries of people’s perceptions of what
beer could be,” said Watt of the superstrong brews made at his brewery
in Aberdeen. Watt believes The End of History is the strongest beer in
the world, though his claim is disputed by a brewer in the Netherlands,
and one in the U.S. It was Watt’s final effort in an escalating battle
with a German brewery for title of world’s strongest beer.
Consider the boundaries — and more than a few buttons —
well-pushed. Watt has racked up criticism from beer writers,
anti-alcohol campaigners, and even fellow brewers.
Alcohol Focus Scotland criticized BrewDog’s high-alcohol beers as
irresponsible, saying they’d encourage binge drinking. Noted English
beer writer Roger Protz called Watt and his brewer Martin Dickie
“egomaniacs,” and sniffed that Tactical Nuclear Penguin — which Watt
hopes may one day be sold by the LCBO — wasn’t even a beer. That same
claim came from Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company, which
produces Samuel Adams Utopias, which itself checks in at a hefty 27 per
During a visit to Toronto earlier this year, Koch insisted that his
brew still held the title of world’s strongest beer. His quibble with
BrewDog? That they freeze the beer after it’s brewed, then remove the
ice crystals (the carbonation is also lost in the process, as anyone
who’s ever left a bottle of beer on the back porch in winter too long
can attest). What’s left behind is a concentrated mix of flavours,
aromas and yes, alcohol. Repeat the process a few times as BrewDog does,
and you’ve got a potent liquid, indeed.
“It’s great that they get some attention for small brewers, but
those aren’t really beer, are they? Beer is something that’s made only
by fermentation. Freezing it like that is distillation by another name,”
said Koch during his Toronto visit. Koch says Utopias’ high alcohol,
meanwhile, is obtained strictly via fermentation — though Watt claims
otherwise. “He says it’s all about fermentation, but I wonder how much
alcohol Utopias picks up from the whisky and cognac barrels it’s aged
in,” Watt sniped when told of Koch’s claim.
Charles Bamforth, professor of brewing science at University of
California-Davis’s prestigious brewing school, is willing to concede the
point that BrewDog’s big guns are beer. He points to the German
ice-bock style, in which an already-strong beer is frozen, concentrating
the flavour and alcohol.
“To my mind it is irrelevant whether there is one freezing or more.
As long as distillation is not involved then it is beer,” said
Bamforth. Not that he’s rushing out to buy any Tactical Nuclear Penguin
or Sink the Bismarck, mind you.
“To me the concept of ridiculously strong beers is really rather
silly. . . . What these beers are about is trying to see who can pee
highest up the wall — oh, and get noticed, drawing attention perchance
to their more sensible products,” said Bamforth.
While Watt acknowledges that there’s a marketing boost in achieving
the kind of notoriety he’s gotten for some of his beers, he says that’s
far from the only reason he’s been making them.
“We wanted to change perceptions, and have people realize that beer
can be appreciated in the same way as good spirits like a single malt
scotch,” said Watt.
Now that his 55 per cent beer has been topped by a Dutch brewery
making 60 per cent brew (albeit with some “processing,” likely
distillation), Watt says he has no further plans to up the ante.
“We’re out at 55 per cent. With The End of History, we wanted to finish in style, and do something that would be memorable.”
Here’s what I thought of BrewDog’s monster brews. Both will be
available at beerbistro (18 King St. East) for roughly $20 per sample,
if there’s any supply left over after the Brewdog dinner Tuesday.
BrewDog hopes to get Tactical Nuclear Penguin into the LCBO:
Sink the Bismarck (41 per cent): An amber-coloured brew, with a
heady aroma of fresh hop cones, grass, pine resin and yes, booze.
Flavourwise, there’s an earthy, herbal medicinal character, along with a
strongly alcoholic finish, and a bit of sweetness. Almost like a pine-
and hop-tinged version of a digestive bitter.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32 per cent): A dark brown beer with an
aroma of licorice, alcohol, molasses and acrid smoke. All those elements
are present in the flavour as well, along with a hint of soy sauce. Not
as compelling as Sink the Bismarck.