3 Things – Feb 4th, 2012

I love writing this weekly column.  3 things that are on my mind right now.  I hope you enjoy.

1) The Best Beer Bars In The City
Craft Beer has never had a stronger following in Toronto than it does right now.  It’s not a fad either folks, it is here to stay.  With places like Flying Monkeys, Mill Street, and Muskoka Brewing being part of the Ontario Craft Brewers association our access to quality beer continues to grow.  As such the bars in Toronto are catching on with mainstream places expanding their beer lists and full scale beer bars opening up all the time.  So with that I thought I would provide my 5 favourite places to get a good pint in the city right now.
5. Stout Irish Pub – 221 Carlton Street Eat. http://www.stoutirishpub.ca/home.html
4. The Monks Kettle – 3073 Bloor Street West. http://www.themonkskettle.com/
3. Bar Volo – 587 Yonge Street. http://barvolo.com/
2. C’est What – 67 Front Street East. http://www.cestwhat.com/
1. The Beer Bistro – 18 King Street East. http://beerbistro.com/ 

2) The iPad
OK I admit it I am hooked.  My wife has changed the classic term “crackberry” into “iCrack”.  I love it.  I spent forever trying to decide whether or not I should get one and I am extremely happy that I did.  However I think the reason I love it so much is I treat it like more than just a toy.  I don’t just go on to search the internet, play games, or use Twitter.  I use it as a tool for learning and working.  I write blog posts while I’m on the subway every morning.  I use apps to research wine and spirits and to keep up on the industry.  I subscribe to the electronic version of Wine Access magazine.  It’s just so much easier and more convenient to be knowledgeable and to learn about your passions with the iPad.  Plus… it’s also just so much more convenient to tweet on it too.

3) Whiskey vs. Whisky
Ever wonder why there are different spelling’s for what seem to be the exact same thing? Well let’s try to clear the air a bit.   Generally speaking Whiskey is the spelling used in Ireland and America.  Whereas Whisky is the spelling used in Canada and Scotland.  But are they the same thing?  Well not at all actually.  Whisky/ey is an overarching term for a spirit produced from fermented grains. But it includes Scotch, Tennessee, Rye, Bourbon, Irish, Canadian….. and yes they are all Whisky/ey’s, and yes they are all quite different.  As with wine it all comes down to where the product is produced, the rules and regulations of that particular region, and what the spirit is made from.  Single Malt Scotch Whisky must be made with malted barley from a single distillery and only made in Scotland. Canadian Whisky on the other hand is often syonymous with the term “rye” as rye was at one point the staple ingredient in production.  Then you have Bourbon which is made exclusively in the US (primarily Kentucky) and is made mostly using corn.  I could go on and on as the rules get my more and more complex as you dig into it, but I will save that for another post all together.  My only hope with this quick rant is to begin the discussion on the differences and as I have mentioned before to try to help make your shopping experience a bit easier.

– Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman 

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