Author: Joseph Lavoie

  • Belgian Wit Beer

    Belgian Wit Beer

    This is one refreshing beer. Wit is the Flemish word for white (or so I’m told)—the colour of this beer’s head. This is a pretty complex beer, especially considering the restrained additions in the boil. Enjoy a style made famous in 1800s Belgium, especially on a warm spring day or a scorching summer afternoon.

  • How to Bottle Homebrew

    How to Bottle Homebrew

    This is a detailed and approachable guide to bottling your homebrew. I’ve included a checklist so you don’t miss a step, making sure you hit it out of the park every time.

  • Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter

    This smoked porter is best enjoyed in your study, by the fire, perhaps with a good pipe in hand. Or just a good Netflix series. Either way, it’ll set you right!

  • Chocolate Stout

    Chocolate Stout

    Ditch the box of chocolates for that special someone. Make this instead! This is a good starter recipe. Play around with the cocoa levels to make this your own amazing stout.

  • Belgian Stout

    Belgian Stout

    This is a stout for those of us who can’t get enough of the phenol notes of Belgian yeast. This particular yeast gives the beer a rich malt and distinctive ethanol character. This won’t taste like Guinness. But it will taste delicious.

  • No-Stress Brew Day Checklist

    No-Stress Brew Day Checklist

    I have been brewing for the better part of five years, to the tune of one beer per week. In that time, I have made many mistakes. Often those mistakes were basic. I’m talking about simple things like forgetting to mash out. Or setting the boil to 60 minutes when it should have been 90…

  • Understanding Water: Beer’s Body

    Understanding Water: Beer’s Body

    Water plays a huge role in the quality of your final product, from the very start of the brewing process, through to the final taste. The various minerals and salts we find in water can add desirable or undesirable flavours to your beer. Water plays a crucial role in helping us craft good beer, so…

  • Understanding Hops: Beer’s Spice Mix

    Understanding Hops: Beer’s Spice Mix

    Funny enough, hops are a (relatively) new addition to beer. While beer has been around for more than 5,000 years, hops date back only 500 years. Before Cascade and Citra were household names, brewers resorted to herbs, plants, and potions to counter the overbearing sweetness of malt. It took until the 1500s before hops caught…

  • Belgian (Almost) Red Ale

    Belgian (Almost) Red Ale

    I can’t call this a Belgian Red Ale, because it’s not a sour beer. It’s just a tasty beer with a red hue that puts a delicious yeast to good use. Hops are kept in check, but the strength of the beer will warm your heart on a cold winter’s day.

  • Irish Red Ale

    Irish Red Ale

    Sometimes you just want an easy-drinking pint with a solid (yet restrained) hit of malt character, with a dash of caramel and toasted notes. If you need a break from hoppy beers, try this one out, and enjoy its beautiful colour.

  • Mild Ale

    Mild Ale

    This style seems to be coming back from the dead (or seeing a birth of sorts in North America). Deliberately low in alcohol, mild ale is the perfect (if not original!) session ale. I’ve kept this one low in ABV, in line with modern takes of this once stronger ale.

  • Understanding Malt: The Soul of Your Beer

    Understanding Malt: The Soul of Your Beer

    It’s so obvious to say, but without malt, you can’t have beer. In a world obsessed with hops and funky yeast strains, it’s easy to forget how crucial this ingredient is. Malt is to beer what honey is to mead; what apple is to cider. Without malt, you can’t make beer. Get to know this…

  • Pumpkin Ale

    Pumpkin Ale

    Thanksgiving comes early in Canada (second weekend of October), which means I get a head start on my American friends for this popular beer style. This recipe took me three years to perfect, but I’m finally happy with it. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. I can’t think of a better way to mark the…

  • American IPA

    American IPA

    This is the beer style that got me hooked on craft beer. I remember it clear as day. I was in Madison, Wisconsin working on a political campaign. My colleagues thought this “Canuck” should try some “proper” American beer. It was love as first taste.

  • Ginger Saison

    Ginger Saison

    I got the idea for this recipe from Sam Calagione’s home-brew recipe book. The original is a partial mash extract recipe. I adopted it to my own liking, and for all-grain, one-gallon brewing. Ginger is one of my favourite beer ingredients, and it shines in this recipe. It’s good for your digestion, so this beer…