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Mirella Amato at café 't Brugs Beertje in Bruges

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What’s in a cask?

Posted September 3, 2014 | 10:28 am, by Mirella

DISCLAIMER: I thought I’d take a moment to state that I am not writing on behalf of Cask! but, rather, to express some concerns that are my own, but first a little background… There are two parallel cask-conditioned ale scenes going on in Ontario right now: One of these scenes features traditional cask-conditioned ales, like the ones that we champion with Cask!; the kind of beer that CAMRA refer to as ‘Real Ales’. The other features beers finished (or simply packaged) in a cask, with the addition of [&hellip

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Are we losing sight of the craft?

Posted June 17, 2014 | 10:43 am, by Mirella

While at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver this past spring, I head a comment that has stayed with me. The comment was made during a session called ‘Using Belgian Yeast – Three Belgians’ Perspectives’ by one of the speakers, Yvan De Baaets, brewer and owner of Brasserie de la Senne in Brussels. It was just an aside, but it really got me thinking. This is what he said: “There is a big tendency now to use yeast as an ingredient.” This [&hellip

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Not My Top 10 Picks

Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:17 am, by Mirella

…or How I picked the style examples listed in my new book Having taken the time to explain at length why I don’t make beer recommendations, in an earlier blog post, I thought I would take a moment to share how I selected the beer examples listed in the Beer Styles chapter of my first book,Beerology: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Beer…Even More. While the listed beers are recommendations, they are based on stylistic accuracy and geography rather than on my personal taste. For those [&hellip

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Top 10 Picks

Posted April 9, 2014 | 10:17 am, by Mirella

The only question I get more often than “what is it like being a woman in the beer industry?” is “what is yourfavourite beer?” Every media request that I receive includes questions like: Which do you think are the top 10 Canadian breweries? What are 5 recommended brands for patio season? Which new releases should we be seeking out? What do you think of X brand? Which breweries should we be keeping an eye out for? What are your top [&hellip

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Beer in New Zealand

Posted November 29, 2013 | 11:00 am, by Mirella

I was very happy to be invited down to Dunedin, New Zealand, to give a talk on ‘the science of beer’ as a part of the Science Teller Festival run by the University of Otago last month. This is only the second time I’ve been invited to give a talk outside of North America – the last one being in 2010, when I co-hosted a guided tasting in Italy with my maestro, Lorenzo Dabove. I was particularly excited to have [&hellip

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How to become a Certified Cicerone

Posted June 10, 2013 | 10:30 am, by Mirella

Two to three times a month, I’m contacted by someone who is looking for advice on how to become a Certified Cicerone®. Having fielded this question a number of times, I thought I’d take a moment to collect my thoughts in a blog post… In the spirit of full disclosure: as of May, I am working as an independent contractor for the Cicerone® Certification Program. Having said this, as I outlined above, that’s not what has motivated this post. So, [&hellip

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Beerology in the News

Posted May 7, 2013 | 11:00 am, by Mirella

It’s been an exciting few months since I achieved my Master CiceroneTM certification, in December, becoming the first Master CiceroneTM in Canada. I’ve been delighted to see the attention that this certification has received across a range of different media outlets and publications. I am particularly happy to note that publications outside of the beer sphere have picked up the story and am quite hopeful that these articles will reach a broader audience, exposing new people to the idea of beer appreciation. [&hellip

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The future of Ontario beer?

Posted April 9, 2013 | 1:15 am, by Mirella

Last month, I became a member of the Ontario Hop Growers Association. I also had the pleasure of  attending their conference on Saturday, March 9th, where Québecois hop agronomist Julien Venne presented an advanced course in hop growing. The talk was fascinating and it was great to learn more about how to best select appropriate and relevant hop varieties to grow in Ontario. I’ve actually been following the growth of the local hop industry for a few years now, ever [&hellip

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Beer Dinner Menus

Posted March 10, 2013 | 11:00 am, by Mirella

I’ve had the pleasure of guiding a series of beer dinners in fine dining establishments over the past few months. While I’ve been pairing beer with food in a variety of contexts for years, until recently they have mostly taken place in private homes, at catered events or in pubs… It’s very exciting to me that higher-end restaurants are embracing the idea of bringing beer to the table. It opens the door for guests to see beer in a new [&hellip

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A plea for styles

Posted February 12, 2013 | 5:38 pm, by Mirella

(an open letter to breweries) I came across a beer last night and it brought to mind a concern that I’ve often shared in my beer classes but never addressed in writing… Here’s what happened: I was leaving my local bar and the bartender flagged me down. She let me know that a new beer had just come in and she was curious to hear my thoughts because it was brewed in a style that she wasn’t familiar with: India [&hellip

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