Author Archive

Ontario Brewer Podcast

Since 2010, I have been preparing and hosting the Ontario Brewer Podcast series for the Ontario Craft Brewers Association. These podcast feature interviews with Ontario brewers on a range of different topics.

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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, […]


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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


I’m writing a book!

Posted February 11, 2013 | 2:25 pm, by Mirella

I’m happy to announce that I’ve started writing my first book. This book will be a natural extension of the work I’m doing.  I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for beer with a wider audience and I’m very much looking forward to assembling the book and seeing it published. Should everything go according to plan, my book will be released next year. I’m lucky to be working with a fantastic team on this project. The […]


Festive Beer Nog Float

Posted December 20, 2012 | 10:00 am, by Mirella

The holidays are fast approaching and so I thought it might be fun to share the recipe for one of my festive beer cocktails with you, since the traditional “beer nog” recipe that I posted last year was such a hit! This cocktail is actually more of a beer float. It was inspired by an online article I that read two years ago about the fact that it is impossible to make a beer cocktail with eggnog. The unfortunate truth is […]


The first Canadian Master Cicerone

Posted December 7, 2012 | 9:00 am, by Mirella

I am delighted to announce that I just became the first (and, for the time being, the only) Master CiceroneTM in Canada. I am one of only six people in North America to have earned this certification. I completed the Master CiceroneTM certification in Los Angeles this past October. It involved a series of exams that took place over the course of two days and included some intense taste testing as well as written and oral questioning about beer styles, draft systems, […]


Women in beer

Posted November 23, 2012 | 10:30 am, by Mirella

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on women in beer in Montréal, as part of the Québec craft brewers conference, which was organized by the AMBQ. On the panel with me were brewsters Laura Urtnowski from Les Brasseurs du Nord (who make the Boréale brands), Catherine Dionne-Foster from La Korrigane brewpub in Québec, and Deborah Wood who is a multiple-award winning homebrewer currently working for Weyermann Malts. Also on the panel was À l’abri […]


I won a beer award!

Posted October 22, 2012 | 9:30 am, by Mirella

I was delighted to receive an award for Food and Beer Matching Development from the Ontario Craft Brewers Association on the weekend. This was one of the Ontario Craft Brewers Centre of Excellence Industry Choice Awards that were handed out at the first ever Ontario Craft Brewers Conference. Here’s what the awards were about: The goal of these industry awards is to recognize examples of excellence among small, medium and large organizations, supporting the craft brewing industry at the local, […]