Oscar nominees Helen Mirren in The Queen and Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls.

Anyone who would combine the Oscars and beer would have to be, as Helen Mirren’s Queen Lizzy might say, a brute or an imbecile.

To that, I say: Babel on, brute.

And so it is with great pleasure that I present my recommendations for this weekend’s Academy Awards:

•Anchor Liberty Ale (650-ml bottle, $3.95 at LCBO; 6 per cent alcohol per volume): Let’s begin with the most obvious beer for Sunday. The Oscars are handed out every year in California, so get some California beer, naturellement. Spicy, golden amber in colour with a flowery, hoppy nose, and delicious with ’za and burgers. You’ll be glad I namedropped this beer. It’s simply fah-bulous, darling.

• Brooklyn Lager (six-pack, 355-ml bottles, $12.40; 5 per cent): Think Marty Scorsese and Leo DiCaprio are going to get their due this year as best director of The Departed and best actor of Blood Diamond? Fuhgettaboutit! Drown your sorrows with this new LCBO release in honour of two talented New Yorkers. Actually, Leo, a California native, only starred in Gangs Of New York, so drink an Anchor for him instead.

•Murphy’s Irish Stout (50-litre keg, $276 at Beer Store; 4.1 per cent): This will be the only year that best supporting actor nominee Eddie Murphy ever wins an Oscar, so invite all of your Pluto Nash fans and splurge on the beer named for him. It’s an Irish stout, a decent alternative to the other black stuff you know, brewed by Heineken. Toronto’s 500 Dupont St. store is one of only three in the GTA that list this beer in stock.

•Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2006 (500-ml bottle, $7.05, LCBO; 8.5 per cent): Acknowledge Mirren’s mah-vellous performance with a beer made not too far from her native Chiswick, England. Of course, you must pay more for royalty. But it will be worth the cost if you know how to sip and savour while pointing your pinky skyward. Sláinte!


Heritage Beer Cheese Spread


  • 3/4 cup Heritage Traditional Dark Lager

  • 1 round gouda or edam cheese at room temperature

  • 1/4-lb. unsalted butter cubed at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup Heritage Traditional Dark Lager

  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard

  • 1 tbsp. grated onion


  1. Cut a circle from the top of the cheese and reserve.

  2. Scoop out inside of cheese, leaving a shell 1 cm thick.

  3. Combine the cheese and the butter and blend until smooth.

  4. Add the beer slowly until the mixture is spreadable.

  5. Mix in the Worcestershire, mustard and onion.

  6. Stuff the cheese shell with the mixture and cover with the cheese circle top.

  7. Chill and serve with your favourite crackers or bread.