On Smoky Wines, Social Media ‘Influencer’ Beatdowns and Bars That Don’t Serve Booze

Intelligence Briefs is Scout’s weekly compendium of food and drink-related news stories gathered from a variety of sources in Canada and around the world. It is published first thing every Monday morning. Complete archive here.


Check out this short documentary from Eater on the gentrification of one of the oldest gay neighbourhoods in America.

Whisky fanatics can now buy water specifically to mix with their favourite single malt.

Speaking of watering things down, check out this bar that doesn’t serve any alcohol

An early peek inside the latest addition to the La Taqueria family coming to Main and Broadway in mid-February.

Social media influencer seeking a free room in a hotel in exchange for “exposure” gets public drubbing from hotel owner:

“Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names) Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity […] If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? The laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?”

Here’s the video response from said Social Media Influencer:

This week in questionable bar concepts: Boston will be opening not one, but two axe-throwing bars this year. Yes, people will drink beer and wine and then throw axes…

A few harrowing stories of death-defying food adventures from the folks at Saveur.

Alumni chefs, sommeliers and managers from some of the most celebrated restaurants in San Francisco are coming together to open a new fine dining spot (and we wish it was in Vancouver).

Good news for your dairy-free friends! Next month, Mount Pleasant will be home to Vancouver’s first vegan cheese shop.

Royal Dinette Bar Director and 2017 World Class Bartender of the Year Kaitlyn Stewart maps out her favourite spots to eat and drink around town.

Have you been avoiding the Keurig machine for environmental reasons? Here’s some good news! A Vancouver-based company has just invented a 100% commercially-compostable coffee pod!

As fewer people are carrying cash these days, some restaurants around town are following suit and moving to a cash-free model.

I’m all for creativity in the craft cocktail scene, but these KFC Gravy Cocktails seem to have taken it a step or two too far.

If you think Bitcoin was confusing, try reading this article on Bananacoin. It doesn’t clear anything up, but it’s rather intriguing.

Bananacoin is a “utility token based on Ethereum, pegged to the export price of one kilogram of bananas.” So yeah, it’s another cryptocurrency that your most annoying friend can casually mention at brunch.

Question everything! Researchers at UBC find a high rate of seafood fraud in the Metro Vancouver area.

And speaking of UBC researchers, another group looks into how smoke from BC wildfires affects local wine.

Saveur’s picks for the best food films to look forward to in the coming year include a rather foreboding documentary on animal agriculture and its environmental consequences.

Bon Appetit has started to post weekly cheeky articles on all the food that was wasted on the previous night’s episode of The Bachelor, and it’s kind of awesome.

Big time liquor acquisitions continue as Bacardi purchases Patron for a whopping $5.1 billion!

Eating via Instagram honours this week go to @jaxandkeltie, because it’s almost February 1st, the New Year’s resolutions are probably out the window and it’s time for some peanut butter, chocolate and pretzels.

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