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Sexy Saskatchewan

Who knew? Saskatchewan apparently has the sexiest beer. At least according to this curious Globe and Mail article from last week it does (thanks to Chad for pointing it out to me). Apparently potassium has been found to be something of an aphrodisiac (not that I would want to eat it straight…) as it stimulates sex hormones. Of course potassium is a key component in potash which underlies a good chunk of Saskatchewan. This, the article claims, leads to higher potassium levels in Saskatchewan barley, and thus the conclusion, at least by the CEO of Great Western, that Saskatchewan beer is sexier.

I am skeptical, but sign me up for the double-blind, controlled experiment to prove it.

Of course, if it is true, then that means Paddock Wood and any other western brewer who uses Saskatchewan malt would also be loaded with “love barley”. Guess I have to add a new question for my interview lists: where does your malt come from, big boy?

The bulk of the article redeems itself by offering an interesting history and overview of Great Western. I have a soft spot for Great Western. While their beer is not aimed at guys like me, I really admire that when Molson wanted to shut their plant down, the workers said “fuhgeddaboudit!” and bought the damned thing. It is no longer a worker coop, but still offers a classic example of what can be done to keep brewing traditions (and jobs) alive. If only the Edmonton Molson plant could have experienced a similar fate…

It is also interesting to note, buried in the article, that Great Western, who built its business on affordable mass market beer, is looking at moving into the craftier end of the beer spectrum, where it would offer beer at a higher price point that appeals to guys like me. I am curious to see how that might work out. Other larger volume brewers have tried such a strategy, generally with little success, but I will keep my mind open until I taste the beer.

2 comments to Sexy Saskatchewan

  • Dave

    Which would also mean that the great majority of Sierra Nevada beers are sexy as hell.

    Ken Grossman & SN subsidize Saskatchewan farmers to grow higher quality malting barley, then they purchase the results from Prairie Malt in Biggar, SK.

  • Mark

    I got to meet Ken last fall, told him I was from Saskatchewan, and he told me has visited the facility in Biggar many times. Some of the SN employees I talked to said they sometimes spend a few extra days in SK to go hunting after checking out the malt. I also got to tour the SN rail spur, where all the boxcars of malt are shipped from SK.

    I was surprised when driving to work a month or two ago and heard about the new SN subsidy agreement with SK barley producers on the radio. Seems a little silly that you can’t actually buy any of their product here. I teased Ken about this as well, he said they would love to be here, but there are just too many obstacles at this point in time to enter the Canadian market.

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