I have been on the road a fair bit this summer, so haven’t really been keeping up on the latest from breweries on the prairies. Summers are, obviously, the busiest time for breweries, so most are just trying to keep production up to meet demand, meaning there is usually less news than other times. However, a few things have crossed my desk (and, as usual, I may have missed some things).
Possibly the biggest news is that Grizzly Paw has opened a new production facility, down the road from its brewpub location in Canmore. The new 35 Hl brewery will more than triple the Paw’s capacity, and allow for broader distribution for its permanent line-up. Supposedly the brewpub brewhouse will now be used for seasonals and exclusives for the pub.
Possibly a close second in significance may be the launch of Olds College Teaching Brewery, which will be the hands-on component of their new Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management diploma. The new two-year program will see the arrival of its first batch of 26 students next month. Obviously the brewery itself is not yet operational – as it will be the students who produce the beer – but they have announced that they will sell 4 beer: Aggie Ale, Old Skhool, Hay City and Prairie Gold. No word yet on what the actual styles of these beer will be. The beer will be sold in growlers at an on-site retail store. No date on the first availability.
Alley Kat announced last week that their Summer Squeeze grapefruit beer has been so popular that they are adding it to their permanent line-up of brands. This is the first addition to Alley Kat’s core beer in many years. One wonders whether a name change might be in order, though? Summer Squeeze in January?
Winnipeg’s Half Pints have been their usual busy selves this summer, with three summer beer releases. The twin Weizen sisters are already out – WeizenHeimer and HoppenHeimer. The latter, obviously, is a more hopped up version of the original WeizenHeimer. And at the end of next week (August 17 to be exact) the much-awaited release of this year’s Humulus Ludicrous will finally occur. Expect long lines at the brewery that day, with a shipment of unknown quantity sent to Alberta shortly after.
Finally, and more for posterity than “newsiness”, last month Village Brewing released Village Farmer, a cucumber farmhouse ale. It is a saison brewed with 300 cucumbers per batch. As cucumber is a very mild fruit, I suspect the impression it leaves will be subtle. I suspect some growlers of it are still available from the brewery.