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Name Your Beer and Other News

The first slate of winter releases have been popping out over the past couple weeks, so it seems time for another news roundup. I suspect there will be a few more announcements in the coming weeks, but this is what I have heard from around the prairies recently.

ak choclate orange porter

  • Alley Kat’s latest Big Bottle series is out this week, and it is called ________’s Chocolate Orange Porter. Customers are encouraged to personalize their bottle by adding their own name to the label. While it might seem a cute gimmick, it actually has a natural connection. A couple of years ago, Alley Kat brewed up the Chocolate Orange Porter as a Christmas gift for loyal customers and clients. It was released for sale and was personally delivered to select people. Releasing the Big Bottle version with no name kind of links to that original idea. The beer is a robust porter with some citrus character to it.
  • Edgerton’s Ribstone Creek continues to expand their repertoire with the release a couple of weeks ago of Rangeland Pale Ale. This keg-only product can be found in a handful of locations in Alberta (the usual spots – you know where to look…). Described as an “easy-drinking pale ale”, it is intended to be a new permanent addition to their line-up.
  • Village Brewing in Calgary has just released a new Winter Mixed Pack called, appropriately, Village Square. Each 12-pack includes 3 bottles each of their Wit, Blonde, Blacksmith and Monk. It will be available in Calgary for certain. No word if they plan to send it northward as well.
  • gwb cfl beerOver in Saskatchewan, Great Western Brewing was recently named the Official Brewery of the Canadian Football League. To mark the new partnership, and to commemorate the 101st Grey Cup which will be held in Regina later this month, they have released a one-time, limited edition beer, simply called CFL Beer (okay, no  points for branding originality there). It is an American-style wheat beer packaged in cans designed to look like a football. More importantly, I am told by GWB’s Brewing Supervisor, Greg Kitz, that the Grey Cup holds exactly 9 1/2 bottles of beer. Who knew?
  • Heading back to Calgary, Wild Rose’s annual winter seasonal, Cherry Porter, is back on shelves in their traditional 1-litre swing top bottles. This dark, fruity porter is very popular which is why it merits return engagements every year.
  • Finally, Half Pints has announced December 6 as the release date for its latest version of Demeter’s Harvest Wheat Wine. This wheat barley wine is surprisingly light and earthy with a noted honey sweetness. Or at least the last version was. Who knows what Dave has up his sleeve this year.

That’s what I got for you for now. Wow, a whole bit of news coverage without one mention of Rob Ford’s troubles! A rarity these days.

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