Brewing equipments dominates the prairie beer news this week, plus one new beer and a beer I neglected to mention a couple of weeks ago. I know news of fermenters and brewhouses is hardly scintillating stuff, but it is a good sign that things are moving forward in craft beer on the prairies.
Let’s start with the beer releases, though:
- First up, the one I missed. Last month Big Rock released its latest Brewmaster’s Series beer, Fowl Mouth ESB. As the name implies (ESB stands for Extra Special Bitter), it is designed to be an English-style pale ale. To be honest I am not sure how I neglected to add that to my last news post. Sorry BR. Anyway, it is still available in stores, so no real harm done.
- Yesterday Village Brewing announced its latest seasonal, Troubadour Mild Brown Ale, a lower-alcohol (4.2%) beer that likely attempts to get at that subtle flavour of a British Mild. Available only in growlers around Calgary, it likely won’t last long.
- [edited to add] As predicted a few hours later, more news came out. It was news I touched upon a couple weeks ago, but it is now official and so worth a quick edit. Alley Kat’s latest Dragon Series beer is Murasaki Dragon, using Sorachi Ace hops. Murasaki is Japanese for Purple, just for the record.
Now on the the steely side of things. Stainless steel that is:
- Tool Shed Brewing, currently contracting to Dead Frog in B.C., has offiically purchased its brewhouse. It will be a custom constructed 20 Barrel brewhouse from Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) in Prince Edward Island. They project the system to arrive in June. No exact word on when production will start, but I suspect it will be in the early fall. So, we are a matter of a few months away from having another bona fide Alberta brewery in Calgary.
- Alley Kat also announced some fancy new equipment this week. They have completed installation of four new 5,000 litre fermenter and three new 5,000 litre conditioning tanks. They indicate the new tanks will increase their capacity by 55%. This is their second expansion in three years. Interestingly (for me at least), the press release may be the first I have seen by a prairie craft brewery to openly state in a media statement the brewery’s capacity, saying the new tanks will bump it to 1.7 million litres (17,000 hectolitres) annually. They have an open house today (Thursday Feb 6) from 5 to 8pm to show off the new equipment. I can’t but an dying to see it because, frankly, I can’t figure out where they are fitting the stuff -the space was pretty full as it was!
Things seem quiet, otherwise, on the new beer front. Having said that, of course we will now see a rush of new product being announced in the coming days.