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A Run-Down of the Summer Hits

olds 1350The new releases and other news have not stopped rolling with the coming of summer. Most of the prairie brewers have been trying to offer up something new and interesting for the summer quaffing season. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the latest releases:

  • Last week, Alley Kat put out its latest Big Bottle Series. Old Jake’s Farmhouse Ale is their latest take on Saison. Over the years they have tried a few interpretations of this refreshing but flavourful style. Plus as an odd coincidence, I was at a certain liquor store last Thursday doing some planning for my CBC column last Friday, which was on the topic of Farmhouse Ales. I had arrived about an hour after the Jake’s had hit the shelves. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to sample the beer Thursday night, so couldn’t do a tasting if of it on air (I chose Hennepin for that instead), but I just found the timing interesting.
  • A couple weeks ago, Wild Rose also put out a Farmhouse Ale as a seasonal. Only theirs originates in Finland, rather than France or Belgium. Midnight Son is brewed as a Sahti, a traditional Finnish farmhouse ale brewed with juniper. Also, coincidentally, the latest issue of Brew Your Own has a profile on Sahti. Earlier in the month they released 42, a pale ale brewed with Galaxy hops – and thus named after the famous answer to the meaning of life from the Hitchhikers’ Guide series (if you don’t what that is, you need to seriously get more froody and read it).
  • The Olds College Brewery, which has had the beer from its first year of students slowly trickle out around the province, has just announced a collaboration with AdFarm. a marketing firm specializing in agriculture. They call the beer 1350 Long Farmhouse Ale but it is not a real farmhouse ale, more of an “American Wheat Ale” according to Olds’ brewmaster. Apparently 1350 refers to the degree of ripeness in the barley when harvested, or something like that (hey, cut me some slack, I grew up in Northeast Edmonton…).
  • Half Pints in Winnipeg returns with a couple of longstanding seasonals this summer. Already available for a couple of weeks is Phil’s Pils which may or may not make it outside Winnipeg. Last Saturday the latest installment of Weizenheimer Wheat Ale was released at the brewery. That beer should makes its way westward in the coming weeks.
  • Big Rock has expanded its cider line-up with two new ciders to be included in a new cider variety pack alongside its longstanding Rock Creek Apple Cider. The new Cherry Cider and Pear Cider (which should be called a Perry) try to tap into the growing market of fruit ciders in Canada.

I imagine as the temperature picks up and prairie denizens hit the patios to soak in the sun we will see a few more announcements of summer releases soon. More when events warrant.




7 comments to A Run-Down of the Summer Hits

  • alesinAlberta

    Picked up a bottle of Wild Rose’s 42(among other things)@Keg’n’Cork the other day. Rather anxiously waiting to share it with a friend, who also likes the Galaxy hops. Oh & got the howler filled with Electric Unicorn, from Phillips. Very different than the bottled version by the time I got it home…much more like a Wit, vague IPA characteristics but still quite enjoyable.

  • Sid

    A pear cider ISN’T a perry 😉

  • Sid

    From CAMRA “perry and pear cider as quite different drinks, stating that “pear cider” as made by the large industrial cidermakers is merely a pear-flavoured drink, or more specifically a cider-style drink flavoured with pear concentrate, whereas “perry” should be made by traditional methods from perry pears only.”

    And from Salt Spring Cider Company:

    But I will stand corrected if Big Rock have indeed used 100% perry pears for this new drink. Or whether they have used regular pears and blended with an apple cider, hence a Pear Cider.

    • beerguy

      Thanks!! That is helpful. In hindsight I should have given more thought to the right terms before tossing that word out. I haven’t spoken with Big Rock, but I am quite sure they are making a pear cider. Cheers!

  • New from Great Western: “Bring Yer Ginger”

    Yes, our first seasonal since “Christmas Goose” back in the early 90s (if you don’t include last summer’s CFL beer)!

    Launched two weeks ago in Saskatchewan, last week in Manitoba. Hoping to launch in Alberta next week. This summer only.

  • Our Summer seasonals are Gunther’s Hefeweizen, Jimmy’s Easy Summer Ale and Mad Hops Double IPA along with our rotating tap which currently has Sh*tkicker Blonde Ale followed next week by an India Pale Lager which will be followed by a yet to be named Kolsch for the World triathlon championships here in Edmonton in August. You can suggest names here Jason, If it’s inappropriate to give that link let me know.

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