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Beer Geeks and More on the News Roundup

ebgarealale2015It has been a fairly quiet few weeks on the prairie beer front, but I figured it was time for a quick round-up to get us all caught up.

The most noteworthy bit of news is likely the 4th Annual Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous Real Ale Festival. This event has quickly become a highlight of the beer lover’s calendar. The big change this year is it is moving outside to the ice rink outside the Ritchie Community League Hall (site of the event the past couple years). That could be fun. To date a couple dozen casks have been confirmed, and the list of participating breweries includes some regulars along with some newcomers, which will make things interesting.

The Real Ale Festival runs September 12 from 1 to 8 pm. Tickets are $30 and available here. All the firkins will be tapped at 1:00, and served on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning don’t wait until six to arrive. If previous years are any measure the event will a) be sold out in short order (so don’t delay buying your tickets) and  b) an absolute blast (read my review of last year’s event).

The other beer news is a bit thin, but there are a few things to highlight:

  • bushwakkerBushwakker Brewpub has partnered with Parks Canada to produce a commemorative beer celebrating the Motherwell Homestead, an historic site east of Regina that preserves early prairie agricultural life. Motherwell Red Fife Witbier will be available for a limited time only.
  • Alley Kat’s annual release of its popular Pumpkin Beer will take place on August 27. Yes, we are not at Labour Day yet, but soon our shelves will be full of pumpkin beer of various sizes and shapes.
  • Bench Creek Brewing in Edson will be officially launching its first beer on September 4. They had an open house last Friday to christen the brewery and product will be on shelves in Northern Alberta sooner rather than later.
  • Winnipeg’s Half Pints Brewery has a lot on the go right now. This past week they announced the release of three new beer. A first time release is  Saazmatazz, a 4.8% red ale made with Saaz hops. Also returning to the fold is WeizenHeimer. In a particularly special release, they are putting out Eastmount ESB, a bottle-conditioned extra special bitter that, they say, is the favourite recipe of brewer Jeremy Wells. Also, in varying stages of availability or “sorry you missed it” include Heiðrún’s Sweet Mead, Voodoo Child Mild and The Golden Brett, made from the last of the yeast used in the Trinity series.

CIC_Beer Event PosterFinally, in an somewhat unusual turn of events, I am the guest speaker in September for the Edmonton Chapter of Canadian International Council, a non-profit society aimed at educating the public on foreign affairs and Canada’s place in the world. They approached me to see if I would be willing to talk about Canada’s place in the globalized world of beer.

I have titled my talk “Does ‘Canadian’ Beer Still Exist? The Global Dynamics of Beer in the 21st Century”, and I intend it to be a serious talk about the state of beer in Canada in a global context. I will touch upon multi-national conglomerates dominating the industry, the retreat of Canadian-owned breweries, the rise of craft beer and local beer and the effects on “beer culture” in Canada.

The event is at the Black Dog on September 10 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $5 for CIC members and $10 for non-members, and includes one pint of beer in the price (so a pretty good deal, all told). Tickets and more information available here.

I anticipate September to be a busy month for new beer releases and such, so expect another round-up sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

 

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