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A Fall Kaleidoscope of Beer News

NWTbrewing_logoI haven ‘t done a news round up in a while, so it might be time to get to one. The news has piled up a bit in the round-up’s absence.

Keep in mind there are still the last couple Alberta Beer Week events ongoing in the next day or two, including the Edmonton Beer History Tour, which may have a couple tickets left.

In any event, here is the latest scuttlebutt from around the prairies.

  • This may be old news by now (I doubt there is any of it left), but it is noteworthy enough to mention here. Earlier in September Dandy Brewing Company and Village Brewing paired up to create a collaborative beer, The Village Dandy, which was served exclusively at Craft Beer Market in Calgary. Brewed  on Dandy’s brewhouse by brewers from both companies is/was a tart Saison style. Anyone who had it can feel free to comment their thoughts.
  • NWT Brewing, the planned start-up in Yellowknife, has had to delay the opening of the brewery due to regulatory problems with the Territorial government. Inexperienced with breweries, it appears the NWT has some distance to go to figure out how to streamline the approval process. In the meantime, they will open the pub side of the brewery, called The Woodyard Brewhouse & Eatery, which will offer a range of quality craft beer to sate impatient Yellowknifers.
  • In other planned brewery news, Lethbridge soon-to-be Brewery WildCraft Brewing is changing its name to Coulee Brew Co. No official reason has been stated, but there is some speculation it is due to a dispute with Wild Rose Brewing over the original name. Coulee’s website is projecting the brewery (or at least the restaurant portion) will be up and running in early December (the website is still a bit sparse).
  • Over in Manitoba, Farmery Estate Brewery, which has been contract brewing for the past three years, has announced it has secured a

    The new Coulee Brew Co. Logo. Lettering is in white, so doesn’t show up well.

    location for its brewery and tap room in Neepawa, a small town outside Winnipeg. Close to the family’s farm, which is growing barley and hops aimed for the future brewery. They hope to have the brewery operational sometime next spring.

  • While still in Manitoba, Half Pints, Farmery and Fort Garry have jointly been named the official beer of the Grey Cup Festival this November in Winnipeg. No, their beer will not be served during the big game – the stadium has an exclusive contract with AB-Inbev, but at all other CFL-sanctioned events during Grey Cup their beer will be flowing. A baby step, but one in an excellent direction. Reports indicate the Manitoba government fronted the money to secure the sponsorship.
  • Calgary upstart, Tool Shed Brewing, has released, just earlier this week, its latest seasonal. Called Belgian Dip, it is something of a hop-oriented Belgian blonde ale. The Tool Shed guys say it is rather style-bending, as it is more about hop aroma than bitterness. Belgian Dip will be around for a couple months.
  • Wild Rose released Big Dipa (get it?) as their fall seasonal. The Imperial IPA will be sold in bombers for the next three months or so.
  • Big Rock, celebrating its 30th anniversary during Alberta Beer Week, has released a six-pack of its original line-up of beer. Two bottles each of its first beer will be available in what they are calling the 1985 Pack. Traditional Ale is one most will be familiar with. The other two are Porter and Bitter. Neither beer lasted very long in their initial incarnation – they were likely ahead of their time in terms of the market. I am told all three are using the original recipes, although there is no way to confirm this. They made only one batch of the two discontinued beer so will be gone soon.
  • I have also heard that Calgary Tourism is partnering with the various Calgary craft brewers to create a couple of beer bus tours across the city. One will focus on Big Rock’s facility and the other will travel around to Village, Tool Shed and Last Best. Dandy is still operating part-time so not yet suited for this venture and no word on Wild Rose. No official launch date has been announced by they hope to have the first one up and running this fall.
  • brewsters bomber series fall 15Alley Kat, fresh off their fall releases of Pumpkin Pie and Ein Prosit, will be releasing their latest in the Dragon Series in the coming days. They named it Alberta Dragon because of its generous use of fresh hops (a.k.a. wet hops) from the new northern Alberta hop farm, Northern Girls. I am told they picked the hops less than 24 hours before using it in the brew – so about as fresh as you can get. There are three varieties in the beer, but I neglected to take notes and don’t remember (my bad!).
  • Brewsters is releasing the latest beer in its Brewer’s Bomber series. There are four new beer in all. Three will be available both in the brewpubs and in retail stores: Oktoberfest Märzen Style Lager, Hawaiian Coconut Porter and Blue Monk Barley Wine, which notably makes its 24th annual return. A fourth bomber beer will only be available at the pubs. Blue Monk Bourbon Barley Wine is, as the name implies, the Blue Monk aged for three months in oak bourbon barrels
  • Finally, there is news that breweries in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba have banded together to create a craft brewers association in their respective provinces. Still in their infancy, the Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association and the Manitoba Craft Brewers Association will be mandated to advocate for regulation changes and promote local beer among consumers. More word on these as it becomes available.

I told you there was a lot of news to report. I will try not to go so long next time.









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