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Your First News Round-Up of 2016

brewsters peachAs readers nurse their New Years’ Eve hangovers, I thought it might help get your mind off your headache to give you the latest news from breweries around the prairies. Another new round of beer you can try as hair of the dog.

Of course, all of this news actually came out in 2015, but since this is being posted in 2016, we can call this the first round-up of 2016. In the usual no-particular-order, here are the latest happenings around the prairies.

  • Brewsters has a whole bunch of stuff going on right now. First, they have added two new brands to their growing line-up of six-packs available in liquor stores as they expand their retail sales arm. Original Lager has been one of their mainstays since the brewpub chain opened and now it will be available in bottles. Along with it they are adding 52nd Street Peach Ale (named after the street of their Calgary brewery) which is, obviously, a peach wheat ale, and recently became a permanent addition to the tap line up. Also, they are adding two new tap line brands: Hawaiian Coconut Porter and Honest Paul IPA (which I am told will also go into six-packs later this year).
  • But wait! Brewsters isn’t done (I told you they were busy). They also have released two new beer in their Brewer’s Bomber Series. Howitzer Strong Ale is their winter ale. They also have released a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout.Interestingly half of the batch went into second generation barrels that first housed the barrel-aged Blue Monk and the other half into first generation barrels. They were then blended at bottling.
  • wildrose logo goodWildrose Brewing has also added a new beer to their regular line-up. To my awareness, Cowbell Kettle Sour is the first sour beer to become a permanent offering from a prairie brewery. It is kettle-soured, which means an addition of lactobacillus before boiling to “quick sour” the beer. They also add kaffir limes for a citrusy character. Kettle souring is a bit controversial in some quarters, maybe something I’ll expand upon another day.
  • Early in December, Bench Creek Brewing in Edson officially opened its retail store, selling out its flagship Naked Woodsman Pale Ale in two hours. Expect packaged product sometime in the new year.
  • Yukon Brewing always has a lot going on, but their latest seasonal release to come south of 60 is I’m Leaving Today American Pale Ale. There is a bunch of stuff in their Whitehorse taproom, but I figure if you are up there, you already know what they are.
  • Grizzly Paw has two new releases this month. First up is their Alpenglow Winter Ale, a 7.5% winter warmer. They are also releasing, in a limited volume, a new Barley Wine that has been aging for over a year. Made back in 2014, they have waited until 2016 to release it to ensure it is has had the appropriate aging.
  • Regina’s Rebellion Brewing, which is constantly releasing new things for limited distribution in the Queen City, announced in December the release of two beer that show their ambitious approach. A Barrel-Aged Double Oatmeal Stout (9.5%) and a Belgian Quadrupel (10%) are their two seasonal features for the holiday season. Talk about your serious beer offerings.
  • Sticking with Regina, District Brewing has added a second beer to its accessible line-up of beer. Dog River Bavarian Dark compliments their pale lager, Müs Knuckle, with a darker lager.
  • theoretically brewingOn the political scene, the Manitoba government recently announced a change to their mark-up rates. It is a bit complicated, but the overall effect is to lower the mark-up on small breweries in Manitoba while keeping rates the same for larger breweries. You can read a bit more detail on this here. I plan on commenting more fully on this in the coming days as part of a longer piece on mark-up policies.
  • Finally, a piece of news I have been trying to offer up in a stand alone piece but feel I need to at least mention it now. Lethbridge has a new nanobrewery. Theoretically Brewing opened its doors just before Xmas, selling out of its stock of the two initial beer in one day. The beer are Curiosity Amber Ale and BHB Stout, both available in bomber bottles. I don’t have much more detail than that at the moment, but have been trying to arrange a time to talk to the founders and will do a profile post soon.

So there you go, suffering beer fans. This is your beer news fix for the first few weeks of 2016. More soon.

1 comment to Your First News Round-Up of 2016

  • Mark

    We have done 3 batches of kettle sours at Rebellion. Very tasty beers. Planning to do another 4-8 batches this year as well. We dont charge a premium for our kettle sours.

    We have also released 2 traditional sour beers, with another on the way, as well as some aged brett pale ale. These are indeed priced at a premium.

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