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The Beer Keeps Flowing

BR citradelicIt has only been a couple of weeks since my last news round up (read here), but the news has been flowing fast and furious so I felt I should put out another news roundup before I drown in all the happenings.

Much of this post has to do with Alberta, where much of the activity seems to be at the moment (or more likely I am not hearing the  updates from our friends eastward). As usual, in no particular order:

  • I want to start by highlighting the arrival just before Xmas of a new Alberta beer news blog. The Daily Beer hopes to post some kind of beer-related news or observation every day (that is one ambitious undertaking!). So far – understandably – the posts are more Calgary focussed but expect that to expand as time goes. Founder Hayden Dewes has connetions to both journalism and the beer industry, working part time at a Calgary liquor store and a member of the CAMRA Alberta executive. Dewes has created an attractive, lively site that is a good stop for someone looking for a quick hit on Alberta news.
  • Staying in Calgary, Big Rock continues with their big plans, as construction has started on their Toronto brewing operations in Etobicoke as well as a planned T.O. brewpub in Liberty Village. They also released their latest Signature Series a couple weeks back. Citradelic Single Hop IPA is, as the name implies, single-hopped with Citra hops. Citradelic is a new permanent addition to the growing Big Rock line-up.
  • Still in Calgary but on the flipside, size-wise, nanobrewery that could Dandy has launched two new beer. The fourth in their sour beer series is Dandy Part Time Punks Ginger Sour which combines lactic tartness with a light ginger refreshingness. They also have released a 3.5% alcohol rye Grisette called Une Vieille Maitresse. Both are available in very limited quantities. (Props to The Daily Beer News for this tidbit of beer news).
  • Tool Shed Brewing, also of Calgary, has a new seasonal out. Flat Cap Stout is an American-inspired stout that will work its way around the province over the coming weeks.
  • Moving up Highway 2 to Olds College Teaching Brewery, they hosted their first 5-course beer dinner last Saturday at the Pomeroy Hotel in Olds. Word has it was a great success. I realize this isn’t beer news, per se, but I suspect this will not be the last beer dinner held by the brewing program in southern Alberta.
  • EBGA freeze caskBeer geeks in Edmonton are holding the date of February 27 in their calendar for the latest Freeze Your Cask Off! winter cask festival hosted by the Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous. These are always entertaining and educational events with a great relaxed atmosphere. Tickets are $25. Or maybe I should say WERE $25 as the event is reportedly sold out. However, maybe you can find a Cask Off scalper somewhere willing to sell you an extra ticket.
  • A little farther up Highway 2 has Blindman Brewing announcing a couple of upcoming beer. Last week they brewed up their first kettle-soured beer, creatively called Kettle Sour #1 (Galaxy & Mosaic). Some of this new beer will be blended into their second rotational saison, Saison Lacombe: Noir. Despite ony being open for a couple months, the kids at Bindman are busy, busy. They are rapidly growing their barrel-aging program and, as you can see, starting to play around with sours.
  • Finally hitting Edmonton, Alley Kat Brewing has released the latest version of its Ginger Beer. Call it an early spring seasonal to reflect the disturbingly warm winter we are having.
  • As reported in the last round up, as of last Thursday Yellowhead officially released its Honey Porter, a sharp departure from its Premium Lager and Black Lager. They have not yet decided whether the porter is a one-off or will be a regular addition to their line-up. They hope to have tap accounts for the new beer as well as growler fills at the brewery.
  • Alberta Beer Festivals, the people behind a series of craft beer events in both Edmonton and Calgary have launched a three-part contest for the festival Kick-Off Beer, which will be tapped to start each of their spring events. It will be brewed by Olds College, but the rest will be up to the public. The first part, which closed yesterday, was to suggest which style to brew (no word on the winner yet). This week, people can propose names for the beer. Then for the last of February people can submit label designs for the beer. Contest details to be found here.
  • yukon_twobrewerswhiskyDown in Lethbridge, Coulee Brew Co. (formerly Wild Craft) have officially opened the doors to their restaurant, with the brewery to open in the next couple months.
  • Finally – and finally some non-Alberta news – Yukon Brewing, after seven long years of aging, tending and (I suspect) tasting are officially releasing their first single-malt whiskey on February 13. Two Brewers Single Malt Whiskey is an exciting culmination of the northern brewery’s ambitions to branch into spirits. They aren’t allowed to call it Scotch – but there is nothing stopping me from telling you that is exactly what it is. The first “Scotch” distilled north of 60. A limited run of 850 bottles is being released as the inaugural release. Alberta will being seeing some of this batch, although I am unaware of how much.

As I write this roundup, it becomes clearer to me I am obviously missing some exciting things in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. I will endeavour to dig up the goings-on out there and will do a roundup when there is sufficient news to report.





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