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April Showers Bring May New Beer

BlackbridgeyearoneSomeone really should tell prairie breweries to chill their heels and stop being so darned busy and productive. Just kidding. But I am constantly amazed these days at just  how much stuff is going on with craft beer in the region – and that is only the things I hear about, which increasingly misses bit stuff (note to breweries: if you want to be mentioned you gotta keep me in the loop!).

So, here is my latest compilation of what I have heard about. Usual caveats apply. No particular order and I only report on that what I hear, so if I miss something it isn’t my fault.

  • Let’s start in Saskatchewan, for no real reason. Black Bridge in Swift Current has a couple of new seasonal beer on offer, both fairly significant. First is Folklore Imperial Stout, an 11% beer bottled in 750-ml bottles, it is one for aging. Available only at their taproom, you have to go to them to get it. Also out is Year One IPA celebrating their first anniversary as a brewery. Pretty fun.
  • Up the road in Regina, Rebellion Brewing recently announced the release of Glacier Pale Ale as one of their new seasonals. I know there are others, as Rebellion is constantly releasing new stuff. It can be hard to keep track. So if you are in Regina, just go there and sample whatever new thing they have on offer.
  • Over in Manitoba, Half Pints, as usual, is incredibly busy. They have a few new beer on the go. First up are the return of some regular seasonals, including Heidrun’s Sweet Mead and Black Galaxy. They also have Phil’s Pils on the growler station (Phil’s is a longstanding occasional beer at Half Pints). They also have, coming soon, a handful of new beer including: Old Red Barn (Batch 2), Pothole Porter, Queer Beer and (surprisingly) Grapefruit Radler. In other news, Half Pints lead Dave Rudge has been elected the first president of the Manitoba Craft Brewers Association. I imagine Dave will have his hands full, especially with the task of educating a new government on the value of local craft beer.
  • Staying in Manitoba, (but also transitioning to Alberta), Brewsters announced earlier this month that they are now shipping six-packs of their beer into Manitoba, officially extending the chain’s reach across the entire region. They also have a couple new seasonals in Alberta (see? transition!. Freshly available on tap are Paranoid Black IPA and Mad Hops Double IPA, the latter also available in bombers. Edmonton brewmaster, Gunther Tragesser also has out his annual Maibock, this year it is Rite of Spring Festbock.
  • Lacombe’s Blindman Brewing continues to crush it with new releases. Their latest efforts include Kettle Sour #2 which uses both Galaxy and an experimental hop. The latest of their constantly changing Saison Lacombe series will soon be out. No description on Été yet but it will likely be very summer appropriate. In case you haven’t done the math each new season offers a new Saison (season) named for the season during which it is released. Get it? I hope so.
  • couleecalibrationMoving south, there is lots going on in southern Alberta. First up is an interesting collaboration between Wild Rose, Dandy and Fallentimber Meadery have a VERY limited release of a sour beer infused with honey, ginger and lime. It debuted at the Calgary Craft Beer Festival and if there is any left some of the rest of us will likely need to offer our first born to try it.
  • Big Rock has a new seasonal beer. Mosaic Lager is an India Pale Lager. It is anchored around mosaic hops and includes some touches of Munich and Vienna malt to round the beer out.
  • West of Calgary, Grizzly Paw, who are quietly plugging away these days without much fanfare, have released last month a Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale. It is a limited run, so it may very well be gone. But if it isn’t and you find it, scoop it up lest you regret it after.
  • East of Calgary, in Lethbridge to be specific, Coulee Brewing has released its first three beer from their new brewery. They are calling it their Calibration Series, which makes sense, they have started with an Amber Ale, a Cream Ale and IPA.
  • Finally closing up with our good friends from Whitehorse, Yukon Brewing has two new beer out. The first, Spirit Dog, I reviewed a week or so ago (read the review here). The other is Dr. Snow, an Imperial Pilsner. Yukon has been focussing more on their bomber series since the Alberta mark-up changes – evidence of how good breweries can adopt to new rules.

There is undoubtedly a lot more than this going on, but this is what I have for you for now. Also, please keep giving me feedback on whether I should keep doing these round-ups in this changing environment.




4 comments to April Showers Bring May New Beer

  • Wes Bray

    Always enjoy these so please keep them up, especially up here in GP it can be hard to keep up with the new releases.

  • Another killer update, thanks Jason…. but I’m not taking directions from you any time soon!

  • Mark

    Strawberry Tart gets released this week at Rebellion. Kettle sour with 1,000lbs of SK strawberries added.

    Coop Liquor in Saskatoon is launching their growler bar later this week, just in time for the long weekend, and I believe it will only carry SK beer. They are the first retail outlet in SK to launch a growler bar.

  • I agree with Wes. I know I should be able to keep on top of things myself, but things often slip by, and it sure helps to have someone keeping us posted!

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