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Random Acts of Beerness: Beer Guides and Beer Weeks

albertacraftbeerguideWelcome to the second installment of Random Acts of Beerness, my occasional effort to update people on beer happenings on the prairies in a rather random, haphazard way (read here for an explanation of its origins).

Your Guide to the (Beer) Stars

Last weekend, Alberta’s version of The Growler, B.C.’s quarterly guide to local beer, officially launched. Simply named Alberta Craft Beer Guide, its 68 pages includes a summary page of every brewery operating in Alberta (including ones who opened during the summer) mixed with some beer education articles. I will skip over my contribution to the guide, which was a State of the Beer address for Alberta beer, and note pieces on style-bending and beer tasting as highlights. This guide is interesting to me because a short few years ago it would have been a pamphlet. That the scene has grown enough to make such a thing possible is saying something. You can find the Guide (until stocks run out) at your local neighbourhood Alberta brewery and at many discerning beer stores, pubs and restaurants.

Your Map to the (Beer) Stars

And if that wasn’t enough, our friends over at The Daily Beer last week launched an interactive online map to Alberta beer – find it here. You can search for breweries, liquor stores and beer-oriented bars in your area. It is the kind of feature other locations have had for ages but, again, Alberta simply didn’t have the critical mass for it until now. Cool.

Mother, What an Honour!

bushwakker-red-fifeRegina brewpub, Bushwakker, just won an unusual award for their recent collaboration with a National Historical Site. Bushwakker made a commemorative beer for the Motherwell Homestead Historical Site near Regina, called Motherwell Red Fife Witbier. The beer was designed to highlight Motherwell and its preservation of Saskatchewan settlers in the 19th century. As it works out the beer, and the events around it won won the 2016 Parks Canada CEO Awards of Excellence in the category of ‘Facilitating Memorable Visitor Experiences’ for the associated commemorative symphony concert that took place last summer. How often does a brewery win an award for helping to celebrate history?

Bring Out Your Alberta Beer!

September 23 to October 1 is Alberta’s 2nd annual Alberta Beer Week. Details are a bit slim at the moment but if last year is any indication there will be a wide range of events highlighting and celebrating Alberta-made beer. Like last year the Calgary and Edmonton Oktoberfests bookend the week and in the middle there will be a variety of tastings, dinners and other events. The website is a bit thin on details at the moment, but check back closer to the week to find out about the various options.

Torque, umm, Torques It Up

New Winnipeg brewery, Torque Brewing, has shifted into full production in recent weeks and is now shipping both kegged and canned product around the province. While this isn’t news, per se, it remains a good news story for prairie craft beer.

To Hell With It

Similarly, Hell’s Basement in Medicine Hat has gotten off to a fast start, selling out their initial beer within days and now starting to sell canned beer to thirsty Hat residents. Expect to see them elsewhere sooner rather than later.

4thmeridian-logoCoulee Comes to Town

New Lethbridge brewery Coulee Brewing is now up to full production and ready to spread its good beer word across the province. They tell me within days they will be shipping beer to Connect Logistics, so expect to see their beer in a good beer store near you soon.

Lloyd Joins the Beer Revolution

The latest Alberta brewery to be granted a production license is 4th Meridian Brewing in Lloydminister. I haven’t had a chance to talk to them yet, so don’t have much to offer around what they are about, but stay tuned. I am behind in my profiles, but determined to catch up.

That suffices for now. More when the spirit moves me!


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