Torque/Surly – Callahan Rye IPA

I have been doing a horrible job of writing this summer. I’ve been trying to do more and more with less and less. I’ve been working on Ph.D courses, spending time with my daughter, and while I’m still enjoying beer and getting out when I can, writing is not going well.

I love writing this blog and really want to be doing my best here, but sometimes it’s going to take a backburner as I do it for fun.

Today, I’m going to be talking about three of my favorite things. Beer, Torque and Surly. They got together and brewed a sweet Rye IPA. Ultimate frisbee themed, it is called Callahan. Named after Henry Callahan, one of the early proponents of the sport who was murdered during a robbery in 1982. He is commemorated via the Callahan Award which is given to the best male and female college Ultimate players each year, the Callahan Rules of Ultimate, and a rare move in the game called a Callahan.

But, let’s talk about the beer.

I did receive this beer for free to review. I also bought a bunch of it to drink.

Calahan – Rye IPA

Torque has become a fun brewery here in Winnipeg. From their start they’ve focused on producing a variety of beer options and have always made sure to keep their taproom stocked with some new small batches for people to try out. I’m always excited to see what they’ve got on the menu and they do not disappoint.

For those of you not familiar with Surly, I did an in-depth write-up of them <here> when they first announced their coming to Manitoba. This is big. They have a waiting list for expansion and have chosen to come to Manitoba. They’ve been actively sending more beers our way and have brought in some fun stuff over the past year. They brew good beer and I’m excited to see what they were able to do with Torque.

IPAs or India Pale Ale, have a storied history. The first known use of the term comes from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in 1829.  At this time, they were also referred to as a “pale ale as prepared for India”, “East India pale ale”, and “Export India Pale Ale”.  These types of IPAs were widely popular amongst the East India company and, while considered very hoppy, they were not much stronger than other beers brewed now. Hops are used as a preservative of sorts, to help keep the beer fresh. If you were preparing a beer for a long trip from England to India, you’d need to add a lot of hops. So, while the IPA if consumed in England before shipping would be quite hoppy, at the other end it likely would not. Today, the tradition of hopping beers continues, but we don’t have as far to send them, and the goal is to make a hoppy beer. If you’re curious about IPAs check out Wikipedia, the BJCP Guidelines (Page 37) or IPA Beer.

What makes this IPA different is that rather than using standard malt bill that provides a solid malty backbone, it uses rye. Rye brings a lot of other characteristics to a beer. The most prominent of these characteristics is some peppery notes. Rye’s main contribution to a beer is in its enhancement of the beer overall. Helping bring the different notes to a point and drawing them out. The Rye in an IPA will help accentuate the hops and with enhance the finish.

Let’s get to the beer.

ABV – 6.5%
Appearance – Slightly hazy amber colour with a white head.
Smell – Get some of those peppery notes on the nose along with caramel malt and some grassy hop aroma.
Taste – Smooth front that brings some caramel sweetness from the malt. Then moving into some hoppy bitterness that is accentuated by some of the peppery notes from the rye.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation with a coarse mouth feel and a nice lingering finish.
Overall Thoughts – The rye notes accentuated the hops to provide a nice lingering finishing that is bitter and a bit spicy. The caramel malt sweetness works well with this. Overall a good Rye IPA that brings a nice balance between these two components.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer. I find that I enjoy Rye IPAs quite a lot. I like the use of Rye in a beer. This is certainly something that you should check out. It’s worth a taste.

I can’t guarantee any write-ups. I plan to attend the Winnipeg Beer Festival, so I will be doing a writeup of that. Otherwise, I will do the best I can to post as often as I can. No promises.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

Flatlander’s Beer Festival 2018

flatlanders-header-2018.jpg

Once again the most anticipated time of the beer year’s calendar has come and gone. The 2018 Flatlander’s Beer Festival was enjoyed by thousands this past weekend and I had the good fortune to attend once again.

For those not familiar with the Flatlander’s Beer Festival, it is the largest beer event in Manitoba. Bringing over 90 booths and over 300 different beers together in one location. This event provides novice and enthusiastic beer fans something to enjoy. It’s also an excellent opportunity for people to try new beers without the “fear” of wasting money, or not liking it. You get to sample so many different styles in an encouraging environment.

Flatlanders_2018_Map_v3

I say this every year, but this was the best festival so far. Not only was Surly back with some fun new beers (including Pentagram, an excellent Dark Sour) but almost the entire ice level was local breweries. They brought their A-Game this year and I want to highlight a few of the standouts for me at this years festival.

My best in show goes to KilterFruit Loopulin. This Milkshake IPA made with a variety of fresh fruits and Lupulin powder was spectacular. I also want to give a shout out to my friends at Devil May Care who brought an excellent first beer to show off their mad brewing skills. When two new breweries show up with this type of stuff, it makes me really excited.

Torque Truck

Overall, the local beers were the highlight for me. Everyone had something fun to try. Torque even had a custom designed Tap Truck with a la cucaracha horn. Their Cuke Em All Cucumber Saison was awesome as were the other beers they had specially available on tap. Get to their Taproom if you want to give some of them a try.

Half Pints was out in force with their Codename: Ghost NE IPA available in Cans. This is the first beer I’ve in a 473ml can from Half Pints and it will be available in Flight 4 of the Coast to Coaster event at Liquor Marts. This is a very good beer, and if you want to see it more often, I’d suggest you get out and buy some when it becomes available. Hint hint.

To all the local breweries I want to give a kudos. There was something at every booth that I loved from the Mega-Wit at Barn Hammer to the Baltic Porter at Nonsuch, the new core Portage Pilsner at Trans Canada and the FANTASTIC homebrew beers at the Pro/Am booth. It was awesome.

For out of town Highlights, Surly again, for sure. They had Pentagram ( a Dark Sour) and Syx available as special pours. They also were highlighting Bender, the first beer Surly Brewed and an Oatmeal stout and Coffee Bender, a coffee infused Bender. Bender will be coming this fall as a core beer and it’s tasty, so look for that.

Beau’s was also pouring some good stuff, as usual. They are in summer mode with a Hopfenlager (write-up soon) as well as the Tom Green Summer Stout. They will also have some of the Halcyon Barrel House stuff coming to Quality Inn, so be sure to check that out. Finally, always, a perennial favorite of mine, Brewsters brought their wonderful Blue Monk Bourbon Barleywine. Something I look forward to getting each time they bring it to town for the festival. Hope to see it on shelves someday.

This event is something I look forward to every year and I really encourage you to check it out when it roles around next year. Be sure to watch your favorite place to buy beer for new products and give them a try. As well, watch for tickets to the Winnipeg Beer Festival which should be coming soon.

I hope everyone had a great festival.

  • Beer Winnipeg

 

MBBA Social Pack

Good Morning Folks. I hope that everyone is as excited as I am for Flatlander’s Beer Festival this week. I will be around at the Saturday Night session this year so if you want to say hello, connect with me on Twitter (@beerwinnipeg).

Before we get into this post, I wanted to encourage you to check out my write-up of last years Festival, as well as visit their website to check-out all the sweet beers. Along with the current local breweries bringing us tasty treats, we will see two new local breweries – Kilter and Devil May Care – bringing us some stuff to try. On top of that, I met with the rep from Surly last week and they’ve got some really fun treats coming our way. Maybe something a little sour? Who knows. If you don’t have tickets yet, get them. I’ll see you there.

I have to start by saying just how incredible it is that there are 10 completely different beers from 10 completely different breweries in this years’ Social Pack. It’s astounding, incredible, and amazing. I never thought we’d be here when I started this blog 3 years ago.

I’m not going to be doing a write-up of every single one of these beers because you should get out there and try them. I just wanted to take the opportunity to let people know that this is available and to encourage people to get out and pick on up. What will you get inside? A huge variety:

1) Door Prize Hefeweizen, a german wheat beer with aromas of bananas and cloves, with a balanced wheat malt character, (2 beers per 12 pack)
2) Torque Red Line IPA,
3) Half Pints Bulldog Amber ale,
4) Fort Garry Brewing Dark ale,
5) Stone Angel Brewing Kaiser Bill IPA,
6) Farmery Estate Brewing Robbie Scotch ale,
7) Barn Hammer Brewing Lousy Beatnik kellerbier,
8) One great City brewing Tipsy Cow Milk Stout,
9) Trans Canada Brewing Lamp Lighter Amber ale,
10) Oxus Brewing Juice of the oats Oatmeal Stout,
11) Brazen Hall Brewing Vakten Belgian OL.

There is a lot of stuff in this pack to try. It’s the perfect opportunity to try a variety of local beers in one stop. This pack is starting to show up around the city. In fact, 96 packs sold out in one day at Quality Inn and more are on the way. It’ll be at various craft focused beer vendors like Quality Inn, Econo Lodge, Tux and the Beer Market in Charleswood.

Hope to see you all this weekend at Flatlander’s.

Friday Beer News – June 15

Hey Folks, been hectic as usual around the ol work and home. The beer community continues on and grows everyday it seems. Be sure to follow all the local breweries on twitter as they do an awesome job of keeping folks in the loop. Here are some highlights.

  • Torque is releasing their Hazy Whaler NEIPA in six packs. It’s showing up in fine beer selling establishments now. So be sure to check your neighbourhood store.
  • Coast to Coaster has begun at Liquor Marts. This is a couple of months of fun new beers. So be sure to check it out. We are into flight 2 already but some stores still have some flight 1 stuff available.
  • Barn Hammer has canned their Strawberry milkshake IPA strawbarian. They’ve got it in cans as well as in tap at their brewery.
  • Devil May Care, the love child of Colin Koop and Steve Gauthier (two super awesome brewers and guys) is open and brewing now out of Stone Angel. Watch for their beer as these guys are talented and fun. Can’t wait to try out some of their beer!
  • Flatlander’s beer festival tickets went on sale. This event is the highlight of my year for beer as it gives an opportunity to try new things from local and non-local breweries alike. Take a look at my writeup from last year and be sure to grab tickets.
  • The MB Brewers Association has released their collaboration pack. It’s an amazing pack with 10 beers from 10 different breweries and two cans of their collaboration “door prize” Hefeweizen. Be sure to pick this pack up and explore some of the beers from our local breweries.
  • Finally, for those who missed the news, Nonsuch is moving into the old space occupied by Peg Beer. It’s bittersweet as it is exciting for them but means Peg is highly unlikely to return and if they do not as they once were. That said I’m super excited and I wish the guys at Nonsuch all the best.

Nonsuch – BU50

photo courtesy of the illustrious beercrank.ca

Every time I sit down to write one of these posts I take an opportunity to reflect on where we are. When I first started this blog, the beer community was in its infancy. Half Pints was the predominate craft brewery, and remain to this day the original. We now have more breweries than I know what to do with. And I love it.

Today I write about an fun partnership with Brandon University. Nonsuch brewmaster, and Brandon University Alumnus, Mark Borowski has brewed a special beer for Brandon University’s 50th anniversary. This “Marzen Style” beer is, like most Nonsuch Beers, a cranked up version of the Marzen style.

For those of you who don’t recall, Nonsuch is a local brewery that is made up of some pretty talented people. Take a read through my write-up on them here. They’ve run into some bad luck along the way and have had a difficult time finding a space of their own. Thanks to the amazing camaraderie of the local beer community, most especially Barn Hammer who has provided Nonsuch with space to brew, they’ve still managed to get beer out the doors. This bottle release represents the first beer they’ve packaged and sold at such a large volume.

It is somewhat auspicious that I am posting this write-up today. NONSUCH HAS A SPACE. They announced it this morning. They will be moving into the old Peg Beer Company site at 125 Pacific Avenue. This is a happy and a sad day. I am happy for Nonsuch to finally have a place to call there own. At the same time, this means there won’t be a return of Peg.

This “Golden Ale” brewed for the “Golden Anniversary” of Brandon University is crafted from a recipe inspired by a Marzen, a German festival beer that is traditionally served at Oktoberfest.  Before refrigeration, it was nearly impossible to brew beer in the summer due to the hot weather and bacterial infections. Brewing ended with the coming of spring, and began again in the fall. Most were brewed in March (Märzen). These brews were kept in cold storage over the spring and summer months, or brewed at a higher gravity, so they’d keep. Märzenbier is full-bodied, rich, toasty, typically dark copper in color with a medium to high alcohol content.

According to the description, the unique BU50 Anniversary Ale uses a hybrid yeast to brings out more crispness, and further enhanced by the use of Saaz hops. The result is a refreshing and well-balanced strong beer that comes in at 6.8% ABV — intentionally chosen as a nod to 1968, the year the first graduates of Brandon University received their degrees. Previously, graduates from Brandon College received degrees from other institutions.

ABV – 6.8%
Appearance – Pours a clear golden/honey colour with a foamy head.
Smell – There is a biscuit malt character to the nose along with some hints of caramel and a bit of grassy hops.
Taste – This was a rather sweet beer. The sweetness from the malt came through strong and was only slightly cut by some crisp bitterness on the finish.
Mouth Feel – Medium bodied with good carbonation and a nice dry finish.
Overall Thoughts – Nonsuch is known for making ramped up beers. This was no different. The malt character really shone in this beer and, while I found it to be on the sweet side, it did have a crisp finish. I think that it hit on the characteristics one would expect to find in a Märzen while still maintaining something special that is worthy of the celebration.
Do I like it? – I did like this beer. I found that it brought a nice malt character. I found it to be a bit sweet for me, but I was able to move past that and enjoy it. I think this type of collaboration is really fun and I hope we see some more of it. The price tag on this beer, $19.68, is rather high. But, we know that Nonsuch’s overhead for there beers is already pretty high and if we consider they are donating a portion of this to the Brandon University’s BU Foundation, it makes a bit more sense.

The beer is already sold out in most of Brandon. Luckily, Nonsuch is currently brewing their second batch of the beer which should be ready in about a month. There are hopes it will be sold at rural Liquor Marts in Western Manitoba and eventually Winnipeg Liquor Marts as well.

Friday Beer News – June 1st

Hey folks. Blogging in this day and age is crazy. So much is happening that it is hard to keep up. I’m super happy about that and wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve been working like crazy and I’m posting this at the dentist office. So it’ll be a shorter one with just a few highlights.

  • Nonsuch has released a special beer in collaboration with Brandon University for their 50th anniversary. It’s a Brandon only release so you’ll have to hit up a friend there and hope there is some left.
  • Torque is releasing their Hazy Whaler NEIPA in six packs soon. Be sure to watch for that.
  • Coast to Coaster has begun at Liquor Marts. This is a couple of months of fun new beers. So be sure to check it out.
  • Barn Hammer has a new NEIPA that is worth checking out. They’ve got it in cans as well as in tap at their brewery.
  • Devil May Care, the love child of Colin Koop and Steve Gauthier (two super awesome brewers and guys) is open and brewing now out of Stone Angel. Watch for their beer as these guys are talented and fun.
  • Flatlander’s beer festival tickets went on sale. This event is the highlight of my year for beer as it gives an opportunity to try new things from local and non-local breweries alike. Take a look at my writeup from last year and be sure to grab tickets.
  • Finally for today I just wanted I congratulate all the MB breweries that won medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

I’ve likely missed a lot so be sure to follow the local breweries on twitter and, of course, me. I retweet and tweet about a lot that’s happening as well.

Thanks for following. I’ve got more to come.

Friday Beer News – May 18th

Hey Folks. Been crazy and busy and crazy busy. I’m doing my best to get back into the swing of writing posts and I have a number of things to catch-up on. With so many breweries in the city it’s sometimes hard to keep up with everything that’s happening. So, if I’ve missed something in this update, please either let me know via email <beerwinnipeg@gmail.com> or post a comment about it.

  • Torque Brewing has released this years edition of their Foundation Pale Ale. This year Torque has partnered with the Never Alone Foundation to raise funds in support of those affected by cancer. Torque will be donating $4 from every case of foundation to this worthy cause. The beer is out now, and It’s good.
  • Torque also has two more beers to mention. One is new and one is a seasonal favorite. Czech Please Bohemian Pilsner is out now while their seasonal hefeweizen Magnetic North will be coming out soon. They’ve also got some fun beers at their taproom. Be sure to check their website and follow them on twitter for updates.
  • Half Pints Queer Beer is available now around the city. This is a seasonal favorite. They also have their holy trinity beers coming out this month, so watch for those.
  • Barn Hammer has made my life, and yours, a bit easier to know what sort of fun events they will be hosting/participating in. They’ve launched an events page to keep you up to date.
  • Barn Hammer has also started canning beers and you can find those around town. They’ve also brought back their Old Friar Mead made with honey from Bee Project Apiaries. So be sure to check that out. All their current beers are listed here.
  • Stone Angel is consistently brewing up a storm for their sweet taproom down Pembina Highway. They’ve brewed a collaborative beer with Brazen Hall that is worth giving a try. Also, If you’ve not been, I’d encourage you to go. They were brewing just the other day and will likely have some new beers for June. Follow them on twitter for all the updates (including their 60 glass series) and check out their current beer list here.
  • Oxus has their beer available around town now. I’d encourage you to try it if you haven’t yet. This is the latest brewery to open its doors here in Winnipeg and I’m excited to see what else they come up with. Currently they have three beers.
  • One Great City has some new beers since I last wrote. They’ve got a Kettle Sour and a Scotch Ale that are well worth trying out. They’ve also got a Black IPA that will be coming in the near future and often do Cask Nights. If you are looking for a place to watch the Jets beat Vegas, check them out and try these beers.
  • Finally I wanted to talk about Kilter. They’ve started brewing some prototype beers at One Great City and I’d encourage you to head down and try them out. This is the good news. In really horrible news, they have lost their space. You can read about that here. What I want to say is that if you are a realtor/building owner/anyone that can help them out with a new space, please get in touch with them. It’s really heartbreaking for them and if the community can help, I hope they do.

I am sure I’ve missed something, and if I have, please let me know. Also, if you have something you’d like me to highlight, please send it my way so I can do so.

-Beer Winnipeg

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