Beau’s Cherry Revue

Sorry I missed Friday Beer News this past week. It has been hectic and I’m finding my time to be short. I am still doing what I can to keep posting here but as the breweries grow, and the number of things to write about grows with it, I am finding it hard to keep up!

But, I’ve had this beer review to write for a while, so let’s get to it.

Beau’s keeps sending new beers out our way and I’m happy about that. While I am mostly focused on what’s happening here locally, and what beers we can get from our local folks, I do enjoy reviewing these beers from Beau’s.

I did a pretty in-depth write up about Beau’s when I met with co-founder Steve Beauchesne, but I do want to reiterate a bit about the brewery. Founded in 2006 in Vanleek Hill, Ontario by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s is an employee-owned and completely independent Canadian craft brewery. They are also the official beer of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Today I have the chance the write about Beau’s latest gose, Cherry Revue.

*Writer’s Note: I did receive this beer review free of charge.*

I’ve learned quite a lot about beer while running this blog and my favorite style to drink and brew is the Gose. While I’m certainly no expert, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what this style is and how to brew it. I was lucky enough to win a silver a medal for my Strawberry Margarita Gose from the Pro/Am competition here in Winnipeg. So, I love the style and am excited to see more of them being made.

A Gose (GOH-zeh) is a highly carbonated, tart and fruity wheat ale that also has subtle coriander and just a pinch of salt that should come across just at the finish. This style originated in the town of Goslar in the middle-ages. In fact, the name of the beer comes from the Gose river which runs through the town of Goslar. The water from this river had a huge impact on the flavour of the beer and so it’s no surprising it has held this name for so long. This area was known for mining and one of the most abundant minerals present was salt. Some of this salt dissolved into the local groundwater which was used during the brewing of their local beer. Since they didn’t have water softeners or bottled water, they just used what they had and made it work.

After centuries of dominating the beer market in Goslar, the popularity of the style fell. Luckily it was picked up by the German town of Leipzig where it is documented to have been brewed since the 1740s. By chance, the town of Leipzig fell outside of Bavaria where the Reinheitsgebot (German beer purity laws) initially came into effect. Once Germany unified, there were some hoops to jump through, but special considerations were made for this style of beer given its history.

Up until recently, it’s been very hard to find this style of beer. While it started to see a resurgence in the 1980s, it hasn’t been widely available and many people didn’t even know what it was. This is the reason I started brewing it myself, so I could consistently get a good Gose.

Lucky for me and other Gose fans, many breweries seem to be reviving this style. Barn Hammer, Torque and Peg Beer have all brewed Goses  and we’ve seen breweries from outside Manitoba pick up on the style.

I love this style of beer and the variations that you can play around with. Like a Berliner Weisse, you could even mix a syrup into a straight up Gose, or play on the characteristics like I did with my Margarita Gose. So, let’s get to this beer.

ABV – 4.5%
Appearance – Pours a hazy pink colour with a nice white foam of a head.
Smell – You definitely get the cherry notes on the nose along with some citrus notes. There is a twinge of acidulated funk in the nose as well as some salt.
Taste – A nice gose that brings a bit of puckering to the mouth along with definite cherry notes and a slight finish of salt right on the end.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation with nice bubbles and a dry, tart salt finish.
Overall Thoughts – I think this is a strong gose. While I do feel it could have done with a bit more sourness, it was a strong beer for the style.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer. I really enjoy Goses and find myself wanting to try as many as I can. While I do think this one could have been a bit sourer, I still enjoyed it.

I hope that this write-up was informative. I encourage you to get out and try as many new beers as you can. Broaden your horizons and your palate.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

Torque – Borealis Gruit

Well, it’s official, there are a ton of interesting beers being made locally. I am having a hard time keeping up. The amount of new stuff happening in Winnipeg is truly awesome. Today I want to take an opportunity to do a write-up of a unique local beer. Torque Brewing brewed a Gruit. This is a unique and interesting style of beer and I want to write about.

I’ve written about Torque on many occasions and feel that they are really pumping out some fun and unique beers.

Borealis – Gruit

Gruits are an ancient style of beer that finds it origins somewhere around 700 CE. The Gruit reached the height of its consumption between the 9th and 13th centuries. Like many other ancient beer recipes, it was the women from whom this ale was produced. The recipe would be passed down through the generations. As time progressed, it shifted to being a task done within monasteries. The monastic communities gained economic prowess, having the best harvests, the best fabrics, etc… and they soon moved into producing beer.

During this time the gruit was a lot different than what we find today. Being made of an often-top-secret blend of herbs and spices. During the height of its popularity, the Gruitier was held in high regard and often had body guards to help protect the recipe. Holding positions of high regard and often luxurious houses, gruitiers all proclaimed their recipe to be the best and often boasted healing or medicinal properties. The use of the herbs and spices had a more practical reason, to keep the beer from spoiling. As hops were not used, these beers needed some other means of keeping for longer periods.

Today, a Gruit is a top-fermented ale that will still use blends of herbs, spices, or citrus. Most gruits produced today do use some level of hops but do so in a way that it imparts no hop flavour on the beer itself. Rather, these beers focus on being clean and imparting flavours from the use herbs, spices and botanicals. The Borealis gruit from Torque that we are trying today uses spruce tips (I love spruce tips), bog myrtle, yarrow, and juniper.

ABV – 6.5%
Appearance – Pours an amber with a slight haze, with a small bit of white foam that dissipates quickly.
Smell – Easily identifiable notes of spruce tips. Juniper is present on the nose as well. I am not familiar with the aroma of Yarrow or Bog Myrtle.
Taste – Malt sweetness on the front of this beer with a nice taste of those spruce tips and some juniper. The beer is clean and finishes nicely.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation with nice bubbles and a dry salt finish.
Overall Thoughts – I’ve had the opportunity to try several gruits due to the availability of many this international gruit day. I found this one to be right up there and brought a lot of nice flavours to this unique style. When using botanicals over hops in a beer you rely on them to bring the balance, and this certainly was nice.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer. I found the use of spruce tips and juniper to be really pleasant. I feel a need to get more familiar with yarrow and bog myrtle after drinking this and am overall impressed.

This beer is available at liquor marts, the Quality Inn Craft Beer Store, and at the brewery itself. Get out there and pick it up (along with a few others to try out). I hope that this write-up was informative. I encourage you to get out and try as many new beers as you can. Broaden your horizons and your palate.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

Friday Beer News – February 9th

Here are some things that are coming up in the beer community here in Winnipeg. If you have any events or releases you’d like included, contact me at beerwinnipeg@gmail.com

  • Oxus Brewing Company has bottled its first beers and should be coming out in Liquor Marts soon. This is really exciting news! A new brewery opening again with more local beer to try! I can’t wait. Check-out my initial chats with Oxus here and here.
  • Torque’s International Gruit Day beer is out and available at the brewery and Quality Craft Beer Store. This is super exciting. Their “Borealis” is a gruit made with juniper berries, lavender, yarrow, spruce tips, and bog myrtle. For more information on who else is participating in this day check-out the official website. This interesting and unique style of beer is enjoyable to drink. For more information on the style check here. I will be posting a review of this beer soon.
  • Nonsuch and Barn Hammer heave released a collaboration brew at the brewery and at Liquor Marts and Quality Craft Beer Store. This “Lune Noire” is a dark saison and if you had a chance to try some last year, you know it’s really good.
  • Barn Hammer Brewing is participating in the “6-week winter CSA” membership. This get’s you:
    • $250 Membership gets you six weeks of Eadha Bread, Barn Hammer Brewing Company Beer and Bouchée Boucher Meat for 2 people as well as samples from six other guest food artisans in Manitoba including flora & farmer, Smak Dab, Helpfulbeans, and more!

    • Check out the details here.
  • Trans Canada has their grab a growler and go growlers up and running. These pre-filled growlers of their Amber and IPA will be available at the brewery starting today. This means you literally drop of your old one and pick up a new one. No need to worry about waiting for a fill. Quick and simple.
  • Half Pints is always looking at doing some fun stuff, check out their seasonal beers as well as their upcoming brews.
  • Surly Gives a Damn is going to be holding another charitable event here in Winnipeg in support of Winnipeg Harvest on February 13th. This is a great opportunity to help out the local community and celebrate with free Surly beer afterwards. Details and signup info is here.
  • There is a fun event coming up at the Irish Association of Manitoba on March 3rd. This educational event will teach you the basics of small batch brewing. Check out the details and register here.
  • The Winnipeg Brewmasters’ Winter Technical Session is coming up on February 22nd. It is hosted and sponsored by Trans Canada Brewing and Intertek. For more details on that check here.
  • Lastly, I guarantee there are a lot of beers that need drinking around the city and I’m sure I’ve missed some cool events and stuff coming up. If you know of anything coming up, let me know so I can feature it. In the meantime, checkout the stuff above and go to the open breweries in the city and drink some beer.

I’ve got a write-up on a Gose from Beau’s coming up soon along with a write-up of Torque’s Gruit. I’ve also got some write-ups coming on interviews, so keep watching.

Friday Beer News – February 2nd

Man, getting sick sucks. Especially when there is a whole bunch of beer related stuff happening that you want to get in on. I’m feeling better now and looking forward to a good weekend of trying some beers and writing about a few of them.

Here are some things that are coming up in the beer community here in Winnipeg. If you have any events or releases you’d like included, contact me at beerwinnipeg@gmail.com

  • Oxus Brewing Company has bottled its first beers and should be coming out in Liquor Marts soon. This is really exciting news! A new brewery opening again with more local beer to try! I can’t wait. Check-out my initial chats with Oxus here and here.
  • Torque’s International Gruit Day beer is out and available at the brewery and Quality Craft Beer Store. This is super exciting. Their “Borealis” is a gruit made with juniper berries, lavender, yarrow, spruce tips, and bog myrtle. For more information on who else is participating in this day check-out the official website. This interesting and unique style of beer is enjoyable to drink. For more information on the style check here.
  • Nonsuch and Barn Hammer heave released a collaboration brew at the brewery and at Liquor Marts and Quality Craft Beer Store. This “Lune Noire” is a dark saison and if you had a chance to try some last year, you know it’s really good.
  • Barn Hammer Brewing is participating in the “6-week winter CSA” membership. This get’s you:
    • $250 Membership gets you six weeks of Eadha Bread, Barn Hammer Brewing Company Beer and Bouchée Boucher Meat for 2 people as well as samples from six other guest food artisans in Manitoba including flora & farmer, Smak Dab, Helpfulbeans, and more!

    • Check out the details here.
  • Trans Canada has their grab a growler and go growlers up and running. These pre-filled growlers of their Amber and IPA will be available at the brewery starting today. This means you literally drop of your old one and pick up a new one. No need to worry about waiting for a fill. Quick and simple.
  • Half Pints has released their “Grand Slam Oatmeal Stout” and you can get it now at Quality Inn Beer Store. If you are curious what else they have check out their seasonal beers as well as their upcoming brews.
  • Surly Gives a Damn is going to be holding another charitable event here in Winnipeg in support of Winnipeg Harvest on February 13th. This is a great opportunity to help out the local community and celebrate with free Surly beer afterwards. Details and signup info is here.
  • Quality Inn Beer Store is undergoing some sweet renovations to expand their space and make room for all the awesome beers they are bringing in. If you haven’t been there recently, I suggest you go. They are bringing in a huge selection of beers that you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Speaking of which, Quality Inn Beer Store has the largest selection of Gruits that you can get in Winnipeg. They’ve got a bunch from Beau’s as well as the one from Torque. They’ve also brought in some really cool beers from Garrison. Get down there and check them out!
  • There is a fun event coming up at the Irish Association of Manitoba on March 3rd. This educational event will teach you the basics of small batch brewing. Check out the details and register here.
  • Lastly, I guarantee there are a lot of beers that need drinking around the city and I’m sure I’ve missed some cool events and stuff coming up. If you know of anything coming up, let me know so I can feature it. In the meantime, checkout the stuff above and go to the open breweries in the city and drink some beer.

Now that I’m feeling better I plan to get to interviewing some local brewers, checking in with Kilter and Oxus, and reviewing a few beers I’ve got stored away.

I’m sure I’ve missed something. There is so much happening in the Winnipeg Beer Scene it’s hard to keep up. Please help me out. Let me know of events coming up by email – beerwinnipeg@gmail.com – or leave a comment. Thanks for following, as always.

– Beer Winnipeg

Friday Beer News – January 26/18

Hey Folks. I had a fantastic vacation over in Hawaii but, sadly, all vacations come to an end and I’ve been back in Winnipeg for a little while. December is a busy month of posting for me, so I took a bit of a break to recharge and get ramped up for another year of Beer Winnipeg.

To get started, Beer News is back on Fridays, so let’s get to that. Here are some things that are coming up in the beer community here in Winnipeg. If you have any events or releases you’d like included, contact me at beerwinnipeg@gmail.com

  • You can still find Torque’s “Winter Survival Pack“ at around the city. This 6-pack includes a Double IPA, Wee Heavy, Roasted Coffee Porter, a Stout, a Dunkelweizen and a Wheat Wine. It probably won’t last long so if you’ve not gotten one yet, go get some now!
  • Torque will also be participating in International Gruit Day which is super exciting. For more information on who else is participating in this day check-out the official website. This interesting and unique style of beer is enjoyable to drink. For more information on the style check here.
  • Nonsuch’s Old Ale, is available around town. It’s tasty and I’d encourage you to grab some. This 10% beer is caged and corked and will cellar well. This is the second beer from Nonsuch, who’s Saison can also be found around town.
  • To coincide with the Lunar Eclispe on January 31st, Nonsuch and Barn Hammer will be releasing a collaboration brew at the brewery. This “Lune Noire” is a dark saison and if you had a chance to try some last year, you know it’s really good.
  • Barn Hammer also has a new test batch out that is worth checking out. This peanut butter milk stout is sure to go quick. While you’re down there, if they have any of their Brett Barley Wine left, check that out too.
  • Today at Trans Canada you can start stopping in to grab a growler and go. These pre-filled growlers of their Amber and IPA will be available at the brewery starting today.
  • Surly Gives a Damn is going to be holding another charitable event here in Winnipeg in support of Winnipeg Harvest on February 13th. This is a great opportunity to help out the local community and celebrate with free Surly beer afterwards. Details and signup info is here.
  • Quality Inn Beer Store is undergoing some sweet renovations to expand their space and make room for all the awesome beers they are bringing in. If you haven’t been there recently, I suggest you go. They are bringing in a huge selection of beers that you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Lastly, I guarantee there are a lot of beers that need drinking around the city and I’m sure I’ve missed some cool events and stuff coming up. If you know of anything coming up, let me know so I can feature it. In the meantime, checkout the stuff above and go to the open breweries in the city and drink some beer.

I’ve got a list of beers I want to drink, people I want to interview and events to attend. I’m excited to be doing this for another year and hope that you folks will follow along with what is happening.

Beer Winnipeg

Merry Christmas – Beau’s New Lang Syne is Perfect for New Years Eve

Beau’s keeps sending new beers out our way and I’m happy about that. While I am mostly focused on what’s happening here locally, and what beers we can get from our local folks, I do enjoy reviewing these beers from Beau’s.th.

I did a pretty in-depth write up about Beau’s when I met with co-founder Steve Beauchesne, but I do want to reiterate a bit about the brewery. Founded in 2006 in Vanleek Hill, Ontario by father and son Tim and Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s is an employee-owned and completely independent Canadian craft brewery. They are also the official beer of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

This New Lang Syne is already available in Liquor Marts and beer vendors around the city. So now is the perfect time for a writeup of this beer.

*Writer’s Note: I did receive this beer review free of charge. *

New Lang Syne

The style of beer we are drinking today is a Beligan Tripel. The name Tripel comes from the brewing process of this beer.  Essentially it means you are adding three times the malt as you would in a Beligan “simple”.   This increases the sugar content in the beer and results in a highly alcoholic beer.  The best Belgian tripels hide this strong alcoholic flavor making them delicious but dangerous.  They have a surprisingly light color, typically bright yellow to golden, which is a result of the addition of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose).  Tripels are the most brewed of the Belgian styles and are highly adored due to their deep color, soft maltiness and unique yeast flavors.  Even with their high ABV (usually 8-12%) they are highly approachable when done right.  Let’s get to the beer.

What’s unique about this beer is that it has been aged in pinot gris wine barrels for 4 months and then blended with an unaged batch of the beer to provide an interesting meld of beer. It is a bottle-conditioned beer and has been described to me as bridging the gap between beer and wine. I’m excited to give it a try.

ABV – 9%
Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy golden with a nice frothy white head.
Smell – The nose brings some citrus zest, some nice sweet malt notes, along with an interesting white wine character and some oak.
Taste – This beer has a lot going on. With the use of a Belgian yeast you are getting some nice yeast esters bringing some bubblegum, apricot and pear. This works incredibly well with the white wine character which compliments these notes. There is a candied sugar sweetness that is slightly cut by the oak on the finish. The finish is a blend of this oak and yeast spice along with some tannins from the wine.
Mouth Feel – Medium bodied, nice carbonation, and very little sign of the 9% alcohol.
Overall Thoughts – Nice beer. It makes a good representation for the Tripel and brings a lot of those characteristic notes including a unique yeast character, nice maltiness combining with the white wine and oak notes from the barrel aging.
Do I like it? – I did enjoy this beer. It was unique and did bring some wine characteristics to the beer. I felt it could be described as bridging the gap between beer and wine. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and think it would make an excellent beverage for you on New Years Eve!

I hope that this write-up was informative. I encourage you to get out and try as many new beers as you can. Broaden your horizons and your palate.

Keep following along as I keep doing what I can to write about beer, breweries and brewers.

To those who celebrate – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

And, to those who will be celebrating it, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Beer Winnipeg

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 24 – Põhjala Jõuluöö

This is the last beer of the Advent Calendar for 2017. I’ve really enjoyed doing all of these write-ups and I hope that you folks following along found them interesting and informative. While I know that you all probably have different perspectives and opinions on the beers, I’m glad you stuck with me. One more post tomorrow with a beer from Beau’s and then I’m off until the New Year.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Today we have a beer that I’m excited to try. It’s from Estonia and it’s Põhjala Jõuluööa (Christmas Night) which is a Chocolate Vanilla Barrel Aged Imperial Baltic Porter. Why this is exciting to me is because I’ve had a Baltic porter from this brewery before, it was awesome, and it’s an actual Baltic porter from a Baltic state (how cool is that).

Põhjala is a brewery located in Tallinn, Estonia. Founded in 2011 by four Estonian entrepreneurs alongside head brewery Chris Pilkington.  Originally they brewed on a contract basis, going from brewery to brewery having their beers made out of other facilities. In 2013 they opened their own brewery and from the outset have been brewing quality beer. They are seen as one of the small number of breweries who can take credit for kick-starting the craft beer revolution in Estonia.

It is headed by head brewer Chris Pilkington, formerly with Brewdog in Scotland, and supported by a dedicated and knowledgeable staff. The brewery itself has quite a large production and with it’s setup they are able to produce 12hl at one time on their brew house. Once the beer is complete they have 13x24HL and 3x32HL fermentation tanks and 2x24HL bright tanks. Using only the latest technology and quality control measures, they can produce a variety of different styles of beer at the highest possible quality.

Today we have from them a Baltic Porter.  Now, as I’ve discussed loads of times on this blog, porters and stouts are not historically different beers.  While we do have beers sold under both names, stouts traditionally were stronger versions of porters.  The Baltic Porter is a prime example of this historical nature, though, it is still quite strong in and of itself.  The Baltic Porter is in fact a version of the Russian Imperial Stout which originated in the Baltic region of the world.  What makes this different is that it is usually cold fermented, making it a dark lager.  With the export of Britain’s Russian imperial stouts being quite popular in the Baltic region, it was only a matter of time before they decided to make their own using their own ingredients and brewing styles.

Baltic porter often has the malt flavours like an English Brown porter but with less of the roast on the malt, like a schwarzbier.  Overall, typical of this style is a sweet malt combined with deep malt, dried fruit esters and alcohol.  Smooth roasted malt flavours coming close to burnt with a clean lager characteristic.  An interesting style that I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy too often. So, I am looking forward to this one. This one is a Chocolate, Vanilla, Barrel Aged Imperial Baltic Porter. So, we can expect a wide range of flavours coming in on this one. Let’s get to it!

Appearance – Pours black with a good tan head.
Smell – Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and some subtle oak in there as well.
Taste – Roasted malt mixed with malty sweetness. The chocolate and vanilla really come through for me on the taste and provide a nice rich sweetness that is slightly cut by a bit of oak.
Mouth feel – Medium-full body with moderate carbonation and a semi-sweet finish with alcohol warmth.
Overall – Roasted malt and dark fruit esters meld well with the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla in this beer.  Overall delicious brew.
Do I like it?
– I did like. It brought some lovely flavours to a rich and smooth mouthfeel that hid the alcohol content of this beer well. It was a really nice way to finish the calendar and a fine example of a true Baltic porter.

 

 

 

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