One Year In

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It has been just over a year since I started blogging about the beer scene here in Manitoba. It’s been a really interesting and informative year. I’ve met so many passionate people who – while we don’t always agree – I’ve grown to respect immensely.

There are a few key things I didn’t know I’d learn when I started blogging; a journey that’s only made me more interested in beer, brewing and the future of beer in Manitoba.

Home Brewing

Since I’ve begun blogging about beer I’ve also expanded my knowledge around home brewing with the assistance of a great many FANTASTIC home brewers.  I’ve gone from brewing from kits, to using extract, to all-grain brewing (a focus of an upcoming blog post). It’s been incredibly challenging and exciting at the same time. Having the opportunity to attend the Winnipeg Brew Bombers’ meetings, learn from those who have been brewing a lot longer than me, and get feedback on my beers has been such a boon.

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Having the opportunity to learn new techniques, brew with experienced brewers and try new things has helped me become more passionate about beer. Before I started blogging I was a huge Hophead, mostly leaning toward IPAs. Since I’ve started brewing more on my own and experimenting I’ve had what Dave Rudge calls “epiphany beers” that sparked a desire to brew new tasty treats, like a Pumpkin Spice Latte Stout (Coffee and spice infused milk stout) and now my first Gose (a salty sour beer).

Thank you to those of you who have helped me expand my beer horizons. There are many of you and I appreciate all the opportunities you’ve given me.

Beer Geeks

When I started writing, I had no idea how many beer geeks there are here in Manitoba. While we may be a small community compared to other provinces, the “craft beer enthusiasts” in Manitoba are certainly passionate. I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to engage with them in conversations about brewing beer, tasting beer, judging beer and straight up drinking beer.

Within this group of people are some certified BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judges whose abilities I’ve grown to deeply respect. I’m openly envious of their talents and hope one day to join their ranks.

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Our beer community has some of the best people I’ve met and for that, I’m thankful.

Growth

I had hoped for – but did not expect to see – an exponential growth of demand in Manitoba for good beer. Well it arrived in force! Not only have we seen a massive growth in the number of craft beers being brought into the Liquor Marts, we’ve seen a surge of people looking to open breweries or brewpubs. At last count there are 16 people at the Manitoba Brewers Association meetings looking to open a new home for craft beers.

I’ve heard some people opine that beer is becoming “the new wine” with the variety of styles, breweries, and quality growing. The options available to Manitobans have become more diverse and with the expected openings of Peg Beer, Barn Hammer and Torque rapidly approaching, this Manitoba summer will feature a significant leap of local craft beer in our market.

What to expect from year two

One year into this blog and I’ve already had the opportunity to be involved in a lot of exciting growth in our beer scene. I’m very thankful for that.

But blog readers – you’re the ones I’m most thankful for. Without you, I’d be writing a diary of blog posts for myself to read. I appreciate your readership. Thank you.

So, what can you expect in the coming year?

  • I’ll continue to bring you information about new breweries: those that are nearly open, and those on the horizon
  • I’ll deliver details of special events and beer releases.
  • I’ll share my experiments in home brewing: things I learn, the mistakes I make…
  • I’ll tweet and blog about wider beer trends in general

This upcoming year will be exciting. When I began we were a year away from new breweries in Manitoba; now we are weeks or months away. I look forward to continuing to bring you all the best Manitoba brews news.

-Beer Winnipeg

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