All posts by beerwinnipeg

Watching and blogging about the growing craft beer landscape in Manitoba

One Great City – Revisited

I can’t believe that it’s already almost April, man time flies. There have been several interesting changes that have happened in the past month in the beer community. I want to take a moment to highlight a few before getting to the write-up about One Great City.

First, the government has extended the hours of operation for tap rooms. This is a welcome change and allows taprooms to now be open until 11 pm. There are still some issues with the legislation – capacity limit and beer offerings to be specific – but this time change is a step in the right direction.

Second, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries has lifted some of the restrictions placed on the growler bar program as it applies to beer vendors. They have allowed more control for beer vendors to choose what beers they will list on their growler bar. This is a fantastic move that will allow for some more flexibility in what gets listed. Places like the Quality Craft Beer Store and the Econolodge will now be able to offer more variety. That’s a good thing.

Finally, as I noted, Brazen Hall opens today to the public. Another brewery opening its doors, this one with food. This makes Brazen Hall the second Brew Pub in the city.

Now, to the focus. One Great City and the progress they’ve made since we last checked in.

I had a chance to meet with Tim from One Great City during a period of construction. It was busy, and I am thankful for the time he took to chat with me. The construction is lessening and the majority of the big items are out of the way. I think I’d say they are entering into the “finishing” stages which is really nice to see.

 

The fire shutters that will allow for the brewery to be visible from the restaurant through windows while still meeting the safety requirements have been installed and the brewery area is looking ready for equipment. This will be great as the brewery will be clearly visible from all seats in the restaurant giving that true brew pub feel. The trades have been in for the transformer, a big step, and the equipment schedule is now set. The timeline to opening is becoming more clear with the kitchen installed in the next couple of weeks and the brewery equipment getting installed after that.

The space is starting to flesh out and take shape. The bar top is looking beautiful and is made from reclaimed wood. They’ve got their tables being made in house and they’ve got a funky looking backdrop to the bar. Paint is getting put in, they’ve got the epoxy going down on the floors and they’ve got the multimedia aspects getting organized.

The team is starting to flush out a bit more with the hiring of Diego Carloso as the restaurant manager. People may remember him from working at Barley Brothers Polo. He is working closely with head brewer Josh on their roles. The aim is to their own beer ready when they open the doors. Torque has graciously given some brew space to One Great City so that they can have their own beers on tap when they open to the public. In the meantime, head brewer Josh has brewed a double white IPA over at torque on their test batch system which will be available this week.

The team has also been working on finalizing the beers that they hope to have on tap. They plan to have 12 taps in total. 6 taps will be for their core beers (Pale Ale, Milk Stout, ESB, Witbier, American Blond and Double IPA), 4 taps will be for seasonal beers and 2 taps will be for guest beers. All beers made in house will be served from bright tank to tap, except for their test batches which will be kegged.

They’ve got the menu set and while I can’t share what’s on it (I’ll let Tim and John do that), I can tell you it looks delicious and made me hungry looking over it.  I’m excited to see the space and especially try the beer and food. So when will they open? I am hoping soon but I’d follow them on twitter to get more details as they get closer.

On a final note, I want to give a shout out to something not beer related. I went with some friends to the Portal here in Winnipeg. It’s a virtual reality space that you can rent out and play VR games. It was amazing. The guy who runs the place is brilliant and they are working hard to get this business up and running. They are working on a space in the exchange, but are currently located at 703 Corydon on the second floor. I encourage you all to go.

  • Beer Winnipeg

Brazen Hall Open – March 20th

Brazen Hall Logo

Just a quick update today. While I haven’t been able to get in and follow-up with the folks from Brazen Hall since I did my first interview, they have been holding soft opening events this weekend. They are officially opening their doors to the public tomorrow, March 20th. They are located at 800 Pembina Highway (the old Round Table).

They’ve come quite a long way since the first visit. The place looks great and they’ve got a couple of their own beers ready to go, thanks in large part to Torque. It’s another example of the beer community helping one another. Something we see a lot of these days.

Brazen Hall Menu

They have a smaller opening menu with some fantastic food options. They have their Biere de Garde and their Brazen Blonde ready to go as well as some other local options.

Another brewery is opening it’s doors and we have more on the horizon. I’ll be posting my update from One Great City tomorrow, so watch for that.

Beer Winnipeg

Beer Documentary

Local Creative Communications Student and beer lover Clayton Winter has produced a really good 10 minute documentary about the growing craft beer scene in Manitoba.

I had the good fortune of being interviewed for it. This project was for his independent profession project Creative Communications. A year-long project in between semesters three and four in the program.

“I had a lot of fun making this and I hope you have a lot of fun watching this.”

Beau’s – Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale

 

*Writer’s Note: I did receive this pack to review free of charge. This did not influence my write-up. *

I was pretty excited to get a package from Beaus with a few more beers to review. They have a number of things coming up for us folks in Manitoba and I’m excited for the future.

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. Led by head brewer Matt O’Hara, the focus at Beau’s is to brew interesting and tasty beers using only quality, certified-organic ingredients and local spring water. While not the only completely organic brewery in Canada, they certainly have made a name for themselves with their business practices: they’ve won over 85 awards for their brewing, packaging design and business practices. This includes two gold medals at Mondial de la Biere (Strasbourg, France, and Montreal Quebec); six gold medals at the Canadian brewing awards, seven times “Best Craft Brewery in Ontario” and seven times “Best Regularly Produced Beer in Ontario” at the Golden Tap Awards.

Beau’s is also the official beer for the 150th anniversary of confederation. This is a pretty amazing achievement and they’ve been in full swing with it. They are planning to do collaborations across Canada. I had the chance to try the collaboration they did with the Fogo Island Inn located on Fogo Island, one of Canada’ oldest settlements. It was a Myrrh smoked Gose and it was pretty tasty.

Beau’s did confirm with me that they are going to be doing a collaboration brew with a Manitoba brewery. What is still to be confirmed is the brewery and the style of beer. What I do know is that we are getting some beers from Beaus coming our way. Today I’m reviewing their Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale.

The Beer

This beer is presently available at Liquor Marts around the city.

Irish red ales are typically an easy drinking pint of beer. They have subtle flavours and are more malt forward with a balance between toffee/caramel sweetness and slightly grainy biscuit notes. Some versions, like this one, will emphasize the caramelly sweetness a bit more.

While it’s true that Ireland has a long tradition of ale brewing, this style of beer is an interpretation of the English Bitter with less hopping and a bit of roast to add colour and dryness. Having been rediscovered as a craft beer style in Ireland, it has now become quite a regular style in many brewery line-ups along side pale ales and stouts.

This beer is part of the Wild Oats series of beers from Beau’s. It has also been “barrel-accented” (short term barrel aging) in wheat whiskey barrels which give it a bit of wood and vanilla notes.

ABV – 6.7%
Appearance – Pours a clear dark-red almost brick colour with a good 2” head that wisps away leaving slight lacing on the glass.
Smell – Smells of caramel, toffee, slight vanilla, with some biscuit notes.
Taste – Caramel and toffee sweetness on the front with a slightly grainy biscuit and vanilla. Slight hop notes balance out the sweetness leaving a dry finish.
Mouth Feel – Soft carbonation with a dry finish.
Overall Thoughts – Very good representation of the style of beer as it is described.
Do I like it? – As I’ve been noticing, Beau’s beers are quite on point. This is one I’d be happy to buy regularly. I enjoyed it. I liked the extra weight to it from the barrel aging and the slightly higher ABV. It was nice and drinkable while having a good combination of flavour notes.

Coming soon

Beau’s is still planning on sending some beers this way. We will see their Buenos Dias Gruit coming in May. Beau’s has also submitted to bring another seasonal beer, yet unknown, for the Liquor Marts coast to coaster promotion in June. Beau’s will also be at the Flatlander’s beer festival and there will be a seasonal beer coming to Manitoba in July, likely their Wag the Wolf Hopfenweisse. The Tom Green Beer Golden Vox Rye Pale Lagered Ale and Lug Tread are also listed for restaurants to purchase to put on tap.

We are starting to see more and more of Beau’s beers come into Manitoba and complimenting the great selection we are getting locally. I, for one, am very excited to see what the collaboration beer will be. Keep following along as once I know you will too.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day

The last time I was in to PEG Beer Co. I had a chance to chat with Dot, the events manager. They were talking about participating in International Women’s Collaboration Brew day. I had heard of this day in the past but never looked too much into it. So, I decided it’d be fun to chat with Dot and find out what this day is all about and what we can expect here in Winnipeg.

International Women’s Collaboration Brew day has been around for four years. It’s relates to International Women’s Day and is a global even involving women in the brewing industry from around the world. The day is meant to raise the profile of women working in the brewing industry and to encourage others who might interested in getting involved.

The day was founded by Sophie De Ronde who is the NPD Brewing Technologist at Muntons Malt in the UK.  Reaching out to members of the Pink Boots Society, a non-profit organization of women in the brewing industry, she sought to start a unified day to encourage women to get together and brew beer. Each year there is a theme to help guide those getting together to brew.

In the first year, a pale ale called Unite was brewed by over 60 women in in 5 different countries. The second year saw a red ale called Unite brewed by over 80 women in eleven different countries, while 2016 saw women from around the world get together to brew something new.

This year, the theme is Unite once again, but rather than have a specific style they are asking women to Unite with Local industry to come up with a beer and brew it. Dot and her team made of up women who are either involved in the brewing industry or passionate about brewing beer, have decided to brew a beer using local honey and local hops from Sandra Gowan’s Prairie Gem hop farm. The name of this wonderful collaborative beer? “Don’t Call Me Honey”.

Those participating in the collaborative brew day are encouraged to donate any profits they might make from the sale of the beer to a charity. While Dot has participated the past 2 years, this is the first time that Winnipeg will see a commercial brewery participate and can make profits. This coincides wonderfully with the concept of a “community tap” that Nicole Barry had for PEG even before opening. So, this beer will be the first community tap and profits will be donated to the Women’s Health Clinic.

The team is made up of: Nicole Barry, Dot Ball, Naomi Goertzen from PEG, Adrienne Johanson from Barn Hammer, Jodi Ruta, Hailey Breland from Half Pints, Sara Drysdale, Jody Twomey, Jenna Diubaldo and Laura Tait.

This will be the first time that Dot and her team have brewed a beer commercially. They’ve expanded the group to include some new faces this year as well. The goal is to include women in the industry and those who are interested in beer. The entire goal behind the day is to encourage more women to get involved in the industry which has been traditionally male dominated, and to give a space for women who are interested in learning more with mentors.

This event at PEG is officially linked with the International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day and they show up on the map along with a variety of other Canadian breweries including Rebellion in SK.

The beer itself is being brewed on March 8th and a release event will be held on April 2nd. For those women who are interested in beer and getting started on brewing, Dot has these words to share:

“Start home brewing, try new beer, and make sure it’s fun.”

I for one am excited to try the beer.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

Get To Know A Brewer – Berhard Wieland

lbj-1
Kevin Selch (L) and  Bernhard Wieland (R)

The speed at which things to be progressing in our brewing community is fantastic. We are seeing more breweries begin to reach that final point in their construction. Brazen Hall and One Great City seem to be almost ready to open their doors and Nonsuch recently brewed their first batch. I can’t wait to see what things look like at this year’s Flatlanders’ Beer Festival.

I sat down with Bernhard Wieland, Brewmaster at Little Brown Jug, for my continuing “Get to know a brewer” series. Bernie is a really interesting guy who has traveled all around the world and has a passion and drive for making high quality consistently delicious beer.

Born in Brandon, Bernhard lived in Neepawa until Grade 6. This was when his first big move occurred and his family came into the big city of Winnipeg. Bernie attended various schools including St. Paul’s and St. John’s Ravenscourt before finally graduating from Vincent Massey. Rugby was a big part of Bernie’s time in school and would continue to be a big part of his adult life.

After graduating, Bernie attended the University of Manitoba where he received his B.Sc. Not wanting to work in a lab, Bernie decided to travel around the United States playing Rugby and trying out a lot of different beers. Rugby took him all the way over to South Africa where he met some friends who had jobs in marketing at South African breweries. Seeing this, something clicked. Bernie found something he could do that he loved.

gilde-braurei

He came back to North America where he attended the Siebel institute in Chicago to receive his brewers certificate. While there, Bernie hooked up with a Rugby team and ended up playing Semi-Pro. This opportunity took him to Germany where the rugby team got him his first brewing job at Gilde Braurei in Hanover, Germany. This gave Bernie the opportunity to work in various roles from delivery to brewer and get his first experience working at a brewery under his belt. Bernie stayed in this role for 6 months, or about the length of the rugby season.

Upon returning to Winnipeg, Bernie had the opportunity to work with Richard Hoeschen at Fort Garry. Initially starting off as the filter operator, he worked at Fort Garry for 3 ½ years and held the position of head brewer by the time he left. Bernie also had the chance to work with the founders of Two Rivers, including someone Bernie considers a mentor, Doug Seville. Doug was the last brew master at the Molson brewery here in Winnipeg.

After 3 ½ years at Fort Garry, Bernie headed west to Vancouver Island Brewing in 2005. As head brewer he had the opportunity to work alongside a German Brewmaster who oversaw the brewing process. Over the next 2 ½ years, Bernie honed his skills even more and learned new processes.

Bernie had always wanted to maximize his education, especially when it came to brewing, and so he returned to school, attending UC Davis where he completed the Master Brewers Program and received his master’s diploma. Having completed this, Bernie had hoped to work in the US, but given the tough climate he wasn’t able to secure a position at any of the breweries to whom he applied. So, Bernie returned to Canada to Vancouver Island where he began exploring the possibility of opening his own brewery. The timing for this wasn’t right and so Bernie moved on to his next adventure in Kenora.

lake-of-the-woods-brewing

In 2012, Bernie took the position of Head Brewer at the soon to be open Lake of the Woods. Bernie had the opportunity to be there for the construction of the brewery which gave the opportunity to be involved from the ground up. This was also the first opportunity Bernie had to develop recipes. The other breweries he worked at were not interested in seasonal beers, only brewing what was already brewed. This was Bernie’s first opportunity to explore the creative aspects of brewing beer rather than simply the technical ones. Bernie created over 20 recipes before moving on in 2014.

Bernie’s final position before arriving at Little Brown Jug was working for Half Pints. Bernie spoke with many of the new breweries looking to open here in Winnipeg but felt that working with Kevin at Little Brown Jug was the best fit for him.

In Kenora, Bernie had the opportunity to get into the Krausening process and fell in love with it. He had also had his fill of constantly working on recipe development and wanted to focus his skills on perfecting one beer and getting that recipe just right. Working at Little Brown Jug gave him the opportunity to do both of these things and to be involved in building a brewery from the ground up.

Bernie got into brewing because it was a job that combined all of the skills he had from his education and other jobs he’s held over the years. Really having to be well-rounded and getting the opportunity to do something that you love every day.

What keeps Bernie brewing is the love of beer, the joy of introducing people to quality beer, being a part of the growth of the craft beer community here in Winnipeg, and the fact that his passion has become a financial success doesn’t hurt.  Bernie also feels that Winnipeg and Manitoba have a strong history of brewing beer. Why the beer is named 1919 and why he uses Brewers Gold is to show the history that we’ve played. Bernie calls Brewer’s Gold the “Grandfather” of modern hops.

I’m always curious what beers brewers enjoy and what they like to have in their fridge. The beer that really got Bernie into beer was a good Czech Pilsner that he enjoyed while in Prague. Today though, he really likes the beer he makes, 1919, and enjoys Jerkface 9000.

It was good to sit down with Bernie and I am looking forward to seeing how Little Brown Jug grows. Thanks again for reading.

-Beer Winnipeg

Beau’s – 80 Schilling Scottish-Style Ale

I was pretty excited to get a package from Beaus with a few more beers to review. They have a number of things coming up for us folks in Manitoba and I’m excited for the future.

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. Led by head brewer Matt O’Hara, the focus at Beau’s is to brew interesting and tasty beers using only quality, certified-organic ingredients and local spring water. While not the only completely organic brewery in Canada, they certainly have made a name for themselves with their business practices: they’ve won over 85 awards for their brewing, packaging design and business practices. This includes two gold medals at Mondial de la Biere (Strasbourg, France, and Montreal Quebec); six gold medals at the Canadian brewing awards, seven times “Best Craft Brewery in Ontario” and seven times “Best Regularly Produced Beer in Ontario” at the Golden Tap Awards.

Beau’s Brewing Company is the Official Beer Partner of Ottawa 2017 and Beau’s Lug Tread will be the Official Beer for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations in the nation’s capital As part of this achievement, they are planning to do collaborations across Canada. I had the chance to try the collaboration they did with the Fogo Island Inn located on Fogo Island, one of Canada’ oldest settlements. It was a Myrrh smoked Gose and it was pretty tasty.

Beau’s did confirm with me that they are going to be doing a collaboration brew with a Manitoba brewery. What is still to be confirmed is the brewery and the style of beer. What I do know is that we are getting some beers from Beaus coming our way. In fact, the first one is on the growler bars now and is the focus of this article. Their Farm to Table 80 Schilling Scotch Ale.

The Beer

*Writer’s Note: I did receive this beer to review free of charge. This did not influence my write-up. *

80 Schilling is a Scottish style ale. These beers originated in the 1800s and the “schilling” classification had to do with the alcohol content. Typically, these beers would range from 60 schilling (light) to 90 schilling (wee heavy). The 80 schilling variety was a popular style and was considered to be the “export” of this style of beer.

Scottish exports are typically malt-focused and are generally caramelly with a few esters and occasionally a subtle butterscotch aftertaste. Hop notes are only present to balance the beer and support the malt which is to be the star. Beau’s farm to table series is focused on brewing traditional styles of beers and is a compliment to their more experimental “wild oats” series of beers.

ABV – 4.7%
Appearance – Pours a copper colour with a nice 1” quickly fading white head.
Smell – Smells of caramel with a toasty malt note and some biscuit notes.
Taste – Up front malt sweetness with a crispness to it. The bitterness in this beer is very mild but is present as a compliment to the sweetness and generally caramel notes of the malt.
Mouth Feel – Soft carbonation with a dry finish.
Overall Thoughts – Very good representation of the style of beer as it is described. Malt is the star with a nice caramel and toasted biscuit notes. The hop presence is subtle and compliments the malt sweetness.
Do I like it? – As I’ve been noticing, Beau’s beers are quite on point. While this particular beer is not really one I’d seek out to buy I enjoyed it. If you are looking for a malt-forward yet easy to drink beer, this is worth a growler/howler fill.

Coming soon

While this is the first beer we have coming from Beau’s this year, we can expect more. In March we will see the arrival of “Strong Patrick”, an Irish-style red ale, as well as their Buenos Dias Gruit coming in May. Beau’s has also submitted to bring another seasonal beer, yet unknown, for the Liquor Marts coast to coaster promotion in June. Beau’s will also be at the Flatlander’s beer festival and there will be a seasonal beer coming to Manitoba in July, likely their Wag the Wolf Hopfenweisse. The Tom Green Beer Golden Vox Rye Pale Lagered Ale and Lug Tread are also listed for restaurants to purchase to put on tap.

We are starting to see more and more of Beau’s beers come into Manitoba and complimenting the great selection we are getting locally. I, for one, am very excited to see what the collaboration beer will be. Keep following along as once I know you will too. I’ve also got a follow-up with One Great City on the books coming hopefully later this week.

 

-Beer Winnipeg