Category Archives: General Post

Friday Beer News – October 13

I got a suggestion from a friend to do a quick weekly update on Friday’s about stuff happening in the beer world. I liked the idea and figured I’d give it a go. This will just be brief news tidbits about stuff happening around the brew scene.

  • Trans Canada Brewing officially opens this weekend. October 14th and 15th. Check out tcb.beer for more details. They’ve also started listing the beers they will have available here if you are curious.
  • Stone Angel has released a new beer. Their Kaiser Bill IPA is available now at their taproom. They also have a Samhain autumn ale coming soon.
  • Peg Beer Company is celebrating one year of brewing beer this weekend. October 14th will see a number of specialty beers available including a Ginger Gose, Gooseberry Gose, and a Coconut Belgian Stout to name a few.
  • Barn Hammer’s monthly Barn Raising event will be happening on Wednesday, October 18th. Get out for some beer at their taproom and support a local charity.
  • Torque Brewing has launched a new website. It provides all kinds of information including beers available in the taproom.
  • Surly has sent some more beer to Manitoba. This time they’ve sent the first of their “embrace the darkness” series. The 2016 bottles of their Russian imperial stout Darkness are available at Liquor Marts and Quality Beer Store now. Watch for my write-up of this beer next week.

That should get you all caught up for this week.

– Beer Winnipeg

Trans Canada Brewing Opening

TCB

Being sick sucks. Being sick with a child sucks even more. You end up in this cycle of everyone getting sick and then no one actually gets better. Luckily, we’ve overcome and I am now well enough to be back writing, working, and enjoying beer.

Just in time too. Peg is celebrating one year of brewing beer, Stone Angel has opened it’s doors and is pumping out some really tasty beers, and Trans Canada Brewing will be opening this week.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Trans Canada brewing I’d invite you to read my write-up of the brewery and the team here. It’s an ambitious project that has invested money in all the right places from equipment to personnel to taproom food. The pizzas are awesome, the team is skilled and experienced and the equipment is the top of the line. They’ve even got French Oak Foeders.

 

So, here are the details:

TCB-Launch-Party-Flyer

While I don’t know what all 12 beers will be, I do know they have a variety of styles available. They have brewed an American Pale Ale, an IPA, a Double IPA, a dark lager, a session lager, a couple of saisons, a wit, a pilsner, and a blonde as well as some others.

I’d encourage everyone to take the opportunity to pop in and check out this new brewery for yourselves. It’s a beautiful space and I’m excited to see what they can do with the team they’ve put together. I’m excited to sit down with their Head Brewer, Morgan Wielgosz, again for my Get to know a brewer series.

Now that I’m feeling better, I’ve got a bunch of stuff to catch-up on. I’ve bought a bottle of Surly Darkness 2016 for review, I’ve got the Beaus/Half-Pints King Kvass for review, I’m sitting down with Colin from Peg tonight for an anniversary post, and I’ll be sitting down with Daivin from North City Growlers this week too. Lots to come, so follow me on WordPress and Twitter for all the latest.

– Beer Winnipeg

Winnipeg Craft Beer Festival

Winnipeg Craft Beer Festival

This will be a bit of a short one as I am prepping to head out of town for a little while. I just wanted to ensure that I got this up so that if folks were interested, they’d be able to read about this event.

The Winnipeg Craft Beer Festival is being held on August 19th, 2017 at Fort Gibraltor in St. Boniface part of Winnipeg. It will feature 8-9 local craft beer/spirit vendors and 8-9 local food vendors for a combination of sweet beer and sweet eats for everyone to enjoy. The event is to promote local Manitoba craft beer makers along with Capital K Distillery while raising money for KIDS initiative. A charity that raises funds for families in Kenya.

Currently on the list for beer are:

  • Fort Garry brewing
  • Torque brewing
  • OGC brewing
  • Peg Beer Co
  • Stone Angel
  • LBJ brewing
  • Brazen Hall
  • Barnhammer brewing
  • Capital K Distillery

And on the list for food (so far):

  • Hot Rods Filipino grill
  • Aschenti Cocoa
  • Lord of the pies
  • Frescolio fine oils and vinegars
  • Millers Meat Market

Doors for the event open at 6:00pm and the event ends at 10:00pm.  Voting for the beer competition ends at 8:30pm so if you want to help choose the winner you need to try the beers before then.

So, what do you get for your ticket to this event? Here is what’s included:

  • Twenty 2oz Craft brew samples from Winnipeg’s top brewers
  • Unlimited Poutine as well as vegetables, hummus and breads to round out your meal
  • Food samples from local Manitoba producers
  • Liquor samples from Capital K Distillery
  • Live DJ spinning some tunes
  • Vote for your favorite craft brewer

The event is being held at Fort Gibraltar which is the same venue Festival du Voyageur and the Poutine Cup. There will be a deluxe poutine for all attendees of the event plus people can enter a raffle to win a custom Torque Brewing mini fridge filled with Torque variety pack beer and a mini Keg fridge with a Keg filled with their favourite Torque beer. There will also be a 50/50 draw. All funds from the raffles and 50/50 draw will be raising funds for charity

There will also be an event host talking and guiding everyone through the night and interviewing the brewers for all to hear plus a DJ will be spinning all night.

Finally, a rooftop patio series event at the Met starts at 10pm and the beer festival ends at 10pm so if people are in the mood to extend their night the first 50 people from the beer festival get into the rooftop party free and the rest get in for $5.

I’ll be there and I’m looking forward to the event. Hopefully it’ll be successful and we will see it happen again with more breweries and food vendors next year.

Sadly, I was too slow in getting this up and the event is sold out. Keep your eye on social media just in case. Also watch for this event next year. I’ll be doing a write-up after the event as well, so if you are curious check in for that.

-Beer Winnipeg

Beau’s – Haters Gonna Hate

I’ve got a few more Beau’s Beers that have been sent my way for review. I feel lucky to be able to get these beers in advance from Beau’s so that I can taste them and give my thoughts. I’ve got three beers on the way this week, but I’m gonna do each as a separate post as I drink the beer. Today’s will be Beau’s Imperial Koslch – Haters Gonna Hate.

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.

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

Haters Gonna Hate – Imperial Kolsch

A Kolsch is a style of beer originating in Cologne, Germany. It is a top fermenting beer that has been brewed since the middle-ages. The “koslch” that we drink today wasn’t produced until the 1800s to combat the bottom-fermenting pale lagers which were being produced in other regions of Germany and Europe.

Kolschs are clean, crisp and delicately balanced with subtle fruit notes and subdued hoppiness. As this is an Imperialized version of Lug Tread, it has a higher ABV and is much hoppier than a typically kolsch, on purpose.

When we talk about “imperializing” a beer, we really mean that we’ve amped it up. More malt and hop provide a higher ABV and more robust beer than it’s counterpart. The term Imperial tends to come from the Russian Imperial Stout, a style of strong stout that was originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court. Today we use Imperial, or Double, to denote a beer that is a stronger version of the named style.

Beau’s describes the creation of this imperial Kolsch as such:

“Though first brewed by in 2015, the history of Haters Gonna Hate goes way back to 2006 and the very first batch of Lug Tread, Beau’s flagship lagered ale (a.k.a. Kölsch). Due to some faulty beer-making equipment, it ended up “imperialized” – that is, brewed to higher strength and intensity than intended. With the release of Haters Gonna Hate, Beau’s has opted to recreate this happy accident on purpose. In fact, the name of the beer is a bit of a cheeky tribute to those events as well.”.

 

So, let’s get into the beer and see what it’s like.

ABV – 7.1%
Appearance – Pours a golden-orange colour with a good 2” head that retains well
Smell – Hop notes are apparent right up front with a crisp fruity note which is likely from the nelson sauvignon hops.
Taste – Hop notes come through right away with a pop. It’s a surprise in fact and quite pleasant. The fruit notes are reminiscent of passion fruit and mango with a nice crisp bitter finish.
Mouth Feel – Good carbonation with nice bubbles and a bitter crisp finish.
Overall Thoughts – While certainly not at all like Lug Tread, this beer is crisp with a noticeable bitterness and great flavours from the hops.
Do I like it? – I really liked this beer. The hop notes weren’t overly prominent and it certainly wasn’t reminiscent of an IPA. It had a nice hop kick to it that complimented the crisp underlying beer well. It was clean with great flavours and was easy to drink. I’d love to have this beer again.

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. This beer will be making it’s way to Manitoba in the near future, so keeps your eyes peeled.

Next up I’ll be writing about Beau’s Patersbier. I just should drink it first.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

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

What to Expect in 2017

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Wow. How time flies. I can’t believe that I’ve been running this blog for just over two years now. To think that all this started with a gift from my wife and began a journey that has taken me deep and far into the craft beer scene here in Winnipeg. A thirst for knowledge that has expanded my appreciation and understanding of beer and a lot of learning from those within the community to whom I owe a great deal and respect even more.

So, where do we go from here. I want to outline for you how I see this blog moving forward. It had started with keeping people informed about breweries opening, beers arriving, and the occasional review. Expect these things to continue in earnest as I continue to follow the breweries working to open and announce craft beer events coming up.
What can you expect from me in this coming year?

  • Continuing to follow the progress of breweries who have yet to open their doors. Provide updates and profiles as they move towards completion.
  • Check in with breweries who have already opened. Look at special events they are hosting, beers they are producing and how things are going. This will include reviews from time to time.
  • Continue to profile brewers through my “Get to know a brewer” segment. The next on the list is Jeff Wiebe from Peg Beer Company. I’ll be getting this up as soon as I have a chance to meet with him.
  • Highlight special events occurring in the craft beer community. Look for details on the Westvelerten charity raffle occurring on January 29th.
  • Delve into some of the practices of government and impacts on craft beer community. Including liquor laws, funding and initiatives.

I look forward to another fantastic year of growth in the community. Over the past two years’ things have changed substantially. By next year, I expect the changes to be even more profound. I hope you’ll follow along as we explore the changing climate.

-Beer Winnipeg