Friday Beer News – March 23rd

I’m super excited to be on vacation next week. I might actually even get to brew a beer for the first time in a long while. I’m pretty excited about it too. I am wanting to do a Barley Wine with Brett and then age some of it with bourbon soaked oak staves. Will be fun to see how it all turns out!

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

  • While many may not be aware, we have a burgeoning hop grower community here in Manitoba. Give the growth in this industry, there are forming the
  • Manitoba Hop Growers Association (MBHGA). This is exciting news as it means we will have more access, hopefully, to locally grown hop varietals. Great for home brewers and breweries alike.
  • Barn Hammer continues to brew really interesting test batches of beer. They’ve partnered with Matt Gibbs to brew an ancient Egyptian beer that is made mostly of fermented sour dough bread. Apparently it’s quite good. You can read all about it and the process (If you haven’t already) here.
  • Barn Hammer has also released a Strawbarian Tart Milkshake IPA test batch and are brewing a full-batch of their Strawbarian Milkshake IPA. I am super excited.
  • Torque has released their latest Russian Imperial Stout in 500ml wax sealed bottles. It is called “Fake News” and if you had a chance to try “Collusion” at the tap room, it’s the same stuff. I’ve got a bottle to try this weekend so I’ll do a write-up about it soon.
  • Stone Angel continues to do some really fun stuff with their “60 Glasses” series. I suggest you follow them on twitter to be kept in the loop to what is coming up. As well, if you’ve never been you should go! Their Autumn Ale – Samhain – Is going to be taken off tap soon. It’s worth a try. They’ve got lots on tap to try, so it’s well worth the visit.
  • Fort Garry Brewing has released a Smoked Malt Barley Wine that is available at liquor marts now. This is an interesting release from this brewery and I do plan to check it out.
  • Oxus has released beer! This is an amazing thing. Oxus has been working so hard to get the brewery open. It’s a one-man-show for the most part and I’m really impressed with what he has been able to accomplish. The first two beers from Oxus are Juice of the Oats Oatmeal Stout and Transoxania India Pale Ale in 650 ml bottles. You can get them at Liquormarts and Beer Vendors around town (Quality Inn, Charleswood Beer Market and others). A third beer, Canadian Dream Blonde Ale will be coming out soon as well. I’ve had the IPA and I thought it was quite well done.
  • Trans Canada is announcing the first of its four core beers this weekend. They are having an event to do so at 4pm down at the brewery. If you have a chance to get down, do so, it is sure to be a fun time.
  • Kilter Brewing officially has a location. They will be brewing out of 80 Sherbrook Street in the Wolsley neighborhood. This is really exciting and one step closer to us getting to have some of their beer. They’ve received a brewing equipment and are setting stuff up. I’m excited to get down and check out the space and report back when I can. In the mean-time, follow them on twitter.

I’m planning to get down to visit Kilter and do a follow-up to my initial post on them. I also am finally going to get a chance to do my write-up on Torque’s Fake News. I’ll just say you should get some before they sell out of it. It’s good, but I think it will get better.

I am sure I am missing some awesome news in the beer community. If you’ve got something you’d like include, send me a mail – beerwinnipeg@gmail.com

Friday Beer News – March 16th

So, I know, I’ve been pretty terrible these past couple of weeks. My sincere apologies. With work, my daughter and the prospects of beginning a doctoral program, I’ve had a lot on my plate. Luckily, the beer community is awesome and things are getting out there.

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

  • While many may not be aware, we have a burgeoning hop grower community here in Manitoba. Give the growth in this industry, there are forming the
    Manitoba Hop Growers Association (MBHGA). This is exciting news as it means we will have more access, hopefully, to locally grown hop varietals. Great for home brewers and breweries alike.
  • Barn Hammer continues to brew really interesting test batches of beer. They’ve partnered with Matt Gibbs to brew an ancient Egyptian beer that is made mostly of fermented sour dough bread. Apparently it’s quite good. You can read all about it and the process (If you haven’t already) here.
  • Torque has released their latest Russian Imperial Stout in 500ml wax sealed bottles. It is called “Fake News” and if you had a chance to try “Collusion” at the tap room, it’s the same stuff. I’ve got a bottle to try this weekend so I’ll do a write-up about it soon.
  • Nonsuch has bottled their Belgian Strong Ale and it is now available at the Quality Inn Craft Beer Store. This is another high ABV Belgian style beer and it sounds like it’s worth checking out. I know I’ll be grabbing a bottle or two.
  • Oxus has reported that they’ve sent beer to the MLCC and it is currently in their warehouse. The first two beers from Oxus are Juice of the Oats Oatmeal Stout and Transoxania India Pale Ale in 650 ml bottles.  A third beer, Canadian Dream Blonde Ale will be coming out soon as well. I know I’m looking forward to trying these and hope you are too.
  • On March 8th a group of awesome and enterprising brewers got together to brew. The occasion was International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day. This group of brewers crafted a Witch Hunt lemon rooibos tea saison. I sadly did not have a chance to sit down with them before the brew, but I did get a chance last year. This awesome group of brewers are talented and passionate and I can’t wait to give this beer a try. The beer will be available around the city in April, so watch for it.
  • Kilter Brewing has been teasing us on twitter. They’ve received a brewing equipment and are setting stuff up. I’m excited to get down and check out the space and report back when I can. In the mean-time, follow them on twitter.

I am sure I am missing some awesome news in the beer community. If you’ve got something you’d like include, send me a mail – beerwinnipeg@gmail.com

Friday Beers News – February 23rd

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 Brewing has tapped this years Russian Imperial Stout. It’s called “Fake News” but at the taproom they’ve named it “Collusion”. If you are interested in colluding with Torque, head to their taproom. If you’d prefer to consume some Fake News, you’ll have your chance when the bottles are released in March.
  • 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.
  • Trans Canada also has a variety of beers that you can try as well as some small batches. They’ve released a Brett Pale Ale for all those who love Brett.
  • Half Pints is always looking at doing some fun stuff, check out their seasonal beers as well as their upcoming brews.
  • 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.
  • International Womens’ Brew Day is arriving soon, March 8th, and will be hosted by Barn Hammer Brewing. They’ve released the test-batch, Witch Hunt, which is a Rooibos tea infused wit beer. I hope to sit down with some of the group to chat again this year. Check out my chat from last years IWBD.
  • Lastly, there is some sad news in the Craft Beer Community. The first new brewery to open it’s doors has also been forced to close them until further notice. I am not sure what exactly occurred or the details about the situation but Peg Beer Co. is closed until further notice. On behalf of myself, I want to wish them all the best and will be hoping that they will open their doors once more and that this is simply a hiccup.

I’ve posted my write-up on a Gose from Beau’s along with my write-up of Torque’s Gruit.

– Beer Winnipeg

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

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