Tag Archives: Barn Hammer

Barn Hammer – Update

It’s been a while since I’ve talked to the folks at Barn Hammer. I’ve been down there a couple of times and had a chance to watch their progress closely, but an actual update? Long overdue. So, I took the opportunity to chat with Sable Birch from Barn Hammer and get a formal update on where they are at right in the opening process.

The most exciting news is they’ve finally received approval to start brewing. While there is still a lot of work to do to get the taproom and brewery finalized, the fact they are actually able to produce beers is rather exciting indeed. It’s one more step forward to having a new brewery here in the city.

BH_cup_social

While Barn Hammer had originally hoped to have their doors open in December, opening a new business in any sector is bound to run into some delays; this was certainly the experience for the team behind Barn Hammer. One of the major delays was caused by confusion surrounding the concept of a taproom.  Barn Hammer experienced some delays in the issuing of permits as a result of this confusion. As Barn Hammer was the first brewery going through the process of constructing a Tap Room, they, of course, had the bumpiest ride.  Even though things are becoming less murky, there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion so let me clarify a bit:

Typically, people visiting a tasting room will be those taking a tour of the brewery or beer enthusiasts. Tasting rooms can serve only beer that is brewed onsite and their hours are limited to 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Regular service licensees are not limited to serving beer and may set their hours of business at any time between 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tasting rooms will be authorized to serve a maximum of 50 people regardless of the size of the premises.

A selection of snacks must be available in a tasting room, which may include: sandwiches, nuts, pretzels, chips, cheese and crackers and baked goods. (LGA – Questions and Answers)

Of course opening a business is difficult in the first place. Between inspections, permits, approvals, and paperwork, there was a lot of “fixing” to meet the requirements placed on them. What was worse: they could be done everything on their end and spend days waiting to hear back from officials with approval to continue moving forward. The process, a new one for this team, was loaded with frustrations. Of course, when things are difficult it makes success taste all the greater. Now they are spending the time to get the space right and focusing on fine details so when people do step through the door, it will be perfect.

Barn Hammer Update 1

I happened to be at their space when they received brewing approval and watched as head brewer Brian Westcott was about to start brewing his first batch. It was an air of such excitement it was hard not to get caught up in it. Tyler, Sable and Brian were all smiles as I snapped a quick picture of Brian in front of the Mash Tun. The first beers they will be producing are their five signature beers.  I did a write up on those here so feel free to check it out. The beers are: Lousy Beatnik Kellerbier, Grandpa’s Sweater Oatmeal Stout, Le Sneak Belgique Wit, Saturday Night Lumberjack Double IPA, and Seventh Stab Red Ale.

Barn Hammer Update 3

One of the main features at Barn Hammer besides their beer is their taproom. As mentioned above, while a taproom is not a restaurant, they are required to have snacks on hand for purchase. There is no kitchen at Barn Hammer, so they will be working with Manitoban producers, bakeries and delis to help them develop their snack section. On top of this, you are allowed to bring your own food into the taproom as well. So, Sable said they are working with some local food trucks to try and setup a schedule so there is always something good to grab just outside the brewery if patrons get really hungry. They want to follow a similar model as other breweries in other cities by partnering with other local businesses to provide great options nearby.

The big question they are asked every day – and I asked them as well – is when they think they will open. They are working diligently to get the final details completed on the taproom so they can open their doors. They are hoping to do something fun for their grand opening, but given the limit of 50 people in a tap room at any given time, they aren’t sure what that will be. Still, Sable did tell me they are looking for “Summer” as a rough estimate on when they can invite customers inside. I am certainly hoping I’ll be able to spend much of July enjoying their beers, but even if it’s only part of July I’ll still be happy. Heck, I’ll be happy if it’s the last day of August.

Barn Hammer Update 2

While there have been a number of struggles along the way in opening this new business, Sable still feels they’ve received a very “Winnipeg” kind of welcome. The city has been incredibly supportive and welcoming to this group of “newcomers” and it’s been this support that has helped them push through the challenges. The number of emails they’ve received after seeing the “coming soon” sign, people who have popped in just to say hello and the kind messages of excitement have really made the team feel welcome to the West End.

I, as a resident of the West End, say welcome to the neighbourhood! I can’t wait until I can come over and grab a beer.

-Beer Winnipeg

 

Barn Hammer’s Beers

Barn Hammer

It’s been a while since I’ve followed up with the folks over at Barn Hammer to see how they are doing. They are still in the midst of construction and so I wasn’t able to pop down there to talk to them. I hope to be able to once things have calmed down.  It should mean the space is looking closer to completion, that they are closer to being ready to brew, and that they are less stressed.

One of the things that has happened since I last spoke to Barn Hammer is that they’ve officially announced their core beers.  It’s been a fun time watching them tweet about them over the past weeks and seeing the fantastically designed logos.  So, while this isn’t a full and complete update on Barn Hammer, I wanted to make sure that you are up to date.

While I don’t know much about the particular versions of these beers being produced by Barn Hammer, I’ll give you an idea of the style. Overall I am pretty excited to give them all a try.

BH - Lousy Beatnik

First up we have the Lousy Beatnik Kellerbier. Also known as a Zwickelbier it is a German style that is typically not clarified or pasteurized.  The term Kellerbier literally translates to “Cellar Beer” referring to the cool lagering temperatures.  The origins of this style date back to the Middle Ages.  Compared to more traditional lagers, Kellerbiers tend to contain more of their original yeast. Essentially this is a German Lager.

 

BH - Granpas Sweater

A variation of the Stout style that developed in the late 1800s. Some brewers in England would throw a handful of oatmeal in to their grist and call it a “healthy” oatmeal stout for marketing

Generally, between an Irish Stout and a Sweet Stout on for sweetness, there are numerous varieties which can go from very dry to quite sweet. Level of bitterness also varies in this style.

The use of oatmeal can create a silky mouthfeel and richness of body, while a large amount of oatmeal can result in a fairly intense, almost oily mouthfeel.

BH - Sneak Belgique

A 400-year-old Belgian style of beer that died out in the 1950s and was later reviewed by Hoegaarden. This style has grown in popularity due to its ability to carry some nice spice and fruit notes and its refreshing nature. Typically, a bit of peppery notes, perfumy coriander and citrusy notes.

This style is overall a refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate strength wheat based ale.

BH - Saturday Night Lumberjack

This fourth beer, which reads Pale Ale, has recently been updated, though not with such a beautiful picture, to be a Double IPA.  Brian, the brewmaster, decided to try making this as a double IPA and it was a hit. So, they decided to make that as their fourth beer instead of this Pale Ale.

The style, a Double IPA, is a beer that is an American craft beer invention that began in the 1990s. The adjective “Double” really doesn’t mean anything other than this beer is stronger than a regular IPA. You will see “Imperial” used quite regularly as well. It’s the same style.

The style should be intensely hoppy and fairly strong with an IBU (international bitterness unit) range of 60-120, an ABV of between 7.5% and 10% with a lighter colour. Drinkability of the style is important and it should be well balanced with strong malt backbone and residual sweetness.

7th stab red aleThe fifth and final beer has been announced and it is a red ale.  The beer is called “Seventh Stab” red ale because it literally was their seventh stab at making a red ale.  I know in speaking with the brewmaster Brian Westcott, that it was tough to get it tasting how they wanted while still being “red enough.  At the end of the day, they got the right balance and so, 7th try is the charm.

While not indicated, the style is most likely that of an Irish Red Ale.  While Ireland has a strong brewing tradition, the Irish Red Ale is really a variation on the English Bitter with less hopping and a bit more roasted malt added for colour and sweetness.

This style of beer is easy-drinking with subtle flavours of caramel, toffee and a bit of a grainy texture on the palate. There are certain versions of this style that will emphasize the caramel and sweetness of the malt  moreso than others.  It’s important to mention that there are many variations that exist within this style.  While a more traditional style will have less of a hop profile, there is an emerging version in the craft beer scene that is more hop forward with a higher ABV.

To end this post, Barn Hammer also has some Merchandise available should you wish to pick some up and support them as they build their brewery. You can represent a new craft brewery around town in a nice T-shirt or toque.

BH - Merch

Each of the items is $25 including tax and they are accepting cash or cheque right now.  If you’d like something, you can contact them here.