Once again thanks for taking the time to stop by and read up on what I learned this past week about what’s new in the Alberta adult beverage industry...hot off the press, straight from the Beer Baron's desk.
Well that Saturday night weather was certainly…something. Happy Spring, I guess? For those of you who live in areas that weren’t rocked by the blizzard, many parts of Alberta were cranked with snow, for example, Cochrane got 32cm of snow overnight. While many elected to stay inside Saturday night, my girlfriend and I decided to brave the elements, testing the all-weather capabilities of a Smart Car via a Car2Go in Calgary. I will say I was impressed with the ability of such a small car to get in and out of snow banks, even if it meant turning completely sideways while trying to parallel park. Good job little buddy. We enjoyed some drinks at Brewster’s and Beer Revolution then headed home to dry off and warm up. Others used Saturday’s weather to have fun on social media. Pictured below is Undercurrent Brewing’s newest pint: “Gluten-free, low cal, all natural, no preservatives, no added colour, bleak, and completely local. We recommend pairing it with a parka.” You don’t have to worry about missing your steps today with one of these in hand; a truly guilt-free pint if there ever was one.
Before we proceed, I must give a thank you to Brewer’s Journal Canada. Last week they used the section from our newsletter about Big Beaver Brewing on their website. To receive support this early on from a publication with the reputation of theirs means a lot, and I’m sure Big Beaver appreciates the publicity too. Last week, after the second volume of the ABX Beer Chronicles dropped, I got a message on Instagram from Austin Webb, host of the Beach House Brewing Podcast, Olds College student, and Brewer’s Assistant at Undercurrent Brewing. Turns out he was interviewing the fine folks from Big Beaver that day. Thanks for reading the newsletter Austin, and I hope you, and the rest of your classmates, killed that microbiology exam last week! Congrats to the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students who are graduating this year and wishing continued success to first year students going into next year. Be on the lookout on the Beach House Brewing SoundCloud page for that episode featuring Big Beaver Brewing soon.
Cheap Easter Candy
Easter has now passed, and, like any chocolate-fueled holiday, you know what comes with it in the following days…CHEAP CHOCOLATE!!! A favourite of mine are Cadbury Mini Eggs. I’m guessing they’re a favourite of the folks at Hammer Malt as well; but since they couldn’t find a Mini Egg beer, they decided the next best thing would be a Krispy Kreme donut beer (I think I got a cavity just typing that). I just hope for their sake it turns out better than that time I tried to make Mini Egg cookies, then again, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t want to bore you with the details of how I wasted an entire bag of precious Mini Eggs.
Allan Winn Sneath Passes
If you’re in the brewing industry in Canada, or just a beer enthusiast/historian, you owe it to yourself to read Sneath’s book ‘Brewed in Canada: The Untold Story of Canada’s 300-Year-Old Brewing Industry.’ Sneath passed on April 18th; he was an advertising executive, author, and beer historian who helped found Algonquin Brewing. After the old Formosa Springs Brewery in the Ontario hamlet of Formosa lay dormant for 17 years, Algonquin Brewing took up space there in 1989. Algonquin was eventually bought out by rival Jim Brickman of Brick Brewing in 1997. Sneath was possibly the first person in Canada to use the term “craft brewed.” ‘Brewed in Canada’ details Canada’s brewing history over 300 years up until 2001, when it was published. Some of you may remember ‘Uncle’ Ben Ginter in BC and Alberta; if that’s a new name to you, then reading the book to find out who Uncle Ben is might be worth it on its own (you won’t regret it). The latter part of the book details the first wave of craft breweries in the late 1980s, including Calgary’s own Big Rock Brewing. Thank you, Allen, for all of your contributions to the beer industry in this country, may you rest in peace.
Beer and Convenience Stores?
Recognize these two in the middle? It’s Andrew Phung (left, yellow sweater) and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (right of Phung), who play Kimchee and Mr. Kim (Appa) on CBC’s Kim’s Convenience. Phung challenged the gang at Last Best to brew a beer with the same namesake of the one Mr. Kim brewed in the show himself using a homebrew kit. Last Best united with the teams at Cold Garden and Fitzsimmons to do exactly that. The result? ‘Appa Hoppa.’ Unlike the beer in the show where the first batch was too “Hoppa,” this collaborative brew is just right.
Situation Brewing creates new Rocky-inspired beer cocktail menu
Yo Adrian! Situation Brewing in Edmonton has a new beertail menu inspired by the Rocky movies. Situation has teamed up with Strathcona Spirits on two of the beertails, the ‘Yo, Adrian’, and the ‘Drago Punch: Round 2.’ If you’re like Rocky and can’t sing and dance, maybe you will be able to after a couple of these; though don’t go getting any big ideas jumping over park benches and running up large flights of stairs.
Earth Day, Every Day
We may not have been open on time for earth day last week, but once we are, at the Alberta Beer Exchange you can feel good about celebrating Earth Day with us every day. A big part of what drives the people behind ABX is the great outdoors, this planet, taking care of it, and revelling in its beauty. It’s why we are so excited about starting the Alberta Beer Exchange; our growlers are earth-friendly in so many ways. They are reusable, recyclable, and rid your cluttered closets, garages, and basements of empty bottles and cans. We’ll be open soon enough! Keep your eyes on this page next Monday for our next issue.
And that will wrap up this third edition of the ABX Beer Chronicles Vol. 3. Check back next Monday for Vol 4.
The Beer Baron
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in CRAFT BEER
’88 – New beer release: ‘Double Dare Imperial IPA’ (7.7% ABV, 88 IBU), “brewed in the west coast style. It’s big dank and piney, making its way into bottles shortly”
Annex – New summer seasonal release: ‘Bright Nights’, “a partially soured Witbier brewed with Norwegian Kveik yeast, soft little fluffy oats, and piles of hand zested orange peel. It has an amazingly bright Italian orange soda flavour with a long lingering citrus finish. Leaves the pallet fresh and clean.”
Banded Peak – New beer release: ‘Guavamorphology’ Dry-hopped Pink Guava Gose (5.4% ABV), “an ultra-refreshing kettle-soured gose packed to the rafters with juiced pink guavas and Ekuanot hops. A simple malt base and flaked wheat was infused with Himalayan rock salt and lactose, delivering a pillowy soft mouthfeel and an intensely refreshing finish.”
Citizen – started filling barrels with an unnamed beer from their tanks
The Establishment – New beer releases: ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ Kolsch-style Ale, malt: pilsner, wheat; hops: hallertau mittlefruh, tettnang; yeast: WLP Kolsch, ‘Motion Picture’ Summer Ale, “a hop-forward modern UK style of beer, designed to be a refreshing summer drink showcasing a balanced but hop focused profile.”
Heathen’s – Business license was approved from the City of Calgary
High Line – New beer: ‘Sour Mash’ Whiskey Sour (5.5%)
Last Best – ‘Tokyo Drift’ IPA now available in cans, new beer release: ‘Appa Hoppa’ collab with Cold Garden, and Fitzsimmons “when Andrew Phung (Kimchee, Kim’s Convenience) challenged us to brew our version of AppaHoppa inspired by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee’s character on Kim’s Convenience we jumped on it!”
Long Hop – ‘Let’s Not Beat Around the Bush’ Pale Ale cans now available
New Level – New beer release: ‘No Mercy’ Barley Wine (11.9% ABV, 60 IBU), “Huge rum, raisin, plum and brown sugar notes overtop of a nice molasses-like body. Dipped in black wax in honour of our goth brothers and sisters everywhere. Think of it as our anti-patio beer. You only need one.”
Outcast – Two new beers released Saturday ‘Biggie’ New England Double IPA (8% ABV, 40 IBU), and ‘Smalls’ New England IPA (4% ABV, 30 IBU), “Both beers are brewed with our hazy beer recipe. We also used the same German hop varieties – Ariana and Huell Melon – albeit at different dosing rates. Expect two melon-y and fruity beers that are both crazy easy to drink.”
Railyard – now canning their ‘Peach Sour’
Revival Brewcade – Another Cheers beer release: ‘Cliff Clavin’ NEPA (5.8% ABV, 27 IBU)
Tool Shed – will soon release a Czech-style Pilsner
Village – Small batch released Saturday, Pink Boots Society: ‘Vanilla Milkshake IPA’, “The ladies of Village brewed a Vanilla Milkshake IPA which is creamy, full-bodied and hazy AF. The addition of Tonka Beans in the kettle provide flavours & aroma of vanilla, cherry, almond and some cinnamon spice.”
Wild Rose – ‘Electric Avenue’ Alberta Blonde Ale rebranded with Brock Jr. mascot, “Brock Jr. epitomizes the going-all-out spirit of every Albertan who works hard to play hard.” Announce collab with Tamarack Brewing in Montana, to be ready for the end of May.
Zero Issue – New beer release: ‘Relic’ Tangerine Gose
Alley Kat – Released new core beer Thursday: ‘Fish Bone’ New England IPA for their 25th Anniversary
Bent Stick – New hops in their ‘Swap’ Pale Ale, now using Citra and Centennial
Blind Enthusiasm – Released ‘Dünkel Schmïlk’ Dark Brown Lager (4.7% ABV) April 25 (Edmonton), April 30 (Calgary) collab with Freehold. Edmonton available at: Beer Rev Oliver Square, Biera, Craft Beer Market, Pink Gorilla, Plaza Bowl, Northern Chicken, Glass Monkey, Board N Brew, Three Boars, The Common, Arcadia, and Wishbone. Calgary available at: Last Best, Cilantro & Chive, Dandy Brewing Company, Craft South Centre.
Polar Park – Brewed first batch April 20th, brewed second batch April 24th
Situation – Announces new Rocky themed Beertail menu
SYC – ‘Sandy Beach’, ‘First Timer IPA’, ‘Nuages Table Saison’, Fjord NEIPA’ now available in cans as of Friday
Town Square – Teased a new brew on Instagram
EVERYWHERE ELSE, ALBERTA
Apex Predator – Released ‘Whiskey Gap’ English Strong Ale (10.5%, 23 IBU) on Saturday, “a bold, deep red, single batch beer crafted specifically for APB’s 3rd anniversary – fermented with Sauvignon/Merlot/Shiraz grape must.” Will release the ‘Hour 12’ India Pale Lager collab with Folding Mountain at the end of May.
Banff Ave – Confirmed what beers they’ll be canning: ‘Banff Ave Black Pil’ a local staple since 2010, and ‘Banff Ave White Wit’
Dark Woods – New beer release: ‘LAL’ collab with LAL Farms, “malted at Red Shed Malting to bring you a truly local Innisfail beer. LAL is a light 100% base grain beer.”
Dog Island – New beer release: ‘Lip Pointer’ DIPA (8.5% ABV), “dry hopped 4 times with 3 different varieties to give this beer a very juicy nose, hazy appearance, and all the while hiding it’s booziness. We think it worked.”
Endeavour – Brewed new beer: ‘Awning Attack DIPA’, “We used Origin Prairie Pale malt for the first time and boat loads of Mosaic and Citra hops.”
Fahr – Mounted a pretty, new sign at the brewery
Grain Bin – New beer release: ‘Helping Hands’ collab with Hell’s Basement, “using Kveik yeast from Escapment Labs, Rocky Mountain malt from Red Shed, and Sasquatch hops from Hops Connect. That’s a whole lot of help to make a really rad beer.”
Hawk Tail – Released new beer: ‘Dry-hopped Pale Ale’. Launched a ‘West Coast IPA’ last Friday, will release a ‘Peach Milkshake IPA’ for the next edition of #SmallBatchFridays May 3
Hell’s Basement – teased their newest beer on Instagram, “ready very soon: 27kg of hoppy aromatics going into the secondary RIGHT NOW!! Hop lovers rejoice!”
Jasper – New beer release in time for Pride: ‘Jasper the Bear Ale’ Glitter Beer, “Come put the LIT in GLITTER! Jasper Pride’s 10th Anniversary Weekend is finally here, and we are ready to celebrate.” ‘Trail Session IPA’ will be launching in June.
Newell – Brewed first batch last week
Red Hart – Announce new beer series: New England Pale Ale Single Hopped, currently have a Chinook variety in production, will be available late this week.
Rural Routes – New beer release: ‘Walter’s Wit’ (4.8% ABV), “this light delight pours a vibrant straw colour with a clean white head. Hints of citrus, honey and chamomile are on the nose, which merge perfectly with the orangey citrus and spicy coriander flavours that are up front. With a light body and a very effervescent mouthfeel, this beer has a slight bitterness which leads through into a wheat finish.”
Snake Lake – New beer release: ‘Boat Bier’ Pale Lager (4.1% ABV, 25 IBU), “brewed with Origin classic pilsner malt and flaked rice for ultimate crushability, then dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, Callista, and Loral producing a very floral, herbaceous, and spicy aroma. Available in cans next week.”
Stronghold – New beer available: ‘The Fort Macleod Sunset’, “The Sunset has haskap and cherry notes, and is served on nitro for as close to a sunset as a beer can get. This brew is a limited release, and the first of our experimental series.”
Troubled Monk – new beer release: ‘Dangerous’ Barrel-Aged DIPA with Brett, also tapped ‘IPA #22’ “brewed with Mosaic, Citra, and Pink Boots Society Hop blend”
Undercurrent – New beer available: ‘Ghost Ship Gose’ Lemon-lime Gose, “for summer. Refreshing, sour, salty, and made for the patio.”
Valley – Teased second of five core beers: ‘Namesake’ Hazy IPA, “Brewed with hops from the South Pacific. Expect BIG juicy notes of tropical, citrus, and stone fruits.” Nick from Origin Brewing and Malting will be joining Valley Brewing full-time
… in CRAFT SPIRITS
Eau Claire – New gin release: ‘Hawthorne Gin’, “Over a year in the making, we've created a very special spirit in partnership with Calgary’s Fairmont Palliser and the Hawthorne Dining Room: their bespoke Hawthorn Gin! Infused with hawthorn berries, Saskatoon berries & honey, Hawthorn Gin is a delicious libation on its own or in its signature cocktail, The Home Grown!”
Sunny Cider – Aiming to have their brick and mortar location open for May 1st
April 30 – Burwood Distillery & Zero Issue Beer & Whiskey Dinner at Hayden Block, $65/person
April 30 – Beertail Dinner at Craft Beer Market featuring cocktails using Common Crown beer and Park Distillery spirits
May 4 – Hush Gala, 6:00pm at Trolley 5 Brewpub. Use code TROLLEY5 to receive $25 off, $200/person
May 5 – Home Brewing Workshop at Situation Brewing, 9:00am. $75/person