Posts Tagged ‘alberta

Alberta craft beer makers come together for 2014 Unity Brew

- December 9th, 2014

Unity-Brew-InviteAlberta’s craft beer scene is truly a community. 

As the number of breweries grow, so does competition, but having more people interested in the products they put out benefits them all.

This sense of community led to the formation of the Alberta Small Brewers Association, and also to the collaboration beer known as the Unity Brew.

Beer makers from the association have gotten together in past years to brew up something special as a team.

And while in the past, this beer was only available on tap at select bars and at member breweries, the 2014 Unity Brew, being launched in Edmonton Dec. 9, will be available across the province.

The team met at Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary in October to make the brew, and “after an ample aging period” it’s being released this week.

The beer they opted for this year is an India Pale Lager, “specifically designed to be crisp and hoppy for the winter season.”

The beer launched in Calgary at Craft Beer Market on Monday, and launches Tuesday at Craft in Edmonton.

It will hit store shelves soon.

Big Rock and Wild Rose hop to it with pair of September packs

- September 5th, 2014

Things are getting decidedly hoppy at two of Alberta’s big breweries this September.

Both Big Rock and Wild Rose are putting a bit of kick onto liquor store shelves with flavourful new variety packs.

In Wild Rose’s case, they’re offering an IPA trio that fans may be familar with, while Big Rock is offering a pair of twists on an old favourite.

In the case of the Wild Rose, they’re giving fans The Bitter Truth, in the IPA Family Pack, which features the brewery’s signature IPA, the White Shadow White IPA and the seasonal 42, a lighter Session IPA.

All three are tasty brews, and nice expressions of the style.

Plus, there’s this.

Big Rock, meanwhile, is unleashing hopped up versions of it’s old standby, Traditional Ale.

Dubbed Rad Trad, the six pack features three bottles each of The Cascadian and the Anarchist.

Both clock in at 6.1% abv (compared to the flagship Trad’s 5%), and feature two very different styles of hops.

As its name would suggest, The Cascadian features Pacific North-West hops varieties Cascade, Chinook and Citra, adding citrus characteristics to the mild malt flavours.

The Anarchist, on the other hand, is like the punk rock cousin in the family.

It spices things up with a quartet of British hops: Challenger, Progess, Fuggle and Goldings.

Watch for both of these in your local liquor stores this month.

Molson Coors Canada brings back banquet beer

- August 21st, 2013
QMI_molsoncoors

Coors Banquet Beer: Available in Alberta again.

You may have noticed a familiar yellow can in the beer cooler at your local liquor store lately.

One of my colleagues in the office said when he saw it, it took him back to his younger days, when a trip to the U.S. meant drinking beer much better than the poor excuse for American suds you could buy in Alberta at the time.

Coors iconic Banquet Beer is available again in Alberta, for a limited time.

Our beer columnist Jordan St. John gives some background on the beer’s rich history here. Needless to say, as it dates back to 1873, it been around awhile.

Responding to popular demand among Canadian beer drinkers, and big sales at Big Valley Jamboree and during Stampede week in Calgary, the yellow cans are now available again at retail outlets, bars and restaurants in Alberta.

The July promo sales also helped out flood relief in Alberta, raising $16,000 for the Red Cross, helping bump Molson Coors’ efforts to $75,000.

I had a chance to sample the Baquet Beer for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s light and easy drinking, a nice summer brew, and one I’d pick over the Molson flagship.

Look for it at your local liquor store.

Small Alberta brewery catching up on success

- July 4th, 2013

Picture 2Sometimes a dilemma can be a good thing.

That’s exactly the case for a small east-central Alberta brewery based in the tiny village of Edgerton — about 240 km southeast of Edmonton and 37 km southeast of Wainwright.

After establishing the Ribstone Creek Brewery in 2009, president Don Paré said the team and the staff have upped its production of its tasty lager this summer to keep up with the sudden demand.

A handful of liquor stores — including Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, say staff there — have had a hard time keeping the brew, the Ribstone Creek Lager, on its shelves.

“It’s so surreal,” said Paré about the brewery’s sudden success.

Paré — a third-generation farmer close to nearby Chauvin — and three of his friends (also longtime farmers) in the area had an idea to do something about a big building in Edgerton that was used “to store junk in it.”

“That’s when one of them thought, lets turn it into a brewery,” said Paré who is among five founders of the three-year-old brewery that includes David Beardsell, a beer-master who studied brewing in Germany.

Beardsell — who started the successful B.C.-based Bear Brewing Company in 1994 — was called by the farmers to lend a hand with the brewery named after a scenic nearby creek that flows into the Battle River.

sQjAzFZ8vs3yMpb4hJY5CgaYVK_lbtXjZYGATpoDKgk“We’ve all seen in our small towns that they (shrink) and disappear,” said Paré.

“The idea behind this was to do something to bring in some business and get a few people employed. The brewery seems to fit this bill.”

And now the brewery hasn’t had time to enjoy its success in 2013 as the team are trying figure out “how (it) is going to get more beer out there,” said Paré.

The company just purchased two new fermenters, however, that will see its production double within the next six weeks.

“We want to maintain the quality of our product — we don’t want to rush it, we don’t want to give people something they don’t like, said Paré.

The German-style lager is simple, refreshing and tasty and all of it is brewed with Alberta-based ingredients.

The company is also working an an IPA, dubbed Buckin’ Bronco IPA.

For those thirsty beer drinkers in Edmonton looking to do a roadtrip in Edgerton to try the beer, Paré says the brewery — located at 4924 51 St. — is open every Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.


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Camrose, Alta.: Home of The Norsemen Brewing Co.

- June 24th, 2013

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Here’s a delicious secret.

Not a lot of people in Camrose know they have a brewery based in their small city 94 km southeast of Edmonton.

I found that out last weekend from my mother-in-law who lives there and she says her closest friends never heard about a craft-brewery that’s actually located in the Rose City.

But for the last three years, The Norsmen Brewing Co. have been brewing batches of delicious beer from what appears to be an old nightclub based in the Norsemen Inn— making it one of the newest craft breweries in Alberta.

To get there, you have to go around the back of the inn — located at 6505 48 Ave. — and go into the Tap Room Bar and Brew Pub.

When you walk in, you’ll notice a dance floor in the middle of the pub and a handful of VLTs in the far corner — something that immediately gave me the urge to walk out the door as soon as I walked in.

But after sitting down and looking through large windows at the large vats used to brew the beer I couldn’t leave.

The Norseman Brewing Co. currently makes two distinct lagers: the Longship Lager and Eric the Red.

The company’s Longship Lager is a deliciously crisp, and refreshing lager that I found really goes well with a meal that includes fish — like the tasty stuffed trout in the Tap Room’s menu — or perhaps grilled chicken.

Eric the Red is a tasty, lightly-red lager that offers up a hint caramel and the best way to enjoy it is on its own.

The company also makes seasonal brews that include an oatmeal stout during the winter months.

All of the barely used to brew the beer is grown here in Alberta and each beer, according to the company’s website, is brewed in small batches “ensuring your beer is the freshest possible.”

“Because we choose not to filter our beer and have it retain its vitamin, minerals and nutrients we must go through a lengthy and labourious process of gently moving the beer off the settling yeast over a period of time so when it is received in your glass it is pristine clear,” said the company in its website.

It’s too bad, however, the Norsemen Inn chooses not to celebrate this microbrew by offering it in a somewhat dumpy bar.

There is nothing worse than seeing sad-looking types dump wads of cash for hours into VLTs.

Those gambling machines — along with the large dance floor — should not belong in the inn where great craft beer is made.