Posts Tagged ‘Calgary

New entry into Alberta beer market is set in Stone

- October 15th, 2014


Despite the long-held misconception by many people more accustomed to Budweiser being representative of American beer, the craft beer scene south of the border is really far ahead of what’s going on in Canada.

We’re catching up, but there is lots to be envious about.

In a lot of ways, though, we don’t know what we’re missing, because there is so much that isn’t available here.

Case in point is San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. This award-winning brewery, the largest craft operation in southern California, is just now being released in Alberta and B.C.

Wholesaler Horizon Beers, which recently brought Colorado-brewed New Belgium beers to Alberta, has partnered with Stone Brewing to bring six year-round brews, plus seasonal releases to stores, bars and restaurants starting Monday, Oct, 20.

“It’s awesome to be able to bring Stone beer to many of our long-awaiting Canadian fans,” said Stone Vice President of Sales Todd Karnig.

“We chose Horizon Beers because they believe in providing craft beer fans with quality beers at the peak of freshness—something that is extremely important to Stone.

“Canadians are ready for Stone, and we feel privileged to contribute to the country’s prospering craft beer scene.”

In honour of the occasion, Stone, Horizon and Craft Beer Market in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver have teamed up for special launch parties next week, featuring up to 15 Stone beers on tap. They have been giving away tickets through their Twitter pages. Keep checking for your chance to win.

In addition, there will be events at other top beer spots in all three cities, including National in Calgary, MKT in Edmonton and Biercraft Bistro in Vancouver, plus several others.

For a full listing of events surrounding the Stone launch in Alberta and B.C., check the Stone Brewing Co. website.

Strap on your lederhosen – it’s Oktoberfest season

- September 24th, 2014

Visitors celebrate with first beer mugs the opening of the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 20, 2014. Germany’s world-famous Oktoberfest kicks off with millions of revellers set to soak up the frothy atmosphere in a 16-day extravaganza of lederhosen, oompah music and, of course, beer. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE

It’s that time of year: The leaves are changing colour, the weather is cooling, and people are ready to break out their dirndl and party it up at Oktoberfest celebrations.

The concept of a German-themed, beer-fuelled oompah fest is nothing new, but the folks behind Alberta Beer Festivals (Calgary International Beerfest and the Edmonton Craft Beer Festival) are bringing a craft beer focus to Oktoberfest efforts, which kick off this weekend in Cowtown before debuting Oct. 3 in the Chuck.

While people may normally associate massive steins and Bavarian barmaids with Oktoberfest, the two events are sampling events, with a bit of a German twist, giving patrons a chance to try a variety of local and German beers from nearly 30 breweries.

“That’s the benefit of a sampling event,” Alberta Beer Festival’s Trevor Bacon says.

“We want to expand our presence in Edmonton,” Bacon added.

“We feel we need to introduce more beers to Edmonton audiences.”

Both Calgary’s and Edmonton’s festival will feature European brews from the likes of Peroni, Pilsner Urqell, Fruh, and Maisel, but there’s also a heavy focus on Canadian craft beer.

Alley Kat, Big Rock, Wild Rose, Olds College, Grizzly Paw, Tool Shed, the list goes on.

Adding to the craft beer goodies is a cask stage, with special beers unique to each festival.

Calgary’s features Olds College, Wild Rose and Brewsters on Friday, while Saturday features a collaboration brew, Village Brewery and Something Brewing.

Edmonton’s cask stage features Olds College, Hog’s Head and Brewsters on Oct. 3, followed by Wood Buffalo, Alley Kat and Ribstone Creek on Saturday.

Both events will feature local food as well as oompah music and other live entertainment.

Tickets to get into the event are $19 in advance or $25 at the door, with tokens available on site for beer and food samples.

For more info on both festivals, visit the Alberta Beer Festivals website.


Glenfiddich partners with Calgary charity to support veterans and their families

- May 21st, 2014

Steve Critchley, Co-Founder of Can Praxis (left), Elizabeth Havers, Brand Ambassador, PMA Canada(centre), and Phil Ralph, Program Director, Wounded Warriors Canada (right), at the BMO Centre in Calgary
to nationally announce Glenfiddich’s newest partnership with Can Praxis. Handout photo

The next time you pour a dram of Glenfiddich, you’ll be toasting a Calgary charity in their work with veterans and their families.

The iconic distillery has partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada and Calgary-based Can Praxis to support its equine therapy work with veterans to help soldiers recover from the effects of war and rebuild family connections.

“Glenfiddich’s direct support of Wounded Warriors Canada and Can Praxis allows us to provide programs for veterans and their families at no cost to participants,” Can Praxis co-founder Steve Critchley said.

“This support is significant and ensures we (Can Praxis) are able to conduct innovative programs and provide proven help for those in need.”

The announcement was made Wednesday at Stampede park in Calgary.

For its 2014 campaign, Glenfiddich is donating $2 from the sale of every bottle of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera sold in Canada to the program.

Glenfiddich has partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada since 2012, starting with the donation of proceeds from a record-breaking scotch auction in Toronto. To date, more than $180,000 has been raised to support Wounded Warriors.

“When it comes to our ongoing partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, we have and always will be guided by the philosophy of families helping families,” says Beth-Anne Thomas, National Brand Manager for Glenfiddich.

“As a family-run distillery, we are thankful that our fundraising efforts in 2014 will directly support veterans and their families using pioneering equine-assisted learning methods.

“We couldn’t be more proud to welcome them into our family at Glenfiddich.”

The proceeds will be presented to Wounded Warriors and Can Praxis at a ceremony leading up to Remembrance Day this fall.

The Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera, according to the distillery’s website,  is an award-winning whisky, aged in three different kinds of oak before being mellowed in a Solera vat and married in Portugese oak tuns. It features aromas of honey, fudge and dark fruits, with notes of oak, cinnamon and ginger on the palate with a sweet, lingering finish.

It’s a good buy at less than $70 most places.

Calgary’s Village Brewery launches Maiden voyage

- May 7th, 2014
Village Square case photo Mandy Stobo

The Village Square, designed by Mandy Stobo, and featuring the new Village Maiden.

Fresh off its unveiling at the Calgary International Beerfest, where it was awarded second place in the Best Cask Category on Saturday, Village Brewery is letting the public take a date with the Village Maiden.

Bright and approachable, the Maiden is perfect for a lingering summer patio date, the brewery says.

“She’s as alluring as she is fleeting. She teases us with crisp citrus scents, whispering secrets of fragrant hops from faraway lands.”

The Maiden is an India Session Ale (a trend I’m enjoying seeing more of), and Village is touting that it’s packed with flavour, thanks to Centennial, Cascade and Zythos hops, but clocking in at a quaffable 4.6% ABV.

It is featured in the Village Square variety pack, along with core beers Blonde, Wit and Blacksmith.

The Village Square has also been given a facelift in time for spring, with artwork done by local artist Mandy Stobo, who is behind the Bad Portraits project.

Watch for it in stores starting May 7.

Big Rock continues busy year with spicy entries.

- May 7th, 2014

The latest Big Rock Swinger Pack, featuring two new beers.

It’s hard to keep up with everything going on in Calgary’s growing craft beer scene, and Big Rock is a big part of that.

They have set an ambitious brewing schedule, and have already released an ESB, a druid gruit (an old-world blend of beer and flavouring herbs instead of hops), and they’ve collabeerated with the folks at Phil & Sebastian and Tool Shed Brewery on a very unique coffee stout.

And they just don’t stop.

Their latest in the Alchemist Edition is another old-world throwback, this time to Norse mythology.

Freyja’s Field is a Mead Braggot named for a Norse Goddess, and is a delectably light concoction made from Alberta clover honey, two-row malt, hallertau hops and special yeast.

It is a great combination of mead and beer that combines into its own unique concoction.

It’s available in 650 ml bombers, and is in stores, but just 3,000 were produced, so you may have to hunt for some.

For those who are looking to mix it up a little, Big Rock is out with its new Swinger Pack.

Old favourites Grasshopper and Saaz Republic Pilz are back, but replacing the Purple Gas and the Paradox Dark Ale are the Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager and the Cracked Pepper Wheat Ale.

They both live up to their names.

The Juniper lager allows the slight bitterness of the berries to play with the citrus and pine flavours of the Chinook and Cascade hops. Last year’s Hibernation Ale featured juniper in a mix of berries and herbs, but this lets it stand alone, and it’s pleasantly crisp.

For my taste, the Cracked Pepper could have used a bit more spice and it still would have been a light, easy-drinking ale, but it is definitely the kind of beer you could pair well with chicken hot off your grill.

Not too fizzy, it has a nice pepper aroma with a light pepper finish.

The 12-can Swinger Pack is in stores now.

Next up for Big Rock, I believe, is the Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch.