February 25, 2013
Back in the days of the Klondike Gold Rush, every self-respecting miner would carry a small sack attached somewhere to his person, in which he carried his gold. Now, we say ‘he’ and ‘his’ not because there were no females about during that time. There most definitely were – however, by and large they were too busy mining the miners in Dawson City to be out on the claims. Trying to get their hands on every bloke’s poke, we suppose.
Our latest arrival on the growlers is our Bloke’s Poke Extra Special Bitter, or ESB. Brewed with plenty of malt, including a healthy dose of biscuit malt for added complexity, this beer has body galore. Hopped with Millenium, EK Golding, and Cascade hops, and dry-hopped with a bit more EK Golding, we end up with a really pleasant combination of UK and American influences. Check it out today, on the growlers, at the brewery. And it will be found at select draught locations in Alberta in the weeks to come, so watch for it
January 25, 2013
Way back in our far past we brewed a beer called Aroma Borealis Herbal Cream Ale. A long name, we admit, but one with a heritage. Aroma Borealis is a local store specializing in herbal products, and boasts one of Canada’s (if not the worlds) leading experts in the field, Bev Gray. Google it and find her recent book, it is a Canadian best seller. But we digress. We worked with Bev on the recipe for this beer, then brewed it between 2004 and 2008. We packaged it in one litre bottles with a ceramic flip lid. When we got tired of the slow filling of these bottles 3 at a time, we discontinued the one litre bottles, and we decided to discontinue the herbal cream ale, as well. You see, we found that something was coalescing in the beer…we think it was just proteins from the herbs because they would disappear when the beer swirled around. The taste was never affected, but we think that maybe some customers were put off. Anyway, we have been asked over and over again to bring the beer back – so, here it is. It will be on our growler system, plus some will be bottled and sold in our Brewers’ ADD series (in our store, and in Alberta).
Now, in terms of the beer, Boreal Forest is a cream ale, so is built like an ale but fermented longer and cooler, like a lager. This results in a very light body with very light hopping, the perfect backdrop for the addition of herbs. After working with Bev Gray, we found a nice combination of herbs that include stinging nettle, rosehip, and mint. Very unusual but very refreshing. A bit earthy on the nose and round on the palate, but finishing with a hint of minty sharpness.
September 26, 2012
Okay, so what the heck is an Angry Hessian? Well, cast yourself back to the 1819 Washington Irving story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Ichabod Crane competes with Brom Bones Van Brunt for the affections of the comely Katrina Van Tassel. Ichabod attends a party at the Van Tassel estate and, upon leaving, is chased by the Headless Horseman. The horseman is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper “whose head had been carried away by a cannon ball in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War”, in the language of Washington Irving. If I had my head carried away by a cannonball, I would be angry, at least for a brief moment.
While the story leaves poor Ichabod’s fate a bit ambiguous, a shattered pumpkin is found beside Ichabod’s abandoned hat. And, according to Yukon Brewing legend, a strain from this very same pumpkin found its way into our beer.
Okay, so we made that part up.
Every fall we produce our pumpkin ale, brewed with 60 kg of pumpkin as well as molasses, demerara sugar, crushed cinnamon sticks, pureed ginger, and crushed whole cloves and whole nutmeg – and oats for body. The result is pretty much pumpkin coloured, and very smooth and creamy. Close your eyes at the nose and you think there is a slice of pie on a plate in front of you, but when you fill your mouth the perception is more like pumpkin cheesecake, full of delicious flavour and mouthfeel.
The Angry Hessian is on tap here at the brewery, in the growlers, starting September 28. This would be a good time to either fill up your new stainless steel growler that you picked up at our 15th birthday party…or check them out if you have not seen them yet.
June 13, 2012
It is officially spring….we might say summer but sometimes we don’t get one in the Yukon. The birch trees produced their magical syrup, Berwyn did his alchemy yet again, and we have knocked off one more version of our Birch Marzen. It is really hard to say how it differs from the year before, because we go 10 months without it, then 2 months (or less) with it. Birch sap does not keep. We have to rely on our beer memory, and those neural receptors are sometimes overworked around here, if not completely MIA.
This year the Birch Marzen is very dry, it almost seems like some of those unfermentable sugars in the syrup were – fermentable after all. The beer started at a higher gravity than in past years, and finished lower. The beer is less sweet and very, very crisp. The colour is a magnificent deep bronze, and the tartness of the birch comes straight on through like an arrow.
One of the gang in the store summed it up nicely today – “I took home a growler last night, figuring it would last a couple of days – and here I am, filling it up again”. So get in here, and fill yours.
February 16, 2012
Our Yukon Red has won numerous awards – it has kind of become our poster child for award winners. So, when our brewers decided, ‘lets see if we can change it’, our first thought was “what a bunch of megalomaniacs, why would you think you should take our biggest award winner and change it – even just as a one-off?”. But, then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So they created the sort of self-titled Megalomaniac Imperial Red. It is built much like the Yukon Red in terms of the malt bill and hopping, except moreso. It has almost 60% more grain per litre of beer (and Yukon Red is pretty malty on its own) and nearly double the hops, including a dry-hopping that the Yukon Red does not get. We describe the result as Yukon Red on steroids, and is available at the brewery in growlers. And, in case we are confusing anyone, we are NOT changing the Yukon Red, this is just a one-off for fun.
February 1, 2012
In that well known and oft quoted Scottish language, “yer gallus” means, “you’re daring, rash, wild, or cheeky”. Kind of describes most of the folks here at the brewery on their best days, let alone after a couple o’ gigots of this Scottish ale! Of course, in that fine language, a gigot is a pint, and yer growler holds a couple o’ those, so come on in and fill ‘er up.
Scottish ales were traditionally defined by the tax that was levied on them – Back in the day, the amount of tax varied by alcohol content, so the lightest ales (under 3.5% alcohol) were 60 schilling ales, while the strongest (over 6.0% alcohol) were 90 schilling ales. Our Yer Gallus is 5.2% alcohol, and hence falls into the group of export Scottish ales, or an 80 schilling ale. In deference to the style, this beer is very malt forward, with a nearly indistinguishable hop finish. It’s mahogany in colour, ever so creamy on the tongue, and finishes with a hint of smoke, as we used a wee bit of peated malt in the recipe. Robbie Burns would be proud.
January 19, 2012
…this might just be it. And just to make sure you have enough winter fuel, we called it Yukon Crude. Now, with the variety of stouts out there – from American, to Foreign Extra, to Sweet, to Russian Imperial – you might ponder, “What exactly is Yukon Crude”? Yukon Crude falls into the category of Dry Stout, although the alcohol content is most definitely (!) at the high end of the range. We used a bit of oatmeal for body building (yes, beer requires body building, too), but not nearly enough to be an Oatmeal Stout. True to the style, we used a portion of roasted, unmalted barley, which accounts for a good deal of the dryness. The use of Chocolate and Black malts delivers a secondary note of cocoa, which lasts into the finish. The word that best describes this beer, we think, is sumptuous. Makes -40 a bit more tolerable. Get it in a growler, that is if your vehicle is still running.
January 19, 2012
Technically speaking, (and by that we mean “beerspeak”), an English Mild belongs to the family of English Brown Ales. There are Northern English Brown Ales, Southern English Brown Ales, and the English Mild, which we suppose, comes right up the middle. We once read a statement that the English Mild is “readily suited to drinking in quantity”- While we always encourage responsible use, we get where the author was coming from! This beer is a rich brown in colour, but light in body with a slight malt accent, and only enough bitterness to provide a bit of balance. If a darker beer scares you, try this one…it will cure your fears and might even turn you into an advocate. Now on the growlers, till it’s gone.
December 9, 2011
…is on the growler system. In fact, it has been on the growler system for about a month now…which means it is almost gone!
Longest Night is dark and malty, due to the generous use of both chocolate malt and black malt. And, let’s talk hops. Longest Night contains plenty of Millenium, Cascade, and Glacier hops used during the kettle boil. But, it also is dry-hopped with both Cascade and Millenium. Coming in at 6.0% abv, full of both malt and hop flavours, and with plenty of hop bitterness, this is not the beer for the faint of heart. Nor is it a beer for procrastinators, as it will likely be gone by New Years. Come fill your growler…now! Before it really is the longest night.