New Brew – Raspberry Porter

Ed has brewed up a batch of Raspberry Porter in celebration of our Quilts at the Creek event this weekend (July 28th & 29th) at Black Creek Pioneer VillageQuilts at the Creek celebrates the art and heritage of quilting in Ontario and features over 100 quilts on display all over the Village.  Like a quilt, beer is the result of many small pieces coming together into something wonderful!  Ed brewed this Raspberry Porter using raspberries grown in the Village and he expects a rich malty beer with hints of chocolate in the flavour with a slight tart finish and a complex fruity aroma.  He recommends pairing it with desserts such as cheese cake, chocolate brownies or a mild soft cheese.  Available beginning Friday, July 27th, the Raspberry Porter is available as a sample or in 2L growlers only at Black Creek Pioneer Village while supplies last.

History Byte – Who was Who in the Brewing Business – Alexander Keith

Who was Who in the Brewing Business takes a brief look at some of the personalities active in the business in Canada in the 1800s.  These mini biographies were prepared by the Historical Programming department at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Hon. Alexander Keith, copied 1887
© McCord Museum

Alexander Keith

Alexander Keith arrived in Halifax in 1817 completely prepared to run a brewery, having studied the art since he was 17.  Keith took a gamble in an unstable market after the War of 1812 and decided to expand his operation in 1822.  His gamble paid off, and he was able to make a name for himself as a brewer of strong ales and porter, as well as milder brews.  In 1853 Keith’s only son Donald became a full partner and the name changed to Alex Keith & Son.  Keith, a key player in the social scene as well as the business community, served as Mayor of Halifax three times, and was elected the Grandmaster of the Freemasons.

Today Alexander Keith’s is a subsidiary of Labatt and their beers are available across Canada and the United States.

Field of Dreams

Barley Field No. 2

Meet our newest addition to the Black Creek Historic Brewery – Barley Field No. 2!  After the success of our One Mile Estate Ale last year, we’ve expanded our barley production from 1/2 an acre to a full acre.  We’re growing Formosa Barley, a 2 row barley noted for it’s excellent ‘standability’ and disease resistance.  As our farming is all done by hand without pesticides, both factors are important!  Formosa barley is also noted as an excellent malting barley – which is what it is destined for.  There are two, four and six-row varieties of barley.  According to the Brewer’s Handbook by Tom Goldammer, two and six-row barleys are suitable for brewing.  Four row barley is primarily used for animal feed.  Six-row barley is usually used when additional ingredients, such as corn or rice are added to the mash.  Most recipes from our time period don’t specify the type of barley to be used, or refer to “malting barley”.  Two-row barley is the standard for traditional English style ales – and the barley of choice at Black Creek Historic Brewery.

Summer Standards and a Rifleman’s Ration – New Brews

Ed, our Brew Master, has decided that it’s just too dang hot to drink Stout and Porter all summer!  Instead he’ll be brewing English Mild and an Ordinary Bitter beers as regulars through the summer.  In the Victorian era, dark beers were usually reserved for the cooler season with lighter beers taking the lead in the summer, so Ed is right on track.  The English Mild will be around 3.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and the Ordinary Bitter should be around 4.5% ABV.  Both are considered session beers, which Ed assures me means “you can drink a lot of it”!  The Mild and Bitter will be joining our regular rotation of Pale Ale and Brown Ale for the rest of the summer beginning this week.

Ed has also brewed up a batch of his Rifleman’s Ration in our historic brewery – so anyone interested in comparing the commercial LCBO version with the historic version is welcome to stop by Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Historic Brewery to taste the difference!  2L Growlers are available on-site only for $16!