New Brew – Sage Beer

After the awesome event that was the Wet Hop Ale Event last weekend, our ever busy brewer has released yet another specialty brew!  Ed just bottled our Sage Beer and it is ready for purchase.  The base of the Sage Beer is a brown ale with a generous addition of fresh sage added near the end of the boil giving it a pleasant herbal aroma with a mild spicy/medicinal aftertaste.  This is an all-new brew to Black Creek Historic Brewery and it will only be available for a short time exclusively at the brewery in Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Special Event – Hop Harvest

Brewmaster Ed Koren harvesting hops

Join us on Saturday, August 25th, 2012 from 11:30am to 2:00pm for our first Hop Harvest event and take part in this one-of-a-kind experience!  Our hops are nearly ready for harvest and that means it’s Wet Hop Ale time! Participants will help harvest the hops with Sandra Spudic, Head Gardener while learning everything she knows on growing and harvesting hops and barley. Once the hops are picked, each person will get to help Brewmaster Ed Koren add them to the brew, while Ed talks about the nuances of brewing with wet hops. The program will end with a guided sampling of three historic ales with our Beer Expert Andrew Gaboury and a tasting of flavourful breads and cookies made with our spent grains and brewer’s yeast. All participants get priority purchasing on the limited edition Wet Hop Ale once it is ready (approximately 2 weeks after brewing). The Hop Harvest event costs $30/person (+ HST) and includes admission to the Village.  Call Customer Service at 416-667-6295 to purchase tickets for this great event (limited tickets available)!  Participants must be 19 years of age or older.

New Brew – Lemon Balm Pale Ale

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Back by popular demand!  Ed’s Lemon Balm Pale Ale was so well received, he’s brewing another batch.  This crisp refreshing pale ale, has a hint of mint flavour and lemon aroma courtesy of the herb, Lemon Balm.  For those unfamiliar with lemon balm, it’s a bushy herb related to mint that is easily recognizable by the strong lemon smell given off by it’s crushed leaves.  In the past Lemon Balm was considered a healing and soothing plant, and especially effective in relieving pain due to indigestion.  Lemon balm was also used to impart a lemony taste and smell to many beverages and foods.  Ed has brewed up a batch and it’s currently available for sale only at Black Creek Historic Brewery located in the heart of Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Ontario, and available again only for a very limited time (until the barrel is empty!).

History Byte – Who was Who in the Brewing Business – Sir John A. Macdonald

John Dougall and Sir John A. Macdonald by John Henry Walker. Copyright McCord Museum.

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

Sir John A. Macdonald

Canada’s first Prime Minister was infamously known for his love of a stiff drink.  During his second term in office (1878 – 1891) he inherited legislation known as the Scott Act from Alexander Mackenzie.  The Scott Act allowed retailers to prohibit the sale of alcohol and was proving to be a divisive subject in the late 19th century.  Macdonald did not repeal the act for fear of dividing his government.

The image features John Dougall, a noted temperance advocate and newpaper publisher in Montreal sharing a drink with Sir John A. Macdonald.  Likely intended as a spin on the no-so-jovial relationship between the two men, the cartoon suggests John A. began celebrating early with his reddened nose and empty bottle at his feet.  As the McCord Museum notes “Macdonald would go on drinking binges for weeks on end, often appearing inebriated in public.  Once, during an election campaign, he vomited on stage as he got up to answer an opponent.  He is reported to have won back the crowd by saying, “I don’t know how it is, but every time I hear Mr. Jones speak it turns my stomach.””  Despite his well-known affinity for the bottle, John A. MacDonald served six terms as Prime Minister of Canada, passing away in 1891 while still in office.

NOW Magazine toasts our Rifleman’s Ration

Rifleman’s Ration standing guard outside the Harness Shop at Black Creek Pioneer Village – Photo by Pat Fillion

Graham Duncan over at NOW magazine recently reviewed our Rifleman’s Ration and judging by the NNNN rank I suppose he enjoyed it!  He wrote:

“… it’s just the thing for a cookout.  Most grilled dishes, after being sauced like Jim Lahey and then engulfed in flames, will overwhelm your proverbial frosty blond lager.  So call in the heavy artillery.  This big, malty mouthful, with its soft carbonation and long, hop-tinged finish, will bravely defend the garrison of your taste buds”

We think it’s pretty awesome too!  You can check out the full article at NOW.  500 mL bottles retail at $3.95 and are 5.0% Alcohol/Vol.  Rifleman’s Ration is a seasonal offering and will soon be disappearing off the shelves to make way for the next release in our historic beer series, so head over to the LCBO and try it out before it’s gone!