Brewer's Blog

How to make friends with the locals...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For some time now, we've been working on a new beer for draught only distribution. Obsessing over recipe design is a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

We've had a bunch of new accounts sign up recently that really want two of our beers on tap to support the only remaining locally owned brewery (US!) but their customers find our Scrapper or Stout a little much for their palettes. Who can blame them, as we've always brewed ballsy beers and made no apology for them. They're lovin' the Bulldog - hey, who doesn't? - and they'd really like something along those lines with a touch less caramel character. So, for a brewery that doesn't brew "lite beer" what's the solution?

  1. Listen to our customers, but don't brew a lite beer. That would just be nasty.
  2. Be the inventive little brewery we've always been.
  3. Make something that tastes distinctly like Half Pints, and drinkable to a fault.
Enter the St. James Pale Ale; the newest member of the Half Pints family of beers.

This brew is gold in colour with a tight white head. The aroma is of sweet grain, while the body has a toasted honey character from the melanoidin malt we add. There's an herbal hoppy nose from the Mount Hood hop (a Hallertau variety grown in the NW United States) and a fruity finish from a cool ale fermentation.

Stylistically speaking, this beer straddles the guidelines between a German Helles (a soft, grainy lager) and Kolsch (a lagered ale). It is an ale, but with a refined, almost lager-like finish from the cool fermentation.

Last night we carbonated a bottle to share amongst the brewery staff. We were kicking ourselves for not making up more than one bottle. It's nice to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, but we really want to see reactions in a crowd. So, we're bringing the St. James Pale Ale with us when we rock the crowds at the Festiv Ale in Regina again this year. If you find yourself in Regina on Febrewary 6th and 7th, stop by the booth, you won't be disappointed.

We got the St. James Pale Ale into the final carbonated form the night before our regular Saturday tour. By all accounts it tastes like a winner! The guys at Luxalune will have it on tap in the next few days. Stop by and try a pint, order the buffalo spring rolls and shoot some pool. Tell them we sent you!

Brewmaster Dave ;)