Developments on the local beer scene seemed to slow down as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. But if the uptick in recent news on brews is any indication, summer is looking to be a busy one for brewers and beer drinkers alike — even without this year’s Flatlander’s Beer Festival to quench people’s thirsts.

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This article was published 30/5/2020 (602 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Opinion

Developments on the local beer scene seemed to slow down as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. But if the uptick in recent news on brews is any indication, summer is looking to be a busy one for brewers and beer drinkers alike — even without this year’s Flatlander’s Beer Festival to quench people’s thirsts.

Brad Chute photo</p><p>This shipping container will be retooled into a bar for the Beer Can, an outdoor pop-up beer garden located in a vacant lot between the Fortune Block and the Winnipeg Hotel on Main Street.</p>

Brad Chute photo

This shipping container will be retooled into a bar for the Beer Can, an outdoor pop-up beer garden located in a vacant lot between the Fortune Block and the Winnipeg Hotel on Main Street.

A new outdoor space to gather over a cold brew is taking shape in a vacant lot on Main Street.

The Beer Can will be a pop-up beer garden located at 220 Main St. in the lot between the Fortune Building and the Winnipeg Hotel. It’s the brainchild of Brad Chute (one half of Blank Canvas Beer) and partners, and will feature an all-local lineup of lagers and ales, served mainly in cans.

The bar portion of The Beer Can will be housed in a retooled six-metre-long shipping container, with tables and benches throughout the space for guests. Chute estimates full capacity will be 100 people, but current restrictions will limit that by half. The space will also feature eats from a rotating selection of local food trucks.

Chute and crew are aiming to open in mid-June; to see renderings of the space and for progress reports, check out @TheBeerCanWpg on Twitter and Instagram.


Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. recently canned the first of its brews made in its Winnipeg facility located in True North Square.

A May 23 post on social media shows cans of their Sultana Gold Blonde Ale being packaged up; the brewery also indicated they’d start curbside pickup at the downtown location on Tuesday, June 2.

With the second phase of service restoration being rolled out the same day — which includes allowing bars and brewery tap rooms/patios to reopen — there’s a good chance visitors may also be able to sit down for a pint at Hargrave St. Market.


Kilter Brewing Co. has started selling beer made at its new location in St. Boniface — and it’s being snapped up at breakneck speeds.

Prior to getting production going at its facility at 450 Rue Deschambault, Kilter had been brewing out of Stone Angel Brewing Co.’s Pembina Highway facilities.

While Kilter’s first run of Juicii IPA and Space Jam Jammy IPA made in the new facility each sold out within hours of being posted in the brewery’s online store, there are still some cans of the Cool Beans Cold Brew Coffee Stout available via the website and select beer vendors.

Stay tuned for even more new local beer developments next week, including from beyond the city limits…

 

uncorked@mts.net

Twitter: @bensigurdson

 


 

Ben Sigurdson / Winnipeg Free Press</p>

Ben Sigurdson / Winnipeg Free Press

Beers of the week

Half Pints Brewing Co. Double Standard lager - $2.89/473ml cans, brewery, select beer vendors and coming soon to Liquor Marts)

Half Pints riffs on the local popularity Standard Lager in Manitoba (and similar brews) with this clear, medium-gold lager, which brings fresh, straightforward malt notes and a subtle herbal undertone. It’s dry, crisp and clean, with prominent malty notes and just a hint of bitterness on the finish. The beer is five per cent alcohol and is a simple sipper for warm weather that suits its name — although it’s actually better. 3.5/5

Grain to Glass Walter Melone Watermelon Wheat (Winnipeg — $3.59/473ml can, Torque and select beer vendors)

Made at Torque’s King Edward Street facility, the latest release by the St. Mary’s Road home brew equipment sellers is made with watermelon extract, is medium gold in colour and slightly hazy in appearance and brings a decided watermelon candy note on the nose, albeit without any excess sweetness. On the mainly dry, light-bodied palate that watermelon note persists, with underlying wheat notes, little bitterness and at 5.5 per cent alcohol, just a subtle kick on the finish. 3/5

Nonsuch Grisette with Sumac (Winnipeg — $4/473ml can, brewery, Liquor Marts, select beer vendors)

A Belgian wheat ale flavoured with orange, lemon, coriander, juniper berries and local sumac, the Grisette is pale straw in colour and hazy, with a persistent white head. There’s a bright wheat and citrus rind note on the nose that accentuates the spice component, while on the slightly off-dry, light-plus bodied and slightly creamy palate those yeast and citrus notes are joined by secondary herbal and vanilla notes with very little bitterness. At 4.5 per cent it’s one of Nonsuch’s milder brews, but still packs plenty of flavour. 3.5/5

Oxus Icarus Raspberry Sour Ale (Winnipeg — $4.33/473ml cans, brewery and select beer vendors)

Oxus is beginning to expand their selection, and the Icarus is one of two fruit-laced beers to join their recent offerings. It’s bright reddish-pink in colour, and on the nose a bright dollop of tart raspberry comes alongside wheat, lime and malt notes. It’s mainly dry, light-bodied and tart, although there’s enough underlying sweetness to balance the raspberry and citrus rind notes that come through with medium acidity. At five per cent alcohol, it’s a decent post-lawnmowing brew. 3.5/5

Torque Brewing Co. Curmudgeon Sour IPA (Winnipeg - $4.00/473ml can, brewery, select beer vendors and coming soon to Liquor Marts)

Medium gold in colour and hazy, with a white head, this sour IPA brings bright herbal, lime zest, grapefruit and lemon candy notes on the nose with some secondary malty aromas. It’s dry and quite tart, with almost-salty citrus notes exploding on the palate, a secondary herbal component and a maltiness that adds texture. The six per cent alcohol adds to the intensity here, while at just 25 IBUs the bitterness you might expect from a straight IPA is dialed down. A mouth-watering tasty summer treat. 4/5

Sookrams Brewing Co. Project Mayhem West Coast IPA (Winnipeg - $4.33/473ml cans, brewery and select beer vendors)

Brewed with three different kinds of hops, this West Coast IPA is medium gold and slightly hazy in appearance; aroma-wise the malt and fresh hops notes balance well, with herbal and pine notes taking centre stage. There’s some guts to the Project Mayhem, with resinous, slightly green and bitter hops notes working well with fresh malty notes, a splash of citrus and a punchy 7.2 per cent alcohol level; that resinous note, meanwhile, persists on the long finish. It’s dangerously drinkable. 4/5

Ben Sigurdson

Ben Sigurdson
Literary editor, drinks writer

Ben Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.