Toronto, Ontario – Since 2014, Great Lakes Brewery (GLB) has unofficially run a rotating line-up of India Pale Ales (IPA) through the LCBO retail system on a quarterly basis, focusing on freshness and hop availability, and today the 2016 Ontario Brewery of the Year* is happy to officially announce the 2017 schedule.
With 30th anniversary celebrations approaching, GLB kick-started the program for 2017 with the early release of Lake Effect IPA, which will run its way through LCBO stores until late February. Lake Effect, a brand first introduced to the LCBO in 2014 in 650ml bottles, currently retails for $3.25 (473ml can) and is available from Toronto to Sudbury, Ottawa to Niagara.
For fun, following Lake Effect there will be a short run of RoboHop Imperial IPA. The 8.5% Imperial IPA will, for the first time, be released to LCBO stores in a 473ml can and will retail for $5.00. Stephen Beaumont, the internationally recognized beer writer had this to say about RoboHop in 2015; “Confirmed: @GreatLakesBeer Robohop is, as I suspected from my first sip, one of the best double IPAs ever brewed in Canada, maybe THE best.”
The next rotating IPA to hit LCBO stores in 2017 will see the return of the popular Octopus Wants to Fight IPA, a beer launched in 473ml cans to the LCBO for the first time in 2016. The 2017 release will see a big increase in overall availability as GLB will grow production to meet the demand. Octopus Wants to Fight IPA is slated to be released in March and run until early May (or while supplies last).
Roland Baggetts, the handsome fisherman featured on the Lake Effect IPA can, will make a return in the spring as his vacation to Toronto’s Sunnyside beach commences. He’ll be pulling out his grill, some flounder and cracking open cans of Sunnyside Session IPA. Returning after a very successful run in 2016, Sunnyside Session will hit stores in time for the May long weekend and will once again retail for $2.80.
“Although an essential element to living a compassionate life is having a warm heart, it is best to enjoy Karma Citra IPA, cold and fresh…” Based on consumer feedback from the fall of 2016, the GLB brewing team have decided to plan for another large offering of Karma Citra IPA in 2017, slotting it into the same time period, which coincides with the 7th annual Toronto Beer Week in September.
“Our commitment to freshness, uniqueness, and experimental beers will increase in 2017 as a means to celebrate our 30th anniversary,” said Peter Bulut, Owner and Chief Brewing Officer at GLB. “With Ontario consumers continuing to demand more GLB IPAs, were more than happy to step up to the plate. We’ve purchased a number of new fermenters and conditioning tanks over the last year and upgraded our canning and bottling line systems to handle the increase in production. 2017 is going to be a fun year. Stay tuned.”
GLB will also, as per usual business practices carried out since 2009, release a number of very limited and experiment IPAs, along with other styles, in the brewery retail store in Etobicoke and to Ontario bars and restaurants.
Official Rotating IPA Schedule for LCBO Release 2017
- Lake Effect IPA: December to late February
- RoboHop Imperial IPA: March to April
- Octopus Wants to Fight IPA: March to May
- Sunnyside Session IPA: Mid May to September
- Karma Citra IPA: September to November
*Named Best Brewery in Ontario at the annual Golden Tap Awards