Vankleek Hill, Ontario – Beau’s All Natural’s month-long winter celebration of beer begins this coming Thursday Jan. 29, with the release of OG: Original Gruit, a centuries-old beer style that incorporates herbs and other botanicals in lieu of hops. The new beer will be tapped simultaneously at 150 restaurants and pubs across Ontario on Thursday, and will also be sold and served at the brewery’s retail shop in Vankleek Hill.
OG: Original Gruit is a tip of the hat to the roots of this ancient beer style, made with three of the most common historical gruit ingredients: Labrador tea (also known as wild rosemary), bog myrtle (a.k.a. sweet gale), and yarrow. This deep gold, slightly hazy gruit has a mildly citrusy, herbal aroma with some malt notes. The flavour is balanced between malty sweetness and herbal bitterness. The finish is medium-long with lingering tannins and a hint of spice.
Along with winter seasonal Bog Water Eastern Ontario Gruit, OG: Original Gruit is Beau’s contribution to International Gruit Day on February 1. The annual event celebrates beers made with herbs and other botanicals in lieu of hops. For 2015, a total of 25 breweries from Ontario, The US and as far away as the Netherlands have brewed gruits to mark the day, and will participate in an international “Cheers” to the style on social media between 1-3 pm EST that day, using the hashtag #GruitDay. A list of participants is online at www.gruitday.com, and the event has an online community at www.facebook.com/gruitday.
Visitors to Beau’s Brewery can sample the new gruit from Beau’s beginning Thursday, January 29. A limited number of bottles of OG: Original Gruit will be available for sale from the brewery at a retail price of $7.95, and can also be ordered for home delivery in Ottawa via beer delivery service BYBO (www.bybo.ca). On Saturday Beau’s will tap a special cask-conditioned version of OG, and on Sunday, Feb. 1, Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne will be on hand between 1-3 pm to greet guests and lead a toast to International Gruit Day 2015.
OG: Original Gruit will be one of the featured beers pouring this weekend at Gatineau, Québec’s winter beer festival Festibière (www.festibiere.ca), along with several other Beau’s beer creations, marking the official launch of Beau’s Brewery in Québec. The event takes place at the Canadian Museum of History Jan 30-31.
A full list of places across Ontario to try OG: Original Gruit on draft starting Thursday (and/or join in the group cheers Sunday Feb. 1 from 1-3 pm) is available at www.beaus.ca/feBREWary. feBREWary 2015 is Beau’s All Natural’s 4th annual month-long beer event designed to “Give Old Man Winter a kick in the snowpants.” Details on all the new beers, as well as events at the brewery and across the province at licensee partners (including an OG Gruit Hip Hop Karaoke party at The Elmdale Tavern in Ottawa Jan. 30) are also available online.