Vankleek Hill, Ontario – Certified organic craft breweries Beau’s (from Eastern Ontario) and Sorrento, British Columbia’s Crannóg Ales have come together to brew a cooperative beer for Canada’s 150th celebrations. The beer, which will see limited release in Ontario and B.C., is called Blackstrap Bootstrapper, and is a 5.8% porter made with an addition of fairtrade certified organic blackstrap molasses.
Brewed cooperatively this spring in the small farming community of Vankleek Hill, Ontario where Beau’s is located, the Challenger hops in the recipe for Blackstrap Bootstrapper were harvested from Left Fields, the certified organic farm on which Crannóg Ales stands.
Blackstrap Bootstrapper pours nearly opaque brown-black with ruby undertones, and a thick tan foam. Aromas of mocha, molasses and plum are evident. The flavours following are a balanced combination of roasted malts and dried fruit. The finish is dry and gently warm. The Beau’s kitchen recommends a pairing with British traditional meat pie, bacon-wrapped scallops, or dark chocolate pudding.
Beau’s co-founder, Steve Beauchesne, says he was excited to make a cooperative beer with Brian MacIsaac and Rebecca Kneen from Crannóg – noting that when you brew with “old friends,” the process is far less formal. Says Kneen: “We have very different breweries and that’s part of what’s so fun. The whole cooperative process of exchanging ideas not just about the beer itself, but about production – it’s a real sharing of learning and a real shared exploration.” Beau’s has released a short video highlighting the process, a link to which is included below.
Blackstrap Bootstrapper will be available at the Beau’s Brewery tap room beginning April 6, and a number of cases of the limited release will also make their way to B.C. soon. The timing of the beer release is bittersweet for Kneen and MacIssac, who are facing provincial regulatory changes regarding land use that could force them to close their farm brewery, which has been in operation since 2000. A change.org petition detailing the situation and encouraging support for Crannóg and other B.C. farm breweries can be viewed here: https://www.change.org/p/minister-of-ag-update-the-alr-to-allow-hop-farming-breweries.
Blackstrap Bootstrapper is fourth in a series of beers Beau’s will brew with friends across the nation to honour Ottawa 2017, a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, and a portion of proceeds from sales will go to support Mining Watch Canada (miningwatch.ca).