By TRAVIS PERSAUD
The Vankleek Hill brewery, which just wrapped a successful FEBREWARY, was selected as the LCBO spring brewery feature — the first Ontario brewery to get this special placement throughout the province.
“When we found out that we were going to be the brewery feature we knew we wanted to do something special,” says Beau’s Creative Director Jordan Bamforth. And by special, he means a year-long process of creating four brand new beers — all barrel-aged and bottled conditioned — complete with special packaging. “First we did a couple of long-aged beers,” he says. “The Old Ale was aged in rum barrels and the Wheat Wine was aged in chardonnay barrels; both for more than a year.” The Ginger Beer spent some time in rum barrels as well, and the White Pepper Saison was aged in red-grape ice wine barrels.
“And we created a unique wrap for each bottle,” Bamforth says. “It’s like each bottle is gift-wrapped, and they all have custom labels.” When planning a theme around the release, Bamforth says they took inspiration from ancient Mesopotamia as the beers “seemed like they were otherworldly.” The result is a naming scheme as unique as the other elements of this special LCBO release. (Click on each below for full tasting notes and background information.)
Bamborth says the brewery feature is supposed to last three months, but don’t expect these to stay on the shelves for that long. “We brewed one batch of each,” he says. “So there’s about 7,500 bottles spread between [29 stores].”