Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flatlander's Beer Festival could use more foreign invaders to balance good Canadian brew

  • Print

The end of August: temperatures start dropping, kids get ready to go back to school and beer lovers in Winnipeg start getting excited. Sept. 5 and 6 mark the return of the Flatlander's Beer Festival to the Winnipeg Convention Centre, where many an ale and lager will be sampled by Winnipeg hop-heads.

Presented by the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and with Manitoba Liquor Marts as the presenting sponsor, the festival is in its 11th year. And while it's much smaller than, say, the Winnipeg Wine Festival, Flatlander's is just as fun and a fantastic chance to taste a wide range of brews while supporting a worthy cause.

Half Pints Brewing Co. Hoppenheimer (Winnipeg -- $5.22/650ml bottle, Liquor Marts)

This hoppy little number is essentially Half Pints' Weizenheimer, a wheat beer, done up with a whole bunch of hops. At 73 IBU, there's a gutsy herbal, hoppy aroma out front with a hint of that lemon/banana candy aroma I typically find in wheat beers. It's less sweet tasting than any wheat beer, with the bitter hops bringing herbal flavours and some backbone and the wheat-y notes in the background. Fans of the Humulus Ludicrous looking for something a bit lower in alcohol (4.8 per cent versus 7-ish on the Humulus) will definitely dig this, as will all hop-heads.


Granville Island Brewing Thirsty Farmer Saison (Vancouver -- $6.10/650ml bottle, Liquor Marts)

Featuring unmalted wheat and rye, Belgian yeast and "a crop of secret spices," the Thirsty Farmer is a Belgian-style ale made in the saison style. Cloudy and pale gold in colour, this saison offers yeasty notes on the nose as well as fresh wheat and a hint of citrus/orange peel. There's no sweetness -- it's lean and racy -- and at 6.2 per cent alcohol has a bit of a kick behind the yeasty, spice and citrus notes. Tasty. Twitter: @bensigurdson


The complete list of beers being poured is up at Of note is the large Canadian presence -- British Columbia is best-represented, followed by Ontario. And while it's nice to see so many Canadian brews included, I wish there was some better representation of other areas of the world.

Case and point: There are as many Ontario beers being poured as there are American and Belgian beers combined. Factor in that two of the American beers are Bud Light Chelada and Budweiser Chelada (yes, the company makes two versions of their pre-mixed beer and Clamato in a can), you can see the selection beyond our borders leaves a bit to be desired.

On a more positive note, Winnipeg's three breweries will be on hand pouring their wares, including first-time pourers Farmery Estate Brewery, who will have their premium lager on hand for tasting.

And both Fort Garry Brewing Co. and Half Pints Brewing Co. will debut new brews, some of which will be exclusive at Flatlander's. Fort Garry will be sampling the Hugh Hefnerweizen, a wheat ale, the Ginger Ale and the Black Forest Stout.

Half Pints, meanwhile, will pour their popular St. James Pale Ale as well as a few special treats: a dry-hopped Bulldog Amber Ale, a cask-conditioned chocolate milk stout and a cask-conditioned Humulus Ludicrous double IPA -- a variation on their very popular (and very hoppy) seasonal beer released last weekend. The latter beers will be tapped from a cask on-site each night.

Also on hand will be Portage Ave. BrewWorks & Kitchen, the brew pub slated to open across from the MTS Centre later this year. They won't be pouring, but will talk to beer lovers about the space, the beer they plan on making and more.

Among the new-to-us brews are AC/DC beer (France -- and yes, named after the band), âphémère Cerise (Quebec), Howe Sound Devil's Elbow IPA (B.C.), Big Rock Life of Chai spiced ale (Alberta), Rochefort 6 and Rodenbach vintage 2009 (both Belgium), among others. The Kenaston Crossing, St. Vital, Portage & Burnell and Grant Park Liquor Marts will each get some of the new beers after the festival.

Tickets are available at Manitoba Liquor Marts or via Ticketmaster by phone or via their website at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2013 D14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Selinger addresses stadium lawsuit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google