MANITOBA is one step closer to having its first home-grown microbrewery.
Lawrence and Chris Warwaruk, owners of Luxalune Gastropub on Osborne Street, have launched their first beer into the Manitoba market.
Farmery, a premium lager with 5.0 per cent alcohol, hits liquor stores and vendors this week and next.
The brisker the sales, the more quickly the two brothers will move on getting plans for their estate brewery in Neepawa off the ground.
"We're on the path to bringing the brewery back home to Manitoba. Every pint that we sell brings us one step closer," said Chris Warwaruk, 40.
A number of local establishments have already agreed to stock Farmery, including Canad Inns and The Grove pub.
Estate breweries are different than traditional breweries because the ingredients that go into the bottles are grown on the estate or farm. Manitoba has two traditional ones -- Half Pints and Fort Garry.
Changes to Manitoba liquor laws, which passed in summer 2011, opened the door for the Warwaruks to pursue the concept.
The first stage in the Farmery project was Lawrence, 42, and his family moving back to the farm in Neepawa last year, where he grows barley and hops.
Stage 2 was coming up with a recipe for the beer, then getting another brewery -- Muskoka Brewing in Ontario -- to make it for them until they can do it themselves.
Getting it in consumers' hands and mouths is stage 3. (They'll be doing tastings at MLCC stores before Christmas.) The final stage is getting the financing to open a 20- or 30-hectolitre brewery in Neepawa.
The Wawaruks realize they can't just appeal to the patriotism of Manitobans to buy Farmery. "The beer has to stand on its own. People have to enjoy drinking it," Lawrence said.
Farmery will be available in six-packs of 355-millilitre bottles, individual bottles and draught.
If nothing else, Farmery draught taps will be easy to spot at bars. Lawrence broke a shovel on the farm planting hops earlier this year, so they opted to go with a shovel handle rather than a traditional tap.
Farmery will be distributed throughout the province by WETT Sales.