Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Fuggles, hubcaps, and malts - oh my!

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As mentioned in yesterday's business section of the paper, local brewery Half Pints will be moving production over to a bottling line, meaning they'll be producing their three regular beers (in addition to their seasonal fare) in 341ml bottles rather than the larger 660ml bottles they've been producing (all by hand, no less).The first product to hit the shelves in the smaller bottles is the Weizenbock (click on the blue label), which rolls in at $2.59/341ml. I have a bottle chilling down right now in my beer wine beverage fridge right now... I'd pop it right now were it not for the fact that it's just after 1 p.m. on a Saturday and I've got running around to do today. I'll try it later when my Montreal Canadiens take on the deplorable Toronto Maple Leafs. The taste of victory will be sweet, which should pair nicely with a cold, locally made brew.Half Pints has yet another seasonal beer heading our way on Tuesday, and it's quite timely. The Pothole Porter is, according to the brewery's press release, "a strong, dark ale brewed using pale, crystal, chocolate and melanoidin malts. It is finished with UK Fuggles hops, aged with French Oak, and cool fermented for a sweet, toasty malt finish."Fuggles and melanoidin malts... I think I saw a doctor about that once...As an aside, I recently had my own pothole mishap - I was turning on to Portage Ave. from Route 90, and as I entered traffic, I hit a pothole. I watched in my rear view mirror as one of my hubcaps careened across all four lanes... a Mitsubishi sportscar swerved just in time to avoid running it over, but it was subsequently destroyed by a cube truck. Anyone with an extra hubcap for an '02 Toyota Corolla? Get in touch.In all seriousness, if the Pothole Porter is a hit, perhaps brewmaster David Rudge will consider taking his frothy crusade to the City's Public Works Department...

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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