Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/3/2019 (334 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brandonites thirsty for beer, take note — the seventh annual Brandon Beer Tasting Festival is quickly approaching.
Presented by the Brandon Sunset Rotary Club and the Rotaract Club of Brandon, the event features a wide range of lagers, ales and more from across Canada and beyond. Manitoba craft breweries participating this year include Devil May Care, Stone Angel, Half Pints, Trans Canada, Little Brown Jug, Fort Garry, Farmery, Torque and Winnipeg Brew Werks.
Tickets for the event, which takes place April 6 at the Victoria Inn (3550 Victoria Ave. W.) from 7 to 10 p.m., are $30, and are available at Brandon Liquor Marts.
A followup to last week’s Uncorked, which detailed a number of the Winnipeg Wine Festival’s ancillary events...
There’s been a snag with regards to the "Fiesta Liberado" wine-and-food event that was slated to take place Tuesday, April 30 at Fionn MacCool’s at 1582 Regent Ave. W. The snag: Fionn MacCool’s has closed the doors of the Regent Avenue location.
Organizers are planning for the event, which features Spanish wines paired with tapas-style fare, and will be led by Elsa Macdonald, Canadian master of wine, to go ahead at a new location to be determined. Keep an eye on winnipegwinefestival.com and the festival’s social media accounts for updates.
Looking to get a jump on learning about wines from Spain prior to the Winnipeg Wine Festival? Manitoba Liquor Marts’ Grant Park Education Centre (1120 Grant Ave.) will host a Wines of Spain tasting event on April 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $25 and are available at liquormarts.ca. As is the case with the festival proper, proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Manitoba.
A pair of wine-and-food events on April 11 will offer thirsty (and hungry) Winnipeggers some wine-and-food combos that are sure to please.
Calabria Market and Sorrento at the Caboto are presenting the "Wine & Food Tasting Experience" from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Caboto Centre (1055 Wilkes Ave.). In addition to the Italian-themed foods and some live music, dozens of wines will be available to be sampled. Tickets are $70 until Monday, when they go up in price to $80. For information and tickets, call 204-488-2055.
That same night, Banville & Jones (1616 St. Mary’s Rd.) plays host to roving chef/caterer Ben Kramer as he works with the crew at the south Winnipeg private wine store on innovative wine and food pairings. Tickets are $89.99, plus taxes, and are available at banvilleandjones.com.
Winnipeg’s latest craft brewery to open its doors is starting to release more of its packaged products out into the wild.
Sookram’s Brewing (479-B Warsaw Ave.) has managed to get 473-millilitre cans of its Macguffin California Common and Desert Island IPA onto shelves of select beer vendors throughout the city, and cans of other core beers are slated to be released in the coming weeks.
A dry-hopped sour is set to be finished and released this coming week, and will be available from the brewery’s taproom, where thirsty folks can try flights, order a pint or get growler fills to go.
Little Brown Jug Brown Ale (Winnipeg — $7/750ml bottle, brewery)
While Little Brown Jug’s focus has been on one beer, their 1919 Belgian pale ale, they’ve occasionally dabbled in small batches of other styles. That’s about to change. Their brown ale is the first product from a new seasonal program that will see an additional beer brewed for a few months, resulting in an additional four to five beers in rotation each year. Deep-brown in colour and with a fine, pale beige head, the brown ale brings roasted malt, cocoa, white-pepper and modest molasses/brown sugar notes. There’s just a hint of sweetness on the medium-bodied palate, with attractive roasted malt, mocha and subtle smoky notes working well on the palate. At five per cent alcohol, it’s easygoing and approachable, but with plenty of flavour. A nice addition to the Little Brown Jug lineup. ★★★★
Torque Brewing 2019 Fake News Russian Imperial Stout (Winnipeg — $9.99/500ml bottle, brewery, select Liquor Marts and beer vendors)
Released on the same weekend that special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his report on the Russia investigation — coincidence? — this imperial stout is dark-brown in colour and with a deep beige head, bringing complex cocoa bean, dark malt, caramel, espresso, white-pepper and dried-fruit notes. It’s full-bodied, chewy and fairly sweet, with espresso and dark roasted-malt flavours working well with secondary vanilla, raisin, spice and peppery notes. The 10 per cent alcohol on this slow sipper isn’t over-the-top intense, and the mocha note on the long finish is extremely attractive. Buy two bottles of this — drink one now and put the other away until next year. Excellent. ★★★★★
Yalumba 2013 "The Strapper" GSM (Barossa, South Australia — $22, Liquor Marts and beyond)
This Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro (also known as Mourvèdre) blend is starting to show its age visually; while it’s garnet in colour at the core, it shows slightly brickish brown around the edges of the glass. Aromatically it’s still pretty fresh, mashing together dark-berry and black-cherry notes with black licorice and a hearty meaty, iron-like note. It’s tasty on the medium-plus bodied palate, with cherry, blackberry and plum flavours joined by baking spice and peppery notes. The light acidity and tannin haven’t yet overpowered the fruit on this older-vintage Aussie blend; drink now. ★★★★
Literary editor, drinks writer
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.