Beau's beer collaboration celebrates Ottawa 2017
By Bill Tremblay
TORONTO — Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is toasting Canada’s 150th birthday with a series of 12 limited edition beers.
Throughout the year, the Vankleek Hill, Ont., brewery will release a new brew each month, created in partnership with other Canadian establishments.
“With our collaborative series, we said, ‘Let’s try to interpret Canada through a set of beer goggles’,” said Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne.
The idea for the series was created when Beau’s bid on the title of the official beer of the Ottawa 2017 celebration.
Beauchesne explained he wanted the “official beer” status to achieve more than promote Lug Tread, the brewery’s flagship beer.
“We said, ‘What we want to do is not just ram Lug Tread down people’s throats, but use the moment to celebrate Canada,” he said.
For the first beer in the series, Beau’s partnered with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fogo Island Inn to create 49° 54°, a myrrh-smoked gose named after the coordinates of the island.
“We have two companies that really have shared values. We both believe strongly in community and using our business as a force for good,” Beauchesne said during a media event held to launch the beer at Toronto’s Ruby Watchco in January.
The beer incorporates ingredients foraged on the island, including partridgeberries, birch tree bark, myrrh and sea salt.
“They were very insistent that the beer we make not only taste of Fogo Island, but taste of Fogo Island in January,” Beauchesne said.
To understand the flavours and culture of the island, a team from the brewery travelled to Fogo Island to develop the recipe with the inn’s chefs.
“This was not just a quick one-off beer. They were very interested in finding out about the culture of Fogo Island, what were the key ingredients, what would get the community engaged and what represents the ethos of the community,” said Diane Hodgins, chief financial officer of the Shorefast Foundation, the charity that manages the inn.
For its February release, Beau’s has partnered with Oshlag Brewing in Montreal to create an oak-aged vidal pale ale, which will be available at bars and restaurants throughout Ontario and Quebec. The Oshlag collaboration is followed by an English pale ale with Ottawa’s Tooth and Nail Brewery, a porter with British Columbia’s Crannog Ales and a maibock with Side Launch Brewing in Collingwood, Ont.
Lug Tread will be served at the numerous events scheduled throughout the year for the Ottawa 2017 celebration. As well, the beer now features an Ottawa 2017 branded necktag.
“We got our start with the Ottawa market,” said Beauchesne. “We wouldn’t be here today if the Ottawa restaurateurs, and people in general, didn’t embrace us when we started.”