Beer news roundup for March

Worthington's White Shield. (Supplied)

Worthington's White Shield. (Supplied)

Jordan St. John, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

It’s an interesting time for beer in Canada. At no point have we ever had the selection of products that we’ve got now. Everybody seems to think that they know best and that their version is the way forward. There was a time not so very long ago, when brewers were content to ape the high quality India Pale Ales (IPA) coming out of the United States, but the set of influences are growing wider and the amount of choice is becoming baffling.

It’s not just grapefruit and pine anymore. Let’s have a look at some of the options around the country.

Alexander Keith’s has been working on the thoroughly acceptable Hop Series beers for the last year, focusing on imparting their beer with the flavour of different varieties of hops. Given the low content in their IPA, some might say that was a novelty. Currently, they’re offering a flavour infuser that allows you to add ingredients to the mix and customize your beer in the way that you want.

Their website has suggestions for things you might use, like raspberry and mint or jalapeno and lime. They seem to be counting on you to do a lot of the work for them. The showpiece tower infusers they’re testing at the moment are certain to do a better job, and it ensures the bartender has something to do. The good news is that once you’ve actually got your hands on an infuser, you can play around with any beer that you want. Complete choice at your fingertips!

In repeat news from the 1840’s, Worthington's White Shield has found its way onto shelves in Ontario. This heritage IPA is from a time when they were actually shipping it to India from Burton-Upon-Trent in Staffordshire, England. The hops come across as herbal, backed with toffee and a sharp mineral content and notes of field berries that shift around as it warms up. It’s a world-class beer and it’s the closest you’ll ever get to tasting what an IPA would have actually been like before North America got hold of it.

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I can do better than that!” Well, a new app from Ontario’s Food and Beverage region aims at helping you to start your own brewery. iCraft Brew (Android and Mac) guides you through everything you need to know about starting your own brewery in Eastern Ontario from the incredibly basic (what is beer?) to the shockingly advanced (how do I apply for grants?).

If you’ve ever considered a career in brewing, there are people out there who want to help you chase your dream from a converted furniture factory in Napanee.

Jordan St.John writes about beer at Saintjohnswort.ca. He’s currently finishing up writing his second book.


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