Beau’s to release collaborative “Killer Kvass” with Half Pints Brewing of Winnipeg
Beau’s Brewery is set this week to release Killer Kvass, a collaborative beer brewed with Half Pints Brewing Company of Winnipeg, MB. The beer is a twist on Eastern European kvass, which is a traditional fermented beverage made from dried rye bread, and flavoured with fruits, raisins or herbs.
To create this beer, both Beau’s and Half Pints drew inspiration from Winnipeg’s large Eastern European population and culture. Since kvass typically has an ABV of 1 % or lower, Killer Kvass is (somewhat ironically) “imperialized” at 2.5%. Seventy kilograms of certified organic rye bread croutons went into the brew, which was then flavoured with organic lemon peel and organic raisins.
The collaborative recipe was led by Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara. “We wanted to do something quite traditional, but we weren’t averse to putting a bit of a twist on it,” says O’Hara. “[But what is] equally important to us in all our brewing endeavors is the organics side of it.” The team at Beau’s actually struggled at first to find sufficient quantities of certified organic rye bread. “It was important for us to have a good bread to start off with,” says O’Hara. They decided to take matters into their own hands, hiring a local baker who used the Beau’s kitchen to bake, slice and dry the large allotment of certified organic rye bread croutons.
Half Pints brewmaster Chris Young believes the concept for this beer wouldn’t have come about if it weren’t for the amicable working relationship shared between the two craft breweries. And fact the breweries share more than a friendship, as 2017 marked both of their eleventh anniversaries since startup. Says Young, “It’s very exciting to come here and brew a beer like this imperial kvass. I don’t think we really would have ever thought to make that at Half Pints.”
Killer Kvass pours hazy light gold with a thin white foam. The aromas are bready with hints of lemon. This light-bodied beer imparts flavour impressions of bread crust, mildly tart lemon and subtle raisin, leaving a finish that is brisk and refreshing.
Killer Kvass is the tenth collaborative creation in a year-long series of limited-edition beers brewed to honour Ottawa 2017, a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. All Ottawa 2017 series beers have a charitable component chosen by the collaborative partner. A portion of sales from Killer Kvass will benefit D’Arcy’s A.R.C., a local animal rescue centre in Winnipeg (www.darcysarc.ca).
Killer Kvass will be available beginning September 28 from the Tap Room at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, as well as at a number of craft-friendly restaurants and pubs in the province. In Manitoba, a limited number of bottles will also be making an appearance in October at select Manitoba Liquor Marts.