Just when you thought Beau’s All Natural And Wildly Imaginative Brewing Company of Vankleek Hill couldn’t get any more out there, it does.
This time it’s with a new brew called Glacial Gruit, drawing on the 1993 discovery of a Yukon Horse’s partial remains underground near Dawson City, now on display at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse. Remnants collected included the hide, tailbones, lower leg, some intestine, and teeth.
We’ve been reassured that none of those ingredients made it into the gruit mix. What did make it was yarrow, fireweed, rosehips and buckwheat, based on plants eaten by the 26,000-year-old Yukon Horse – closely related to today’s wild and domestic horses – as analyzed by the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada. A portion of sales will benefit the work of the ANHMC.
During the earth’s most recent glacial period 30,000-10,000 years ago, nearly all of Canada was covered by ice; however, most of the Yukon remained ice-free, allowing many now-extinct creatures such as the Yukon Horse to roam the cold, barren plains. The story lent itself to a regionally-based beer celebrating Canada’s beginnings.
The Ice Age-inspired brew is the last in a series of 12 limited-edition selections that Beau’s created this year along with partners across the land under the banner Ottawa 2017 to honour Canada’s 150th birthday.
The exotic factor wasn’t limited to the last entry in the series. Beau’s opened it with a beer called 49-54 Degrees, the coordinates of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fogo Island, made in collaboration with Fogo Island Inn. The mix included hand-picked partridgeberries, bark from paper birch trees, wheat malt smoked with island myrrh, and a touch of sea brine. All 12 Ottawa 2017 beers had a charitable component chosen by each partner.
Beau’s describes Glacial Gruit as copper-coloured with white foam. The aroma is floral, sweet and subtly smoky, the flavour is tart and fruity. The beer is clarified with glacial clay collected by members of the ANHMC from a valley on Nunavut’s Axel Heiberg Island.
Sometime over the holidays, this AgriNews staffer hoped to taste it for himself.
So what will you do for your next trick, Beau’s?