June 17, 2019
A caravel is a sailing ship common in the 15th to 17th centuries in Europe. Often captained by Spanish and Portuguese mariners for long voyages, it was a strong and reliable ship. Fitting then, that Calgary’s Caravel Craft Brewery is named for this sturdy vessel, since the brewery’s founder, Vlad Covali, made an epic voyage of his own, coming to Canada from Maldova in 2008.
“I’d been home brewing for many years in the capital city of Chișinău, Maldova,” remembers Covali, “We saw a great opportunity to come to Canada and make life better for our family, so we moved to Alberta, which was growing, and eventually we became citizens.”
Maldova is an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic. Covali says the economic and political situation there made Canada a much more stable choice. He and his wife both worked in the psychology field at the time, but once they re-located to Calgary, they began exploring opportunities just as Alberta’s brewing laws were being loosened. Covali had been doing work as an electrician, but saw an opportunity to make craft European beer, a product he felt was missing at that time in Calgary.
In keeping with the maritime theme, Caravel Craft Brewery makes Dead Ahead Irish Red Ale and Captain’s Log German Style Pilsner, both available at Calgary area Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores.
Covali says there’s lots to love about being in the beer business.
“It’s always very busy and there’s lots of different things to do,” he explains, “It’s a very people-oriented business and I really love that. Most of all I like to explore and find new flavours and new European styles of brewing. We are always looking to create new traditions.”
Caravel Craft Brewery Tasting Notes:
Dead Ahead Irish Red Ale
Travelling dead ahead will lead you directly to this delicious red! Smooth and spirited, we expect you’ll be charmed by this ruby coloured ale. A touch of honey and roasted barley ensured Dead Ahead Irish Red will enchant even the crustiest of crew with its caramel tones and clean finish. Prepare to be entranced by this uniquely well balanced Irish Red. Expect light honey and caramel notes with grainy malts, with a biscuity flavour that’s very clean and smooth. Low bitterness. Pairs well with steak, burgers, and spicy sauces. Dead Ahead won Gold in U.K. Style Ales at the 2018 Canadian International Beer Awards.
Captain's Log German Style Pilsner
Join the Captain and set sail in search of this golden treasure that is sure to brighten the dreariest of days. Observe the balance between the sweetness of the malt and the aromatic hops as they explore your taste buds. The Captain is sure to log this adventure, detailing your drinking experience with precision. This full-flavoured and stable beer has an unassuming taste that appeals to the masses and is smooth sailing right to the end. Enjoy light straw, with a bubbly, white puffy head, plus grainy sweet malt, and very mild hops. You’ll notice light bitterness from the spicy, floral hops as well as toasted biscuit and sweet grainy malts. Clean and mildly dry. Pairs well with fish, chicken and salads. It was awarded Judges Selection, Pilsner at the 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards.
It’s not unusual for home brewing to become a gateway into owning and operating a brewery.
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