October 15, 2019
Harvest is that time of year when we reap the rewards of what we’ve sown over the past season. While for farmers, that means fields of crops, for home gardeners it can mean a variety of different fruits, vegetables and greens, and it makes you feel successful, accomplished and proud to see the results of a season of hard work.
For the folks at Village Brewery, harvest means it’s time for the big reveal of the annual Village Gardener brew.
“The Village Gardener is a beer we brew each year with community gardens and neighbourhood growers that have Calgary-grown hops and other vegetables. Every September we do a hop harvest in these community gardens all over town and brew a beer with what we harvest,” explains Jackson Stuart of Village Brewery. “This is our seventh annual Village Gardener and we worked with 13 community gardens plus over a dozen backyard growers to collect hops and carrots.”
Carrots? Yes, carrots.
This season, the Gardener is what one might call a yeasty, hoppy, carrot beer, in the spirit of the cucumber Gardener or beet Gardener the brewery did previously.
“True to the nature of our Gardener Series, this yeast release is a little off the wall. We collected a huge amount of locally grown hops and made a large batch of hop tea to add the brew right before the whirlpool,” shares Stuart. “The grain bill is fairly complex to provide a suitably deep malty backing for the aroma the hops lend. The two standout features of this yeast ISA are of course the carrots and Kveik Yeast. The carrots were added in the fermenter to add a bit of a unique zesty characteristic while the Norweigan yeast contributes a neutral palette for the beer to rest on.”
The Village Gardener has been released in partnership with ATB Financial, which provides monetary support for the community gardens that are involved. This year’s beer was launched in late September, fittingly, at a Calgary Horticultural Society event.
Village Gardener will be available in a limited run at the brewery and Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores in Calgary only while supplies last.
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