Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Wild Rose Brewery

I've been posting on an approximate bi-weekly schedule.  Or whenever I do something beer-related.  I still have a few more of the most common beer defects to share.  I will also relate my adventures at the Wild Rose Brewery from a recednt trip to Calgary.

3. Did you just skin your knee?  Or is your beer spoiled by chlorophenols?  These compounds contain a benzene ring bound to a phenol molecule, and possess an aroma that may remind you of disinfectant, or “that Band-Aid smell”.  Chlorophenols are formed by yeasts when chlorine and chloramine are present in the water.  Most water is treated with chlorine or chloramine to kill harmful bacteria.  It’s really easy to dechlorinate your water though, with Campden tablets (sodium metabisulphite) or using an activated carbon filter.

Pronounced "Die-ass-a-till"
4. Diacetyl is the chemical responsible for a buttery flavor in some of your favorite foods.  Sour cream, sourdough bread, and many cheeses are fermented foods that would be substantially less delicious without diacetyl.  This flavor can be pleasant at low levels in some oak-aged beers, but will make your beer will taste like movie popcorn at high concentrations.  This defect is usually caused by an infection with Lactobacillus spp. or Pediococcus spp.; however, diacetyl is a natural by-product of yeast fermentation.  To remove it, brewers do a “diacetyl rest”, and leave the beer in fermenter for two or three days, allowing the yeast to re-absorb any remaining diacetyl.

Wild Rose Brewery on Urbanspoon

You won’t find either of these problems with Wild Rose beer.  On a recent trip to Calgary I had the good fortune to go for lunch with my partner in crime and a new friend.  The three of us are all avid beer enthusiasts, and were looking for an appropriate location to catch up.  We couldn’t have chosen a better place.

Wild Rose was established in the fall of 1996 in Calgary's Foothills Industrial Park, and began bottling their beers in flip-tops in 2002.  They have been at their current location in a large Quonset at the Currie barracks since 2006.  However, word is on the street that the lease of Building AF23 will not be renewed and they will soon have to relocate.

Wild Boar Meatloaf Sandwich

Customers are welcomed to look about their equipment and see how it’s made, and the brewery offers drop-in tours on Saturdays.  Instead of mini-kegs, they sell large quantities of beer in “Party Pigs” which provide the equivalent of 25 bottles of beer.  These large glass are self-pressuized, have a refrigerated shelf life of four to six weeks, and make a unique attraction for your next party, at $50 plus a refundable deposit.

Gravlax cured with Velvet Fog

The six signature beers include an IPA, Brown Ale, Wred Wheat, Velvet Fog, SOB (Special Old Bitter...I know what you were thinking), and Wraspberry Ale (a wheat ale with a hint of raspberry).  However, there is always a seasonal variety of unexpected character.  I began my meal with a short glass of the current seasonal, a dark smoky porter with just a hint of cherry.

The menu contains many items that incorporate beer as an ingredient, including the pulled pork sliders drenched with apple Brown Ale BBQ sauce.  Pretzels are served as an appetizer, with two beer mustards – a grainy Dijon prepared with the oatmeal stout, and a spicy Dijon made with an India Pale Ale.  Entrees could be paired with a variety of sides including the oatmeal stout baked beans, and the salad with Wraspberry wheat ale dressing.  I’m indecisive to begin with, but such a wide variety of creative items made it very difficult for me to choose.

The Best 'Wurst
My partner in crime ordered the Wild Boar Meatloaf Sandwich, a patty made with ground beef, pork and wild boar wrapped in bacon served on a whole wheat Kaiser bun with a variety of condiments.  My new friend chose the salmon gravlax, cured with Velvet Fog ale and served on a bagel with fresh dill, cream cheese, red onion, and capers. I went for “The Best 'Wurst”.  This plate was a bit of everything - two free-range pfefferwurst pork sausages from Two Old Country Sausage shop, served with Oatmeal Stout baked beans, sauerkraut, apple-braised cabbage, grainy mustard, and freshly baked bread.

I bought a souvenir glass for my vast collection, and left the Quonset extremely satisfied.  If you are ever in the area, drop by for a pint and a bite to eat.  You won’t be disappointed.

Steuven, Richard. Beer Me: Down With Diacetyl. April 2003. http://beerme.com/diacetyl.php

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