Meeting CBC's Grant Lawrence and Review: Fernie Brewing What the Huck Wheat AleGrant Lawrence from CBC Radio 3 did last week when he was pitstopping in Brandon on his way to Winnipeg for the CBC Beetle Road Trip. If you watch Hockey Night in Canada, which some of you do, you would have seen him on almost every other commercial break promoting the series.
I've been a fan of CBC Radio 3 for a decade now, ever since it was an interactive magazine featuring music and articles about arts & the community - hell, I was still in highschool back then! Times have changed and CBC Radio 3 turned into one of Canada's most popular internet radio stations and created one of the most successful music-based podcasts on the internet today. Heck, I even had the pleasure of co-hosting a podcast back in 2010 with Lana Gay all about the Quebec music scene, that was a blast and take a listen here. So, as you can tell, getting a beer from Señor Lawrence was quite a nice surprise! I told him he had to check out Arden's Farmery Brewery, not knowing what sort of beer he liked, and apparently, he liked it! His father grew up in the Neepawa area, so trying a beer that will eventually be brewed right near his father's hometown really intrigued him.
Anywho, onto the review. The beer he brought me wasn't one of the CBC band beers (unfortunately - and I'm still waiting on Les Ales Hawerchuk) but it was What the Huck Huckleberry Wheat Ale by Fernie Brewing Co.. I've never had huckleberry in my life, so I have no idea what to expect, but hey.. try anything.. twice!
Appearance: When I first start pouring this beer, it's a light and vibrant and clear pinkish appearance, kind of like what you would expect from fruit beers like the Éphémère line at Unibroue, or any Fruli, but as the beer settled, it turned into a thick hazy copper-orange appearance, almost like a witbier but darker. The head had a nice snow white appearance, with a slight hue of pink in it, lots of foam at the beginning, but quickly dies down with quite a bit of carbonation.
Aroma: A nice wheatiness is the first thing I seem to notice, similar to if you have a rich witbier, with a nice bready yeast complimenting it. Following it is the aroma of what I assume is huckleberry (as I've never had huckleberries before), a slight berry aroma with a bit of acidity to it, like a Unibroue éphémère, very floral and perfumey, not overly powerful smells coming from it, but complimenting for an evening on the patio after a long work week.
Taste: Light on the palate, carbonated, tickles the tongue. It's got a sweet berry flavour, a bit of an acidic aftertaste coming from the yeast used. Incredibly wheat-filled, like just about any hefe/wit out there. Slightly tart, slightly creamy to the touch of my tongue, a solid wheat ale.
Overall Thoughts: Perfect for the patio on a hot Manitoban sprummer evening like today. It's a nice light tart berry (Huckleberry) wheat ale, a good alternative to a witbier if you want something a bit different. Easily drinkable for those who are a bit fussy about beers but looking to try something new, and still drinkable for beer snobs out there.
Thanks Grant for making a stop in the Wheat City and bringing this beer by. Check out his CBC Beetle Road Trip and remember to tune in to CBC Radio 3 on your computer, tablet, smart phone or iPod touch. PS - if you got to try the CBC Band Beers, damn you!