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Oak Barrels & Aging Beer Wood has played an instrumental role in the brewing industry for hundreds of years. For centuries, wooden barrels have been used to transport beer, as well as providing a vessel for serving and fermenting, and recently there has been a resurgence in barrel-aging beer.  History of Wooden Barrels  The Gauls,...

What is a Roggenbier? Roggenbier, directly translated from German to mean ‘rye beer’ is an ale made with large portions of malted rye rather than barley or wheat. In modern versions, rye often represents the majority of the beer’s grain bill, but it may make up as little as one quarter to one third of...

What is Escarpment Labs? Escarpment Laboratories is an Ontario-based yeast lab that offers a wide range of liquid yeasts for craft brewers and homebrewers. Lab co-founders Richard Preiss, Angus Ross and Nate Ferguson initially met while working in a wine yeast lab at the University of Guelph. They soon realized there was a void for...

What are hard seltzers?  A hard seltzer is a light refreshing drink that combines alcohol, sparkling water and flavouring. The term hard seltzer encompasses alcoholic beverages made with a clear malt base, as well as those with a brewed sugar base where all fermentable sugars are from a non-malt base. Hard sparkling water that uses...

What is a Gose?  A gose, pronounced go-suh, is a top-fermented German wheat beer soured through lactic fermentation and flavoured with coriander and salt.  The sourness and salinity should be noticeable but not overwhelming, as a gose should have a lively thirst-quenching acidity. Hops work in the background to provide a hint of bitterness without contributing to...

What is a foeder? Foeder (pronounced “FOOD-er”) is the Dutch word for a large vertical or horizontal oak vessel in which beer is fermented. The distinction between a barrel and foeder is somewhat discretionary, but as a general rule foeder capacity starts at 600 litres or roughly three times the size of a regular wooden...

What is Reinheitsgebot? Reinheitsgebot (pronounced Rhine-heights-ga-boat) meaning “purity order” refers to a series of regulations limiting the ingredients in German beer to water, barley and hops. Although previous purity laws exist, the 1516 Bavarian law is recognized for laying the foundation for future regulations.  By 1906, Bavarian purity laws were applied across Germany, though it...

A Brief History of Bock Beer The history of bock bier began in the 14th century, named Einbeck after the town in Lower Saxony, Germany, where the style was born. Initially brewed as an ale, it was later brewed as a lager following the discovery of lager yeast. Around the turn of the 17th century,...

What is Kveik? You may have come across kveik while perusing your beer options and wondered what’s behind this trendy new beer style. It turns out that kveik (pronounced “kah-wike”), is not a new beer style at all, but refers to a unique family of ancient yeast strains originally used in Norwegian farmhouse ales. Kveik,...

A Brief History of Cream Ale  Cream ales first originated in United States in the mid-nineteenth century. In response to the large influx of German immigrants and resulting popularity of German lagers, American brewers developed the cream ale as a counterpoint to celebrated German beer. Due to local preference and cooler climates, Northeastern brewers were...