Hand delivered from British Columbia! Which is technically illegal, if you can believe that. You can’t transport alcohol between provinces – which means every time I slip over the river to an SAQ for some whiskey or some beer from a dep’, I’m technically bootlegging.
Thanks, Prohibition. Drug laws are ridiculous.
Anyway, Devin dropped by with a whatever the one smaller than a growler is called from his local brewery, New Westminster’s Steel & Oak. This is a smoked hefenweizen, an unfiltered beer that uses smoked wheat as its grain. Still digging up info on what wheat smoked with what, with a tweet in for information.
This article at Home Brewing Fun goes into great detail on how you can smoke your own grains at home, if you’re a home brewer. There’s a suggestion at the top for a tradition towards beechwood, but I’m not sure if Steel & Oak are smoking themselves or buying smoked grains. Either way, it would probably be good to have a way better idea of what trees are native to that area (current idea: no idea) as that’s likely going to be what they use. Good thing you can update posts later.
We got three decent sized glasses out of this bottle, and here’s what we thought:
Devin – definitely unfiltered, honey, cloudy with no sediment
Jono – citrus, orange
Simon – cloudy, yellow, orange
Devin – banana, smoke
Jono – banana bread, muffin baking
Simon – banana bread, smoke
Devin – smoke up front, crisp
Jono – smoke, fruity
Simon – smoked salmon, very citrus
Devin – metallic, clean
Jono – citrus beer, but not citrus fruit
Simon – finishes clean
Update 1! Devin informs me that “whatever the one smaller than a growler is called” is actually called a Boston Round. Which I thought was a type of cheerleader, but whatever.
Update 2! Jorden Foss from Steel & Oak let us know:
The malt itself is smoked by burning beechwood and then directing the smoke over the malt to dry it. 20% of this style of malt is used in our total grain bill. The rest is mostly wheat and a bit of pilsner malt with a few other secret malts we add in for head retention. The smoked malt itself comes from Weyermann Specialty Malts in Bamberg Germany… which is where our brewer used to work!
Which is awesome – i would expect you’ll see a lot of new and interesting beer expressions from these dudes. As for whether we’ll be able to buy direct in Ontario, well…
We don’t have any plans for eastward expansion yet but who knows what the next couple years will bring!
Oh well, let the smuggling continue!
Steel & Oak Smoked Hefenweizen – British Columbia
Try it? Yes! Buy it? Yes!