April 13, 2012
Well, it’s been a long time since most of you received a Brews News from us here at Kensington Wine Market, some of you may have wondered what has happened to the newsletter. I apologize if you have felt some Brews News deprivation. The long delay is mainly a result of changing store personnel. In December, our long time Beer Guy, Mike Robertson, left Calgary for new opportunities in Vancouver. We wish him the best. As a result of Mike’s departure, the reins of the beer sections were handed over, so I should introduce myself. My name is Marty Rozon. I have worked for the market for over six years now, having managed the Canadian wine section for several years, while keeping up to date on as much of the beer and whisky as I possibly could taste. Having now taken over managing the beer section, I now have a better appreciation of the work Mike did for us in the past to satisfy the beer appetites of the markets many customers.
A great thing about the beer market in Alberta at present is the large number of new and interesting products coming into the province on an ongoing basis. Some of the products are new local breweries, like Village Brewery, or come from next door in British Columbia, or from farther afield, like Austria or Switzerland.
Here are some recent new and returning Breweries or products in the store. It is by no means a complete list. I will, when possible, give you an indication if the product is limited availability.
De Molen, Netherlands: A very recent arrival in Alberta, we recently brought in 4Â beers from De Molen (or The Mill Brewery). They are all very highly rated on ratebeer.com, scoring well above the 90th percentile.
- Bloed, Zweet & Tranen – $5.19 (330 ml) a smoked ale using English and German smoked malts
- Hemel & Aarde - $18.29 (750 ml) an Imperial Stout using heavily smoked malt from Bruichladdich distillery. A limited quantity product.
- Rasputin - $6.99 (330 ml) a Russian Imperial stout. A limited quantity product.
- Vuur & Vlam – $14.19 (750 ml) a well hopped India Pale Ale
Birrificio Del Ducato: This Italian craft brewer, previously available last year for a short time, has now returned with new supplies of earlier products, like New Morning, but also with several completely new brews to the market.
- Via Emilia – $6.59 (330 ml) a pilsner, rated 98th percentile by style, quite drinkable and well flavoured, more than just a palate cleanser between real beers (the use I would assign to most lagers)
- Verdi Imperial Stout – $6.59 (330 ml) a Russian Imperial Stout with hot peppers!
- BIA IPA – $4.59 (330 ml) – an IPA, under the Birra Italiano Artiginiale label
Maisel :This German brewer has existed in Bayreuth since 1887, so lots of tradition behind the name. The Maisel Weisse Original ($3.99 for 500 ml) and Dunkel ($4. 09 for 500 ml) are on the store shelves.
Gulden Draak : After a long absence, the Draak is back on the floor. I expect this will be more consistently available, although we have already sold about half of the bottles that we brought into the store. At present, only the 330 ml size is available, $5.19.
Village Brewery : The Village Brewery is a new Calgary based microbrewery. Currently, the brewery has two products available, the Blonde Ale, and the Black India Ale. These are currently available in the growler format, a 1.89 litre bottle, both at $15.99. You have the option of having this bottle refilled at the brewery. There will soon be 4 packs of 341 ml bottles.
Eggenberg : The Eggenberg Samiclaus was available in the past. Now it has returned, with more new products from this Austrian brewery:
Dopplebock Dunkel - $4.19 (330 ml) a big, dark dopplebock
Urbock 23 -$4.19 (330 ml) a lager, cold stored for 9 months, the 23 refers to the 23 degrees plato of the brewing wort.
Best of Bock: This 9 pack of Austrian bock beers, from 9 different breweries – not just Eggenberg – will give you a wide sampling of bock style. Limited quantities available.
Mikkeller : We recently brought in 25 new products from Mikkeller, this guy makes a ton of new beers every year. Most of them are new releases, only a few repeats, and are too many to list. There is a series of single hop IPA’s, some lambic ales, a lager and even a cream ale done in cooperation with Italy’s Revelation Cat, along with several other beers. Some of the releases are already sold out, or nearly so, in the store, while some will last a while on the shelf. Come check out what we have.
Gudelos : $8.49 (500 ml)The Godless is an Imperial Stout made by the Djaevlebryg Brewery. Only one case available for now, although more is expected to be available in a few months
Anderson Valley : From California, product from this brewery just recently became available in Alberta.
- Hop Ottin’ IPA – $17.59 (6 pack 355 ml cans) the first weeks shipment sold out before I could taste it. We got more of this in today.
- Brother David’s Triple – $9.39 (650 ml) a Belgian style triple
- Boont Amber – $17.59 (6 pack 355 ml cans)
- Bad Attitude : A Swiss craft brewer new to Alberta. Currently on the shelf is the Two Penny Porter $5.69 (330 ml). Other products from this brewer will be added in the future.
Wild Rose : Wild Rose has recently started a regular program of releasing a new seasonal brew about every two months in the 650 ml format. Currently in the store is the Foothills Pilz, $7.09. The next release is the Hop Smashed In IPA, due the week of April 16th. These are all short term products, each lasting on the shelf only until the next release.
Alley Kat : Alley Kat has also started a regular seasonal program for releases in 650 ml formats. Every two months, there is a new Dragon series, single hop Double IPA, and in alternate months, a different seasonal of varying styles. Currently on the shelf is the Black Dragon IPA, $6.39, with warrior hops, and the Bitter Truth, $6.39, an ESB. The Dragon series have generally been selling out very quickly, although Alley Kat is increasing production to help stretch availability. At most, each product will last about two months.
There are always new products expected to arrive in the store at some point in the near (or not so near) future. Here is just some of what is coming. Pricing is not yet determined for these.
FromÂ Brew Dog, I expect to get a small amount of the massively alcoholic Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink The Bismark. There will be future deliveries as well, so hopefully this is not a one time opportunity. If you want to know more about these beers, check outwww.brewdog.com/beer.
FromÂ Cantillon, I should be getting some of the rare FouFoune, their apricot lambic.
FromÂ Rogue, I expect to get one more shipment of the Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple at the end of April. This popular, eye-catching (brilliant pink) bottle sold very quickly in the past month. After this next shipment, it will be gone perhaps until next year.
FromÂ De Molen, there will be 3 new De Molen summer seasonals arriving near the end of May.
Beer Advent Calendar: available sometime in the fall, this advent calendar will give the beer fan a delicious alternative to the usual chocolate or trinket calendar. One completely different beer each day, with most of these products not otherwise available in Alberta.
Possibly one of the most anticipated future products is the expected early summer arrival of the rarest of the Belgian Trappist Ales, the Westvleteren, voted the best beer in the world in several past years. In the past, this beer has been only available in small amounts by contacting the abbey directly and then picking up the beer at the abbey. The monks then would sell you what they wished, you didn’t get much choice.
For the first and possibly only time, Alberta will be getting a shipment of Westvleteren XII gift packs. How did this happen? The medieval aged monastery was recently found to have severe structural problems and it was realized that the monks needed a new monastery. To help with the cost, it was decided to make a one time offer for additional domestic and international sales. The brothers brewed one extra batch a month for a year to build up the necessary extra stock. The extra domestic stock in Belgian sold out in 48 hours in November 2011.
Alberta’s share of the international allocation is expected in early summer. When this product was first mentioned in the last Brews News, customers were invited to preorder the product, subject to a maximum or two packs each. Our original request to the importing agent was completely committed in a relatively short time. Thanks to a very cooperative representative from the importing agency though, Kensington has substantially increased its allotment. As a result, the pre-order limit has been raised to 4 packs per customer. Final price is not determined yet, but is expected to be in the range of $70-75 per pack of 4 bottles and a glass.
If you would like to place a pre-order for this exceptional beer, or expand your existing preorder, please contact us. You can call the store to place a preorder with one of the staff, or e-mail me (see bottom for contact information). The product can not yet be ordered online, as we do not have it in the store. Some payment information, in the form of credit card information, will be required with your preorder. As always when you provide such information, it is kept secure.
Remember, we may not see this beer again after this shipment!
Some of you may be aware that Kensington Wine Market has a beer gift club, much like our Wine gift club. The most popular gift level has been $25 a month. Once a month, the recipient gets a collection of beers to sample. In April, club members received Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale, Phillips Hoperation Trippelcross, Maisel Weisse and Alley Kat Bitter Truth. I will often try to put in some limited availability beers into the gift club. If you are interested in giving a club membership – either to yourself or someone else – check out our websiteÂ www.kensingtonwinemarket.com and look under the gift section.
I hope that you have found this newsletter interesting to read. If you have looking for particular products, please send me an e-mail, and I will see what I can do for you. Keep in mind that we do not bring in every available product, subject to space limitations, and our opinion of the quality and expected demand of a product.
Kensington Wine Market