In Beer In The News, Beer Me BC excerpts news from sources around the world of craft beer. Note that the opinions expressed within are those of the original source and not Beer Me BC.

July is Haskap Beer Month

Photo: Kevin Kelly of Wolf Springs planting their first haskap orchard, and cask-conditioned Haskap Ale by Crannóg Ales.

Berries and beer make for a delicious July
BC farmers & brewers cooperate to show off new berries

There’s a great new way to explore two of the best things BC has to offer: great food and drink, all rolled into one during Haskap Beer Month. Craft breweries around the province are partnering with local Haskap growers to brew their own take on a haskap beer – from lagers to ales to sours.

Haskap beer month is the brainchild of local berry grower Carma Clarke of Wolf Springs Farm and Brian MacIsaac of Crannóg Ales, both in Sorrento, BC. Born out of Brian’s love of experimentation with beer and a few punnets of Carma’s great berries, this project hopes to unite farmers and brewers in a celebration of local flavour.

“From the first time we tasted Carma’s Haskap berries, we knew they’d make great beer,” says Brian. “They are so intense, and the colour really comes through. We’ve made several tests, and both beer and berries shine.”

“Both flavours really hold their own in the beer,” says Carma. “The berries give their own lovely colour and they really complement the hops and malt.”

Breweries all over the province are participating in Haskap beer month, partnering with growers in their area to make this special seasonal brew. Find participating brewers listed on the BC Haskap Association website, along with beer descriptions and release dates, and go exploring!

Together, breweries and farmers are building a lasting relationship. #haskapbeermonth is a celebration of simple pleasures; fresh berries early in the season; and inspirational beer full of flavour. This beer making partnership brings brewing back to its roots and strengthens small diversified BC farms for the long term.

Craft Beer and Berry Farming

Crannóg Ales has been playing with their neighbours’ haskap berries, making summer seasonal craft beer for the last three years. This year they have invited BC craft breweries to join in the fun with Haskap Beer Month! The intense sweet and tangy flavour and deep rich burgundy colour make brewing with haskap a special event. With the help of BC Haskap Association, brewers across BC are making long lasting partnerships with haskap growers. In the process breweries are re-connecting with the agricultural roots that spawned the BC craft beer industry. In turn, these partnerships will strengthen small diversified BC farms for the long term.

Hiroshi Makes the Haskap Beer Connection in Japan

Hiroshi Tsukada, an R&D brewer at Parallel 49, jumped on board to participate in Haskap Beer Month. He was amazed to find this very special berry available in British Columbia but immediately made the connection to his homeland Hokkaido Island in Japan where haskap has been highly valued for centuries. Having tasted the berries in Japan, he knew that incorporating them into a craft brew would be a very special release.

The name ‘Haskap’ comes from an ancient Japanese word of the Ainu people. Hokkaido Island in Japan has a history of using this berry that goes back hundreds of years.

In Japan, haskap is known as an intensely flavoured berry described as sweet and tangy, with dark rich burgundy colour displaying a high antioxidant value.

Hiroshi called a few brewer friends on Hokkaido Island to tell them about #haskapbeermonth and the Takeshi Tagaya, an owner head brewer at North Island Beer immediately signed up to make a run of Haskap Beer in July with us – North Island Beer


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