A Sneak Peek of Bandit’s Fall 2017 Lineup

With days getting shorter and nights getting cooler, it’s clear that we’re heading towards an early end of summer. In any case, this is never bad news for beer lovers, as Fall brings the promise of new, rich and sometimes experimental beers. In the words of Bandit’s brewer, Ben: “Weather and temperature greatly affect our taste buds and what we crave. It’s not often that in a 30 degree, 100% humidity summer day you would crave a 10% ABV Imperial Stout. With the temperature slowly dropping we tend to shift towards maltier and fuller tasting beers to keep off the fall and winter chill.”

In our initial year, as our Hefeweizens and Session Ales went into hibernation mode, we saw the release of plenty of dark beers, such as Stouty McStoutface and Smoke on the Porter; two beers that instantly became part of our list of Bandit staples. One of our main challenges was the lack of time since we were just coming off our summer opening and there was not enough time to plan and execute all of the ambitious plans for Fall beers that we would have loved to do.The release of four (!!!!) Oktoberfest German classic beers is something we were very proud to accomplish, although these beers left us with very few taps to accommodate other beers in. Some of these recipes have since been tinkered with and improved and will be seeing the light of day in this year’s Fall beer lineup.

We asked Ben what styles we can expect to see more of this Fall at the brewery: “Definitively more brown or lighter Porters and some new Rye beers if time permits.” This type of variety in dark beers will allow us to introduce Porters and Stouts to drinkers who might usually stay away from them based on a perception that the beer will be too heavy and overpowering. Other exciting plans ahead include a selection of barrel-aged beers scheduled for October (some mention of a whiskey inspired barrel beer has got us really looking forward to sweater season).

Since our barrel capacity has grown in the last few months, we expect a varied selection of blends and Brett beers to join the lineup. Last year our few barrels were mostly filled with Imperial Stouts and a lone sour. As we encourage and empower each member of our brewery team to create their own unique barrel beer, we expect to see a wider assortment of beer styles across the board.

Our hope is that these Fall beers will serve as a smooth transition into the Winter months, in which we expect to see even richer beers such as our yearly December release, Hibernator 2017.

Stay tuned for more specific information and release dates as they will be announced in the next month.

Bandit Banter: Meet Brewer Ben Morris

As our beer list grows and evolves, we’ve noticed that our patrons are more interested in what our brewers have to say about their craft and their everyday experiences with beer. We absolutely love it when we see our guests chatting up our brewers and asking all sorts of questions. During some rare, quiet downtime, we grabbed a pint and sat down with our brewer Ben to talk about his love of beer and the daily trials and tribulations of working in craft beer.

 

What’s the first Craft Beer you ever tried?

Probably Tank House Ale – was not an initial fan, though looking back on my usual bar order at that age, I was not to be trusted.

 

What’s your favourite hop to work with?

Simcoe has been fun lately, especially playing around with the character depending on how we add it.

 

What’s your favourite style of beer?

I’ve been really big into APAs lately, which is a bit of a departure from my original craft roots. Historically I was a Porter fan and then sort of slid into IPAs.

 

What’s your favourite new trend in craft beer?

Lower IBUs (International Bitterness Units). We’ve seem to have moved away from the tear-inducing 100 IBU IPAs that formed a good chunk of my early beer drinking out on the west coast and have found a balance somewhere more palatable.

 

How much beer do you drink on an average day?

Probably 2 pints equivalent during tank samplings, and maybe a pint in the evening depending on how hot it is and if I can make that walk home without a beer-tour along the way.

 

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Definitively coming up with new beer names. There are 5,500 microbreweries in North America, so no matter how genius your pun is, I can assure you somebody already thought of it. Now we try to get the whole brewing team and front of house involved in the creative process.

 

Do you take home a lot of beer from work or do you like to try other excellent local beers while at home?

I usually grab a mixer of other beers for home. I drink a lot of our own stuff during the day so that it’s always good to branch out and see what other people are doing.

 

What is your favourite food to pair with beer?

Cheeseburgers. I am a sucker for a good cheeseburger.

 

What is an ambitious beer you would like to make in the future?

I’ve always wanted to do a Braggot (a mead/beer hybrid), but keep it beer style, so drier and sparkling.

 

If beer is not available (God forbid), what’s your go-to drink of choice?

House made vodka sours with triple sec, limoncello and some Yongehurst spirit.

 

A Mouthful (of Beer): Ahtanum, 8 Days a Week

Ain’t got nothin’ but love babe, 
Eight days a week”

-The Beatles

While these lyrics were meant to illustrate The Fab Four’s deep love for a particular lady, they also depict the exact way our brewer Julian feels about beer. His deep love of the legendary Manchester natives have served as a sort of inspiration during his brewing endeavors and even led him to mastermind Bandit’s single hop Session Ale, named after his favourite Beatles song, 8 Days a Week.

We released the first version of this beer earlier in the year as a showcase for Julian’s favourite hop: Citra, which packed a big punch of plum and peach. The second version of 8 Days a Week used solely Amarillo hops, which delivered beachy aromas of key lime and kumquat while retaining a slight tartness to give it an all-around balance. Both have quickly become Bandit staples and as the August heat continues to rise we consider it the ideal time to release our third incarnation of this crisp and refreshing Session Ale, this time using Ahtanum hops.

Ahtanum hops originate in the USA and are known for their citrus and floral character, as well as their earthy notes, which make it an ideal hop for a single-hop beer like 8 Days a Week. “Ahtanum hops were completely new to me! They smelt great and seemed to fit the recipe well. These hops are mostly used for pale ales, IPAs and light lagers,” Julian tells us. The earthy and herbal characteristics make it stand out from Citra and Amarillo hops so you can expect this this version to be slightly different and more robust than the first two versions, while still keeping that subtle, lingering floral character.

The brewing process remained mostly the same as the initial two releases of 8 Days a Week. One of the few changes was that the hopping time was cut slightly shorter due to a lower alpha acid hop. Other than that, same recipe and same thought process behind it. The malt bill is entirely the same, which allows for the beer to keep true to this beer’s initial purpose: to showcase one single hop in a fairly clean and crisp way.

As for what future versions of 8 Days a Week might include, Julian shares with us: “We’ve been having such a blast brewing this beer and changing up the hopping on it! Future sessions hopefully will encompass the full spectrum of hop flavours. Stay tuned, folks!”

Ahtanum, 8 Days a Week will be available both on tap and in our bottleshop on Friday, August 4th at 5 pm.