It goes without saying that 2015 was an incredibly busy year for all of us behind the scenes here at the Left Field Brewery. From getting the brewery up and running to opening the Tap Room and Bottle Shop full time, to undergoing expansion with the addition of two new fermenters and a new bottling line, we’ve hardly taken a moment to sit back and reflect.
Today, February 5, 2016, marks 1 year to the day since we brewed our first batch of beer – Lead Off Single – right here in our very own brewery. Most breweries would celebrate this as their first anniversary but for us it isn’t that straightforward. Our story involves making a not-so-common leap from contract brewery to bricks and mortar brewery and because of this, our anniversary date is a bit of a moving target. You see, our first ever batch of beer, Eephus, was brewed under contract at Grand River brewery on February 14, 2013. On top of all that, we gained access to and started construction at 36 Wagstaff Drive on February 1, 2014. Because of all this, we tend to look at the entire month of February as our anniversary month.
Naturally, such an important month in our history deserves a special beer to mark the occasion. With that in mind, we decided to brew not one, but two celebratory anniversary beers for release this month.
Anniversary No. 3 is a strong Saison brewed with a French Saison Ale Yeast and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. A warm fermentation gives layers of tropical fruit and delicate spice, and this unique and audacious hop variety lends complimentary flavours of white wine and gooseberry. Expect this beer to be aromatic, dry, and filled with character.
7.6% ABV / 45 IBU
First & Third is our interpretation of the Berliner Weisse style of sour ale. We kettle-soured a mash made from 50% wheat with our house strain of lactobacillus. We made use of a blend of Belgian and American ale yeasts to produce a beer with light body, nuances of stone fruit, very low bitterness and clean, gentle tartness reminiscent of lemonade. In Berlin these beers are traditionally enjoyed with a sweet fruit or herbal syrup – we look forward to re-imagining this experience on our home turf.
4.0% ABV / 8 IBU
Anniversary No. 3 and First & Third will both be available in our Bottle Shop and Tap Room starting at noon on Thursday February 25th.
Other news and brewery happenings this month include;
To keep the celebration rolling all month long, we’ll be tapping a special cask every Friday at 5pm. Here’s the line-up:
February 5th / Maris* dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin
February 12th / Stout with coriander and orange peel
February 19th / Stout with ginger
February 26th / Eephus with vanilla bean
Sweet Jesus Mocha Marshmallow Stout
We’re down to about half of the original number of bottles of this sweet treat in the Bottle Shop. For a limited time, you can also find Sweet Jesus on tap at the brewery, appropriately served with a roasted marshmallow, or at all three La Carnita locations and Home of the Brave.
You’ve asked us about a million times for growlers and we’re very happy to report that starting today, our Growlers shop is officially open. We’ve hand filled a limited number of 750mL swing-top growlers to help fill some of the gaps in our Bottle Shop and to make beers available to take home that would have otherwise only been available to enjoy on tap.
Just like a growler, these bottles need to be kept cold and enjoyed fresh, ideally within 5 days. You will be asked to sign a waiver agreeing that you will not store the beer for more than 48 hours – not really, but don’t tell our brewers.
Also, we will only be pre-filling our own 750mL swing-top bottles and will not be offering any walk-in fills directly from the taps in our own bottles or otherwise.
More great news on this front, especially if you’re in to delicious cheeses. We’ve partnered with our neighbours, The Pantry, and are now offering a small selection of Ontario cheeses in our Bottle Shop. Each variety has been specially selected to pair well with beers that are available both on tap and to go.
If you’ve been in the shop lately, you may have noticed that we’ve also recently upped our snack game and are now offering small bags of Neal Brothers chips to enjoy here or to go.
As always, feel free to BYO meal or to have food delivered to the Tap Room. Simply ask one of our team members to take a glance at the growing binder of local takeout menus stashed behind the bar.
Valentines Day / Family Day Weekend
The only thing we’re able to tell you at this point is that there will be chocolate.
More details to be announced soon!
So much excitement around here in just one short month. A million thanks to our incredibly awesome customers and to all the wonderful friends that we’ve made here in the Tap Room and Bottle Shop during our first year of business. We hope to see you out to celebrate with us at some point this month.
Team Left Field
(Mark, Mandie, Austin, Mike, Tory, Rob, Amanda, Justin, Sarah, Caitlin & Kevin)