I really enjoy strolling down the pedestrians only section of Stephens Avenue and looking at all of the people out there enjoying the scene. My destination for the night was The Libertine Public House who were throwing a craft beer cask ale event that I couldn’t pass up. When The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company is involved I tend to show up!
A little about The Libertine
I had heard about The Libertine from a couple of buddies who had attended their Fernie Brewing Company Brewmaster’s Dinner. I figured that if Steve (of The Craft Beer Journal and Zach (@Zachs_Whiskers) both spoke highly of the place it must be a good hangout for craft beer lovers.
Freshness is important to the people at The Libertine. They make a point to use local ingredients in their cooking and have 18 rotating taps with North American craft beer. The thing that I like about rotating taps is that you are able to frequent a bar and still be surprised by different beer offerings.
They host a cask ale event on the second Tuesday of every month where a select craft brewery will tap a cask of specially selected beer for the bar’s patrons to share.
I had to order something to eat as well. I can’t just live off of a liquid diet no matter how good it may taste or how happy it makes me feel! I like me some hamburger, so I went with the “Damn Good Burger”. Lets just say it lived up to its name. They had a few really nice looking burgers on the menu for all of you burger fans out there. Just look at this picture and try to tell me that it didn’t make you drool just a little!
Grizzly Paw’s Winter Cranberry Ale
Now for the beer. Walking in from the cold weather to see the cask sitting on the bar helped me to forget my numb fingers & toes. I was lucky to catch Darren from Grizzly Paw sitting at the bar. One of the best things about writing this blog has been meeting people like Darren who work in the Alberta craft beer industry.
I learnt from Darren that this winter seasonal release would be available for sale at select stores in bomber bottles. After taking a sample I knew that I would be hitting one of my trusted liquor stores soon to pick some up for the colder months ahead.
Hints of raisins, plums and dates are what make up the spiced aspect of this winter ale. This is much less spicy than some of the other winter ales currently available. This is a good thing because you do not want all of the seasonal craft beers to taste the same. I found that the rich chocolate notes really come though as the beer warms up to room temperature. The tartness of the cranberries was cut by the blackberry addition. Overall it was a very pleasant dark ale.
I was not alone in my favourable opinion of the cask ale. Judging from the activity surrounding the cask it was selling quite well. People seem to be warming up to the cask ale style that is more commonly seen in the UK. This makes me happy because I find the experience that you get while drinking a cask ale is quite different.
I will make a point to visit The Libertine more often. I found their craft beer tap selection to be among the best in the city and I really enjoyed the overall atmosphere.
As for Grizzly Paw, this Winter Cranberry Ale is one of the best beers that I have tasted from them. I hope to enjoy more of it when I visit the brewery and restaurant in a few weeks.
Until next time, cheers to local craft beer!