Saturday, July 29, 2017

New brews part of the fun at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village event

Kyle Baines

Toni Lucas
- Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village hosted a 'Beers to You' event on Saturday July 22 in Pincher Creek.  The event was in conjunction with Andrew Hilton Wine and Spirits (AHWS) from Lethbridge.  AHWS Owner Kyle Baines brought a number of different beers for the 100 people attending to sample.  He has experience in hosting tasting events covering the spread from beer, wine, scotch, tequila and gin. "... Whatever people want,"  he explained,  For this event the theme was Alberta based brews.  "We actually have a nice little microcosm of really good brewing, just in Alberta."  Brews came from Lethbridge, Lacombe, Calgary, Red Deer, and Medicine Hat.  People were laughing, sharing, visiting, and enjoying the musical stylings of country musician Jim Peace.

People sampled throughout the afternoon and evening.  The museum's new patio was awash in sunshine and was filled with people trying different beers.  Baines explained the unique qualities of each of the demonstrated beers using words like: Dark, light, traditional, India pale ale, hoppy, sours, and brown ale.  Everyone had the chance to break free of their comfort zone, and try something different.  Some toured the historical buildings, but many enjoyed the atmosphere, food, drink and contests available right on the patio.

Jim Peace
"The absolute explosion of breweries, and more interestingly, good breweries, is exciting,"  explained Baines.  He said that in the last 5 years legislation has changed in Alberta to allow for smaller companies, making it very different from the 1970s to the 1990s, where legislation helped create monopolies.  "For the most part, there were five breweries, all of which were very large.  That's all we had, with apologies to Alley Cat and Wildrose." With even newer changes from the 1990s to now to the legislation there are now even more players on the scene. "Now we seem to have a new brewery every week.  We are getting new breweries, we are getting very exciting breweries, and we are getting breweries with different themes."

The list of what was offered included Open Road brown ale from Troubled Monk Brewing, House of Pilsner from Coolee Brew, Triphammer and River from Blindman Brewing, All Hops for a Basement from Hell's Basement, and Ponderosa from Wildrose Brewing.

Whether the patrons found a new favorite, or just had the change to try something new and decline it for the future the setting made for a wonderful, relaxed party atmosphere.

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