Willow Park Wines and Spirits

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Community Blog

Erin Rosar
October 1, 2014 | Beer | Erin Rosar

Great Fall Beers

As we transition from summer to fall, our taste buds get excited for something a little heavier. Time to put away those lagers and light pale ales of summer and get in to something a little different! Try an Oktoberfest Marzen* or a
dark wheat beer – they’re perfect fall beers, great for transitioning from the lagers of summer to the stouts of winter! We’re hosting an Oktoberfest of our own this year – it’s a great way to celebrate the harvest and find some great new beers.

Moving in to the harvest season, one thing to get really excited about is apples. What better way to enjoy apples than to try a delicious cider? Ciders are one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverage categories, and we’re seeing a lot more breweries producing ciders to meet the demand. With ciders coming in from local breweries, as well as from South Africa, Ireland, Quebec, and France (just to name a few), there’s a lot more diversity, and something for everyone!

Another thing we as Albertans should be excited about – we have one of the best honey-producing markets in North America. Mead** is another fast-growing alcoholic beverage category, and we have 3 local meaderies right here in Alberta – all within a 2 hour drive from Calgary!

The local brewing scene is definitely something to keep an eye on right now – there were a few changes to laws regarding small craft breweries last year, and we’re expecting to see some new ‘nano breweries’ pop up, and a lot of the local craft breweries are making some really interesting new beers as well.

We feel it is our mission to educate people about all the new beers and ciders that are out on the market – come to any of our beer events this fall to learn about something new!

*Marzen or Marzenbier meaning March Beer, is a well-aged pale lager (4 – 6 weeks) that originated in Bavaria. The beer style was created before the 16th century and in 1553 it was the law that the beer must be brewed between September 29th and April 23rd. The date rules were put in place due to the challenges of brewing beer in the summer and the bacteria that could grow in the warmer months - this law ensured the quality of the beer.

**Mead is a drink made from fermenting honey and water along with other fruits, spices, grains and hops. A mead may be dry, semi-sweet or sweet, still or sparkling, and must have the majority of the sugars needed for fermentation coming from the honey base.


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