Scotch Ale & the LCBO: Walkerville brews change in Windsor

Walkerville Brewery's Honest Lager cans // Dean Scott

Walkerville Brewery’s Honest Lager cans // Dean Scott

Rather than be limited by selling craft beer at the brewery and through licensees, Walkerville Brewery is now serving up their brew at local LCBOs.

Last week Walkerville Brewery delivered their first batch of cans to three area LCBOs and by the weekend, the Walker Road LCBO had run out of stock.

“Today was the first day we delivered to the LCBO,” said master brewer Paul Brady last week. “It couldn’t be better, I haven’t been this excited since they put the original X Men cartoon series on DVD.”

Getting into the LCBO is a lengthy task, one which includes bureaucracy, red tape and regulatory hurdles. But the benefits to stocking the shelves at the LCBO includes a broader audience for the beer itself.

“Any bit of logistics always takes red tape and leg work. You have to have patience and the confidence in the fact that you have a superior product and hopefully the beerocracy will see that the public demands it,” said Brady. “Hopefully the public embraces it, that’s my goal.”

Brady, who has never had his beers stocked in the LCBO or outside of the United States for that matter, is excited to know his product will be consumed more than it has been in the past.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I get to go back to my American boys and say ‘I’m international guys!’”

In addition to receiving LCBO approval, Walkerville Brewery also launched their latest brew: the Scotch Ale.

“The colour is one of my favourite things about it,” said Brady. “A garnet to dark ruby red, and it’s got such a robust flavour but it’s so subtle too at the same time, and strong but smooth.”

When asked about the colour properties of the brew, Brady explained that it was a result of a special blend of malts, “that we use to impart that particular colour into this beer. We do a couple of other things as well, but those are trade secrets and I’d have to kill you if I tell you.”

The taste contains lightly toasted toffee notes with a bit of a subtle dry roasted finish, according to Brady.

The beer should appeal to both beer and non-beer drinkers, says Brady. “I believe so because none of its too overpowering and it’s got a soft, subtle sweetness that’s just enough to be there, not where it’s super sweet, just semi sweet, and it finishes with just enough dry roast too.”

The Scotch Ale rings in at 7.3 per cent, and even with a higher alcohol content, Brady says he designed the product to be as smooth as possible.

“You’re still going to know there’s a little bit of alcohol in there, but we’re not trying to [make] it super sweet,” he said. “It’s supposed to be there, well balanced, medium bodied, and just roll through the pallet…”

The recipe was crafted by Brady himself while consulting old styles and recipes for inspiration.

“Every recipe we do in Walkerville Brewery is something I formulate. I look at the old styles always as guidelines, but from the ground up it’s built from my tiny brain.”

If you purchase cans of Walkerville’s Honest Lager, Brady asks for you to take a photo of you enjoying it and to email it to him at: [email protected]

This article first appeared on the Windsor Independent:

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jon liedtke

Jon Liedtke is a writer and musician in Windsor Ontario. He tells stories using words, pictures, audio and video.

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