Free Spirits

The spring and summer months -- or rather, any of the months when you can walk freely outside in Toronto without being body-slammed by winter -- tend to pose a bit of a problem for us here at our lil' brewery. While most of you are aware that our expansion planning is underway, we're still carrying on at our modest size, and modesty in our case refers to volume. With longer days, more sunlight, and people just generally feeling glad to be alive, beer becomes a popular commodity, but when you (I mean we) are already brewing at capacity, it means that high-demand or low-demand, you're not in a position to pump out any more beer. Which hurts us so.

One strategy was to barrel-age a lot of beers last winter, to ready for release this summer. And though we can't yet confirm anything 100%, it looks like that forethought will allow us to release one special barrel-aged beer each month until at least October. This is good news.

But we're trying to attack this issue from a few different angles, and one of those is to focus on some other breweries and beers we find interesting. This weekend at the brewpub, you'll notice a feature on Freigeist which is a modern German brewery that has deviated from the national brewing traditions -- namely the Reinheitsgebot, or purity law.

Freigeist is an off-shoot of Braustelle (an unconventional brewery in its own right) in Cologne, and they utilize different strains of brettanomyces, along with bacteria and various spices and fruit. They experiment far beyond the confines of the basic 4 ingredients (malt, hops, yeast, water), and while their beers have met high-demand and appreciation, it's largely an overseas market.

The two offerings we have on our menu from Freigeist are the Geisterzug Gose, a traditional gose brewed with spruce tips showcasing subtle salty and tart flavours, and the Kopenickiade Berliner Weisse, a light and refreshing wheat beer with beautiful lactic sourness.

Both beers are a fantastic representation of traditional German styles brewed with a modern approach and ingredients. The next time you drop by, give the free thinking brewery a try.

And yes, that rhymes.