Being outspoken never tasted so good!Thursday, February 16, 2012 by: Donna Hopper
Straw gold in colour with a rich white cap of long-lasting foam, the nose is a big snort of Williamette and Cascade hops in front of subtle buttered-pastry sweetness from a small amount of caramel malt. A high ratio of wheat malt brings bread dough overtones to a clean and firm body. Blonde enough for summer, burly enough for the winter - That's what she said!
SooToday.com was invited to enjoy a tall frosty sample of the Six to Midnight Wheat Beer described above last evening as we chatted with Vaughn Alexander and Graham Atkinson in the future location of their very own brew pub.
The pair have been engaging in research and development over the last several months on a variety of craft brews, officially calling their endeavours Outspoken Brewing Inc.
Alexander and Atkinson began modestly, making wine at first, then moving on to brewing small batches of delicious craft beer.
"We're now doing full-on all-grain batches like the big breweries do," Alexander told us. "It's made the way it's supposed to be made, right from the base grains. We're not taking any shortcuts with anything."
While maintaining full time jobs, Alexander at Tenaris Algoma Tubes and Atkinson at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, the boys have been busy not only perfecting their beer recipes, but renovating 350 Queen Street East into Sault Ste. Marie's newest brew pub.
Hoping to open to the public mid- to late-summer, the yet to be named pub will feature only Outspoken Brewing signature suds, including Rabbit's Foot IPA, Gobbler's Roost Cream Ale, Fixed Gear Steam Beer, Boot Knocker Nut Brown Ale, and the aforementioned Six to Midnight Wheat Beer.
The brew we're looking forward to sampling the most is their Pottswurth Maple Breakfast Stout, beautifully described as:
Beer for breakfast? Why not…this smooth, low alcohol stout is also good with meals in which pancakes are not the feature. Brewed with the addition of St. Joseph Island Roaster’s Maple Magic Roast (two pots worth, in fact), this velvety treasure brings ‘local’ right to the table. If we had to pin it down, it's a cross between an oatmeal stout and a sweet stout. A buttery note from the yeast completes the impression of a meal in a glass.
Coffee. Maple. Beer.
Sign us up!
Amidst the bags of grain and hops, the young brew masters told us that they're taking advantage of local ingredients whenever possible.
Other specialty and seasonal brews such as Punkin Head Pumpkin Spice Ale, Broken Antler Winter Spice Ale, and a variety of summer wheat-style beers will be in regular rotation once Alexander and Atkinson open for business.
"What we're trying to do here is bring back something that Sault Ste. Marie used to have," Alexander explained. "We no longer have anything we can call our own in terms of beer. Right now, micro breweries and craft beers are in demand. It's not going to be mainstream stuff, but we're not going to the extreme where the beer is so bitter or so hoppy that it's not drinkable like some other craft beers."
Want to share some locally crafted beer with visiting house guests?
Outspoken Brewing Inc. has plans to take care of that market as well.
"Bottling the beer I think is a natural progression. It's in the plans," Atkinson told us. "We may start with growlers, which are popular in some small U.S. markets. It's one of the things we'll be working on the very short while."
Keg sales and equipment rentals for parties and functions are also in the works.