Swan’s Brewery head brewer Chris Lukie, left, and Gerry Hieter, Great Canadian Beer Festival chairman, co-operated on a special beer to be available at the festival this coming weekend (Sept. 7-8). Photo by Mathieu Poirier

MATHIEU POIRIER: Swan’s contributes to Beer Fest brews

Monday beer columnist visits the downtown brew pub to find out about their special dunkelwiezen

One of the great features of the Craft Brewing industry is the camaraderie. There’s such a harmonious competitiveness ingrained in every member of the craft, and without it, we wouldn’t have a lot of the amazing beers we so enjoy.

For this year’s Great Canadian Beer Festival, being held at Royal Athletic Park on Sept. 7 and 8, a little more collaboration will be on tap.

Back in late July, Gerry Hieter, festival chairman, stopped by one of the classic brewpubs in town, Swan’s Brewery, and along with brewer Chris Lukie, created a fantastic brew to mark the start of another quarter century of this world-renowned festival.

In a craft beer world where there are so many extreme beers, the decision was made to keep it simple, approachable and good. With that in mind, a rich yet satisfying dunkelweizen was the go-to choice. The blend of barley, wheat and a milder hop profile will both quench one’s thirst on a hot afternoon and provide the richness for a mild September evening. Ringing in at a nice 5.2% and based on the flavour of the wort before the boil, I know I’ll be seeking it out that weekend.

When asked why a dunkelweizen, Hieter joked that he’s never brewed one before, and was looking for something that would be enjoyable for all attendees.

The beer will be available on tap at the festival, as well as at Swan’s Pub and a number of other local establishments. It won’t be bottled, so if you’re looking for it, your best bet is to pick up some tickets to the festival and take advantage of it.

Once you’ve recovered from GCBF, the place to be is the Drake Eatery on Sept. 29. Zwanze Day takes place at less than 75 establishments worldwide as a synchronized release of one of Brussels-based Brasserie Cantillon’s most sought-after beers.

In Canada, there are only three venues, and we’re lucky to have one right in our backyard, and the only one west of Ontario, so don’t miss out. More details are available at the Drake, in Market Square.

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