by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
A night of jazz music, fine local art, craft beer and charitable causes was conceived at the Walkerville Brewery’s “Art of Beer” event.
Celebrating community, collaboration, art and hand crafted beer was the motto for Tom Scully, business and sales manager of the brewery. The Dec. 12 event had a charitable cause as well, as over $3,000 was raised in honour of the Windsor Youth Centre just around the corner from the craft beer specialists.
“We wanted to make sure the community really gets involved in helping eachother,” said Scully. “That’s what craft breweries are about, they’re your local beer spot. What better way to be local than to support local organizations such as the Windsor Youth Centre.”
The launch of the craft beer brewery’s latest export, a coffee porter, was the third of three installments in the Walkerville Brewery’s prohibition series.
Local “serious hobby” artist, Bob Voyvodic was chosen to design the growler label with a post-prohibition. As well, Voyvodic donated nine contemporary art pieces that were auctioned off with proceeds going to the Windsor Youth Centre.
“Tamara, the director [at Windsor Youth Centre] works hard, she does great work,” said Voyodic. “It’s a great cause and those kids need all of the help they can get.”
The launch of the coffee porter was the basis of the event, as head “brew master”, Paul Brady collaborated with Salute Espresso owner/operator Dane Charles. After a period of trial and error of different porters and coffees, the two decided that a specific bean from a Brazilian farm would be paired best with a grain bill that would not over power the coffee or the porter. The final product was a Coffee Porter that is 7 percent alcohol per volume.
Brady said it was one of the most fun experiences he has had making beer.
“Working hand in hand with Dane [Charles] in the formulation process was very enjoyable,” said Brady. “Once I determined where I wanted to go with that, I then described that to Dane and he came at us with a couple options and did some experimentation. Quite frankly, I think we nailed it.”
Charles’s two years of expertise as a professional roaster made the process of formulating the coffee porter a relatively easy one for everyone involved.
“A lot of thought went into which coffee would work well and give a nice balance but not overpower the beer,” said Charles. “From my perspective as a roaster, I tried to find which roast would give the beer a nice chocolate and caramel flavour and had been thinking of it for close to a year.”
The 175-ticket event was sold out days before the launch and begs the question, what’s next for the Walkerville Brewery? Only time and inspiration will tell the tale.