Colleagues reunite to brew rauch maibock as Official Beer of the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference.
Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara and his former mentor and colleague, founding brewer of Side Launch, Michael Hancock, joined forces to brew Slideway, a classic German-style smoked lager. This harkens back to more than 20 years ago when O’Hara brewed alongside Hancock at Denison’s brewpub in Toronto, where German beers were the exclusive offering.
Held this year for the first time in Ottawa (May 25 through 27), Canadian Brewing Awards tradition dictates that a chosen brewery from the event’s host city (Beau’s) collaborate with the outgoing Brewery of the Year (Side Launch), setting a perfect storm for O’Hara and Hancock to revisit a familiar dynamic.
Commemorating the 15th annual two-day conference and awards ceremony that highlights the finest in the Canadian craft brewing industry, Slideway is the result of a perfect storm of coincidence and craft beer camaraderie.
Brewed by O’Hara and his team along with Hancock at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ont., Slideway is a copper-coloured lager that features smoked malts, with aromas of beechwood and a mild spicy/pepper presence to complement the smoky taste. Slideway finishes with lingering sweetness and savoury smoked malt.
“When we were asked to come and collaborate on this beer and heard that it was going to be a rauch maibock – in conjunction with the Canadian Brewing Awards – it was kind of a lay-up for us,” says Side Launch president and CEO, Garnet Pratt Siddall.
The beer features seven different varieties of malts, provided by Weyermann Malting Company of Bamburg, Germany. Weyermann is known for giving award-winning brewers a pair of red overalls when they win a gold medal in a prestigious competition using its malts. As both O’Hara and Hancock are proud owners of these red overalls, the two brewers wore theirs on Slideway’s brew day at Beau’s. Visiting from Side Launch HQ in Collingwood, Ont., Hancock also brought along a photo of he and O’Hara back at Denison’s, celebrating that brewery’s 1,000th batch – which, like Slideway, was coincidentally also a bock beer, a style that they would brew only once or twice a year.
Slideway’s arrival marks the fifth in a series of 12 collaborative beers Beau’s will brew in honour of Ottawa 2017, the nation’s capital’s official celebration of Canada’s 150th. It will be available for purchase at Beau’s Brewery’s tap room in Vankleek Hill, and BYBO.ca. Beau’s hosts joint tap takeovers with Side Launch on May 4th in Collingwood, Ottawa, and Toronto. It will be found on the LCBO growler stations at 10 Scrivener Square in Toronto and 953 Bank Steet in Ottawa, and it will also be pouring at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Ottawa May 25 through 27 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.