For Christmas I gave my partner a membership to a beer of the month club. Since January we have been enjoying the surprise of randomly selected craft beers delivered to our door. This month’s selection included two beers from Black Creek Brewery. After reading up on the brewery I was surprised to discover that it was located on a heritage site in Toronto.
Located at the Black Creek Pioneer Village heritage site the Black Creek Historic Brewery opened in 2009 and employs the techniques, tools and recipes used by Ontario brewers in 1860s. In the 1860s there were 155 registered breweries in Ontario.Black Creek Historic Brewery is the first to recreate the brewing processes of this era.
Each batch is created entirely by hand, uses no electricity, and much of the equipment is made from wood and cooper. The beer ferments in wooden casks, barley is shoveled by hand, and filtration is done in the ‘old style’ using barley husks.
For those interested in learning more about brewing in the 1860s you can visit the Brewery as part of the Pioneer Village and they run a program where you can ‘brew with the brewmaster‘ for a day. A visit to the Brewery is an added cost ($4.50) to admission to the Pioneer Village and includes tours of the hop garden, cooperage, mill, brewery, and beer samples. For those living further afield the Brewery maintains a blog, The Black Creek Growler, which is filled with interesting historical and beer related facts.
The two Black Creek selections we received from were ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Marzen’. What struck me most about Brilliant was the cloudy nature of it. The old style filtration process means that the beer is almost akin to unfiltered beer and has a dense slightly opaque look. As far as taste goes the Brilliant was light, kind of sweet, and fairly smooth drinking.
In contrast Marzen was red in colour, had a fruity smell, and a delightful hoppy malt taste. The Marzen falls under the brown ale category of beer that would have been brewed in the 1860s. It was interesting to sample beers that were brewed using historical techniques and in a brewery that is part of an active heritage site.
This post was cross-posted from Oslicken Acres.