Bells Corners in Nepean has a relatively new craft brewery operating at 14 Bexley Place called Whiprsnapr Brewing Co (www.whiprsnaprbrewingco.com) It’s fourth anniversary will be on Devil’s Eve (Halloween) this year.
Cody Howard, son of one of the owners (Ian McMartin, Mike Feagan and Dave Woward) gave us a wonderful tour and tasting of the brewery’s extensive and unique product line. Their ‘alchemist’ brewer is Ryan Ramsey, who has quite a series of beer concoctions to delight you.
Root of Evil lager, 4.4% abv and IBU 32 (which refers to the bitterness of beer) was the first craft beer for the brewery, made to mirror pre-prohibition style beer using corn instead of Canadian wheat, which is too dark. It is a light pale yellow and is a refreshingly crisp and clean lager that appeals to everyone.
Next it was Slingr maple cream ale, 4.7%abv and IBU 18, inspired by Garry Galley an ex-NHL player who supports an organization fighting youth mental health. Five per cent of proceeds from this beer go to Ottawa initiatives for Do It For Daron (DIFD) started by his NHL colleague Luke Richardson in memory of his daughter. Pale golden with a nice head, this smooth maple ale made with a touch of real Canadian maple syrup has a bit of sweetness and is aged in maple wood chips. Combined, it gives the beer an earthy, woodsy and silky taste and finish.
Another beer in the Whiprsnapr line up is the Carol Anne Irish blonde ale ( 4.7% abv and IBU 34) with more hops, giving it a bit of bite. It is light and smooth with dry hopped aromas, with a touch of honey and wheat malt. English hops are used in the boil with an Irish ale yeast, making this an interesting and tasty light ale. This and a couple of other brews are available at select LCBO and licensed grocery store outlets in Eastern Ontario. Check their website for a listing of where you can find it.
The OK Lah! Ginger Coriander cream ale at 5.5% abv and IBU 20 is another must-try. Inspired by South East Asia, light but vibrant flavours of ginger and coriander with a touch of lemon and honey giving a bright and bold but beautifully unique and balanced aroma and flavour. This one will match well with savoury Asian spicy dishes when the spices get to a point where wines no longer match. Peeled ginger and coriander seeds are crushed in a mortar and pestle and added in a sachet to the brewing process for a time.
Wrecking Crew smash ale (5.4% abv and IBU 60) is named after the volunteers — the Wednesday night wrecking crew — who came up with this recipe. Smash means a single malt (superior two row) plus single hop (Eldorado), which gives a nice mango/pineapple flavour. It is light golden in colour with some hop bitterness and citrus tones.
Inukshuk west coast IPA (5.5% abv and IBU 55) is made using Canadian malts and hops including Cascade and Chinook. It is dark golden with a nice head, representing the brewery’s version of a Canadian IPA. It has big piney aromas, and full and balanced flavours that remind you of breathing cool clean air in a Canadian forest.
For a more fruity flavour, try the Blueberry Pancakes wheat ale (5.5% abv IBU 14). It uses 70 pounds of blueberries in each batch with real Canadian maple syrup and wheat malts that makes for big, juicy flavours and a lovely contrast of sweet and berry tartness.
To finish, we sampled the Agent Orange double IPA (9% abv and IBU 95), copper brown in colour, laced with orange zest in a sachet during the brewing stage, double IPA malts, Columbus and Jarrylo hops giving it an orangey citrus flavour with a touch of vanilla.
These and other beers are mostly available all year round but look for their Troublmakr big black IPA (10%abv and IBU 100) coming out at Halloween.
This article was first published in the September issue of Hometown News. For more articles from our September issue, pick up a print copy at a local retailer or read our digital version.