Brews News: NHLer Logan Couture, Forked River team on charity brew

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Thirsty for hockey? There’s a beer for that, born in London and brewed here and in San Jose, Calif.

Logan Couture, one of a bevy of NHLers from London, and the city’s dean of successful craft breweries have become teammates with a new Scandinavian-inspired brew that’ll be available through the LCBO and hand-picked grocery stores later this season.

LoCo Hazy Kveik IPA is the newest charity partnership between the San Jose Sharks captain and Forked River Brewing. It’s a fundraising beer for Couture’s charity, All-In for Brain Research.

As you might imagine, Forked River isn’t Couture’s only favourite craft brewery. In San Jose, it’s Hapa’s Brewing Co. Introductions were made, the made-in-London recipe shared and, voila, it’s on the board in San Jose.

In London, LoCo is available at the brewery store ahead of the LCBO launch.

“Kveik is a traditional Norwegian farmhouse yeast strain,” Forked River co-owner Dave Reed said. “(It’s) not necessarily a requirement for this beer, but it has some interesting characteristics which help. The yeast can contribute some orange citrus notes, which is desirable. It ferments very quickly, which is always good, and can contribute to a stable haze. So a lot of brewer-specific benefits, which is great, but it also makes a damn good beer.”

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The recipe, written by co-owner Andrew Peters and brewer Diana Turton, uses a standard grain bill for a light, hop-forward IPA: barley, oats and wheat. There are five types of hops, Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic.

“As for why it’s appealing, hazy IPAs are popular, a favourite style of Logan’s,” Reed said. “He’s also a big fan of Interstellar, which somehow has made its way to California from time to time. So, in conjunction with Logan, we settled on that style, lowered the ABC a little to make it more sessionable, and voila, LoCo Hazy Kveik IPA was born.”

Hopes are high for this beer, both as a permanent part of the Forked River roster and as a fundraising vehicle for Couture’s charity work.

“We are hoping this is a big success as the more we sell, the more money we can raise,” Reed said. “We have received some great co-operation from the LCBO on getting this into the LCBO and grocery chains, especially given the challenges working with COVID restrictions and such. And, frankly, it’s a great hazy IPA that we have all really enjoyed and has become a favourite with a lot of customers.”

LoCo is 5.3 per cent alcohol and sells for $3.95 per 473 ml can at store.forkedriverbrewing.com.

Even if the San Jose Sharks aren’t your team, it’s the go-to beer for opening night.

NEW AND NOTED

  • If Couture’s kveik isn’t reason enough to get fingers tapping on a Forked River order, consider running. Black Sheep, the black IPA brewed in collaboration with marathon runner Lanni Marchant, is back. Its reemergence has become a January ritual. Black Sheep has a light roast malt profile and hints of chocolate.
  • Miss skiing? Still kind enough to pump money into the Collingwood economy? There’s a beer for that. Collingwood Brewing has a new cherry and chocolate porter. Black Forest Porter, the latest instalment in Collingwood’s small-batch Freestyle beer series, is a classic brown porter recipe that delivers winter comfort as the pandemic restrictions, including a ban on skiing, continue. It’s available through the brewery. Past releases in the Freestyle series include a strawberry milkshake IPA, a schwarzbier and a white IPA.
  • It’s winter, are you thinking about Cincinnati, the Reds, and baseball? Maybe, if you’re a fan of foeder beers and Left Field in Toronto. Crosley Brett IPA is named in tribute to the stadium used by the Reds for 50 years until midseason in 1970. The beer rested in giant oak barrels with the house ale yeast. Left Field used Galaxy and New Zealand Nectaron hops.
  • Old Tomorrow and Hockey Helps the Homeless have teamed up with a specially packaged lager sold in 200 LCBO locations. Home Ice Advantage, and its homeless awareness messaging, is being promoted by former NHLer PJ Stock. The lager recipe is the same one that took a silver medal at the 2018 Canadian Brewing Awards. Home Ice Advantage is the first of Old Tomorrow’s Brew Aid charity series of beers. A second release supporting a different charity is coming this spring.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

wayne.newton@bell.net

Twitter.com/WayneWriteOn

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