Brews News: Mystery Pack promo masterfully marketed
Beer D, a sour, highlights the Nickel Brook Mystery Pack. Craft beer fans can vote for their favourite from among four in the pack until Jan. 21. (Wayne Newton/Special to Postmedia News)
The best marketing play of the season comes to an end soon.
Nickel Brook’s Mystery Pack, which tested the taste buds of many on Christmas morning, pitted four new recipes from the Burlington brewer against one another. Craft beer fans were encouraged to vote online for their favourite with, one assumes, the winning recipe launched as a new brand.
Voting closes Jan. 21.
Labelled A, B, C, and D, the pack contains a stout, New England 4.5 per cent alcohol session IPA, a higher octane 6.5 per cent alcohol New England IPA, and a dry-hopped sour.
The contest is, in fact, no contest for my taste buds.
Mystery Beer A is a watery stout, unlikely to please craft beer drinkers who are passionate about the style. It’s a stout with training wheels. So no A, eh.
Mystery Beer B is pleasant and few would fault Nickel Brook if they put this one into full production. But why settle for this when its big brother, Mystery Beer C, is the hazy hallmark of fruity hoppiness?
I’m guessing Mystery Beer C will win because it’s a crowd-pleaser, but it’s not the one I voted for.
Hands down, my favourite from the pack was D, a dry-hopped sour. This tart beer was a fun and refreshing fireside post-Christmas companion. Sours are on trend. Here’s hoping Nickel Brook adds this sweetheart to its roster.
. . .
If you missed helping Nickel Brook decide on its new beer, how about helping a six-month-old brewery in rural Perth County find a name for its new IPA?
Shakespeare Brewing Company was opened last summer by the husband-and-wife team of Ayden Gautreau and Katie Anderson-Gautreau.
Ayden, who is also the Hoptical Illusionist (aka brewer) at Bell City in Brantford, is focusing on Ontario ingredients at Shakespeare Brewing, making it more plow than playwright.
The brews so far carry names such as Heavy Horse Farmhouse Ale and Classy Cow Milk Stout.
The name for a new IPA is down to five finalists from among many suggestions: Menacing Moose, Arrogant Alpaca, Daring Donkey, Grumpy Goat, and Bold Beaver. I think the Goat gets it, but have your say at shakespearebrewingcompany.ca.
. . .
Forked River Key Lime Flashback is a more frugal alternative to a winter vacation in Florida. It’s a brewery-exclusive wheat beer flavoured with key lime puree. (Special to Postmedia News)
For those who aren’t zooming down I-75 to Florida this winter, there’s always 45 Pacific Court.
That’s the London address for Forked River Brewing Company, where the culinary soul of the Florida Keys is honoured with a new, brewery-exclusive, beer called Key Lime Flashback.
Its starting point is the Forked River Mojo, a wheat beer widely distributed in the summer. Brewers have taken a freshly brewed Mojo batch and added lime puree from the same Quebec company that supplies the likes of Beau’s All Natural, Bellwoods, and Amsterdam.
“We have to brew Mojo early in the year to submit it to the LCBO for testing, so in the past we’ve released it in January … sometimes as a raspberry version,” Forked River’s Andrew Peters wrote in an email. “This year we thought we’d try something different, by adding the unique taste of key limes, and gave it the name Flashback as a way to harken back to the warm summer days.”
Light on hop flavour, light in colour, Key Lime Flashback is definitely your more affordable alternative to a Florida vacation, with none of that pesky sand in your hair.
. . .
Railway City in St. Thomas, the people who put community in craft brewing, gets its country on with a new event dubbed Suds, Songs and Stories (with no offence meant to those who get angry when fine beer is confused with soap).
Buck Twenty, Connor Wilson, and Jay Allan provide the music and conversation. The date is Jan. 27. Tickets are $15 and available at the brewery.
Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.