Wild Rose Is Launching a Hemp Flour Beer
Brewmaster Brian Smith tells us what Albertans can expect from the new brew.
For more than two decades, Alberta’s beer fans, adventurers and offbeat characters have come together at Wild Rose Brewery. Like all Albertans, the brewery has learned and grown in 20+ years (and has some wild stories to prove it).
While times have changed, the Wild Rose passion for creating fresh, authentic beers and unforgettable experiences hasn’t. It’s grown enough to provide best-in-class quality control, but is still small enough to stay true to its craft. Using fresh, local, preservative-free ingredients, Wild Rose Brewery is making Alberta even wilder — one beer at a time.
Wild Rose brewmaster and operations manager Brian Smith has unique insight on his brewery’s latest beer, and on new developments the craft beer industry has faced in recent years.
Q: High Harvest, your new beer made with hemp flour, is being released to Alberta on March 1. What is hemp flour and what should Alberta expect from this beer?
Smith: Hemp flour is made from crushed hemp seeds. The oil is removed then the seeds are ground into a fine powder. Hemp flour provides a nice nutty flavour that works well with the High Harvest. Additionally, it is full of protein, which contributes to the haze in the beer as well as providing a nice, full sensation on the palate when you drink it. The High Harvest is a hop-forward beer with an absolutely beautiful aroma balanced by an array of interesting ingredients like flaked wheat and oats as well as the hemp flour.
Q: Alberta’s Craft Breweries have tripled in the last three years. How is this growth in the local craft beer industry affecting Wild Rose Brewery?
Smith: We’ve found the growth in craft breweries has had a positive effect. Greater awareness and interest in craft beer is good for the entire industry. The Alberta craft beer market is still relatively new, and at this stage we believe there is still room for lots of breweries in the province. We also feel fortunate to have started 22 years ago and worked through some of the hiccups that come with starting a new brewery. We believe an engaged and educated consumer base is critical for the growth of the craft industry, and new breweries provide lots of great options that benefit the industry as a whole.
Q: Wild Rose Brewery is a leading brewery in Alberta with 21 years of experience in the industry. How do you pick the beers that you brew?
Smith: We have a core group of beers that stays relatively constant, but we are always introducing new products. The process begins with our brewers, who are passionate about what they do and are very well versed in beer styles and current trends. When deciding on a new product we start with a discussion between the brewers. Consideration is given to time of year. Is the beer seasonally appropriate? Is it a style that will resonate with Alberta’s beer drinker? Once a style is identified we’ll do a test batch or two until we nail the recipe then scale it up for full production. The consumer will then tell us if we’ve got something that will remain in our lineup.
Wild Rose Brewery Taproom, 4580 Quesnay Wood Dr. SW, 403-727-5451, wildrosebrewery.com
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Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday to Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday to Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.