If you need a reason to trek out to Great Lakes Brewery off the highway in Etobicoke, here it is: seasonals. Small batch stuff that you don’t get in the LCBO, or even on tap at local bars. This is the story of Currant Affair.
Currant Affair is/was GLB’s Body Dubbel with added fresh Ontario blackcurrants. GLB Community Manager Troy Burtch tells me the story of how this came about: “We have some good friends from the cottage who have a farm and they grow black currants. At harvest they donate a hundred or so pounds to us and we can make some beer for them. In the past we’ve added them post fermentation to a porter. This year we tried them with a Belgian Dubbel.”
So, how does it taste? Refreshing and subtly complex: fruity, creamy, malty, a tad sour. The dubbel has a rich, malty backbone rounded out with a slight tart berry finish from the blackcurrants. You know I want way more beers like this. The first sour beer I had from GLB was Ezra (which I bought a bunch of in 2014 and was reunited with it at one of the best tap takeovers of all time), a beer aged in wild Ontario cider barrels that may be coming back soon.
When asked how often GLB does fruit beers, Troy says “I’d say we do one every month or two. We’d like to do more but it’s really about having enough space and time.”
Though GLB’s current facilities don’t allow the production of sours (due to the high risk of cross-contamination), at least we get a taste of these special brews via local fruits, barrels and collaborations from time to time. Cheers!
Photo from my Instagram.