Welcome to the very first edition of First Draught, a weekly column I will be doing all about beer. I’ve been reviewing and writing about beers for about 10 years now, but now I’m finally sharing my love of beer with all of Westman.
One thing I’ve noticed growing up in western Manitoba is that almost everyone has a strong opinion on politics, music, sports teams and their favourite beer. Bud Light may be king in this neck of the woods, but I will be focusing on beers that don’t get much attention, the beers most of us walk right past when at the Liquor Mart, the beers that have been sitting on the shelf for who-knows-how-long — those beers!
My aim and goal is to let Westman beer drinkers know which barley treats available in our own neck of the woods deserve some special attention.
When I was thinking of a beer to cover for my first column, I absolutely knew what I had to review: Steinlager Pure, a golden lager from New Zealand. I didn’t want to start off with Imperial stouts, India pale ales, barleywines or the like right off the bat, because those kind of beers can scare some people.
To be honest, I’m not normally a fan of lagers; I do enjoy a Moosehead while watching a Jets game on TV or while camping, but that’s about it. Steinlager Pure, though, is a refreshing lager that’s made with the best ingredients New Zealand has to offer — malted barley, yeast, fresh hops and water. Steinlager is a bit reminiscent to a Moosehead or a Heineken, a bit of a bitterness in the flavour, but unlike those two, Steinlager doesn’t have any of the skunkiness that makes lots of beer drinkers cringe.
It has a nice light lemon citrus thanks to the New Zealand hops, which also gives the Steinlager its light bitterness. I’ve replaced Moosehead with Steinlager Pure for my go-to bonfire beer; it’s light, refreshing, not too light/not too strong and not only that, it costs only $2.20 before taxes at the local Liquor Mart.
Rating: 3 pints out of 5.
If you’re wanting to get out and try new beers, the annual Lieutenant-Governor’s Winter Festival is taking place next week from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Various pavilions will be selling samples of their country’s beer and it’s guaranteed to be a blast! Admission is free and Brandon Transit will be providing free shuttle from City Hall to the venues so that hopefully nobody will be drinking and driving after the event.