Brews News: New IPA series showcases one hop variety at a time

By Staff

It’s one and fun this spring for a London craft brewery.

Storm Stayed, the plaza-based brewer on Wharncliffe Road South, is rolling out a new series of IPAs made from the same basic recipe except for the hops. The series has been christened Maverick.

The first beer in the single hop series uses Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand. The tropical-forward hop has been used in several one-off Storm Stayed beers since the brewery opened in late 2017.

“We are looking to begin this series by showcasing the hops we frequently use and enjoy, to start, while maintaining a similar grain bill,” said Storm Stayed’s Justin Belanger. “As we learn more about the finished product, we will adjust the grain bill to ensure that it is as tasty as we can make it. It’s always a learning experience that we grow with.”

Typically, brewers will use several different varieties of hops to get the aroma, flavour and beer they want. Three or four varieties seem typical, but I’ve seen as many as seven (which strikes me as a storage room cleanout).

The single hop Maverick series promises to be an interesting taste journey for patrons curious about the flavours, aromas and other characteristics different hops bring to a brew.

“In terms of which hop we are looking forward to the most, it would be the ones we’re currently using that have us the most excited,” Belanger said. “We’re eager to offer our customers a deeper insight into the unique flavours and characteristics of each hop. We are not sure how many variations this series will have. We use a wide variety of hops and we look forward to showcasing each of them in their own beers.”

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Each release will be canned and branded as Maverick, although the label’s colour might change to reflect the hop variety used.

“We don’t have a specific number of beers planned for the series, or a set schedule – Maverick is just a fun project we wanted to do in between brewing mainstay beers,” Belanger said. “We intend there to be no overlap between different batches of this series so that anyone visiting us will be able to experience a new product each time they visit. While they can be stored cold to compare with future releases, we encourage drinking hoppy beers fresh.”

There are more than 40 hop varieties used in various IPAs, from the familiar Citra to the lemon and pepper Pacific Jade. Storm Stayed could keep this series rolling for a long time.

Maverick Nelson Sauvin IPA is available now at the brewery in four-packs for $16 or single 355 ml cans for $4.50.


Specially-labelled cans of the award-winning Anderson Cream Ale are scoring for Hockey Helps the Homeless, a charity backed by a bevy of retired pros that raises money to assist unhoused people. Among the stars lending their names to the charity are former Toronto Maple Leafs captains Wendel Clarke, Doug Gilmour and Rick Vaive and Vancouver Canucks legends Daniel and Henrick Sedin along with Olympian Jayna Hefford. Almost 40 in total. It’s at the brewery store in London’s Old East Village, 1030 Elias St.

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Hockey Helps the Homeless
Hockey Helps the Homeless raises its profile in London with a new fundraising beer at Anderson Craft Ales. The charity, backed by former star players from the NHL and women’s hockey, aims to help the unhoused in various Canadian cities. (ANDERSON photo)

New beers at Anderson include one for malt-forward lovers. Anderson English Pale Ale captures the floral character of English hops. Across the globe, Anderson New Zealand Lager returns with its tropical fruit notes from its New Zealand hops. Lager fans can run the table of current Anderson lagers in a mix six box of Gold, New Zealand, Vienna, Czech Pils, Cerveza and Anderson Premium.

The most recent batch of Storm Stayed’s London Lite lager missed the flavour mark, so the brewery has asked anyone who bought cans to bring them back and swap them out for a different lager if they’re not happy with it. Storm Stayed has withdrawn London Lite for evaluation and in an Instagram post noted there’s no health risk and quality control is being enhanced.

Who’s up for a bold orange flavour? Colliander to balance sweetness? And is that a bubblegum in the background? The Witty Belgian, a 4.7 per cent alcohol Belgian witbier is canned and ready at Broken Rail Brewing in St. Marys.

The Witty Belgian
The Witty Belgian, a witbier with orange flavour, is an end-of-winter treat at Broken Rail in St. Marys. (BROKEN RAIL photo)

Oktoberfest celebrating quaffable lagers is famous, but how about a festival celebrating strong, dark beers? The festival you probably never heard of is Starkbierfest and it happens in Germany during March and April as a bock beer bash. Side Launch in Collingwood is organizing its version for March 23 featuring its Navigator, a 7.8 per cent alcohol German-style doppelbock along with German food fare and a live band followed by karaoke. Starkbierfest has a tie to Lent and the 17th century when monks brewed hearty beers to sustain them through fasting.

Wellington Brewery in Guelph and Sawdust City in Gravenhurst have teamed up to brew a Kentucky Common using only Ontario ingredients. Think of a Kentucky Common as a dark cream ale. Before prohibition, it was popular in the Louisville area.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

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