What the F*** is Kveik

If you’ve had your ear to the ground in the brewing world or if you’ve been in the company of a brewer, you’ve probably heard them talk about Kveik (pronounced K’vike for us Anglophones). But what the f*** is Kveik? Is this some magic spell? Is this a blessing from the brew gods? No. It is neither of those things.

In short, Kveik is a style of yeast used in traditional Norwegian farmhouse brewing. So why all the fuss? What makes this yeast so special that it literally has some brewers as giddy as as a 5 year old who discovered a mountain of candy in their parents’ closet? I could tell you that there’s nothing special about it. This article would be boring and over. If I told you that, it would also be a big dirty lie.

For starters, Kveik yeasts are massively diverse, genetically speaking and full of characteristics that aren’t common in other brewing yeasts. For example, common ale yeast and lager yeasts ferment at 20-22 degrees Celsius and 7-13 degrees Celsius respectively. Kviek yeasts, on the other hand, can ferment as high as 43 degrees Celsius in some strands and as low as 4 degrees Celsius in others. That’s hardy AF.

Another interesting characteristic of Kviek is that it can be used effectively outside of the farmhouse style of beer. This includes but is certainly not limited to New England IPA’s, English Milds, ciders, meads and even in the mash for distilling spirits. On top of this, brewers have been able to use less Kveik than they would have to use other yeasts. As little as 25% of the amount, as a matter of fact! 

Now when your “friends” talk at you about Kveik, you won’t respond with “bless you”. You’re welcome.

Something You Might Not Know Vol. 4 Growler Cleaning

Our growler program explained:

The growler program at Manantler is by far the most cost effective way to buy our beer. An average beer for us breaks down to about $0.34/oz in bottle vs about $0.31/oz in a 64oz growler. Only $0.25/oz when you factor in the $4.00 discount for using a manantler growler! I dare say it’s also more environmentally friendly with less waste produced from bottle labelling and take out bags.

So what are some of the drawbacks? Surely this is all too good to be true, right? Well, that depends, I suppose. One drawback could be that once the growler is filled, it’ll only keep for a week or two. Definitely a drawback if you’re planning to hold on to the beer for a while. Maybe it’s a gift of you’re saving it for a special treat. Another drawback could be that once the growler is opened, it’s best consumed within a day or else you’re left with flat beer that starts to taste less delicious than it should. In addition to 64oz, our growlers also come in a 32oz size which is about 1.5 of our standard bottles. If you only want a little bit of beer at a time or you want to hold on to the beer like a souvenir, then maybe growlers aren’t for you. 

The basics of our growler program are this: You buy either a 32oz collector or 64oz standard growler for $12.99 plus tax. This growler is yours to keep, love and cherish. Everytime you fill your Manantler growler, you get a discount. $4 off a 64oz pour and $2 off a 32oz pour. Which means the growler will pay for itself. For the 64oz it’s on the fourth fill and on the seventh fill for the 32oz.

Once the growler is filled, you take it to wherever you’re going to drink it and do just that! There’s a little bit of work involved once you’ve emptied your growler. This is where the love comes in. To keep your growler performing to its fullest, you’ll want to give it a good thorough rinse with hot water. You might be tempted to use a cleaning product at this stage, but don’t. Glass is porous and if you use something like soap, you’ll leave a residue in the growler that’s difficult to remove and it’ll add a soapy flavour to the next beer you fill it with. After your hot water rinse, the next step is to let it air dry. When you’re ready for more beer, bring it on back in and we’ll sanitize your growler before we fill it every time.

In summary, this isn’t Flat Earther science. This is the real deal. 

You buy growler (negative) 

+ You get great beer (positive) 

+ You get a discount on great beer (double positive) 

+ You can repeat the positive steps indefinitely (maximum positive) 

= Living your best life

There you have it. Science wins again.

Something You Might Not Know Volume 3

Did you know there are hundreds of kinds of yeast that are used to make beer? Traditionally there were only two types used. They were referred to as top fermenting yeast, which is typically used to make ales, and bottom fermenting yeast, typically used to ferment lagers. Technically speaking, those two types of yeast are still used, but they are now used as a way to categorize all the hundreds of types of yeast.
Different strains of yeast are used to accomplish different flavour profiles and beer styles. Have you ever seen a beer that had ‘Brett’ in the title? Brett is actually a type of yeast! Brett yeast (more technically speaking known as Brettanomyces) is an interesting strain of yeast for multiple reasons. It’s been used in beer for years and years, but not necessarily on purpose. Brett yeast grows on fruit skin, so in the ‘olden days’, Brett yeast got into beer without brewers even knowing. Now though, craft brewers use it on purpose. It has a very distinctive funky, fruity flavour to it that can add some awesomely unique qualities!

Something You Might Not Know Volume 2

We, like many breweries, love have 4 legged visitors in.  At Manantler we are avid animal lovers, and we welcome dogs and cats for visits!  For the animals we offer our top of the line filtered water as well as treats, of course with the owner’s permission.  I can personally say that it makes my day when customers bring their animals in for a beer!

Something You Might Not Know Volume 1

Do you know Corey went to the Niagara College for the Brew Master and Operations Management course?  When applying to the program, applicants are allowed to apply for the “Matt Soos” scholarship.  To get the scholarship you must brew a beer and have it professionally judged and then win first place!  Corey won with his brew of a Belgian IPA.  He knew how to make good beer even before he was classically trained to make good beer

What Sets Us Apart

It’s hard to write a blurb about what makes us special without people reading into it and assuming that we think we’re better than other breweries.  I am very proud to work at Manantler. If I'm being totally honest, I brag about us all the time.  However, I don’t want this to come across as brag-y, but more of a “here are some things we’re proud of” tidbit.

One thing I love to mention to customers is the passion we have at Manantler for all that we do.  I mean, it goes without saying that we all love beer.  But the passion we have for all the work we do at the brewery is something I love.  It’s the second best part about working here - second of course to seeing and talking to our amazing customers! (Too much??) And if you’ve ever talked to Corey about beer, well, you can see the passion in his eyes when he talks about it.  I think loving what you do is so important and it makes all the difference in the atmosphere, especially in a setting such as ours.

Another thing we have? We have something for everyone.  No matter what style of beer you’re into at any given time, I would be willing to bet we have something that will tickle your fancy.  We have beer for a non craft beer drinker to enjoy, and we have beer for the hop heads out there, and anyone in between!  I think it’s a beautiful thing when beer can bring people together, with no discrimination towards anyone’s taste buds!

What's Our Most Popular Beer?

As a tap room staff I get this question a lot but it’s a hard one to answer.  What sells the most?  Without looking at the numbers, I find our one-off beers sell out the fastest.  The styles that are brand new and masterfully made, they always seem to go the quickest.  On the flip side, there are beers that possibly aren’t our top sellers, but the people who love them, LOVE them, and always keep coming back for them.  We are well known for a couple of our Black IPA’s (Dark Prince and Hot Wax), if you like a dark hoppy beer, those two are amazing and keep people coming back for more.  Finally, we have our lighter, easier drinking beers (Roberta Blondar and Creamed By Bickell), which sell very steadily on any given day.  So yes, the article title was misleading because I still didn’t tell you what our most popular beer is.  But maybe the next time you go to a brewery, whether it be Manantler or any other one, ask the bartender what his or her favourite beer on tap is.  You’ll see their eyes light up - we love talking about the beer that we love!  You’ll also get a slightly less wish-washy answer.

Where Do We Get Our Ideas

Creativity can be a difficult thing to come by, yet in the craft beer industry there seems to be no shortage of it.  From beer recipes, to beer names, to the fun  and artistic labels, there always seems to be something new coming out from breweries all across the province - and beyond.  We have had many people ask where we come up with these ideas for new brews and new names.  In all honesty, there isn’t a formula for how those in charge decide on this stuff, but I’ll let you in on a few of the ways they come up with the ideas.  

When it comes to beer styles, one of the deciding factors is the season.  If you come into the brewery in the colder months, you’re bound to find a lot more dark beers on tap and in the bottle fridge.  Where as in the summer, you’ll find more lighter in colour beers, as well as more fruity and ‘summery’ flavours.  Of course this isn’t always the case, considering we came out with our first ever sour, which is thought of as more of a summer style, in October of 2018.

Other than that, I think we can chalk it up to Corey and the rest of the staff’s creative minds.  For beer names, we love to do a play on words with the beer style, as well as references to random things.  The Machine is a reference to a comedian named Bert Kreischer and one of his comedy skits.  Oat Of This World is an Oat IPA that is literally out of this world, so a very fitting name.

I suppose you could say that if you’re creative enough, there is truly inspiration in anything.

What I Love About The Industry

I love craft beer, I think most people reading this article would agree with that statement.  Since starting in the industry though, I feel like I’ve gained a new appreciation for craft beer, for the people who make it and sell it, and for the mentality that this industry holds.  

If you’ve talked to me before at the brewery you might have heard me talk about how much I love this community.  All industries are competitive - after all a business needs sales to stay afloat.  But the craft beer industry is one of the friendliest ones out there (definitely the friendliest competition I’ve ever come across). There is never a time I’ve heard any brewer speak badly of another.  Not once have I heard an owner of a brewery slander the name of another brewery.  I love this community aspect, everyone seeking to help each other.  If one brewer comes across a hiccup, let me grab Corey for you, he will lend you his expertise.  You like our sour beer?  Check out Chronicle, they love making sours!  Looking for some interestingly random beer flavours?  5 Paddles will give you your fix.  I could go on like this for a while but I think you get the point.  The beer is a great reason to go out and explore different breweries across Ontario, but I think the community is what keeps people coming back every time.