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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garrison Brews to Keep Me Warm

I received a call from the Garrison brewery out in Halifax last week to inform me that a Christmas package was being delivered for my interest, and what a nice gift. I opened the box when it arrived to see a bunch of 500ml winter ales containing some Winter Warmer Ale, Grand Baltic Porter and the yearly seasonal Martello Stout, all attractively packaged.

As you can see from the picture, the Winter Warmer is nicely sealed with a red capping and the Baltic Porter has been dipped in wax, much like the Black Lager that was introduced last winter. The Martello Stout makes the transition from a 341ml bottle to the larger 500ml and the highly glossed label featuring the historic Martello towers stands at attention.

Last winter, under former brewmaster Greg Nash, Garrison released a number of new brews that shocked the palate, gaining the 12 year old brewery some much needed hype. After winning the 2007 Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards for their Imperial Pale Ale, Garrison launched a hit with the already mentioned Black Lager, which weighed in at 8.2%. The 500ml bottle was dipped in black wax, was covered with a beautiful black and gold label featuring the famous canon from the Citadel and the beer inside was great. This was followed up with a very good Winter Weizenbock.

So it would seem that Garrison is sticking with the course, creating and releasing new winter beers yearly, offering bluenosers a terrific selection of strong warming ales for the harsh months ahead. I have yet to crack one open, but I intend to do so shortly and post my thoughts here.

The bottles can be purchased at Garrison's Brewery and at select independent alcohol retailers in Nova Scotia.

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