Last Friday I attended a Yelp Elite party. The event was called ‘Local Love’ because it was a partnership between Freehold Brewing Co., Sweet Relief, Dandy Brewery, Ol’ Beautiful and Outside the Shape.
After browsing through the pretty merchandise at Outside the Shape, L and I walked upstairs to meet Matt, the one of the owners of Freehold Brewing Co. Matt showcased four beers and paired each beverage with treats from Sweet Relief, a bakery located in Victoria Park.
The first beer was Big Chutes Lager. The lager was easy drinking, clean, with a hint of citrus. Matt referred to Big Chutes as a ‘patio crusher’ because you could easily spend an afternoon on a patio crushing this beer. I can see why. I found this lager refreshing and light. I liked the tiny bubbles foaming at the top. L said there was a lot of taste in the lager.
Next we sampled Pegasus Pale Ale from Ol’ Beautiful Brewery. The ale was paired with a square that reminded me of a homemade Oh Henry chocolate bar. I enjoyed the buttery crust and the taste of the dry roasted unsalted peanuts, which contrasted with the sweet stickiness of the caramel.
I could taste a bit of grapefruit and grassy floral hops in the Pegasus ale. I don’t normally like hoppy beers, but I found this ale easy to drink. I could crush this one on a patio too.
The third beer we sampled was Lacy Saisy Saison. I could taste warm hints of cloves, ginger and orange. L and I have a hard time finding a beer that we both equally love. I think Matt did the unimaginable. He created a beer that both hard core and casual beer drinkers could enjoy. I think Matt may have saved our marriage. No more fights at the liquor store. L said this was the first saison he liked.
Matt informed us that farmhouse ales or saisons as we know them, date back a long time ago in Belgium. Farmers would brew the beer, bury it in soil and then open it up in the summer for the weary workers as the water was undrinkable. Don’t quote me on that because I accidentally deleted my notes from the evening on my phone and I’m going by memory.
The dessert pairing for the saison was a jam cookie. Two sugar cookies were pressed against a sticky, flavour packed jam. The cookie was chewy and soft, buttery and sweet. I plan to buy some of these jam cookies and the dessert bar for a future party. These treats are much better than I can bake at home.
The fourth beer was Dandy in the Underworld Stout. I liked this beer. Bubbly and dark with rich coffee and chocolate notes. Matt said oyster shells are used in the process for calcium carbonate. I wanted to ask Matt more questions about the stout and saison but other Yelpers kept dominating the conversation and having side chats so I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I was sitting at the front right across from him too.
I hope Freehold Brewing Co. finds a new space for their brewery and restaurant. In the meantime, you can find Freehold beers at Nash, Notable, Craft, Beer Revolution, Bar von Fels and all the Nationals. Stores that sell Freehold include: Coop, Domestic Bottle, Kensington Wine Market, Highlander (Marda Loop), Liquor Depot (Killarney/Marda Loop) Vine Arts and Willow Park.
Thanks to Miranda R for inviting me and allowing me to use her photos. If you want to get invited to future Yelp Elite events, sign up and start writing reviews. From there you ask a friend (me) to nominate you.
2 thoughts on “Sweet Relief”
Great meeting you and Leighton at the event – and excited you’ve taken a liking to our beers, as well as the other great ones that are out there in YYC!
We’re hot on the tail of a new location and will share out when the time is right. After the challenges we’ve had, it might be a parade when we do share! 🙂
Thanks for sharing the local love!
Matt and Tavis, and everyone at FHBco.
Wonderful! That’s great news. We are excited to check out your new location. Best of luck.