Once again this week my wife and I found ourselves at ESCA Gourmet Pizza & Bar. This time, we were there for something specific. You see, each month Muskoka Brewery releases their Moonlight Kettle Series and I wasn’t about to miss out. ESCA is the only place in Cornwall who serve up these “one offs” and they generally don’t last long.
The Muskoka Region of Ontario is a popular getaway for cottagers and campers alike. Waterways and lakes cover the area, and the scenery is just beautiful no matter the season. It consists of six municipalities, one of those is Bracebridge and home to Muskoka Brewery. Muskoka Brewery has been around for over 20 years and considered by some to be a pioneer for craft beer in Ontario. My wife and I had the opportunity to visit just last year. We spent the better part of the afternoon at the brewery speaking with staff and other visitors to the area. Got to try a few of their brews before, during and after the tour as well. Then spent way too much money in the gift shop on some cool swag.
Ok, back to the beer. I spoke to my buddy Scott Lewin, a Territory Manager with Muskoka Brewery. According to him, the Moonlight Kettle Series started in 2015. They brew a unique beer every month and release it in limited quantities. Only a select few licensed customers receive this product. “Every beer is a collaboration between a brewer and 2 or more non brewers. Every staff member gets a chance to come up with a name, style, specialty ingredients, tasting notes and marketing copy for their very own beer.” He said that most of them only come around once. But once in a while one stands out among the rest. In this case they may bring it back in a limited series release down the road. Two examples of these are the “Cool As A Cuke” and “Kirbys Kolsch”, both available in their Summer Survival Packs.
This month’s Moonlight Kettle Series release is Summertime Siesta and is a kettle sour. Described by Scott as tart and light at 3.5%. You get some tropical fruit flavours from the dry-hopping and is super refreshing and therefore perfect on a hot day. I couldn’t help but agree. The fact that it was a sour this month really peaked my interest. I do love a good sour, and when the summer weather is upon us they are a great drink to enjoy on a patio. Not surprisingly I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the better summer beer I’ve had so far in 2017, and one of my favourite of this year’s Kettle Series as well.
At the end of the series, anyone who has completed the passport receive a free Muskoka Brewery Moonlight Kettle Series t-shirt. For those who have completed at least half the passport, their names are entered in a draw to win a subscription to the mailing club. This means the lucky winner will have a six pack of the Moonlight Kettle release sent to them each month. I thought that was a nice touch. It’s a limited series of beer, sold only at a select few locations. What a great way to thank your customers who consistently support this initiative. Great on you guys Muskoka as well for including your employees. I’m sure they just love the fact that they had a hand in it. Keep up the great work, and looking forward to next month’s release.