B.C. brewing company's new sour beer powered by windstorm outages
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:20PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 6:47PM PST
As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons make lemonade – but in the case of a Vancouver Island brewery, it's making sour beer.
Riot Brewing Company in Chemainus was one of thousands of businesses that lost power on the island Dec. 20, in what has since been deemed the most damaging windstorm in BC Hydro history.
The brewery was halfway through canning and brewing its latest batch of beer when the storm toppled trees onto power lines, knocking out power to more than 750,000 customers across B.C.
At first, Riot Brewing thought the beer would be a write-off after the power outage lasted 80 hours.
"But during those days, something special happened," the company said in a news release. "The half-finished beer that seemed like it would be lost was saved by the power of sour."
Brewers decided to wait for the beer to hit the proper temperature before adding lactobacillus, which jump starts the souring process.
"Two weeks later and this improvised concoction of malts and delicious fruits is one of the happiest accidents to come out of these tanks," the brewery said.
It's now asking beer enthusiasts to request and order its new, appropriately titled "Sour Outage Passionfruit Plum Dark Sour" to help make up for the company's "significant financial loss" as a result of the power outage.
This isn't the first time an island brewery has turned a setback into a savvy marketing move.
After a fire badly damaged Victoria pub Spinnakers in 2016, the business bounced back with a brew – "Fireman's Session Thirst Extinguisher" – that paid tribute to the firefighters who saved the building from being destroyed.
Riot Brewing's Sour Outage beer will be available by the end of January.