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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Beer Baron - With a Little Help from My Friends

The craft beer community is just that: a community. While it is a community full of big beards, countless beer-based puns and people who would proudly try a pumpkin peach ale, it is absolutely a community and has always felt welcoming and supportive to me. Apart from the fact that I believe you could strike up a friendly conversation at a craft beer bar or festival easier than just about any place in the world, collaborations between craft brewers is another example of how strong the sense of community is.

While I can’t imagine macro brewers AB InBev and Molson Coors ever collaborating on a beer and what that hell spawn might actually taste like, I’ve been looking forward to a collaboration between my local London brewery, Forked River Brewing Company, and one of my favourite Ontario craft brewers, Sawdust City Brewing Co. for quite some time.

When the Sawdust City team headed down to London from Gravenhurst, Ontario on October 8, 2014 for Arts & Draughts, a beer tasting event in support of a local theatre, they stopped by Forked River and tweeted a picture of the two brewers working together to create a collaboration beer.

Now, after months of waiting, their first collaboration, a 9.1%, bourbon-barrel aged imperial brown ale called Deforestation, has finally been released.

Like the best porters and stouts, an imperial brown ale has enough body and character to stand up to barrel aging, which could easily overwhelm lesser beers. Deforestation has strong roasted malt notes and a nice touch of caramel and chocolate that balance wonderfully with the vanilla and oak of the bourbon barrel.

Unlike the oily blackness of an imperial stout – like Forker River’s own Weendigo, which is also barrel aged – Deforestation has a lot more carbonation and a luxuriously creamy head. Despite the fact that it is a pretty hefty 9.1%, it is a really approachable and downright quaffable beer… just be sure you are in for the night or have a designated driver before said quaffing.

With an enticing mix of aromas from the beer and the barrel aging process as well as a wonderful balance of caramel sweetness and both hop and dark chocolate bitterness, Deforestation was worth the wait and is further proof that collaboration and community and great taste are worth being celebrated and even…

*This post comes from Matt, the Beer Baron.



  1. Love how the craft beer community is growing in Ontario and trying new things.

  2. Yes, it is so great to see. Especially here in London. Thanks for commenting!