N.W.T.-brewed beer hits shelves across Canada, sells out quickly in Yellowknife

Twelve-packs of beer featuring the NWT Brewing Co.'s Miner's Refreshment are hitting the shelves across the country — and selling out in Yellowknife.

Red Racer Across the Nation promotion brings Miner's Refreshment grisette south of 60

Fletcher Stevens, co-owner of the NWT Brewing Co., picks up some Red Racer 12-packs, featuring one of his very own brews, at a Yellowknife liquor store. (Submitted by Fletcher Stevens)

Twelve-packs of beer featuring an N.W.T. ale are hitting shelves across the country this week, but don't expect to find any in Yellowknife.

Both of the city's liquor stores sold out of the Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration shortly after it became available Tuesday.

The 12-pack features craft beer from all 10 provinces, the Yukon and Yellowknife in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. It marks the first time the NWT Brewing Co.'s beer has been sold outside of the territory.

Co-owner and brewer Fletcher Stevens says the promotion will provide great exposure for the Yellowknife-based brew pub.

"It's definitely a great opportunity for us," he said. "I was absolutely tickled when I was invited... to be a part of this. It's great exposure for us nationwide."

The 12-pack includes beers from across the nation. (Submitted by Central City Brewing)

Commemorating 'a rich mining heritage'

Asked to brew something that captures the spirit of the territory, Stevens figured he'd pay tribute to the N.W.T.'s mining history.

He created a grisette — a type of Belgian beer — called "Miner's Refreshment" for the collaboration.

Stevens says the golden ale was traditionally enjoyed by miners after a long day's work.

"We've had such a rich mining heritage in the Northwest Territories," he said. "It would make total sense to commemorate that."

It took approximately three months to brew 20,000 litres of beer for the collaboration. Stevens says the beer is light, crisp and not too strong.

The Red Racer 12-pack is available in Alberta and the N.W.T. and will soon make its way east.

The Liquor Store downtown and the Liquor Shop uptown have both ordered more cases from the N.W.T. Liquor Commission, but say it could take weeks for them to come in.

A total of 240 cases were sold at the two locations between Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Stevens said he's brewing more of the grisette now and plans to host a pouring event at the brew pub next month.

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