N.W.T. Brewing Co. to unveil first beers on New Year's Eve

After months of delays, Yellowknifers will finally get to taste beer brewed in the territory, for the first time since the Bush Pilots Brew Pub closed its doors in 1997. 'So far I've been really happy with the results... and I'm pretty sure Yellowknife will be too,' says Fletcher Stevens.

'So far I've been really happy with the results... and I'm pretty sure Yellowknife will be too'

Fletcher Stevens poses with his first batch of beer at the N.W.T. Brewing Co. 'We're ecstatic that we can finally produce something locally that people will actually get to try.' (Garrett Hinchey/CBC)

The N.W.T.'s only microbrewery is set to debut its first in-house beer just in time for New Years.

"So far I've been really happy with the results," said Fletcher Stevens of the N.W.T. Brewing Co. "And I'm pretty sure Yellowknife will be too."

Two brews should be ready for lunch hour today, with a third ready in time for New Year's Eve. 

It's the first time that beer has been commercially brewed in the territory since 1997, when the Bush Pilot's Brew Pub closed its doors.

Stevens and his wife Miranda opened The Woodyard pub two months ago to showcase the new brews. They met several hurdles along the way, from licensing to inspections, that delayed the actual brewing of beer.

But Fletcher says it's all been worth it.

"We're ecstatic that we can finally produce something locally, and people will actually get to try, and hopefully back us."

Witbier, pale ale

The pub's first offering is a witbier — a cloudy, Belgian style ale that will have a peppery, clovey flavour. "People can compare it to a Rickard's White or a Keith's White," Stevens said. 

They'll also serve a Ragged Pine pale ale, which Stevens expects will become the pub's signature beer. 

The company will eventually produce four different types of beer, with take-home sales beginning in the next couple of months.

Brewing beer locally should also solve the pub's problem of running out of beer — something that frequently occurred as customers flocked to the pub during its first few weeks in business. 

"I think it's just that everybody was so pumped up about us that everybody and their dogs came in to check it out," said Stevens, adding that he's pleased people were willing to try everything. 

"Selling out of things is a good problem to have."


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