Thunder Bay

Kenora based brewery aging beer under Lake of the Woods ice

The Lake of the Woods Brewing Company has taken the term having a cold one to another level.

1,000 bottles of Deep 6 stout will sit on the lake bottom until May 2021

The container with 1,000 bottles of Deep 6 stout being dropped into Lake of the Woods, Nov. 1, 2020. (photo: Tom Thomson)

The Lake of the Woods Brewing Company has taken the term having a cold one to another level.

Earlier this month, the Kenora, Ont. based brewery sank 1,000 bottles of beer underwater in Lake of the Woods.

They are calling the extra-chilled brew Deep 6.

Rob Dokuchie is the Director of Marketing for the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. He said the product has an interesting history.

 "We have a brewer that actually came over from South Africa a few years ago and he had heard of a brewery there that had done it," Dokuchie said.

"They sunk some beer under the ocean, and it's called driftwood brewing. So we kind of thought that would be a really cool idea to take on and try here on Lake of the Woods. We haven't seen really anyone else doing it in the world, to be honest. There may be a brewery in Croatia that tried it, but yeah, it's pretty unique."

Dokuchie said the limited release Russian Imperial Stout was dropped to the bottom of Lake of the Woods with the help of a cargo boat and diver on Nov. 1. It will bottle age six metres under the ice at 3 degrees to 4 degrees for six months.

He said the Deep 6 beer was cellared in the brewery for six weeks at 11 C and aged with some maple wood that added a woody flavour to the beer.

Dokuchie said finishing the beer under almost a metre of ice on Lake of the Woods is the final touch.

Getting the bottles of Deep 6 ready to be submerged. (photo: Tom Thomson)

"Now that it is in the water, it is actually is undergoing what's called lagering," said Dokuchie.

"So it's a colder aging process and it's going to be down there for about six months. So we're really excited to see how this batch is going to turn out. We did a test batch last year with about a dozen bottles, and it was great."

When asked about the concern of losing beer to freezing, Dokuchie noted the bottom of the lake stays at about 4 degrees all winter. He said that temperature is great for aging a beer.

"There is also a current there," said Dokuchie of the beers underwater resting place. "So the bottles will be moving around a little bit, which, you know, could add something to the aging process. We're really excited to find out what that's going to do."

A single 750 ml bottle of Deep 6 will set you back $50. The brewery says one-third of the bottles are already spoken for thanks to online sales. (photo: Lake of the Woods brewing company)

Dokuchie said each bottle of Deep 6 is hand-numbered and signed by the company's head brewer and will be packaged in its own custom printed container. He said a limited run of this beer was produced for release in late spring 2021. Each 750 ml bottle of Deep 6 will cost $50.

Dokuchie said so far, the response to the idea — and the price point — has been good.

 "For the most part, everybody is super excited and think it's a great idea," he said. "And we've sold probably about a third of all of our bottles already. We're doing pre-sale online. So, yeah, it's going quite well."