In the corner of an old livery on the edge of the exchange district in Winnipeg there is a taproom. It's the taproom and brewery of Little Brown Jug Brewing and their beer 1919. They opened their doors in December 2016 with a single offering. It's not the safe and simple american ale that so many breweries fall into but a rich light brown Belgian pale ale made in the traditional German kräusening (double fermentation) technique.
The taproom at little brown jug balances the wide open space of the brewery with the very close and social feel of the taproom. We order our drinks and food (cheese plate) at the bar and as we sit down the comfortable vibe of a small, friendly social club makes me feel at home. The mix of seating and relaxed atmosphere makes it very easy to sit and enjoy the beer and conversation.
Sitting and chat, we watch as people flow in and out of the taproom. Some staying for a drink and others just to fill their growlers, and of course 'little brown jugs'. Our food arrives in no time at all and it is Delicious. Two types of Cheese, some crackers, pickles, apricots and a yummy fudge all on a black wood board. The crackers are thick and hearty and the fudge is sweet and made with their own beer. Most importantly it's all being washed down with a glass of 1919.
Now the beer, 1919. I first tried it at the Flatlander's Beer Festival and it was great. So great in fact I got some on the spot for later. So when I found myself in Winnipeg with time to spare I had to visit and get some more and once again i'm not disappointed. This easy drinking and smooth Belgian ale has an amazingly rich full flavor, Citrus-y and nutty but not overpowering. Just the right amount of brewers gold hops give 1919 enough hoppy flavor to please. However it's toned back enough that I could easily be on the deck or at the lake and drink it exclusively with out getting overwhelmed. In fact as I write this post I am enjoying a glass with some fresh crusty bread and homemade strawberry jam and although not very 'rockstar' of me it is a great match. All in all I would say that 1919 is one of my top beers for this summer so far, and I will be calling in whenever i'm in Winnipeg to grab some more. So why not do the same and support this great little brewery that's brewing great beer in a traditional way and hitting the nail squarely on the head with 1919.