B.C. brewery toasts bad times with bailout beer
A private micro-brewery in British Columbia is toasting the current economic downturn by launching a special brand of recession-style beer.
Howe Sound Brewery says it is now making "Bailout Bitter," its most bitter-tasting brew, named in honour of the financial sector bailouts that have taken place globally, underscoring the severity of current economic crisis.
Calling it "bitter ale for bitter times," the brewery said the new beer will cost less than its other brands.
For instance, a pint of Bailout Bitter will sell for $5.50, or about $1 less per glass, at the company's restaurant and brew pub, located in Squamish, B.C., about an hour drive north of Vancouver.
The company is also planning to sell one-litre bottles of the new ale in the coming weeks, at a price less than the $7.10 per one-litre bottle it charges for some of its current brands. The price per bottle hasn't been set yet as the company waits for bottling approval from provincial government.
"We are trying to inject a little bit of humour into this dire economic situation, while still responding in a serious way to these tough times," the brewery's co-owner Leslie Fenn said of the new brand.
Fenn said because the brewery is small, it can quickly produce a new brand that meets the times faster than its larger peers in the competitive beer market.
And while the brew isn't even on the shelves, it's already garnering international attention. The Wall Street Journal has already been in communication with the company. And the brewery is taking steps to keep it homegrown - they've already trademarked the beer's name in most English languages.
Fenn said the idea was hatched about two months ago when the impact of the global financial crisis began to be felt around the world
The Howe Sound Brewery, which started in 1996, produces about 10,000 litres of beer per week. The brewery makes 12 different types of beer which are hand bottled and sold primarily at liquor stores in B.C. and Alberta.