We were recently shipped out to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the Prairies of Canada, to work with A&W on a campaign for a new product they’re releasing. Now, Winnipeg isn’t exactly know for its craft beer scene. Until only one year ago, there were just two breweries in the city, Fort Garry and Half Pints. Over the past 12 months or so, that number has ballooned to eight, which is quite an incredible growth rate for such a small, somewhat isolated place. I figured that while we were in town, we may as well get in a podcast episode.
I’m a musician, and I was in Winnipeg on tour back in 2013 where I met this bloke Colin who had a beer podcast and worked with a local distributor. He is now the Sales & Marketing Manager of PEG Beer Co. in the hip Exchange District in downtown Winnipeg. Fortunately for us, he was able to set up a chat with head brewer Scott Sawatzky.
Peg is nestled in an industrial area by the museum, with a large sunny patio on the side, a sizeable dining room with a bomb menu and a brewery at the back with enough room to grow. The beers were solid — ISA, Berliner Weisse, IPA, Pale Ale, and a Stout were on offer at the time I visited. Everything was tasty and true to style, which is really what one would expect from such a new brewery, in such a new beer city. Scott has a super interesting beer story himself, which I’ll let you discover for yourselves in the episode.
It’s exciting to see something new find itself and begin to grow. That was the vibe I got in Winnipeg. It’s this fresh, undiscovered beer land that is only starting to see what it’s capable of. I didn’t expect this, but I was stoked to find that Half Pints had an NEIPA at their brewpub, which was pretty solid — all things considered. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back in a couple of years to see how things are moving in the Prairies.
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