Canadians want beer options that are clean and natural, research shows, and Mill Street Brewery has expanded its core lineup of organic offerings to meet the demand, ensuring the organic integrity of its beers from field to glass.
The craft brewer’s Cobblestone Stout and Tankhouse Ale have joined its flagship Original Organic Lager as well as its 100th Meridian Amber Lager as certified organic beers, one of the most complicated, rigorous and time-consuming standards to achieve in brewing.
“There’s market demand for organic beer in Canada and it’s growing; we’re feeding that,” says Joel Manning, the company’s head brewmaster. Mill Street made Canada’s first certified organic beer when it opened in 2002, and today it is the largest organic brewery in the country, with more than 80 per cent of its output now in the category, he notes. “People who are drinking craft beer are looking for beer that’s authentic, human-scale and hand-made.”
Indeed, a recent national survey conducted for Mill Street revealed that 74 per cent of Canadians expect organic beer choices to grow in line with the increasing availability of organic foods. The research found that one in four Canadians believes there is a lack of organic beer options on store shelves, while 76 per cent would like more clean and organic beer.
Along with its commitment to broadening its organic portfolio, Mill Street is carefully and methodically working with Canadian farmers to source a secure supply of high-quality organic ingredients, which can be tricky given the hop varieties and specialty malts in its flavour-forward brands.
“Organic beer was a founding principle of Mill Street, and we’ve been fortunate to have suppliers who are willing to help us expand,” Mr. Manning says. For example, the company’s new all-organic Cobblestone Stout combines smoky roasted organic barley from England and flaked wheat in an Irish-style stout, while the new Tankhouse Organic Ale is made with two types of hops and five malts to produce a rich, fiery pale ale.
Organic certification covers what’s in the beer as well as the brewing and packaging process for the four types of beer made at the company’s main production facility in Toronto and in its five brew pubs, Mr. Manning points out. “There’s a high level of care that needs to be taken.”
Mill Street’s organic beers are free from artificial additives, preservatives and genetically modified organisms, he adds. “I hope that we can go 100 per cent organic with our output in the future.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.