Raising a glass for caribou

The Rock Trout Café will open its doors Thursday night for a beer launch, and all it will cost to get in is a Canadian quarter.

The event is being hosted by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Saskatchewan Chapter, as a tie-in with the CPAWS national conference, and as an effort to raise public awareness about the plight of woodland caribou.

This is the second beer launch – the first was held in Saskatoon a month ago.

Executive director of CPAWS Saskatchewan, Gord Vaadeland, came up with the idea about a year and a half ago.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work with forestry companies and mining companies and the provincial government, coming up with solutions for woodland caribou issues,” he said.

“Like any organization, we are always looking for innovative ways to get the word out there. A beer seemed like a good idea to raise awareness – plus Caribrew is a really cool name.”

Vaadeland pitched the concept to Prairie Sun Brewery in Saskatoon. So farm, batch one has sold really well. Thursday night will mark the unveiling of Caribrew, batch two – which was aged for a month in a single-malt whisky barrel.

Before being barrel-aged, the beer was made from malt smoked with peat moss gathered from Reindeer Lake, Sask.

“That’s a nice, cool feature,” Vaadeland said. “it’s got a bit of a smoky flavour to it. It’s subtle, but it’s there. It’s quite lovely. The beer itself has been going over really, really well at the brewery. All bias aside, it’s one of the better beers I’ve ever tasted, but I’m a big stout fan.”

The beer launch night will be complemented by Rock Trout’s menu, and by the music of Almighty Voice. The local band, which is working on a new album, will even be joined by Vaadeland himself for a few tunes. Vaadeland, of course, is no stranger to the P.A. music scene, playing guitar and singing lead vocals for local act One Bridge Town.

For more on this story, please see the May 10 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.