Monday, August 21, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: Early Morning Mustard at Exhibition Park Lethbridge Farmers' Market in Lethbridge, Alberta

Mustard World


If you go early you get the freshest produce. If you go later, you can spend more time with friends at the market.

Everybody in Southern Alberta knows that Lethbridge's Farmers' Market is one of the best in the area. It is packed with fresh produce that sells out early. You can also find products like honey from Forever Bee, mead wine from Spirit Hills Meadery, nuts and even locally made mustard from Luco Farms. We also managed to get a really good Flat White Coffee from Red Engine Coffee Roasters.


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The market return every May to the Exhibition Park's indoors West Pavilion. The Saturday market opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 1:00 p.m. The last market of the season is on the last Saturday in October. There is no admission or parking fee. Over 3000 people attend the Saturday markets so it is a busy place. Get there early.

Between fifty and a hundred exhibitors are at the market each market day. The Farmers’ Market is a member of the Alberta Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA). It aims to offer at least 80% of products to be locally made, baked or grown. This means you can find crafts, fresh fruit, vegetables, home-made baking, artwork, hand-made clothing, and much more made by people in the area.

Observations


The Lethbridge market has a good vendor mix and offers something for everyone. There is enough to taste, see and sample from local vendors so that it keeps you busy for the entire Saturday morning.

As you would expect, the produce from this part of the world, with its well-structured irrigation infrastructure, is outstanding. If you are not into farm-fresh food, there is even someone (Synergy Urban Farms) that makes a business out of cultivating vegetables in people's gardens in the city of Lethbridge. Call it "garden-fresh" produce. You can buy this also at the market. 

What we learned new, courtesy of Luco Farms, was that the area is also a main producer of Mustard. Yet, as usual, we don't process it in Alberta as we should. Like some of our other highly prized agricultural assets, namely barley, we export most of it to the rest of the world without adding any value. Luco Farms is changing that with the traditional mustards they produce, with the hope to export it soon.

We love mustard on our BBQ pork and making the discovery that we can use our very own Alberta mustard is a revelation. The only challenge now is that we have to work in frequent visits to the Lethbridge Farmers' Market to stock up on this beautiful mustard. We'll see you there.

Hendrik van Wyk
Hot and Spicy Mustard Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.


Photos

Great Sausages

Alberta Mustard!

Fresh Honey

Indeed!

Berries!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: Testing the Water at Coulee Brewing Company in Lethbridge, AB - The Home of Alberta Pilsners

Must be the Water


Lethbridge has a brewing history.

Fritz Sick came to Lethbridge in 1901 with $8,000 and started the Alberta Brewery. The brewery had as its 1st brew, a lager called Alberta’s Pride. This “beer without a peer” was advertised as “concentrated liquid food” and families were encouraged to serve the beverage at meals to help maintain strong digestive organs and encourage the appetite.

In 1905, the brewery began to make malt beer and changed its name to Lethbridge Brewing and Malting Co. In 1918 the brewery became Lethbridge Breweries Limited. The Brewery survived Prohibition by making Near Beer or Temperance Beer, a beer with only 2% alcohol.



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Old Style Pilsner was first brewed in 1926 by Fritz Sick at his Sick's Breweries Ltd. in Lethbridge, Alberta. Although Molson’s Breweries Limited bought the brewery in 1958, Molson’s continued to brew Lethbridge Pilsner and Lethbridge Lager Beer. The company continued brewing these brands to “suit local taste preferences with skills, modern techniques, and experience supplied by the entire country-wide organization.”

In 1989, Molson’s merged with Carling O’Keefe Operations and in 1990 operations ceased at the Lethbridge Brewery. In 1991, 90 years after Fritz Sick began brewing in Lethbridge, the brewery was knocked down.

As brewing and craft beer is experiencing a renaissance in Alberta, Coulee Brewing Co stepped in, in 2016, filling the Lethbridge brewing and beer hole left behind by the Lethbridge Brewery's departure. By doing it, they have the opportunity to reinstate the Pilsner and Lager legacy of Lethbridge Brewing and taking it a step further.

Coulee Brew Co.'s beer is now available at select bars, restaurants, and retailers throughout the area. It opened its doors to the public on Jan 16th, 2016.  It is the 3 ½ year vision of craft passionate, local entrepreneurs, Deborah Pallett and Scott Crighton.  Its creation was driven by their desire to restore the history of beer production in the local Lethbridge community while involving the community every step of the way.

Coulee Brew is a 16,000sq ft facility, with 2 separate brewing systems - yes it is big for a craft brewery! Lethbridgians must be a thirsty lot. A 7bbl pilot system, and a 4 vessel 30 bbl system. The tap house and grill is a full-service pub style restaurant with an open concept. Patrons can sit, eat and drink while viewing all things beer through walls of glass to the facilities production area. 

Observations


Coulee has quality beers, created with respect for the history of brewing in the community, a love of craft, and pride for all things Southern Alberta offers.

Cudos to Coulee Brewing Co.'s focus on the well-known Pilsner. This was our favorite when we visited. Maybe the water in Lethbridge adds a character to a Pilsner that is unique to that part of the world. The Bear's Hump Nut Brown (named after a famous landmark in Waterton National Park, not too far away, and a favorite summer spot for us) is also go-to comfort food when we visit the Park or the brewery. 

We were astonished at the size of the facility and the buzz of activity we encountered during our visit. What was even more impressive was their hospitality on the day we arrived, unannounced. This makes Coulee Brewing another local favorite for the Two Cowboys and a recommended Two Cowboys experience in Lethbridge.

Hendrik van Wyk
Pilsner Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.


Photos


Long Term Commitment

Making Beer

Drinking Beer

Talking Beer
Filming Beer



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: WilliamsWarn Beervolition Continues with Updates from Brewers in Auckland, NZ

"Fresherder" Beer


We are well down the path of beer liberation and beervolition by making and drinking our very own fresh beer.

It means that we are no-longer donating up to 51% in taxes and excise to non-value adding parties like local, provincial and federal government, and a further 25% in transport, packaging, branding, distribution and retailing. We've taken back our beer. We've taken control of our beverage and it saves us a huge sum of money.

To make our own beer is as simple as making a cup of tea. We do it using the help, equipment, and ingredients of WilliamsWarn. Not only is it a ridiculously simple, consistent and an almost fault-proof way of making beer, it also guarantees that our beer tastes better. It is fresh, the way bread must be fresh to enjoy it at its best.

We get to experiment with every possible traditional beer style and hops combination. We are also doing non-traditional style beer with chocolate, vanilla, fruits, and spices. If we've had enough of beer (not that it will ever happen), we do ciders with ginger, elderflower, and berries. The combinations and the options for creativity are endless.

If you have to ask us about our most important piece of equipment in our kitchens, we have to confess it is our WilliamsWarn BrewKegs. It is our path to liberation, frugality, freshness and our own great tasting freshly brewed beer!

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Others' Beer


We made another beer run Downunder in the early parts of Summer 2017 to meet more beervolitionaries courtesy of WilliamsWarn. We also got a chance to experiment with some recipes in the WilliamsWarn test kitchen in Hastings, New Zealand.

Below you will meet some of the people that we visited and get a view of our escapades.

Enjoy their stories, and let us know in the comments if you've made the move to liberating your beer.

When you are ready to join us in our beervolition, we can introduce you to the good people at WilliamsWarn and give them a reason to launch WilliamsWarn North America sooner than planned.

Hendrik van Wyk
Brew Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.





69 on K'Road Auckland, NZ


Jason Hill, Auckland

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