On March 12 The Tin Whistle Brewing Company released another seasonal ale at Lift Off.
The Lift Off event was part of Victoria Beer Week that featured twelve brand new, yet-to-be tasted beers from some of British Columbia’s finest craft breweries.
Attendees to the event were privileged to sample Tin Whistle’s newest brew, the Hands Up Oatmeal Raisin Red Ale. At 6.5 per cent alcohol, the red ale may be a strong ale, but it has even stronger ties to the past. The ale’s name Hands Up was derived from British Columbia’s notorious, gentleman-bandit, Bill Miner. Miner who was credited as possibly having been Canada’s first Train Robber, on Sept. 10, 1904, was reputed to have also been the originator of the phrase “hands up!” Miner was eventually caught after an aborted payroll train robbery near Kamloops. He and his two accomplices, Tom “Shorty” Dunn and Louis Colquhoun, were found near Douglas Lake, B.C. after an extensive manhunt.
When eventually found, Miner evidently surrendered to the officers with his customary politeness, that earned him the nicknames of the Grey Fox or the Gentleman Robber.
The Hands Up label is adorned with an image of Miner, a reward poster and a short description of the bandit. The distinctive portrait, which is a wood engraving, was created by artist Jim Westergard from Red Deer, Alta.
The ale has its own unique story to how it came into existence. According to Michael Nagy, the official story around the brewery is that Tin Whistle master-brewer Jeff Todd was at home one Friday night.
Todd was enjoying an oatmeal raisin cookie while enjoying a snap of Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, which he was washing down with a Tin Whistle Ale. He was trying to play with his dog and realized that he needed more hands.
That is when the concept for the Hands Up Oatmeal Raisin Red Ale was born. The idea was that he wanted all of that goodness in only one single bottle, thus freeing up his hands.
He started right away and this new legendary beer was created. The red ale which is brewed with oatmeal, raisins, black-strap molasses and spices perfectly emulates an oatmeal raisin cookie.
“The ale has raisins and plums on the nose, a great mouth-feel thanks to the oats. It is slightly sweet with more raisins and a little toffee up front, but then finishes with sticky and dark molasses and just a slight bitterness,” Todd said.
The overall bitterness is quite low at 20 IBU, which you would expect from an ale like this.If you are looking to try one of the Hands Up Red Ales for yourself, there is no need to rob a train.
The ale is available at all Penticton liquor stores, and most of Kelowna and Vernon’s liquor outlets. It is all over Victoria and will be in Vancouver stores very soon.
You can always stop by the Tin Whistle Brewery Tasting Room in the Cannery Centre on Fairview Road, in Penticton. Brewery staff request that you politely ask for a Hands Up.If you are looking to make a night of it.
The Farm to Fork Festival in Salmon Arm BC is being held on April 1, 2016. Tin Whistle will be paired with Chef James Havlin from the Quaaout Lodge, in Chase B.C.
He will be braising pork belly in the Hand’s Up Red Ale. Additionally, Tin Whistle Brewing will be featuring the Hands Up Ale (at their booth) at the 21st Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale on April 8 and 9 in Penticton B.C.
The event is the Interior’s largest and longest standing craft beer celebration, with proceeds going to charity. It is definitely a not-miss event for any beer connoisseur.
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