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Kelp on the Way, the newest beer experiment of Picaroons, has landed!

March 24, 2015

This dark and smoky ale has been brewed with a generous helping of real ORGANIC SUGAR KELP (Saccharina latissima) cultivated off the shores near St. George, New Brunswick, by way of Dr. Thierry Chopin of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. The kelp is heavily blanketed by a strong malt backbone of roasted and smoked malts, and balanced out by a gentle hopping of Fuggles and Goldings hops. At 22 IBUs, and 5.8% ABV, it’s like drinking a dark, malty, smoky beer, right after a cool brisk swim in the Bay of Fundy.

The idea came about when Dr. Chopin approached us (“challenged us”) to make a beer using kelp as per some beer he had seen in Scotland. His team's kelp had just become Certified Organic last spring, and knowing our love for all things local, innovative, organic, and just plain fun, he just had to contact us. Of course our brewers happily stepped up to the challenge and now “KELP ON THE WAY” is here!

About this particular Sugar Kelp (Saccharine latissima):
Produced by Cooke Aquaculture Inc., at its Cove IMTA farm site near Back Bay, New Brunswick, this particular kelp is now being marketed under the True North Salmon Company brand after gaining Organic Certification in the spring of 2014. Sugar kelps, with superior sweetness and flavour, are rich in proteins, trace minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamins, and are low in fats. Because of their composition and attributes, some nutritionists believe that, in fact, kelps should be recognized as being on par with other well–known superfoods.

…We just thought it would be fun to try and make a beer with it.

KELP ON THE WAY is now on sale exclusively at THE BREWTIQUE
in Downtown Fredericton.

On March 25, Thierry Chopin and Adrian Hamer went to Fredericton to meet Sean Dunbar, the owner of Picaroons Traditional Ales, and his crew to taste-test this wonderful dark ale.

“If you like sweet and salty combinations, then you are going to enjoy this beer”, said Sean Dunbar. “The neat part for me is the saltiness. The real neat part is the way the salt hits your tongue at the very end of the flavour profile. The salt receptors pick up that sweet, silky smooth salt thing at the end of the drink. So, the beer goes to the back of your throat, crosses your tongue and your taste buds and then you go “Oh, What is that and where did it come from?””.

“It’s kelptastic… It’s exactly what we wanted! A kind of toffee impression. It’s mixing the sugar and the salt together” added Thierry Chopin with a big smile.

For Chopin, seeing how the first batch of 600 L of KELP ON THE WAY went in less than three days, and reading very positive feedback comments, is a clear indication that the recipe was right, not only to develop a very smooth beer with character, but also that combining two great Canadian Maritimes stories is certainly a winner. “Picaroons is a well-regarded microbrewery from Fredericton, with a great sense of humour for developing unique beers with equally amazing names. This beer also represents our efforts at diversifying and commercializing our differentiated Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) products” said Chopin. “Seaweeds lend themselves very well to the Integrated Sequential BioRefinery (ISBR) approach. With careful planning at the time of harvesting and sequential processing, more than one product can be manufactured from seaweeds. Over the last decade, this is the strategy we have adopted with Cooke Aquaculture Inc.: IMTA kelps not only recapture some of the inorganic dissolved nutrients from fish farms, but we are also developing markets for kelp use in human consumption, for cosmetics, as a partial substitution in fish feed and for biochar production, along with organic certification we obtained in the spring of 2014.”

One of the rare benefits of a lot of snow this year… you can have an IMTT (Integrated Multi-Tasking Truck) with snow in your truck bed as your mobile cooler!
When Kelpy, the cat, meets Kelp on the Way, the beer… she is also intrigued and, then, content too!
Members of the Chopin Lab taste-testing (or test-tasting) the precious stuff… for experimental purposes only, of course!

Kelp on the Way Easter Dinner at the Chopin house:
Ham baked with Kelp on the Way and pineapple rings, roasted sweet potatoes with a hint of apple and ginger,
and orange marmalade cauliflower
Chocolate Kelp on the Way cake with pecans

Heard on Ellen DeGeneres Classic Joke Friday of March 20, 2015:
Where do seaweeds go to look for a job?
The kelp wanted section.


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