Farmers who grow lentils can now knock back a beer made with their product.
A new lentil cream ale is now made at Regina’s Rebellion Brewery. The Saskatchewan-grown pulse replaces the rice or corn ingredient traditionally used in a cream ale.
“We’re all about flavour and using local products so it’s just a really nice fit to do something creative and innovative that no one else has done before,” said brewmaster Mark Heise.
As the brewery approached its first anniversary, his cousin Tyler at AGT Foods approached Heise and proposed a lentil beer.
“I frankly thought the idea was a little odd and wasn’t going to be that good of an idea. But we thought, well we’ll try it out and you know what, it turned out pretty tasty,” said Heise.
Saskatchewan is one of the largest lentil producers in the world and the release of the new beer also coincides with the United Nations declaring 2016 the International Year of Pulses.
Lentil producers like Ed Pelzer were invited to the beer unveiling on Thursday. He’s always tasting the lentils as they come off the combine, but says it was interesting see how it fared in a beer.
“It gives a farmer more incentive to grow stuff that can be used right here locally instead of exporting everything,” said Pelzer.
In its first year in business, Rebellion has also used honey from Tisdale, fruit from Lumsden and Melfort along with Saskatchewan barley and wheat.
Although the craft beer scene is still a bit of a niche in Saskatchewan, Heise explained using local ingredients has created a community between his partners and customers.