The Kame & Kettle Beerworks Oct. 2020
Friends since highschool, Dave Beifuss and Todd Barber were busy doing their own career things but still made time to catch up over a beer. True friendship and a passion for craft beer set a solid foundation for what is, The Kame & Kettle Beerworks.
For GoSIP Niagara’s October Feature, we sat on the patio with a nicely chilled glass of Candy Apple, which incidentally tastes like fall fairs and apple farms. It is easy sippin’ for even the non-craft beer drinker. We chatted about the season’s upcoming releases and all things craft with the personable and talented, Tyler Burn, brewer, events guy and taproom sales.
One of the things Tyler enjoys most about working at Kame & Kettle is cross training with the ability to jump in and brew, serve, work with licensees, doing a bit of everything from one day to the next. He attended Niagara College and graduated with a business degree and a love for craft beer. He really admires what Todd & Dave have done and enjoys being part of the team.
We asked Tyler what his favourite type of beer was, he told us he enjoys hazy IPA’s, something that is juicy rather than bitter with an ABU of 6-8%. This year, they have been brewing up a lot of fruit beers, as there is no shortage of fresh produce in Niagara. “Working with local fruit can be fun and our next release is a blueberry and strawberry sour beer. The colour is gorgeous and we are excited to see what people think.” Tyler noted that they refer to their sours as sessionable sours because they are not overly sour and a bit lighter in alcohol.
When asked about what ‘craft lingo’ they would use to describe their beer Tyler smiled, “It’s just beer, does it taste good? It’s not rocket science. Everyone’s taste is different so at Kame & Kettle we offer easy palette pleasers to complex, layered heavier brews.” He explained that the delicious Candy Apple Beer we were drinking was a collab made from 26 Acres dry cider mixed in with the Cereal Killer cream ale which makes it light and refreshing with a crisp apple finish.
Brewing in small batches allows Kame & Kettle a lot of room for experimentation. Alongside their core beers you will find a consistent rotation of new and seasonal beers that make every visit exciting. They try and find out what the customer would want to try and then make a way for that to happen. Which brings us to what sparked us to come here. We actually came here to talk about an urban legend, a White Whale. A rare two keg creation released once a year amongst our fall favourites lingers a protest beer, the Jack-O-Fire.
The first thing we wanted to know, why the protest? It starts with a question, one that is asked over and over again as soon as a certain coffee provider starts pumping their pumpkin spice… ‘When is the pumpkin beer coming? Is the Pumpkin beer out yet… where is the pumpkin?’ It’s enough to make you want to listen to Smashing Pumpkins…
Jack-O-Fire is actually a nice, dark, malty, sweet beer with pumpkin & spice and a crate of every chili pepper they can get their hands on. From jalapenos, scotch bonnet, and even a reaper or two + any surprise peppers local farmers drop off. The ingredients change each year and the flavour can range from a hot Texas to Asian spicy and the one thing in common is, it’s always HOT.
Tyler recommends starting with a sample size and treading lightly. If you like to dabble in social media, please video your experience and share with us. Tyler’s inner poet spoke to us: Tread lightly, sometimes it lingers, sometimes it goes away and sometimes it can wreck your day…
Amongst different, must try flavours, the Kame & Kettle does offer lots of people pleasing easy drinking beer. You can’t go wrong with MiniVan and Cereal Killer especially because the artwork on the can is insanely clever. This is another part of the Kame & Kettle family as owner, Todd’s daughter creates the packaging artwork.
Coming soon is the release of Irish Motor Oil, which is a nice heavy stout. “Who doesn’t love Roasting chestnuts?” Tyler asks, explaining they are experimenting with chestnuts and figs and other Niagara fruits they froze in season.
Tyler is a brewer and all around really good guy. For those wondering yes, he is single and loves a good craft beer, ska, punk and dogs in no particular order.
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Holiday season 2020 is around the corner… craft beverages from Niagara should definitely be on your list. We will be posting highlights in the coming month!