July 6 marks 40 years to the day since Alexander John Mitchell opened Horseshoe Bay Brewery and helped launch the craft beer industry in Canada.
On Wednesday (July 6), a new tribute ale will be unveiled during an event at Russell Brewing’s new tasting room, on 80 Avenue in Newton. The John Mitchell Signature Cascadian Dark Ale will be released in packaged format as well as on draught.
Russell Brewing will donate proceeds from the sale of the beer to the scholarship. “The money will help students achieve their dream of becoming the next generation of professional brewers,” Ohler said. “It’s the same dream John Mitchell had 40 years ago.”
Canada Malting donated all the ingredients for John Mitchell Tribute Ale, Yakima-Chief Hops donated whole-leaf Cascade hops, Central City Brewing donated the yeast, and the Great Little Box Company donated labels for the cans.
New made-in-Surrey beer salutes John Mitchell, founder of Canada’s first craft brewery, 40 years after he opened Horseshoe Bay Brewery.
The Cascadian Dark Ale is a @Russell_Beer collab with @KPUBrew and partners. @whatsbrewingbc #SurreyBC @SBofT
STORY: https://t.co/vvvgFVlWR0 pic.twitter.com/e3OQrH61c9
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) June 29, 2022
In what Mitchell calls a “historic event” on July 6, craft breweries around B.C. will also be tapping kegs of the beer at the exact same time.
Mitchell made international headlines when he opened Canada’s first craft brewery in 1982. He “laid the foundation that has allowed craft beer, and other related industries, to grow into what they are today,” according to Ohler, a steward of Mitchell’s legacy.
“By spurring needed changes to legislation, Mitchell and his partners spearheaded an economic and cultural awakening in Canada’s brewing industry,” Ohler added. “From that one pioneering location, the Canadian craft beer industry has now grown to boast over 1,000 enthusiastic breweries.”
Prior to his death in 2019, Mitchell visited the KPU brewing program facility in Langley to meet students.
On June 8, makers of the Mitchell ale, including KPU students and alumni working at eight other B.C. breweries, gathered at Russell Brewing for a collaborative brew day. Photos of the event, along with images of Mitchell and others, are posted on whatsbrewing.ca.