Split Rail Brewery launches new brew, Manitoulin Gold

Manitoulin Gold, third from left, is the fifth beer in the Split Rail Brewing lineup.

GORE BAY—And then there were five—Split Rail Brewery has added another signature beer, Manitoulin Gold, to a lineup that includes Copper Lager, Loonsong Oats Stout, Amber Ale and, of course, Hawberry Ale.

Manitoulin Gold has followed a development path that has included plenty of taste testing and even a little subterfuge if you like. “We did it in small batches under a different name,” admitted Split Rail Marketing Director Jaime-Lynn Kalmikov. “We released it last Thursday.”

Manitoulin Gold is named for a flower that grows on the famed Manitoulin Island alvars.

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“It is a light, crisp and refreshing lager,” explained Ms. Kalmikov. “Light in colour, it has a little bit of a citrus to it, with a slight hop finish to it.” In other words, the perfect brew to slake a thirst on a warm summer day.

“It is designed for the summer season,” said Ms. Kalmikov, although she notes that even in the cooler months heading into the warmer weather “it has been going over well.”

The beer and cheese sampling held late last month was a sold out affair.
photo by Kendra Edwards

The launch follows on from a beer and cheese pairing held at the brewery late last month, although Manitoulin Gold was not featured at that event. Three of the brewery’s established brews held that honour—Copper Lager, Hawberry Ale and Loonsong Oats Stout.

In that event, the lager was paired with a jalapeno goat gouda, the ale with a mango, grape raspberry golden gouda and the stout, quite fittingly, with an Irish cheddar, Huntsman Blue Cheese Drunken Goats. It will be interesting to discover what goes best with the new brew, but it will likely be something that complements its light and refreshing body.

The new brew has been nurtured under the watchful eye of Manitoulin’s own homebrewed brewmaster Eric Labelle, whose has been kept busy keeping up with the popularity of the Island’s first craft brewery, especially now that the operation is expanding yet again.

Like all of Split Rail’s offerings, the new beer is available in bottles, kegs and the ever-popular growler. For those planning a get-together with a group of friends this summer the brewery has a kegerator (a portable unit for utilizing a keg of beer) available for rent—so if you are planning a kegger, book early.

As to what else is on the planning boards for the Split Rail Brewery lineup, well that is still a work in progress, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, mark your calendar for Saturday of the long weekend when Split Rail Brewing Co. is holding its May Brew Four Patio Party, complete with a barbecue pig provided by Burt Farm Country Meats, and the Manitoulin Pizza Company will be serving pizza with plenty of music, prizes, games, and of course, beer.