NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — Niagara College’s (NC) Teaching Brewery has rolled out a commemorative wartime brew inspired by an English beer that helped maintain the morale of the Allied forces 75 years ago.
A group of staff and students from the College’s Teaching Brewery, along with representatives from local Royal Canadian Legion branches, marked the re-release of the beer, named Juno, on November 7. The WWII-style brew debuted at the Teaching Brewery last spring prior to the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Staff at the Teaching Brewery decided to brew it once again this fall in advance of Remembrance Day and will be available in cans at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery while supplies, as well as several Royal Canadian Legion Branches in the Niagara region.
Juno replicates a recipe made by St. Austell Brewery in England during WWII. The three-per-cent Pale Ale adheres to the legal limit for alcohol during WWII due to government restrictions, and incorporates heritage hop varieties and ingredients used in the original recipe.
College brewmaster Jon Downing was inspired to create the beer earlier this year after viewing St. Austell Brewery’s brewing log from D-Day, June 6, 1944, in a Brewery History Society newsletter. It struck him how the timing of the beer, which was brewed that day at St. Austell, coincided with Canadian soldiers landing on the shores of Normandy. He also researched the wartime challenge of supplying troops with beer in The Journal of the Brewery History Society. Downing contacted St. Austell for permission to reproduce the beer before setting out to create a recipe as close to the original as possible.
“The project to recreate that beer brewed at St. Austell Brewery on 6 June, 1944 is a human touchstone to the countless individuals who all did their bit in difficult times to deliver the ultimate victory over fascism,” says Roger Ryman, brewing director and head brewer of St. Austell Brewing. “Beer and pubs were considered essential to the national morale during the dark years of the war.”
Brewing the heritage beer was a learning experience for students in NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. It exposed them to the history of the beer style and process and was a lesson in what to do when restrictions are in place.