Niagara College Teaching Brewery Honours 75th Anniversary of D-Day with Commemorative Brew

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TORONTO —Niagara College Teaching Brewery created a special beer to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

“Our faculty, staff and students from Canada’s first teaching brewery continue to blaze trails in the craft-beer scene by introducing a commemorative D-Day beer in recognition of this pivotal historic event,” says Steve Gill, general manager of the College’s Learning Enterprises. “The process of brewing this heritage beer brought history to life for our brewmaster students and offered them a valuable learning experience.”

Juno, which was released on May 30, was inspired by St. Austell Brewery’s brewing log from D-Day, June 6, 1944. After viewing a copy of the log in a Brewery History Society newsletter, Jon Downing, Niagara College brewmaster, realized the date of this brew coincided with Canadian troops landing at Normandy and contacted St. Austell’s director of Brewing, Roger Ryman, to inquire about reproducing the beer with the goal of creating a recipe as close to the original as possible. 

“I thought it would be a fitting tribute to D-Day,” says Downing. “I’m a fan of history and historical beers and, with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, thought it would be appropriate to show students and our customers that brewing went on, with restrictions, as part of the war effort.”

Juno is a three per cent Pale Ale — which was the legal limit during the Second World War due to government restrictions and a hop shortage due to wartime bombings. The commemorative beer incorporates heritage malt varieties as well as Kent Goldings and English Fuggle hops, which were used in the original recipe. Juno uses a light demerara sugar and Black Treacle caramel colouring to help imitate the colour of the original 1994 brew, which used flaked barley and sugar due to wartime shortages. The final result is a very light ale with distinct fermented-sugar character, lightly hopped but crisp and refreshing.

In addition to the heritage brew, students are also brewing a modern adaption of Juno, giving them a

The brew was purchased by several Royal Canadian Legion branches in Niagara and was served during Decoration Day celebrations to honour veterans and those still serving, on June 2.

Juno is Niagara College Teaching Brewery’s second heritage beer. Butler’s Bitter — an English-style pale ale — was its first multiple-award-winning brew, inspired by the beer that fuelled British armies during the War of 1812.

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