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New Hamilton craft beer uses hops from Dundurn Castle’s garden

Supplied with hops picked straight from the Dundurn Castle garden, Valentino’s Restaurant has brewed a limited run of a beer they’re calling Reid’s Dundurn Ale in their very own nano brewery.

 

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The public will be able to sample the beer at Dundurn’s Hayloft while learning about the process from the gardeners who grew the hops and meeting the brewer who crafted the beer! Visitors will also be able to indulge in some bread made from the spent grains that made the beer.

This free event takes place today from 12-4 pm.

What’s the story behind the beer’s name? Well, during the time that Sir Allan Napier MacNab inhabited Dundurn Castle in the early 1800s, his gardener William Reid grew hops and brewed beer for the family right in Dundurn’s own basement brewery.

Now, nearly two centuries later, Hamilton’s cherished Valentino’s Restaurant is teaming up with the castle’s current gardeners to turn the blooms from the Dundurn Garden into an ode to Reid.

Valentino’s has had a nano brewery of their own since 2012 and, in a happy coincidence, their brewer’s name is Devyn Prince-Reid.

Cascade hops were replanted in the castle’s garden during its restoration in 2004.

The beverage has been prepared using inspiration from vintage recipes and antique filtration methods of the 1800s. It will feature brewed and boiled British Brown and Victory malts, added Fuggles and East Kent Golding hops, and lastly Dundurn Castle’s Cascade hops. The result is a bitter ale worthy of Hamilton’s ever-growing craft beer scene.

Some of the wort produced in the process will be used to make bread in Dundurn’s wood fired ovens, similar to what would have happened during William Reid’s time as gardener. The castle’s current head gardener, Victoria Bick, is proud to see the aromatic hops used for its original purpose again and Valentino’s general manager Paul Spadafora hopes this collaboration will continue for many years.

Starting today, Reid’s Dundurn Ale will be exclusively poured at both of Valentino’s locations (Westdale & Stoney Creek) as well as at Dundurn Castle. The craft beer will be served this month until the taps run dry. If you’re looking to enjoy the historical tour behind the hops, however, you’ll need to swing by Dundurn this afternoon.

 

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Will we be seeing you at today’s beer launch? Let us know in the comments!

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