Making Beer Like A Mennonite Pioneer!

What, you don’t think Mennonites ever drank? Not so! As I’ve researched my Mennonite ancestry, I’ve discovered that I’m descended from a brewer & vinegar-maker (einwohner) named Jacob Wiens. Maybe you are too. That means we’re like 7th cousins or something. Cheers to that!

So, when friends suggested we attend an open-fire brewing workshop at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg, I said YES!

This is where you walk in to pay, to shop, and to dine — it’s all awesome at FortWhyte Alive! P.S. There is a huge stuffed bison in there, it’s on wheels.

As we walked to the brewing site, we stumbled across this — a sod house!

Apparently they’ve done some brewing in there too. Reminded me of the sod house at the Mennonite Heritage Village!

We started the afternoon learning about the grains that go into the beer. Here I am nibbling on some roasty grains:

Once everything was put together in a pot, we headed outside, and onto the fire it went!

My friend Alexandra tends to the beer while I sit around like the lazy person I am.

I thought of my great-great-great-great-grandfather Jacob Wiens, village brewer in Prussia. Did he make beer this way? It’s likely, isn’t it?

Two beers were made on this day: A dry Irish stout, and an American Pale Ale. And we did not drink any. I think it had to cool off and go through a few other processes… which I don’t remember because sometimes I’m a bad listener and even though I really enjoyed our day… I figured I’m content with purchasing a beer at a pub. And that’s just what we did, after this.

Photogenic beer, relaxing in the snow.