Two-time Juno Winner Dean Brody is not only releasing new music but is also bringing us a state-of-the-art Canadian inspired Lager for that perfect ‘Canadian Summer’. A lager that is not only brewed in Ontario but contains many elements from different parts of our beautiful country, bringing us a beer that “represents home”. Brody will also be joining “Share the Goods”, a COVID-19 Relief fund helping gets essentials and groceries to those in need. To raise funds, “Share The Goods” will be hosting virtual house parties, with some exciting surprises and sneak peeks on upcoming projects for all you wonderful Dean Brody fans. Stay Tuned Ontarians! His Canadian based, Ontario brewed ‘Huckleberry Canadian Lager’ will be hitting the LCBO shelves June 1st.
HOLR Chats with Dean about his new Canadian lager and music:
What was it that initially compelled you to delve into the beer world and develop Hucklejack Canadian Lager?
My band and I are passionate about beer, good beer. We would find ourselves backstage with the typical go-to brews provided and so we started to ask for local craft beers anywhere we’d play a show. That, along with our many travels around Canada through the years helped give me a sense of what a “Canadian” beer could taste like. Bringing Elements into the recipe from East to West was important to me. It couldn’t simply be a regional brew.
Can you explain the ‘twist of fate’ that brought you together with brewmaster Spencer Gallant?
I met Spencer during a tour of a brewery in Atlantic Canada and we hit it off. He plays rugby, has a chemistry degree, is young, and has a huge passion for beer. I asked him if he could help me with a recipe incorporating pieces of Canada into a cohesive, unique taste.
What drew you towards “huckleberry”?
When I was a kid I remember picking huckleberries up in the mountains – and because we were in the same patches that grizzly bears frequented – dad brought his shotgun along. (Both of my dads guiding outfits he worked for had their owners mauled by bears. One a grizzly and the other a black bear.) I always thought it was a badass berry because of the Grizzly needing them to sustain them through winter. So when I thought of what to bring in to the recipe that was from the west – the huckleberry was my go-to. It has a sweet but tart flavour- not like other berries I’ve seen in brews. Most are usually too sweet and interfere with the lager base too much. The huckleberry is present in HUCKLEJACK but it doesn’t distract. It’s an undertone
Can you tell us what compelled you to collaborate with “share the goods” and how can people get involved? Share the goods have been helping families hit hard by COVID. We wanted to launch with a partner and be mindful that, although this is an exciting time for us to celebrate, there are so many dealing with the reality of job loss and uncertainty right now. This way, we can have a little fun and do some good at the same time and help some families in need
What do you hope Canadians will take away from your brand, and its connection to COVID relief as well as yourself and your music?
I’d love people to feel that this is a beer with them in mind. For Canadians. And that we’re not just about a taste and experience- but that we care about Canadians personal well being as well. A great way to launch a brewing company! We have dreams far beyond just being a brewery. We want to help our Canadian communities too
Can you tell us about your vision with this project?
I’d love for people to feel like this is their beer. A grassroots, unique flavoured oddity in the brewing world. I’d like for Canadians to take pride in a beer that isn’t owned by a US corporation. I’d love to see it become a national beer. I know that may sound too ambitious but we believe we have something special and if you don’t have a Dream, what are we doing this for. Sometimes big things happen but you have to go after it
What was your inspiration to write ‘Canadian Summer’, and what are you hoping Canadians take away from it for this summer?
I actually wrote Canadian Summer before the whole COVID thing went down but it became so much more relevant to me when we were all stuck inside and longing for escape. Canadians have tough winters, but those winters make our summers all the more special. That’s what this song is all about- the nostalgia of a Canadian Summer
Is there a strong connection between your new beer brand and your music? If so, what is it?
I’d say yes! Beer has always been the beverage of the working class, the blue-collar worker. And that is exactly who my fans are- hard-working, give the shirt off- your- back for your neighbour kind of living. And they know how to have a good time with just a fire and a couple of lawn chairs. They’re my “people”. It’s where I’m at home. It could be northern BC or Newfoundland.
You are known as being a very authentic person; in personal matters, music, and with your business. What is your mentality/mantra?
I used to try and live how I thought other people wanted me to live – or act a certain way to be successful. As I became more successful, I started to realize that people were ok with me just being me. It’s honestly such a relief to just be ok with whatever or whoever it is that I am. I’m learning that being authentic, or trying to be authentic, is what people actually connect to. When you realize that, you feel less alone in the world too. You go hey, this is me- I’m imperfect and sometimes I’m actually a train wreck but so are we all. We’re all just trying to figure out our journeys. When you see that, it changes your perspective on life and people.
What are the connections/representations of Canada in your Lager?
The four elements of HUCKLEJACK are:
- Maritime recipe
- Brewed in the Canadian Shield
- Prairie wheats and barley
- Western alpine huckleberry
And our logo is an evergreen with roots. When I think of one of the most distinct characteristics of Canada’s vast terrain- the evergreen is a constant. The three-leaf symbol of Canada and the berries are the smaller symbol below the tree and the Canadian Grizzly, one of the world’s top Apex predators is represented in our brand as well. How cool is that? Canada has so much natural and rugged beauty and its people are the same. That’s what HUCKLEJACK is for me. I hope people find it as interesting and delicious as we do!