A few weeks ago, Woodcutter’s Blanket launched the latest in its expansion efforts—a microbrewery. The bar plans to offer a rotating assortment of beers which will go straight from the kegs to your glass, making the beer “as fresh as you can get it” according to Woodcutter’s co-owner, James Maltby.
This has the added benefit of allowing the team behind the beer to be agile and creative with what it’s able to offer to the growing Yukon beer scene. There is no plan to expand into bottling or kegging, making the bar at Woodcutter’s the only place you will be able to have a taste of these beers. The physical expansion of the bar has pushed the establishment to the limits of its property line, meaning this microbrewery has no choice but to stay micro.
The brewery itself is 280 square feet, but the team has made remarkable use of a tiny space. At top capacity, it will be able to produce 80,000 liters of beer annually. The brewmaster, Scott Shailer, said Woodcutter’s is using city water, but plans to employ various techniques to “mimic the water from different parts of the world.” All the beers he plans to offer will be totally unfiltered. The current plan is to roll out a changing variety of types of beers inspired by available ingredients (seasonal and local), as well as by whatever excites the team at any given moment, or what the marketplace is demanding.
“I don’t want to have to be constrained,” said Shailer, who also plans to use locally grown or harvested ingredients in the future.
“We can be pretty innovative, pretty quickly,” added Maltby.
Woodcutter’s will be able to offer eight different brews on tap. The plan is to maintain at least five or six at all times for tasting. High standards and care are what the team behind Woodcutter’s wants to put into all its products. From the food, to the cocktails, to the beers, maintaining that high standard is clearly a priority.
During last year’s massive renovations, the kitchen also got an upgrade. Chef Ayla Smith seems excited to make the most of it. The camaraderie between chef and brewer is apparent when the two start talking beer, food and pairing possibilities. Using local ingredients seems to be a goal shared by both. The ever evolving offerings should delight thirsty and hungry Yukoners.