Making a change to our core yeast strain!
Here is something that is NOT news to anyone.. COVID is hurting businesses in a wide range of sectors around the world. It is not so much the actual virus as it is the toll that the measures designed to combat it are having on business small and large. You've also heard lots of people and sources tell you to support local as much as you can. So what does this have to do with our decision? Lots...
For starters, if we continue to make Imperial Yeast our core brand, we are supporting an American company, and if there was no comparable domestic alternative, that would be fine. However, right here in Ontario we have an excellent option, Escarpment Labs in Guelph, and with the changes they have recently undergone, there is simply no reason NOT to support this domestic option over the American option.
Another critical factor in this decision is the distance our yeast travels from the source to the shop, since every kilometer traveled burns more fuel which just adds to the already runaway climate issues we're facing, not to mention the cost. Our decision to buy from a supplier 125km away instead of 4100km away will not show up on any graph measuring CO2 in our atmosphere, but it is something we can do and thus we should do.
Why didn't we do this sooner? In truth, we could have done this a couple of months ago, but recently, there was an issue with some Imperial products and when we went to place an order, we were told there would be a delay of 3-4 weeks for some of the items we were specifically looking for. This lit the fire under our butts and got us thinking more and more about making a change. The reason I say we could have done this a few months ago is that it was around that time it became obvious that the availability challenges we were used to seeing at Escarpment had literally gone away. Their recent move to a larger facility gave them the space they needed to keep more products in stock, which meant we could get more of what you were asking for, so it was a win-win.
Another reason for the delay was that we have spent 2 years with Imperial as our core brand, and many of you have come to know and rely on those strains to make the beer you are used to. However, as some of you likely know, many of the strains from Imperial are very close to, if not identical to strains offered under different names from Escarpment Labs, and to make this transition easier, I have created the cross reference table below to give you some guidance. This chart is subject to changes as we dialogue with the folks at Escarpment Labs, but we think most of these are good alternatives and will work well for you.
On top of this, we will soon be listing a number of Escarpment strains that are unique, less common, or perhaps even seasonal that you will be able to order on a PRE-ORDER basis. This means you can order it online and it shows up on our To Order list for our next order from them (which might be 1-2 weeks, so please plan ahead). Since Escarpment is so much more accessible, we will order more often and even occasionally pick up small orders. This is not possible with Imperial as we already carry almost all their strains, AND small order shipping costs are not feasible.
So, we have already placed our restocking order with Escarpment and will begin to transition out of Imperial and feature Escarpment Labs. For all the reasons mentioned above, we hope you will agree with this move.
** Updated April 8, 2021**
|IMPERIAL STRAIN||ESCARPMENT LABS STRAIN|
|A01 House||English Ale II|
|A07 Flagship||Cali Ale|
|A09 Pub||English Ale I|
|A10 Darkness||Irish Ale|
|A15 Independence||American Ale|
|A18 Joystick||Northwest Ale|
|A24 Dry Hop||Blend Vermont with Cerberus|
|A31 Tartan||Sterling Ale|
|A38 Juice||Foggy London Ale|
|A43 Loki||Voss Kveik|
|G01 Stefon||Weizen I|
|G02 Kaiser||Weizen I|
|L05 CableCar||Goldrush Lager|
|L13 Global||Biergarten Lager|
|L17 Harvest||Isar Lager|
|L28 Urkel||Premium Pils|
|B44 Whiteout||Classic Witbier|
|B48 Triple Double||West Abbey Ale|
|B56 Rustic||Old World Saison Blend|