The whisky momentum lives on! The iconic Wood Buffalo Brewing Company hosted ‘The Beast Whisky’ auction on 25 November 2017, wherein the top bottle sold for a whopping $10,000! The second auction this year raised a generous $47,000 plus for the Fort McMurray Firefighters Charities Association, for bottles sold from #14 - #20. It beat the $28,750.00 amount raised last year in October 2016, the proceeds of which went to the same charity fund.
The great evening witnessed a number of whisky connoisseurs from the Fort McMurray community support this noble cause with generous purchase of this exceptional whisky made from peated malt. The origin of the whisky dates back to ‘The Beast’ wildfire in May 2016, which changed the history of Fort McMurray and called for honouring the brave firefighters. The fire led to massive evacuation amidst destruction, and personal loss. The courageous firefighters fought the untamed wildfire with great efficiency to protect the community.
The Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. also sustained smoke damages and amidst the havoc, a single pallet of peated malt outside the brewery apparently absorbed the smoke. A batch that ought to have been trashed, was unassumingly tested and approved to be turned into a smoked Canadian malt whisky. Spike Baker, head brewer at the Wood Buffalo Brewing Co during the time saw an opportunity, which was though sadly influenced by tragedy. He said, “We knew we had something special, so decided to distill a whisky made 100% from this malt. It was an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come as a community and honour the firefighters who saved the city. It’s still crazy to think the fires made this whisky possible.”
That is where this whisky has its beginnings. This journey of the grain got it to be named, ‘The Beast Whisky’ post the fire for sheer survival.
‘The Beast Whisky’ is distilled in oak barrels and will be ready to be opened by 2021, as it takes five years for it to age. The bottle of this signature spirit until then will serve as the IOU per se. The brewery’s partnership with the Fort McMurray Firefighters Association to organise the auction towards an honourable cause, also was a celebration of the fire-fighter’s bravery in saving the city and the spirit of survival as a community.