You’ll always find beers available from both Tank Ten and Seven Barrel Series, but what is the difference? The answer is very simple, but first, here’s a little history.
IN THE BEGINNING…
It all started in 2006 with a frankenstiened, not much bigger than your average home-brew setup; enough to fill a Cornelius fermenting vessel (approximately 55L). We put this system together as a way for us to experiment with new styles by creating test batches. By 2009, these batches were becoming consistently successful, so we decided to share these brews with local beer lovers by holding a monthly open-house event that we called Project X.
The Project X events drew crowds of beer enthusiasts who paid a one-time $10 membership fee. Included with the fee was a t-shirt, and an invite to the brewery for monthly Project X gatherings (held on the second Thursday of each month). Project X events offered food, activities, and, most importantly, exclusive access to these rare creations.
Many notable batches were born in the Project X days. So much so, that we felt it was time to promote some of these test batches to the main stage by brewing them on the big system for seasonal/one-off releases, not just for our retail store at the brewery, but province-wide in LCBO stores. This is how Tank Ten series was born.
As the story goes:
“Stemming from our Project X line, Tank Ten is a tickle trunk of tasty treats. This series is payback to our hard-working brewers. We’ve reserved fermenting tank number ten for them and have given them the green light to brew whatever the heck they want.”
The very first brew to graduate from Project X to Tank Ten was Pompous Ass, now a yearly, late-summer release across Ontario. Others include Robohop Double IPA, Lake Effect IPA, and Karma Citra; now seasonal, province-wide releases.
Many graduated at the Valedictorian level and eventually made to the core lineup, becoming full time, year-round offerings. Octopus Wants to Fight IPA started in the Project X days, as well as “My Parents Went to the West Coast and All They Brought Back Was This Lousy Pale Ale”, now known as Canuck: our flagship brand.
7 BARREL SERIES
As we became busy brewing more seasonal offerings, we found ourselves without the time or space to explore new brews. With the Project X pilot system no longer in use, we needed to find a way to keep our brewers experimenting with new recipes. In 2017, we rectified that by purchasing a 30th anniversary gift for ourselves in the form of a shiny new copper pilot system and promptly tucked it into a corner of the main brewhouse. The system, consisting of a mash/lauter tun, hot liquor tank, and kettle, sitting upon on a small, raised platform, was able to produce up to 700 litres per batch, or 7 barrels (7bbl).
Throughout the entirety of 2017 we produced and released over 100 different beers on the 7bbl system. We welcomed in other Ontario breweries, beer writers, bar and restaurant staff, community associations, and introduced a number of different beers in a number of different styles. It provided our talented brewing team with a bigger outlet to showcase their creativity and allowed us to work with organizations like Newstalk 1010, ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto Rotary Ribfest, and many others on collaboration beers.
With the introduction of 7 Barrel Series in 2018, we resumed crafting, collaborating and creating inspiring beers on a more continual basis while featuring the work from our new artist, Patrick Corrigan. Beers like Meanwhile… Down in Moxee, Monster’s Tears, Citraddiction, Absacker, As Far Back as I Can Remember, Frühschoppen, and so many more were introduced to Ontarians.
The 7 Barrel Series of beers gives us greater ability to produce more experimental and unique beers in larger batches, to supply our own brewery retail store. It also provides beer lovers with a variety of options to consider upon each visit to GLB. 7 Barrel Series beers are also available to very select bars, restaurants, and pubs throughout Ontario.
So What’s The Difference Between The Two?
Quite simply, 7BBL releases are one-offs, available at both of our retail locations, for home delivery, and select bars and restaurants. Tank Ten releases are annual seasonal releases, and can be found in all the same places, as well as LCBOs and grocery stores across Ontario.
Now you know!