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Local bike shop, perch fest inspire new brews in downtown Orillia

Collaborating on Perch Pale Ale, Copeland Down Dry Hopped Series just 'made sense,' says Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. official
Couchiching Craft Brewing Co.'s Perch Pale Ale is one of two new beer releases slated for the next week.

Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. is releasing two new beers in the coming days in celebration of the Orillia Perch Festival and a local bike shop.

A limited release of the Perch Pale Ale is available this weekend, on tap and in cans, with the remainder available for purchase next weekend as the perch festival kicks off.

It’s the second year the beer will be available ahead of the festival, after last year’s inaugural release.

“Last year, we unveiled it, and it was a big success,” said Emily Dilecce, the brewery’s digital media manager. “It has awesome characteristics of citrus, like orange and lemon. We’re not partnered with the festival, but it’s just brewed in celebration of it because (in) Orillia we’re known for our perch fishing.”

The brewery is also releasing the Copeland Down Dry Hopped Series, brewed in collaboration with a local bike shop, The Crank & Sprocket, at a launch party on April 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to be the first to taste the new beer.

Although the collaboration on the new beer was initiated by The Crank & Sprocket, Dilecce said it was a partnership that made sense due to the brewery’s popularity with local cyclists.

“You’d be surprised; lots of bikers love beer, so we are a very common spot in the summertime,” Dilecce said. “You’ll see lineups of bikes here. People from all over stop in for drinks, so we just thought it made sense.”

The beer will be available in cans and on tap beginning next weekend.

Whether hosting different events or collaborating on new beers with local businesses, Dilecce said the brewery works hard to support the community, and the partnership with The Crank & Sprocket was a no-brainer.

“What better way to be a community institution than to collaborate with others, right?” she said. “We’re very much community over competition and let’s all work together. I think it’s one of our core values.”


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Greg McGrath-Goudie

About the Author: Greg McGrath-Goudie

Greg has been with Village Media since 2021, where he has worked as an LJI reporter for CollingwoodToday, and now as a city hall/general assignment reporter for OrilliaMatters
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