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Jeanne's Cake-inspired beer wins home brewery competition in Winnipeg

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When tasked with making a beer that represented his city, Chuck Mackenzie sat down with his wife and started making a list of flavours that scream Winnipeg.

The home brewer entered a competition put on by Devil May Care Brewing to create a new beer flavour that tastes like the Peg.

He started jotting down the flavours that immediately came to mind. Garlic sausage; not what Mackenzie was looking for. Salisbury House dip; didn't quite make the cut.

After some deliberation, Mackenzie settled on something that he knew would be a hit.

"We came up with Jeanne's Cake. It's synonymous with Winnipeg. Everybody knows it and either you love it or hate it," said Mackenzie.

With the idea in hand, he got to work creating the Jeanne's Cake beer.

"It's basically a pastry stout, which is a sweeter stout and then you have to create flavour profiles. You get a lot of the sweetness and flavour from the grain itself, but then you flavour it with some other flavourings after it's conditioned up, (with) cocoa nibs and vanilla beans."

Eventually, the beer was finished, and Mackenzie was satisfied with the end result.

"It's a damn good beer."

Mackenzie was one of around a dozen people to enter their home creations and went up against some stiff competition.

"So we got some entries that were, for example, a honey dill beer, which is a very Winnipeg thing. There's a rye beer, which is also a very Winnipeg thing," said Colin Koop, the co-owner and general manager of Devil May Care Brewing.

"But what ended up winning was a Jeanne's Cake beer - a nice thick pastry stout that tasted like a Jeanne's Cake."

During the first sip of judging, Koop said they were given no information about the flavour. After the second, they were given some of the history of the beer.

"We can all tell the chocolate, we can all tell the vanilla and kind of the cakeiness of it. So a little bit of that cracker crust that everybody knows."

Mackenzie said he was super excited to be crowned winner and even more excited knowing his creation would be featured at the brewery.

"This is amazing for me to be a home brewer and have my beer featured at a well-established brewery like this," said Mackenzie. "This is like a dream come true for me…It's been a long time coming, but I guess I'm here now. So I'm very proud and I'm so excited that I can do it with (this brewery)."

Mackenzie and the brewery made three kegs of his new beer and the first one will be tapped Friday evening in celebration of Mackenzie.

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