SASKATOON -- Saskatoon craft brewers are pouring new suds, paying homage to their roots with a homegrown ingredient.

9 Mile Legacy Brewing in Riversdale introduced a new craft beer made with durum wheat grown in southwest Saskatchewan.

According to the brewery, this is one of the few times, if not the first time, the Saskatchewan staple crop has been used in beer production.

“As a kid that grew up in southwest Saskatchewan, we hauled a lot of durum, so I really wanted to make this beer work,” said Garrett Pederson, Chief Operations Officer and co-founder of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing. Pederson and co-founder Shawn Moen grew up in Abbey and Cabri in southwest Saskatchewan.

According to the brewery, durum wheat is traditionally ground up and used in making pasta, which is produced outside of Saskatchewan. 9 Mile Legacy Brewing said it wanted to feature durum wheat to show other breweries its potential.

9 Mile Legacy Brewing used durum wheat in a German-style wheat beer. The brewery said durum wheat adds hints of banana and vanilla to the ale - a recipe designed to achieve balance and emphasize the unique characteristics of durum wheat.

“In my view, the beauty of a project like this is in its broader potential,” Moen said in a news release.

“I hope that No. 1 Durum Wheat Ale will inspire Saskatchewanians to think creatively about the many different things we can do with our excellent agricultural products.”

An early release of the beer was made available at the 9 Mile Legacy taproom and with members and stakeholders of the South West Terminal (SWT) to coincide with the 2021 spring planting season.

A larger, commercial release of the beer is scheduled for later this month, the brewery said.