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Star Trek, the beer, made by Canadians set to launch

Three Albertans were so enamoured with Star Trek they decided to name a new ale after the home planet of Mr. Spock — Vulcan.

Talk about a mind meld … a new brew is set to launch and it’s out of this world.

It’s called Vulcan Ale, concocted by a trio of Albertans — Star Trek-crazy Canuks — and should land in most Canadian beer/alcohol outlets by early next year.

Its official lift-off is slated for Alberta this week.

“I’ve lived and breathed Star Trek my entire life, it’s a wonderful show and I guess this is just a way of contributing to the story,” says veterinarian Dr. Richard Weger of Calgary, one of the creators of the ale. “And yes, yes . . . I have a costume, Mr. Spock, my favourite character,” he says.

He says it all came about with a deal struck under license with CBS/Paramount Consumer Products — the owners of the Star Trek trademarks — where Vulcan Ale pays to use the well-known brand.

While it may not be called the “official” beer of Star Trek, Weger says the proper legal term is: the first “officially licensed alcoholic beverage” of Star Trek. He believes the only other alcoholic beverage officially linked to the show is a wine that’s in development.

“I can’t get into numbers, but it’s an agreement we’re both pleased with,” says Weger.

“It took a bit of discussion, a bit of back and forth, but it worked.”

Star Trek made the announcement on its website, despite some rejigging of a launch date.

Weger says consumers — and he hopes there will be many — will be able to enjoy a high quality hand-crafted Irish Red Ale (5.4 per cent alcohol) that promises to “explore a new universe” of taste.

The product will start selling as single, regular sized bottles and eventually move to packaged cans. That’s when the bottle will likely be phased out for “green” reasons. Due to the many locales, Weger would not say how much the product would sell for, but that it would be competitive.

Although it’s already available in limited quantities in some areas of Alberta and British Columbia, the hard launch is May 17 (Alberta only), the release date of the new Star Trek movieStar Trek Into Darkness. The film, which is getting good reviews, is described as a prequel/reboot of the original TV series and the subsequent films.

The introduction of actor Benedict Cumberbatch into the movie — a mysterious new villain — has been critically acclaimed.

“That should be a great, great day,” says Weger with a bit of a laugh. “A great beer and a great movie.” And although the product will be brewed at the Harvest Moon Brewing Co in Belt, Montana, Weger says it will sold Canada, coast to coast.

“Hey . . . William Shatner is a Canadian,” he says with a chuckle. “This will be a really Canadian beer.”

He says marketing an alcoholic product across all provinces is time consuming, due to rules and regulations. That makes it hard to predict when the product will arrive. But other Star Trek-themed beers will follow, according to Weger.

The story began in the small town of Vulcan, Alta., pop. 1,836, on Highway 23, midway between Calgary and Lethbridge. It holds an annual Star Trek convention — Spock Days (this year June 7 to 9) — celebrating the fact the character (played by actor Leonard Nimoy) was born on the far off planet of Vulcan (god of fire on Roman myth).

At the event in 2012, Weger ran into his now-partners, Calgarians Paul Carreau, a retired Canadian military veteran, and Vern Raincock, a beer marketer for Delancey Direct Incorporated (it imports craft beer into Western Canada).

All three were drinking beer, talking about Star Trek and thought the program deserved a good ale.

Although Raincock was familiar with brewing, he had never made a commercial batch himself and so the trio started sampling products they could market under their own name but produced by Harvest Moon. Delancey Direct Incorporated is involved with the distribution of the product.

“We chose one we thought held the spirit of the show,” said Weger. “We were all happy with it.”

Weger says he doesn’t know if we’ll ever see anyone drinking Vulcan Ale on future Star Trek movies, but there has been a fair share of quaffing already on the TV show and films.

He says just a few of the drinks that have appeared on screen are Romulan Ale, Vulcan Brandy, a Klingon ale named Warnog and something called Saurian Brandy.

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