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Archive for ‘Craft Beer’

Growing like gangbusters!

Posted by David Loan

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

It’s a cool story: three guys meet, become friends, and cement their friendship by opening a brewery together. That’s the story behind Whitewater Brewing Company, an Ottawa Valley success.  While you read this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine, enjoy a brew from your Savvy Hip Hops parcel containing Whitewater’s popular mainstays and seasonals beers. We know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find bottles & cans of…

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale
Whistling Paddler English Style Ale
Class V IPA
Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout
Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown – Seasonal

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Rapid growth:
Whitewater Brewing Company

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

One day a few years ago, three young men started their first day on the job. They had been hired as white water rafting guides by Wilderness Tours, along the mighty Ottawa River.

From the beginning, they became fast friends. The three (left to right in pix – photo credits Ottawa Citizen) – Chris Thomson, Chris Thomson (yes, you read that right), and James Innes – were sad to break up the team at the end of the summer, but promised to return the next year.

And they did, meeting over a beer (ok….maybe more than one), and telling stories about their winter adventures.

“We always found ourselves in different areas of the world in the off-season, whenever we grouped back up it was to share a beer and tell stories and catch up,” said Chris.

Plans Brewing

One day, they talked about the future. “We felt there wasn’t any good beer in the area, and we wanted to solve that,” said Chris. “We knew that there was a local hop farm and we decided it would be crazy not to take advantage of that.” And just like that, Whitewater Brewing Company was born.

The company was registered in 2011, but the first brewery, now called the Riverside Brewery, didn’t open until 2014 in nearby Forester’s Falls. A second brewery, the Lakeside, opened last fall in Cobden and is preparing to brew their first batch in next month – February 2017 – and produce thirty times more beer than the first small brewery. Yes 30 times more!

All about the local

“Local” is a word Chris uses often. “When we started, and we are happy to continue to enforce a buy local philosophy,” he said. “We wanted to prioritize supporting the local economy. This means buying from other local suppliers, but also running events for organizations that support local groups.”

“Both our pubs are buying local meat, local vegetables. A huge proportion of what we serve is grown within 75 or 100 km. We’re really proud of that. It comes at a price, but it’s a price we’re willing to pay.”

Embracing their roots

Asked about Whitewater’s brewing philosophy, Chris said, “Our aim is to have four beers that would be true to their style. We wanted something that people could sit down, unwind and enjoy a good beer…then crack open maybe two or three more.” Chris continued, “With our seasonals, we play more and aren’t afraid of wacky flavours. With our coffee beer, we liked a local coffee company so we thought, how can we use this ingredient in our brews?”

Chris simply explained that Whitewater’s motto is down to earth honest and reflects exactly who they are: “Brewed by friends, for friends.”

After sipping through the beer assortment in your Savvy Hip Hops, we think you too will want to be friends with the fantastic team at Whitewater!

Let’s raise a glass to Chris, Chris & James and their rapidly growing brewery!

 

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

David shares his notes about each beer, along with his picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale

This is a real crowd-pleaser! Whitewater Brewing’s flagship ale will go down smoothly after work or with Friday night take-out. International Bitterness Units (IBU) at 22; 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: A clear blonde ale, it has good carbonation and a crisp texture. Flavours of honey and apricot round out a long finish. There’s a touch of bitterness from the local hops, which balances the honey notes beautifully.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair easily with everything from a burger and fries and fries to roast chicken, but we’d like to try it with a spicy Szechuan stir-fry (recipe below).

Whistling Paddler English Style Ale

David’s favourite, this ale is unique, richly flavoured ale that demands a second glass. It’s an easy-drinker, at 4.5% alcohol and 36 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Hazy amber in colour, there’s an immediate note of caramel and roast grain, with just enough bitterness to balance. It finishes with a pretty, toasted marshmallow note.

Suggested Food Pairing: The sweetness calls for something chocolatey, and we debated about cheesecake. In the end, we felt a Mexican chicken mole sauce will be a perfect fit (recipe below)!

Class V India Pale Ale

A best seller in the Whitewater line-up, this is a classic IPA. Don’t get scared by the 72 IBU; the hops are well integrated here. 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: Despite being unfiltered (like all Whitewater products), this pours a clear amber. The hops are certainly present, but balanced by a light orange citrus note. There’s some minerality, too. The finish is very long and lightly bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is an easy one: BBQ. Whether you do chicken wings, ribs, or a BBQ sauce pizza, the sweet and tangy sauce will be a terrific match to this beer.

Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout

Milks stouts have lactose added to them. Lactose is unfermentable by yeast, so it adds a sweetness that doesn’t get converted to alcohol. If you’re not sure about trying a heavier beer, this is a terrific one to start with. It won’t fill you up or overwhelm your taste buds. 30 IBU and 4.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: This pours an opaque chocolate brown with a long-lasting foam. It smells and tastes of cocoa, toasted malt, and mild hops.

Suggested Food Pairing: Have the Midnight Stout with a black bean chocolate brownie, a surprisingly rich and flavourful spin on the classic (recipe below).

SEASONAL: Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown

Whitewater’s Brew Master Sean Goddard, who hails from the nearby town of Pakenham, believes that seasonals should be playful. This Honey Brown is a great example: smooth, sweet, and toasty.

Tasting Notes: This pours a deep and hazy amber with a light head. Aromas of orange, roasted malt, and that eponymous honey, which gets stronger toward the finish. But the big player here is the malt, which stays in the mouth for minutes afterward.

Suggested Food Pairing: We want French onion soup with this, smothered by a toasted crouton and melted, gooey cheese (recipe below).

Product photo credits: Whitewater Brewing Co.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

With Farmer’s Daughter…

Szechuan beef stir-fry
Recipe and photo: chinasichuanfood.com

Ingredients

1/2 pound beef
1 cup of celery sections (around 5 cm long) or as needed
5 chili dried pepper, cut into shreds and remove the seeds
2 green onion whites, cut into sections around 5 cm long
1 inch root ginger, shreds
1 Tablespoon doubanjiang (available in Chinatown, or thicken with cornstarch)
1 teaspoon chili pepper powder or as needed
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
Sesame seeds for garnish
Salt to taste

Marinating Sauce

2 Tablespoons cooking wine
1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
3 Tablespoons cooking oil

Method

Put the beef in refrigerator for about 30 minutes and cut into small and long shreds.

In a large mixing bowl, well combine beef shreds and marinating ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat up your wok or pan firstly for around 2 minutes and then add around 2 tablespoons cooking oil to heat until the oil is really hot. Add beef shreds in. Stir fry for around 1 to 2 minutes over high fire, you will see there is sauce coming out in your wok. Pour the sauce out and transfer the beef shreds to one side of your wok or pan.

Add around 1/2 tablespoon oil to fry the ginger shreds, green onion shreds and dried chili pepper sheds until aroma over medium fire. Add doubanjiang in to stir fry for the red oil. Mix everything well.

Spread chili pepper powder, Sichuan peppercorn powder and sesame seeds. Toss quickly and make sure all the ingredients are combined completely.

Add celery sections in and continue cook for around 1 minute. Transfer out and serve hot!

With Whistling Paddler…

Chicken Mole
Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

TIP: It’s worth making a trip to a local Mexican grocery for some of the chiles and Mexican chocolate. They’re surprisingly inexpensive and very delicious!

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons (or more) peanut oil (preferably unrefined), divided
5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups orange juice
1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 ounces dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1 ounce dried negro chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1/4 cup raisins
4  strips of 1/2-inch orange peel (orange part only)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 3.1-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro
Warm flour tortillas

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, add chicken to pot; sautée until lightly browned, adding more oil by tablespoonsful as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large bowl.

Return chicken and any juices to pot. Add broth and orange juice; bring just to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender and just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add almonds, garlic, cumin, and coriander.

Sautée until nuts and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add chiles and stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Pour chicken cooking liquid into saucepan with onion mixture (reserve pot). Add raisins, orange peel, and oregano to saucepan. Cover and simmer until chiles are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand until chocolate melts and sauce mixture cools slightly, about 15 minutes.

Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; return to reserved pot.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce; stir to coat.

Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

Transfer chicken mole to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

 

With Honey Badger Brown…

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup
Recipe and Photo: Food.com

Ingredients

5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsp butter
12 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp flour
6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup wine (dry red or white)
1 bay leaf
12 teaspoon ground sage
salt and pepper
12 ounces swiss cheese, grated
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
12 raw yellow onion
2 -3 tablespoons cognac
8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
4 Tbsp olive oil, for drizzling

Method                                                                                                     

Place heavy bottom stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot. Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.

To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.

Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly. Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions. Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here). Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the cooked-on bits. Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the “croutes” (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).

Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it). Transfer to a casserole dish. At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup. Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.

Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and brown cheese well.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving.  Extra sliced baguettes as required.

 

With Midnight Stout…

Black Bean Brownies
Recipe and Photo: MennoniteGirlsCanCook.ca

Ingredients

1-19 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 eggs
1/3 cup of coconut oil*
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup, sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method

Grease a 9 ” inch pan.  Line with parchment paper.

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is all liquid with no lumps. Pour into the cake pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. (In my oven it took a full 35 minutes, so make sure to test your brownie).

Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate over night.  In my opinion this tastes best cold straight out of the fridge.

*vegetable oil can be used in place of the coconut oil, but I like the hint of coconut flavor it gives the brownie. 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

Beers made in a church

Posted by David Loan

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Founded ten years before the micro- and nano- and craft-brewer surge across Ontario, Campbellford’s Church-Key Brewing has always been known for high quality beers. They’ve also developed a reputation for their strong commitment to local sourcing, with many of their ingredients grown within sight of their retired church brewery. We’re very excited to help our Savvy Hip Hops suds-cribers get to know the people behind the products. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy these delicious, hand-crafted beers. They’ve been chosen just for you to enjoy during the holiday mayhem & while you are relaxing during the holidays too!

Whether you receive the Quick Picks or Taste Case, you will find a variety of bottles of these beers…

Cyser Apple Mead
Braggot Honey Malt
West Coast Pale Ale
Northumberland Ale
Holy Smoke Scotch Ale

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Holy Beer!
Church-Key Brewing
By David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

Built in 1878, the Campbellford Methodist Church doesn’t look like a typical brewery. But the decommissioned house of worship was purchased by Brewmaster John Graham in 1999 to begin his own small brewery. It has grown to include The Stinking Rose Pub and Grindhouse Café and to be an important part of the rural landscape.

How did a little brewery in an out-of-the-way small town succeed? Read on!

A step back in time…

John grew up in a small town north of Toronto. By the time he was an adult, though, the fields had been paved over, the farms replaced with shopping malls. “Thirty years of “progress”, John said. “I think it’s a bit short-sighted. I have four kids of my own and I wanted to bring them up in the same rural atmosphere I did. Campbellford is much closer to my upbringing. It’s a 20 or 30 year step back in time.”

Location, location, location

Campbellford, located 30 minutes north of the 401, turned out to be a perfect location for John & his family.  “We’re literally half-way between Toronto and Ottawa,” John said. “They’re the two biggest beer markets in Ontario. We have more than two million residents within an hour’s drive.”

Perhaps just as important, John is able to source many of the ingredients for his beer right in his own community. “We have honey, barley, hops that are grown within sight of the brewery,” John said. “I call it hyper-local, and it’s part of our environmental goals of keeping the supply chain short and part of the economic goals of buying from people who buy from us. It’s a closed loop.”

Crowd-pleasers

John said that serving his beer to a local audience keeps him grounded. “No 90 IBU (International Bitterness Units) monsters that breweries in more populated breweries produce,” he said. “Being in a small town, we have to be a bit more of a crowd-pleaser for our local audience.”

Church-Key has a mission statement, which they call “The Guiding Light”. It embraces the sustainable principles of the brewery. “There’s a consumer awareness that has happened all over the world,” John said. “Not just beer, we’re more aware of what kind of cheese, what kind of bread we’re eating. We want to have a closer connection to what we’re consuming.”

We know you’ll enjoy these crowd-pleasing beers made by John & the folks at the brewery!

 


 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

David shares his notes about each beer, along with picks on what to serve… and some fun recipes too!

West Coast Ale

In the big family of beers known as India Pale Ales (IPA), East Coast American IPAs have more malt sweetness and less hop bitterness, whereas West Coast ales embrace the hops and often use a lighter malt.

Tasting Notes: A lovely amber colour, this has a refreshing bitterness which matches nicely with its orange and almond flavours. The medium acidity help make it a very well-rounded, easy to drink beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: The hops and acidity will work very nicely with a cheesy pizza or plate of nachos.

 

Cyser: Apple Mead

Cyser is made from honey and apples fermented together. Sometimes described as a wine, other times as a cider, it’s a beautiful hybrid of the two.

Tasting Notes: This Cyser is unfiltered, so it has a lightly cloudy appearance. Gentle and refreshing, there are flavours of green apples, lime cordial, ginger, and yeast. It’s only slightly sweet.  With 8.3% alcohol, you might expect a boozy bounce; in fact, the alcohol is well integrated and this goes down easily. Maybe too easily!

Suggested Food Pairing: We would love this with an apple, pecan, and blue cheese salad. The delicate sweetness of the Cyser and the pungent blue cheese will play very well together. See recipe, below.

 

Northumerland Ale

Brewmaster John Graham says this beer – the first product made by Church-Key Brewing – is based on a recipe typical of the beer served in Northumberland County taverns in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Tasting Notes: The beer pours a golden colour with a light foam. Citrusy hops and a crisp finish make this a great everyday beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will be a lovely pairing with a white fish dish, such as Jamie Oliver’s Baked White Fish recipe, below.

 

Braggot Honey Malt

Another mead-style beverage, Braggot is a spiced honey wine.

Tasting Notes: The honey is apparent from the moment you pop the cap, but it’s very subtle when you taste the mead. The mineral and citrusy notes balance the sweet honey very well, and there are hints of clover and vanilla.

Suggested Food Pairing: If you’re looking for a drink to go with your sweet and savoury Chicken and Waffles, here it is!  See the recipe below.

 

Holy Smoke: Peat-smoked Scotch ale

For those who love campfires, Hot Rods, and Islay whisky, this is the perfect beer. Ten per cent of the malt has been roasted over a peat fire, giving it a smoky complexity and finish.

Tasting Notes: Almost opaque and with a nice foam, the campfire notes are apparent from the first pour. There are also some flavours dark chocolate, vanilla, and molasses. The smoky finish is very long-lasting. 6.2% ABV.

Suggested Food Pairing: We picture this as a Sunday afternoon après-ski with a hot and spicy bowl of black bean chili (see recipe, below). The perfect way to end the weekend.

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops 

 

With Cyser Apple Mead…

Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries
Recipe and Photo: Food.com

Ingredients

12 ounces salad greens (spring mix)
2 whole apples, cored, sliced very thin
12 cup pecan halves
14 cup dried cherries
6 ounces blue cheese, cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon heaping Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (to taste)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to taste)
14 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method                                                                                                     

Add greens, apple slices, pecan halves, dried cherries, and blue cheese chunks into a large salad bowl.
In a small jar, mix Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.
Pour a little salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss to combine. Taste salad and add more salad dressing to taste.

 

With Braggot Honey Malt…

Chicken and Waffles
Recipe and photo: FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients

Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
8 chicken tenders (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup instant flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 buttermilk or Belgian-style frozen waffles
Maple syrup, for serving

Method

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Whisk the hot sauce and egg in a medium bowl; toss the chicken in the mixture to coat.

Combine the flour, poultry seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Set aside 3 tablespoons seasoned flour in a separate bowl; dredge the chicken in the remaining seasoned flour until coated, shaking off any excess.

Place the chicken in the hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly; discard the oil.

Melt the butter in the same skillet and whisk in the reserved seasoned flour until smooth. Whisk in the scallions, then slowly pour in the broth. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the gravy is smooth.

Meanwhile, toast the waffles.

Place a waffle on each plate and drizzle with maple syrup. Top with chicken and gravy and garnish with scallions.

 

With Northumberland Ale…

Baked White Fish
Recipe and photo: JamieOliver.com

Ingredients

3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil
Olive oil
1 fresh red chilli
2x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes
Red wine vinegar
4 pieces of white fish fillets (150 g each) – such as cod, whiting, pollock, skin off, pin-boned, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
1 handful of black olives, (stone in)
1 tablespoon capers

Method

To make the sauce, peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Pick the basil leaves and finely slice the stalks.

Heat a good couple of lugs of oil in a large pan over medium heat; add the garlic and basil stalks. Pierce the chilli once with a knife so it doesn’t explode when frying, then add to the pan. Fry gently until the garlic is soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes and season lightly with sea salt and black pepper, then simmer gently over a low heat for 30 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced.

When the time’s up, remove the chilli, and break up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then add a tiny swig of red wine vinegar to give it a little twang.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

Pour the tomato sauce into a 20cm x 30cm roasting tray. Season the fish fillets on both sides with a little salt and pepper, then place on top of the sauce.

Squash the olives, using the base of a jar or something heavy, and remove the stones. Sprinkle into the tray, along with the capers and most of the basil leaves over the fish.

Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through – check by cutting into the thickest part of one or two of the fillets; they should be pearly white and not transparent.

 

With Holy Smoke Peat-smoked Scotch Ale…

Smoky Black Bean Chili
Recipe and Photo: Gimmesomeoven.com

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bottle beer (or chicken/vegetable broth)
3 (15 oz. each) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt

optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa

 

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and continue sautéeing for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the beer (or broth), black beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm, garnished with optional toppings.

 Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

All photos of the brewery & products (unless noted) were provided by Church-Key.

Homework never tasted this good!

Posted by Katy

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

The craft beer industry has exploded in Ontario and the rest of Canada. Since 2004 the number of breweries open in Canada has gone from 90 to well over 520 craft breweries and more are opening every day! With this dramatic growth, the industry has demanded specialized & knowledgeable labour; employees who can keep up with the day-to-day operations of running a brewery whether it’s working long hours at the kettle, managing retail operations or pushing cases of beer through the LCBO, The Beer Store and now grocery stores! To help with that demand Niagara College founded Canada’s first Teaching Brewery that offers a practical environment for students to learn.

We’re going back to school….beer school!

Each recipe is brewed by the students at Niagara College Teaching Brewery and they use Brewmaster Jon Downing’s award winning recipes. Pay extra attention to the Beer 101 cans as they will give you additional information so you too can become an A+ beer student.

We featured these craft beers in our Savvy Hip Hops:

Quick Picks…

Butler’s Bitter
Pale Ale – Beer 101
Lager – Beer 101
IPA – Beer 101
Wheat – Beer 101
Stout
Cherry Pilsner

Taste Case…

more bottles from the above assortment in the Quick Picks PLUS Helles Lager

Need more beer?

Want to do more ‘school work’? If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call us & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca
Cheers! Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

 

Introducing…

Niagara College Teaching Brewery
by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

Back to School

Jon Downing has had a life full of beer. It started at the young age of 14 with a beer kit bought at a local pharmacy that he brewed with his father. He then got his first job in beer when he was 16 working weekends at the local pub as a cellar-man.

It was on a fateful visit to Canada to see his sister where Jon struck up a conversation with Albert Coutu, owner of the Atlas Hotel in Welland. Coutu wanted to start the first brewpub in Ontario, but didn’t know how to make beer and hadn’t been able to find someone to fill the position of brewmaster. Jon, who was only 23, was well trained and accepted the challenge which would go well beyond brewing beer (photo below of Jon in 1986 brewing at The Atlas Hotel).

The Atlas faced some steep challenges. Not only did legislation need to be changed and created for the brewpub to exist, but consumer’s perception on how beer is made and what it tastes like had to change. That proved to be too much for the Atlas and it was sold in 1989.

 

Becoming a Professor

Niagara College opened the Teaching Winery in 2002 to help prepare students for a career in the rapidly growing Canadian wine industry. Seeing its success and the need for skilled labour in the brewing industry, Jon suggested to create a program for beer. Although not immediately interested, it was hard to ignore the skyrocketing growth in the craft beer sector in Canada. black-and-white-photo

Working closely with the Ontario Craft Brewer’s Association, suppliers and local breweries Jon and College staff created the first program of its kind in Canada. The Teaching Brewery launched in 2010 with 300 applicants for 24 spots.

For Jon, transitioning to a professor brewmaster position wasn’t hard. After working at the Atlas Hotel he went on to open over 100 breweries and brewpubs around the world. More often than not, he would be the one teaching staff and owners how to brew systems and recipes he crafted.

 

Meeting Demand

The Canadian craft beer industry now employs 1 out of every 100 people in Ontario and is responsible for over $70 million in sales. With this stunning growth, Niagara College has had to add a summer session to meet demands from the industry. Jon remarks, “The demand is there because the industry is growing so rapidly.”

It isn’t only the beer that’s award winning, but the program itself has garnered much praise from the industry. “All of our students have gone on to work in the brewery industry at some point,” proudly states Jon. “If not brewing beer directly then they are doing their part to support the industry.”

The Teaching Brewery has been such a success that the program has expanded & replicated to Alberta’s Olds College in 2013.

Oh, and don’t think there isn’t a little competition from the Teaching Winery students. Paired with the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, students of the Teaching Winery and Brewery go head-to-head to see which beverage pairs best with each course. That is homework that I would not mind!

Here’s to Jon & the students at the
Niagara College Teaching Brewery!

 

 

 

– Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes –hiphops_large-292x300

Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Butler’s Bitter

This 4.4% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) beer has won several accolades including Gold in the Canadian Brewing Awards (2013). The recipe is based on beer that was being brewed in the 1800’s by English brewers in Upper Canada.

Tasting Notes: Those troops were treated well! This bitter is beautiful to look at with a bright caramel colour and a great foamy mocha head that’s bursting with toffee, bready malts and some raisin-y sweetness. There’s a good bitterness in the flavour that’s supported by coffee and bread malt notes. Finishes dry, as it should.

Suggested Food Pairing: For many a Bitter is a comfort beer and comfort food pairs well with it. Serve alongside a roasted chicken that’s been done up in herbs. The caramel and malt flavours of the bitter will work well with the chicken skin all while cleansing the palate so you can enjoy the flavours.

Cherry Pilsner

At the teaching brewery students not only learn from a world-class faculty, but there’s also an on-site hop yard and access to farm fresh produce. This 5.5% ABV Pilsner uses Niagara-grown Montmorency cherries for a unique spin on a classic.

Tasting Notes: This pink-tinged brew has a light aroma of bready malts, tart berries and hop spice. The flavour profile is similar with the Montmorency cherries adding more of a tart contrast.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside a slice of apple pie for a sweet/sour contrast or with cherry crumble to really amplify those cherry flavours. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you’d like it à la mode.

Beer 101 – Pale Ale

We are so used to the hopped up American version of Pale Ale that it can be easy to forget about the original English version. In this 5% ABV English-style Pale Ale there’s a true balance between the malt and English-variety hop bitterness.

Tasting Notes: Stemming from the Burton-on-Trent region of England, the hard water produced a refreshing Pale Ale with a good hoppy bite. You can expect amedium bitterness with slight fruity esters and an overall great balance.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go full English with a hearty plate of fish and chips, a wedge of farmhouse cheddar or a slice of bread pudding with a dollop of vanilla sauce.

men-and-brewing

Beer 101 – Lager

This 5% ABV North American Pale Lager has its origins in Southern Germany, but is brewed using Canadian and European ingredients to create the perfect balance.

Tasting Notes: Spicy Bavarian Noble Hops provide bitterness and a delicate aroma to balance the cracker sweetness of two-row Canadian malted barley and specialty German malts.

Suggested Food Pairing: Lager is often misunderstood when
it comes to food pairings. Often served alongside something deep fried, usually without any finesse and in a frosted mug. Try pairing this lager with salmon, the lager will stand up to the light flavours and help scrub off some of the oils off your palate.

Beer 101 – India Pale Ale

Originally brewed with additional hops and higher alcohol for the journey to India during the British reign, this ale was later modified with North American hops when colonization of the new world began.

Tasting Notes: This 6% ABV brew has a medium body and beautiful copper colour. The palate is greeted with a sharp bitterness of pine, citrus and a sweet malt backbone that has a long lasting hoppy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: I love pairing India Pale Ale’s with salty snacks. Go for a plate of fried chicken or give in to deep fried cheese curds (something my local take away has recentlystarted offering). The salt will help town down the bitterness while the beer will help refresh your palate. 

Beer 101 – Wheat

This 5% ABV white beer or ‘weissbier’ is one of Germany’s most distinctive styles as it’s named after the high volume of wheat malt in the beer (over 50% of the grist).

Tasting Notes: This pale straw coloured brew has a thick, white head that emits wonderful clove spice and fruity yeast ester aromas. The flavour showcases that high percentage of wheat malt with clove and a slight banana character.

Suggested Food Pairing: Be creative with Weissbier, their crisp carbonation and yeast character means they can pair with fresh salads or delicate white fish or hearty sausages and even spicier Mexican fare.

Beer 101 – Stout

Stouts popularity grew out of the craze for Porters in the early 1800’s. As the alcohol strength of Porter’s increased their name changed to ‘Stout Porters’ and eventually to simply Stouts.

Tasting Notes: This 5.5% ABV pitch black Stout smells muchlike a fresh pot of dark roast coffee with a little raisin and grain. More of that roasted barley and coffee is in the flavour with a dark bitter cacao note at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: A classic pairing is oysters; the malt sweetness meshing with the briny oyster meat. I prefer pairing stout with cheese though and I like to get a little adventurous. I may shy away from those strong smelling blue cheeses, stilton’s and aged cheddars, but when I have a stout I become fearless.

butlers-bitter-pic


– Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops –

With Butler’s Bitter…

Beer & Beef Pie

Recipe and Photo: BBC Good Food

butlers-bitter-recipeIngredients

1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
700g stewing beef
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 beef stock cubes
2 springs thyme
540ml Butler’s Bitter
500g plain flour, plus a little extra
250g vegetarian suet
1 egg, beaten
Poppy seeds

 

Method

Heat oven to 160C. Using a flameproof casserole dish with a lid, soften onion and celery in the butter. Stir in the flour until it has disappeared, then stir in the beef and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble in stock cubes and add thyme. Pour over Butler’s Bitter, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hrs. Remove lid and cook for another 30 mins – this should thicken the sauce nicely.

Increase oven to 200C. For the pastry, whizz the flour, suet and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until there are no suet lumps. Keeping the motor running, dribble in 1 Tbsp water at a time until the pastry starts to come together, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands.

Roll out half the pastry and use to line a 20-22cm pie dish. Using a slotted spoon, spoon in all of the meat, then pour over some of the sauce until the meat is just coated. Put the rest of the sauce into a saucepan. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Trim the edge with a small, sharp knife, then crimp or fork the edges to seal. Make a small heart from cuttings. Brush top of the pie and heart with beaten egg, then dip heart into poppy seeds and stick to top. Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown and crisp. Reheat sauce and serve with the pie along with some mash and greens.

 

 

beer-pale-ale-recipeWith Beer 101 – Pale Ale…

Southwest Cheese Dip

Recipe and Photo: The Beeroness

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated (packed)
1 cup mozzarella (packed)
¾ cup Beer 101 – Pale Ale
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, beer, cornstarch, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Add to a large oven safe bowl, stir in the black beans, corn, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until warmed through. Remove from oven, top with avocado and cilantro, serve warm.

 

With Beer 101 – Lager…

Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Recipe and Photo: Food.com

beer-lager-recipeIngredients

4 cod fish fillets or 4 haddock fillets
6 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz Beer 101 – Lager
½ lemon, juice
Salt and pepper
Extra flour
3lbs potatoes, peeled & chipped
Cooking fat or oil

 

Method

Heat fat up in a chip pan or automatic deep fat fryer – mine has a chip setting which is 190°C.

Peel the potatoes and cut into chunky sized chips. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Fry chips for about 3 minutes until soft but NOT coloured. Drain and shake well and set to one side.

Put some flour onto a plate. Dredge the fish fillets in the flour thoroughly – this is VERY important; it stops the batter sliding off when fried! Leave the fish fillets in the flour whilst you make the batter.

Put flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper into a large roomy bowl. Add the beer gradually, stop when you have a thick coating type of batter. Drink any beer that is left! Whisk thoroughly until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Add the lemon juice OR a splash of malt vinegar if desired. Mix thoroughly again.

Adjust deep fat fryer to fish frying temperature of 160°C. Take one fillet of fish at a time and holding it by the tail or thin end (!) swirl it around the batter until well coated – plunge into hot fat immediately.

As soon as it has crisped up and set, add your other fillets one at a time, taking out the first ones as they cook – about 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness. Place onto a tray and keep warm in the oven.

Turn up the heat setting to 190°C again and cook your chips until golden and crisp. Serve on plates or newspaper with salt & vinegar!

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

Our brewery discovery in St Jacobs

Posted by Katy

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Right about now the folks at Block Three Brewing Company in St. Jacobs, Ontario are busy. Not just busy packing this order for Savvy Hip Hops, but busy preparing for their Oktoberfest celebration, aptly named: Blocktoberfest.

If you’re unable to join them and many other craft beer fans on October 14th, then they encourage you to raise a glass & enjoy your beer selection we sent to you this month while you chant: Eins, zwei, drei, g’suffa; Zicke-Zacke-Zicke-Zacke Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops, you will find various combos of 12 bottles of these beers…

…in your Quick Picks

-King Street Saison
-Beauty and the Belgian Amber Ale
-Do You Want to Dance? IPA
-Fickle Mistress – Raspberry Ginger Sour
-Stratus Fear Brett Barrel Aged Saison
-The Loneliness Red Wine Barrel Aged RIS

…in your Taste Case

– King Street Saison
-Beauty and the Belgian Amber Ale
-Do You Want to Dance? IPA
-Fickle Mistress – Raspberry Ginger Sour
-Stratus Fear Brett Barrel Aged Saison
-The Loneliness Red Wine Barrel Aged RIS
-Dulle Griet Barrel Aged Belgian Red Ale

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Block Three Brewing Company
by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

The Local Beer Club

Block Three Brewing Company started as an idea after sampling a few beers at a monthly beer club session. The Beer Club had become a way for friends to get together, sample beers from around the world and catch up. To make it seem more ‘official’, there were monthly dues for incidentals like food and glassware.

Unlike most ideas that are tossed around after a few beers this one took and members Derek Lebert, Phil Hipkiss, Graham Spence and Bryan Maher soon found themselves writing a business plan, formulating recipes and making renovations to build their brewery. people-brewers

 

Brewing Beer

Sampling beer and brewing beer are two VERY different things, which is why the new Block Three Brewing Company had an ace up their sleeve. Beer Club member, Bryan Maher was an active homebrewer having started when he was in high school. Together, the group decided they didn’t want to produce the kind of beer readily available at the LCBO or Beer Store. They wanted their beer to be unique, natural and something that others would proudly enjoy with their friends – at a pub or a gathering of a local beer club. “Our focus has always been Belgian-style ales,” says Graham “but we’ve always been keen to experiment with Brett or barrel aging.”

 

The Brewery

Block Three Brewing Company, named after a plot of land bought in 1798 by settler William Wallace, officially opened its doors to thirsty St. Jacob’s on Labour Day in 2013 – and they sold out within 48 hours! At the time the brewery had a 10 barrel brewhouse with three 10 barrel fermenters and were producing 3,000 litres of beer a month.

Three years later the brewery has not only expanded their production, adding two 10 barrel ferementers, four 20 barrel fermenters, but created a barrel aging program with 32 barrels and a 10hl foudre. This has given them great flexibility to create and offer their customers a wide variety of beer, “If you come in one week and then the next you might find that we’ll have two completely different selections of beer available,” boasts Graham.

meat-picTo the delight of their non- local fans, they started distributing to the LCBO last year and with the help of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company started reaching out to LCBO’s out of the Waterloo-Kitchener area. “Just this past summer we started working with Beau’s to help increase our distribution across the province,” mentions Graham “it didn’t make sense for us to drive to Ottawa or Kingston when Beau’s already does that.”

This new partnership with Beau’s will undoubtedly lead to exciting times for this new brewery. Keep these fellas on the radar and remember you heard the news from the Savvy Brew Crew first!

 

Here’s to Derek, Phil, Graham, Bryan & the brewery crew
who have come a long way since this pix!

 

 – Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes –

 

Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too! 

King Street Saison

Block Three Brewing’s flagship beer! This 4.6% ABV (alcohol by volume), 16 IBU (international bitterness units) Belgian-style Saison is named after the street the brewery resides which also happens to be one of the main streets in St. Jacobs.

Tasting Notes: Popping the cap, there is a good amount of yeast-forward aroma – banana spiced with peppercorn. The flavour is sweet with more of those yeast esthers then dives into some pepper before finishing with a pleasant citrus bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: My all time favourite food pairing with a Belgian-style Saison is mussels – I think I suggest it with most Saison’s that appear in Savvy Hip Hops. If you aren’t a fan then try serving King Street Saison alongside a roasted chicken that’s had a good rubdown with herbs, garlic and butter.

 

beauty-and-belgianBeauty & the Belgian Amber Ale

This 6.3% ABV, 15 IBU Belgian-style Amber Ale isn’t your typical Amber Ale – offering a bump in alcohol and more yeast derived aromas and flavours.

Tasting Notes: The aromas are fairly sweet with caramel, toast and bready malts with a hint of earthy hops becoming more pronounced at the end as it warms. There’s more of that sweetness in the flavour with light caramel, some sweet raisin and a slight crispness at the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a very versatile beer that could pair with a number of different foods. However, with the weather getting a little cooler and nights getting a little longer I’d recommend a saucy pulled pork sandwich with a slice of cheddar. 

 

do-u-want-to-danceDo You Want to Dance? IPA

This 6.5% ABV, 50 IBU India Pale Ale features hops from Hayhoe Hops in Aylmer, Ontario. Their fresh hops were added to the fermentor as a way to give this IPA an extra boost of hop aroma and flavour.

Tasting Notes: When I first opened the bottle I was surprised by the juicy orange hop note, it was all I could smell. After pouring it in a glass the orange note faded, but other tropical fruits started appearing: mango, passion fruit and a lingering orange or tangerine. The flavour is a fair bit more balanced offering a solid malt backing to a citrus bitterness that doesn’t leave you overwhelmed.

Suggested Food Pairing: Wet hopped beers are beautiful and really capture the flavour and aroma of the hop harvest. In my opinion there’s no better way to enjoy this than with other seasonal vegetables that have just been harvested, like a root vegetable stew. Or, enjoy this on a porch with a thick slice of pate, a chunk of cheddar and take in the spectacle that is fall.

 

Fickle Mistress – Raspberry Ginger Sour

There is a lot happening in this 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU beer. Fickle Mistress was first kettle soured then fermented with lactobacillus and a combination of ginger/raspberry puree and finally dry hopped. Phew!

Tasting Notes: Pours a nice pinkish hue with a fizzy white head. The aroma is a beautiful tart raspberry with hints of lemon and ginger at the back. The flavours are quite similar with the raspberry/lemon being prominent, but the spice of the ginger pleasantly builds on the palate as you sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: This tastes like summer to me. I’d enjoy it with a crisp salad with grilled chicken and a vinaigrette dressing. Alternatively, I’d also serve this alongside something a bit heavier and contrasting like hummus and pita. The slight sour note would help pick up your palate.

 

stratus-fearStratus Fear Brett Barrel Aged Saison

This Belgian-style Saison was treated to 8 months of aging in red wine barrels from Stratus Winery. In addition to the Belgian Saison yeast it was initially fermented in, it got an addition hit of Brettanomyces while it sat in the barrel

Tasting Notes: Ahhh, you can smell the Brettanomyces funk as you pour! Oak, horse blanket, dried cherry mixed with a slight citrus and pepper. This is a wonderful beer to sip and wonder about the flavours you’re experiencing.

Suggested Food Pairing: I love Brettanomyces, especially paired with the Saison-style. I’d go full on cheese with this beer and serve up a board of Camembert, Colby and Gorgonzola.

 

The Loneliness Red Wine Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Block Three must be predicting a cold winter to be giving us such a decadent treat. This 8.7% ABV, 35 IBU Russian Imperial Stout was in hibernation for a year before being bottled.

Tasting Notes: In the nose there are aromas of cocoa, roasted coffee, licorice and a slight tartness – tart cherry or plum. The flavours are more of that cocoa and roasted coffee with the licorice taking a back seat to a more pronounced tannic red wine flavour.

Suggested Food Pairing: The deep chocolate and coffee notes are going to crave a chocolate-y pairing, but I want you to resist that temptation and pair it with something savoury. Pair this big beer, with a big food – steak! Trust me, the bitterness of the roast combined with the tannins of the red wine and sweetness of the malt are going to really make that beef pop.

 

– Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops –

With King Street Saison…

Beer Broth Mussels

Recipe and Photo: Drink with the Wench

mussels-block-3Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
¼ cup celery, thinly sliced
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded
6 oz King Street Saison
¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/8 tsp dried
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp butter
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

 

Method

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet; add shallots, onion and celery. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes).

Add mussels, King Street Saison, thyme, bay leaf and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover. Cook until mussels are open (about 4-6 minutes) Keep pan moving frequently. Discard mussels that do not open.

Serve in bowls with beer broth, toasted bread and the remainder of the King Street Saison.

 

With Beauty and the Belgian…

Sweet and Savoury Pulled Pork

Recipe and Photo: A Pinch of Nutmeg

pulled-pork-block3Ingredients

3-4 lbs pork shoulder
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2.5 cups BBQ sauce (your favourite)
6 oz Coca Cola
6 oz Beauty and the Belgian
Salt and Pepper

 

Method

Placed sliced onions in a slow cooker, covering the entire bottom surface. Coat pork with a generous layer of salt and pepper. Place seasoned pork in the slow cooker on top of onions, fat side up. In a bowl combine BBQ sauce, soda and beer – stir to combine. Pour over pork. Place top on slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours.

After eight hours, remove pork to a large plate or platter and use to forks to shred pork. Pork should shred very easily. Remove bone at this time as well. Return pulled pork to slow cooker, stir to coat in sauce and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.


 

With Do You Want to Dance?…

Warming Vegetable Curry

Recipe and Photo: My Recipes

curry-block-3Ingredients

1 ½ tsp olive oil
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup cauliflower florets
¼ cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp Madras curry powder
½ cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup Do You Want to Dance? beer
¼ tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup plain Greek yogurt

 

Method

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add sweet potato to pan; sauteé 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium.

Add cauliflower, onion, and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly.

Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with yogurt. Yummy as a side or a full meal.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

No Prohibition for Waller Street Brewing!

Posted by Katy

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Early this month, Ottawa’s smallest brewery – Waller Street Brewing – celebrated their 1st year of operation. This brewery is a hidden gem in Ottawa. Located on one of the shortest streets in downtown Ottawa (many locals don’t even know it by name), the brewery is open three days a week to the public with limited tap across the city.

Waller Street offers its brews in 750ml growlers only. Well…that is until now. Special for Savvy Hip Hops Waller Street has hand bottled their beers for this month’s shipment and for our Taste Case subscribers, the brewery team waxed their Black Double IPA and Scotch River Sour in bottles meant for cellaring. Take the opportunity and stash a few bottles away and learn how beer flavours can change and develop over time.

 

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find:

…in your Quick Picks

-Bootleg Blonde
-Speakeasy Red – mini growlerSavvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
-Hideaway Hefe
-Moonlight Porter
-Blind Pig IPA
-Black IIPA
-Scotch River Sour

 

…In your Taste Case

– Bootleg Blonde
-Speakeasy Red  mini growler
-Hideaway Hefe
-Moonlight Porter  mini growler
-Blind Pig IPA – 2 bottles
-Blind Barron-
-Black IIPA – cellar packed with wax
-Scotch River Sour cellar packed with wax

Need more beer?
If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…

Waller Street Brewing

 

by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

 

Back in the history books…

PIC Waller streetThe Ontario Temperance Act was passed in 1916 that led to the Prohibition of alcohol in Ontario. As your fore fathers may have told you, this wasn’t a popular movement, yet there were sneaky ways to get around the system or hide your consumption from the government.

One popular method was to obtain a prescription from a doctor and buy your alcohol from a drug store. Interestingly, during the years of 1923 & 1924 over 810,000 prescriptions were written for alcohol in Ontario! Another way was to visit a speakeasy or a Blind Pig – a private saloon that was only accessible with a password. In these ‘secret places’ bootlegged alcohol was sold and enjoyed.

Over time, the Temperance Act was repealed in 1927, but the era of neighborhood speakeasies and creatively bootlegged alcohol left their mark and even offered some inspiration to brewers, including modern day ‘Bootician’ Marc-André Chainey (right in photo).

 

Where Old meets New…

Waller Street Brewery is located in the basement of a heritage building, on the corner of Waller Street and Besserer in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Walking down the steep stairs, it almost feels like sneaking away from a group of Teetotaler’s to get your after-work fix. Thankfully there isn’t a password required at the brewery door! Inside is a beautiful stained glass and mahogany bar from the previous occupant – Alfie’s, a sports bar. To the left, running deeper into the space, is the brewery operations. “Want a brewery tour?”, laughs Marc. “The best place to stand is with your back to the beer fridge & look left & right.” Yes, it is that small. Imagine the size of a two car garage.

 

Engineering a Brewery

Deceivingly encased in dark wood, the brewery can surprisingly churn out 1,200 litres of beer each week. And that is where Marc-André gets creative, much like his prohibition counterparts.

 

Engineer by Day. Bootician by Night

An engineer by trade, his approach to brewing is a little different than others, opting to experiment and understand the details and science behind ingredients, processes – even the drinker. “Every time we try something new, we learn a little bit more about the hops, the yeast; but also we learn a little bit more about our customers and what you like.”

Being confined by the space in the basement of the historic building, which can only fit 30 people at a time, doesn’t seem to bother the brewery team. Instead of following the strategy of producing more beer, they are putting the microscope on the beer – literally! Yes, Waller Street actually has a microbiologist working for them…That is when he isn’t filling kegs, cleaning kegs or moving kegs. Like everyone in the brewery team, they all pitch in.

We won’t see Marc-André piecing together expansion plans for the brewery – ever. The historic building constantly provides him with challenges of fitting modern day equipment through small doorways, not to mention steep stairwells and a maze of corridors.

We will however, see him experimenting more with sour beer recipes, processes and continuing support of their Flights of Hope project, where $2.00 from each beer flight goes to charity.

Marc-André & his sister Marie-Eve along with the rest of the brewery team invite you to come by to visit them at the brewery….and when you do, be sure to tell them you are a Savvy Hip Hops suds-scriber….they are ready roll out the red carpet for you!

 

Here’s to Marc-André & the brew crew at Waller Street!

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Bootleg Blonde

This 5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV), 21 International Bitterness Units (IBU) Blonde Ale is brewed using an in-house yeast strain which gives a little spice to the introductory brew.
Tasting Notes: Blonde Ale’s are fairly straightforward with some grain, bread-y malts and some earth-y hop spice to add balance. However, the in-house yeast strain adds a lively twist to the palate with subtle spicy phenols.

Suggested Food Pairing: With less than a month of summer left, enjoy Bootleg Blonde with a green salad with light vinaigrette or serve alongside an angel food cake with fresh berries. I would recommend to avoid strong flavoured foods, especially those with heavy spicing that would overpower the beer.

 

waller ombre

Speakeasy Red

At 4.4% ABV and 30 IBU, Waller Street prefers not to put this beer in a specific style category, instead label it as a light beer with big flavour.

Tasting Notes: Speakeasy Red starts with a toasted rye spice – almost peppery – leading to yeast-y fruit esthers, and a tropical hop bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The rye malt and Belgian yeast would go well with Jamaican-style Jerk Chicken, herbed roasted potatoes or Asiago cheese.

 

 

Moonlight Porter

Marc-André claims this beer was an accident – a happy one that we are glad he made. At 6.3% ABV and 50 IBU this American Porter is a balance of decadent malt and American hops.

Tasting Notes: True decadence. Coffee, roast, dark chocolate with wonderful dark fruit flavours leading into a mild bitterness. Surprisingly with the strength of the flavours (and alcohol) it’s very drinkable.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! I have heard from friends that a good cigar pairs perfectly with this beer too.

 

Hideaway Hefe

Waller Street’s summer seasonal is a German-style Hefeweizen that’s 5% ABV and 18 IBUs. A Hefeweizen is a wheat beer (weisse) with yeast (hefe).

Tasting Notes: Lots of yeast-y banana flavours with some bubblegum and clove peaking through. Spicy hops are there, although fairly subdued. The body is light and the carbonation is crisp – it goes down easily in the sun.

Suggested Food Pairing: Yes, bring on the schnitzel! But, did you know that Hefeweizen is a great match for sushi? The wheat and banana sweetness will work perfectly with delicate fish flavours, especially if you’re choosing sashimi over rolls.

 

group shot waller

Blind Pig IPA

Mark m y words, this isn’t your typical India Pale Ale. Ringing in at 6.7% ABV and 68 IBU it was brewed using a mixed primary fermentation containing Brettanomyces.

Tasting Notes: Take a moment to enjoy the aroma of this beer…It’s truly amazing – peach, mango, orange, grapefruit – it really draws you in for a gulp! The flavour mirrors the aroma with the malts hidden behind the tropical hop flavours letting the hops shine as they should.

Suggested Food Pairing: Lately I’ve been enjoying cheese with IPAs, especially salty cheeses. My favourites have been fresh cheese curds (squeak squeak!), sharp cheddar or Parmegiano Reggiano.

Tip from our Cheese Sommelier: keep cheese curds on the counter. That way they will continue to have the squeaky characteristic that we all love. As soon as you refrigerate, the squeak disappears.

 

 

Black IIPA

This big 8.5% ABV and 85 IBUs combines the roast and malt qualities of a stout while having an assertive hop profile. Marc-André brewed this just in time for Waller Street’s 2nd Birthday Party, which coincidentally landed on the same day as International Beer Day (August 5).

Tasting Notes: This is a flavour war! Dark chocolate, coffee roast, dark fruit flavours clash against an intense citrus hop note leaving your palate with a small residual sweetness to balance the bitterness from the roast and hops.

Suggested Food Pairing: Grilled meats, especially a thick steak grilled to perfection (medium rare for me). Enjoy how the malt compliments the charring of the meat and the hops add a wonderful umami-like contrast.

 

Scotch River Sour

This ‘Woodland Sour’ unique to Waller Street Brewery is 6.8% ABV and 8 IBU. It’s brewed only once a year using fresh local spruce tips and birch sap from the banks of the Scotch River east of Ottawa. The souring comes from a proprietary house yeast strain named “Hercules Lacto” isolated from the brewery.

Tasting Notes: This might be a new taste experience for you, it was for me. At the front is the tartness, don’t worry, it isn’t that tart (but it may still surprise), with a background of pine or spruce. The flavours layer, as you drink or as it warms there’s a slight woody sweetness at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pairing this beer is difficult, but I’d go with a long hike in the woods with a sharp cheddar sandwich and a half growler of Scotch River Sour in your kit.

 

Blind Barron

overhead wallerYou may have had a sour beer and an India Pale Ale, but have you had a sour IPA? Blind Baron is a 6.5% ABV, 85 IBU fermented with Waller Street’s house yeast strain isolated from a previous wild fermentation.

Tasting Notes: Starts sweet with cereal notes from the malt, tea and then dives into a fruity mix of lemon and peach. There’s a touch of yeast funk, but the acidity isn’t high – just enough to be noticeable, but turn smooth quick.

Suggested Food Pairing: The fruity flavours of the hops and slight tartness makes me think this would go well with a refreshing summer salad layered with brie. Or maybe as a nice contrast to a fatty eggs benedict as a Sunday brunch.

 

 


 Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops 

 

With Bootleg Blonde
Triple Dipped Fried Chicken

Recipe & photo from All Recipes

Triple Dipped Fried ChickenIngredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
½ tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ cup Bootleg Blonde
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces

 

Method

In one medium bowl, mix together 3 cups of flour, garlic salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, paprika and poultry seasoning. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups flour, salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, egg yolks and Bootleg Blonde. You may need to thin with additional beer if the batter is too thick.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Moisten each piece of chicken with a little water, then dip in the dry mix. Shake off excess and dip in the wet mix, then dip in the dry mix once more.

Carefully place the chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry for 15 to 18 minutes, or until well browned. Smaller pieces will not take as long. Large pieces may take longer. Remove and drain on paper towels before serving.

 

With Moonlight Porter
Moonlight Cake
Recipe from Waller Street!

IngredientsWaller Street Brewing beer bottles

Caramel Beer Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup Waller St. Moonlight Porter
¼ cup butter, unsalted softened
2 tablespoons corn syrup

Cake

1 cup Waller St. Moonlight Porter
½ cup water
1 ¼ cup dates pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg

Method

Caramel Beer Sauce

In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

Cake

With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Butter a 20 cm (8-inch) square pyrex mould. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring Midnight Porter and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add dates, baking soda and vanilla extract. Mix well. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In a second bowl, cream butter with brown sugar using a mixer. Add the egg and mix until smooth. At low speed, stir in flour mixture alternately with the dates mixture.

Pour dough in the mould. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Poke holes in the cake using a fork and gently pour half of the caramel. Let cool. Cut into 9 squares.

When serving, top cake with remaining caramel sauce. Cake keeps 3 to 4 days at room temperature. Caramel sauce keeps one week refrigerated.

 

 

Another recipe with Moonlight Porter
Beef Tenderloin with Porter Reduction
Recipe & photo from Craft Beer

Waller Street Brewing - cellar beer with waxIngredients

2 – 4 tsp steak rub
4 (4 – 6 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, fat trimmed
1 tsp olive oil
6 ounces of Moonlight Porter
2 tbsp brown sugar
Crumbled blue cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 450°F. Rub steak seasoning over both sides of steaks.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. If the steaks are large enough to sear the sides slightly, do so. Searing it will help keep all the juices in during the baking stage.

Remove steaks from pan; place on aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until desired degree of doneness. If you don’t have a food thermometer, I highly recommend one. Based on the internal temp, I cooked the steaks for about 10 minutes.

While steaks bake, combine Moonlight Porter and brown sugar in a skillet, cook on low heat and stir. Cook until mixture is slightly syrupy (6 – 8 minutes)

Once the steaks are out of the oven, wrap them in the aluminum foil that you put on the baking sheet. This keeps them warm, while you let them set for 2-3 minutes.

Serve steaks with reduced sauce; sprinkle evenly with cheese

With Hideaway Hefe

Wheat Beer Roasted Chicken
Recipe & photo from Leite’s Culinara

Wheat Beer Roasted ChickenIngredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 orange
1 cup Hideaway Hefe
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Work together the butter, orange zest, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Gently run your fingers between the chicken skin and the meat, loosening the skin while being careful not to tear it. Push the butter under the skin, as far over the thighs and drumsticks as your fingertips or the handle of a wooden spoon will reach. Massage the chicken skin from the outside to spread the butter evenly over the chicken. Season the chicken inside and out with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Place the garlic and orange, cut into chunks, in the cavity. If desired, loosely tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Place the chicken in a flameproof roasting pan that’s not much larger than the chicken itself. (A large cast-iron skillet works quite nicely.) Roast the chicken, liberally basting it with some of the Hefe every 15 minutes, until the skin is golden and begins to pull away from the base of the drumsticks and the juice runs clear, about 50 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over a burner and add the remaining beer. Bring the liquid to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then stir the resulting cornstarch slurry into the simmering pan juices. Simmer the gravy, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. If desired, strain the gravy. Cut the strings from the legs, if using, and carve the chicken. Transfer the pieces to a platter and spoon the gravy over the chicken or pass it on the side.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

Hop on board with Railway City Brewery!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

With the sultry days of summer upon us, is there anything better than that first sip of an ice cold beer? Yup – how about 10 beers from a multiple-award winning brewery in Southwestern Ontario? This is Savvy Hip Hop’s second feature of Railway City Brewing Company. Suds-cribers response was so incredible last year that we’ve brought them back for another round. I could insert so many train related puns here, but I will hold off!

And with a number of cool new releases – some canned just this past weekend – you’re in for a treat. Railway City is a fantastic brewery founded in St Thomas – a small town with a lot of history. Read all about it on the following pages of this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine. Whether you are receiving a Quick Picks or a Taste Case, hands down, you’re in for a treat. Make room in your fridge for these unique and flavourful brews! Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find cans, bottles and growlers of…

hiphops_large-292x300– Iron Spike Blonde
– Iron Spike Copper
– Iron Spike Amber
– Crew Craft Lager
– Orange CreamsicAle
– Honey Elixir
– Dead Elephant Ale
– Whitty Traveller
– Express India Session Lager
– Black Coal Stout 

Need more beer? 
If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Full Steam Ahead!
Railway City Brewing Company

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

All Paul Corriveau wanted was to play with some interesting beer recipes. “I was the guy who liked going to the LCBO to buy individual beers and built my own 6 pack,” Paul said. “I never bought a two-four. People would come over and I’d have all these unique beers to sample.”

Passion for beer

Back in 2007, Paul and his friend were experimenting with different recipes at their local U-Brew. Times were tough. St. Thomas, a small city just south of London, Ontario, was suffering an economic downturn. In its early days, it was a railroad hub with as many as twenty-six railways passing through town (hence the town’s nickname: Railway City). As the railways began to close in the 1950s, St. Thomas remade itself as an auto industry town. Eventually, Ford operations closed, Sterling Trucks left, and the town’s citizens had little money to spend.

With the U-Brew business beginning to fail, Paul had an idea. Why not turn their passion for beer into a new industry for the town?

New hope

Now entering their ninth year, Railway City Brewing has expanded, and expanded again. They employ over 40 people, and they are a centre for Southwestern Ontario’s craft beer movement.

“Our town was losing jobs and we wanted to create new employment opportunities,” Paul said. “We were able to give our community some hope.”

Award-winning beer

With just a few bars at that time interested in craft beer, Railway City depended on its own store to sell their product. They found themselves quickly embraced by the “buy local” movement, and a craft beer consumer base began to emerge.

At the same time, their products began to win accolades across Canada. Dead Elephant Ale – commemorating P.T. Barnum’s famous elephant Jumbo, who died in St. Thomas after being hit by a train – was chosen for the Ontario Legislature’s official beer menu. And a number of Railway City beers have won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Canadian Brewers Awards.

railway cityStill playful

Today, Paul is the brewery’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing. He encourages the staff to keep trying new things. Case in point, last month, they introduced Orange CreamsicAle, an homage to a classic frozen summer treat. “We made 2000 litres and it sold out in 2.5 days…all at the brewery,” said Paul. “We can hardly keep up.” This beer along with a few others is one of the reasons we delayed the delivery of your Savvy Hip Hops! We received the first cans off the line of batch #2 of CreamsicAle.

Recently, they held a contest among Ontario home brewers, choosing a winning recipe from the thirty entrants. “We’ll work with the winner and make a commercial batch from their recipe,” Paul said. “It’s one of the ways we like to stay true to our craft beer roots.”


Here’s to keeping Railway City Brewing’s success on track!

 

-Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes –

David and Debbie share their notes about each beer, along with tip on what to serve and some fun recipes too! With so many beers – where to start? We have listed the beers here from lightest to heaviest to give you an idea of what you will find when you crack the beer open.


iron spike blondeIron Spike Blonde

Part of Railway Brewery’s “Mainline” series, this is a crowd pleaser. It measures up at 4.3% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 14 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: With its pale honey colour and light froth, this has a clean, wet stone flavour and moderate bitterness. Citrusy hops round out the clean American Blonde style.

Suggested Food Pairing: A great lunchtime beer, you’ll be able to enjoy your pint with a Rueben sandwich or a plate of mussels and still have a productive afternoon.

craft crew brewCrew Craft Lager

Dedicated to “all the hard workers out there”, Crew Craft has 4.8% ABV and 15 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Similar in appearance to the Iron Spike Blonde, this one ups the game with slightly more alcohol and a hoppier, drier finish. We like its Earl Grey Tea notes and crisp mouthfeel.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a perfect match with spicy food from your favourite Thai or Szechuan joint. Or make some easy Phad Thai at home! (Recipe below)


Orange CreamsicAlecreamsicle ale

Railway City hand-zests oranges and adds real vanilla bean and oats to the mix to create this unique and hard-to-get seasonal special. It measures up at 4.8% ABV and 8 IBU. A Savvy favourite, Debbie described it as, “Beer you won’t want to share!”

Tasting Notes: The vibrant orange colour leads to a big vanilla nose. The orange is subtle, with the vanilla notes balancing the citrus perfectly. It has a fresh and natural flavour – more fresh squeezed orange juice than orange soda. David described it as the childhood treat “all grown up”.

Suggested Food Pairing: While enjoyable perfectly well on its own, we believe this is a lovely accompaniment to an afternoon picnic. Greek salad, deli meats, hard cheeses will all work with this elegant quencher.

honey elixerHoney Elixir

Made with local honey (the label boasts that there are 22 pounds of honey in each batch), this is made in an English Brown Ale style. 5% ABV and 29 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: A rich buckwheat honey colour, we loved the surprising gingerbread aromas and flavours of roasted grain, honey, and a hint of green herbs.

Suggested Food Pairing: We love the bread-and-honey impression of this beer and feel it’s a sweet match to quinoa, chickpea, and cumin salad (recipe below).


Dead Elephant Aledead elephant

This award-winning, highly praised IPA has become Railway City’s flagship beer. Somewhat higher in alcohol than most of their products, it hits 6.5% ABV and 46 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Gold-amber in colour with lacy foam, this immediately smells of spicy hops. It has flavours of caramel, roasted nuts, and even invokes cream corn. The finish is grapefruit pith, dry and citrus. This is a big, flavourful beer that will excite most palates!

Suggested Food Pairing: We’d love this with corn on the cob, especially if there were a variety of toppings available. See some favourite corn variations in the recipes section below.


The Witty Travellerwitty traveler

This is a limited edition seasonal and takes its name from the global influences of fruit, spice, and hops ingredients that make up its mix. 4.5% ABV and 15% IBUs.

This is made in the “Witbier” style, described by online beer resource Beer Advocate a Belgian-style ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that’s used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices or herbs in the back ground.”

Tasting Notes: The cloudy, pale appearance of wheat beer is apparent here, and it has a lovely, complex set of aromas: Christmas cake, yellow flowers, and lemongrass. Tasting it gives more definition to the array: the spices are clove and allspice, with orange and toast. The hops aren’t apparent, but there is a small amount of bitterness at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: Is it selfish to want this with shellfish? Lobster, raw oysters, or mussels in tomato garlic broth (see recipe below).

amber spikeIron Spike Copper

Here’s a medium-full bodied ale that offers a creamy mouthfeel and great hoppy finish. This hits 4.4% ABV and 15.9 IBU.

Tasting Notes: The beautiful burnt orange colour of this beer stands out, as do the notes of toasted grain, hops, and butterscotch. There’s some fruit and vanilla, too, lending it a rich, complex character.

Suggested Food Pairing: We’d love to enjoy this beer with a big grilled cheese sandwich, made with old cheddar and thick-cut bread.


Iron Spike Amberiron amber

Rusty red in colour, this is full bodied and creamy. 4.6% ABV and 30 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Spiced tea came quickly to mind with this pretty beer. There are notes of caramel and dark rye bread, subtle hints of apple and spice, and – is that banana? There’s some good hoppy bitterness to balance that fruit and spice, especially on the beer’s long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Buckwheat ramen noodles are readily available in the Asian section of most grocery stores, and cook faster than pasta. Try them as an alternative to rice with your favourite stir fry recipe and accompany the meal with this big ale.

IPAExpress India Session Lager

At the time of publication, this beer hadn’t yet been released, so we depended on Railway City to provide some notes. Here’s what Paul Corriveau has to say:

“Feel like something with a little more flavour than a lager, but not quite the punch of an India Pale Ale? Well, we put two craft favourites together to create Express: Indian Session Lager.
Brewers Notes: Express pours a golden straw colour with white lacing. Complex hop aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine fill the nose. Bright lemon, orange, pineapple and mango meld seamlessly with pine notes over a crisp and light malt background, followed by a pleasant, lingering bitterness that’s not overpowering.

Suggested Food Pairing: It’s hop-forward lager style is perfect for sessioning on the patio or with barbecue.

black coal lagerBlack Coal Stout

Railway City’s signature dark ale, this stout pours with a thick foam and deep brown colour. It’s flavourful and filling! 6% ABV and 46 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Everything a stout should be: flavours of chocolate and espresso; dark roasted malt; and even some cola, vanilla, and walnuts! It’s rich and creamy, with some bitterness to pair with the sweet malt notes. Debbie calls these “bench press beers” because of their weight!

Suggested Food Pairing: David confessed that he want to drink this alongside some pecan-bourbon pie, while Debbie feels that it needs to go with onion soup made with a measure of this stout. Perhaps you should try both & make a meal around this beer!

 

-Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops-

 

With Crew Craft Lager

Phad Thai

Recipe and photo: RasaMalaysia.com

Ingredientspad thai

4 oz packaged rice noodles
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 oz medium-sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 oz fried firm tofu, cut into slices
1 large egg
4–6 oz bean sprouts
1 oz Chinese chives or scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Lime wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

Method

Follow the package instructions to boil the dry rice noodles. The rice noodles should be soft (but still chewy and not mushy) after boiling. Rinse the boiled noodles with cold running water.

Mix all the ingredients in the Seasonings in a small bowl until well combined and the sugar completely dissolved, set aside.

Heat up a skillet on high heat and add the oil. As soon as the oil is heated, add the garlic into the skillet and start stirring until you smell the aroma of the garlic.

Add the shrimp and the tofu pieces into the skillet and continue stirring. As soon as the shrimp changes color, add the noodles into the skillet and stir continuously, about 30 seconds.

Use the spatula to push the noodles to one side of the skillet, and crack the egg on the empty side of the skillet. Use the spatula to break the egg yolk and blend with the egg white, let cook for about 30 seconds.

Combine the egg and the noodles, and add the Seasoning sauce. Stir to combine well with the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and chives and continue stirring. As soon as the bean sprouts are cooked, stir-in the crushed peanut. Turn off the heat and serve the Pad Thai immediately with the lime wedges.

 

With Honey Elixir

Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans & Cumin

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

Ingredientsquinoa

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces), rinsed well, drained
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini (about 5), trimmed, quartered lengthwise
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Method

Combine garbanzo beans and lemon juice in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil; press in garlic and stir to combine. Let marinate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, quinoa, and coarse salt; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Place zucchini on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Toss to coat evenly.

Place zucchini on grill; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add zucchini, green onions, and parsley, then garbanzo bean mixture to quinoa. Toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

 

With Dead Elephant

Grilled Corn on the Cob: variationsmexican corn

Recipes and Photo: TheKitchn.com

There are 2 ways to grill corn:

  1. Peel back the husk (but don’t detach it) to remove the silk underneath. Push the husk back up and grill the corn on your barbecue for about 15 minutes.
  1. Husk the corn as usual. Brush the corn with a little oil and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning often. This gives nicely charred marks on the corn, but it may be a little chewier than the method with the husk.

Neat butters to make:

Mexican-style

Blend butter, chili powder, fresh lime juice, and cilantro and spread onto roasted corn. Sprinkle with Mexican Cotija cheese (or use Parmesan).

Smoky Lime Butter

Blend butter, fresh lime juice, parsley, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper.

Harissa Butter

Blend butter with Moroccan Harissa sauce, minced chives, garlic salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper.

Sriracha Beer Butter

Blend butter with a little beer, sriracha (or other favourite hot sauce), garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Let chill in the fridge an hour before using.

 

With The Witty Traveller

Steamed Mussels with Tomato-Garlic Broth

Recipe and Photo: Foodandwine.com

Ingredientsmuseels

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups drained canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped (from one 28-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Salt, if needed

Method

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.

Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

 

savvy_hiphops_colourOptionsV2

Beat the heat bevvies

Posted by Debbie

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Question: What drink make you think of summer?

A) Refreshing Rosé
B) Mouth-watering Cider
C) Cold Radler Beer
D) Big bold Cabernet
E) Fruity Sangria
F) All of the above!

This is a multiple choice quiz that none of us can get wrong! With more sun-filled days, long weekends and lazy afternoons lounging on your deck or dock, summer brings more time to relax & unwind with a glass in your favorite beat-the-heat bevvy.

To help you shift from winter warming drinks to summer sippers, here are some tips from our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew:

 

Fielding RoseFielding Estate Rosé VQA 2015

from: Niagara, Ontario

Nothing says summer like a glass of chilled Rosé wine. There are plenty to choose from all parts of the world, ranging in colour from a hint-of-pink to bright candy floss. With a sip, you will discover tastes from bone dry to a touch of sweetness.   To tip you off on just one Rosé to buy is difficult. When the Savvy Sommeliers got together for our spring kick-off, we were impressed with Fielding’s Rosé wine. A soft pink colour with aromas and tastes that will remind you of ripe strawberries and rhubarb. It’s a lovely wine that will be delicious with fish (poached or grilled), prosciutto wrapped asparagus, lemon roasted chicken, corn chowder or even a summer salad.

$15.95 per bottle available at the LCBO all summer long.

County Cider Pear bottle shotCounty Cider Co. Pear Cider

from: Prince Edward County, Ontario

County Cider Company is a family-run operation that has been crafting ciders in The County since 1995 – long before the region became known for its wines. The Pear Cider was inspired when the cidery owners Jenifer & Grant Howes visited Normandy, France – an area renowned for Cavardos (Pear and Apple Brandy). For this summer sipper, pear juice has been blended with carefully selected apple cider – for a dry, delicious quench thirsting summer drink.

$7.95 per bottle – available when you visit The County this summer or contact Savvy Company to deliver some to your doorstep.

radler-can_2048x2048Kichesippi Brewery Radler

from Ottawa, Ontario

Last summer, it seemed that every craft brewery was making a Radler! They are not a new creation, rather a resurgence of a summertime beer that was first introduced in Deisenhofen, Germany back in 1922. Intentionally made to be lower in alcohol (typically 3%), this is a great beer to enjoy during lunch on the patio, or to pop into your panier to quench your thirst during a bike ride. Kichesippi’s Radler is a blend of their lager with grapefruit soda. Be sure to try plenty of Radlers this summer to find your favorite.

$2.85 per can – available at the LCBO throughout Ottawa only for the summer.

 

13th Street Meritage13th Street Estate Winery Meritage VQA 2012

from Twenty Valley (Niagara), Ontario

A powerhouse red blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot & 33% Cabernet Franc. Get out your largest wine glasses as this BIG red wine is begging to be served with anything off the BBQ. Think thick steak, lamb chops, spicy sausages with loads of fresh grilled veggies. A very special wine as only 220 cases were made. Every sip will remind you of black cherry, dark chocolate , black plum with a dash of fresh ground pepper and warm spices (think cloves, Chinese 5 Spice & steak spice). At $34.95 per bottle, this extra special wine is only available when you visit the winery this summer. Alternatively, subscribe to Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & the wine will auto-magically arrive at your home or office.

 Summer won’t last forever, so mix it up with a pitcher of sangria. Whether you make it with red wine or take a new approach and use white wine, this fruit ladened cocktail make your summertime Happy Hour, even happier!

 

Debbie’s Secret recipe for Sangria

from Debbie’s kitchen to yours…

Photo from www.goodtaste.tv

Makes 1 large pitchersangria-3

1 bottle of red wine (select something under $18…afterall you will be adding fruit to it!)
10 to 15 strawberries, sliced
A handful of blackberries
1 lemon, sliced & quartered
1 lime, sliced & halved
1 orange, sliced & quartered
½ of a tin of frozen Five Alive juice concentrate
½ to a full can of Club Soda or 7-Up (optional – if you want a little spritz to your sangria. 7-Up will make your sangria sweeter.)

Place fruit into a large pitcher or jug. Pour in Five Alive concentrate, club soda or 7-Up (if using). Fill with red wine. Stir until well mixed. Chill in fridge for 1 hour before serving to let the fruit marinate. Pour into a tall glass with lots of ice. Garnish with a slice of fruit on the rim. Enjoy.

 

Love Rosé wines? You’ll love this…

bouquet-of-rosesWe make it easy to Clink & Drink Pink! Each month throughout the summer, our Savvy Sommeliers will select a different assortment of six Rosé wines from across Ontario. These are extra special as you won’t find them at the LCBO.

Order a small bouquet (a parcel of 6 different Rosé wines) or a full bouquet (a parcel containing 12 bottles – 2 of each of the featured Rosé wines).

There is a different bouquet of Rosés each month!

Next to the taste, the best part of this new way to buy hard-to-find rosé wines is free shipping.

Order yours or give as a gift at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

No fooling around at this brewery!

Posted by David Loan

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

We loved the beers produced by Sarnia’s Refined Fool Brewing Co. when we served them last year. With their ever-changing lineup of unique, flavour-driven brews and quirky labels, we felt YOU deserved a second round! More than just a brewery, Refined Fool is making changes to their community and how Sarnia perceives itself. Read on to read all about it! And enjoy these thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing beers. They’re big on the “Wow” factor!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks a 7 bottle pack containing:hiphops_large-292x300

-Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA
-Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
-Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
-The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
-Murder of Crows: Black IPA
-Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

…in your Taste Case there’s 10 bottles of:

  • Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA (2 bottles)
  • Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
  • Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
  • Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA
  • Mid-Life Spices: Braggot
  • The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
  • Murder of Crows: Black IPA
  • Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

 

It is summer! Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Sarnia’s game changer
Refined Fool Brewing Co.

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Can beer save a city?

That idea came up more than once while talking to Refined Fool’s Director Nathan Colquhoun. (in photo below)

The brewery he started with friends – “I was very intrigued with the craft beer movement,” he said – has become a cultural centre and a symbol of change in Ontario’s industrial heartland.

Renaissance man

Born and bred in Sarnia, Nathan is well aware that his hometown doesn’t get a lot of respect from the rest of the province. “I grew tired of watching other young people leave Sarnia,” he said. “I wanted to make this a place people want to be.” Within a short time, Nathan, 31, co-founded a design firm, opened a small church, and joined with friends to open Refined Fool. When asked if he’s Sarnia’s “renaissance man”, he laughs. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I just wanted to expand on the things I care about.”“Now people see what we’re doing here and they’re getting excited. They want to coRefined brewery dudeme back.”

Starting small

When Nathan and nine of his friends decided to open a brewery in 2013, they had limited experience with brewing. They wanted their beer to reflect a philosophy of “putting people over the product” and they embraced their limited production capacity.

“Being a small brewer gives us the ability to be flexible and creative,” Nathan said. “And it allows us to take the time to build relationships, with our suppliers, our customers, and our community.”

Embracing their roots

Since they opened, the Refined Fool Brewery has become a cultural hub in Sarnia, hosting dinners, concerts, art shows, and other events. They’ve offered a new, young energy to the city. “We stopped worrying about the outside perception of Sarnia,” Nathan said. “Our inside perception is what counts.”

“We all come from blue collar backgrounds and we don’t want to snub our own roots,” he said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.” That’s reflected in the brewery’s name – a play on Sarnia’s main product, refined fuels – and in the fun names given to their beers.

The formula must be working, because too-many-to-count times we have had Savvy Hip Hops subscribers request that we feature Refined Fool again.  If you are in southern Ontario, you will find their beers on tap in more than two dozen bars and restaurants; and they’re coordinating with the city to take over a larger space and expand their operations.  Looks like Nathan & his friends are no fools!

Let’s lift a glass to Nathan & the Refined Fool crew!

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes

David shares his notes about each beer, along with David’s picks on what to serve… and some fun recipes too!

Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA

Illiterate Librarians- Grapefruit IPAPerfect for a hot summer day, this IPA does a terrific job of matching dry citrus flavours with a solid hop backbone. It measures up at 5.7% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 70 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: Looking like light honey topped with suds, offers aromas of grapefruit pith and brioche. The acidity is medium, but there’s no sweetness here. Instead, it has the pithy dryness of an Earl Grey tea and a soft, light mouthfeel. The alcohol is certainly apparent, especially in the lingering grapefruit aftertaste.

Suggested Food Pairing: The acidity in this beer calls for a rich, fatty meat. We recommend BBQ duck finished with a Peking sauce.

 

Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pouch Envy- Australian Pale AleGalaxy™ hops from the land down under have become a staple in the craft beer maker’s kit. They offer citrus and passion fruit notes with moderate bitterness. This is an easy-drinker, at 5% ABV and 20 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A pretty amber beer with a long-lasting mousse, the aromas of lemon-grass and white rose carry through to the palate. It has a silky mouthfeel and moderate acidity. “Eyes-light-up good!” was the note we made.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with seafood, we suggest pan-seared sea scallops and garlic butter (recipe below).

 

Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Noble Oaf- Rye SaisonThe first Noble Fool beer to make become a permanent fixture on the LCBO’s shelves, this heady rye saison is made with traditional Belgian farmhouse yeast. It measures up at 7.3% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a caramel colour with a fast-disappearing head, the beer invokes memories of delicatessen rye bread with its roasted and yeasty notes. The bubbles are fine and Champagne-like, and the hoppiness and lively acidity are in perfect harmony. With a long finish, you’ll find sweet hazelnuts remaining on your palate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside roast pork tenderloin in a fruit-based sauce, with a side of potatoes and root vegetables. The acidity will balance the sweetness, while the rye notes will complement the meat (recipe below).

Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Short pier long walkYou’d never know this stunning pale ale boasts 100+ on the IBU scale just from tasting it. With its high (8.4%) alcohol and stunning flavours, those hops are well-integrated.

Tasting Notes: This pours a beautiful orange marmalade colour with a long lasting, well-structured foam. Aromas of beach air, roasted nuts, and caramel lead to a velour-soft mouthfeel. The alcohol comes through, but the bitterness is balanced by the sweet nutty flavours leaving a hint of marmalade on the finish. This is a “Wow” beer to share with friends.

Suggested Food Pairing: Best enjoyed with some sweet and salty beer nuts (recipe below), this big boy can also handle a grilled rib-eye topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Mid-Life Spices: Braggot

Mid-Life Spices- BraggotHere is a neat new beer style that we are eager for you to try.  What is a Braggot beer you ask? Craft beer enthusiasts’ go-to online resource, BeerAdvocate explains that a Braggot beer is “simply made by blending spices and herbs with mead (honey based wine) and beer, to produce a strong concoction with uncommon flavors”. It’s an ancient drink, with literary references going back to the 12th century. But be advised, at 13% ABV, it packs a wallop!

Tasting Notes: Buckwheat honey-coloured and with no foam at all, you can immediately detect the gingerbread aromas while you pour. Tasting of allspice, ginger, and raisins, it’s reminiscent of a Dark & Stormy cocktail. The acidity is tangy, but it measures out at 0 IBU and finishes with lovely spiced honey notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: Caramelized onion tart (recipe below) or a baked brie. The acidity will perfectly balance the richness of the dish.

TIP: if this beer is overwhelming, try making a shanty with gingerale or sprite.  We put a slice of lime & some mint – this definitely turned heads & made people comment “That looks different – what are you drinking?”

 

The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale


The Brouhaha- Nut Brown Ale“Yum!” said Debbie. The Brouhaha, made with English-style yeast and hops, has a moderate 5.7% ABV and 23 IBU. We found it complex and very drinkable.

Tasting Notes: With a beautiful pour the colour of pistachio skins and big-bubble foam, this beer had amazed with the changing flavours. It smells like buckwheat honey and root beer, and the palate shifts quickly from hops to nuts to soya sauce. Smooth and rich, this is a winner!

Suggested Food Pairing: There was no hesitation here: pair this beauty with a backyard burger loaded with your favourite toppings.

Murder of Crows: Black IPA

Murder of Crows- Black IPADespite the contradictory name, black IPAs are super-popular with beer makers right now. After all, why shouldn’t dark beers get some hop love? Another big brew, this hits 8% ABV and 90 IBU.

Tasting Notes: With the thick head and blackstrap appearance of good stout, this has surprising notes of black licorice and flint to balance the dark roasted grain. The hops are rich, but the sweet malt and high alcohol offer good balance. If the Noble Oaf was deli rye, this is a grilled cheese on pumpernickel – with bacon jam –  of course!

Suggested Food Pairing: Sacrifice some of this beer to make a fantastic onion soup, topped with croutons and Gruyère.

Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

Ripsnorter- Bourbon PorterIf you’ve never considered “dessert beer”, here’s your opportunity. This smooth, rich brew is a perfect alternative to after-dinner liqueurs. Made with whole vanilla beans and bourbon barrel oak. 8.7% ABV and 37 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Chocolate fudge in colour and with a thick foamy top, this superb porter tastes of caramelized brown sugar, sweet cream, espresso, and vanilla. It’s smooth and flavourful, lingering in the mouth like a good coffee liqueur.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chocolate espresso brownie (recipe below) with a dollop of French vanilla ice cream. I’ll take two helpings, please!

 

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

 

With Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pan-seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

Recipe and photo: Fine Cooking

IngredientsScallops

1 lb (450 g) dry large sea scallops
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

3 Tablespoons (45 mL) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppeR
2 to 3 lemon wedges for serving

Method

Remove the tough abductor muscle from the side of each scallop (some scallops are sold with the muscle already removed). If you feel any grit on the scallops, rinse them under cold water. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels; surface moisture impedes browning.  

Heat a 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, if using, and heat until quite hot. Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single, uncrowded layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot. Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add a piece of the butter (1/2 tablespoon or 12 mL) and the shallots and sauté until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth or wine and simmer until reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and lemon zest. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until the butter melts into the sauce. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the scallops.

With Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Cream Sauce

Recipe: A Taste of Québec
Photo credit: Eating Well

IngredientsPork Chops Refined brewery

2  pork fillets (750g)
2 tablespoons (25 mL) all-purpose flour
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
1 tablespoon (15mL) vegetable oil

For the sauce:

½ cup (125mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup (50mL) granulated sugar
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 2 tablespoons (25mL) water
1/4 cup (50mL) whipping cream

Method

Lightly dredge pork fillets in flour seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy frying pan; brown pork quickly on all sides.

Place fillets in a shallow baking dish. Roast in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pork, and leave in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.

Meanwhile, combine cranberries, sugar, and dissolved bouillon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved. With a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from syrup and set aside.

Bring remaining liquid to a full boil and reduce until thickened, but not caramelized.

Whip cream until stiff; fold into warm sauce along with reserved cranberries. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut pork into slices. Arrange on 4 heated plates and pour some of the Cranberry Cream Sauce over each serving.

 

With Mid-life Spices: Braggot

French Onion Tart

Recipe and Photo: Food Network

IngredientsPizza refined brewery

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
2 Tablespoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) good quality beef stock

Method

Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a work surface, roll the puff pastry into a roughly 10 by 16-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, trim uneven edges to make a perfect rectangle. Evenly cut off the outer 1 inch of each side of the rectangle in strips; put the puff sheet on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and run around the top edges of the rectangle and replace the removed strips of pastry along the edges of the sheet, pressing lightly to adhere. With a fork, pierce the interior of the tart shell to prevent rising; do not pierce the adhered edges. Bake until the outer edges have puffed and are golden in colour; about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, a tablespoon at a time, as the pan gets dry, scraping and stirring the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. When the onions are caramelized to a dark golden color, remove from the heat and discard the leafless thyme sprigs (the leaves fall off while cooking).

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350° F. Evenly spread the caramelized onions on the cooked pastry shell and heat in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish each wedge with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

With Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Beer Nuts

Recipe and Photo: Food.com

IngredientsBeer Nuts Refined Brewery

4 ½ cups (640 g) peanuts, raw and shelled
2 cups (500 mL) sugar
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1 cup (250 mL) water

Method

Bring peanuts, sugar, salt and water to a boil.

Continue to boil until all liquid is absorbed (approximately 25-30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

Spread nuts on lightly greased jelly roll pan and sprinkle with salt to your liking and.

Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and gently stir, sprinkle with more salt to your liking and bake 20 minutes more.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

With Ripsnorter: Bourbon IPA

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Recipe and Photo: Cookie & Kate

IngredientsCHocoalte

10 Tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1¼ cups (312 g) pure cane sugar
¾ cup (187 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
2 cold large eggs
1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract
⅔ cup (167 g) white flour
2 ounces (57 g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper, making sure that the paper is long enough to go up the sides a couple of inches. Grease the parchment paper.

Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, while whisking constantly, until it’s a pale golden brown and the particles suspended in it are reddish brown. This usually takes me about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Then add the cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula after each one. When the mixture looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the vanilla extract and the flour. Stir until you no longer see streaks of flour. Then beat vigorously (put those arm muscles to work!) for 50 strokes with the wooden spoon or spatula.

At this point, the mixture should be no more than slightly warm (if not, let it cool for a few more minutes). Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips.

Spread the batter in the lined pan, then use a knife to make light swirls in the top of the batter. Bake on the lower rack for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a baking rack.

Once the brownies are completely cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper and transfer the
brownies to a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the brownies into 16 or 25 squares. 

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

savvy_hiphops_colourOptionsV2

Beers definitely worth the drive!

Posted by Katy

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

About an hour’s drive west from Ottawa is the village of Calabogie – an often overlooked area surrounding a lake that not many realize is filled with adventure! Whether you want to challenge your downhill skiing skills at the highest vertical drop in Ontario at Calabogie Peaks Ski Resorthike the old rails on the K&P Trail or watch the area’s best racers challenge each other at the Calabogie Motorsports Park – there’s something for everyone that will make it worth the drive.

And now, thanks to three friends and an ‘imported’ brewer, Calabogie’s visitors – and residents too – now have a brewery to pair along with their adventure.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find cans of…

…in your Quick Picks a 16-pack containing:hiphops_large-292x300

Whistling Paddy: Wheat Ale
K&P 1883 Ale English Mild
Front Porch: Kölsch-Style Ale
Sorachi Ace Pale Ale
Bogie: West Coast American IPA

 …in your Taste Case 2-4 containing even more cans:

Whistling Paddy: Wheat Ale
K&P 1883 Ale English Mild
Front Porch: Kölsch-Style Ale
Sorachi Ace Pale Ale
Bogie: West Coast American IPA

Need more beer? 

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
Calabogie Brewing Company

by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

My first recollection of Calabogie Brewing Company was at the 2015 Ottawa Craft Beer Festival. Their booth was situated close to the entrance and they were sporting their famous taps that light up, which is why I thought they were garnering a lot of attention from the crowd. I mean, a brewery from Calabogie. How good could they be, right? Well, I was mistaken. While their taps were eye catching, but it was their beers that were the highlight!

Calabogie Brewery

Doing Things Right

Calabogie Brewing Company was born out of Mike Wagner’s (in photo with black shirt) long time love of beer. “I’ve had this love affair with beer for about 35 years and I’ve been travelling around the world drinking beer,” shares Mike. After being involved in several businesses and even having a stint as Muskoka Cottage Breweries sales representative in the Ottawa Region he decided to retire and use his years of knowledge to open a brewery.

Together with friends Ken McCafferty and Greg Gilson, they started planning the brewery and there was no question that it wouldn’t be located in Calabogie. “Calabogie is a really nice community with a great community spirit and while it’s not that far out of the city,” says Mike. He goes on to explain that if he were in the city there would be more financial concerns which would impact what he wants to create. In his words, “I want to brew a culture of doing things right.”

Meet Jamie Maxwell

Mike’s love and knowledge of beer isn’t the own driving factor for success. They also have a brewmaster with quite the brewing pedigree after stints at Union Station Brewery in Rhode Island and Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vermont. How Jamie Maxwell came to be Calabogie’s brewmaster is an unusual story….

“When I started building the brewery I got a call from our (now) brewer’s Mother asking me if we were going to be looking for a head brewer. I said we would be and she said, well my son’s a brewer and he lives in Vermont. So I call him and went up to visit him Waterbury, Vermont, had some beers at the Prohibition Pig pub and we hit it off. We see the brewing industry and beer in a very similar light,” explains Mike.

Not Just Hops

Using Jamie’s speciaized knowledge, Calabogie Brewing Co has not only produced some solid hop-tastic brews as you will discover in your Savvy Hip Hops, but have also started barrel aging and created a sour program. Some of these releases are so ambitious and exciting that they’ve created a Founder’s Club where members can join and be guaranteed their bottle of seasonally produced beer.

With their one year anniversary quickly approaching, Mike promises that they are just getting started. His inspiration comes from his personal beer research and current American beer trends.

I can’t wait to see what Jamie and the Calabogie Brewing Company team has in store for us in year two.

Here’s to Mike, Jamie & the crew at Calabogie Brewing Company!

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve… and some fun recipes too!

Front Porch: Kölsch-Style Ale

Did you know that “Kölsch” is an acknowledged regional designation and only two dozen brewers can legally call their beer “Kölsch”? This is why beers like Calabogie’s 4.2% ABV (Alcohol by Volume), 32 IBU (International Bitterness Units) Front Porch are often called Kölsch-styled – to protect the designation (much like French Champagne).

Tasting Notes: This ale-like lager pours a brilliant yellow with nice aromas of lemon with a slight honey malt note. There’s a good amount of biscuit malt base in the flavour with a complimentary herbal hop note ending with crisp citrus.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside a salad filled with peppery greens, mushrooms, avocado and a sharp vinaigrette. Or, pair with a hearty brunch offering filled with omelets, eggs benedict and bagels topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Bogie: West Coast American IPA

This India Pale Ale isn’t just any IPA, with that ‘West Coast American’ title the drinker can expect this 5.5% ABV, 60 IBU ale to not hold back any punches when it comes to hops or flavour. Using a simpler grain bill and a cast of American hops, this beer is unabashedly American.

Tasting Notes: Watch out! This is a beer for hopheads. This golden coloured brew has a wonderful white cap and aromas of pine, resin, orange and a slight grain base. The flavour is big on tropical fruit with some grassy, maybe even peppery, bitterness at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: This hop bomb craves salt and deep fried – yes, I’m giving you permission to order the biggest plate of poutine you can find. Or, grab a bag of fresh curds and simply enjoy the cheese.

Whistling Paddy: Wheat AleCalabogie Bogie beers

This modern interpretation of a 400-year old Belgian beer style uses a malt bill with 2-Row malted barley and wheat malt as a base for a flavour punch of three different hop varieties and additions of orange and coriander.

Tasting Notes: Pours a nice orange with bright aromas of orange, coriander and light notes of grain and wheat. The flavour has a sweet malt taste with strong wheat, orange notes that are accented by light coriander and very little bitterness. This is very refreshing!

Suggested Food Pairing: Mussels and wheat beer are a classic pairing and I encourage you to try steaming mussels in beer (check the recipe below). Wheat Ale’s also work well with other shell fish like lobster, clams or shellfish – especially if they are dipped in butter!

Sorachi Ace Pale Ale

The Sorachi Ace hop was developed for Sapporo Breweries in the late 1970s, but was not commercially available in the US until 2006. This high alpha acid hop is prized for its intense lemon flavour and aroma. Sorachi Ace also has notes of coriander, tea and dill which work wonderfully in spicy saisons and wheat beers, but it’s the big lemon flavour that works so well in pale ales.

Tasting Notes: Lemon, lemon, lemon! This pale ale is a great example of what Sorachi Ace is and how different varieties of hops can smell and taste completely different from each other. This fresh flavoured ale is crisp, somewhat lip-smacking with lemon and rind flavours with a good caramel malt base complimenting the bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: This beer is screaming to be paired with lemon chicken! Either make it yourself (with the recipe below) or go to your favourite Chinese takeaway.

Calabogie buildingK&P Ale 1883 English Mild

Known for its low alcohol content and low bitterness, English Mild’s are the standard British session beer. In contrast to Calabogie’s hoppier offerings, look for a malt complexity, lower carbonation and enjoyable body.

Tasting Notes: The aroma has a good amount of malt complexity with notes of bread, nuts, roast and some earthy hops. There’s a good amount of grain in the flavour with more of that nuttiness, roast and hints of dark fruit. The bitterness is restrained with some earthy/herbal hops offering support.

Suggested Food Pairing: Thanks to a Maillard reaction (beer speak: a chemical process that transforms enzymes and carbohydrates through heat to a highly aromatic compound that adds flavour) that happens when an English Mild is brewed it is very versatile to pairings. Drink on its own or serve alongside roast beef, stew, lamb or even the Rosemary Potato Galette recipe below.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops•

 

With Whistling Paddy

Beer Steamed Mussels

Recipe and Photo: New York Times

Ingredients

Calabogie beer steamed mussels

2 lbs mussels in shell
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
3 garlic cloves minced
2 large shallots, chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup Whistling Paddy
1-3 Tbsp butter, to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Crusty bread to serve

 Method

Rinse mussels under cold running water. If you see hair clumps around the shell (beards), use a sharp knife or your fingers to pull them off, then scrub shells well.

In a soup pot with a tight-fitting cover, heat olive oil, then add thyme, garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until shallots and garlic are softened (3 minutes).

Pour in Whistling Paddy and bring to a simmer. Add mussels and cover pot. Let mussels steam, stirring once or twice, until they open (5-10 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to transfer mussels to bowls – discard any that have not opened

Add butter, herbs and mustard to pan juices and bring to a boil. Whisk until butter melts, taste and correct seasonings (add more butter if liquid tastes bitter).

Pour over mussels and serve with bread for sopping up juices.

 

With Sorachi Ace Pale Ale

Lemon Chicken Calabogie lemon chicken

Recipe and Photo: RasaMalaysia

Ingredients

10 oz (300g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small piece
s¼ cup corn starch plus
¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted and combined well
Oil, for deep-frying
½ tsp white seasame seeds

Marinade:

½ Tbsp soy sauce
½ Tbsp Sorachi Ace Pale Ale or if you drank it all, sub in Front Porch
1 Tbsp corn starch

Sauce:

2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Sorachi Ace Pale Ale
1 heaping Tbsp sugar (or more, to taste)
5 Tbsp water
1tsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Method                                                                                                    

Marinate the chicken with the Marinade, for 30 minutes.

Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce. Set aside. Coat the marinated chicken with the corn starch and all-purpose flour mixture.

Heat up a wok with about two inches of oil. As soon as the oil is fully heated, deep-fry the chicken until golden brown. Transfer the chicken out to a dish lined with paper towels to sop up the excess oil.

Add all the ingredients in the Sauce into a small sauce pan and bring it to a quick boil. Transfer the fried chicken into the sauce, stir to coat well with the lemon sauce.

Dish out & sprinkle with the white sesame seeds & serve immediately.

 

 With K&P Ale 1883 English Mild

Rosemary Potato Galette

Recipe and Photo: The BeeronessCalabogie rosemary potato galette

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
4lbs russet potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch slices
1/3 cup K&P Ale 1883 English Mild

 Method

Preheat oven to 400 °F.

In a small bowl stir together olive oil, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, allow ingredients to steep for 5 minutes.

Place a layer of potatoes in an overlapping circle in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Brush potato circles with olive oil mixture. Add a second layer of potatoes, brushing with oil, repeat until all potatoes are used.

There should be 3 or 4 layers of potatoes, each layer brushed with the herbed olive oil. Once all potatoes have been used   pour 1/3 cup K&P Ale 1883 English Mild gently over top

Cover spring from pan with aluminum foil, bake at 400 °F for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from oven and preheat broiler. Place potatoes under the broiler for 3 minutes or until the top is slightly crisp and golden brown. Press down firmly on the top of the galette with a spoon or fork.

Allow to cool. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and cut galette into wedges to serve.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

Baseball & beer team up at Left Field

Posted by Katy

Friday, May 6th, 2016

savvy-slider-beer-bg

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Left Field Brewery
–  April 2016 –

 

It’s time to play ball…at the brewery!  Come & see what’s new at Left Field. For me, discovering a new craft brewery is fun – there’s always something that makes their beer stand out from everything else that I have tried.

That’s why I always jump at the chance to visit breweries and going on their tour – there is always something new to learn & see. And to top it all off, I am often struck by the passion the brewers and owners about their beer. Then the war stories come out – always interesting to hear how a brewery has overcome a particular struggle (and every craft brewery has one to share!).

Mark and Mandie Murphy left their careers, went back to school and have taken on new jobs of owning a brewery where they are brewing beer around the clock. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ll appreciate the thought put behind the names and the flavours behind each beer. Now….let’s play ball!

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops, you will find:

In Quick Picks & Taste Case…

hiphops_large-292x300Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale
Maris* Pale Ale
Sunlight Park Saison
Prospect: Galaxy
1st and 3rd Berliner Weisse
Wrigley
a ‘surprise beer’ – just bottled & the jury was still out on the name…

In the Taste Case – ONLY…

Multiples of the beers listed above PLUS an extra special beer:  Anniversary No. 3 

Beer Me! Want more?

Call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you of some of your favorites.  Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Left Field Brewery

by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew


Batter Up!

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of Left Field Brewery. The dream started several years earlier in 2010 when Mark Murphy (in photo below) chose to leave his accountant job and attend Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operation’s Management Course. While he was pursuing brewing, his wife, Mandie, started a brand management role with Constellation Brands managing their coolers, ciders, spirits and flavoured wine portfolios. When Mark was learning brewing, Mandie was learning how to sell and market alcohol. Now that is teamwork!

Mark MurphyUsing a home-built 25 litre homebrew system modelled after the Sabco Brew Magic, Mark and Mandie researched and tested each recipe before starting production as a contract brewery in 2013. They chose baseball as their theme because they are both BIG fans of the game.

Off the mark, they were a contract brewery using excess production space at Grand River Brewery (featured in Savvy Hip Hops in July 2014) and Barley Day’s (featured last month) to brew their recipes. “We liked the idea of being able to test our brand and our recipes in the market with minimal risk before investing in our own production facility. Having our own brewery was absolutely always the goal,” says Mandie.

Pitcher Goes into the Windup…

Baseball is back signThe search for a home for Left Field Brewery led Mark and Mandie to a location on Wagstaff Drive in Leslieville. “We brewed our first batch one year and four days after taking over the building, which isn’t bad for a construction project of our size,” notes Mandie. The timing couldn’t be more perfect! The photo above is the ‘big empty space’ that they would be transforming.  As the finishing touches were being put on the brewery, the Toronto Blue Jays were just starting the season. Nothing goes better with baseball than beer, especially if you can have it in Left Field’s own baseball themed taproom!

It’s a Grand Slam!

Now that they have a field to play on, Mark, Mandie and their 12 employees can step up to bat for other challenges – like creating new seasonals! That’s why you won’t find Left Field’s flagship beer, Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale in LCBO’s outside the Toronto-area. “Our goal is to keep making a variety of seasonals and one-offs and expanding Eephus outside of Toronto would prevent us from being able to do that.” Good news though, Sunlight Park Saison is making its debut in the  major leagues (Toronto LCBOs) at the end of May as a summer seasonal.

Here’s to Mark, Mandie & the Left Field Crew!


• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Katy shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Eephus cansInspired by the Eephus pitch – a low speed, high-arching junk pitch that can catch the batter off-guard. This 5.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), 35 IBU (International Bitterness Units).  American Brown Ale is Left Field’s flagship beer and available in Toronto-area LCBO’s. Eephus is Left Field’s only canned offering and is packaged by a mobile canning operation called Sessions Craft Canning.

Tasting Notes: This deep brown ale has a wonderful thick khaki head emitting strong notes of roasted malt, cocoa, caramel and dark fruit. The flavour is somewhat bitter with the roasted malt and coffee, but is rounded out with sweet flavours of nutty caramel and dates. The oatmeal adds a wonderful creamy body that makes it a delight to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing: The roasted/nutty flavours pair perfectly with grilled meat, pulled pork or a bag of roasted peanuts. Serve alongside a cheese plate filled with Gouda, Comte and milder cheddar and blue cheeses.

Maris* Pale Ale

marisIn 1961, Roger Maris made history when he beat Babe Ruth’s 1927 60-homerun record. His style of straight to the point baseball without being flashy or boastful is the inspiration for Maris* Pale Ale. For beer fans, the name Maris has another meaning as this 4.5% ABV, 40 IBU beer is brewed with Maris Otter malt.

Tasting Notes: This beautiful golden ale sports a nice white cap and isn’t afraid to show off its biscuity sweet, pine aroma. The Maris Otter malt provides a solid biscuit, almost nutty base for a medium hop finish of pine and citrus rind.

Suggested Food Pairing: This session-style pale ale is made for sunny days at the ball park! Enjoy a plastic cup of Maris* Pale Ale with hot dogs, nacho’s with liquid cheese or a bready pretzel.

 

Sunlight Park Saison

sunlight parkLeft Field’s spring and summer seasonal is brewed in honour of Toronto’s first professional baseball stadium. Sunlight Park was an all wood structure that could seat 2,250 fans and housed the International League baseball team, the Torontos. This 5.7% ABV, 22 IBU saison is brewed using malted wheat, honey malt and two kilograms of grapefruit zest in every batch.

Tasting Notes: Pours light gold – almost yellow with the cloudiness from the yeast. The aroma is a mixture of sweet with grapefruit, honey and grain and pepper-y yeast spice. There’s a crisp tart, but bitter grapefruit flavour that is balanced by the honey malt and spiced with pepper. Refreshing!

Suggested Food Pairing: Mandie says a favourite pairing at the brewery is sushi with a side of seaweed salad.

 

Prospect Single Hop IPA with Galaxy

prospectLeft Field is seeking out new hop prospects with their single hop India Pale Ale series. Each batch is brewed with the same malt recipe, but showcases a different hop. This 6.1% ABV bottle showcases the Australia Galaxy hop.

Tasting Notes: Be prepared to be transported to a tropical island! There are wonderful aromas of just ripe mango, passionfruit, grapefruit and a caramel background. The flavour is bright with more of those tropical juice notes with a slight hop bitterness that’s similar to grapefruit pith.

Suggested Food Pairing: With the big citrus and tropical notes in this beer I’d tend to go more towards Mexican flavours. Fajitas, fried fish tacos and carne asada con mojo would both compliment the hops and malt bill.

 

Wrigley Oat Pale Ale

wrigleyThis 5.5% ABV, 40 IBU brew shares its name with Left Field’s brewery mascot (in photo left) and of course…Wrigley Field in Chicago. 50 cents from every bottle sold goes to improvements in Wrigley’s local dog park.

Tasting Notes: Pours slightly cloudy with a chunky white head and distinctive aromas of orange and pine hops. Thanks to oats being in the mash there’s more body and a somewhat creaminess to the mouth feel that rounds out the hop flavours, but there’s a distinctive pine bitterness that lingers at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: The mouthfeel and pine hops would work well with pub favourite appetizers like nachos or zucchini sticks as it’ll help clear and refresh the palate.

 

1st and 3rd Berliner Weisse

1stand3rdThis interpretation of a Berlin favourite is brewed by kettle souring the mash with a strain of lactobacillus and fermenting using a blend of Belgian and American yeast. Traditionally this 4% ABV tart ale would be served with the option to add a fruit or herbal (woodruff) syrup, but it’s a nice treat on its own.

Tasting Notes: Pours with a beautiful chunky white head and a wheat-y aroma with a subtle tart-funk at the end. There is very little (if any) hop aroma or taste, but the wheat-heavy grain bill and slight citrus tart zing makes this beer very refreshing without being overpowering.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go for the ultimate combination of salt and sour with a bag of your favourite french fries. 1st and 3rd will not only be a great contrast, but cut the fat from the fries (and optional mayonnaise).

 

Anniversary No. 3 (in Taste Case only)

Anniversary_No_3As we mentioned earlier, Left Field is celebrating their 3rd anniversary and what better way to celebrate it than with a special beer? This 7.6% ABV special saison is brewed with French saison yeast and dry hopped with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops.

Tasting Notes: With the dry hopping of Nelson Sauvin hops this saison is turned into a Belgian IPA of sorts. The aroma is all hop with an almost white wine character, boarding on being ‘catty’ while the pepper yeast is almost an afterthought. The flavour is similar to a fruit salad with a subtle alcohol note with the peppery yeast showing more strength in the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Left Field suggests a fish and chip pairing, but I’d also go with steamed mussels served with thick pieces of baguette.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops•

 

With Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Pulled Pork Nachos

Recipe and Photo: French’s

Ingredients

Recipe pulled pork nachos2 lbs boneless pork butt or shoulder
2 cups Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup mustard
1/4 cup molasses (or honey)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne peppe
8 oz tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup corn
¾ cup black beans
¼ cup jalapenos
¼ cup sliced red onions

Method

Place pork butt in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a large bowl combine and mix Eephus Oatmeal

Brown Ale, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, cinnamon, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Pour mixture over pork butt. Set slow cooker to Low setting for 8 hours. When pork is cooled, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly cover baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place half of the chips, pulled pork, corn, black beans, jalapenos, onions and cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients for an additional layer. Bake until cheese melts, about 20-25 minutes.

 

With Sunlight Park Saison

Grapefruit Saison Sour Cream Ice Cream

Recipe grrapefruit sour cream ice creamRecipe and Photo: The Beeroness

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ cup Sunlight Park Saison
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice grapefruit zest

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s specifications until soft serve consistency (about 15 minutes).

Pour into an airtight container, freeze until set (about 2 hours).

 

With Wrigley Oat Pale Ale

Beer Cheese Dip

Recipe and Photo: Betty Crocker

Ingredients

Recipe beer cheese dip8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½  cup shredded Gouda cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup Wrigley Oat Pale Ale
1 tsp honey mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Method

Heat all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Spring with red pepper and green onions and serve with chips.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!