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Archive for ‘Savvy Hip Hops Beer Backstory’

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.

A brand new brewery in the Muskokas

Posted by Katy

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

The Haliburton Highlands is a community located in central Ontario. It’s known for its vast cottage area thanks to its many river and lakes. While the economy is mostly dominated by tourism, there’s a thriving creative community.

It was this combination of natural beauty, community and creativity that attracted Michael and Jewelle Schiedel-Webb to the area. While they were simply cottagers at the time, they saw an opportunity to join the vibrant community by showcasing the area’s local producers and enjoy everything the Haliburton Highlands had to offer…and to create their thriving new brewery – Haliburton Highlands Brewing.

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

-Blueline Blonde Ale
-Honey Brown Ale
-Irish Red Ale
-India Pale Ale
-Winter Warmer
-Belgian Rye Porter

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…
Haliburton Highlands Brewing
by Katy Watts, Cicerone & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Located in Abbey Gardens, a former gravel pit now a 300-acre green space, Haliburton Highlands Brewery has gone through several transitions since opening an expanded brewhouse in October 2016. The brewery is the product of Michael and Jewelle Schiedel-Webb’s love of the Highlands area and their dedication to the local food economy.

 

haliburton-logoFrom Idea to Reality!

Michael and Jewelle had been cottaging in the Haliburton Highlands area for close to 15 years. During those years, they fell in love with the area. “We spent many Friday nights driving up in the car talking about what we could possibly do to let us live and work in this space,” muses Jewelle. “A few years ago I was working in high tech and I was ready to make a transition and I said, ‘You know what Haliburton needs? A craft brewery!’ We don’t have one, we need one and it’s a growing industry.”

With the decision to open a brewery made, the husband-wife team made a deal. Michael would learn how to brew while Jewelle would figure out all the business and regulatory components.

Michael went on to complete the Brewing Technology program at the Siebel Institute and World Brewing Academy in Chicago and interned at Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas and Shades of Pale in Park City, Utah.

 

The Pilot Systemhaliburton-warehouse

The brewery opened in the summer of 2014 with a conservative pilot system, they wanted to be sure the area could support a craft brewery. Initially their plan was to supply local restaurants. However, when the doors opened they soon realized they would have to change their plan. “We were overwhelmed with demand…it was a huge shock,” says Jewelle. “We were regularly sold out during our first summer and we’ve been struggling to keep up ever since.”

 

baked-haliburtonMeeting Demand

Construction on the new brewery started in the spring of 2016 and the crew at Haliburton Highlands Brewery were very happy to officially open the new brewery (below) on October 22, 2016….just a few weeks ago! Besides boasting a 15-fold brewing capacity increase, the 4500 sq-ft building also features green initiatives like a biomass boiler, high-efficiency lighting and waste water reduction.

The higher brewing capacity will also allow Haliburton Highlands Brewery to expand distribution to The Beer Store and eventually the LCBO. That said, with their deep connection with Abbey Gardens and the community there’s no better place to buy Haliburton Highlands beer than from the source.

If you plan to visit this winter, you may want to pack your snowshoes or stay at their yurt (pix below)! There is a lot of reasons to take a roadtrip to experience what compelled Jewell & Michael to start their brewery here.

Here’s to Michael & Jewelle and the rest of the crew at the Haliburton Highlands Brewery!

 

-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!

bottles-lined-up-haliburtonBlueLine Blonde Ale

At 5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) and 22 International Bitterness Units (IBUs), Blueline Blonde Ale is an easy drinking, approachable ale best suited for extended sessions around a fireplace or when refreshment is needed after trying to detangle that hastily put away strand of holiday lights.

Tasting Notes: Blonde Ale’s have been a staple style of the Craft Beer movement and Haliburton Highland’s interpretation can satisfy both the craft beer fan and someone who’s knew to beer. Starting with a soft biscuit malt sweetness with a touch of noble hops to introduce a touch of bitterness to counter the malty-sweetness. Refreshing and very drinkable.

Suggested Food Pairing: A great beer to bring along to Holiday Parties. BlueLine Blonde can stand up to a sturdy cheese plate with Pepper Jack, Edam or Monterey Jack. Or hit the cookie tray and pair it alongside a few well iced sugar cookies.

 

grains-at-haliburtonHoney Brown Ale

While many other examples of Honey Brown Ale’s use honey malt to achieve a honey-like flavour in their beer, Haliburton Highland Brewery has partnered with Valas Honey to put locally produced honey in the beer. This 5% ABV, 25 IBU ale has won gold in the Ontario Brewing Awards and Is a great example of the brewery’s commitment to the community and its producers.

Tasting Notes: Honey aroma hits as soon as that cap is popped. The flavour is a mixture of honey and toasted grains with a lick of earthy hop bitterness to add balance. The addition of oats adds some body to the moderately carbonated brew that is generally very drinkable.

Suggested Food Pairing: There’s a lot happening in this beer and it makes it very versatile for food pairings. Try it alongside chicken wings with a sweeter sauce or for dessert paired with bread pudding with a thick crème analgise.

 

haliburton-awardIrish Red Ale

Using European Malts and UK Hops this 6.5% ABV, 30 IBU Irish Red Ale lures you in with malt sweetness and relaxed hop flavours.

Tasting Notes: Starts with a soft toffee sweetness leading to a slightly biscuit malt flavour. The malt bill is balanced by a small amount of earthy hop bitterness, but it’s barely noticeable. The finish is dry with a touch of roast – very pleasant and easy drinking!

Suggested Food Pairing: The caramel sweetness will pair with heavier meats and richer broths while the carbonation will help ease the fat off the palate between sips. Indulge in comfort foods like roast beef, rich French onion soup or lamb. Or try Haliburton Highland Brewery’s recipe for Irish Red Ale chili that I’ve included (that is, if you dare part with some of your beer).

India Pale Ale

IPAs have become synonymous with Craft Beer and the beauty of the style is that there are many different interpretations. No two IPAs are the same. Variables can come from any angle – how it’s brewed, recipe tweaks or if hops are added in secondary fermentation. For Haliburton Highlands Brewery’s 6.6% ABV, 54 IBU IPA they’ve chosen to use a combination of Columbus, Cascade and Centennial hops.

Tasting Notes: Once you pop the cap off the bottle the hop aroma is bursting out! Lemon, grapefruit, tangerine – it’s a citrus salad. On first sip, there’s more of that big citrus flavour, but it’s complimented well by a malt backbone, mostly of grain, but with a little caramel flavour. There isn’t a huge amount of bitterness that goes with the hop flavour.

Suggested Food Pairing: With the strong malt bill on this IPA, I’d go for a good curry like a Madras or a creamy Chicken Korma. Remember – the hops will spice up the dish initially (especially in that Madras), but the malt will help cool down the flavours. In the case of the Chicken Korma, the hops and the carbonation will help cut through the fat of the yogurt based sauce.


 Winter Warmer

This beer is fresh out of the tank. So fresh that I did not get a sample to try it and Michael & Jewelle have been so busy that they have not had a moment to jot some down either to post on their web site.

Tell us what you think of this new creation…post on Untappd Beer App or the Savvy Hip Hops Facebook page.

 

snow-haliburtonBelgian Rye Porter

An ale with an identity crisis! With additions of rye malt and fermented with Belgian yeast, this 6.5% ABV Porter is a unique mix of English Porter and Belgian Dark Ale.

Tasting Notes: Dark chocolate with jammy dark fruit flavours. The rye malt presents as a slight tartness mid-sip while the Belgian yeast spices up the palate at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: The combination of styles leads to some interesting beer parings! Opt for a spicy Mexican chocolate cake for dessert or pair it with a rich Portobello mushroom burger or try it with the Beer & Bacon Pancakes…trust me, you thank me for this tip!

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops 

With Blueline Blonde Ale…

Sausage and Cheese Bisque

Recipe: Food.com

with-blueline-blonde-ale-sausage-and-cheese-bisqueIngredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 lb sausage
24 oz Blueline Blonde Ale
1 cup leek (Small Diced)
1⁄2 cup carrot (Small Diced)
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp garlic (Chopped)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1⁄2 cup pastry flour
1⁄2 tsp dry mustard
1⁄2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1⁄4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream (Tempered)
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup crème fraiche
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (Grated)

 

Method

In a 5-quart Dutch oven add olive oil,1-tablespoon butter, bay leaves and Beer Brats. Saute over medium heat until Brats are brown. Add 2 ounces Blueline Blonde Ale and reduce by half. Add 1-tablespoon butter6, leeks and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté vegetables 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste and sauteé for a minute. Add remaining butter and stir well until butter has melted. Stir in flour, mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper and cook vegetables 3-4 minutes.

Gradually whisk in chicken stock, ale and cook 4-5 minutes or until bisque has thickened. Whisk warm cream, nutmeg and slowly bring to a full boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Whisk a few times to prevent from burning. Remove bay leaves from bisque.

Slowly fold in 3/4 cup crème fraiche, grated cheddar cheese. Season to taste with fine sea salt and white pepper taste. Stir bisque and simmer 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts. Do not et bisque boil.

Serve Bisque in warm bowls. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, cheese and Crème Fraiche.

 

With Irish Red Ale…

Beer Beef Chili

Recipe: Haliburton Highlands Brewing Photo: Drink with the Wench

with-irish-red-ale-beer-beef-chiliIngredients

3 lbs ground beef
2 x 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 x 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained, rinsed)
1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)
1 can navy beans (optional – drained, rinsed)
1 square Bakers semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate
1/2 bottle Haliburton Highlands Irish Red Ale
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp cumin

 

Method

In skillet, brown ground beef and drain.

In a large pot combine: Diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, chili beans, chopped onion chopped green pepper chopped jalapeno pepper. Stir ingredients.

Add ground beef, black pepper. Add chili powder and Oregano. Simmer for 1 hour on medium heat, stirring often. Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese on top, if desired. Note: Add less or more black pepper and chili powder to taste.

With Belgian Rye Porter…

Beer and Bacon Pancakes

Recipe & Photo: Will Cook For Friends

with-belgian-rye-porter-beer-and-bacon-pancakesIngredients

1 lb. Bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups pancake mix (homemade or packaged)
2 cups of dark beer
2 eggs
1 – 2 cups maple syrup 

Method

Preheat oven to 350f. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and set inside of that a wire rack or oven grill grate. Lay the bacon flat, in a single layer, on top of rack and bake for 10 minutes. Take the bacon out, and sprinkle evenly with half of the brown sugar – bake for 10 minutes more. Remove the bacon again, and turn each piece over. Sprinkle this side with the second half of brown sugar; bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before crumbling into pieces. Get your griddle or skillet heating up – medium-high should do the trick.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, 1 cup of beer and eggs. If it’s too thick add more beer, too thin add more mix. Stir in the bacon. Grease your griddle (oil, butter, shortening, spray…) and ladle/scoop/pour your batter into whatever size pancakes you want. Cook on one side until bubbles appear on the top and the edges begin to look dry, then flip.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining beer with 1 cup of maple syrup. Stir, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. If it’s too thin, or too much beer for your taste, adjust by adding more maple syrup. If you don’t want the extra layer of beer, you can skip this whole step and just warm up your maple syrup.

Serve hot.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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 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!

 

Pour a Barley Days Brew!

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Barley Day’s Brewery
–  March 2016 –

 

Prince Edward County is Ontario’s little secret. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on an area filled with abundance – wine, cider, cheese, beer and so much more. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of flavour available in one area and it’s hard to explore in just one trip. Since I was first introduced to the area, I’ve been back several times for weekends or day trips to explore new favourite spots. No matter how many places I visit, the one I always return to is Barley Day’s Brewery.

While Barley Day’s may be the only brewery among the wineries, it celebrates the region and the terroir like no other! Through the use of local apples, hops, cherries or wine barrels – Barley Day’s is proud to show off Prince Edward County. And if you’re ever in the region, be sure to stop by the brewery for a tour – it’ll make you excited about beer and The County.

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

…in your Quick Pickshiphops_large-292x300

Cherry Porter
Scrimshaw Oyster Stout
County IPA
Sugar Shack Ale
Snakebite Apple Ale
Royal George Brown Ale

…in your Taste Case

Cherry Porter
Scrimshaw Oyster Stout
County IPA
Snakebite Ale
Royal George Brown Ale
Loyalist Lager
County Light
Harvest Gold Pale Ale
Wind & Sail Dark Ale
Ursa Minor Black Lager
Ursa Major Black 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…
Barley Days Brewery

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

The Past…
Glenora Springs Brewery

Barley Day’s Brewery first opened their doors as Glenora Springs Brewery in 2000 (photo – right). Seven years later they picked up and moved to Picton and changed the name to reflect a time in Prince Edward County – when the region was renowned for the quality of barley and hops grown in the area.

Regardless of the brewery’s name change, the core beer line up stayed the same, with some tweaks to some of the name changes: Red Coat Pale Ale became ‘Harvest Gold’, Triple Chin Irish Ale became’ Wind & Sale Dark Ale’ and the beer previously named Black Scarf Cherry Porter became the new ‘Yuletide’.

To reinforce a heritage connection with their beer, Barley Days 341mL bottles also featured vintage artwork by local artists Peter Rindlisbacher and Manly MacDonald.

The Present…

Barley Days BrettWith their move to Prince Edward County, Barley Day’s has the benefit of being one of the few breweries surrounded by wine country. When I asked Head Brewer Brett French (photo left) how it felt to be in the middle of rapidly growing wine region, he said, “It’s exciting! I especially like seeing people’s reactions to having a beer during a weekend wine tour. A lot of the folks are pretty thirsty after tasting wine all day and having beer in the mix is a great addition to the wide variety of food and drink that The County offers.”

In addition to their core lineup, Barley Day’s has added several additional brews to their lineup to showcase the flavour of The County and satisfy the demand for craft beer. Beer’s like Snake Bite, Sugar Shack, Scrimshaw Oyster Stout showcase what beer is. As Brett says, “Every winemaker here will tell you that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”

Looking into the Future…

Barley Days BreweryBarley Day’s recently changed ownership and changes were made immediately to expand many facets of this brewery & the products too.  For the first time since the brewery opened in 2007, they recently changed their labels and packaging. What do you think? While the look has been updated, the core beers are still packaged in 341mL bottles while special seasonals are now packaged in a fancy 500mL with a cork & cage treatment.

There have been renos to the brewery as well as a new patio where a local food truck will park & serve up a menu full of beer & food pairings.

Brett also hinted that three additional summer seasonals are planned.  And if that were not enough, other collaborations with new County breweries are in the works. “We want to make PEC (Prince Edward County) a wine AND beer region. If our map can be filled with 40+ wineries, why not have as many breweries as we can fit?” says Brett. “Until then the Barley Day’s team will continue to do what we do – make easy drinking, sessionable, accessible beers using quality ingredients that we’re proud of.”

Here’s to Brett & the crew at Barley Day’s Brewery!

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Barley Days range of beers

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

Cherry Porter

Previously known as Yuletide Cherry Porter, this 5.5% alcohol by volume porter (ABV) is brewed with Ontario cherries in the mash. How cool is that?

Tasting Notes: Resembling cherry cola when poured, this beer has some wonderful complexity to it. The flavour starts with a dark coffee roast that gives way to cocoa and notes of plum, raisin and cherry. However, you’ll notice the cherry most on the finish, adding a slight tartness to balance the bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This beer will pair alongside dessert like a good cup of coffee! Indulge in cherry cheesecake, a big slice of chocolate cake or a few pieces of quality chocolate.

Barley Days Brett with OystersScrimshaw Oyster Stout

This 4% ABV dry Irish stout is brewed with Green Gables Malpeque Oysters from Prince Edward ISLAND.  According to Brett (in selfie), “We have 1500 PEI malpeques ready to go into the boil… but to be truthful (ahem), I would say only about 1450 actually make it into the boil.”

Tasting Notes: Pouring with little head (possibly due to the addition of oysters), Scrimshaw starts like any other dry Irish stout – roast, cocoa, maybe a little char to round it out. It’s at the finish where the flavour of the Malpeque Oysters shines – a good amount of brininess and a slight minerality from the shell.

Suggested Food Pairing: Oysters of course!

County IPABarley Days pint

This 5.5% ABV India Pale Ale is brewed with a blend of hops, including some sourced from Prince Edward County!

Tasting Notes: Starts malty with sweet caramel, biscuit and grain flavours leading to orange and earthy hops. I’d call this more of an English-style IPA with more of a subdued hop profile and low bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go with a big spicy Indian curry like chicken madras or vindaloo. The malt profile of County IPA will help cool your pallet and cut through some of that spice.

Royal George Brown Ale

This 5.1% ABV ale is named after the H.M.S. Royal George, the largest warship on Lake Ontario and is a showcase of malt flavour.

Tasting Notes: Malt lovers rejoice! Royal George starts with a slight nutty malt flavour that slips into sweet caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and a touch of roast. Hops take a backseat, offering a slight earthy bitterness at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: Brown ales are a perfect pairing for a cheese plate. Fill your plate with aged Gouda, Comte, mild cheddar and blue cheese.

Barley Days tapsSnakebite Ale

Named after the combination of lager and cider, this 5.5% ABV beer is brewed with real Ontario apple juice pressed at the brewery.

I asked head brewer Brett how they make this beer, “We grow a ton of different apples from here in The County.  We spend a day pressing and collecting the juice, then, use that fresh apple juice as a portion of the brew water. The grain bill has a bit of caramel malts and only a slight hop addition to balance it all out. The thing I like about the beer is that it’s real apple juice. You can actually taste the tartness and slight sourness of the apples.”

Tasting Notes: Take a moment and smell this beer – does it remind you of a caramel apple from a country fair? While it may smell like caramel there is little caramel flavour in this beer. Instead, we’re treated to simple ale with flavours of grain and biscuit that’s spiked with tart apple.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would work perfectly with a home cooked pork chop or roasted chicken dinner with a side of butternut squash.

Loyalist Lager

No need to stay loyal to the Crown to enjoy this lager! Brewed in the Czech Pilsner style with Saaz hops, this 4.5% ABV beer is easy to drink no matter who your allegiance is to.

Tasting Notes: Starts slightly sweet with some caramel, grain and cereal notes, but with a slight earthy/spice hop flavour. There’s a nice balance between the hops and malt which makes this light bodied lager crisp and easy to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside grilled pork or chicken and light seafood.

County LightBarley Days equipment

This beer has an interesting label! Don’t be fooled though, while it is lighter than Barley Day’s typical offerings it still has more flavour.

Tasting Notes: Crisp with a slightly sweet grainy malt sweetness and faint earthy hop flavour. County Light is fairly light bodied and at 4% ABV it’s a good beer to take on a camping trip (perhaps Sandbanks?).

Suggested Food Pairing: This style offers a delicate flavour, but high carbonation. I would pair it with deep fried or fatty foods to help keep the palate refreshed. Go ahead, I’m giving you permission to order onion rings.

Harvest Gold Pale Ale

This 4.8% ABV Pale Ale is brewed with Fuggles and Golding hops and best enjoyed after a long day in the field.

Tasting Notes: Slightly sweet with a biscuit and grain note leading to an earthy, almost mineral, hop bitterness. The carbonation is crisp and the finish leans more towards a slight bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The earthy hops and crisp carbonation will pair wonderfully with fish and chips or a sticky bread budding.

Wind & Sail Dark Ale

This 5% ABV Dark Ale is a nice balance of malt and hops. The deep colour and white head wisps makes me think of a boat weather a dark storm.

Tasting Notes: This ale has a wonderful nutty grain malt base with notes of dark chocolate, slight roast and dark fruits. The sweetness is restrained by an underlying earthy, almost spicy, hop.

Suggested Food Pairing: The malt in this would pair well with roasted meat, charred greens and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert!

Barley Days equipment2Ursa Minor Black Lager

Also known as a Schwarzbier, ‘Little Bear’ boasts big flavour and shrugs off that assumption that lagers are void of flavour.

Tasting Notes: Starts off with a good amount of roasted malt with a slight caramel sweetness. Earthy/pine hops are there in a supporting role, adding a slight balance without overwhelming the flavour. Finishes dry.

Suggested Food Pairing: The mild roast or burnt flavours go well with grilled meats like salmon or pork chops. Don’t be afraid to try some dark chocolate alongside it though!

Ursa Major Black IPA

Also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale, Black IPAs showcase a good amount of roast with a bitter addition of hops. With a nod to the ‘Great Bear’ constellation, Ursa Major, pouring 5.3% ABV, doesn’t disappoint.

Tasting Notes: Big amounts of roast jump out of the bottle when opened and it blasts onto your palate at first sip. Hidden in that roast is a caramel undertone that meets with a sharp citrus and somewhat resin-y hop. The finish is quite bitter with both the roast and hops leaping onto your palate at once with no trace of balance.

Suggested Food Pairing: Now is a good time to haul out the BBQ and grill a steak to perfection, maybe even add a skewer of shrimp to make it surf and turf.

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Harvest Gold Pale Ale

Ale Poached Shrimp

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Shrimp

2 12 oz bottles of Harvest Gold Pale Ale
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs parsley
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1lb large tiger shrimp

Method

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except shrimp.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to combine the flavours.  Add shrimp and poach for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp is pink and firm.

 

With Royal George Brown Ale

Beer Braised Beef with Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Shortrib with Blue Cheese

½ cup diced double smoked bacon
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 lbs beef stewing meat, cut in 1 ½ inch cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
1 12 oz bottle Royal George Brown Ale
2 whole sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh parsley
4 cups beef or chicken stock
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Method

In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crisp and fat is rendered. Add the butter and onions to the pan and lower heat. Cook onions slowly, stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes. Season onions with salt and pepper and set aside.

In another heavy bottomed pot, sear the beef in a little oil to a nice brown colour. Sprinkle beef with flour and stir. Add the beer and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the onions to the beef and be sure to scrape all the bits from the onion pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh herbs and stock and simmer for 1 ½ hours over low heat until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.

Serve with blue cheese sprinkled on top.

 

With Wind & Sail Dark Ale

Wind & Sail Dark Ale Ginger Christmas Truffles

Chef Lili Sullivan Claramount Inn & Spa

Ingredients

¾ cup ginger cookies, crushed
2 Tbsp finely chopped glace pineapple
2 Tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts
2 Tbsp ground almonds
2 Tbsp finely chopped citrus peel
2 Tbsp dried cherries
2 Tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
1 Tbsp Barley Days Wind & Sail Dark Ale
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup butter, cubed
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp whipping cream (35%)
¾ cup finely chopped hazelnuts – for coating

Method

In a medium bowl, mix cookies, nuts, dried fruit, ale, and vanilla.

Melt butter in a small bowl over simmering water with chocolate, stirring until almost melted, remove from heat and finish melting by stirring. Whisk in cream, stir into cookie and fruit mixture. Refrigerate until firm.

Roll mixture into 40 balls. To coat, roll balls in nuts. Refrigerate in a covered container with waxed paper between layers up to 2 weeks. To serve, place in small paper or foil cups.

Chocolate mixture can be frozen after rolling into balls and then coated when removed from freezer.

 

With Cherry Porter

Chocolate Cherry Porter Cheesecakes

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Cherry Porter recipe

1 ¼ cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
½ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp corn starch
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ lbs softened cream cheese
½ cup Cherry Porter
2 eggs
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Method

Preheat oven to 350’F. Butter or spray a 10-inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a small bowl toss the crumbs with melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set aside.

To make the filling, stir together sour cream, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.  Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whisk together cream cheese, porter and eggs until very well combined.  Gently mix the sour cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.  Fold in melted chocolate and stir through to streak the mixture and make it look marbled.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on counter to release any air.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the middle has set and the sides are slightly puffy. Chill completely before slicing.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

Celebrate FeBREWary with Beau’s

Posted by Monique

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Beau’s All Natural Brewing
–  February 2016 –

 

Welcome to another delicious month of Savvy Hip Hops showcasing Beau’s All Natural Brewing from Vankleek Hill. Beau’s is no stranger to us as we kicked off Savvy Hip Hops 3 years ago with an assortment of Beau’s beers for our very first Savvy Hip Hops Taste case. Since then, we have slated Beau’s in for this month because it is a great way for you to get their extra special FeBREWary beers.

febrewary-labelsThroughout the month Beau’s has been releasing new unique brews in limited quantities for us to enjoy.  This year their feBREWary celebrations began with the release of the Tyrannosaurus Gruit Ale, commemorating International Gruit Day on February 1st.  Then the month long specialty beer release rolls out with a new feBREWary beer kicking off each weekend. All the while busloads of craft beer lovers visit the brewery and 200 plus pubs and restaurants are participating in serving feBREWery beers and hosting special events. It is an understatement to say that – Beau’s is busy!

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find these beers…

…in your Quick Picks:

  • hiphops_large-292x300Le Coeur Noir Black IPA
  • Tyrannosaurus Gruit
  • Farm Table: Grisette
  • Embittermint IPA
  • Farm Table: Pils

…in your Taste Case:

  • Le Coeur Noir Black IPA
  • Tyrannosaurus Gruit
  • Farm Table: Grisette
  • Embittermint IPA
  • Farm Table: Pils
  • Le Coeur Noir
  • Farm Table: Grisette
  • Elelphant Monsoon
  • Patio Saison
  • Fous Allies Mango Saison
  • Screamin’ Beaver Oak Aged Double IPA
  • Koru
  • The Tom Green Beer
  • Lug Tread– Beau’s signature beer

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 arrange a special shipment for you. Put us on speed dial 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email is on cheers@savvycompany.ca
Crack open a Beau’s & raise a glass to feBREWary!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

by Monique Sosa, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Steve-Bruce_largeIn the past editions of our Beer Backstory, we have interviewed owner & founder Steve Beauchesne (left in photo). This time, we are switching it up in this issue by interviewing the resident chef…yes, Beau’s has a full time chef on staff! And we are not talking about someone working in a cafeteria whipping up lunches for everyone at the brewery….far from it! A year and a half ago, “The Locavore Chef” Bruce Wood (right in photo) joined the brewery team to work closely with Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara with the focus to join the dots between Beau’s certified organic craft beer and dishes made with seasonal ingredients. “It is a dream job”, glows Chef Bruce.

Do you ‘Farm to table’

Bruce is a great guy, and also a true pioneer of the farm-to-table movement – he’s been advocating for local and sustainable food for years,” said Steve Beauchesne in a news release for Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. “We are super-excited to have him join the Beau’s team, and also about all the cool things we can do now with his knowledge and skill to draw on.”

Bruce explained to me that he remembers savouring a spicy bowl of authentic Jamaican curry when he was 17, “each spoonful made me see the world in colour.”

With that ah-ha moment, he became a classically trained chef and has worked for over 35 years for various gourmet business including owning his own restaurant on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. He comes from a wine and food pairing background, but started a love affair with pairings beer and food that has kindled an eternal romance.

Start with a dish, it’s easy after that

He explained that his inspirations begin with the dish itself. Then the dam breaks and ideas for beer pairings flow.  If beer and food cooking/pairing is out of the ordinary for you, then Chef Bruce has this tip to share: “start by pairing assertive with assertive then the light with light.” He further explains, “This means match a dish to the style of the beer rather than the colour or weight of the beer.” With this good rule of thumb, you are heading in a good direction.

Chef Bruce also has no problem admitting to cooking with beer but added a surprising fact that cooking with malts – the same ones used to brew the beer – is an excellent ingredient as well.  He has made many scrumptious roasts with the meats being brined in beer and/or seasoned with a malt rub.

Chef Bruce & Beer

Bruce-in-action1-600x295 (1)Favourite style of beer?  Chef Bruce loves Belgian Ales and Porters – for drinking and cooking of course!  He admits that he enjoys all styles really but will occasionally skip over the big hoppy beers. Speaking of which, Chef Bruce tipped me off that that creamy based dishes tames overly hoppy beers. His example of coconut yellow lentil daal with Formidable beer makes my mouth water! 

Made beer yet? “No. That it is something that I look forward do to sometime soon. As an honoured member of the Beau’s family, we are all encouraged to participate in an annual friendly brewmaster challenge.”  Teams craft a beer and the winner is unveiled at Beaus’s annual OktoberFest(save the dates Sept 23 & 24, 2016).  Some of these beers brewed at past challenges have even inspired new and innovative brews like Gruit style ales and the Coeur Noir Black IPA – try them out in your Taste Case.

Going flat out til St Paddy’s Day!

Beaus St Paddys Day party logoWhile Oktoberfest is Beau’s signature festival, this year they are hosting the 1st ever Beau’s St Patrick’s Party on March 19th at Lansdowne’s Cattle Castle in Ottawa. Chef Bruce will be working around the clock for this special event –cooking up everything on the Irish inspired menu he created!

See you there with a pint of Beau’s in hand!

 

•Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

 

Monique shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve. For those feBREWary beers that were not released yet, we have included the brewmasters notes.

Tyrannosaurus Gruit

Beaus Tyrannosaurus GruitSince 2013, craft brewers with an interest in making gruit ales have banded together to mark February 1 as International #GruitDay. The day is intended to raise awareness of, and pay homage to, the historical traditions of brewing with botanicals.  This is the gruit that kicked off this year’s feBREWary.

This 5.8% abv beer is brewed in the Gruitstyle where ingredients are used that are not stated in the Bavarian Rienhietsgebot Purity Law of water, malt and hops.  In this beer, ingredients are beets and hibiscus flower – boy does it ever come through!

Tasting Note: This beer pours with a brilliant raspberry red hue  showing notes of beets, cranberry and hibiscus tea on the nose.  The palate is crisp, mouthwatering and light bodied with a creamy texture and medium-short finish.

Food Pairing: Enjoy with turkey dinner, roasted beets and – for something different – rhubarb-strawberry tart.

 

Farm Table: Grisette Belgian Ale

Grisette-Glass-and-Bottle-1-300x300Farm Table Series are sessionable beers inspired by tradition and brewed true to a classic style. This GrisetteBelgian Ale is a sessional style ale with 4.9% abv. It is an easy drinking hazy pale gold beer with mild characteristics.

Tasting Note: Here we have a mouthwatering light Belgian style ale with notes of white citrus blossom, candied lemon peel and coriander. The palate shows a pithy finish with balanced malts and hops.  

Food Pairing suggestions: Enjoy this light bodied easy drinking with green salads (try it with arugula salads) and sushi rolls. 

 

Farm Table: Pils

Beaus Farm Table PilsThis feBREWary beer was recently released on Feb 18 and we did not have a sample to taste, so here are the brewmaster notes:

Pilsners are pale lagers named for the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, where the style originates. Farm Table: Pils (North-German Style) is a traditional Pilsner with the regional characteristics of those brewed in the northern part of Germany. This beer is 4.9% abv and is less mellow or “soft” than some Pils; delivers a pleasantly snappy, bracing hop character with each sip.

Brewmaster’sNotes: A pale straw colour, with great clarity and a billowy white head. The aroma is herbal and hoppy with some grainy, malty notes. A refreshing hop bite dominates the flavour which is counterbalanced by clean malt sweetness. The finish is quick and dry.

Food Pairing suggestions:Fried calamari; grilled fresh sardines; spicy sausage (chorizo or andouille); prosciutto; melted brie & sharp apple on grilled artisan bread; young gouda or havarti cheeses.

Fous Alliés Mango Saison

fous-allies-web-300x300The Crazy Allies, as it translates to, is a 6.1% abv mango infused Saison.  It is a classic easy drinking food friendly ale originating from the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Tasting Notes: This beer pours with a bright golden hue and pronounced notes of ripe mango puree, citrus blossoms, apricot and wild flower honey.  The palate shows a long finish with key notes of lemon peel and pink grapefruit. It is crisp and refreshing with well integrated hop notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy with chicken or beef stir fry, Pad Thai or, my favourite, taco salad!

 

Patio Saison

Beaus Patio SaisonThe name says it all! Pair with a patio, even if it is not quite patio weather. Crafted in the tradition Belgian style of Saisons, this 5.9% abv beer is a crisp refreshing summer sipper that’s for sure!

Tasting Notes: Pronounced aromas of lemon grass, walnut husk, apricot and oatmeal billow from the pint.  My first though was that it seems quite strong for a Saison but the alcohol is well integrated.  The palate is light bodied with creamy mouthfeel and short to medium finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy this mouthwatering beer with spicy chicken or shrimp wontons, seafood ceviche or anything bacon based!

 

Embittermint

embittermint-1024x1024This feBREWary beer was not available a sample to taste, so here are the brewmaster notes:

An I.P.A. at 6.7% abv that blends and balances the more delicate and floral characteristics of select hops and mints.Brewed with organic lemon balm, spearmint and peppermint.

A boat-load of extra hops (a natural preservative) made India Pale Ales (I.P.A.s) historically better suited for long voyages when shipping to British soldiers stationed afar, including India. Their distinct taste caught on, and now these ales are widely known and enjoyed for their aggressively hopped aromas and flavours.

Brewmaster’s Notes: pours a hazy yellow with white foam. The aroma is a combination of orangey citrus and muddled mint (think mortar and pestle and mojito). This beer is medium-bodied with an explosion of julep-y orange flavour that is offset by cool mint. The finish is long lasting and refreshing.

Suggested Food Pairings: Roast leg of lamb with mint sauce; chicken tikka masala with minted raita; pasta tossed with cheese curds, cream & mint & basil pesto; grilled New York steak with paloise sauce (minted Béarnaise); aged gouda cheese or raw milk 3-year-old cheddar.

 

Koru

koruThis feBREWary beer was not available a sample to taste, so here are Beau’s brewmaster notes:

Belgian-Style Pale Ale measuring in at 6% abv, boasts interesting spicy, peppery yeast notes, with tropical fruit inflections from New Zealand nelson sauvin and rakau hops. Complex and tasty, with a dry finish. More sessionable than bigger Belgian styles, the Belgian Pale Ale came to prominence in the mid-20th century. A balanced fruity and floral hop character is complemented by the peppery, spicy notes of Belgian yeast. Beau’s first created Koru in 2012 for our annual Vankleek Hill Oktoberfest celebration.

Brewmaster’s Notes: Koru pours deep gold with white frothy foam. The aroma combines tropical fruit with citrusy notes such as candied orange. Koru is medium-bodied and the flavours are peppery and fruity suggesting mango, papaya, pineapple and grapefruit. The finish offers lingering spice.

Suggested Food Pairings: Chicken schnitzel with mango & papaya salsa; avocado, lime, red onion & shrimp salad; grilled peaches wrapped in prosciutto; Burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese.

 

Le Coeur Noir

label-lecoeurnoir-1024x1024This beer is the 11th in Beau’s Pro-Am Series which features beers that are designed by amateur brewers, and brewed at Beau’s. Le Coeur Noir Black IPA was brewed in collaboration with the winner of the 2013 Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest, Jordan Rainhard.

This 7.1% abv beer is one of Beau’s cutting styles, an American Black IPA.

Tasting Notes: This beer pours with an opaque brown hue and shows pronounced notes of black molasses, spruce tips, cacao nibs, roasted malt and touch of grapefruit rind.  The mouthfeel is rich and full bodied with a long grapefruit pith finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try pairing this with gorgonzola gnocchi, braised short rib with crumbled blue cheese or a simple bison-blue cheese burger.  Blue cheese is an incredible example of pairing an assertive style of beer with an assertive style of food.

 

Screamin’ Beaver

label-screamin-beaver-1024x1024Here we have a strong 9.9% abv oak aged double IPA for our pleasure. This beer might sound intimidating but it carries a well-balanced malt and hop structure.  It is a sneakily easy drinking, given the alcohol, and it’s delicious!

Tasting Notes: The aromas are pronounced with complex notes.  It starts out with a strong honey, apricot and marzipan note, and later reveals layers of caramel, spearmint and spruce tips. The palate then shows a distinct maple syrup sweetness, orange peel and pink grapefruit.  The finish is long with a persistence of hoppy bitterness balanced by a sweet butterscotch-caramel note.

Suggested Food Pairing: Given it’s complexity, I still found this beer quite food friendly. Enjoy with Thai Spring Rolls and don’t hold back on the siracha hot sauce.  Also try pairing with Jambalaya, shrink creole or blackened salmon.

 

Elephant Monsoon Porter

Beaus Elephant MonsoonThis feBREWary beer was recently just released today (February 25th) and we did not have a sample to taste, so here are the brewmaster notes:

At 6.7% abv, a delicious duo meets a classic British beer style in what we are calling a “PB & grape” porter. The nicely roasted malt character of a porter ale gets a fun, flavourful twist with the addition of organic peanut butter and concord grape juice.

A roasty brown ale with hundreds of years of history behind it, porter beer originated in London and was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. PB & grape is a sandwich, popular in North America, made with a layer of peanut butter & grape jelly between two slices of bread… or one slice, folded over, if you prefer.

Brewmaster’s Notes: Elephant Monsoon pours a nearly opaque brown/black with a tan head. The aroma is a medley of mocha, grape and peanut notes. The flavour features sweet grapey fruitiness followed by dark chocolate and peanuts. The finish is dry… with lingering nuts.

Suggested Food Pairings: Peanut butter pie with Oreo crust; “Elvis Presley” grilled sandwich (peanut butter, mashed banana & crisp bacon); Asian-spiced chicken meatballs with spicy peanut sauce.

 

 • Recipes enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •

from Chef Bruce of Beau’s


With Beau’s Coeur Noir Black IPA…

Squash Gnocchi with Blue Cheese, Apple and Sage

Recipe & photo from Beau’s Chef Bruce
Serves: 6

The trick to good, light gnocchi is the type of potato. A baking or russet potato will give you the texture you need to make a soft, tender dumpling.

IMG_2421-300x300Ingredients

1 lb russet potatoes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Sea salt
4 eggs
1 C roast squash purée
3-4 C all-purpose flour
Cornmeal (enough to dust tray)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 fresh sage leaves
1 apple, cut in 1/4 ” dice
4 oz blue cheese (such as Glengarry Celtic), crumbled

 Method

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Rub the potatoes with a little vegetable oil and salt and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for one hour, or until fork tender. When the potatoes have cooled, peel them and pass them through a food mill (or grate them).

Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the eggs, squash and a pinch of salt. Add 2 C of the flour and mix to combine; the mixture will probably be fairly sticky. Turn out on to a well-floured surface and liberally dust with flour. Knead the dough, adding more flour as it becomes sticky. When the dough is a cohesive ball and is no longer sticky, place it in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the gnocchi dough into golf-ball-sized pieces. Using your fingertips roll the dough into a long(ish) rope shape about ½” around. Cut the dough into one inch lengths and place on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough until you have a tray full of gnocchi. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the frozen gnocchi intothe boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender, drain, and place on a lightly oiled tray until needed.

To finish, heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add the apple & sage & cook for one minute. Add the cooked gnocchi & the blue cheese. Mix to combine. Serve hot, paired with a bottle of Beau’s Cœur Noir Black IPA.


With Fous Alliés…

Baked Camembert with Mustard Fruits

Recipe from Beau’s Chef Bruce
Yield: Serves 4 as a decadent treat

The warm soft brie pears well with the earthy, slightly tart character of the beer & the fruit plays well with the tropical fruit notes. Traditionally the mustard fruits are made with wine; I have substituted beer here for a different flavour.

Ingredients

moniques photo 2600 mL Beau’s Fous Alliés Mango Saison
1 cups cider vinegar
2 cups white sugar
¼ cups yellow mustard seeds
2 Tbsp mustard powder
½ tsp chili flakes
2 cups pitted prunes, roughly chopped
1 cups dried black mission figs, stemmed & quartered
1 cups dried cranberries
3 fresh pears, cored & diced in ¼” cubes
3 tart apples, cored & diced in ¼” cubes
2 300g wheels Camembert

Method

In a stainless steel pot bring the beer, vinegar, sugar, and the spices to a boil. Simmer on medium-high for 15 minutes (careful, it may overflow!) You want the liquid to reduce by about half.

Add the prunes, figs and cranberries; simmer a further 15 minutes. Add the apples and pears, then cook until they are soft but not mushy. Remove from the heat, pour into clean jars, cool, cover, and refrigerate.

The cheese can be warmed in many ways: I often put it directly on the BBQ (medium heat); on a tray in a 350 F oven; or even in a medium-heat pan on the stove. Heat the camembert for 5 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times (it will puff up slightly).

Place it on a nice serving plate or board and slit open the cheese; spoon the prepared mustard fruits into the cheese, and serve with warm sliced baguette and a glass of Beau’s Fous Alliés.

 

With Farm Table: Grisette…

Roasted Potatoes with Riopelle Cheese

Recipe & photo from Beau’s Chef Bruce

These potatoes get crisp and delicious in the oven. The caramelized flavours of the potatoes & the unctuous creaminess of the cheese pair beautifully with Farm Table: Grisette. Duck fat is available in good butcher shops in small tubs. If you wish not to use the duck fat, olive oil is a reasonable substitute.

Yield: Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients

1 lb potatoes (fingerlings or small new potatoes)
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp duck fat, melted (or olive oil)
⅓tsp kosher salt
Freshly milled black pepper
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
4 slices Riopelle cheese (or other triple crème cheese, such as St-Honoré)

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a bowl mix together the duck fat or olive oil, salt, pepper paprika and thyme. Toss the potatoes and garlic cloves with the mixture, & place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft on the inside & nicely crispy on the outside.

Remove potatoes from the oven and divide between 4 ovenproof dinner plates. Place a slice of cheese on each pile of potatoes. Place the plates on a baking sheet & bake for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is just soft & melting.

Remove hot plates carefully from the oven, and serve with a glass of Farm Table: Grisette.

 

With Screamin Beaver Oak Aged Double IPA…

Thyme-seared Salmon

Recipe & photo from Beau’s Chef Bruce
Yield: Serves 4 as a main course

This is a dish meant for wild salmon, particularly West coast fish like Coho or Sockeye.

If you can getyour hands on Red Spring salmon this dish will move to another ethereal plane. The oily fish matches well with the malt character in the beer, and the hops are matched by the pepper and thyme.

screamin-beaver-salmon2-300x300Ingredients

4x 6 oz salmon fillets, skin on
2 Tbsp good peppery olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp Beau’s Screamin’ Beaver Oak Aged Double IPA

 Method

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Rub the flesh side of the salmon with the olive oil. Coat with the thyme, pepper, and salt.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan (cast iron is ideal) on med-high until hot but not smoking. Add the butter and grapeseed oil to the pan and, when melted and beginning to brown, add the salmon flesh side down. Cook for 1 minute and turn over, then place the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place back on a med-high burner.

Add the beer to the pan and baste the fish with the beer & butter-oil mix. Remove from the pan and serve with the pan drippings. This is fabulous served with a kale & sweet onion risotto, alongside a snifter of Beau’s Screamin’ Beaver.

Another neat recipe to try…

Moroccan Chickpea, Lentil & Tomato Stew with Dosa

Recipe from Beau’s Chef Bruce

This recipe was showcased last week at the Operation Come Home’s “Poor Chef’s Competition”: where professional Ottawa chefs were asked to prepare a dish for $3.15. The chefs were told that the recipe could include a maximum of 3 items that would easily be found in a food bank cupboard. This special lunch hour event was intended to help raise awareness of the reality of youth homelessness in one of our local communities.

No beer is in this dish to ensure that Chef Bruce would stay within his $3.15 budget

Notes from Chef Bruce: Writing this recipe in 2016 – the year of the pulses– it was a natural fit to include chickpeas & lentils as they provide protein and are a good way to make a filling meal while stretching your food dollar. The dosa is a whimsical touch that makes it fun to eat, and yes even as adults we can eat with our fingers. The vegetables are the variable part of the whole adventure. Go to what I lovingly refer to as the ‘Island of Lost Vegetables’ (a.k.a. the marked-down vegetable cart). Use your imagination & have some fun! You can also use tinned or frozen veggies in a pinch.

Ingredients

For the stew…

1 medium sweet potato
1 small onion, peeled & finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1 cup red lentils (green are fine as well, the stew will just have to simmer longer)
1 28 oz tin chickpeas
1 28 oz tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups of chopped mixed vegetables (e.g. zucchini, mushrooms, carrots)
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Moroccan spice (recipe follows)

Method

In a pot large enough to hold all the vegetables, heat 2 tsp of the oil on medium heat. Add the onions & garlic. Cook until soft and they smell good. Add the lentils, vegetables and spices and stir well, then add the tomatoes & chickpeas & stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

While the stew is cooking, wash the sweet potato & prick all over with a fork. Rub with 1 tsp of the oil and place on a plate, then microwave it on high for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and cut in half lengthwise (careful it’s hot!) Heat a small frying pan with 1 tsp of the oil. Place the sweet potato cut side down into the pan, and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove potatoes to a clean plate, cut side up. Spoon the stew over the sweet potato & serve with the dosa.

Ingredients

For the Moroccan spice…

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp smoked paprika

Mix all together and reserve until needed.

Ingredients

For the Dosa….

1 cup chickpea flour
½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Moroccan spice
1 ¾ cups water
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp vegetable oil

Method

In a bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, Moroccan spice, and salt. Add the water and melted butter, and mix well to combine.

Preheat an 8” non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, brush with a little oil. Pour about a half-cup of batter into the centre of the skillet, tilting the pan until the batter evenly covers the bottom of the skillet. When the edges begin to peel backand the dosa begins to brown (about 3- 4 minutes), use a spatula to flip it over and cook for about 10 seconds. Transfer to a clean plate.

Repeat until you have used all the batter (you should have 4-6 dosa).

Onto each dosa, spoon stew over the sweet potato & serve.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!