Big thirst for Big Rig beers

Share

Let’s get right into it!  It’s time to raise a glass to the start of summer and to another month filled with delicious Ontario craft beer! This month Savvy Hip Hops brings you an assortment of brews from Big Rig Brewery located in Ottawa.

It’s been a busy and successful year for Big Rig since we featured them last June.  Not only have they settled into thiphops_largeheir new production brewery located in Kanata (103 Schneider Road) which used to house a plastics manufacturing company, but they have also opened a 2nd brewpub location in the east end of Ottawa (115 – 1980 Ogilvie Road).   While the restaurant owners focus on delivering good quality food – more on that later – brewmaster Lon Ladell takes great care in crafting their beers.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and you will find an assortment of beers that would be great for summer, including:

Exclaim! Imperial Coffee IPAcrafted for the Toronto’s Session Craft Beer Festival
Release the Hounds” Black IP
Big Rig Gold – their signature beer
Big Rig Bongo – brand new!
Iron Arse Ale – a special brew which raises funds for RIDE for DAD.
A mystery beer in a bomber size bottle!

Beer & food go together like birds of a feather

Before meeting with Big Rig‘s brewmaster Lon Ladell, our new Savvy Team member Melanie & I had dinner at Big Rig’s new restaurant.  We thought ‘When in Rome…’  We were amazed and impressed that the restaurant was hopping on a Monday night (a good sign!).  A delicious menu, fantastic beers and most of all, staff that are crazy about beers.  “And all of our places have a cozy industrial vibe,” Lon described to Melanie during her interview to compile this issue of the Beer Backstory. For our Ottawa sudscribers, you may agree that Big Rig is must try. You may even see Lon in the experimental lab or bump into (not literally!) Senators hockey player & co-owner Chris Phillips.

Big thirst for more Big Rig?

Would you like more beer from this month’s Savvy Hip Hops? Just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available at the brewery that is!).  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Big Rig Brewery

by Melanie Allen – newest member of the Savvy Team

 

When Savvy Hip Hops featured Big Rig Brewery one year ago, the FIFA World Cup was underway and Big Rig Lon Ladell low res croppedbrewmaster Lon Ladell (in photo) was keeping tabs on every match.  His love of soccer is never ending as I experienced firsthand when we met at Big Rig’s new production brewery and tasting room. A flat-screen TV in the tasting room was muted but tuned-in to a Women’s World Cup match. “I have to confess, I am PVR’ing and watching as many of the games as I can.”

From Milk to Beer…

Originally from British Columbia, Lon started his career working in the dairy industry before he discoveLons Lab Big Rig Brewery-121red that he was lactose intolerant! In 1995, he transferred those well-honed operational skills to an industry that is dear to his heart: beer.  He jumped in by volunteering at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria which eventually became a full time job.  Lon explained that the city is hopping for craft beers. “Half of craft beer made in Victoria is consumed in Victoria”.

Lon and his wife packed up shop and moved to Ottawa, his wife’s hometown, to take care of his father in law who was battling prostate cancer.

Two Creative Collaborations

Sitting at the tasting bar, we talked about his recent collaboration with Exclaim! (a Canadian music bigrig_logo-150x150magazine), creating a beer that debuted this month at the Session Craft Beer Festival in Toronto.   A big draw for this festival involves teaming up smaller craft breweries with celebrity partners, with the aim of collaborating on a unique beer to showcase.  Luckily, you have some of this great beer in your Savvy Hip Hops.

Lon expained “the process involved calls with his collaborators at the magazine.  They wanted to create something completely different – something bold with lots of flavor.”  With this in mind, Lon pitched the idea of using coffee for their new creation and sought out beans from Engine House Coffee (a roaster located in Eganville, ON).

A batch was brewed with the folks from Exclaim! onsite, and the Exclaim! 40 Weight Imperial Coffee IPA was  born.  Lon travelled to Toronto to attend the Session Craft Beer Festival and he described the Collaboration Nation portion of the festival as a very “friendly competition” that provides a forum for craft brewers to come together and enjoy their creations, as well as catch up with friends in the industry.

Another collaboration Lon has been involved for several years is Ride for Dad.  Three important men in his family – his father, his stepfather and his wife’s father all battled prostate cancer. Every year, Lon brews Iron Ride for Dad logoArse Ale to fundraise and support Ride for Dad – a series of motorcycle rides taking place across the country to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research. A portion of sales of this novel beer that always sells out quickly, is donated back to prostate research. We hope that you will enjoy this beer that is included in your Savvy Hip Hops. 

Cool new digs

The outsiBig Rig Brewery Kanatade of the new production brewery is unassuming and looks like a typical business located in an industrial park.  But inside holds some surprises!  The warehouse has been transformed to house a Tasting Room and a non-stop production facility.  The décor of the tasting room has similarities to those of their newest restaurant.  Stop in to pick up a growler or stay for a sandwhich & pint.

Over a beer, we also chatted about…

What’s your favourite style of beer?
“Hands down, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), because it provides a nice, balanced beer.”

What do you think about LCBO kiosks in grocery stores?
“I’m all for it.  It’s great. I see this as an opportunity for the government to say, ‘Listen we are going to give craft beer and wines more shelf space’. This is a big opportunity for them to do that.”  You can check out the complete article about these proposed changes in the Ottawa Citizen.

It’s the people that make a difference.

I’d like to end on a personal note:  Big Rig Brewery is in large part what it not only because of the quality and originality of their beers, but by the people involved in every facet of the business.  From the friendly and knowledgeable staff I met at their brewpub, to Lon’s generosity in showing this gal around the production brewery and letting me pick his brain, this is a business that believes in their products and finds the best people to help promote their products and make you feel welcome.

 

Cheers to Lon & the team at Big Rig!            

  

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

BRBrewery-104Below are Melanie’s tasting notes for each beer, some additional information on the beers, along with some suggested food pairings and recipes to try out with your beers.

Exclaim! 40 Weight Imperial Coffee IPA

Released in June, brought about by a collaboration between Big Rig and Exclaim! Magazine, this Imperial Coffee India Pale Ale (IPA) uses Nelson Sauvin (NZ) hops and fair trade, organic coffee beans from Engine House Coffee and undergoes a cold-soaking process. 7.5 % ABV and 80 IBU.

Tasting Notes:  Medium amber color.  Key aroma is freshly roasted coffee beans, which repeats on the palate but is extremely refreshing for this style.  This is really a coffee-drinkers dream in beer form.  Also on the palate: dried fruit, milk chocolate and a nutty finish.  The coffee flavours mellow the hoppy flavours present in an IPA.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Try with BBQ ribs (see recipe below), a Mexican Chicken Mole, or sip alongside a Chocolate Espresso mousse cake dessert.

Big Rig ‘Release the Hounds’ Black IPA

Lon was very happy to showcase Big Rig’s award for this beer, which won Gold in the category of American Style Black Ale at the Canadian Brewing Awards.  Galaxy hops (Australia) were used in making this beer.  6.2% ABV and 63 IBU.

Tasting Notes:  Very dark brown colour.  On the nose and palate, pleasing smoky and roasted notes.  Coffee flavour is less intense than the Coffee IPA (but still present).  Complex flavours including:  burnt sugar, black liquorice and smoke.

Suggested Food Pairing: This IPA would be delicious with various slow-cooked meaty stews, and a real treat with game meat such as venison and wild boar – pour some right in the stock!    

Big Rig Gold

Big Rig’s flagship beer.  A great beer to reach for when looking for a craft beer but with a North American Ale style .  4% ABV and 20 IBU.

Tasting Notes:  Medium golden color.  Light aroma of cereal grains and citrus on the nose.  Smooth and crisp, this beer is refreshing and clean with citrus notes.  Easy drinking, creamy with a light hoppiness on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: On its own on a hot summer day outdoors, or with your favorite pub-food (fried zucchini or mozzarella sticks), or with comfort food like a turkey pot pie.

Big Rig Bongo

Their first summer brew just released in time to be included in Savvy Hip Hops. This Radler style beer have gained in popularity over the past few years, but what makes this one standout is its refreshing blend of grapefruit and freshly grated ginger!  2.9% ABV.

Tasting Notes:  Light orange-golden color.  Fresh aromas of grapefruit pith and ginger which continue on the palate.  A great low-alcohol alternative that is refreshing and crisp.

Suggested Food Pairing: Can easily be enjoyed on its own, but would also pair nicely with guacamole and tortilla chips (see recipe below), seared scallops, pink grapefruit and spinach salad, or a Shrimp ceviche (using a blend of lemon and pink grapefruit).

Iron Arse Ale

This brew is near and dear to brewmaster Lon Ladell’s heart.  This beer is brewed annually to help support Ride for Dad, which raises funds to support prostate cancer research and awareness. Lon described it as something to be shared: “It’s great with Father’s Day coming up.  The beer is meant to be shared with neighbours”.   It’s available in growlers, bombers and also cans, making it easy to share with family and friends.   5% ABV

Tasting Notes:  Golden in color. Hay, grains, and some fruitiness on the nose.  The palate is filled with a repeat of these, along with a crisp minerality and grassiness.

Suggested Food Pairing: Would pair nicely with spicier dishes, such as Chicken Curry, or Spicy fried shrimp (see recipe below).

Surprise!  You have a Mystery Bomber in your Taste Case
It’s top secret (I don’t even know what your mystery bombers will be!), I can assure you that after having tasted more of Big Rig beers than what’s listed above (I recommend trying their Peppercorn Saison as well as their Hefeweizen), I have no doubt you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your Mystery Bomber.

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Exclaim! 40 Weight Imperial Coffee IPA

Coffee-Rubbed Ribs with Coffee Barbecue Sauce

From: www.weber.com

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3.5-4 hours
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Rub Ingredients

2 Tbsp ground coffee
1 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 meaty racks baby back ribs, each 2 to 2½ pounds

Sauce Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1½ cups minced yellow onion
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder

Method

Combine the rub ingredients. Season the racks evenly all over with the rub and allow them to stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250° to 350°F).

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened and reduced to 1½ cups, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat. If you prefer a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the sauce.

Place the ribs over indirect low heat, as far from the heat as possible, close the lid, and cook for 2½ hours. After the first hour, baste the racks with water, particularly any areas that are looking a little dry. Continue to baste with water every 30 minutes or so. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from the ends of most of the bones by ¼ inch or more.

Remove the racks from the grill and lightly brush them on both sides with some of the sauce. Wrap each rack individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return the racks to the grill and cook over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, until very tender, 30 to 45 minutes more.  

 

With Big Rig Bongo

Melanie’s Best Guacomole

From: Melanie Allen’s Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutesGuacamole
Yield:  Dip for a party of 6-8

Ingredients

3 avocadoes
2 Tbsp minced onion
half of a large tomato finely chopped
4 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lime juice
Couple shakes of hot sauce (to taste)
Season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper

Method

In a medium bowl, mash (with a fork) together the avocados, lime juice, hot sauce, pepper and salt.

Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Allow to sit for an hour in the fridge for best flavour.

Excellent served on its own with tortilla chips or homemade pita chips, but also good with wraps, tacos and club sandwiches. 

 

With Iron Arse Ale

Spicy Coconut Shrimp

From: www.foodandwine.com

Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

IngredientsShrimp

1/3  cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup panko
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Canola oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving

Method

In a shallow dish, whisk the flour with the cayenne and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. In a second shallow dish, mix the panko with the shredded coconut. Add the coconut milk to a small bowl.

Season the shrimp with salt. Working with 1 shrimp at a time, dredge it in the flour mixture, then dip it in the coconut milk, letting the excess drip off. Coat the shrimp in the panko mixture. Transfer to a plate. Repeat to coat the remaining shrimp.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. In 2 batches, fry the shrimp over moderate heat, turning, until golden and crisp and cooked through, about
3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,