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Archive for ‘Beer’

Got a Beau’s in hand?

Posted by David Loan

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

How much do we love Beau’s All Natural Brewing? So much that we go back to them year after year. They aren’t just a maker of beer, but an engine of social change. They’re leading the way, in how they treat their workers, how they buy their ingredients, their commitment to making the world a better place, and especially in their fantastic and creative beers. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory below.

And enjoy these amazing beers. Many of them are brand new releases, and a number involve collaborations with other businesses! We know you’ll love them!!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks:

Polaris Pale Ale
Tyrannosaurus Gruit
80 Shilling Scotch Ale
Iron Shirt
Blood Simple
Strong Patrick
Dunkel
Greener Futures: Castorgeist Belgian Amber

…in your Taste Case you will find the beers above PLUS:

Triceratops Tripel
Greener Futures: Fifty Shades of Gris
Greener Futures: Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

 

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call the Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca
Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Leading the way:

Beau’s Brewing
by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

In the ever-growing world of craft breweries, Beau’s is an unqualified success. As a beer lover, you probably already know all about them. But here’s a quick summary:

Founded in 2006 by father and son team Tim and Steve Beauschene (in photo), Beau’s had a buy local-sell local philosophy. The spring water came from a nearby property, and they planned to never sell more than a day’s drive away. Within a couple of years, they were already expanding, both in terms of the size of the brewery and the product line-up. They became one of the first certified organic breweries in Canada and won award after award after award. Add to that they’re annual Oktoberfest – a rollicking two day party with live music and celebrity appearances – and they’re outstanding commitment to giving back to their community…there you have Beau’s history in a nutshell.

 

So, what’s new?

Marketing Director Jacquie Severs said that Beau’s continues to be ground breaking.  To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they announced that all employees would become part owners. It was a very visible strike against a trend of successful craft breweries being bought up by big international  beverage corporations and in the acquisition, losing the unique character that originally made them successful.

At the same time, Beau’s managed to negotiate deals with provincial alcohol regulators across the country, and began national distribution last July. You can now buy Beau’s in every province except Saskatchewan. “A big part of that project is our commitment to contribute a percentage of our profits to each community we’re sold in,” Jacquie said. “That’s how we continue our “local” connection.”

Listen to #613Beer – a podcast hosted by Savvy Brew Crew member Katy Watts who sat down for a beer with a bunch from Beau’s.  Even more ‘dirt’ (aka news).

 

Spreading the love

Perhaps their most exciting project is their support of a craft brewery in Rwanda. Raising $110,400 through Kickstarter, Beau’s is assisting restauranteur Josephine “Fina” Uwineza to start a craft brewery in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. They’ve arranged for brewery equipment to be donated and sent their brewmaster over to help find and develop a site. “He learned about traditional Rwandan banana beer,” Jacquie said. “It was a great experience for everyone.”

 

Celebration time!

Named the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017 (Lugtread was named the Official Beer), Beau’s is sharing the limelight by collaborating with other producers for a monthly release. You’ll get to learn more about those below. “Certified organic is still a core value and that won’t change,” Jacquie said. “But we also value experimentation and innovation, and our FeBREWary program is our opportunity to push the envelope,” she said. Wait until you taste some of these unique creations found in your Savvy Hip Hops!

Lugtread, Beau’s flagship beer, solidly remains at the core of their philosophy. “We try and we taste lots of different products,” Jacquie explained, “but at the end of the day, it’s nice drinking a beer you know. Having a Lugtread is like coming home.”

There’s no brewery like Beau’s…so let’s lift a glass & toast their success!

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes ~

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

Polaris Pale Ale

Brewed with wild-harvested spruce tips, organic barley, Québec-grown hops and Ontario wheat. It measures up at 5.0% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 32 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: What a lovely and unusual beer! It pours cloudy with just a bit of foam. The spruce note lends a subtle but distinctive balance to the medium hoppiness. The beer has a wheat body, but the fullness of a good ale with a long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: The big flavours of this beer will match nicely with a rich fish like Arctic char or Pacific salmon, preferably grilled on the BBQ.

 

Tyrannosaurus Gruit

Before the Bavarians passed their famous Beer Purity Law in 1516, brewers often flavoured their beer with pastes of fruit and herbs, making a beverage called “gruit”. Today, brewmasters are experimenting with the flavours that unusual ingredients can bring to non-traditional gruits. Beau’s makes this red gruit ale with beets and hibiscus flowers, organic juniper berries and spruce tips. This is an easy-drinker, at 5.8% ABV and 17 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A deep red beer with a long-lasting head, there are flavours of strawberry and orange with a backdrop of earthiness. There’s black tea, here, too, and delicate spruce notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with strong cheese, we’d love to have this with a beet and goat cheese salad.

 

Fifty Shades of Gris

We’ve seen beer aged in bourbon or whisky barrels for a few years now. The latest trend is to age it in wine barrels, extracting some of the oak and wine flavours into the beer. This imperial gruit, flavoured with Labrador Tea, bog myrtle, thyme, and yarrow, is aged in Pinot Gris barrels. It measures up with a heady 8.9% ABV!

Tasting Notes: Hazy and opaque, this is a truly unusual beer. Instead of hoppy, we get big herbal flavours, starting with the thyme. There’s also a nice note of orange flowers and just a touch of tannins from the oak.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be gorgeous with a fresh tomato sauce over your favourite pasta.

 

 

80 Shilling Scotch Ale

Beau’s says that Scotch Ales used to be priced based on their strength. 40 shillings for light beer, 90 shillings for heavy. This one gets it just right. 4.7 ABV and 29 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: This pours a very dark brown with a thick foamy head. There are lovely notes of roasted grain, with nuts and a light bitterness. This is a crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking, whoops-I-had-too-much brown ale!

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s recommends trying sausage rolls with this, and we agree (recipe below).

 

 

Iron Shirt (Oak-aged Vidal pale ale)

I think I’ll let Beau’s explain this one: “Beau’s has joined forces with Montréal’s Brasserie et Distillerie Oshlag to create Iron Shirt, a pale ale made with Vidal ice-wine grapes, and aged on oak spirals soaked in Oshlag’s very own hopped Vodka.” 6.8% ABV, 40 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Unique in the beer world, Iron Shirt pours a hazy straw colour with good, long-lasting foam. It has big citrus flavours, with a strong hops backbone and a stone finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s has kindly provided a recipe for a perfect match: Bacon Carbonara Mac n’ Cheese (recipe below).

 

Triceratops Tripel

Tripel is a term used to describe strong pale ales. This gruit-style beer is flavoured with bog myrtle, dried heather flowers, hops, and lavender. It certainly is strong, with 9.0% alcohol!

Tasting Notes: I loved the unusual lavender notes that emerged from the bottle. The beer is golden hay in colour, and offers flavours of orange, mint, and a light medicinal note that balances the florals.

Suggested Food Pairing: There’s a lovely recipe for ham and brie in puffed pastry on the Beau’s web site, and it’s a great match with this (recipe below).

 

Castorgeist Belgian Amber

Take Beau’s well-loved Festivale and age it in wine barrels for 43 months, add it two other barrel aged beers, and you get this unique Belgian-style Amber ale. Another big drinker, this has 8.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: A thick, foamy head tops this cloudy dark amber ale. It has a wine-like nose, with huge flavours of roasted grain and honey. But there’s more – a tart and tannic flavour that reminds me of aged sherry.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked oysters with cream cheese and wheat crackers would stand up to the big flavours of this beer.

 

 

Blood Simple

Made with the juice and peel from blood oranges and Peruvian cacao, this Belgian-style wheat beer gets its body from organic oats. 5.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: The berry overtones offered by the blood orange make this a very interesting drink. There’s a light bitterness which works well with the chocolate notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair well with a not-too-sweet dessert like chocolate mousse or with Latin cuisine like chicken enchiladas.

 

 

Strong Patrick Irish-style Red

Beau’s brewmaster, Matthew O’Hara, has gone back to his roots with the Irish Red ale. A portion of it has been aged in whiskey barrels. 6.7% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Deep, hazy red with good foam bodes well as you pour. This a very complex and delicious ale, with flavours of honey, orange, roasted grain, and vanilla. There’s a sherry note on the long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Let’s stick with the Irish theme and have this with smoked salmon and soda bread!

 

 

Dunkel

“Dunkel” is German for dark, and in the beer world it refers to dark Bavarian-style lager. 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: The head doesn’t last long with this one, but neither did the beer! It’s a dark brown colour with brown sugar rising off the pour. The malty, toasted grain flavours are lovely, and they’re balanced with a long, long vanilla finish. This was a tasting team favourite!

Suggested Food Pairing: We’re excited to try Beau’s recipe for Lollipop chicken with tandoori spice (recipe below)!

 

 

Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

Beau’s took their Matt’s Sleepy Time Imperial Stout and divided it up. Some went into red wine barrels, some into white wine barrels, another portion into whiskey barrels, and yet more into rum barrels – each for 5 months. Finally, hey added some bourbon barrel aged Lug Tread to complete the mix. Fascinating! 8.% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Black and opaque with a brown-tinged foam, this reminds us of Russian black bread with its flavours of coffee and chocolate. The alcohol is apparent here, too – this is a good beer to end the night with!

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair this strong stout with a beef and vegetable stew – it can handle the deep, rich flavours.

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

All recipes and photos: Beau’s

With Iron Shirt Pale Ale…

Bacon Carbonara Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

100 mL. Iron Shirt Pale Ale
1 lb. Pasta, penne or fusilli
1 lb. smoked bacon, sliced and diced.
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
250 ml. heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp. Fresh Parmesan Cheese

 

Method

In a large pot, boil salted water for pasta; follow pasta manufacturer’s directions and timing. Drain the cooked pasta and toss with 2 tbsp. butter.

In a pan on medium-high heat, cook the sliced bacon until slightly crispy.  Toss the onions into the pan with the bacon. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent in color. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir to coat.

Continue to cook the bacon, mushroom and onions, stirring every for 2-3 minute to allow for caramelization of the mushrooms. If you stir them too much, they will release their water and never brown. When the mushrooms begin to brown, stir the garlic into the pan. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beer and turn the heat to high. Let the beer reduce to half before adding the cream. Add in the cream. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cream begins to thicken, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Toss in the shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and pasta. Stir well. Top with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Enjoy alongside a glass of Iron Shirt Pale Ale.

 

 

With Triceratops Tripel…

Ham & Cheese Baked Pastry

Ingredients

1 sheet of puff pastry
250 grams wheel of brie cheese, whole
100 grams of smoked Ham, deli sliced thin.
1 large egg
2 tbsp. Ground/Grainy Mustard*
1 tbsp. Triceratops Tripel
½ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

 

Method

Thaw pastry in the fridge over night or until pliable but not soft. Roll out pastry lightly. Place on a lined baking sheet.

With a wet knife, slice the cheese wheel through the middle in one slice. Open soft side up. Place one side in the middle of the pastry. In a bowl mix together the mustard and beer. Divide and spread the mustard mixture evenly between both halves of cheese.

Layer and drape the ham over the one half of cheese on the pastry, keeping the slices fluffy. This will give the cheese a space to melt into. Lay the top half of the cheese, mustard side down, on top of the ham. Creating a sandwich.

Trim the edges of the pastry to form a circle. Wrap the pastry up the sides of the cheese and crimp the edges like a pie crust.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and brush over pastry and top of cheese. Refrigerate the pastry-wrapped cheese for 2 hours, to firm up pastry.

Pull the pastry out of the fridge. Sprinkle with the pepper.

Bake at 425° for 15-20 min. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

With Beau’s Dunkel…

Lollipop Chicken with Tandoori Spice

Ingredients

1 kg. chicken drumsticks
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. tandoori spice, store bought or home-made*
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 large onions

 

Method

To make the marinade:

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and tandoori spice. Whisk until thick and smooth. Set aside.

To make the chicken lollipop:

Using a small paring knife, make a cut completely around the base of the drumstick just below the knuckle cutting through the skin and tendons. Push the meat down towards the large end. Pull the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle.

Place chicken into a sealable bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Zip closed, squeezing out as much air as possible and knead until the chicken is well-coated. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Knead the marinating chicken once or twice while in the fridge.

Remove from the fridge and remove chicken from marinade. Discard the bag and marinade. Form a ball with the meat at the base of the leg with your hands.

Pre-heat your oven to 425°F with convection fan.

Slice onions into big round rings. Line a large roasting pan with tin foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Use the onion rings as a base for the chicken. Place the rings down on the tin foil and stand the drumsticks up on top of the rings. Avoid overcrowding the pan, you don’t want the chicken to touch.

Once the oven is hot, place the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed (no peeking!). Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the outside.

While the chicken is roasting, cut a small strip of foil for each drumstick. Big enough to wrap around the bone.

After the chicken has been roasting for 15 minutes, turn down the oven to 300°F. Take out the chicken and wrap the drumstick bone with the foil strips. This will prevent the bones from over charring and becoming brittle.

Return the chicken to the oven and roast for an additional 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a warm platter, garnish with a few squeezes of lemon, and enjoy with a glass of Farm Table: Dunkel.


To make your own Tandoori Spice Mix*

Ingredients & Method

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. each of:
allspice, whole
black peppercorns
cinnamon stick
coriander seeds
cardamom seeds, pods removed
½ tsp. cloves, whole

Toast all the above spices for 4-5 min, in a medium-hot pan stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, grind spices in a blender or coffee grinder until powder.

Sift out any large bits and re-grind as needed.

Place this ground mixture in a bowl and add:

1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp granulated garlic

Mix well.  This special Tandoori Spice Mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Use it for marinades, salad dressings dips and sauces…and Indian recipes like this one.  Be sure to have a beer on hand because all this grinding is hard work!

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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!

 

No Prohibition for Waller Street Brewing!

Posted by Katy

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

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

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

 

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find:

…in your Quick Picks

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

 

…In your Taste Case

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

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

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…

Waller Street Brewing

 

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

 

 

Back in the history books…

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

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

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

 

Where Old meets New…

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

 

Engineering a Brewery

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

 

Engineer by Day. Bootician by Night

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

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

Bootleg Blonde

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

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

 

waller ombre

Speakeasy Red

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

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

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

 

 

Moonlight Porter

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

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

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

 

Hideaway Hefe

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

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

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

 

group shot waller

Blind Pig IPA

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

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

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

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

 

 

Black IIPA

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

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

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

 

Scotch River Sour

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

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

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

 

Blind Barron

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

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

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

 

 


 Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops 

 

With Bootleg Blonde
Triple Dipped Fried Chicken

Recipe & photo from All Recipes

Triple Dipped Fried ChickenIngredients

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

 

Method

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

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

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

 

With Moonlight Porter
Moonlight Cake
Recipe from Waller Street!

IngredientsWaller Street Brewing beer bottles

Caramel Beer Sauce

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

Cake

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

Method

Caramel Beer Sauce

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

Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Waller Street Brewing - cellar beer with waxIngredients

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

Method

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

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

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

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

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

Serve steaks with reduced sauce; sprinkle evenly with cheese

With Hideaway Hefe

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

Wheat Beer Roasted ChickenIngredients

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

 

Method

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

Hop on board with Railway City Brewery!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

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

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

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

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

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Full Steam Ahead!
Railway City Brewing Company

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

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

Passion for beer

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

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

New hope

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

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

Award-winning beer

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

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

railway cityStill playful

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

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


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

 

-Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes –

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


iron spike blondeIron Spike Blonde

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

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

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

craft crew brewCrew Craft Lager

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

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

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


Orange CreamsicAlecreamsicle ale

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

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

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

honey elixerHoney Elixir

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

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

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


Dead Elephant Aledead elephant

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

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

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


The Witty Travellerwitty traveler

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

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

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

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

amber spikeIron Spike Copper

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

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

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


Iron Spike Amberiron amber

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

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

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

IPAExpress India Session Lager

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

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

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

black coal lagerBlack Coal Stout

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

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

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

 

-Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops-

 

With Crew Craft Lager

Phad Thai

Recipe and photo: RasaMalaysia.com

Ingredientspad thai

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

Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With Honey Elixir

Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans & Cumin

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

Ingredientsquinoa

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

Method

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

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

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

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

 

With Dead Elephant

Grilled Corn on the Cob: variationsmexican corn

Recipes and Photo: TheKitchn.com

There are 2 ways to grill corn:

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

Neat butters to make:

Mexican-style

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

Smoky Lime Butter

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

Harissa Butter

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

Sriracha Beer Butter

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

 

With The Witty Traveller

Steamed Mussels with Tomato-Garlic Broth

Recipe and Photo: Foodandwine.com

Ingredientsmuseels

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

Method

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

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

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

 

savvy_hiphops_colourOptionsV2

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

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!

Neat Easter Treats

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Ahhh, it’s the lonnnnnng weekend. Time to chill out, relax with family & friends.  Here are the top picks of ‘neat Easter treats’ of wine & craft beer from our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew – all locally made & available at the LCBO.   Use this as your shopping list so you can spend less time figuring out what to buy & more time enjoying the weekend.

I’ll drink to that!

 

Savvy Sommelier Top Picks
for Easter long weekend


MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Crosscut Canadian Ale

Bath, Ontario
$2.85 per can (LCBO #414870)

MacKinnon Brothers Brewery - CrosscutThis 5.2% Alcohol by volume (ABV), 15 International Bitterness Units (IBU) Golden Ale is the MacKinnon Brothers’ rendition of a traditional Canadian ale. They use Herkules and Sassasprat hops and add a portion of wheat from their farm to the grain bill. This beer starts with a sweet malt smell and an upfront cereal flavour and subtle honey flavour. The hops kick in mid-sip with a subtle herbal note before being washed away in a wave of carbonated crispness. This may have been designed to be an easy drinking, sessionable beer, but there’s a wonderful layered flavour that will make you pause after each sip. With a strong malt bill and palate cleansing scrubbing bubbles (a good carbonation level), Crosscut can sit alongside spicy chili, roast duck, BBQ ribs, sticky chicken or braised beef.

 

Barley Days Loyalist LagerBarley Day’s Loyalist Lager

Prince Edward County, Ontario
$2.00 per bottle (LCBO#286526)

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. 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. Serve alongside roast of ham, chicken, seafood….or lots of appetizers!

Beau’s Le Coeur Noir Black IPA

VanKleek Hill, Ontario
$7.95 (LCBO #442533)

beaus coeur noirThis 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.  It 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.  Christening the BBQ this weekend? Enjoy this beer with a burger – beef, bison, elk – with a slice of blue cheese on top.  Blue cheese is an incredible example of pairing an assertive style of beer with an assertive style of food. (If you are a subscriber of our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club, some of the Back Forty Highland Blue treat we sent this month will be PERFECT! the trick!)

 

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012

Domaine Félibre Givré Ginger Ice Cider

Québec
$19.95 (Vintages #393611) 6.5% alcohol

This was a flyer and I really liked it! A Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Berlin International Wine Competition soothes with its fresh ginger, honey & ice cider combination. Not too powerful in flavour nor too sweet either. This ice cider is refreshing and flavourful. WOW your guests with it as an on arrival drink, after or after a meal. Chill & serve it straight up, over ice or mixed with sparkling wine.

 

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012

Niagara, ON
$18.95 (Vintages #146753)  12.5% alcohol

Everything Fielding’s winemaker Richie Roberts makes seems to turn to gold. This yummy Gewürztraminer will get your heart racing with its spring-like aromas and flavours. Floral aromas combined with candied ginger and tropical fruit tastes (think mangos, kiwi) make this a well balanced and delicious medium bodied white wine. Chill and sip while you make dinner or serve with something spicy like Phad Thai, Indian curry or Mexican dish.

 

Creekside Estate Queenstown Road Pinot Noir VQA 2014Creekside Estate Queenston Road Pinot Noir 2014

VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #415877) 12.5% alcohol

Great things grow along that Queenstown Road, even if the vineyards are situated some 105 metres above sea level. Cherry and cranberry aromas and tastes, smooth as silk on the palate, medium bodied weight and tannins with some beloved St. David Bench earthiness and minerality on the spine of this red wine. For Pinot lovers, don’t miss out.

 

Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2013Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir VQA 2013

VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #444745) 13.3% alcohol

In 2012 and 2013 Peller Estates vintages won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. The 2012 also won a Gold Medal from Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada 2014, Silver Medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition UK 2014, and Silver Medal from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014. How’s that for credentials?

 

Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$29.95 (Vintages #53397) 11% alcohol

How sweet it is! Like bubbles, nothing makes an evening or occasion more festive than having a finale with ice wine. Aromas of red roses, tastes of ripe red and black currants, strawberries at their peak, with just enough acidity to keep you going back. Elegant and refined and plain delicious, it’s desert on its own but with some strong stinky cheese it would be over the top.