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…
– 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 email@example.com
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Recipe and photo: RasaMalaysia.com
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
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
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
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
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: variations
Recipes and Photo: TheKitchn.com
There are 2 ways to grill corn:
- 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.
- 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:
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.
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
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
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.