Posted by KatyWednesday, 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
-Belgian Rye Porter
Need more beer?
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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.
From 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 System
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.”
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!
BlueLine 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.
Honey 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.
Irish 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.
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.
Belgian 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
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)
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
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
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
1 lb. Bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups pancake mix (homemade or packaged)
2 cups of dark beer
1 – 2 cups maple syrup
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.
Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!