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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew
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.”
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.
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
12 ounces salad greens (spring mix)
2 whole apples, cored, sliced very thin
1⁄2 cup pecan halves
1⁄4 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)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
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
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
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
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil
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
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
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
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.