Posts Tagged ‘beer gift ideas’

Savvy gifts guaranteed to WOW!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 16th, 2016
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Santa’s elves & the Savvy Team are working around the clock arranging subscriptions to our of-the-month clubs & gift certificates for wine, craft beer & cheese lovers across the country! Our Holiday Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) is ringing off the hook & our web site is buzzing with last minute shopping.

Here’s our Top 3 Savvy Gifts….you can order with just one click!

 

CRAZY for Cheese!

Savvy Cool Curds is the new ‘whey’ to discover hard-to-find Canadian artisan cheeses. Each month, we deliver 4 to 5 wedges or rounds of ready-to-eat cheese from a featured cheesemaker. The assortment is always different – hard, soft, fresh & aged cheeses made using various milks – cow, goat, sheep….even buffalo!

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa introduces you to the cheesemaker in each issues of Curd on the Street Magazine along with cheese tasting 101 tips & cheese ladened recipes.

The 3 delicious wheys to order:
#1 – One time purchase: $60 + shipping
#2 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY month: $55/month + shipping
#3 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY OTHER month: $55/month + shipping

Special Subscription Promo
$55 per month (usually $60) & shipping>>

We’ll ship across Canada

 

PERFECT for craft beer fans

Give a subscription to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club featuring hard-to-find craft beers made across Ontario. Along with the beers, our Beer Backstory Magazine, will give you the skinny on the brewmaster, tasting tips & recipes with the featured beers.

There are 2 sizes of packages:
#1 – Quick Picks – a small assortment each month
#2 – Taste Case – the full selection from the featured brewery.

NEW! In addition to featuring a different brewery each month, we are including a Special Savvy Summer 2-4 in June & July AND back by popular demand our Hoppy Holidays Craft Beer Advent Calendar in Nov & Dec.

Wrap up a SUDS-cription for 4, 6 or 12 months>>

 

Wine lovers will LOVE this!

Our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club features an assortment of 3 Ontario wines that you won’t find at the LCBO – each handpicked by our Savvy Sommeliers.

Check out the 2017 line up of wineries we’re featuring >>

To further your enjoyment of the wines, you’ll receive our monthly online magazine with the inside scoop on the winery, neat stories about the people who make the wine, our Sommelier tasting notes & recipes paired with each wine.

Special Holiday Promo
Give a 3 month subscription>>

(regularly 4 month minimum)

 

Still can’t decide? Here’s FREE Money!

You read that right! Buy a Savvy Gift Certificate to redeem for tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event & we’ll give you 25% more.

Order a $100 gift certificate & we’ll top it up to $125. Order $150, we’ll make it $190…you get the idea.  Give this gift >>

 

Savvy Elves are standing by…

The Savvy Team…errr…elves are at the ready to help you make your Christmas shopping a breeze. Call us each day leading up to Christmas on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email cheers@savvycompany.ca

Ho-Ho-Ho & have a wonderful holiday.
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Debbie Trenholm
Sommelier & Founder
Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
Now on Instagram too! instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

We’ll be enjoying the holidays to the fullest.  Savvy Company will be closed from December 25 to January 11 all set & ready for an exciting 2017.

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Sarnia’s Refined Fool Brewing delivers beer to your door

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
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To celebrate the winter thaw we enlisted Sarnia’s lone brewery, Refined Fool Brewing Company, to fill your Savvy Hip Hop Taste Case with hard-to-find beer treats. Featured in this case is a wide variety of styles that will match whatever unpredictable weather Mother Nature dares throw our way; from a classic crisp IPA, warm Bourbon Vanilla Porter or do anything Nut Brown ..and many more!

The special treat about these beers is that they are only available in Sarnia – and now they are at your house! Stash them, savour them, share them, but most importantly enjoy them.

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find bottles of:

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubThe Brouhaha (Nut Brown)

Joe Sent Me (Milk Stout)

Noble Oaf (Rye Saison)

Short Pier, Long Walk (Double IPA)

Antique Peepshow (IPA)

Ripsnorter (Vanilla Porter)

Wheat Didn’t Start the Fire (Hefeweizen)

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 beerme@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
Refined Fool Brewing Company

by Katy Watts

Refined Fool Brewing Company proudly proclaims on every label that they are a group of teachers, creatives, blue collars, entrepreneurs, musicians & pastors who care about beer. They are, of course, talking about the ten investors who funded Sarnia’s first craft brewery that opened their doors on Davis Street just last May.

Refined Fool BrewsWhat’s in a Name?

The group of 20 to 30 year old professionals first started brewing using propane tanks & a turkey fryer in one of their backyards. Yes, you read that correctly! For their commercial operation they’ve pooled their expertise & converted old maple syrup drums into beer kettles where they brew small batches.

Brewer Dallas Willms explains, “There are a lot of Petrochemical companies in Sarnia so you hear ‘Refined Fuel’ quite a bit. Naming the brewery ‘Refined Fool’ is our way of giving a nod to Sarnia as well as describing who we are and the beer we make. We love to be playful in how we do things, but our pallets are refined.”

The Five Year Plan

Once a brewery has opened their doors, the typical strategy is to create good recipes, brew beer& repeat. Refined Fool, however, came into the brewing business armed with a five year plan to not only brew, but sell beer to local restaurants and distribute provincially through the LCBO. Happily, they’ve found that Sarnia’s thirst for craft beer was much greater than they thought. They have achieved many of their long-term goals in just over a year! “We sold out within the first few days of opening. The support we’ve received from the community has blown us out of the water,” Dallas shares.

Keeping up with demand is a good problem to have, but they’ve had to work hard to keep up. Just 5 months after opening, renovations on a newly leased space started for a 100-person tap room and preparations for a 400-litre brewing system were made. Not only is Refined Fool Brewing going to up production, they’re also going to make it easier for Sarnia to get their brews by offering 12-ounce pints at their new bar area.

What’s Next?

Being located next to Michigan, a state known for its craft beer and established breweries like Founders or Bell’s Brewing, has helped Refined Fool gain momentum with the community. It also acts as brewing inspiration!

There’s no doubt that they are taking notes on what’s booming in the United States and applying that to their processes, but right now they are focused on brewing and making sure your glass never goes empty.

Here’s to the team at Refined Fool Brewing Company & the fool in all of us!


•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!

The Brouhaha (Nut Brown)

BrouhahaBelieve it or not, Brown Ales can have different variations. There’s the Southern English-style which tends to be lower in alcohol and mild, the hopped up American style and the Northern English-style which is moderate in alcohol, sweeter and less bitter.

Tasting Notes:The Brouhaha follows the Northern English-style with 5.7% ABV and a bready malt, hazelnut aroma. This brew is malt forward with toffee, caramel and some yeast-y dark fruit flavours. It finishes dry with a slight taste of roasted nuts.

Suggested Food Pairing:Get your BBQ out! The nutty, caramel and toffee flavours of a brown ale make it a perfect pairing for anything grilled. The caramel in the brew match perfectly with the charred meat and the crisp dry carbonation helps cut through any fat. My suggestion? Make the ultimate cheeseburger and don’t spare any toppings.

 

Joe Sent Me (Milk Stout)

Joe sent meStouts brewed with lactose (milk sugar) can trace their origins back to 1907 when it was claimed that each pint contained “the energizing carbohydrates of ten ounces of dairy milk.” While lactose does enhance richness and texture of beer the nutritional claims of British breweries in the early 1900s are false. That said, enjoying a glass of milk stout is my favourite way to drink milk.

Tasting Notes:This brew pours night black with an enticing aroma of chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and caramel. The flavour is more rich milk chocolate and caramel ending with a slight raisin note. This beer is fairly light with a moderate ABV of 5.2% making it very drinkable.

Suggested Food Pairing:Of course a milk stout is going to complement any chocolate dessert or make the perfect contrast for something tart, but why go for standard fair? Pair this milk stout with beef short rib or spicy Asian dishes like Szechuan Noodles with beef. Or you can be your own Chef and try your hand at making the beef and Swiss melt!

 

Noble Oaf (Rye Saison)

Noble OafBière de Saison is a farmhouse ale, brewed originally in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. This style lends itself to a wide variety of interpretation by brewers with a flavour profile that includes varying levels of hops, malt, alcohol and yeast-y phenols and esters.

Tasting Notes:The 7.3% ABV Noble Oaf has a soft, fruity aroma dotted with peppery notes from Belgian yeast. The flavour is sweet with pear and a faint taste of banana before pepper and clove kick in at the end. Additional sips reveal slight rye before the Belgian yeast phenols kick in.

Suggested Food Pairing:There are a lot of things going on in a Saison that make it wonderfully refreshing and easy to pair with food. The yeasty esters and spice can be paired with a rustic roast chicken to a tangy chevre or the steamed mussel recipe featuring Noble Oaf we’ve included.

 

Short Pier, Long Walk (Double IPA)

Short Pier Long walkDouble IPAs or Imperial IPAs use double or sometimes triple the amount of hops and malts. The resulting beer can have a range of bitterness and hop characteristics with a malty balance and a higher than average ABV.

Tasting Notes:This 8.4% ABV has over 100 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). The IBU charges goes from 0 – 100 with Lagers checking in at 10 and standard IPAs at around 50. With Short Pier, Long Walk checking in beyond 100 it’s off the charts! As you can imagine there are flavours of citrus (orange, lemon) with that bitter taste of zest and pine kicking in second with biscuit and bread-y malts coming in to lend a balanced hand.

Suggested Food Pairing:This is a big IPA with a high level of IBUs so we’ll have to go big with our pairing! Grab a big platter and your favourite cured meats – salami, prosciutto, and rillettes – strong cheeses like a sharp cheddar or blue cheese and snack away.

 

Antique Peepshow (IPA)

Antique peepshowIPAs were originally brewed with extra hops for the long sea voyage from England to India, taking advantage of the preservative properties of hops to keep beer fresh. While this beer may not be travelling overseas, that didn’t stop the brewers at Refined Fool from packing it full of hops!

Tasting Notes:This 6.1% ABV, 70 IBU (International Bitterness Units) brew has a wonderful hoppy aroma filled with resin and a subtle caramel sweetness. There are big flavours of orange, grapefruit and pine at first sip but they quickly mellow into malty caramel with a touch of earthiness.

Suggested Food Pairing:I love the classic pairing of Antique Peepshow and an Indian curry. Spices like tamarind, coriander and cardamom are a perfect match for the citrus and earthiness of hops.

 

Ripsnorter (Vanilla Porter)

RipsnorterPorters are fairly similar to Stouts except they tend to use malted barley over unmalted roasted barley. The result is a dark medium bodied brew with a balance of sweet and bitter hops. Refined Fool has created their ‘Ripsnorter’ of a Porter by adding Bourbon and Vanilla to strengthen the flavour.

Tasting Notes:This full bodied opaque black brew has an enticing aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and whisky. The flavour does not disappoint with dark fruit, toffee, vanilla and Bourbon supporting the malt-y backbone of caramel, coffee and chocolate. At 8.7% ABV this brew is a slow sipper for a cold spring night.

Suggested Food Pairing:The chocolate and caramel flavours in Ripsnorter would stand up to a big steak, but my favourite pairing is simple vanilla ice cream. Sometimes I’ll even pour a little over a few scoops just to intensify the combination of rich chocolate and subtle bourbon flavours.

 

Wheat Didn’t Start the Fire (Hefeweizen)

Wheat didn't start the fire.This 5% ABV German Wheat Beer is brewed with a high ratio of wheat and uses a yeast that produces flavours of banana and clove (phenols). The prefix ‘Hefe’ means ‘with yeast’, which explains the unfiltered cloudy appearance.

Tasting Notes:Pale/straw in color with high cloudiness. Classic Hefeweizen style, with strong banana and clove balanced by bready/sweet characteristics, and high carbonation. Immensely refreshing and easy drinking.

Suggested Food Pairing:German Wheat Beer loves food; the fruit-y yeast and spice complement a wide range of flavours. Match Wheat Didn’t Start the Fire with simple Mexican-style chicken, spicy barbacoa or enchiladas. The high carbonation of this style will cut through high fat foods like cheese and guacamole so don’t be stingy!

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •


With The Brouhaha

Beer Brined Chicken with Brown Ale Bean and Sweet Pea Puree

From Jackie Dodd of TheBeeroness

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on

Salt and pepper

Half a bottle of Brouhaha
2 ¼ cups green peas
1 clove garlic, smashed
¼ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons brown ale
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup green onion

Method

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken thighs and place in a large bowl or baking dish, pour beer over chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (up to 4 hours). In a high powered blender or food processor add the peas, garlic, sour cream, brown ale, salt, pepper, parmesan and olive oil – process until smooth.

Add the peas to a pot over medium low heat, simmer until warmed through. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from brine, pat dry.

Place the chicken skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet, add the pan to medium high heat. As the pan heats, fat will render making the skin crispy. Once the skin is golden brown, turn the chicken thighs and cook until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Plate the pea puree, add chicken and sprinkle with green onions. Serve with a glass of Brouhaha, of course!


With Joe Sent Me

Joe Sent Me Braised Beef and Swiss Melt

From Steve Cylka of The Black Peppercorn
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons oil
2 pounds stewing beef
3 tablespoons butter
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cored and sliced
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
750ml Joe Sent Me Milk Stout
4 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
6-8 fresh crusty buns3 cups grated Swiss cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 300˚F. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add some of the stewing beef to the skillet and brown all sides. Place just enough beef cubes to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven. Once browned, remove the beef and add some more. Continue to brown the beef in batches until they are all browned. Remove beef and set aside in a large bowl.

Melt butter in the Dutch oven. Add the onions, green and red pepper, mushrooms and minced garlic. Sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the Joe Sent Me, tomato paste, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the brown stewing beef.

Put a lid on the Dutch oven and bake in the oven for about 3 hours. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to broil.

Slice a crusty bun lengthwise, making sure to not slice all the way through. Open it up and place on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spoon some of the beef and vegetable mixture in the opening of the crusty bun. Spoon a little extra sauce on the bun. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the beef mixture. Do this with the remaining crusty buns.

Place in the oven and broil until the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes.Serve with a glass of Joe Sent Me!

 

With The Noble Oaf

Saison Steamed Mussels

From Sean Paxton of The Homebrew Chef

Ingredients

2kg (4.4lbs) PEI Mussels, beards removed
8oz unsalted butter
3 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme (2 tablespoons fresh)
1 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly cracked
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 bottle Noble Oaf
¼ cup Italian leaf parsley, chopped
Cracked black pepper to taste
1-2 loaves sour dough bread

Method

To prepare the mussels wash the outsides clean of any debris, scrubbing with a clean sponge. Using needle-nose pliers take a hold of the beard where the mussel attaches to the rock) and twist from the shell. Doing this will cause the mussel to die and must be done quickly. If shells are broken or mussels are open and do not close, discard them as they are already dead and dangerous to eat.

In a large pot, over high heat add butter and melt until it just starts to foam. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes till transparent. Add the spices and cook for an additional minute. Add mussels and toss to coat.

Pour in Noble Oaf and seal pot with lid and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer until all the mussels open, about 4-5 minutes. Turn off heat and serve immediately into deep bowls with warmed sour dough to soak up the incredible broth.

 

With Antique Peepshow

Jalapeno IPA Beer Hummus

From Jackie Dodd of TheBeeroness

Ingredients

2 fresh jalapenos; stemmed, seed and chopped (about ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons tahini
1 ½ cups cooked chick peas, drained
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, juice (about 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
75ml Antique Peepshow (plus more if needed)

Method

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth. Add additional IPA for a thinner dip. Serve with pita or chips.

Remember, most heat from Jalapenos are in the seeds. If you prefer hotter hummus, leave more of the seeds in. If the finished dip is too mild, add ¼ teaspoon chili powder to add some kick!

 

With Ripsnorter

Pecan and Ripsnorter Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

From Alastair MacKay
Serves 12

Ingredients

1 lbs of day old bread (mix of white and light rye) crusts removed
½ cup of unsalted butter (melted)
1 ½ cups of sugar plus 2 tablespoons
5 large eggs
4 cups of 35% cream
Pinch of kosher salt
5 tablespoons of Ripsnorter
½ vanilla bean (split and remove seeds)
2 cups of toasted pecan pieces
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
90 ml of 35% cream
75 ml of Refined Fool Ripsnorter Bourbon Porter
Pinch of salt
500 ml Refined Fool Ripsnorter Bourbon Porter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cinnamon stick
1 whole clove
½ vanilla bean (seeds removed)

Method

Toss bread (1/2” cubes), melted butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar in bowl and mix well. Set aside. Using an electric mixer beat eggs, sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add cream and salt and blend for 1 minute. In a separate bowl mix vanilla bean seeds and Ripsnorter Bourbon Porter and add to egg and cream mixture.Pour mixture over bread and mix well. Add pecans and mix well again.Pour into 13×9 baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.Remove plastic wrap and bake at 325F for 1.5 hours or until top is browned and tester (toothpick) comes out clean.Remove from oven at let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Serve with bourbon Sauce, glaze, whip cream (optional) and mint garnish.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened whisking often (3 minutes). Cool slightly and set aside at room temperature until serving dessert.

Using the other half of vanilla bean from bread pudding recipe), scrape seeds from pod and place in small pot with all ingredients.Reduce liquid by half simmering at medium heat.Strain and reserve for plating of bread pudding. Serve with a glass of Ripsnorter and enjoy!

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

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Escape from the cold…enjoy feBREWary beers from Beau’s

Posted by Katy

Friday, February 27th, 2015
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Happy Birthday to US!  This month we celebrate the first anniversary of Savvy Hip Hops and the 4th edition of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company’s feBREWary beers. While this year’s feBREWary brews are hitting a record-setting 150+ pubs and restaurants across 37 towns and cities.

hiphops_largeWhat is feBREWary all about? For the shortest month of the year, Beau’s releases a new special beer each week. With its popularity, there’s a chance that you (or your local) may have missed a brew or two.

Luckily the Savvy Brew Crew has reserved those beers for you so you can have your own winter beer celebration!

 

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find:

The Tom Green Beer! (1 bottle)
Le Coeur Noir (2 bottles)
Strong Patrick (1 bottle)
Farm Ale: Mild Ale (2 bottles)
Dark Helmut (2 bottles)
Bog Water (1 bottle)
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale (1 bottle)
Gigantic Brewing’s La Formidable (1 bottle)
and a bottle of the signature Lug-Tread Lagered Ale for good measure! 

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. Heads up, most of the feBREWary beers are sold out. Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or beerme@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

by Katy Watts

 

For the past month, I was called on (I consider this a privilege!) to help the Beau’s team with their bus shuttles from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill to bring beer fanatics to the brewery for a winter ‘getaway’.

While at the brewery, it was fun reflecting back on all that has changed since I first visited it in 2009; back when Lug-Tread was sold in ceramic bottles. Remember those good ol days? While the brewing tanks have multiplied and are now much bigger, the high standard of brewing and the feeling that you’re being welcomed like family hasn’t changed one iota!

What is feBREWary all about?

FeBREWary bannerTraditionally February is a slow month for restaurants, pubs and breweries. It may be due to consumers being shell shocked from holiday bills or maybe the frigid temperatures and snow cause a mini-hibernation. Whatever the case, Beau’s has taken a month where they have a lot of time and resources and turned it into one of the most exciting beer month of the year – feBREWary. At the brewery, nothing stills sit, the brewing team is going full throttle & the retail team is working around the clock…and added to this, the Beau’s team wanted to be featured in Savvy Hip Hops. As if they did not already have enough going on already!

During feBREWary Beau’s enlists over 149 restaurants and pubs across Ontario to help showcase a new special brewed beer each week. According to co-founder Steve Beauchesne, “There are a lot of winter beer styles that suit the season. It’s a lot of coordinating to make, package and ship a new beer each week, but we’d rather have fun than hibernate.”

With this being the fourth edition of feBREWary the Beau’s team really takes it seriously. While talking about the feBREWary brews Steve mentioned, “some of the feBREWary beers have been planned for more than a year, others much less. We have planning meetings weekly with people from many different areas of the brewery, not just the brewers or marketing team.” Everyone is involved in making feBREWary a roaring success.

The Beau’s Experience

Beaus outsideWhen the Beau’s staff aren’t busy brewing, packaging, or hosting an expertly paired beer dinner for feBREWary they are at the brewery in Vankleek Hill welcoming up to 3,000 guests for the ‘slow’ month. Visitors to the brewery are treated to samples at the tasting bar, a tour of the facility (you will marvel at the size and amount of bright tanks holding Lug-Tread), and if you’re lucky a chance to pet the brewery cat, Orkin.

Guests with a competitive streak can compete in the Stein Struggle, a competition where you go up against fellow beer fans to see who can hold a stein full of Lug-Tread with a straight arm the longest. It’s hard – try it at home! The longest I’ve seen was 24 minutes.

Five Beers, Five Weeks

Five beers may not seem like a lot, but when you put that together with Beau’s flagship, Lug-Tread, their new releases couple with their B-Side Label there is a lot of beer to make available in FeBREWary. I challenge you to find your favourite, I know I couldn’t and I did some extensive research for this month’s Taste Case!

I turned to Steve and asked what his favourite was and this is what he said, “Tough question, it’s like choosing your favourite child. I’m super-excited to release our next B-Side Brewing Label beer and it’s tasting wonderfully. Strong Patrick back is a treat, Coeur Noir is delicious and the Mild Ale is such a nice session beer; I don’t think I can choose!”

Here’s to feBREWary & the team at Beau’s!

 

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!

Lug-Tread Lagered Ale

label-lugtread-1024x1024A 5.2% ABV Kolsch-style ale that’s brewed with spring water and certified organic malts and hops. This award winning brew is Beau’s flagship beer and available year-round.

Tasting Notes: Clean biscuit aroma with hints of green apple and dried grass. Crisp carbonation leads to wonderful malty flavours of bread and biscuit with a clean bite of grassy hops for balance. The finish is dry with a slight herbal-ness.

Suggested Food Pairing: This German inspired brew loves bratwurst, shellfish or grilled chicken dishes or create a cheese plate with Brie, Camembert, Edam or Monterey Jack.

The Tom Green Beer!

label-tomgreen-1024x1024This 5% ABV Milk Stout is brewed in collaboration with Beau’s and Canadian actor and comedian Tom Green. A milk stout traditionally uses lactose (milk sugar) to create a more luscious mouthfeel and ‘nourishing’ attributes.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of roasted coffee, cocoa powder and sweet brown sugar lead to creamy flavours of dark chocolate milk, caramel and roasted malts. The lactose makes this brew smooth and silky on the palate, finishing slightly dry.

Suggested Food Pairing: With sweet stouts like this the obvious pairing would be dessert – chocolate cake, a decadent pudding. For the adventurous though go for barbequed beef to bring out the roast or an aged cheddar to accentuate the creaminess. 

Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale

Kissmeyer label-NPA-1024x1024Brewed under the B-Side Label in conjunction with Anders Kissmeyer, this 5.6% ABV brew isn’t your traditional Pale Ale. In addition to the four main brewing ingredients oats, maple syrup, heather flowers, rosehips, cranberries, wild sweet gale and yarrow were used to create a unique blend of Nordic and Canadian brewing traditions.

Tasting Notes: Take a few minutes to take in the aroma on this one, there’s a lot going on! At the start there’s some herbal notes with a touch of peppery spice followed by a tart cranberry that’s muted by a lick of maple syrup. The flavour is full of wonderful herbal and earthiness with a lingering hop bitterness that finishes dry.

Suggested Food Pairing: The herbs used in this brew make it a wonderful match for fresh salads and variety of fish dishes. However, the hop combination let it stand up to spicier dishes like fish tacos or spicy ceviche.

Gigantic Brewing’s La Formidable

Gigantic Brewings La FormidableThis is the newest B-Side Label release and one of Beau’s biggest secrets during feBREWary! Oh, they let out a few details here and there, but when it came to the brewer they were tight lipped!

Tasting Notes: According to Beau’s this 6.9% American-Belgo IPA has aromas of grapefruit and orange, along with pine notes and white pepper. The flavour is firm, but balanced with a hop bitterness that’s complemented by citrus.

Suggested Food Pairing: The citrus hop and fruity Belgian yeast notes in La Formidable will work wonderfully with a spicy seafood dish like drunken shrimp, spiced halibut or ceviche.

Le Coeur Noir

label-lecoeurnoir-1024x1024This 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.

Tasting Notes: This opaque brew has a roasted malt aroma with slight hop notes of pine and resin. When the first sip hits your palate you’ll think it starts off quite malty with that roast leading the charge with caramel flavours following through and then it hits you. The hops. Pine, resin, citrus, all at once! You won’t hesitate to take another sip and start the adventure again.

Suggested Food Pairing: Black IPA can be hard to pair due to its robust malt and hop flavours. For help in my pairing I asked Chef Bruce from Beau’s and he suggested pairing it with a strong blue cheese, braised oxtail or a charcuterie plate filled with prosciutto or salami.

Dark Helmüt

label-darkhelmut-1024x1024Schwartzbier, or black beer, is a German black lager. For those that categorize beer by colour it may be a bit intimidating, but a Schwartzbier is a refreshing dark beer with malty flavours and roast without the heaviness of an ale. Beau’s 7.3% ABV Imperious Schwartzbier was first brewed in 2012 for Oktoberfest and was a big hit!

Tasting Notes: The aroma is full on roast and doesn’t give a hint of any other flavours hiding in the opaque black liquid. Once you get your nerve up and give it a swallow notes of sweet caramel, vanilla and anise cut through the roast ending with a crisp, highly carbonated finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Fondue made with Emmental and Gruyere or roasted meat, sausage or barbeque would complement the malt profile.

Strong Patrick

label-strongpatrick-1024x1024This 6.7% ABV intensified Irish Red Ale has part of the batch aged in whisky barrels which is then reintroduced to add subtle wood and vanilla notes.

Tasting Notes: Sláinte! This brew starts with a warm caramel aroma with a subtle citrus and vanilla note in the background. The flavour starts dry with sweeter malt base opening up to whisky and warming alcohol. Strong Patrick puts you in a headlock with its slightly heavier body and lower carbonation making it easy to open a second bottle.

Suggested Food Pairing: The caramel in this beer will go well with corned beef and cabbage, Irish beef stew or Shepherd’s pie. Or forget about St. Patrick’s Day and pair it with a spicy Quesadilla or Enchilada to bring out more of that malt sweetness.

Farm Table: Mild Ale

label-mild-ale-bybo-1024x675This is a throwback to the Mild Ales brewed in England and Wales to quench the thirst of blue collar workers. This 3.7% ABV may be a bit lower in alcohol than you’re used to, but it’s not missing any flavour.

Tasting Notes: A slight aroma of coffee, nuts and caramel lead to a big gulp of malt forward flavours with notes of sweet caramel, grain, and dried dark fruits. The body is fairly light, which makes is very easy to drink, with a slightly dry finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Since this beer is malt forward it’s going to pair well with meaty foods. Go for pub favourites like beef stew or bangers and mash. The dark fruit esters would go well with raisin butter tart or Eccles Cake.

Bog Water

label-bog-water-1024x1024Gruit is a mixture of herbs that medieval brewers used to flavour their beers before the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot) that specified only water, malt and hops were to be used in brewing. Beau’s, and many other breweries, are part of a brewing revival, using wild harvested bog myrtle (sweet gale) to create their own version of Gruit.

Tasting Notes: There’s a herbal tone with sweet aroma of dried dark fruit and brown sugar. The dark fruit carries over to the flavour with some light rye breadiness, herbal bitterness and finishes dry with a soft mouthfeel.

Suggested Food Pairing: The herbs and yeast in this beer will go well with roasted chicken or meats with a good amount of seasoning on it. Think of pairing a gruit with a meat kind of like an extra seasoning kick!

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Lug-Tread Lagered Ale

Seitan Brisk-’ain’t’

From Chef Bruce Enloe at The Branch Restaurant and Texas Grill

Ingredients

photo-lugtread-4pk2 onions
3 measured amounts: 2 tsp, 2 tsp and ¼ cup vegetable oil
Wood chips, smoker
2 cups ‘vital wheat gluten’ –Bob’s Red Mill version available in the health food section of many grocery stores
2 measured amounts: 1 ½ cups and ½ litres of light unsalted vegetable stock
¼ cup tamari
3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups Beau’s Lug-Tread Lager
BBQ Sauce

Method

Peel and halve the onions, toss with the first 2 tsp of oil and smoke for 45 minutes in your preferred smoker. Then slice thin and caramelize slowly with the second 2 tsp of oil over medium heat until dark brown (not burnt). Cool and mince.

In a large bowl, combine the minced smoked caramelized onions, the ¼ cup oil, gluten flour, the 1 ½ cups light vegetable stock, the tamari, pepper, chilli powder, and garlic and a splash of Lug-Tread.

Mix all the ingredients with your hands until spongy and combined.

Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, cover with the remaining stock and beer, and bake, covered, at 350F for 45 minutes, or until just firm.

Remove the loaf from the pan after this process and broil with the BBQ sauce before serving. Enjoy sliced thin on a sandwich or however you would like your roasted or barbecued beef!

 

With Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale

Shepherd’s Pie

From Beau’s resident chef (and Savvy friend!) Chef Bruce Wood www.beaus.ca/recipes

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2lbs ground lamb
4 branches fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 28-ounce tin diced tomatoes
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup lamb or beef stock
1 cup Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale
1 ½ lbs baking or russet potatoes
¼ cup homogenized milk
4 Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk

Method

Boil the potatoes, then drain in a sieve and place into a clean bowl. Add the milk, butter and egg yolk, and mash together. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. Add the ground lamb, stirring until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon. Add the thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Add the flour to the mix and stir well, then add the tomatoes, beer and stock and stir well again. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pour the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula. Put this dish into the oven and cook uncovered until the surface is bubbling and golden brown.

 

With Nordic Pale Ale

Trout Tartlet

From Chef Bruce at Beau’s www.beaus.ca/recipes

Ingredients

1 450g package puff pastry
8 oz smoked trout, flaked
2 tsp mixed chopped herbs (e.g. dill, parsley, tarragon, chives)
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
⅛ tsp sea salt
Pinch ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Method

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Using non-stick spray, lightly spray a 12-insert small muffin tin. Remove the pastry from package and unroll. Using a regular Mason jar ring, cut 12 rounds from the pastry and fit into the muffin tin.

Toss the trout with the herbs, and divide between the 12 pastry shells.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs & yolks, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the shells. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and place into oven.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until mixture is just set. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the tartlets from the muffin pan and serve with Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale.

 

With The Tom Green Beer

Beaus tomgreenGingerbread Stout Cake with Caramel-Ale Sauce

From CraftBeer.com (recipe & photo)

Ingredients

1 cup Tom Green Beer
1 cup dark molasses
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
12 ounces Ale (Lug-Tread would be good)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

gingerbread cakeGenerously grease and dust with flour (or use baking spray) a 10-inch bundt pan, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature. Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pans sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes.

Cool cakes on rack for 5 minutes.

Pour Lug-Tread into a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds. Add butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring only when the mixture is in danger of boiling over, until thick and syrupy (10-15 minutes). Slowly stir in cream. Cook for another 5-6 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Cool to warm, it will thicken as it cools. Pour over stout cake and add ice cream if desired.

With Le Coeur Noir

Squash Gnocchi with Blue Cheese, Apple & Sage

From Chef Bruce at Beau’s www.beaus.ca/recipes

Ingredients

beaus coeur noir1 lb russet potatoes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Sea salt
4 eggs
1 cup roast squash puree
3-4 cup all-purpose flour
Cornmeal (to dust tray)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 fresh sage leaves
1 apple, cut in ¼ “ dice
4 oz blue cheese (such as Glengarry Celtic), crumbled

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Rub the potatoes with a little vegetable oil and salt and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for one hour, or until fork tender. When the potatoes have cooled, peel them and pass them through a food mill (or grate them).

Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the eggs, squash and a pinch of salt. Add 2 cups of flour and mix to combine; the mixture will probably be fairly sticky. Turn out on to a well-floured surface and liberally dust with flour. Knead the dough, adding more flour as it becomes sticky. When the dough is a cohesive ball and is no longer sticky, place in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the gnocchi dough into golf-ball-sized pieces. Using your fingertips roll the dough into a long rope shape about ½” around. Cut the dough into one inch lengths and place on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough until you have a tray full of gnocchi. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the frozen gnocchi into the boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender, drain, and place on a lightly oiled tray until needed.

To finish, heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add the apple and sage and cook for one minute. Add the cooked gnocchi and the blue cheese. Mix to combine.

Serve hot, paired with a bottle of Beau’s Coeur Noir Black IPA.

 

With Bog Water

Bog Water Sausages

From Ontario Craft Brewers Association

Ingredients

1 small white onion
8 – 12 good quality sausages
½ cup Bog Water
Fresh sage (one leaf per sausage)
1-2 oz maple syrup 

Method

In a heated oiled pan, add sausages (pat dry them first with paper towel), once they have browned on one side turn them over and add your onion or shallots (finely chopped ). Add your sage at this point, slightly bruised but left whole. Stir the onions around so they do not burn.

Once both sides of the sausages are browned (no colour – no flavour), add the Bog Water and turn down the heat, the sausages are mostly cooked at this point. The Bog Water is a braising liquid.

Once you are ready to serve check the sausages by poking them in the middle to see if they are firm. You can also poke them with a fork and see if the juices run clear. However if you poke them, you will lose some moisture and they may be slightly drier than you’d like. If they are cooked remove the sausages to a serving plate, leaving the onion and sage leaves in the pan.

Turn the heat up so the Bog Water begins to simmer, once it reduces slightly remove the sage leaves and discard.

Add 1 oz. of maple syrup, stir quickly to incorporate. It should thicken the bog water almost immediately. The bubbles should become big and frothy, at this point you can pour this thick sauce over the sausages.

It will make a spicy beer toffee!

 

With Dark Helmut

German Cheddar and Beer Fondue

From The Food Network

Ingredients

10 oz shredded sharp Cheddar
4 to 6 oz shredded Gruyere
1 rounded tablespoon all-purprose flour
1 cup Dark Helmut
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
A few drops of hot sauce
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ pounds cubed or thick sliced wursts: knock, brat or brot
1 package mini party franks
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained
1 small jar pickled onions
1 small loaf pumpernickel bread, cubed

Method

Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour.

Add Dark Helmut to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon.

When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot.

In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan to crisp the casings.

Pile wursts and dogs near fondue.

Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.


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Good times at work makes good beers!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Beyond the Pale Brewery

-January 2015 –

 

We have a saying at Savvy Company – “if it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing”. This month we are featuring Beyond the Pale Brewery – and everyone at this brewery certainly believes in this saying too.  When I asked Ashleigh Craig (she’s the VP of Everything) what makes work so much fun, she replied with a big smile, “we laugh constantly – and these good times make good beers!”

hiphops_largeWe are thrilled to kick off the year by introducing you to Beyond the Pale (aka BTP).  The demand is great, the people at the brewery are fun & friendly and their beers are awesome.  One of our Savvy Brew Crew members, Shawn McCormick is a fan & tells his story, “You got to be in the know. I saw a tweet that one of Shane’s (the brewmaster) long awaited experimental beers was ready.  When I dropped by after work that day, they were already sold out!”

Our subscribers in Ottawa are in for a treat as they are assured growlers of signature beers as well as a new beer – you are the first! For our subscribers in Toronto, rarely BTP beers are shipped beyond of Ottawa, so after a few sips, we are confident that you will have reason for a road trip to the capital (or call us to arrange for more BTP beers in a ‘care package’ to be shipped to you).

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

Beyond the Pale kegWe are sure that a smile will come over your face when you open your Taste Case.  Inside you will find some BTP treats along with an assortment of 5 growlers of these 6 different beers:


Found a new fav?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in this months’ Savvy Hip Hops, or previously featured breweries, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available at the brewery that is!).

Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Beyond the Pale Brewery

by Debbie Trenholm

“I knew that I did not want to work for someone”, says Shane Clark (centre in photo below) as a smile comes to his face. He caught the entrepreneurial spirit early & after a career dotted with ventures including real estate, his ultimate dream was realized. He brought his home brewing hobby to the next level in 2011 when Shane and his high school buddy, Rob McIssac (left in photo below) openned the doors to Beyond the Pale Brewery in Ottawa.

Beyond the Pale guysRob dreamt of starting a brewery business. He lived in the United States for a number of years, and when he returned to Ottawa, he missed the craft beers that he had discovered south of the border.  Shane, meanwhile was making beers in his basement that hit the mark of what Rob longing for. More experiments, more beers, more late nights & of course loads of laughter, Rob & Shane decided to make it happen – start their own own craft brewery business.

I remember when rumours started & Ottawa was all a-buzz about the brewery with the weird name starting up.  Now beer lovers in Ottawa know exactly where the brewery is located, recognize the picket fence logo anywhere & ask for the beers by name at the pubs.

So what is with the name?

“My wife found the name,” Rob stated.  It does not only sound cool, it also has a historical meaning.  Lore according to Wikipedia explains that ‘The Pale’ was the region of Ireland that was under the control of the English government during the late Middle Ages. Over time, the size of this region reduced to an area along the east coast stretching from south of Dublin to the town of Dundalk.

In Latin, the word pale is palus, meaning stake or picket in a fence.  Naturally, this became the meaning of a boundary and eventually the phrase beyond the pale refers to something outside the boundary.   Now knowing all this, it is definitely appropriate name for a brewery that is constantly experimenting!

“Sometimes we call ourselves ‘Beyond the Ridiculous’ “ confessed Ashleigh with a laugh.

Big…really fast

It only took two short years, for the team to outgrow their space.  Bags of hops & kegs are stacked high everywhere, yet no one seems to mind. In true BTP style, they make a joke about it. “Everything we do here is  because of fun” proudly says Al Clark (Shane’s Dad – right in photo above).

In a few months, the tasting room & brewery operations will move to their new ‘digs’ in Ottawa’s City Centre where loads of room awaits. “I get an office with a door” remarks Rob, “and Ashleigh gets a desk!”  No doubt these are exciting times at the brewery and it is all a testament that they are onto a great thing!

Pushing their own boundaries

Beyond the Pale CutoffsRegulars visit the brewery & belly up to the tasting bar stating, ‘I want whatever brew is new’.  Shane & the trio in the beermaking team are constantly experimenting in the brewery and at their homes.  “We encourage our team to take ingredients from the brewery & play with their beer creation at home.  Who knows? They may create the next BIG beer for us.” When the brewery moves into their new space, Shane will bring all of his home brewing gear for the team to use onsite.  They have already decided that this equipment would be called, “The Kids Are Alright”.

And Shorts in January?

I happened to visit the brewery on a Thursday…High Stakes Cut-off Thursday that is.  While it was -32 outside with the wind chill, I was shocked that the brewing team were in cut offs.  Ashleigh explains, ”it’s been going on for 9 months.  It started with a bet that whoever forgets to wear cutoffs to work on Thursdays, owes the others steaks…really good steaks.”  So far, the ‘tradition’ has not been broken…that is how they roll at Beyond the Pale.

 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes • 

 

By cracking open your Taste Case, you will find that Beyond the Pale has something for everyone. Round up your beer lovin’ friends & enjoy the growlers.  The growlers are best kept cool for a month or so before opening.  But seriously…why wait? 

Pink Fuzz

Beyond the Pale - ShaneGrapefruit Wheat 20IBU/6% ABV

This unique brew has become Beyond the Pale’s signature beer. “Not your Bavarian grandfather’s wheat beer – far from it! It is the non-beer drinker’s beer”, explains Shane, who BTW does not eat fruit of any kind…go figure!

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: We use real grapefruit zest and juice at different points in the process to insert the character of the fruit into the beer.  The hops are carefully selected to emphasize the citrus notes, but the grapefruit flavour is surprisingly subtle & the bitterness of the grapefruit is nicely balanced by a zip of sweetness in the finish that makes it refreshing & far too easy to drink. ”It’s like a Mimosa!” exclaims Shane. 

Suggested Food Pairing: It goes down smooth on its own or with spicy Asian foods (think Phad Thai).  Hard crumbly cheeses – cheddar, parmesan, pecorino even manchego would be great.  If you like seafood, scallops & oysters would be mighty fine too. 

Rye Guy

Rye PA 52IBU/6.7% ABV

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:  Rye Guy is a West Coast style IPA that uses a ton of rye malt (that gives it a sweetness) as part of the all-Canadian grain bill. The American hops give it distinctive citrus and pine notes. The result is a very crisp, full-bodied beer that is surprisingly sessionable for 52 IBUs. “There is hop on the front & back with a sweet middle – like an Oreo cookie”, commented Savvy Brew Crew Debbie during the tasting at the brewery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Hands down this is begging to be enjoyed with a spicy Indian curry or Mexican fare.  

Breaking Bitter

English Special Bitter 38IBU/5.3% ABV

BTP’s most to-style beer.  Not always available, Shane & his team wanted to make a very malt-forward ale utilizing traditional ingredients that would have been used for a English-style Special Bitter.

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:  In true BTP style, Shane explains, “we upped the ante with boatloads of East Kent Goldings hops to give off a massive floral, grassy & citrusy aroma, followed by an amazingly balanced flavour, plus a big hop-forward finish with lots of sweet malt.”

Suggested Food Pairing: A British style beer deserves British fare – fish & chips would be delicious.  So would spicy sausage (aka Bangers & Mash) or even Sheppard’s Pie. 

HOYF (Hop On Your Face)

IPA 77IBU/7.1% ABV

Get ready for an EXPLOSION of hops! This brew takes it to the limit.  It’s made with 33 lbs of hops in a 700L batch – compare that to Pink Fuzz that has only 8 to 9 lbs of hops.

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: An unabashedly intense and aromatically obnoxious beer that is like nothing you have had before, without the overwhelming bitterness some IPA’s can carry. Those are Shane’s words my friend…and he & his team are proud of the balance between bitterness & hop that they were able to achieve in this beer.  And beer lovers are happy too!

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ for steaks or pork chops or pick up the phone & order in your favorite Indian curry.

Belle Hop Porter

Beyond the Pale Belle HopsPorter 51IBU/7.8% ABV
Note: this beer was not ready at the time of our tasting at the brewery. 

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: This is our inaugural collaboration we did with Stock Pot Ales. This robust porter is a bit bigger in booze, hops, and body than is traditional for the style, but we made it work. Massive amounts of chocolate and roasted coffee counter the heavily hopped beer. Piney and herbal notes add freshness to the rich, spicy ale.

Suggested Food Pairing: Meat…meat…meat!

 

The Darkness

Oatmeal Stout 30IBU/5.6% ABV
Chocolate lovers – get ready!

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: The Darkness is an incredibly dark and creamy beer that will overwhelms  the palate with loads of dark chocolate, cola & espresso coffee. “Holy smokes this is amazing’, commented Debbie during the tasting at the brewery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Anything with smokey bacon or alternatively, Ashleigh suggests to enjoy with rich chocolate desserts.

 

• Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •

With Pink Fuzz…

Lemony Lentil Soup

From Fresh Tracks Café at Whitewater Ski Resort, British Columbia
Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams with tips from Savvy Company’s Debbie Trenholm
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Ingredients

2 cups of red lentils (dried)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
¼ tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped (fresh is best)
2 bay leaves
8 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (TIP: replace one cup of the broth with white wine if you have some open!)
juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp lemon zest 

Garnish (optional):

1 cup feta cheese, crumbles
2 Tbsp fresh dill chopped

Method

Rinse the lentils in a colander & set aside to drain

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add onions & sautée until translucent. Add carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, rosemary, oregano & bay leaves.  Stir well and sautée until the carrots are tender.

Add stock (and wine) and the lentils. Bring to a boil.

Remove bay leaves. At this point, you may purée the soup or just leave it as is (TIP: I haven’t puréed before)

When the soup is done cooking, add lemon juice, zest and more salt & pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls & sprinkle feta & dill on top. 

 

With Rye Guy…

Mexican Beef Brisket & Winter Squash Chilli

From Canada’s Top Trending Recipes for 2014
Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

O Canada recipe Mexican chilii6 dried ancho chilies
2 cups boiling water
6 oz. bacon, diced
4 cups chopped white or yellow onions
5 lbs (approx. 2 to 2.5 kg) first-cut beef brisket, cut into 3-inch chunks
Salt and ground black pepper
2 jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped (optional)
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp chili powder
14 1/2-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
12-oz. bottle beer, plus more if needed…of course some to enjoy while cooking!
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated
7-oz. can diced fire-roasted green chilies
3 cups of  2-inch chunks peeled and seed butternut squash

Garnishes
Finely chopped red onions
Peeled, seeded, and sliced avocado
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Warm corn or flour tortillas

Method

Tear apart the dried ancho chilies, then discard the seeds and stems. Place the torn chilies in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over them, then soak until soft, at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours.

When ready to proceed, heat the oven to 165°C (325°F).

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the bacon until it begins to brown. Add the onions and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Remove the pot with the onions and bacon from the heat and stir in the beef.

Place the soaked chilies and about 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid in a blender (save the remaining liquid to add to the pot later, if needed). Add the jalapenos (if using), garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, chili powder, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Blend to form a puree, then add to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, beer, cilantro stems and green chilies.

Stir well, cover, place in the oven, and bake for 2 hours. If the chili becomes too dry during cooking, add some of the reserved chili-soaking liquid or more beer. The meat is done when it is fork tender. If the meat is not yet fork tender, return the covered pot to the oven and check it every 20 to 30 minutes. Once the meat is tender, stir in the squash and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the squash is tender.

Remove the pot from the oven. Use a spoon to skim off any fat on the surface of the chili. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between serving bowls with the cilantro leaves, red onions, avocado, cheese and tortillas on the side.

 

With HOYF (Hop on Your Face)…

Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Salad

Beyond the Pale signFrom Long Nights & Log Fires Cookbook, by Ryland Peters & Small
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

This Middle Eastern flavoured dish is delicious as a main course or as a side dish with grilled pork chops, spicy sausage, ham or roasted turkey. The earthiness of this dish will be delicious with beer.

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets
1 teaspoon ground cumin (this can be more if you like stronger flavours)
6 large Swiss chard leaves, chopped into 1 inch wide strips (alternately use spinach leaves- unchopped or beet greens)
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves (or can use more if you rather)
14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste – alternatively use smooth peanut butter)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly cracked white pepper

Method

Put oil in a large skillet (cast iron is best) and set over high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 8 – 10 minutes turning often until they are dark, golden brown.

To the skillet cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute to cover all of the cauliflower.

Then add Swiss chard, onion & garlic and cook a further 2-3 minutes until chard has wilted & onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas to the pan and stir.  Season to taste with salt

TIP: if your skillet is not large enough for this recipe, fire up 2 frying pans on the stove & make the vegetable mixture.  Once done, combine both pans into a big bowl at the last minute.  

Combine tahini, lemon juice and white pepper in a small bowl and add a little salt to taste. Whisk to combine.  Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the top to serve.  Enjoy hot or serve warm.

 

With The Darkness (other BTP beers too!)

Best Bacon Jam – EVER!

From The Endless Meal
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

1 lb bacon
2 large onions (red or white), quartered & thickly sliced
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
½ cup water
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method

Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to large frying pan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring frequently until the bacon is just cooked (not crispy).

Remove bacon from pan & let sit on a plate lined with paper towels to remove some of the fat.

Pour off bacon drippings into a metal cup or bowl & set aside

Into the frying pan still laced with bacon fat, add onions and cook on medium for 8 to 10 minutes until translucent. Reduce to low heat. Add sugar & stir.  Continue to cook for about 20 minutes until the onions have carmelized (the kitchen will smell devine at this point!). Add coffee, water and the reserved bacon, stirring frequently until the onions are thick & jam like.  This may take about 30 minutes.

Remove pan from heat & stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste & add more salt if necessary.

Serve hot with red or white meats as an accompaniment, chutney or garnish.  Alternatively store in a Tupperware container or jar for up to a week.   I have used this is omelettes, added to soup, spread on toast in the morning or de-glazed a pan of sausages. You’ll get hooked and want to double the recipe next time!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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What a year its been for Covered Bridge Brewing Co!

Posted by Katy

Saturday, December 27th, 2014
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Covered Bridge Brewing Company

– December 2014 –

 

This month marks the first anniversary of Stittsville’s Covered Bridge Brewing Company located in Ottawa’s west end. What better way to celebrate than by having owners John and Kathy vanDyk (plus some very helpful volunteers) hand package hundreds of bottles for Savvy Hip Hops? We hope that you’ll pour a snifter of ‘One’ – their special bourbon barrel aged stout brewed specially for this anniversary – and toast to their first year in the beer biz.

hiphops_largeIn this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find two ‘bombers’ of each:

Dirty Blonde
Amber Rose
Wishmaker’s Wit
Moustache SMaSH
Bridge Over the River ‘Chai’
One

Need more beers from Covered Bridge for the holidays?

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 (if it is still available at the brewery that is!). Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Covered Bridge Brewing Company

by Katy Watts

 

Covered Bridge - Kathy and JohnHome brewing can be an expensive & a time consuming hobby. It seems to always start small, like it did with Covered Bridge Brewing Company’s owner & brewer, John vanDyk (right in photo – hamming it up!), experimenting with a small Mr. Beer kit. As interest grows – or in John’s case – refills for the Mr. Beer kit were unavailable, ‘real’ equipment is purchased, upgrades made & then the BIG switch to all-grain brewing is made. From there, John’s friends are kept happy enjoying experiments in recipe formulation & dreams become blue prints to open a brewery.

What’s in a name?

Before John signed the lease on the Stittsville location he already had the name for the brewery & a logo in mind. “I happen to live on a street that has a covered bridge on our walking path”, John explains “Home brewers are funny in that we usually name our breweries in our house. Long before thinking about going commercial, I had chosen the name. Then a friend at work drew up the logo. We liked the nostalgic feel of it so much that when we decided to go pro & we kept it the name & look.”  And their doors opened on December 20th last year, yet they had “CBB” fans long before.

The Beer Blinded Me with Science!

covered bridge in lightsWhy does beer seem to entice so many to devote their lives to perfecting the perfect glass? It’s something to do with the process, the idea that a handful of ingredients with just a slight variation can create hundreds of different flavours. For John, who admits he wasn’t the biggest beer drinker when he first started brewing, he was hooked after his first all grain batch. “Being exposed to home brewing & craft beer was a bit of a “beer awakening” for me and I learned that there are so many great beers with tons of flavour and complexity. I’m still not a huge drinker, but I really enjoy discovering & trying different craft beers now.”

 

SWMBO & the Unpaid Interns

John isn’t the only one working hard at the brewery. His wife, Kathy (left in above photo), affectionately known as “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (SWMBO) not only encouraged him to leave his day job and start brewing, but helps with the administrative side & coordinates brewery events (and so much more!). Then there’s the team of ‘Unpaid Interns’ who can be spotted doing everything from pouring beer at festivals, picking fresh hops or helping on a brew & bottling day. It is a friend & family affair.

Brewing For Charity

Covered Bridge isn’t just keeping the community well stocked with beer, but it’s also supporting area charities and the community of Ottawa West. In the summer they ran a contest benefiting Tysen’s Mission to a Million with the prize being an opportunity to help brew the summer seasonal, Wishmaker’s Wit. In November, as part of the Movember campaign, they brewed Moustache SMaSH. Fit with its own moustache branded glass, this single hopped American Pale Ale was a tribute to all those involved with the campaign to raise money for men’s health.

What’s Next?

With one year under their belt and a legion of loyal fans it’s hard to know what’s next for Covered Bridge…we do know that they’ll keep on brewing cool beers we love to drink.

Cheers to John & Kathy!

covered bridge beer loving

 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Our Savvy Brew Crew member Katy Watts shares her notes about each beer, along with her picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Dirty Blonde

At 5.1% ABV and 20 IBU, this easy drinking brew uses a solid malt base spiked with American hops and fermented with an English Ale yeast to ‘dirty’ it up.

Tasting Notes: Pouring hazy golden with a thin white head, this Dirty Blonde has a biscuit-y malt aroma spiked with grassy hops. The flavour mirrors the aroma with citrus and grassy hops poking through the bready sweet malt base and esthers from the yeast adding a distinct fruit note.

Suggested Food Pairing: The balance between malts and hops lends this beer to pair with delicate flavoured foods like shellfish, fish, chicken or salads.

 

Covered Bridge growler bagAmber Rose

This full bodied  6.4% ABV, 30 IBU American Amber has a solid malt backbone with caramel richness that helps balance the American hop character.

Tasting Notes: Starts with a sweet base of caramel malt with light nutty notes. Mid-sip the American hops kick in adding pine and citrus zest. The bitterness isn’t overwhelming, but it helps round out the malt with some crispness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The caramel base and citrus hop zing pairs well with grilled meats or stews. Try the Amber Rose alongside BBQ, burgers or my recipe for beef stew with caramelized onions.

 

Wishmaker’s Wit

Originally brewed with the winner of their contest to raise awareness for Tysen’s Mission to a Million, this 4.2% ABV 13 IBU  wit was brewed using Belgian yeast, orange peel, coriander and dry-hopped with Pacific Jade.

Tasting Notes: This traditional Belgian Wit pours a pale lemon colour with crisp carbonation and a light body. There’s a subtle sweetness with tart citrus, coriander, clove and white pepper – refreshing!

Suggested Food Pairing:  Cut up some of your favourite fruits and serve it alongside Wishmaker’s Wit! Alternatively, you could use part of your bottle to steam mussels or other shell fish. The bright citrus notes in the beer will cut through the richness of the dish.

 

Moustache SMaSH

This Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) was brewed specially for Movember using the Australian hop Galaxy as a tribute to the origins of the Movember Foundation charity.

Tasting Notes: While there may be a bigger brewery offering a Galaxy single hop beer in the LCBO, Covered Bridge Brewing Company’s version truly showcase the passion fruit and strong citrus notes the hop is known for.

Suggested Food Pairing: While this isn’t an overly bitter beer, enjoying it with something a little salty like fried chicken, poutine or your favourite bag of chips would ease the bitterness and show off the maltier side.

 

covered bridge in snowBridge Over the River ‘Chai’

This 5.1% ABV 17.6 IBU winter seasonal is filled with warmth! Brewed using ginger, vanilla, cardamom, star anise, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper and lactose.

Tasting Notes: This gingerbread smelling brown ale has all of the aromatic flavours of chai tea with a touch of sweet vanilla and slight dryness at the finish. The lactose (milk sugar) adds a slight sweetness and smoothness making this beer very easy to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing: Bold dry rubbed meats would compliment this beer, but my favourite pairing would be with a decadent chocolate cake. Try Kathy’s recipe for Apple Gingerbread Cake that incorporates a (small) portion of Bridge Over the River ‘Chai’.

 

OneCovered Bridge - 1 year

A special stout that’s been left to age in bourbon barrels for a year. It was made in celebration of the brewery’s first anniversary on December 20.

Tasting Notes: This beer is so new that a bottle wasn’t available to sample. Our recommendation though, is to savour one and stash the other for a few months. Seeing how some flavours develop as others mellow is a fun beer-experiment!

Suggested Food Pairing: Big barrel aged stouts are perfect for hearty, cold weather dishes, smoked meats and most desserts. My favourite pairing though, is a comfortable chair and a good conversation!

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

With Bridge Over the River ‘Chai’….
Apple Gingerbread Cake

From Kathy vanDyk’s Kitchen (aka Covered Bridge Brewery Kitchen)Covered Bridge - ingredients

Ingredients

1/3 c butter, soften
1/3 c sugar (Note from Kathy: I use raw cane sugar)
3 eggs100 mL unsweetened apple sauce
2 royal gala apples, peeled and shredded
1 c Bridge Over the River “Chai” Brown Ale
1 c maple syrup
2 c all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine butter, sugar and eggs, and beat until creamy. Add applesauce, beer and maple syrup, stir to combine. Add shredded apples to the mixture.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, 1/3 of the mixture at a time. Mix to combine. Spoon mixture into mini-bundt pans for individual servings or large bundt pan or cake pan for a full cake. Cook for 12 – 15 minutes for small cakes. Large cake will take 35 – 45 minutes to cook. Remove from oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

These cakes are best served warm from the oven, drizzled with caramel sauce, and topped with whipped cream.

For the chai-spiced whipped cream:

Add ½ c of whipping cream (35% BF) to a cold bowl. To the cream, add 2 tablespoons of Bridge Over the River “Chai” beer, and 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar. Beat on high speed until firm peaks form.

 

With Wishmaker’s Wit….

Wit Steamed Mussels

From Katy Watts’ kitchen
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 pounds of mussels, cleaned & debearded
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery, cut diagonally in ½ inch slices
2 small crowns of broccoli, sliced ¼ inch thick diagonally
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut in ½ inch strips
3 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup of parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of Wishmaker’s Wit

Method

Pour olive oil on a large cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion to the pan and sautée until tender. Turn the heat to high; add garlic, celery, broccoli and red peppers. Stir continuously until the broccoli softens.

Add mussels and beer to the pan or skillet. Stir continuously over high heat until mussels open. Pour in lemon zest and cream. Stir until warm.

Add sliced scallions and chopped parsley. Stir well over high heat for 30 seconds.

Serve and enjoy with remainder of Wishmaker’s Wit and fresh bread.

 

With Amber Rose….

Beef Stew with Caramelized OnionsCovered Bridge - multiple photos

From Katy Watts’ kitchen
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

¼ cup vegetable oil
2 ½ lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 ½ lbs yellow onions, sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
3 carrots, sliced
1 ½ cup Amer Rose
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and ground pepper

Method

In a large pot, warm the oil over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Working in batches, brown the meat well on all sides (5 to 7 minutes). Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the meat from scorching. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and repeat until all the meat is browned.

Add the onions and butter to the pot and stir over high heat until the onions start to soften (5 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (15 minutes). Add flour, thyme and carrots and raise the heat to high. Stir for 1 minute, then pour in Amber Rose, letting it come to a vigorous boil. Stir in the broth and tomato paste and return to a boil.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pot. Let the liquid come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender when pierced and the sauce is slightly thickened (1 ½ hours to 2).

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

With The Dirty Blonde….

Classic Soft Pretzels

From one of Covered Bridge’s Unpaid Intern’s Kitchen!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of Covered Bridge Dirty Blonde Ale
22 oz of all-purpose flour (approx. 3.5 cups)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of yeast (traditional yeast)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
¼  cups of butter, melted

Method

Warm liquid to 43 – 46 C (110 – 115 F). Pour into a large bowl, or mixer bowl if using a stand mixer. To the warm liquid, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and mix to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over top of liquid, and let rest of 10 minutes. Yeast will start to froth and bubble on the surface of the liquid. To the liquid mixture, add flour, salt, and melted butter.

Stir to combine. If using stand mixer, attach dough hook and mix for approx. 10 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn combined dough onto a floured surface, and kneed for approx. 10 minutes, until dough is smooth.

Form dough into a ball. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let dough rest in fridge for approx. 12 hours. After 12 hours, dough will have doubled, and will need to be punched down. After punching down the dough, reform into a ball, cover, and return to fridge for another 12 hours.

This is considered a cold-rise method. Alternately, increase the yeast to 2.5 teaspoons, kneed as instructed above, then place dough in a warm location for approx. 1 hr or until dough doubles in size. If following this method, the dough only needs to rise once.

Once the dough has risen (24 hours if following the cold-rise method, or until doubled if following the warm-rise method), cut dough into 12 strips. At this point, you can also preheat your oven to 375 F.

Roll each strip until you have a long cylinder, measuring approx. 60 cm in length. Form dough strip into a pretzel shape. Once you have shaped your pretzels, fill a large pot with water. To the water, add 1/2 c of baking soda. Bring to a light boil. Immerse each pretzel in water for 1 minute, flipping pretzel after 30 seconds. Remove pretzel from water, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (6 large pretzels per sheet).

Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse sea salt. For a darker colour, pretzels can be brushed with milk, or egg before adding salt. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pretzels as they bake as the bottoms tend to brown quickly.

Remove from oven. Best enjoyed when they are warm. These pretzels are also delicious dipped in mustard, or even sweet sauces like caramel, or hazelnut-chocolate spreads.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops…and your holidays!

 

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Raise a glass – it’s the holidays!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
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Is your calendar overflowing with holiday parties all across town? Or are you going to host your own soiree for neighbours & friends this year?  However you deck the halls, here are some savvy tips & recipes that will make your season bright

Pop the corks!

wine_tasting_sparklingI always like to serve bubbly when the guests arrive.  In fact, you will notice that we always do this at every Savvy Event. The sound of popping corks sets the mood and the rush of bubbly wine overflowing the flute glasses easily brings on a smile. Sparkling wine is fun and you don’t need to break the bank by serving fine French Champagne either.  Here are some Ontario sparkling wines to have in the fridge for any occasion during the holidays:

Casa Dea Cuvee Rosé $17.95 – a glass of this dry bubbly from Prince Edward County adds WOW power with its gorgeous pink colour.  Available directly from the winery or make it a reason for a getaway to The County!

Palatine Hills Estates Prestige Sparkling $20.00 – a crisp, dry bubbly from Niagara-on-the-Lake that won gold at this year’s Ottawa Wine Challenge – the wine competition associated to the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. Look for it in Vintages at the LCBO.

Serve up Seasonal Sparkling Sippers…

Both of these sparkling wines are ideal (and the right price) to make into cocktails with a holiday flare.

SOMMELIER TIP: serve bowls of potato (Ms Vickies is my favorite) or vegetable chips laced with sea salt for your guests.  The salt magically reacts with the bubbles of the sparkling wine making it feel like fireworks in your mouth!

Sparkling Red Poinsettia Cocktail

Makes 8-10 glasses
Ingredients
1 bottle of chilled sparkling wine – either white or rosé
½ cup (125 mL) of either Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, chilled
1 cup (500mL) cranberry juice, chilled

To make the cocktail…
Mix all ingredients together in a jug and pour into champagne flutes.

Garnish with fresh cranberry or sugared rim

Ginger Snap

Makes 8 – 10 glasses
Ingredients
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
½ cup sugar
1 bottle of chilled sparkling wine – white is preferred 

To make the cocktail…
In a small saucepan, boil ginger, sugar and ¼ cup of water until syrupy (about 2 minutes).

Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl.  Pour syrup through sieve, discarding solids. (at this point, you can store syrup in airtight container in fridge for a week)

When ready to make cocktails, pour 1 tablespoon of ginger syrup into champagne flute glasses.  Top with sparkling wine & gently stir

Garnish with a festive swizzle stick or curl of citrus rind (mandarin or orange).

Shaking it up this year with craft beer & gin

Cocktails made with craft beer & gin are trending high this year.  There are over 12 craft breweries in Ottawa and small distilleries are cropping up in Prince Edward County & Niagara too.  These cocktails will WOW your friends with the chic look in the glass as well as the delicious taste.

Blue Spruce

Makes 1 cocktail
A creation by Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery located in Niagara www.dillons.ca

Blue Spruce CocktailIngredients
2 ounces of your favorite gin (Why not go local? Buy a bottle of Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 at the LCBO or direct from the distillery)
1 package fresh blueberries
Squirt of simple syrup to taste (or use blueberry syrup/juice)
Juice & rind from lemon wedge
Tonic Water
Stem of fresh rosemary
Ice

To make the cocktail…
Place a handful of ice in a tumbler glass.

Pour in gin, lemon (juice & peel), a few blueberries (Feel free to give the blueberries a little mashing), syrup and top with tonic.

Give a little stir with the rosemary stem & serve

Festive Fizz

From the fine folks at www.drinkcraftbeer.com
Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

1 part of your favorite gin
1 part grapefruit juice
2 parts craft beer (try Perth Brewery Hopside IPA, Covered Bridge Brewery Dirty Blonde or Dominion City Brewery Earl Grey & Marmalade Saison)
1 tsp simple syrup (adjust to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink)
Sprig of mint
Wedge of grapefruit

To make the cocktail…
Shake gin, juice and simple with ice.

Pour into glass and top with beer.

Add sprig of month and wedge of grapefruit to the glass.

Can you believe it…just 2 weeks till Christmas!

Savvy Selections iconSavvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubIf you still haven’t found that perfect gift that will make a WOW impression this year, keep Savvy Company top of mind. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew are ready to design a one-of-a-kind wine, craft beer and artisan cheese events for your family, clients & friends. And our Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month club is the largest in Ontario.

Did we mention that Savvy Hip Hops is the only club featuring craft beers brewed in Ontario???

Call on us ANYTIME! Savvy Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Happy Holiday Cocktails to you & yours!

 

 

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Sawdust City beers are worth a drive to the Muskokas

Posted by Shawn

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Sawdust City Brewing Company

– November 2014 –

 

Month #10 of Savvy Hip Hops brings you a 2-4 of craft beer…and we are certain that you’ll find new favourites that will help you forget about the cold and snowy weather for at least a few hours! This month features Sawdust City Brewing Company and their assorted beer styles for all of our suds-cribers.

hiphops_largeIf you are not familiar with Sawdust City Brewing Company and their delicious array of beers, our Savvy Brew Crew member Shawn McCormick visited this new brewery while on holidays this summer to get the inside scoop about the brewery, their beers…and of course the brewmaster who makes them. With the range of beers you are receiving, there is something for every beer lover.

Sawdust City is not your average brewery. Instead of locating on the outskirts of town in an industrial complex, they took over a large, vacant building in downtown Gravenhurst. This puts them smack dab in the middle of the community – next to the fire hall, curling rink, and shops of small town Ontario.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and find these six incredible beers. What’s different about this package is that Sawdust City has invested in their own canning machine! With four cans of each style, you’ll be able to share these great brews with friends.

Gateway Kölsch
Old Woody Alt Beer
Golden Beach Pale Ale
Lone Pine IPA
Skinny Dipping Stout
Winding Road for 7km Saison

Found a new fav brew? 

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in this months’ Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available at the brewery that is!).

Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Sawdust City Brewing Company

by Shawn McCormick

Located in the quaint little town of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Sawdust City Brewing Company has converted a former Canadian Tire Store into a striking and welcoming brewery.  With an appealing variety of beer styles, a tasting “saloon”, and lots of warmth with the wood decor, they have created a destination brewery that is worth finding on your way to Muskoka’s cottage country! 

Why the name ‘Sawdust City’?

Sawdust City signWhen the decision was made to launch the brewery in Gravenhurst, research of the town’s past revealed the nickname ‘Sawdust City’ from a time when the town hosted about a dozen sawmills. Processing the millions of board feet annually resulted in the entire town being coated in a layer of sawdust. Brewmaster Sam Corbeil explained that “the name just naturally fit”. 

Building a Following

Sawdust City is a bit unique in that they have been contract brewing for some time as their own brewery plans took shape. During this time, they developed a loyal fan base through beer fairs and distribution in pubs and bars around Ontario. Making great beer with catchy names like The Princess Wears Girl Pants, it’s no wonder people knew about Sawdust City before they had their own brewery! When I asked Sam to describe their style, he says simply, “We make different beers we love – hoppy IPAs, rich, malty stouts, and fresh Kölsch.” 

Becoming a Brewmaster

Sam Corbeil is the brewmaster at Sawdust City. More than 10 years ago while attending a beer festival in Belgium, he realized that he loved beer more than he loved his job in advertising. Upon his return, he started Googling brewing schools, eventually settling on VLB in Berlin, considered by many to be the premier school for brewing technology. He describes his time there as “Amazing – people from all around the world, sharing their passion for beer”.  Seriously folks, who wouldn’t like that?? Upon his return, he worked at True North and then with Robert Simpson (pre-Flying Monkeys), eventually ending up at Mill Street. He met current partner Rob Engman a few years ago, and the idea and plans for Sawdust City began to take shape. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sawdust City saloonA Saloon, Guest Taps, AND Live Music??

Sam mentions that they are trying to create a destination with the brewery, which just opened in late August. To this end they have a great saloon open every day, live entertainment on Saturday nights, and you can even enjoy craft beer from other Ontario brewers on the rotating guest taps. In the summer food trucks utilize their parking lot, strengthening the community connection. When asked what type of beer he drinks other than his own, Sam says he has lots of friends who all make great beer & he adds, “Why buy anything outside of Ontario? We make world-beating beers here!”

We raise a glass to the Sawdust City team!

 

 

 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

By cracking open your Taste Case, you will find that Sawdust City has something for everyone. Why not round up some friends and open up several of these to see who likes which style of beer.

Gateway Kölsch (Kölsch)

Paying homage to the lagered ales of Köln (Cologne), Germany, this crisp, bright, straw-coloured beer is named after the Gravenhurst hometown of Sawdust City, referred to as the “Gateway to the Muskoka”. 5% ABV

Tasting Notes:  Quite a fluffy head shows off the great carbonation. Straw gold in colour, crystal clear and bright. Aromas of hops, cereals, and pilsner malt notes. The palate adds light citrus notes and aromas repeat. Very refreshing, and an easy transition beer for those just getting into craft beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is such a food-friendly beer that it is hard to think of something that won’t work with it. Pair with grilled seafood, chicken in light sauce, or a toasted ham sandwich.

 

Old Woody Alt Beer (Altbier)

With a deeper colour and more malt-forward notes, this fresh and creamy Altbier also comes in at 5%.

Tasting Notes: The aromas are definitely more malt forward, with toffee, sweet spice, and a hint of plums/prunes.  The palate is similar with caramel and toffee dominating, some stewed fruits, and a slightly earthy taste. With a creamy mouthfeel, the mid-palate offers a hint of sweetness but the finish is dry with a pleasant hop bitterness to cleanse the palate. 

Suggested Food Pairing: This is another food friendly beer and the versatility of this one will match with stews and meat-or-mushroom-based casseroles.

 

Golden Beach Pale Ale (Session Ale)

A refreshing Pale Ale with flavour much bigger than its 4.5%ABV would indicate.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of pine, fresh grass, pineapple, and pink grapefruit. The palate is all about summer – fresh tropical and citrus fruit will bring you back to the heat waves of July (yes, even in snowy November!). The fresh hops add a lot of aromas and give a great cleansing finish. Session Ales get their name from the lower than typical alcohol, allowing you to enjoy more than one in a “session”.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with Thai or Indian, chicken-based curries!

 

Lone Pine IPA (India Pale Ale)

A big, bold IPA with 6.5% ABV, for those of you who love hops!

Tasting Notes:  Loads of bright pine, white and pink grapefruit, orange, light caramel notes, and a hint of green grass. The palate follows suit, although the caramel, tropical fruit and sweet orange lead. The finish is all about the hops – loads of white grapefruit rind and pith, with the unmistakeable pine pith batting clean-up. Aptly named!

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with burritos, nachos, or some heavily grilled meats.

 

Skinny Dipping Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

A lovely 5.5% ABV Stout to sip in front of the fireplace (or candles) on a dark stormy night.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of dark toasted malts, black coffee, cocoa, and hints of dried fruit. The creamy palate is quite similar with some malt sweetness at first, and the prune and fig notes being more noticeable. This quickly turns to a smooth coffee bitterness on the long-lasting finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with grilled meats, venison-based stews, or even a chunk of blue cheese!

 

Winding Road for 7 km (Saison)

The first beer in Sawdust City’s “Saison du Maison” series – these are Saison beers that will be released each quarter.

BREWMASTER NOTE: this beer was just canned and needs a little more time to “bottle-condition”, so let this one sit (not in the fridge) until after Nov 27th. Anytime after than it will be ready for drinking!

Tasting Notes: Named after a winding road that stretched for 7km – this rye Saison has beautiful spicy, Belgianesque esters dancing off the glass balanced with a hearty, bready, malt body. Burnt yellow in colour, like the tree lined back roads of Muskoka, 7km will bring you back to fall in Northern Ontario. A time of year when nostalgia and melancholy fog our minds and the early morning dew rises off the cold Autumn ground to create a haunting vision of the winter ahead. (Tasting note provided by Sam Corbeil)

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with chicken (or eggplant) parmesan or pork chops

  

  • Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •

With Sawdust City Gateway Kölsch…

Chicken Alfredo

From Savvy Sommelier & Brew Crew member Shawn McCormick’s kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken (breast or thigh)
1 lb (approx. 450 g) fettuccini noodles (or spaghetti)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup  heavy cream (whipping cream is best – of course!)
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
Few sprigs of parsley chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt

Method

Cook the chicken breasts over medium-low heat in a frying pan with some olive oil, turning regularly until cooked through. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the cream and increase heat to medium until the cream and butter mixture is simmering. Whisk in the garlic and Parmesan cheese until continue whisking until the cheese is melted.

While cooking the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a bit of the liquid in case you need to thin the sauce. Slice the chicken, and toss all remaining ingredients together, adding some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

With Sawdust City Golden Beach Pale Ale

Thai Chicken Curry

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5-6 mushrooms
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
1 carrot1 celery stalk
1 onion1 clove garlic, crushed
2-4 tsp Red Curry Paste (‘Thai Kitchen’ brand is in many grocery stores)
14 oz can Coconut Milk
2-3 cups chicken broth4-5 Tbsp olive or other cooking oil4 cups cooked rice

 

Method

Cut the onion and peppers into thin strips. If you like more vegetables use the whole pepper. Thinly slice the mushrooms, carrots, and celery.

Slice the chicken into thin strips. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium heat and add enough cooking oil to coat the pan. Sauté the chicken strips in small batches, removing each batch as they are cooked. Add more oil as required.

Turn the heat up to medium-high. Now sauté the vegetables in the same pan, adding more oil as required. Start with the onions and carrots. After 2 minutes, add the celery. After 1 minute, add the peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Stir another 2 minutes, then add the chicken, 1 cup of chicken broth and two tsp of the curry paste. You want enough liquid to dissolve the curry paste so add more chicken broth until the paste is blended in.

Add the can of coconut milk and more chicken broth to make a nice sauce.

Add more curry paste to taste. Heat thoroughly, then ladle over rice. Get ready for ooohs & aaaahs!

 

With Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA

Fish Tacos

Another one from Shawn McCormick’s kitchen!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 3-4 Servings

 

Ingredients

1 lb white fish (cod or halibut)
1 package of small tortilla (soft taco) shells
3 cups finely shaved Savoy cabbage
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
Coriander
Slice green onions
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

Cook the fish as you like – fried in butter, or poach it in lightly salted water. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the flesh is flaky. Once done remove and beak into smaller pieces to fit in the tortilla shells

Cut the Savoy cabbage across the grain so you have long thin strands of cabbage.

Mix the mayonnaise & lime zest together. Whisk in the lime juice a bit at a time. You want a thin sauce but not too watery. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Place fish in tortilla shell (I like to lightly warm mine over a gas burner on low). Top with cabbage, green onion, and a few sprigs of Coriander. Drizzle generously with lime-mayonnaise sauce. Enjoy every mouthful with each sip!

 

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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