Posts Tagged ‘Cicerone Katy Wats’

Baseball & beer team up at Left Field

Posted by Katy

Friday, May 6th, 2016
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Left Field Brewery
–  April 2016 –

 

It’s time to play ball…at the brewery!  Come & see what’s new at Left Field. For me, discovering a new craft brewery is fun – there’s always something that makes their beer stand out from everything else that I have tried.

That’s why I always jump at the chance to visit breweries and going on their tour – there is always something new to learn & see. And to top it all off, I am often struck by the passion the brewers and owners about their beer. Then the war stories come out – always interesting to hear how a brewery has overcome a particular struggle (and every craft brewery has one to share!).

Mark and Mandie Murphy left their careers, went back to school and have taken on new jobs of owning a brewery where they are brewing beer around the clock. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ll appreciate the thought put behind the names and the flavours behind each beer. Now….let’s play ball!

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

In Quick Picks & Taste Case…

hiphops_large-292x300Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale
Maris* Pale Ale
Sunlight Park Saison
Prospect: Galaxy
1st and 3rd Berliner Weisse
Wrigley
a ‘surprise beer’ – just bottled & the jury was still out on the name…

In the Taste Case – ONLY…

Multiples of the beers listed above PLUS an extra special beer:  Anniversary No. 3 

Beer Me! Want more?

Call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you of some of your favorites.  Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Left Field Brewery

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


Batter Up!

This month marks the 3rd anniversary of Left Field Brewery. The dream started several years earlier in 2010 when Mark Murphy (in photo below) chose to leave his accountant job and attend Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operation’s Management Course. While he was pursuing brewing, his wife, Mandie, started a brand management role with Constellation Brands managing their coolers, ciders, spirits and flavoured wine portfolios. When Mark was learning brewing, Mandie was learning how to sell and market alcohol. Now that is teamwork!

Mark MurphyUsing a home-built 25 litre homebrew system modelled after the Sabco Brew Magic, Mark and Mandie researched and tested each recipe before starting production as a contract brewery in 2013. They chose baseball as their theme because they are both BIG fans of the game.

Off the mark, they were a contract brewery using excess production space at Grand River Brewery (featured in Savvy Hip Hops in July 2014) and Barley Day’s (featured last month) to brew their recipes. “We liked the idea of being able to test our brand and our recipes in the market with minimal risk before investing in our own production facility. Having our own brewery was absolutely always the goal,” says Mandie.

Pitcher Goes into the Windup…

Baseball is back signThe search for a home for Left Field Brewery led Mark and Mandie to a location on Wagstaff Drive in Leslieville. “We brewed our first batch one year and four days after taking over the building, which isn’t bad for a construction project of our size,” notes Mandie. The timing couldn’t be more perfect! The photo above is the ‘big empty space’ that they would be transforming.  As the finishing touches were being put on the brewery, the Toronto Blue Jays were just starting the season. Nothing goes better with baseball than beer, especially if you can have it in Left Field’s own baseball themed taproom!

It’s a Grand Slam!

Now that they have a field to play on, Mark, Mandie and their 12 employees can step up to bat for other challenges – like creating new seasonals! That’s why you won’t find Left Field’s flagship beer, Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale in LCBO’s outside the Toronto-area. “Our goal is to keep making a variety of seasonals and one-offs and expanding Eephus outside of Toronto would prevent us from being able to do that.” Good news though, Sunlight Park Saison is making its debut in the  major leagues (Toronto LCBOs) at the end of May as a summer seasonal.

Here’s to Mark, Mandie & the Left Field Crew!


• 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!

Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Eephus cansInspired by the Eephus pitch – a low speed, high-arching junk pitch that can catch the batter off-guard. This 5.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), 35 IBU (International Bitterness Units).  American Brown Ale is Left Field’s flagship beer and available in Toronto-area LCBO’s. Eephus is Left Field’s only canned offering and is packaged by a mobile canning operation called Sessions Craft Canning.

Tasting Notes: This deep brown ale has a wonderful thick khaki head emitting strong notes of roasted malt, cocoa, caramel and dark fruit. The flavour is somewhat bitter with the roasted malt and coffee, but is rounded out with sweet flavours of nutty caramel and dates. The oatmeal adds a wonderful creamy body that makes it a delight to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing: The roasted/nutty flavours pair perfectly with grilled meat, pulled pork or a bag of roasted peanuts. Serve alongside a cheese plate filled with Gouda, Comte and milder cheddar and blue cheeses.

Maris* Pale Ale

marisIn 1961, Roger Maris made history when he beat Babe Ruth’s 1927 60-homerun record. His style of straight to the point baseball without being flashy or boastful is the inspiration for Maris* Pale Ale. For beer fans, the name Maris has another meaning as this 4.5% ABV, 40 IBU beer is brewed with Maris Otter malt.

Tasting Notes: This beautiful golden ale sports a nice white cap and isn’t afraid to show off its biscuity sweet, pine aroma. The Maris Otter malt provides a solid biscuit, almost nutty base for a medium hop finish of pine and citrus rind.

Suggested Food Pairing: This session-style pale ale is made for sunny days at the ball park! Enjoy a plastic cup of Maris* Pale Ale with hot dogs, nacho’s with liquid cheese or a bready pretzel.

 

Sunlight Park Saison

sunlight parkLeft Field’s spring and summer seasonal is brewed in honour of Toronto’s first professional baseball stadium. Sunlight Park was an all wood structure that could seat 2,250 fans and housed the International League baseball team, the Torontos. This 5.7% ABV, 22 IBU saison is brewed using malted wheat, honey malt and two kilograms of grapefruit zest in every batch.

Tasting Notes: Pours light gold – almost yellow with the cloudiness from the yeast. The aroma is a mixture of sweet with grapefruit, honey and grain and pepper-y yeast spice. There’s a crisp tart, but bitter grapefruit flavour that is balanced by the honey malt and spiced with pepper. Refreshing!

Suggested Food Pairing: Mandie says a favourite pairing at the brewery is sushi with a side of seaweed salad.

 

Prospect Single Hop IPA with Galaxy

prospectLeft Field is seeking out new hop prospects with their single hop India Pale Ale series. Each batch is brewed with the same malt recipe, but showcases a different hop. This 6.1% ABV bottle showcases the Australia Galaxy hop.

Tasting Notes: Be prepared to be transported to a tropical island! There are wonderful aromas of just ripe mango, passionfruit, grapefruit and a caramel background. The flavour is bright with more of those tropical juice notes with a slight hop bitterness that’s similar to grapefruit pith.

Suggested Food Pairing: With the big citrus and tropical notes in this beer I’d tend to go more towards Mexican flavours. Fajitas, fried fish tacos and carne asada con mojo would both compliment the hops and malt bill.

 

Wrigley Oat Pale Ale

wrigleyThis 5.5% ABV, 40 IBU brew shares its name with Left Field’s brewery mascot (in photo left) and of course…Wrigley Field in Chicago. 50 cents from every bottle sold goes to improvements in Wrigley’s local dog park.

Tasting Notes: Pours slightly cloudy with a chunky white head and distinctive aromas of orange and pine hops. Thanks to oats being in the mash there’s more body and a somewhat creaminess to the mouth feel that rounds out the hop flavours, but there’s a distinctive pine bitterness that lingers at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: The mouthfeel and pine hops would work well with pub favourite appetizers like nachos or zucchini sticks as it’ll help clear and refresh the palate.

 

1st and 3rd Berliner Weisse

1stand3rdThis interpretation of a Berlin favourite is brewed by kettle souring the mash with a strain of lactobacillus and fermenting using a blend of Belgian and American yeast. Traditionally this 4% ABV tart ale would be served with the option to add a fruit or herbal (woodruff) syrup, but it’s a nice treat on its own.

Tasting Notes: Pours with a beautiful chunky white head and a wheat-y aroma with a subtle tart-funk at the end. There is very little (if any) hop aroma or taste, but the wheat-heavy grain bill and slight citrus tart zing makes this beer very refreshing without being overpowering.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go for the ultimate combination of salt and sour with a bag of your favourite french fries. 1st and 3rd will not only be a great contrast, but cut the fat from the fries (and optional mayonnaise).

 

Anniversary No. 3 (in Taste Case only)

Anniversary_No_3As we mentioned earlier, Left Field is celebrating their 3rd anniversary and what better way to celebrate it than with a special beer? This 7.6% ABV special saison is brewed with French saison yeast and dry hopped with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops.

Tasting Notes: With the dry hopping of Nelson Sauvin hops this saison is turned into a Belgian IPA of sorts. The aroma is all hop with an almost white wine character, boarding on being ‘catty’ while the pepper yeast is almost an afterthought. The flavour is similar to a fruit salad with a subtle alcohol note with the peppery yeast showing more strength in the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Left Field suggests a fish and chip pairing, but I’d also go with steamed mussels served with thick pieces of baguette.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops•

 

With Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Pulled Pork Nachos

Recipe and Photo: French’s

Ingredients

Recipe pulled pork nachos2 lbs boneless pork butt or shoulder
2 cups Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup mustard
1/4 cup molasses (or honey)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne peppe
8 oz tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup corn
¾ cup black beans
¼ cup jalapenos
¼ cup sliced red onions

Method

Place pork butt in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a large bowl combine and mix Eephus Oatmeal

Brown Ale, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, cinnamon, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Pour mixture over pork butt. Set slow cooker to Low setting for 8 hours. When pork is cooled, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly cover baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place half of the chips, pulled pork, corn, black beans, jalapenos, onions and cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients for an additional layer. Bake until cheese melts, about 20-25 minutes.

 

With Sunlight Park Saison

Grapefruit Saison Sour Cream Ice Cream

Recipe grrapefruit sour cream ice creamRecipe and Photo: The Beeroness

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ cup Sunlight Park Saison
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice grapefruit zest

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s specifications until soft serve consistency (about 15 minutes).

Pour into an airtight container, freeze until set (about 2 hours).

 

With Wrigley Oat Pale Ale

Beer Cheese Dip

Recipe and Photo: Betty Crocker

Ingredients

Recipe beer cheese dip8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½  cup shredded Gouda cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup Wrigley Oat Pale Ale
1 tsp honey mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Method

Heat all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Spring with red pepper and green onions and serve with chips.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

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Pour a Barley Days Brew!

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Barley Day’s Brewery
–  March 2016 –

 

Prince Edward County is Ontario’s little secret. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on an area filled with abundance – wine, cider, cheese, beer and so much more. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of flavour available in one area and it’s hard to explore in just one trip. Since I was first introduced to the area, I’ve been back several times for weekends or day trips to explore new favourite spots. No matter how many places I visit, the one I always return to is Barley Day’s Brewery.

While Barley Day’s may be the only brewery among the wineries, it celebrates the region and the terroir like no other! Through the use of local apples, hops, cherries or wine barrels – Barley Day’s is proud to show off Prince Edward County. And if you’re ever in the region, be sure to stop by the brewery for a tour – it’ll make you excited about beer and The County.

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

…in your Quick Pickshiphops_large-292x300

Cherry Porter
Scrimshaw Oyster Stout
County IPA
Sugar Shack Ale
Snakebite Apple Ale
Royal George Brown Ale

…in your Taste Case

Cherry Porter
Scrimshaw Oyster Stout
County IPA
Snakebite Ale
Royal George Brown Ale
Loyalist Lager
County Light
Harvest Gold Pale Ale
Wind & Sail Dark Ale
Ursa Minor Black Lager
Ursa Major Black IPA

Need more beer? 

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

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Barley Days Brewery

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

The Past…
Glenora Springs Brewery

Barley Day’s Brewery first opened their doors as Glenora Springs Brewery in 2000 (photo – right). Seven years later they picked up and moved to Picton and changed the name to reflect a time in Prince Edward County – when the region was renowned for the quality of barley and hops grown in the area.

Regardless of the brewery’s name change, the core beer line up stayed the same, with some tweaks to some of the name changes: Red Coat Pale Ale became ‘Harvest Gold’, Triple Chin Irish Ale became’ Wind & Sale Dark Ale’ and the beer previously named Black Scarf Cherry Porter became the new ‘Yuletide’.

To reinforce a heritage connection with their beer, Barley Days 341mL bottles also featured vintage artwork by local artists Peter Rindlisbacher and Manly MacDonald.

The Present…

Barley Days BrettWith their move to Prince Edward County, Barley Day’s has the benefit of being one of the few breweries surrounded by wine country. When I asked Head Brewer Brett French (photo left) how it felt to be in the middle of rapidly growing wine region, he said, “It’s exciting! I especially like seeing people’s reactions to having a beer during a weekend wine tour. A lot of the folks are pretty thirsty after tasting wine all day and having beer in the mix is a great addition to the wide variety of food and drink that The County offers.”

In addition to their core lineup, Barley Day’s has added several additional brews to their lineup to showcase the flavour of The County and satisfy the demand for craft beer. Beer’s like Snake Bite, Sugar Shack, Scrimshaw Oyster Stout showcase what beer is. As Brett says, “Every winemaker here will tell you that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”

Looking into the Future…

Barley Days BreweryBarley Day’s recently changed ownership and changes were made immediately to expand many facets of this brewery & the products too.  For the first time since the brewery opened in 2007, they recently changed their labels and packaging. What do you think? While the look has been updated, the core beers are still packaged in 341mL bottles while special seasonals are now packaged in a fancy 500mL with a cork & cage treatment.

There have been renos to the brewery as well as a new patio where a local food truck will park & serve up a menu full of beer & food pairings.

Brett also hinted that three additional summer seasonals are planned.  And if that were not enough, other collaborations with new County breweries are in the works. “We want to make PEC (Prince Edward County) a wine AND beer region. If our map can be filled with 40+ wineries, why not have as many breweries as we can fit?” says Brett. “Until then the Barley Day’s team will continue to do what we do – make easy drinking, sessionable, accessible beers using quality ingredients that we’re proud of.”

Here’s to Brett & the crew at Barley Day’s Brewery!

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Barley Days range of beers

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

Cherry Porter

Previously known as Yuletide Cherry Porter, this 5.5% alcohol by volume porter (ABV) is brewed with Ontario cherries in the mash. How cool is that?

Tasting Notes: Resembling cherry cola when poured, this beer has some wonderful complexity to it. The flavour starts with a dark coffee roast that gives way to cocoa and notes of plum, raisin and cherry. However, you’ll notice the cherry most on the finish, adding a slight tartness to balance the bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This beer will pair alongside dessert like a good cup of coffee! Indulge in cherry cheesecake, a big slice of chocolate cake or a few pieces of quality chocolate.

Barley Days Brett with OystersScrimshaw Oyster Stout

This 4% ABV dry Irish stout is brewed with Green Gables Malpeque Oysters from Prince Edward ISLAND.  According to Brett (in selfie), “We have 1500 PEI malpeques ready to go into the boil… but to be truthful (ahem), I would say only about 1450 actually make it into the boil.”

Tasting Notes: Pouring with little head (possibly due to the addition of oysters), Scrimshaw starts like any other dry Irish stout – roast, cocoa, maybe a little char to round it out. It’s at the finish where the flavour of the Malpeque Oysters shines – a good amount of brininess and a slight minerality from the shell.

Suggested Food Pairing: Oysters of course!

County IPABarley Days pint

This 5.5% ABV India Pale Ale is brewed with a blend of hops, including some sourced from Prince Edward County!

Tasting Notes: Starts malty with sweet caramel, biscuit and grain flavours leading to orange and earthy hops. I’d call this more of an English-style IPA with more of a subdued hop profile and low bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go with a big spicy Indian curry like chicken madras or vindaloo. The malt profile of County IPA will help cool your pallet and cut through some of that spice.

Royal George Brown Ale

This 5.1% ABV ale is named after the H.M.S. Royal George, the largest warship on Lake Ontario and is a showcase of malt flavour.

Tasting Notes: Malt lovers rejoice! Royal George starts with a slight nutty malt flavour that slips into sweet caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and a touch of roast. Hops take a backseat, offering a slight earthy bitterness at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: Brown ales are a perfect pairing for a cheese plate. Fill your plate with aged Gouda, Comte, mild cheddar and blue cheese.

Barley Days tapsSnakebite Ale

Named after the combination of lager and cider, this 5.5% ABV beer is brewed with real Ontario apple juice pressed at the brewery.

I asked head brewer Brett how they make this beer, “We grow a ton of different apples from here in The County.  We spend a day pressing and collecting the juice, then, use that fresh apple juice as a portion of the brew water. The grain bill has a bit of caramel malts and only a slight hop addition to balance it all out. The thing I like about the beer is that it’s real apple juice. You can actually taste the tartness and slight sourness of the apples.”

Tasting Notes: Take a moment and smell this beer – does it remind you of a caramel apple from a country fair? While it may smell like caramel there is little caramel flavour in this beer. Instead, we’re treated to simple ale with flavours of grain and biscuit that’s spiked with tart apple.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would work perfectly with a home cooked pork chop or roasted chicken dinner with a side of butternut squash.

Loyalist Lager

No need to stay loyal to the Crown to enjoy this lager! Brewed in the Czech Pilsner style with Saaz hops, this 4.5% ABV beer is easy to drink no matter who your allegiance is to.

Tasting Notes: Starts slightly sweet with some caramel, grain and cereal notes, but with a slight earthy/spice hop flavour. There’s a nice balance between the hops and malt which makes this light bodied lager crisp and easy to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside grilled pork or chicken and light seafood.

County LightBarley Days equipment

This beer has an interesting label! Don’t be fooled though, while it is lighter than Barley Day’s typical offerings it still has more flavour.

Tasting Notes: Crisp with a slightly sweet grainy malt sweetness and faint earthy hop flavour. County Light is fairly light bodied and at 4% ABV it’s a good beer to take on a camping trip (perhaps Sandbanks?).

Suggested Food Pairing: This style offers a delicate flavour, but high carbonation. I would pair it with deep fried or fatty foods to help keep the palate refreshed. Go ahead, I’m giving you permission to order onion rings.

Harvest Gold Pale Ale

This 4.8% ABV Pale Ale is brewed with Fuggles and Golding hops and best enjoyed after a long day in the field.

Tasting Notes: Slightly sweet with a biscuit and grain note leading to an earthy, almost mineral, hop bitterness. The carbonation is crisp and the finish leans more towards a slight bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The earthy hops and crisp carbonation will pair wonderfully with fish and chips or a sticky bread budding.

Wind & Sail Dark Ale

This 5% ABV Dark Ale is a nice balance of malt and hops. The deep colour and white head wisps makes me think of a boat weather a dark storm.

Tasting Notes: This ale has a wonderful nutty grain malt base with notes of dark chocolate, slight roast and dark fruits. The sweetness is restrained by an underlying earthy, almost spicy, hop.

Suggested Food Pairing: The malt in this would pair well with roasted meat, charred greens and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert!

Barley Days equipment2Ursa Minor Black Lager

Also known as a Schwarzbier, ‘Little Bear’ boasts big flavour and shrugs off that assumption that lagers are void of flavour.

Tasting Notes: Starts off with a good amount of roasted malt with a slight caramel sweetness. Earthy/pine hops are there in a supporting role, adding a slight balance without overwhelming the flavour. Finishes dry.

Suggested Food Pairing: The mild roast or burnt flavours go well with grilled meats like salmon or pork chops. Don’t be afraid to try some dark chocolate alongside it though!

Ursa Major Black IPA

Also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale, Black IPAs showcase a good amount of roast with a bitter addition of hops. With a nod to the ‘Great Bear’ constellation, Ursa Major, pouring 5.3% ABV, doesn’t disappoint.

Tasting Notes: Big amounts of roast jump out of the bottle when opened and it blasts onto your palate at first sip. Hidden in that roast is a caramel undertone that meets with a sharp citrus and somewhat resin-y hop. The finish is quite bitter with both the roast and hops leaping onto your palate at once with no trace of balance.

Suggested Food Pairing: Now is a good time to haul out the BBQ and grill a steak to perfection, maybe even add a skewer of shrimp to make it surf and turf.

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Harvest Gold Pale Ale

Ale Poached Shrimp

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Shrimp

2 12 oz bottles of Harvest Gold Pale Ale
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs parsley
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1lb large tiger shrimp

Method

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except shrimp.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to combine the flavours.  Add shrimp and poach for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp is pink and firm.

 

With Royal George Brown Ale

Beer Braised Beef with Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Shortrib with Blue Cheese

½ cup diced double smoked bacon
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 lbs beef stewing meat, cut in 1 ½ inch cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
1 12 oz bottle Royal George Brown Ale
2 whole sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh parsley
4 cups beef or chicken stock
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Method

In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crisp and fat is rendered. Add the butter and onions to the pan and lower heat. Cook onions slowly, stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes. Season onions with salt and pepper and set aside.

In another heavy bottomed pot, sear the beef in a little oil to a nice brown colour. Sprinkle beef with flour and stir. Add the beer and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the onions to the beef and be sure to scrape all the bits from the onion pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh herbs and stock and simmer for 1 ½ hours over low heat until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.

Serve with blue cheese sprinkled on top.

 

With Wind & Sail Dark Ale

Wind & Sail Dark Ale Ginger Christmas Truffles

Chef Lili Sullivan Claramount Inn & Spa

Ingredients

¾ cup ginger cookies, crushed
2 Tbsp finely chopped glace pineapple
2 Tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts
2 Tbsp ground almonds
2 Tbsp finely chopped citrus peel
2 Tbsp dried cherries
2 Tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
1 Tbsp Barley Days Wind & Sail Dark Ale
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup butter, cubed
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp whipping cream (35%)
¾ cup finely chopped hazelnuts – for coating

Method

In a medium bowl, mix cookies, nuts, dried fruit, ale, and vanilla.

Melt butter in a small bowl over simmering water with chocolate, stirring until almost melted, remove from heat and finish melting by stirring. Whisk in cream, stir into cookie and fruit mixture. Refrigerate until firm.

Roll mixture into 40 balls. To coat, roll balls in nuts. Refrigerate in a covered container with waxed paper between layers up to 2 weeks. To serve, place in small paper or foil cups.

Chocolate mixture can be frozen after rolling into balls and then coated when removed from freezer.

 

With Cherry Porter

Chocolate Cherry Porter Cheesecakes

Barley Day’s Kitchen

IngredientsBarley Days Cherry Porter recipe

1 ¼ cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
½ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp corn starch
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ lbs softened cream cheese
½ cup Cherry Porter
2 eggs
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Method

Preheat oven to 350’F. Butter or spray a 10-inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a small bowl toss the crumbs with melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set aside.

To make the filling, stir together sour cream, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.  Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whisk together cream cheese, porter and eggs until very well combined.  Gently mix the sour cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.  Fold in melted chocolate and stir through to streak the mixture and make it look marbled.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on counter to release any air.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the middle has set and the sides are slightly puffy. Chill completely before slicing.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Neat Easter Treats

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 25th, 2016
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Ahhh, it’s the lonnnnnng weekend. Time to chill out, relax with family & friends.  Here are the top picks of ‘neat Easter treats’ of wine & craft beer from our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew – all locally made & available at the LCBO.   Use this as your shopping list so you can spend less time figuring out what to buy & more time enjoying the weekend.

I’ll drink to that!

 

Savvy Sommelier Top Picks
for Easter long weekend


MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Crosscut Canadian Ale

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

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

 

Barley Days Loyalist LagerBarley Day’s Loyalist Lager

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

Brewed in the Czech Pilsner style with Saaz hops, this 4.5% ABV beer is easy to drink no matter who your allegiance is to. Starts slightly sweet with some caramel, grain and cereal notes, but with a slight earthy/spice hop flavour. There’s a nice balance between the hops and malt which makes this light bodied lager crisp and easy to drink. Serve alongside roast of ham, chicken, seafood….or lots of appetizers!

Beau’s Le Coeur Noir Black IPA

VanKleek Hill, Ontario
$7.95 (LCBO #442533)

beaus coeur noirThis beer is the 11th in Beau’s Pro-Am Series which features beers that are designed by amateur brewers, and brewed at Beau’s. Le Coeur Noir Black IPA was brewed in collaboration with the winner of the 2013 Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest, Jordan Rainhard. This 7.1% abv beer is one of Beau’s cutting styles, an American Black IPA.  It pours with an opaque brown hue and shows pronounced notes of black molasses, spruce tips, cacao nibs, roasted malt and touch of grapefruit rind.  The mouthfeel is rich and full bodied with a long grapefruit pith finish.  Christening the BBQ this weekend? Enjoy this beer with a burger – beef, bison, elk – with a slice of blue cheese on top.  Blue cheese is an incredible example of pairing an assertive style of beer with an assertive style of food. (If you are a subscriber of our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club, some of the Back Forty Highland Blue treat we sent this month will be PERFECT! the trick!)

 

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012

Domaine Félibre Givré Ginger Ice Cider

Québec
$19.95 (Vintages #393611) 6.5% alcohol

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

 

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013

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

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

 

 

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MacKinnon Brothers grows from barnhouse to brewhouse

Posted by Katy

Monday, February 8th, 2016
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring MacKinnon Brothers Brewing
–  January 2016 –

At MacKinnon Brothers BrewingIvan and Daniel have taken a passion for their ancestral land and changed the focus from farming to brewing. With that slight change, it doesn’t mean that the brothers have forgotten about their farming roots. If anything, brewing has focused their efforts as they hope to one day source all of the ingredients that go into their beer from their family farm.

The 1784 farmland – located in the rural town of Bath, Ontario – is already providing the water as well as some wheat and hops for their brews, this could be one of the first breweries in Ontario you could say has its own terroir.

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find these beers…

…in your Quick Picks:

  • Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubCrosscut Canadian Ale – 4 cans
  • 8 Man English Pale Ale – squealer bottle
  • Red Fox Ale – squealer bottle
  • Wild Peppermint Stout – squealer bottle

…in your Taste Case:

  • Crosscut Canadian Ale – 6 cans
  • 8 Man English Pale Ale – squealer bottle
  • Red Fox Ale – squealer bottle
  • Wild Peppermint Stout – squealer bottle
  • 1784 Historic Ale – squealer bottle

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 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
– Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company

by Katy Watts

 

MacKinnon Brothers - grainsAs I continue my journey of learning about craft beer and how it’s brewed I’ve discovered there isn’t one ‘best’ way to do it. In fact, one of the thrills of being a craft beer fan is being able to visit local breweries and learning what special ingredients or techniques a brewer uses to impart different flavours, aromas and even colour in beer.  Ivan & Daniel explained it best…

The ingredients for many of the beers we enjoy are ordered. Hops are bought in pellet-form from the United States and Europe. Malt comes in sacks from one of the great malting companies. Yeast is ordered from a catalogue and water is purified and treated with minerals. Since all of these ingredients are, for the most part, brought in there is no ‘beer terroir’ like there is in the wine world. When two breweries use identical ingredients, the flavour difference will come from the brewmaster’s skill, talent and experience, not where the ingredients came from.

MacKinnon Brothers Brewing wants to change that. They may not overtly say they are adding terroir to their beers. Rather they are pledging to have their family farm provide 100% of the ingredients for the brews will give their beer a unique character that no other brewery has. 

The Family Farm

MacKinnon Brothers - breweryThe MacKinnon Brothers Brewing was first established as a family farm in 1784 when the ancestors of Ivan and Dan MacKinnon settled the area after the American Revolution. In recent years, farming hasn’t been as sustainable as it once was so the brothers decided to stop traditional farming and convert a barnhouse to a brewhouse (see photo at right) and a chicken coup into a retail space. “With grain prices falling we thought we’d create some value-added opportunity to the farm,” explained Dan during our interview. While they continue to grow wheat and spelt on their land, they’ve added hops and barley to the surrounding fields. They have even taken over some of the neighboring farms to reach their goal of producing all of the ingredients for their beers.

The Dynamic Brothers

Source - Kingston - Mackinnon_brothers_croppedThe brothers are no strangers to beer, brewing and working on a farm. Dan the Brewmaster (centre in photo), studied Agriculture at Guelph University before completing a Masters in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University in Scotland. After working in England at CampdenBRI he returned to Canada to work for Silversmith Brewery in Niagara as the Brewmaster. Ivan’s backstory (right in photo) is that he went to Queen’s University and worked as a mechanical engineer for seven years at Kellogg’s before returning home to use those skills on the family farm.

photo credit: kingstonregion.com

Keeping it Local

MacKinnon Brothers Brewery - keg deliveryMacKinnon Brothers Brewing currently only sells their flagship, Crosscut Canadian Ale, at select LCBO’s in the Kingston & Toronto area and there are no plans of expanding distribution…apart from shipping to our Savvy Hip Hops subscribers that is! They want their beer to supply the Loyalist Township and be a staple of the community.They’ll always welcome visitors though, so come visit them at the chicken coup and refill your squealer bottles.  Look at this for beer delivery (see photo at right).

Here’s to the MacKinnon Brothers Brewing crew!

 

  • 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!

Crosscut Canadian Ale

MacKinnon Brothers Brewery - CrosscutThis 5.2% Alcohol by volume (ABV), 15 International Bitterness Units (IBU) Golden Ale is the MacKinnon Brothers rendition of a traditional Canadian ale. They use Herkules and Sassasprat hops and add a portion of wheat from their farm to the grain bill.

Tasting Notes: This beer starts with a sweet malt smell and an upfront cereal flavour and subtle honey flavour. The hops kick in mid-sip with a subtle herbal note before being washed away in a wave of carbonated crispness. This may have been designed to be an easy drinking, sessionable beer, but there’s a wonderful layered flavour that will make you pause after each sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: With a strong malt bill and palate cleansing scrubbing bubbles (a good carbonation level), Crosscut can sit alongside spicy chili, BBQ ribs, sticky chicken or braised beef.

8 Man English Pale Ale

This traditional English Pale Ale is brewed using a higher concentration of malt to water giving it a healthy 5.8% ABV, 25 IBU and a rich, almost creamy body.

Tasting Notes: This is malt rich! Biscuit and caramel sweetness explode out of the growler when you crack it, followed by some floral/earthy hops and just the slightest hint of fruity esters. The flavour is more of that warm biscuit, caramel malt, but with more of that hop bitterness trying to compete for center stage. What’s most striking though is the mouthfeel – thick, rich, luxurious! What a treat.

Suggested Food Pairing: With a traditional English beer, you have to go with an English pairing. Order (or make) your favourite curry, try your hand at making fish and chips or serve yourself a good wedge of Stilton or old Cheddar.

Red Fox AleMacKinnon Brothers - growler

A striking red ale with a full thick head, this 4.2% ABV, 32 IBU unique style is dry hopped with Citra and brewed with a blend of red malts and a 1% infusion of fresh pressed local beet juice.

Tasting Notes: It’s amazing what a small amount of beet juice will do to the colour of the beer. Trust me when I say that you will stop and admire the redness of this brew once you have it in a glass. The aroma is distinctly Citra with some floral notes, peach, and grapefruit. The flavour has some mild grain sweetness before dipping into bitter tropical fruit notes. Highly addictive!

Suggested Food Pairing: The hopping in this beer will work well with Thai curries, Cajun cuisine and a warming chili. Don’t be afraid to pair it with stronger cheeses like blue and sharp cheddar – the bitter citrus finish will compliment them well.

Wild Peppermint Stout

This classic 4.8% ABV, 40 IBU classic Irish Dry Stout is brewed using wild peppermint that was handpicked in the fall. The result is a refreshing twist to a classic style!

Tasting Notes: There’s a good amount of mint aroma that wafts off this beer as it makes it way to your mouth. The flavour is more subdued with good amounts of coffee, chocolate and roasted barley filling the senses before having the mint add some lingering scotch mint freshness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The roasted barley and additionof mint makes this a great match for rich foods, especially roasted meat. Serve alongside a decadent dinner of lamb shank and roast potato and pour a second glass for a dark chocolate cake dessert.

1784 Historic Ale

 

Brewed using a mix of raw and malted grains, wild hops and fresh baker’s yeast, this strong 8.4% unfiltered brew commemorates the Loyalist settlers and the year the family farm was founded.

Tasting Notes: 1784 is a strong, rich complex sweet flavors resulting from the mix of grains, unique brewing process and the long boil used.  There’s a good estery/fruity taste that’s similar to that of a German style wheat beer, derived mainly from the baker’s yeast. Carbonation levels are low, as was traditional at the time, which makes this beer go down a bit to easy for strength, so be careful and enjoy!

Suggested Food Pairing: The baker’s yeast lends a bready character that is really unique, coupled with the high alcohol I’d pair this with a rich bread pudding with vanilla custard. Yum!

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Crosscut Canadian Ale…

Crosscut Oven Fried Chicken

Ingredients

Beer Fried Chicken1 cup Crosscut Canadian Ale
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup chives, chopped
¼ cup basil, chopped
¼ cup rosemary, chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 chicken (3-4lbs), divided
2 cups bread crumbs

Method

In large, shallow dish, whisk together Crosscut, buttermilk, half of the combined herbs, salt and pepper. Add chicken to dish, turning to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Turn chicken occasionally as it marinates.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.

In shallow dish, place bread crumbs and remaining half of herbs. Stir to distribute herbs evenly.

Remove chicken from marinade and drain. Dip each piece of chicken in the crumbs, rolling to coat all sides thoroughly. Place chicken pieces on sheet pan, leaving space between each piece.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until chicken is golden brown on top and cooked through. Baking time will depend on size of chicken pieces.

To test for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The chicken is done when the temperature registers 160 F.

 

With Eight Man English Pale Ale…

Beyond Easy Beer Bread

Recipe & photo from Farmgirl Fare

Beer BreadIngredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbspgranulated sugar
1 Tbspbaking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbspchopped fresh dill (2 tsp dried)
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 oz 8 Man English Pale Ale

Method

Heat the oven to 375F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the 8 Man English Pale Ale and mix just until combined. The batter will be thick.

Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan, brush with the egg glaze if desired, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


With Wild Peppermint Stout…

Chocolate Mint Stout Lava Cake

Recipe & photo from The Beeroness

Ingredients

Chocolate-Mint-Stout-Lava-Cake2-1024x10243.5 oz 70% dark chocolate
10 Tbsp butter
2/3cup Wild Peppermint Stout
¼ tsp peppermint extract
3 eggs and 3 additional egg yolks
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¾ cup flour
1 tsp espresso powder
2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips

 Method

Preheat oven to 425F.

Butter six soufflé dishes very well. The best way to do this is to soften butter (or use vegetable shortening or margarine) and a wadded up paper towel, smear a large amount inside each dish, making sure to get into the edges.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the chocolate and butter. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Wild Peppermint Stout, and peppermint extract, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and powdered sugar.Pour chocolate mixture over egg mixture, stir to combine.

Sprinkle cocoa powder, espresso powder and flour over chocolate mixture, stir until just combined.

Divide equally between soufflé dishes, making sure not to fill more than 2/3 full. Press about 4 to 5 chocolate chips into the very center of each cake (can be made one day ahead, cover and chill).

Bake at 425F until the outside is set, but the center is still liquid, about 9 minute no more than 13. (Note: Glass baking dishes cook much faster than ceramic dishes. Take these out of the oven when it looks as if they “need a few more minutes,” you want a very runny center.)

Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake. Place a plate on top of each ramekin, turn upside down, lift ramekin to reveal cake. Serve immediately.

 

With 1784 Historic Ale…

Ale Spiked Bread Pudding

Recipe & photo from DRAFT Magazine

bread puddingIngredients

1 1lb loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup 1784 Historic Ale
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon

Beer Cream Sauce (optional…but why not?)

1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
6 Tbsp 1784 Historic Ale
Dash of salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Add the bread cubes in an even layer to a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, buttermilk, beer, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the bread.

Bake 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm or cold, with or without beer cream sauce (below).

For the Beer Cream Sauce

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and sugar. Combine the cornstarch and beer in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.

Pour the beer mixture into the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until thickened and sauce like, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt.

Serve warm, drizzled over the bread pudding, pie, pound cake or other desserts.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

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