Posts Tagged ‘French Onion Tart’

No fooling around at this brewery!

Posted by David

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
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We loved the beers produced by Sarnia’s Refined Fool Brewing Co. when we served them last year. With their ever-changing lineup of unique, flavour-driven brews and quirky labels, we felt YOU deserved a second round! More than just a brewery, Refined Fool is making changes to their community and how Sarnia perceives itself. Read on to read all about it! And enjoy these thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing beers. They’re big on the “Wow” factor!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks a 7 bottle pack containing:hiphops_large-292x300

-Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA
-Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
-Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
-The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
-Murder of Crows: Black IPA
-Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

…in your Taste Case there’s 10 bottles of:

  • Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA (2 bottles)
  • Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
  • Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
  • Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA
  • Mid-Life Spices: Braggot
  • The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
  • Murder of Crows: Black IPA
  • Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

 

It is summer! 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

Sarnia’s game changer
Refined Fool Brewing Co.

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Can beer save a city?

That idea came up more than once while talking to Refined Fool’s Director Nathan Colquhoun. (in photo below)

The brewery he started with friends – “I was very intrigued with the craft beer movement,” he said – has become a cultural centre and a symbol of change in Ontario’s industrial heartland.

Renaissance man

Born and bred in Sarnia, Nathan is well aware that his hometown doesn’t get a lot of respect from the rest of the province. “I grew tired of watching other young people leave Sarnia,” he said. “I wanted to make this a place people want to be.” Within a short time, Nathan, 31, co-founded a design firm, opened a small church, and joined with friends to open Refined Fool. When asked if he’s Sarnia’s “renaissance man”, he laughs. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I just wanted to expand on the things I care about.”“Now people see what we’re doing here and they’re getting excited. They want to coRefined brewery dudeme back.”

Starting small

When Nathan and nine of his friends decided to open a brewery in 2013, they had limited experience with brewing. They wanted their beer to reflect a philosophy of “putting people over the product” and they embraced their limited production capacity.

“Being a small brewer gives us the ability to be flexible and creative,” Nathan said. “And it allows us to take the time to build relationships, with our suppliers, our customers, and our community.”

Embracing their roots

Since they opened, the Refined Fool Brewery has become a cultural hub in Sarnia, hosting dinners, concerts, art shows, and other events. They’ve offered a new, young energy to the city. “We stopped worrying about the outside perception of Sarnia,” Nathan said. “Our inside perception is what counts.”

“We all come from blue collar backgrounds and we don’t want to snub our own roots,” he said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.” That’s reflected in the brewery’s name – a play on Sarnia’s main product, refined fuels – and in the fun names given to their beers.

The formula must be working, because too-many-to-count times we have had Savvy Hip Hops subscribers request that we feature Refined Fool again.  If you are in southern Ontario, you will find their beers on tap in more than two dozen bars and restaurants; and they’re coordinating with the city to take over a larger space and expand their operations.  Looks like Nathan & his friends are no fools!

Let’s lift a glass to Nathan & the Refined Fool crew!

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes

David shares his notes about each beer, along with David’s picks on what to serve… and some fun recipes too!

Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA

Illiterate Librarians- Grapefruit IPAPerfect for a hot summer day, this IPA does a terrific job of matching dry citrus flavours with a solid hop backbone. It measures up at 5.7% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 70 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: Looking like light honey topped with suds, offers aromas of grapefruit pith and brioche. The acidity is medium, but there’s no sweetness here. Instead, it has the pithy dryness of an Earl Grey tea and a soft, light mouthfeel. The alcohol is certainly apparent, especially in the lingering grapefruit aftertaste.

Suggested Food Pairing: The acidity in this beer calls for a rich, fatty meat. We recommend BBQ duck finished with a Peking sauce.

 

Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pouch Envy- Australian Pale AleGalaxy™ hops from the land down under have become a staple in the craft beer maker’s kit. They offer citrus and passion fruit notes with moderate bitterness. This is an easy-drinker, at 5% ABV and 20 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A pretty amber beer with a long-lasting mousse, the aromas of lemon-grass and white rose carry through to the palate. It has a silky mouthfeel and moderate acidity. “Eyes-light-up good!” was the note we made.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with seafood, we suggest pan-seared sea scallops and garlic butter (recipe below).

 

Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Noble Oaf- Rye SaisonThe first Noble Fool beer to make become a permanent fixture on the LCBO’s shelves, this heady rye saison is made with traditional Belgian farmhouse yeast. It measures up at 7.3% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a caramel colour with a fast-disappearing head, the beer invokes memories of delicatessen rye bread with its roasted and yeasty notes. The bubbles are fine and Champagne-like, and the hoppiness and lively acidity are in perfect harmony. With a long finish, you’ll find sweet hazelnuts remaining on your palate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside roast pork tenderloin in a fruit-based sauce, with a side of potatoes and root vegetables. The acidity will balance the sweetness, while the rye notes will complement the meat (recipe below).

Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Short pier long walkYou’d never know this stunning pale ale boasts 100+ on the IBU scale just from tasting it. With its high (8.4%) alcohol and stunning flavours, those hops are well-integrated.

Tasting Notes: This pours a beautiful orange marmalade colour with a long lasting, well-structured foam. Aromas of beach air, roasted nuts, and caramel lead to a velour-soft mouthfeel. The alcohol comes through, but the bitterness is balanced by the sweet nutty flavours leaving a hint of marmalade on the finish. This is a “Wow” beer to share with friends.

Suggested Food Pairing: Best enjoyed with some sweet and salty beer nuts (recipe below), this big boy can also handle a grilled rib-eye topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Mid-Life Spices: Braggot

Mid-Life Spices- BraggotHere is a neat new beer style that we are eager for you to try.  What is a Braggot beer you ask? Craft beer enthusiasts’ go-to online resource, BeerAdvocate explains that a Braggot beer is “simply made by blending spices and herbs with mead (honey based wine) and beer, to produce a strong concoction with uncommon flavors”. It’s an ancient drink, with literary references going back to the 12th century. But be advised, at 13% ABV, it packs a wallop!

Tasting Notes: Buckwheat honey-coloured and with no foam at all, you can immediately detect the gingerbread aromas while you pour. Tasting of allspice, ginger, and raisins, it’s reminiscent of a Dark & Stormy cocktail. The acidity is tangy, but it measures out at 0 IBU and finishes with lovely spiced honey notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: Caramelized onion tart (recipe below) or a baked brie. The acidity will perfectly balance the richness of the dish.

TIP: if this beer is overwhelming, try making a shanty with gingerale or sprite.  We put a slice of lime & some mint – this definitely turned heads & made people comment “That looks different – what are you drinking?”

 

The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale


The Brouhaha- Nut Brown Ale“Yum!” said Debbie. The Brouhaha, made with English-style yeast and hops, has a moderate 5.7% ABV and 23 IBU. We found it complex and very drinkable.

Tasting Notes: With a beautiful pour the colour of pistachio skins and big-bubble foam, this beer had amazed with the changing flavours. It smells like buckwheat honey and root beer, and the palate shifts quickly from hops to nuts to soya sauce. Smooth and rich, this is a winner!

Suggested Food Pairing: There was no hesitation here: pair this beauty with a backyard burger loaded with your favourite toppings.

Murder of Crows: Black IPA

Murder of Crows- Black IPADespite the contradictory name, black IPAs are super-popular with beer makers right now. After all, why shouldn’t dark beers get some hop love? Another big brew, this hits 8% ABV and 90 IBU.

Tasting Notes: With the thick head and blackstrap appearance of good stout, this has surprising notes of black licorice and flint to balance the dark roasted grain. The hops are rich, but the sweet malt and high alcohol offer good balance. If the Noble Oaf was deli rye, this is a grilled cheese on pumpernickel – with bacon jam –  of course!

Suggested Food Pairing: Sacrifice some of this beer to make a fantastic onion soup, topped with croutons and Gruyère.

Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

Ripsnorter- Bourbon PorterIf you’ve never considered “dessert beer”, here’s your opportunity. This smooth, rich brew is a perfect alternative to after-dinner liqueurs. Made with whole vanilla beans and bourbon barrel oak. 8.7% ABV and 37 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Chocolate fudge in colour and with a thick foamy top, this superb porter tastes of caramelized brown sugar, sweet cream, espresso, and vanilla. It’s smooth and flavourful, lingering in the mouth like a good coffee liqueur.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chocolate espresso brownie (recipe below) with a dollop of French vanilla ice cream. I’ll take two helpings, please!

 

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

 

With Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pan-seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

Recipe and photo: Fine Cooking

IngredientsScallops

1 lb (450 g) dry large sea scallops
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

3 Tablespoons (45 mL) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppeR
2 to 3 lemon wedges for serving

Method

Remove the tough abductor muscle from the side of each scallop (some scallops are sold with the muscle already removed). If you feel any grit on the scallops, rinse them under cold water. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels; surface moisture impedes browning.  

Heat a 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, if using, and heat until quite hot. Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single, uncrowded layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot. Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add a piece of the butter (1/2 tablespoon or 12 mL) and the shallots and sauté until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth or wine and simmer until reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and lemon zest. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until the butter melts into the sauce. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the scallops.

With Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Cream Sauce

Recipe: A Taste of Québec
Photo credit: Eating Well

IngredientsPork Chops Refined brewery

2  pork fillets (750g)
2 tablespoons (25 mL) all-purpose flour
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
1 tablespoon (15mL) vegetable oil

For the sauce:

½ cup (125mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup (50mL) granulated sugar
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 2 tablespoons (25mL) water
1/4 cup (50mL) whipping cream

Method

Lightly dredge pork fillets in flour seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy frying pan; brown pork quickly on all sides.

Place fillets in a shallow baking dish. Roast in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pork, and leave in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.

Meanwhile, combine cranberries, sugar, and dissolved bouillon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved. With a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from syrup and set aside.

Bring remaining liquid to a full boil and reduce until thickened, but not caramelized.

Whip cream until stiff; fold into warm sauce along with reserved cranberries. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut pork into slices. Arrange on 4 heated plates and pour some of the Cranberry Cream Sauce over each serving.

 

With Mid-life Spices: Braggot

French Onion Tart

Recipe and Photo: Food Network

IngredientsPizza refined brewery

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
2 Tablespoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) good quality beef stock

Method

Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a work surface, roll the puff pastry into a roughly 10 by 16-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, trim uneven edges to make a perfect rectangle. Evenly cut off the outer 1 inch of each side of the rectangle in strips; put the puff sheet on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and run around the top edges of the rectangle and replace the removed strips of pastry along the edges of the sheet, pressing lightly to adhere. With a fork, pierce the interior of the tart shell to prevent rising; do not pierce the adhered edges. Bake until the outer edges have puffed and are golden in colour; about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, a tablespoon at a time, as the pan gets dry, scraping and stirring the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. When the onions are caramelized to a dark golden color, remove from the heat and discard the leafless thyme sprigs (the leaves fall off while cooking).

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350° F. Evenly spread the caramelized onions on the cooked pastry shell and heat in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish each wedge with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

With Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Beer Nuts

Recipe and Photo: Food.com

IngredientsBeer Nuts Refined Brewery

4 ½ cups (640 g) peanuts, raw and shelled
2 cups (500 mL) sugar
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1 cup (250 mL) water

Method

Bring peanuts, sugar, salt and water to a boil.

Continue to boil until all liquid is absorbed (approximately 25-30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

Spread nuts on lightly greased jelly roll pan and sprinkle with salt to your liking and.

Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and gently stir, sprinkle with more salt to your liking and bake 20 minutes more.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

With Ripsnorter: Bourbon IPA

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Recipe and Photo: Cookie & Kate

IngredientsCHocoalte

10 Tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1¼ cups (312 g) pure cane sugar
¾ cup (187 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
2 cold large eggs
1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract
⅔ cup (167 g) white flour
2 ounces (57 g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper, making sure that the paper is long enough to go up the sides a couple of inches. Grease the parchment paper.

Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, while whisking constantly, until it’s a pale golden brown and the particles suspended in it are reddish brown. This usually takes me about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Then add the cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula after each one. When the mixture looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the vanilla extract and the flour. Stir until you no longer see streaks of flour. Then beat vigorously (put those arm muscles to work!) for 50 strokes with the wooden spoon or spatula.

At this point, the mixture should be no more than slightly warm (if not, let it cool for a few more minutes). Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips.

Spread the batter in the lined pan, then use a knife to make light swirls in the top of the batter. Bake on the lower rack for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a baking rack.

Once the brownies are completely cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper and transfer the
brownies to a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the brownies into 16 or 25 squares. 

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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