Posts Tagged ‘Katy Watts’

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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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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Kichesippi – proud to be Ottawa’s beer

Posted by Melanie

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Kichesippi Beer
–  December 2015 –

As 2015 wraps up & another year is upon us, we’re happy to bring you a fantastic mix of beers from Kichesippi Beer Co. which was our feature beer in December. It is fitting that during a month filled with spending time with friends and family, that we feature a family-focused craft brewery dedicated to preserving an important resource and key beer-making ingredient (water!) as well as promoting Ottawa’s history with every beer.

Paul MeekCo-owner and President of Kichesippi, Paul Meek, is proud of the fact that Kichesippi beer is sold only in the Ottawa area. “We are Ottawa’s beer.” They will occasionally feature some of their beers in Toronto, but purely to satisfy the demand from beer lovers in the area requesting Kichesippi brews.   So, tuck into your Taste Case and flip through the following pages to learn a bit more below about this neat brewery.

 

hiphops_large-292x300

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and find a variety of 4-packs and ‘bombers’ from Kichesippi Beer Co.’s, including:
1 x 750 mL bottle – Ice Harvest Eisbock
2 x 750 mL bottles Wuchak Black
4 x 473 mL cans – Heller Highwater
4 x 473 mL cans – Radler
4 x 473 mL cans – Bristol Stout

Kraving more Kichesippi ?

Would you like more beer from this month’s 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…
Kichesippi Beer Co.

by Melanie Allen, member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

I met with the man behind the brewery – Paul Meek – as well as the Ops Man – Philip Ware – at the brewery on a chilly November morning. As we settled into the office to chat, they were both pleased to announce that they are in the process of expanding the brewery in order to provide space for special events. Taking over space located right next to the brewery, they will be able to accommodate groups for work-related events or friendly gatherings or large group tastings.   They anticipate having this new space available in the New Year.

The Great River

bottling lineIn 1855 when the city of Ottawa was founded, Kichesippi was the name of the river that ran through the city. The brewery is intentionally focused on preservation; not only preserving Ottawa’s natural resources, but also on preserving it’s history.

For every brewery tour, $1 is donated to Ottawa Riverkeepers.   When I asked Paul how this came about, he explained,“without clean water, we can’t make a good product. It was only fitting that we give back in some way to this natural resource that is a key ingredient in every brew.” Kichessippi is now also an “official keeper” of part of the Ottawa River (more specifically, Bate Island, located under Island Park Drive & Champlain Bridge). Twice a year, all employees head to the Island for a ½ day to help clean it up, and they are already seeing what a difference they’ve made.

It’s all about family

You may or may not know this, but Kichesippi also makes it’s very own line of olde fashioned soda! Released in 2013 under the name Harvey & Verns, they started out offering Root Beer, then quickly expanded to a Ginger Beer and a Cream Soda. And this year,a new Lime Soda was added.

creamsoda_2048x2048Who are Harvey and Vern? Harvey was Paul’s grandfather, Vern, his father-in-law.   Why sodas? Paul replied that “a lot of what gets created at Kichesippi is about me reliving my youth”, and out of this came his idea for making soda. When Paul was a kid, he would go visit his grandfather on their farm located in Quyon, Quebec, and after helping on the farm all day, they would wash up in the lake and then Harvey would take him out and buy him a soda pop.

Looking around the industry, they saw that friends and fellow breweries in Canada and the United States were making their own line of sodas. They realized they had the infrastructure to make sodas too – no additional equipment would be required – so, “we went for it” says Paul.

I confess – the Ginger Beer is my favorite with it’s zingy, powerful ginger flavor. Kids, however,seem to love the Cream Soda and Root Beer. The sodas are available at the brewery, as well as many restaurants and food trucks in and around Ottawa.

Caring about the community

Not only does Kichesippi care about the city’s natural resources, they also care about promoting Ottawa’s history (every beer has a story that gets tied into it’s name and packaging): the 1855 honors the history behind the Alexander Bridge and Ottawa’s incorporation; the Logger, promotes Ottawa’s logging industry back in the 1800’s. There is plenty of thought and research done to help preserve Ottawa’s history with every beer.

Kbeer bicycleMany schools tour the brewery. Young minds curious about how their passion for science and chemistry might lead them down the path of making fine craft beer one day.

Along with donations to the Ottawa Riverkeepers, a portion of the sales from each growler sold goes toward Juvenile Diabetes research (in support of his Paul’s son Alex). Kichesippi sponsors many local recreational sports teams, tournaments and festivals. And Paul has also partnered with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to promote business education for new entrepreneurs, and is a member of the Beer Canada Lobby group.

For all these reasons, in November, the mayor of Ottawa honored Paul and 13 other nominees with the Order of Ottawa, to celebrate outstanding citizens for their contributions in various areas of life which has benefited others in the community.   When I bring this up with Paul, he is of course thankful for the honor, but can’t help but refer to it as being something that “we” (the Kichesippi family) received.  

Cheers to Paul Meek & the Kichesippi team!               

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Below are Melanie’s tasting notes for each beer, additional information on the beers, along with suggested food pairings and recipes to try out with your beers.

Ice Harvest Eisbock

Membership has benefits! All of our Savvy Hip Hop suds-scribers are lucky indeed, as I wasn’t able to taste this creation since it’s a limited edition and was only brewed in small quantities! Eisbock (which means “ice strong beer”) undergoes a freezing process that concentrates the sugar and alcohol in the brew (similar in theory to keeping grapes on the vine so that they will freeze, concentrating the flavors within and creating ice wine). Kichesippi brewed this special in order to celebrate their 5th anniversary earlier this year. After the party, Paul stashed away enough bottles for us to include in your Taste Case. 13.8% ABV

Tasting Notes: I cannot comment specifically on Kichesippi’s Eisbock since I was unable to try the goods, however for this type of brew, this is a full-bodied beer and although you will taste the high alcohol content, it should not be harsh or overpowering, but provide more of a warming feeling. Dark coffee or cola in colour and a syrupy mouth-feel, this will provide lovely malty, rich flavours on the palate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Strong cheeses such as Limburger or Gouda, or roasted game meat.   Personally, I would love to try this with my Grandpa Allen’s Christmas Pudding!

 

Wuchuk Black logoWuchak Black

This Black IPA (Cascadian Dark Ale) was Kichesippi’s first, and is now their most popular seasonal brew. Ideal for this time of year with roasted malt flavors, and the major hop presence that you would expect from an IPA.Black, bitter and strong.6.0% ABV and 77 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Very dark brown (black really) color. On the nose: roasted coffee and dark chocolate. On the palate: black licorice, roasted coffee with a slightly bitter finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This IPA would be delicious with various slow-cooked meats (think gamey stews), but I would also venture trying this with some Mole Chicken or Chocolate Bacon Brownies.

 

Heller Highwater logoHeller Highwater

This beer (Helles) is a pale straw coloured Bavarian Lager. Brewed with German noble hops and genuine Munich yeast, it is a classic example of the session beers enjoyed in Bavarian beer gardens. The beer has a clean malt flavour with a slight hop presence. 4.8% ABV and 19 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Medium golden color with a fluffy white head when poured into a glass.Slight aroma of cereal grains (malt), citrus and herbs on the nose. Smooth and crisp, very refreshing and clean with a repeat of the malt, citrus and mild hoppiness on the palate. Creamy mouthfeel with a mild hoppiness on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Helles beer comes from Bavaria (Germany), so I say, have this with your favourite German-style food on a bun: bratwurst (or currywurst) sausage or chicken (or veal) schnitzel.

 

radlerRadler

Radler first became popular in 1922 in the town of Deisenhofen, Germany. The beverage was an instant favourite with the local cyclists travelling from Munich. Kichesippi first made this beer in 2014 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Pub Italia (located on Preston Street in Ottawa). 3.0% ABV, 0 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Cloudy orange colour with a hint of pink.On the nose, fresh aromas of candied grapefruit and tangerines. Flavors repeat on the palate, which a nice touch of cereal (malt) to balance it out. A really great Radler that still tastes like a beer and provides a refreshing and crisp finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Salads where the main attraction is citrus fruit and nuts, but I would also recommend this with lighter meat dishes, such as Orange-braised pulled pork tacos.

 

bristol stoutBristol Stout

The inspiration for this beer came from family who have been farming in Bristol, Quebec since 1925. The family first started out with dairy cattle and now are farming soybeans and hay. This stout offers a balance of roasted malts and residual sweetness.   4.8% ABV and 36 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Dark brown in color, there is definitely a sweet aroma on the nose, some honey and milk chocolate. On the palate a repeat of this but add to it French Canadian taffy (in French, it’s called “la tire de Ste-Catherine”) and light maple syrup.

Suggested Food Pairing: Go ahead and have this with a hearty brunch that includes Banana Pancakes and a side of bacon! Try the recipe on the following pages.   I also wouldn’t hesitate to have this with dessert, something not overly rich or sweet: a Caramel Flan.

 

 • Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Kichesippi Radler

Orange-braised Pulled Pork Tacos

From: www.coles.com.au
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours (stove top) or 8 hours (slow cooker)
Yield: 10 tacos

Ingredients

pulled poke2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 kg Pork Shoulder Roast
1 Medium Onion, finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
zest and juice from 3 oranges
2 cups Salt Reduced Chicken Stock
6 cups Water
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
Your favourite coleslaw
10 Flour Tortillas

Method

Place a large saucepan / stockpot over medium heat.

Add 1tablespoon of the oil, once hot, add pork and sear on each side until a golden. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil, and once hot, add onion, cooking for a few minutes, then add garlic, fennel and cumin seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Return pork to the pan and add orange zest and juice, stock, water and black peppercorns and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, covered, on low heat for 3 – 4 hours. Alternatively cook in slow cooker for 6 – 8 hours. Once cooked the meat will shred / pull apart very easily but keep in stock on low heat until ready to serve.

To serve, heat tortillas according to packet instructions. Remove pork from stock retaining some of the orange zest and stock to drizzle over the pork. Place some coleslaw on the tortilla topped with pork, extra coriander and chilli if desired. Drizzle with a little of the pork stock for extra juiciness and flavour.

 

With Kichesippi Bristol Stout                    

Homemade Banana Pancakes

From: www.onceuponachef.com

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 4-inch pancakes

pancakesIngredients

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
2 tablespoons sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small, over-ripe banana, peeled (the browner, the better)
1 cup low fat milk
2 Tbsp craft beer – IPA or ale are recommended
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Cooking

Vegetable oil
Unsalted butter

For Serving

Maple syrup, Sliced bananas, Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork until almost smooth. Whisk in the eggs, then add the milk and vanilla and whisk until well blended.

Pour the banana mixture and the melted butter into the flour mixture. Fold the batter gently with a rubber spatula until just blended; do not over-mix. The batter should be thick and lumpy. Adjust the thickness of the batter by adding more beer – tablespoon by tablespoon until you get the right consistency.  Slaving over the griddle is hard work, so enjoy the rest of the open bottle.

Set a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Put a pad of butter and one tablespoon vegetable oil onto the griddle, and swirl it around.

Drop the batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto the griddle, spacing the pancakes about 2 inches apart. Cook until a few holes form on top of each pancake and the underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is puffed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Using the spatula, transfer the pancakes to a serving plate.

Wipe the griddle clean with paper towels, add more butter and oil, and repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve the pancakes while still hot with maple syrup, sliced bananas and confectioners’ sugar if desired.

 

With Kichesippi Wuchak Black

Bacon Caramel Brownies

From: www.thedomesticfront.com
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 16 pieces

Ingredientsbrownies

For the bacon caramel:

2 slices bacon
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. salted butter

For the Brownies:

8 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into pieces
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour

Method

In a small saucepan, fry two slices of bacon until crisp (pre-cut bacon in half). Once cooked, remove bacon from saucepan and set aside, and reserve bacon grease in the pan.

Add cream to the pan and let cool. When bacon is cool, chop finely.

In a larger pan, heat the sugar over high heat until the mixture is liquid and a deep amber color. Add the butter and the cooled bacon cream all at once, and stir until the butter is melted. Add the chopped bacon and let the mixture cool thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8 inch square pan with Parchment paper that covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Grease with butter or cooking spray.

In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate together in the microwave (start with 30 seconds, and stir thoroughly, then microwave for 10 seconds at a time, stirring between each bout of nuking, until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the butter).

Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth, then add in the eggs, one at a time, and the sugar, vanilla and finally the flour. Stir only until combined.Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Then drop about a third of the bacon caramel, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter in the pan. It doesn’t have to cover the whole batter, but should be in splotches.

Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the brownies and swirl.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops & the Holidays!

 

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Nita Beer Company – Off The Charts

Posted by Katy

Monday, October 26th, 2015
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Nita Beer
–  October 2015 –

October has been an exciting month. If you’re like me, you kicked it off by raising a stein of craft at a local Oktoberfest celebration and followed that with a pint at home, anxiously awaiting election results. By the time the Savvy Hip Hops Taste Cases roll out of Nita Beer Company in Ottawa who knows what we’ll be toasting next, but you’ll have some fun Nita beers to raise!

Speaking of the types of beer that Nita Beer Company offers, some may be hard to place on the style chart. While some are fantastic examples of classics like American IPA or Irish Dry Stout, others don’t fit in any category. As Andy Nita, owner and brewer, said, “Sometimes we don’t even think about style – what happens if we do this.” I hope you’ll have as much fun drinking them as Andy and his crew did brewing them.

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find two (500ml) bottles of each:hiphops_large-292x300

Ten12
El Hefe
Brown Gone Coconuts
Perfectum
The Chad
OPA

 

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…
Nita Beer Company

by Katy Watts

Nita logo

I met with owner & brewer of Nita Beer Company, Andy Nita  – also known as Chief Beer Officer at the brewery.  We arranged a rendez-vous at one of Ottawa’s favourite spots for craft beer, the Arrow and Loon Pub. Andy & I had met several times before at brewery events, but I had never had the opportunity to chat with him over a beer about the brewery or his past experience with beer. So, knowing that this was not a quick conversation, I settled in with a pint, got my notes ready and ready to capture Andy’s story that I could share with you… 

Getting Technical

Growing up, Andy was a bit spoiled for beer. Having a father who routinely stocked the fridge with German imports gave Andy an early appreciation for quality, “I think my love and good taste in beer came from my Dad – a German guy. And like all young fellas, taking your Dad’s beers, I grew up on a pretty good selection.”

Nita selfieThat respect and love for beer grew and Andy wanted to pursue brewing school in Scotland, but the expense of studying abroad was too high. Instead he turned to books – two very lengthy and highly technical manuals: Yeast – The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation as well as the brick of a book entitled Technology Brewing and Malting.

It was two years of studying these manuals, mostly used for commercial breweries, before Andy fired up his 40 litre pilot homebrew system. Quickly this keen student, was producing consistent beers and creating his own beer recipes that were getting great feedback from family and friends. It was those compliments that made Andy and his wife, Bridget, think they could take the big leap from homebrew to opening a brewery. 

Teamwork Builds the Brewery

Nita Beer - AndyWhere Andy is technical and has a solid background in electrical contracting and industrial process, his wife, Bridget, has the business and finance experience. While Andy was perfecting his recipes and shopping around for equipment, Bridget was creating the business plan to open the doors. Thanks to that detailed planning, Nita Beer Company started with a larger brewhouse than other local craft breweries. This allowed them to do larger batches and not worry about having to scale recipes when demand increased.

All of the preparation and planning doesn’t mean that they haven’t had to scramble though! The husband and wife team have found that the Ottawa craft beer community has been thirsty for their brews and they’re already ahead of schedule on their 5-year plan for the brewery.

In fact, they’ve just finished their first canning run of their flagship Ten12 and some of their seasonals – all in time for being featured in Savvy Hip Hops. Once they’ve perfected canning – which won’t be long – we might see that crazy can with a mountain bike jumping a cop car on the shelves at the Beer Store across Ontario.

Be on the look out!  And when you see it, you’ll be happy that we introduced you to Nita Beer. 

Here’s to Andy, Bridget & the brewery team!

Nita Beer - team

• Savvy HipHops Tasting Notes •

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

 

Ten12Nita - cans

This 5%, 45 International Bitterness Unit (IBU) brew is Nita Beer Company’s flagship. Its name shares two meanings – a reference to the opening of the fist beer garden in Munich, the Menterschwaige and a reference to the police 10-code (a shorthand way of communicating through the radio). 10-12 meaning, “visitors present”.

Tasting Notes: This hoppy blonde ale pours a clear copper with a caramel malt, grapefruit and nectarine aroma. The American hops show off their flavour with notes of pine, spice and grapefruit, but there’s a good amount of malt that helps counter it.

Suggested Food Pairing: Not only is this brew approachable to a variety of palates, but it’s very food friendly. Try it with spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken salads, shellfish or alongside tacos. Ten12 is a great brew to use for beer batters, try the attached recipe for onion rings or use it as an ingredient for beer battered fish!

 

El Hefe

Brewed using Hefeweizen yeast, this sessionable wheat beer has all of the flavour and aroma of a German wheat with a fraction of the alcohol content – only 3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: As soon as you pop the bottle you can smell that Hefeweizen yeast; aromas of banana esthers and spicy clove and pepper phenols wafting off the hazy pale straw liquid. The phenols return in the flavour with subtle clove notes and a big pepper-y finish with a crisp carbonated bite!

Suggested Food Pairing: While this beer is fairly light, the esthers and phenols will pair well with the spicing in cured meats and sausages and the crisp carbonation will help clear some of the fat off the palate. Another option would be to pair it with the spice and citrus of Mexican cuisine, either simple chicken or spicy barbacoa.

 

Mr Brown Gone Coconuts

This is Nita Beer Company’s Five Fingers American Brown Ale, with a twist. Adding coconut to the brew adds a pronounced aroma and sweet coconut flavour that brings out complimentary flavours. This 5.5% ABV brew won the People’s Choice Award at the 2015 Ottawa Craft Beer Festival (photo on right).

Tasting Notes: This is over-the-top coconut! The aroma is similar to coconut scented sunscreen with slight background notes of caramel malt. The flavour has more sweetness; with an emphasis on coconut and caramel and vanilla backing it up. It is reminiscent of a Bounty chocolate bar, and would probably pair well with one!

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a tough beer to pair. My go-to would be a chocolate cake or bowl of vanilla ice cream, but I think a sweeter Indian curry might work well with the big coconut sweetness.

 

Perfectum

This Dry Irish Stout was first poured at the brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day warm up event. Pouring 5% ABV and 50 IBU, this might become your cold weather favourite.

Tasting Notes: This opaque brown stout has an off white head that emits roasted malts, dark chocolate and a slight hop spice. The carbonation is lower than the other offerings, emphasizing the heavier body and roasted flavours.

Suggested Food Pairing: The roasted malt and chocolate bitterness of the stout offer a great contrast to the briny sweetness of a fresh shucked oyster. If oysters aren’t your thing, go for an indulgent flourless chocolate cake for the perfect chocolate overload.

 

The Chad

Brewed using French Aramis hops this 5% ABV, 40 IBU version of an India Pale Ale has a unique flavour profile compared to American hopped versions.

Tasting Notes: Aramis hops are new to me so there’s a lot of interesting things going on in the aroma – cantaloupe, bergamot orange, medicinal herbs along with some grainy malt sweetness. The flavour follows suite with more of that melon and Earl Grey tea flavour with a light grain backbone leading to a smooth dry finish with a slight lingering bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: The sweeter and dry flavours of this IPA have me going against traditional IPA pairings. Instead, pair this unusual IPA with a good charcuterie board filled with your favourite salumi and a farmhouse cheddar.

 

OPA

After finishing a bottle of this 6% ABV, 75 IBU India Pale Ale you may want to yell OPA! Brewed with a blend of five different American hops this beer is for the hop head in each of us.

Tasting Notes: This is jam packed full of hops and the aroma has a little bit of everything – pine, grapefruit, peach and herbs mixed in with some sweet cereal grains. The flavour has a more pronounced spice character with toasted grains and a lingering bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: A beer packed with this many hops deserves a robust food pairing that can stand up to a lot of flavour and it’s only fitting it be Greek. Pair it with lamb chops that have been marinated in lemon, garlic and oregano and taste how the herbs, citrus and char contrast and compliment the hops.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Ten12

Lamb Stew with Poppy Seed Dumplings

Recipe & photo credits – Eating Nose to Tail

IngredientsLamb stew

1 ½ pounds lamb stew meat
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup Ten12
3 ½ cups chicken stock
½ bunch curly parsley, roughly chopped
2/3 cup frozen peas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 egg
1 cup milk

Method

Heat a large lidded pot over medium high heat and drizzle a large dose of vegetable in the pan. Combine flour, salt, pepper and toss lamb stew meat in the mixture – shaking off the excess. Brown lamb on all sides in batches adding more vegetable oil as needed between batches. Reserve meat.

Add chopped onion in the pot and cook until onions are soft and beginning to brown. Add carrot, celery, parsnip and garlic; cook until vegetables begin to soften. Add browned meat and juices back to pot and combine Ten12, chicken stock and ½ the parsley. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then turn to low and partially cover; cook until meat is tender (about 1 hour). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once meat is tender, make dumplings by whisking flour. Baking powder, salt and poppy seeds together. In a separate bowl, beat egg and combine with milk. Add milk and egg to flour mixture, stirring gently to combine.

Bring stew to a rolling simmer over medium high heat. Add dumpling batter to stew using ¼ measure cup until all batter is used. Let dumplings cook with a covered lid for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook until dumplings are done (about 3 minutes). Garnish with parsley and serve alongside a can of Ten12!

 

With OPA

Cheddar, Garlic & IPA Soup

Recipe & photo credits – Serious Eats

IngredientsIPA Soup

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup OPA
1 cup whole milk (3.5%)
3 heads roasted garlic
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 ¼ pounds white cheddar cheese, grated
Salt
Ground white pepper
Chopped fresh chives

Method

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the top ¼ inch off of three heads of garlic, exposing the individual cloves. Place it cut side up on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Gather the foil around the garlic, folding and twisting the top to seal. Roast for 1 hour and let garlic cool completely. Use a fork to pull the roasted cloves out of the papery skin. Alternatively, you can squeeze the cloves out from the bottom using your hands.

Melt ¾ cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking briskly to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the flour takes on a light blond colour (about 5 minute). Remove from heat.

Melt the remaining ¼ cup butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and minced garlic and cook until the garlic is aromatic (30 seconds to a minute). Add the vegetable stock, OPA and milk.  When the liquid begins to simmer, stir in the garlic, paprika and cumin. Using a handheld immersion blender or a regular blender, puree until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture. Add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking after each addition until melted and smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with chopped chives.

 

 

With Perfectum

Beer Braised Ribs

Recipe & photo credits – Mark Bittman

IngredientsIndoor Ribs

1 rack pork loin back ribs, around 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
10 allspice berries
2 or 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
10 slices unpeeled fresh ginger or 1 tablespoon ground ginger
5 dried red chillies or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
5 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
500mL Perfectum

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove the membrane from the bottom side of the ribs and split the rack into two.

Season liberally with salt and pepper. Put oil in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or casserole that can later be covered. Turn heat to medium-high and, when oil shimmers, sear meat on both sides until nicely browned, turning as necessary.

Add allspice, cinnamon, ginger, chilies and garlic and stir; add Perfectum. Bring to a boil; cover pan and adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Put in oven and cook until meat is tender, about 1 hour.

Heat broiler. Drain meat and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Broil on both sides until brown and crisp (about 1 or 2 minutes). Meanwhile, skim cooking liquid of fat, bring to a boil and use as sauce.

 

With The Chad

Beer Battered Onion Rings

Recipe & photo credits – The Kitchn

IngredientsBeer Battered Onion Rings

Canola oil, for frying
4 Vidalia onions
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cups The Chad
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Fill a cast iron pot with a few inches of oil and heat on medium-high until it reaches 365° to 375°F.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. While the oil heats, slice off the root and tip ends of the onions. Peel the onions and cut them crosswise into ¼-inch to ½-inch slices. Separate slices into individual rings, discarding the centers.

In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper to combine. Whisk in just enough The Chad to make a smooth paste, working the mixture as little as possible. Whisk in more The Chad (about ½ cup) until the batter is smooth and creamy – about the consistency of pancake batter.

Using tongs, dip an onion ring into the batter and flip to coat completely, shaking excess batter back into the bowl. Drop the ring into the oil and repeat, working in batches as not to crowd the pot. Fry until golden, flipping occasionally (about 4-5 minutes).

Remove the rings using a spider or tongs and transfer to the prepared sheet pan to drain. Season with additional salt and serve immediately.

 

Enjoy all of the beers in your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Collective Arts Brewing: Drinkable Art

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Collective Arts Brewing
–  September 2015 –

 

It’s not hard to get whimsical when thinking about beer, especially when you have a really tasty pint in front of you. Thoughts start streaming about how it was made, how the Brewmaster decided to use these hops over different hops or if using a certain grain would change how we enjoy it. When your mind wanders down that hole, you think about all of the subtleties and finesse that goes into a pint, at this point you realize brewing is truly art.

Collective Arts Brewing has taken their drinkable art and matched it with works of art by artists and musicians to create a new experience. Be sure to download the free Blippar mobile phone app to scan the label art to see it come to life – hear music, see videos and read about the artists featured on each label.

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find four of each:hiphops_large-292x300

Rhyme & Reason
Saint of Circumstance
State of Mind
Ransack the Universe
Stranger than Fiction
Stash – brand new! You are the first to receive this beer 

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



Collective Arts Brewing

Presented by Katy Watts

 

When we hear about the opening of a new brewery it’s often the same story – passionate homebrewer leaves corporate life to go professional. Collective Arts Brewing has a different start to the brewing story, but it begins with that same passion for creativity.

Beer is in their bloodMatt and Bob

Co-founders Matt Johnston and Bob Russell (right) are long time veterans of the beer industry: Matt, having worked as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Moosehead and the General Manager for The Premium Beer Company and Bob, a long time homebrewer and owner of Russell Branding, a design firm responsible for many breweries branding. Together they developed Hop City Brewing Company, a brewery that’s independently operated, but owned by Moosehead.

 Creating Partnerships

With their unique understanding of craft beer and the design behind it they launched their own business in 2013 – Collective Arts Brewing. Their goal was to fuse the creativity of craft beer with the talents of artists, musicians and filmmakers.

To achieve this, they initially gypsy brewed (where a brewing company without a physical brewery uses excess production at an existing brewery) at the Burlington Nickel Brook Brewery facility, then in mid-2014 the two companies partnered to build a new brewery  in the space that used to house Lakeport Brewing in Hamilton. Matt recalls, “We were both headed down a similar path; them needing to expand and us needing to build a brewery so we decided to go down that path together.” The facility was creatively named Arts & Science Ltd – ‘Arts’ from Creative Arts and ‘Science’ from Nickel Brook’s slogan, ‘A miracle of science’.

The partnership doesn’t stop there though; the two breweries also share a Brewmaster – Ryan Morrow.

Ryan has been with Nickel Brook since 2006 and took the reigns as Brewmaster in 2010. With Ryan’s experience at developing beer recipes and Matt and Bob’s vision, they’ve produced some distinct beers unique to Collective Arts. Now with their new retail location in Hamilton, they plan on serving up a few seasonal treats (you have 3 of them in your Taste Case!) alongside their regular offerings. “We wanted to create great beers that a range of different people and different palates will enjoy and then we’ll do wild and whacky,” teased Matt.

What’s in a Label?

logoWhile the quality of beer inside the bottle is important, Collective Arts also puts a lot of thought into the labels that adorn their beer bottles. “We have to be about beer first and then it’s about how we have that creativity fuel other creativity,” explains Matt.

Selected from a variety of submitted work (film, paintings, photographs, design, and sound) from around the world, each label is a new experience. Using the Blippar app to scan the label art you’re able to see it come to life and learn more about the artist that created it. It’s a unique way to discover different art forms while drinking it.

Currently they’ve featured over 343 artists and 41 Collective Arts Black Box Sessions. They are set to release the 5th series of bottle art on September 24th and submissions have already started for series 6.

To the Future!

With the retail shop just recently open to the public, it isn’t the end of Creative Arts expansion. Plans are already in place to introduce canning, expand to other formats and explore other markets. Matt explains, “We’re not a status quo company, we don’t like sameness. We like to approach things differently and we like change. We’ll always be evolving.” 

Here’s to Matt, Bob & the Collective Arts
Brewing team!

•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!

Rhyme & Reason

Labelled an Extra Pale Ale, this 5.7% ABV, 55 IBU (International Bitterness Unit) brew showcases the best of American hop flavour without being bracingly bitter.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a hazy orange with frothy off white head this brew gives off wonderful aromas of pineapple, passion fruit, pine and fresh cut grass. On the palate, the hop flavours come to life with more tropical fruit notes, grapefruit and sweet malt base to lend some balance. The carbonation is lower than you’d expect, offering an unexpected smoothness with a slight bite at the end.

Suggested Food Pairing: The tropical hop notes will compliment delicate meats and cuisines that have a lot of citrus. Serve alongside shredded chicken or fried fish tacos with fresh salsa and a squeeze of lime. Beef fajitas would also be a wonderful pairing as the caramelized crust on the grilled meat draws out more of that malt flavour.

 

Saint of Circumstance

This any occasion 4.7% ABV, 19 IBU Blonde Ale uses a mix of American hops, wheat and seasonal citrus zest to create a refreshing combination.

Tasting Notes: The hops and zest creates an interesting aroma combination that’s similar to a tropical ginger tea. On your first sip you’ll get a little bit of everything – lemon, orange, pineapple, and even some floral notes. This is a wonderful showcase of hop flavour without the lasting hop bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: There’s a lot of flavour in this beer, but pairing it with strong heavily spiced dishes will overwhelm it. Instead, go for Italian dishes with red or white sauces; Middle Eastern dishes like falafel and hummus or light flavoured fish.

 

State of Mind

Ringing in at 4.4% ABV and 38 IBUs, this India Pale Ale was brewed to be sessionable. Meaning, it has the full flavour and aroma of an India Pale Ale but with a lighter body and alcohol presence making it easier to drink over extended sessions.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a hazy yellow with fizzy white head, this is a lovely beer to smell. Amarillo and Centennial hops are shining with a somewhat floral bouquet with lemon-y citrus highlights.  The flavour is more of that citrus with floral notes supported by light malt sweetness. The body is fairly light with good carbonation making it an easy drinker.

Suggested Food Pairing: Session IPAs are better paired for activities and parties in my opinion! Although I suppose, the food that goes along with those get togethers works perfectly as a pairing – chips and dip, pizza, grilled meat, or loaded nachos.

 

Ransack the Universe

Brewed with hops from Myrtleford, Victoria in Australia and Yakima, Washington, this 6.8% ABV and big 85 IBU India Pale Ale has the honour of being a hemispheric hop mashup!

Tasting Notes:  With 6 different hop varieties used in various stages (bittering, flavouring and dry hopping) this IPA promises to take you on a flavour ride with your first sip. Wafting from the golden orange liquid is a juicy hop aroma of pine, resin, citrus, and mango with slight caramel malt at the end. This doesn’t have the bitter bite you’d expect, instead the tropical citrus and pine flavours are well balanced well by a solid malt base.

Suggested Food Pairing: This hefty IPA will stand up to a lot of flavour and the hops will help cut through fat and refresh your palate. Yes, I’m giving you permission to indulge in your favourite deep fried snack. While you’re at it, order in some Indian, specifically Chicken or Paneer Korma. Pay attention to how the spice affects the flavour of the beer and how the beer is able to scrub the palate of the yogurt-based sauce.

 

Stranger than Fiction

While most of Collective Arts brews showcase the magic of hops and the subtleties of different varieties and techniques to impart flavour and aroma, this 5.5% ABV Porter showcases the malt. Using 9 different grains, Brewmaster Ryan Morrow is able to coax out some amazing warm flavours.

Tasting Notes: Pour this into a snifter and enjoy the smooth dessert-like aroma of espresso, dark chocolate, toffee and raisin. The flavour is similar to the aroma (as co-owner Matt says, “Full of malty goodness), but with the added benefit of a fuller body and smoother mouthfeel making this brew a real treat to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: While I like to enjoy a rich chocolate cake with this type of a brew, it may be a bit much for some palates. Instead try pairing it with a grilled beef steak or chargrilled vegetables – the coffee roast of the beer will enhance those delicious grill flavours. 

 

Stashcool logo

Stash Blonde Ale is the first canned offering from Collective Arts. Labelled a Blonde Ale, this 5% ABV has a whack of Cascade hop freshness that sets it apart from other Blondes and will keep you reaching for more.

Tasting Notes: Blondes Ales tend to be fairly straight forward, this is anything but. The addition of the Cascade hops really gives this a refreshing grapefruit aroma and flavour. Coupled with a decent amount of carbonation, this really has a great kick to it at the end that’s very refreshing.

Suggested Food Pairing: While Saint of Circumstance didn’t have the oomph to stand up to spicing, this brew has a bit more power. Don’t be afraid to pair it with beer battered fish and chips or spicy curry in a creamy sauce. The citrus hop power and bright carbonation are going to help scrub the fat from your palate so you can go in for another bite.

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Rhyme & Reason…

Garlic Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts
Serious Eats

photo credit: Serious Eats

 IngredientsGarlic Brussel Sprouts

1 lb brussels sprouts
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
¼ cup pancetta, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Rhyme & Reason
¼ cup vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Finely diced tomato, for garnish
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Method

Set up a steamer with 1 to 2 inches of salted water and bring the water to a rolling boil. Put the brussels sprouts in the steamer, cover, and cook until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the brussels sprouts to a large bowl of ice water to halt the cooking and preserve their bright green color. Let them cool in the ice water for about 1 minute, then drain. Lay them on a clean dish towel and pat dry. Cut them in half vertically, right through the core.

In a large wok or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to high; add the brussels sprouts, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add Rhyme & Reason and continue to cook over high heat until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Deglaze the pan by adding the vegetable stock, stirring and scraping up any browned bits that may be affixed to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

 

With Saint of Circumstance…

Chicken in Creamy Beer Sauce
from The Beeroness

photo credit: The Beeroness

IngredientsChicken in beer sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoon butter
¼ cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz wild mushrooms
½ cup Saint of Circumstance
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan

Method

Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken thighs and add to a pan with butter over medium heat. Cook on both sides untiled brown (about 4 minutes per side). Remove chicken from pan.

Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent (about 3 minutes); add garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes). Add Saint of Circumstance, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan.

Reduce heat to medium, add cream and stir. Add half of the cheese, stir until melted. Add the remaining half, stir until combined.

Add the chicken back into the sauce and cook until sauce has thickened (about 5 minutes). Serve over rice or pasta.


With Stranger Than Fiction…

Java Porter Cupcakes
from Tee & Cakes

photo credit: Tee & Cakes

Ingredientscupcake

1 cup Stranger Than Fiction
1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with cupcake cups.

Bring 1 cup Stranger than Fiction and 1 cup butter to simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth; allow to cool.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl.

Add porter-chocolate mix to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared liners.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean (about 15 minutes).

Ice using your favourite icing.


With Ransack the Universe

IPA Marinade
from Food Republic

photo credit: Katy Watts

Ingredientssteak

1 cup Ransack the Universe
¼ cup lime juice
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds beef

Method

In a large zip top bag combine all ingredients.

Add steak and marinate in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours.

Fire up the BBQ & grill the steak to perfection.

 

Enjoy all of the beers in your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Bicycle Craft Brewery – a boutique brewery

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
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Savvy Hip Hops

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club
Featuring Bicycle Craft Brewery
–  August 2015 –

 

August! A time when the summer sun is at its peak and our social calendars are too busy with cottages, patios and outdoor activities to be bothered with anything else. Good news is, beer is appropriate during and after all of those activities! The time couldn’t be more perfect to explore Bicycle Craft Brewery’s ales, as owner and head brewer, Fariborz, says “Our love of the outdoors, the city of Ottawa, and an appreciation for tradition inspired our name and vision for the brewery and we hope to bring that experience to you – enjoying good beer, good fun and fresh air!”

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find a 2-4 with six stubbie bottles of each – all hand poured & hand labeled – how is that for being craft??

Velocipede India Pale Ale
Base Camp Oatmeal Porter
hiphops_large-292x300Belle River Blonde
Crimson Cascade 

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 & enjoy your lazy hazy days of summer!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew


Bicycle Craft Brewery

Presented by Katy Watts

 

I visited Bicycle Craft Brewery on a Wednesday, one of the days that the brewery has their ‘closed’ sign on the door…but those who know them, know that there is always sFariborzomeone in the back & the door is unlocked. Fariborz Behzadi (right) was in the brew house scrubbing kegs and his wife, Laura was in the taproom organizing details for their one year anniversary.

It had been almost 9 months since I had first visited the brewery, yet truth be told, I have been ordering pints from the small number of pubs in Ottawa who have their beers on tap. I was excited to see what had changed, what their future plans were and, of course, try some of their new beers!

Crafting a Brewery

Bicycle Craft Brewery first started four years ago, in concept, when Fariborz and Laura (left) decided to take the first steps in planning a brewelaurary from their home brew recipes. In those three years they did a lot of recipe experimentation, tasting, and sought out advice from other breweries including Mario Bourgeois (Cassel Brewery) and Lon Ladell (Big Rig). They also travelled to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to BarNone Brewing for a collaboration brew on a system similar to the one they had ordered.

A few months after their brew, Broke Spoke Pale Ale, was released on the East Coast; equipment, growlers and signage were arriving at their Riverview neighborhood location in Ottawa. The dream was getting closer to becoming reality! The doors to Bicycle Craft Brewery opened to thirsty Ottawans on September 20, 2014 and they’ve been busy ever since.

Shared Labour

Fariborz may be the head brewer, but Laura helps formulate recipes and assists with the brew days. “Laura takes an active part in the brew process and will also feature special brews of her own, including one that will be released on International Women’s Day every year,” Fariborz mentions. Last year Laura brewed Freedom Machine, a cherry pale ale, which sold out quickly to rave reviews.

Supply & Demand

When I first met Fariborz and Laura at their grand opening, they had enlisted Laura’s parents to help equipmentpour samples of beer. Laura’s parents don’t help as much anymore as Fariborz and Laura have quit their previous jobs to focus on the breweries production and growth. They’ve also hired some extra help to assist with cleaning kegs, growlers, tanks (there’s a lot of cleaning in brewing). Unexpectedly, in order to keep up with growth they’ve also had to plan for their first expansion before the end of their first year. “We had to start a waiting list for taps because we don’t have the capacity.” Laura boasts.

The Future

The brewery is very much your neighborhood brewer. Mostly everything is done by hand (and the hard way) including crimping bottle caps on stubbies, cleaning kegs and delivering orders. While the upgrade of two fermenters and a 10 barrel brite tank may ease their production limits, Fariborz and Laura are thinking big with potentially buying a canning line and distributing their beers across Ontario. There will be a lot to celebrate at their first year party that is being held at the old Ottawa Jailhouse.  In addition to their anniversary, their Velocipede IPA (that is in your Taste Case) will be available in the LCBO this fall.

Congrats!  Fariborz, Laura & the brewery team! Chalkboard

 

• 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!

Velocipede India Pale Ale

This brew is named after the original word for the bicycle and is not only packed with four different hops, but dry hopped with Centennial to give it 6% ABV and a refreshing 70 International Bitterness Units (IBU) zing.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a hazy (thanks to the dry hopping) orange-amber with frothy white head there is a wonderful pine, resin hop aroma with notes of biscuit malt at the back. Grapefruit rind and tropical fruits join the pine and offer a lingering bitterness that overpowers the malt bill. Perfect for any hop head!

Suggested Food Pairing: Occo Kitchen in Ottawa uses Velocipede IPA for their ‘Bicycle Brewery Beer Battered Fish & Chips’.  Below is a classic recipe for you to try your hand at…and don’t forget to sip on a beer while you are making this classic dish. For the sweet tooth, the blend of hops that gives the wonderful flavours and aromas will pair perfectly with a slice of cream cheese frosted carrot cake. Hungry??

Base Camp Oatmeal Porter

This 5.1% ABV opaque beer was brewed with the addition of oats to the mash to add body and a decadent smooth mouthfeel.

Tasting Notes: This Porter deserves a snifter! Pour it and enjoy the aromas of vanilla, dark chocolate and coffee. The flavour follows suit, but with an added complexity of dark stone fruits. Relax and enjoy the smooth mouthfeel and lowered carbonation.

Suggested Food Pairing: With its dark colour and rich body you may think this beer is bettered suited for heavy foods served in the darkness of winter, but you’re wrong! The next time you turn on your BBQ try a bottle of Base Camp Oatmeal Porter. The Maillard reaction (brew term: the chemical reaction that browns meat and gives it that mouth-watering flavour), pairs perfectly with the roasted and chocolate malt notes. 

Belle River Blonde

Named after Belle River, Ontario, this 4.7% ABV brew is a refreshing balance of hops and malt (22 IBUs). This beer is meant to quench your thirst after a long day.

Tasting Notes: Pours a bright gold with a fizzy white head. Aromas of grassy hops and sweet malt can be noticed, but are faint. The sweet biscuit malts and grassy hops meet in the middle, offering a pleasant balanced taste that’s a little too drinkable – especially in Ontario’s humidity.

Suggested Food Pairing: Belle River Blonde is the beer that can do it all. Serve it alongside tomato based pasta dishes, grilled chicken, seafood or shellfish and even mouth numbing spicy dishes. Or, you could simply enjoy it with a sunset.

Crimson Cascade

This American Amber started off as a one off, but due to popular demand it found its way onto the regular line up. As the name suggests, they add Cascade hops to the fermenter after fermentation (dry hopping) to give that malty amber base a refreshing hop hit.

Tasting Notes: The dry hopping give Crimson Cascade a wonderful floral and juicy grapefruit aroma with a slight graininess at the end. It pours a wonderful hazy brown with ruby highlights and a low mocha head. The flavour starts sweet with that biscuit malt base and then your palate tingles with notes of Cascade – grass, floral, grapefruit rind all while not being overwhelmingly bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This beer is great to pair with heartier foods like thick hamburgers or barbecued ribs slathered in sauce.  The sweet malt bill pairs with those browned grilled meats while the hops act as little scrubbers cutting through the fat cleansing your palate with every swallow.

 

• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •


With Velocipede India Pale Ale

Beer Battered Fish and Chips
Food52

Ingredients

1 lb cod or other white flaky fishfish and chips
5 large Russet potatoes
1 cup Velocipede India Pale Ale
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
4 cups warm water
Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

Combine warm water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt in large bowl. Mix to dissolve salt. Set aside.

To prepare the potatoes, peel the sides of the potato with a vegetable peeler, leaving some skin at the top and bottom. Slice potatoes length-wise, in ½” slices. Then, slice ¼” inch strips from those slices. A mandolin or French fry cutter is very handy here! Place cut potatoes in the bowl of saltwater and soak for 15 minutes.

Remove from water and place the potatoes on a clean kitchen towel to dry for a few minutes. Dry well to avoid splattering when frying.

Fill a Dutch oven with vegetable oil, so that oil comes up a little less than halfway up the pot. Place over low heat and heat to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare your beer batter by combining the Velocipede India Pale Ale, 1 cup of flour, and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Place remainder of flour in a resealable bag and set aside with the beer batter.

Once oil is up to temperature, fry the potatoes in batches, taking care not to overcrowd. Fry until edges are starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined cookie sheet. Repeat process with remaining potatoes. Once all potatoes have been fried, bring the oil back up to 375 degrees, and refry them. The “twice-fry” is the key to a crispy french fry. Just another minute or two in the hot oil is all you need. Place them on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and keep warm in an oven while fish is frying.

To fry the fish, place filets in the bag of flour to lightly coat, then dip into beer batter, and add to the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning fish occasionally, about 6-9 minutes depending on the size of the filets.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towel-lined plate for a minute before plating.

Serve fried fish over a generous portion of French fries with wedges of lemon for garnish. Tartar sauce and malt vinegar on the side.

 

With Base Camp Oatmeal Porter

Porter French Onion Soup
From Laura’s kitchen at Bicycle Craft Brewery

Ingredients

6 tablespooFrench Onion Soupns butter
2 lbs sweet white onions, sliced into rings
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup Base Camp Oatmeal Porter, divided
2 cups beef/chicken/vegetable stock (your preference)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
4 slices French bread, toasted
4 slices Gruyère or Swiss cheese

Method

In a large pot, over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add onions and salt and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until onions are dark golden brown – nearly caramelized.

Add ½ cup Base Camp Oatmeal Porter, simmer allowing some to evaporate.

Add the remaining beer, broth and black pepper, simmer for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the broiler on your oven. Ladle soup into bowls, top with slices of French bread toast and cheese. Broil until cheese has melted.


With Belle River Blonde

Beer Brats and Cheddar Cheese Bisque
Food.com

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oilBrat Soup
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
½ lb sausage
24 oz Belle River Blonde (room temperature)
1 cup leeks, diced
½ cup carrots, diced
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup pastry flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream (room temperature)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Method

In a 5-quart Dutch oven add olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, bay leaves and Beer Brats. Sauté over medium heat until sausages are brown. Add 2 ounces Belle River Blonde and reduce by half. Add 1 tablespoon butter, leeks, carrots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté vegetables 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste and sauté for another minute. Add remaining butter and stir well until butter has melted. Stir in flour, mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper and cook vegetables 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken stock, ale and cook 4-5 minutes or until bisque has thickened.

Whisk warm cream, nutmeg and slowly bring to a full boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Whisk a few times to prevent from burning. Remove bay leaves from bisque. Slowly fold in grated cheddar cheese. Season to taste with fine sea salt and white pepper to taste. Serve Bisque in warm bowls. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

With Crimson Cascade

Sriracha Beer Butter Grilled Corn
The Beeroness

Ingredients

Beer Butter Grilled Corn½ cup unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
3 Tbsp Crimson Cascade Beer
1 teaspoon Sriracha
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
6 ears fresh corn, shucked
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

Method

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Add Crimson Cascade, Sriracha, garlic and salt. Beat until well combined.

Add the butter to a sheet of plastic wrap, roll tightly into a log. Refrigerate until set (about 1 hour).

Preheat the grill. Brush the corn with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on all sides until light charred and tender (about 8-10 minutes).

Add the corn to pieces of aluminum foil, top with several slices of butter, and sprinkle with cilantro.

 

With Spent Grain

Spent Grain Falafel
From Laura’s Kitchen

Ingredients

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsedFalfalel
1 cup spent grain, wet
½ cup parsley, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
Splash of lemon juice

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°C. Coarsely chop chickpeas (or mash with a fork) then combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Mix well with your hands until thoroughly combined.

Roll into 1” balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway, or until browned evenly on the outside.

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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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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Now what to do with those growlers?

Posted by Katy

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
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I have a love/hate relationship with growlers. Superficially I love the idea – a 1.89 litre jug of fresh beer, usually something special, bought direct from the source. But, when I look deeper, or when I’m stuck with an aging growler on a Wednesday, it may not be the most sensible beer delivery option.

growlers by Katy

Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting my local brewery and from the look of my 15th floor apartment balcony where I store all of my empty growlers (I refer to it as my Growler Graveyard) I also like supporting breweries from Toronto, Vermont, New York, even Utah. Which is one of the problems, what do I do with all of these empty jugs?

I can’t return them to the brewery (too far!), I can’t bring them to an Ottawa brewery to be refilled due to Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulations, but because I’ve now invested $4 or $5 in each jug I have a strange financial attachment to them. Maybe when the balcony reaches capacity I’ll start making growler lights or take up a new instrument – the growler xylophone. Oh well, at least the beer’s good, right?

growler_filling by KatyOr is it? Yes, as mentioned growlers are filled fresh from the source sometimes right before your eyes, but sometimes that can have an effect on the taste. There are two methods of filling growlers, the down and dirty way where a hose is attached to a draught tap and the growler is filled till it overflows and sealed. Easy to do, low overhead for the brewery or brewpub, but by exposing the beer to oxygen it starts deteriorating immediately and has a limited lifespan of 3-4 days.

The other way of filling growlers uses the super cool PEGAS CrafTap system (or something similar) that creates a seal around the bottle, flushes evil beer eating oxygen and then fills from the bottom up (similar to a bottling line). Growlers filled with this system can last considerably longer – two to three months!

Finally, there’s the size. Here’s where I admit how much I drink; thankfully my Mom no longer reads my writing – she’s learned. While I admit I do enjoy a pint or two most nights, 1.89 litres (just over 3 imperial pints) is far too much for any night (unless I’m entertaining, then 1.89 litres isn’t enough) and when a growler is opened and its contents are exposed to oxygen it quickly starts to lose its carbonation. That means that if you’re trying to be sensible and put the rest of your growler in the fridge after pouring yourself a pint you’ll have less than stellar beer the next day. More and more breweries are offering the 1 litre size, also called ‘boston rounds’ (just under 2 imperial pints), in addition to the standard 1.89 litre, that’s a little more manageable.

As much as I hate having my neighbours judge me for my Growler Graveyard; cost, beer availability (especially if there are draught only releases) and beer tourism will always have me adding to my collection. Recently I bought a stainless steel growler that I pack when I’m travelling to provinces and states that allow you to fill your own growler. It keeps the beer costs even lower, but keeping it sanitized and dent-free can be a challenge.  No matter what my feelings may be, it seems that growlers are here to stay as a convenient way to transport beer; I guess I’ll have to start practising my xylophone.

Katy Watts

 

Stay tuned for more craft beer blogs each month.
Katy

 

 

 

 

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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_hiphops_colourOptionsV2

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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