Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’s craft beer of the month club’

Got a Beau’s in hand?

Posted by David

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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How much do we love Beau’s All Natural Brewing? So much that we go back to them year after year. They aren’t just a maker of beer, but an engine of social change. They’re leading the way, in how they treat their workers, how they buy their ingredients, their commitment to making the world a better place, and especially in their fantastic and creative beers. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory below.

And enjoy these amazing beers. Many of them are brand new releases, and a number involve collaborations with other businesses! We know you’ll love them!!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks:

Polaris Pale Ale
Tyrannosaurus Gruit
80 Shilling Scotch Ale
Iron Shirt
Blood Simple
Strong Patrick
Dunkel
Greener Futures: Castorgeist Belgian Amber

…in your Taste Case you will find the beers above PLUS:

Triceratops Tripel
Greener Futures: Fifty Shades of Gris
Greener Futures: Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

 

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call the Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca
Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Leading the way:

Beau’s Brewing
by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

In the ever-growing world of craft breweries, Beau’s is an unqualified success. As a beer lover, you probably already know all about them. But here’s a quick summary:

Founded in 2006 by father and son team Tim and Steve Beauschene (in photo), Beau’s had a buy local-sell local philosophy. The spring water came from a nearby property, and they planned to never sell more than a day’s drive away. Within a couple of years, they were already expanding, both in terms of the size of the brewery and the product line-up. They became one of the first certified organic breweries in Canada and won award after award after award. Add to that they’re annual Oktoberfest – a rollicking two day party with live music and celebrity appearances – and they’re outstanding commitment to giving back to their community…there you have Beau’s history in a nutshell.

 

So, what’s new?

Marketing Director Jacquie Severs said that Beau’s continues to be ground breaking.  To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they announced that all employees would become part owners. It was a very visible strike against a trend of successful craft breweries being bought up by big international  beverage corporations and in the acquisition, losing the unique character that originally made them successful.

At the same time, Beau’s managed to negotiate deals with provincial alcohol regulators across the country, and began national distribution last July. You can now buy Beau’s in every province except Saskatchewan. “A big part of that project is our commitment to contribute a percentage of our profits to each community we’re sold in,” Jacquie said. “That’s how we continue our “local” connection.”

Listen to #613Beer – a podcast hosted by Savvy Brew Crew member Katy Watts who sat down for a beer with a bunch from Beau’s.  Even more ‘dirt’ (aka news).

 

Spreading the love

Perhaps their most exciting project is their support of a craft brewery in Rwanda. Raising $110,400 through Kickstarter, Beau’s is assisting restauranteur Josephine “Fina” Uwineza to start a craft brewery in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. They’ve arranged for brewery equipment to be donated and sent their brewmaster over to help find and develop a site. “He learned about traditional Rwandan banana beer,” Jacquie said. “It was a great experience for everyone.”

 

Celebration time!

Named the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017 (Lugtread was named the Official Beer), Beau’s is sharing the limelight by collaborating with other producers for a monthly release. You’ll get to learn more about those below. “Certified organic is still a core value and that won’t change,” Jacquie said. “But we also value experimentation and innovation, and our FeBREWary program is our opportunity to push the envelope,” she said. Wait until you taste some of these unique creations found in your Savvy Hip Hops!

Lugtread, Beau’s flagship beer, solidly remains at the core of their philosophy. “We try and we taste lots of different products,” Jacquie explained, “but at the end of the day, it’s nice drinking a beer you know. Having a Lugtread is like coming home.”

There’s no brewery like Beau’s…so let’s lift a glass & toast their success!

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes ~

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

Polaris Pale Ale

Brewed with wild-harvested spruce tips, organic barley, Québec-grown hops and Ontario wheat. It measures up at 5.0% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 32 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: What a lovely and unusual beer! It pours cloudy with just a bit of foam. The spruce note lends a subtle but distinctive balance to the medium hoppiness. The beer has a wheat body, but the fullness of a good ale with a long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: The big flavours of this beer will match nicely with a rich fish like Arctic char or Pacific salmon, preferably grilled on the BBQ.

 

Tyrannosaurus Gruit

Before the Bavarians passed their famous Beer Purity Law in 1516, brewers often flavoured their beer with pastes of fruit and herbs, making a beverage called “gruit”. Today, brewmasters are experimenting with the flavours that unusual ingredients can bring to non-traditional gruits. Beau’s makes this red gruit ale with beets and hibiscus flowers, organic juniper berries and spruce tips. This is an easy-drinker, at 5.8% ABV and 17 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A deep red beer with a long-lasting head, there are flavours of strawberry and orange with a backdrop of earthiness. There’s black tea, here, too, and delicate spruce notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with strong cheese, we’d love to have this with a beet and goat cheese salad.

 

Fifty Shades of Gris

We’ve seen beer aged in bourbon or whisky barrels for a few years now. The latest trend is to age it in wine barrels, extracting some of the oak and wine flavours into the beer. This imperial gruit, flavoured with Labrador Tea, bog myrtle, thyme, and yarrow, is aged in Pinot Gris barrels. It measures up with a heady 8.9% ABV!

Tasting Notes: Hazy and opaque, this is a truly unusual beer. Instead of hoppy, we get big herbal flavours, starting with the thyme. There’s also a nice note of orange flowers and just a touch of tannins from the oak.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be gorgeous with a fresh tomato sauce over your favourite pasta.

 

 

80 Shilling Scotch Ale

Beau’s says that Scotch Ales used to be priced based on their strength. 40 shillings for light beer, 90 shillings for heavy. This one gets it just right. 4.7 ABV and 29 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: This pours a very dark brown with a thick foamy head. There are lovely notes of roasted grain, with nuts and a light bitterness. This is a crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking, whoops-I-had-too-much brown ale!

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s recommends trying sausage rolls with this, and we agree (recipe below).

 

 

Iron Shirt (Oak-aged Vidal pale ale)

I think I’ll let Beau’s explain this one: “Beau’s has joined forces with Montréal’s Brasserie et Distillerie Oshlag to create Iron Shirt, a pale ale made with Vidal ice-wine grapes, and aged on oak spirals soaked in Oshlag’s very own hopped Vodka.” 6.8% ABV, 40 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Unique in the beer world, Iron Shirt pours a hazy straw colour with good, long-lasting foam. It has big citrus flavours, with a strong hops backbone and a stone finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s has kindly provided a recipe for a perfect match: Bacon Carbonara Mac n’ Cheese (recipe below).

 

Triceratops Tripel

Tripel is a term used to describe strong pale ales. This gruit-style beer is flavoured with bog myrtle, dried heather flowers, hops, and lavender. It certainly is strong, with 9.0% alcohol!

Tasting Notes: I loved the unusual lavender notes that emerged from the bottle. The beer is golden hay in colour, and offers flavours of orange, mint, and a light medicinal note that balances the florals.

Suggested Food Pairing: There’s a lovely recipe for ham and brie in puffed pastry on the Beau’s web site, and it’s a great match with this (recipe below).

 

Castorgeist Belgian Amber

Take Beau’s well-loved Festivale and age it in wine barrels for 43 months, add it two other barrel aged beers, and you get this unique Belgian-style Amber ale. Another big drinker, this has 8.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: A thick, foamy head tops this cloudy dark amber ale. It has a wine-like nose, with huge flavours of roasted grain and honey. But there’s more – a tart and tannic flavour that reminds me of aged sherry.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked oysters with cream cheese and wheat crackers would stand up to the big flavours of this beer.

 

 

Blood Simple

Made with the juice and peel from blood oranges and Peruvian cacao, this Belgian-style wheat beer gets its body from organic oats. 5.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: The berry overtones offered by the blood orange make this a very interesting drink. There’s a light bitterness which works well with the chocolate notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair well with a not-too-sweet dessert like chocolate mousse or with Latin cuisine like chicken enchiladas.

 

 

Strong Patrick Irish-style Red

Beau’s brewmaster, Matthew O’Hara, has gone back to his roots with the Irish Red ale. A portion of it has been aged in whiskey barrels. 6.7% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Deep, hazy red with good foam bodes well as you pour. This a very complex and delicious ale, with flavours of honey, orange, roasted grain, and vanilla. There’s a sherry note on the long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Let’s stick with the Irish theme and have this with smoked salmon and soda bread!

 

 

Dunkel

“Dunkel” is German for dark, and in the beer world it refers to dark Bavarian-style lager. 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: The head doesn’t last long with this one, but neither did the beer! It’s a dark brown colour with brown sugar rising off the pour. The malty, toasted grain flavours are lovely, and they’re balanced with a long, long vanilla finish. This was a tasting team favourite!

Suggested Food Pairing: We’re excited to try Beau’s recipe for Lollipop chicken with tandoori spice (recipe below)!

 

 

Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

Beau’s took their Matt’s Sleepy Time Imperial Stout and divided it up. Some went into red wine barrels, some into white wine barrels, another portion into whiskey barrels, and yet more into rum barrels – each for 5 months. Finally, hey added some bourbon barrel aged Lug Tread to complete the mix. Fascinating! 8.% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Black and opaque with a brown-tinged foam, this reminds us of Russian black bread with its flavours of coffee and chocolate. The alcohol is apparent here, too – this is a good beer to end the night with!

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair this strong stout with a beef and vegetable stew – it can handle the deep, rich flavours.

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

All recipes and photos: Beau’s

With Iron Shirt Pale Ale…

Bacon Carbonara Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

100 mL. Iron Shirt Pale Ale
1 lb. Pasta, penne or fusilli
1 lb. smoked bacon, sliced and diced.
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
250 ml. heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp. Fresh Parmesan Cheese

 

Method

In a large pot, boil salted water for pasta; follow pasta manufacturer’s directions and timing. Drain the cooked pasta and toss with 2 tbsp. butter.

In a pan on medium-high heat, cook the sliced bacon until slightly crispy.  Toss the onions into the pan with the bacon. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent in color. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir to coat.

Continue to cook the bacon, mushroom and onions, stirring every for 2-3 minute to allow for caramelization of the mushrooms. If you stir them too much, they will release their water and never brown. When the mushrooms begin to brown, stir the garlic into the pan. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beer and turn the heat to high. Let the beer reduce to half before adding the cream. Add in the cream. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cream begins to thicken, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Toss in the shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and pasta. Stir well. Top with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Enjoy alongside a glass of Iron Shirt Pale Ale.

 

 

With Triceratops Tripel…

Ham & Cheese Baked Pastry

Ingredients

1 sheet of puff pastry
250 grams wheel of brie cheese, whole
100 grams of smoked Ham, deli sliced thin.
1 large egg
2 tbsp. Ground/Grainy Mustard*
1 tbsp. Triceratops Tripel
½ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

 

Method

Thaw pastry in the fridge over night or until pliable but not soft. Roll out pastry lightly. Place on a lined baking sheet.

With a wet knife, slice the cheese wheel through the middle in one slice. Open soft side up. Place one side in the middle of the pastry. In a bowl mix together the mustard and beer. Divide and spread the mustard mixture evenly between both halves of cheese.

Layer and drape the ham over the one half of cheese on the pastry, keeping the slices fluffy. This will give the cheese a space to melt into. Lay the top half of the cheese, mustard side down, on top of the ham. Creating a sandwich.

Trim the edges of the pastry to form a circle. Wrap the pastry up the sides of the cheese and crimp the edges like a pie crust.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and brush over pastry and top of cheese. Refrigerate the pastry-wrapped cheese for 2 hours, to firm up pastry.

Pull the pastry out of the fridge. Sprinkle with the pepper.

Bake at 425° for 15-20 min. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

With Beau’s Dunkel…

Lollipop Chicken with Tandoori Spice

Ingredients

1 kg. chicken drumsticks
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. tandoori spice, store bought or home-made*
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 large onions

 

Method

To make the marinade:

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and tandoori spice. Whisk until thick and smooth. Set aside.

To make the chicken lollipop:

Using a small paring knife, make a cut completely around the base of the drumstick just below the knuckle cutting through the skin and tendons. Push the meat down towards the large end. Pull the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle.

Place chicken into a sealable bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Zip closed, squeezing out as much air as possible and knead until the chicken is well-coated. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Knead the marinating chicken once or twice while in the fridge.

Remove from the fridge and remove chicken from marinade. Discard the bag and marinade. Form a ball with the meat at the base of the leg with your hands.

Pre-heat your oven to 425°F with convection fan.

Slice onions into big round rings. Line a large roasting pan with tin foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Use the onion rings as a base for the chicken. Place the rings down on the tin foil and stand the drumsticks up on top of the rings. Avoid overcrowding the pan, you don’t want the chicken to touch.

Once the oven is hot, place the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed (no peeking!). Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the outside.

While the chicken is roasting, cut a small strip of foil for each drumstick. Big enough to wrap around the bone.

After the chicken has been roasting for 15 minutes, turn down the oven to 300°F. Take out the chicken and wrap the drumstick bone with the foil strips. This will prevent the bones from over charring and becoming brittle.

Return the chicken to the oven and roast for an additional 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a warm platter, garnish with a few squeezes of lemon, and enjoy with a glass of Farm Table: Dunkel.


To make your own Tandoori Spice Mix*

Ingredients & Method

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. each of:
allspice, whole
black peppercorns
cinnamon stick
coriander seeds
cardamom seeds, pods removed
½ tsp. cloves, whole

Toast all the above spices for 4-5 min, in a medium-hot pan stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, grind spices in a blender or coffee grinder until powder.

Sift out any large bits and re-grind as needed.

Place this ground mixture in a bowl and add:

1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp granulated garlic

Mix well.  This special Tandoori Spice Mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Use it for marinades, salad dressings dips and sauces…and Indian recipes like this one.  Be sure to have a beer on hand because all this grinding is hard work!

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Growing like gangbusters!

Posted by David

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
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It’s a cool story: three guys meet, become friends, and cement their friendship by opening a brewery together. That’s the story behind Whitewater Brewing Company, an Ottawa Valley success.  While you read this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine, enjoy a brew from your Savvy Hip Hops parcel containing Whitewater’s popular mainstays and seasonals beers. We know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find bottles & cans of…

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale
Whistling Paddler English Style Ale
Class V IPA
Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout
Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown – Seasonal

Need more beer?

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

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Rapid growth:
Whitewater Brewing Company

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

One day a few years ago, three young men started their first day on the job. They had been hired as white water rafting guides by Wilderness Tours, along the mighty Ottawa River.

From the beginning, they became fast friends. The three (left to right in pix – photo credits Ottawa Citizen) – Chris Thomson, Chris Thomson (yes, you read that right), and James Innes – were sad to break up the team at the end of the summer, but promised to return the next year.

And they did, meeting over a beer (ok….maybe more than one), and telling stories about their winter adventures.

“We always found ourselves in different areas of the world in the off-season, whenever we grouped back up it was to share a beer and tell stories and catch up,” said Chris.

Plans Brewing

One day, they talked about the future. “We felt there wasn’t any good beer in the area, and we wanted to solve that,” said Chris. “We knew that there was a local hop farm and we decided it would be crazy not to take advantage of that.” And just like that, Whitewater Brewing Company was born.

The company was registered in 2011, but the first brewery, now called the Riverside Brewery, didn’t open until 2014 in nearby Forester’s Falls. A second brewery, the Lakeside, opened last fall in Cobden and is preparing to brew their first batch in next month – February 2017 – and produce thirty times more beer than the first small brewery. Yes 30 times more!

All about the local

“Local” is a word Chris uses often. “When we started, and we are happy to continue to enforce a buy local philosophy,” he said. “We wanted to prioritize supporting the local economy. This means buying from other local suppliers, but also running events for organizations that support local groups.”

“Both our pubs are buying local meat, local vegetables. A huge proportion of what we serve is grown within 75 or 100 km. We’re really proud of that. It comes at a price, but it’s a price we’re willing to pay.”

Embracing their roots

Asked about Whitewater’s brewing philosophy, Chris said, “Our aim is to have four beers that would be true to their style. We wanted something that people could sit down, unwind and enjoy a good beer…then crack open maybe two or three more.” Chris continued, “With our seasonals, we play more and aren’t afraid of wacky flavours. With our coffee beer, we liked a local coffee company so we thought, how can we use this ingredient in our brews?”

Chris simply explained that Whitewater’s motto is down to earth honest and reflects exactly who they are: “Brewed by friends, for friends.”

After sipping through the beer assortment in your Savvy Hip Hops, we think you too will want to be friends with the fantastic team at Whitewater!

Let’s raise a glass to Chris, Chris & James and their rapidly growing brewery!

 

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

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

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale

This is a real crowd-pleaser! Whitewater Brewing’s flagship ale will go down smoothly after work or with Friday night take-out. International Bitterness Units (IBU) at 22; 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: A clear blonde ale, it has good carbonation and a crisp texture. Flavours of honey and apricot round out a long finish. There’s a touch of bitterness from the local hops, which balances the honey notes beautifully.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair easily with everything from a burger and fries and fries to roast chicken, but we’d like to try it with a spicy Szechuan stir-fry (recipe below).

Whistling Paddler English Style Ale

David’s favourite, this ale is unique, richly flavoured ale that demands a second glass. It’s an easy-drinker, at 4.5% alcohol and 36 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Hazy amber in colour, there’s an immediate note of caramel and roast grain, with just enough bitterness to balance. It finishes with a pretty, toasted marshmallow note.

Suggested Food Pairing: The sweetness calls for something chocolatey, and we debated about cheesecake. In the end, we felt a Mexican chicken mole sauce will be a perfect fit (recipe below)!

Class V India Pale Ale

A best seller in the Whitewater line-up, this is a classic IPA. Don’t get scared by the 72 IBU; the hops are well integrated here. 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: Despite being unfiltered (like all Whitewater products), this pours a clear amber. The hops are certainly present, but balanced by a light orange citrus note. There’s some minerality, too. The finish is very long and lightly bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is an easy one: BBQ. Whether you do chicken wings, ribs, or a BBQ sauce pizza, the sweet and tangy sauce will be a terrific match to this beer.

Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout

Milks stouts have lactose added to them. Lactose is unfermentable by yeast, so it adds a sweetness that doesn’t get converted to alcohol. If you’re not sure about trying a heavier beer, this is a terrific one to start with. It won’t fill you up or overwhelm your taste buds. 30 IBU and 4.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: This pours an opaque chocolate brown with a long-lasting foam. It smells and tastes of cocoa, toasted malt, and mild hops.

Suggested Food Pairing: Have the Midnight Stout with a black bean chocolate brownie, a surprisingly rich and flavourful spin on the classic (recipe below).

SEASONAL: Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown

Whitewater’s Brew Master Sean Goddard, who hails from the nearby town of Pakenham, believes that seasonals should be playful. This Honey Brown is a great example: smooth, sweet, and toasty.

Tasting Notes: This pours a deep and hazy amber with a light head. Aromas of orange, roasted malt, and that eponymous honey, which gets stronger toward the finish. But the big player here is the malt, which stays in the mouth for minutes afterward.

Suggested Food Pairing: We want French onion soup with this, smothered by a toasted crouton and melted, gooey cheese (recipe below).

Product photo credits: Whitewater Brewing Co.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

With Farmer’s Daughter…

Szechuan beef stir-fry
Recipe and photo: chinasichuanfood.com

Ingredients

1/2 pound beef
1 cup of celery sections (around 5 cm long) or as needed
5 chili dried pepper, cut into shreds and remove the seeds
2 green onion whites, cut into sections around 5 cm long
1 inch root ginger, shreds
1 Tablespoon doubanjiang (available in Chinatown, or thicken with cornstarch)
1 teaspoon chili pepper powder or as needed
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
Sesame seeds for garnish
Salt to taste

Marinating Sauce

2 Tablespoons cooking wine
1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
3 Tablespoons cooking oil

Method

Put the beef in refrigerator for about 30 minutes and cut into small and long shreds.

In a large mixing bowl, well combine beef shreds and marinating ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat up your wok or pan firstly for around 2 minutes and then add around 2 tablespoons cooking oil to heat until the oil is really hot. Add beef shreds in. Stir fry for around 1 to 2 minutes over high fire, you will see there is sauce coming out in your wok. Pour the sauce out and transfer the beef shreds to one side of your wok or pan.

Add around 1/2 tablespoon oil to fry the ginger shreds, green onion shreds and dried chili pepper sheds until aroma over medium fire. Add doubanjiang in to stir fry for the red oil. Mix everything well.

Spread chili pepper powder, Sichuan peppercorn powder and sesame seeds. Toss quickly and make sure all the ingredients are combined completely.

Add celery sections in and continue cook for around 1 minute. Transfer out and serve hot!

With Whistling Paddler…

Chicken Mole
Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

TIP: It’s worth making a trip to a local Mexican grocery for some of the chiles and Mexican chocolate. They’re surprisingly inexpensive and very delicious!

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons (or more) peanut oil (preferably unrefined), divided
5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups orange juice
1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 ounces dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1 ounce dried negro chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1/4 cup raisins
4  strips of 1/2-inch orange peel (orange part only)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 3.1-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro
Warm flour tortillas

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, add chicken to pot; sautée until lightly browned, adding more oil by tablespoonsful as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large bowl.

Return chicken and any juices to pot. Add broth and orange juice; bring just to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender and just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add almonds, garlic, cumin, and coriander.

Sautée until nuts and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add chiles and stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Pour chicken cooking liquid into saucepan with onion mixture (reserve pot). Add raisins, orange peel, and oregano to saucepan. Cover and simmer until chiles are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand until chocolate melts and sauce mixture cools slightly, about 15 minutes.

Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; return to reserved pot.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce; stir to coat.

Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

Transfer chicken mole to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

 

With Honey Badger Brown…

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup
Recipe and Photo: Food.com

Ingredients

5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsp butter
12 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp flour
6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup wine (dry red or white)
1 bay leaf
12 teaspoon ground sage
salt and pepper
12 ounces swiss cheese, grated
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
12 raw yellow onion
2 -3 tablespoons cognac
8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
4 Tbsp olive oil, for drizzling

Method                                                                                                     

Place heavy bottom stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot. Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.

To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.

Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly. Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions. Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here). Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the cooked-on bits. Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the “croutes” (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).

Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it). Transfer to a casserole dish. At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup. Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.

Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and brown cheese well.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving.  Extra sliced baguettes as required.

 

With Midnight Stout…

Black Bean Brownies
Recipe and Photo: MennoniteGirlsCanCook.ca

Ingredients

1-19 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 eggs
1/3 cup of coconut oil*
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup, sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method

Grease a 9 ” inch pan.  Line with parchment paper.

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is all liquid with no lumps. Pour into the cake pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. (In my oven it took a full 35 minutes, so make sure to test your brownie).

Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate over night.  In my opinion this tastes best cold straight out of the fridge.

*vegetable oil can be used in place of the coconut oil, but I like the hint of coconut flavor it gives the brownie. 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Beers made in a church

Posted by David

Monday, February 6th, 2017
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Founded ten years before the micro- and nano- and craft-brewer surge across Ontario, Campbellford’s Church-Key Brewing has always been known for high quality beers. They’ve also developed a reputation for their strong commitment to local sourcing, with many of their ingredients grown within sight of their retired church brewery. We’re very excited to help our Savvy Hip Hops suds-cribers get to know the people behind the products. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy these delicious, hand-crafted beers. They’ve been chosen just for you to enjoy during the holiday mayhem & while you are relaxing during the holidays too!

Whether you receive the Quick Picks or Taste Case, you will find a variety of bottles of these beers…

Cyser Apple Mead
Braggot Honey Malt
West Coast Pale Ale
Northumberland Ale
Holy Smoke Scotch Ale

Need more beer?

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

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Holy Beer!
Church-Key Brewing
By David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

Built in 1878, the Campbellford Methodist Church doesn’t look like a typical brewery. But the decommissioned house of worship was purchased by Brewmaster John Graham in 1999 to begin his own small brewery. It has grown to include The Stinking Rose Pub and Grindhouse Café and to be an important part of the rural landscape.

How did a little brewery in an out-of-the-way small town succeed? Read on!

A step back in time…

John grew up in a small town north of Toronto. By the time he was an adult, though, the fields had been paved over, the farms replaced with shopping malls. “Thirty years of “progress”, John said. “I think it’s a bit short-sighted. I have four kids of my own and I wanted to bring them up in the same rural atmosphere I did. Campbellford is much closer to my upbringing. It’s a 20 or 30 year step back in time.”

Location, location, location

Campbellford, located 30 minutes north of the 401, turned out to be a perfect location for John & his family.  “We’re literally half-way between Toronto and Ottawa,” John said. “They’re the two biggest beer markets in Ontario. We have more than two million residents within an hour’s drive.”

Perhaps just as important, John is able to source many of the ingredients for his beer right in his own community. “We have honey, barley, hops that are grown within sight of the brewery,” John said. “I call it hyper-local, and it’s part of our environmental goals of keeping the supply chain short and part of the economic goals of buying from people who buy from us. It’s a closed loop.”

Crowd-pleasers

John said that serving his beer to a local audience keeps him grounded. “No 90 IBU (International Bitterness Units) monsters that breweries in more populated breweries produce,” he said. “Being in a small town, we have to be a bit more of a crowd-pleaser for our local audience.”

Church-Key has a mission statement, which they call “The Guiding Light”. It embraces the sustainable principles of the brewery. “There’s a consumer awareness that has happened all over the world,” John said. “Not just beer, we’re more aware of what kind of cheese, what kind of bread we’re eating. We want to have a closer connection to what we’re consuming.”

We know you’ll enjoy these crowd-pleasing beers made by John & the folks at the brewery!

 


 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

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

West Coast Ale

In the big family of beers known as India Pale Ales (IPA), East Coast American IPAs have more malt sweetness and less hop bitterness, whereas West Coast ales embrace the hops and often use a lighter malt.

Tasting Notes: A lovely amber colour, this has a refreshing bitterness which matches nicely with its orange and almond flavours. The medium acidity help make it a very well-rounded, easy to drink beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: The hops and acidity will work very nicely with a cheesy pizza or plate of nachos.

 

Cyser: Apple Mead

Cyser is made from honey and apples fermented together. Sometimes described as a wine, other times as a cider, it’s a beautiful hybrid of the two.

Tasting Notes: This Cyser is unfiltered, so it has a lightly cloudy appearance. Gentle and refreshing, there are flavours of green apples, lime cordial, ginger, and yeast. It’s only slightly sweet.  With 8.3% alcohol, you might expect a boozy bounce; in fact, the alcohol is well integrated and this goes down easily. Maybe too easily!

Suggested Food Pairing: We would love this with an apple, pecan, and blue cheese salad. The delicate sweetness of the Cyser and the pungent blue cheese will play very well together. See recipe, below.

 

Northumerland Ale

Brewmaster John Graham says this beer – the first product made by Church-Key Brewing – is based on a recipe typical of the beer served in Northumberland County taverns in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Tasting Notes: The beer pours a golden colour with a light foam. Citrusy hops and a crisp finish make this a great everyday beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will be a lovely pairing with a white fish dish, such as Jamie Oliver’s Baked White Fish recipe, below.

 

Braggot Honey Malt

Another mead-style beverage, Braggot is a spiced honey wine.

Tasting Notes: The honey is apparent from the moment you pop the cap, but it’s very subtle when you taste the mead. The mineral and citrusy notes balance the sweet honey very well, and there are hints of clover and vanilla.

Suggested Food Pairing: If you’re looking for a drink to go with your sweet and savoury Chicken and Waffles, here it is!  See the recipe below.

 

Holy Smoke: Peat-smoked Scotch ale

For those who love campfires, Hot Rods, and Islay whisky, this is the perfect beer. Ten per cent of the malt has been roasted over a peat fire, giving it a smoky complexity and finish.

Tasting Notes: Almost opaque and with a nice foam, the campfire notes are apparent from the first pour. There are also some flavours dark chocolate, vanilla, and molasses. The smoky finish is very long-lasting. 6.2% ABV.

Suggested Food Pairing: We picture this as a Sunday afternoon après-ski with a hot and spicy bowl of black bean chili (see recipe, below). The perfect way to end the weekend.

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops 

 

With Cyser Apple Mead…

Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries
Recipe and Photo: Food.com

Ingredients

12 ounces salad greens (spring mix)
2 whole apples, cored, sliced very thin
12 cup pecan halves
14 cup dried cherries
6 ounces blue cheese, cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon heaping Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (to taste)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to taste)
14 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method                                                                                                     

Add greens, apple slices, pecan halves, dried cherries, and blue cheese chunks into a large salad bowl.
In a small jar, mix Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.
Pour a little salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss to combine. Taste salad and add more salad dressing to taste.

 

With Braggot Honey Malt…

Chicken and Waffles
Recipe and photo: FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients

Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
8 chicken tenders (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup instant flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 buttermilk or Belgian-style frozen waffles
Maple syrup, for serving

Method

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Whisk the hot sauce and egg in a medium bowl; toss the chicken in the mixture to coat.

Combine the flour, poultry seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Set aside 3 tablespoons seasoned flour in a separate bowl; dredge the chicken in the remaining seasoned flour until coated, shaking off any excess.

Place the chicken in the hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly; discard the oil.

Melt the butter in the same skillet and whisk in the reserved seasoned flour until smooth. Whisk in the scallions, then slowly pour in the broth. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the gravy is smooth.

Meanwhile, toast the waffles.

Place a waffle on each plate and drizzle with maple syrup. Top with chicken and gravy and garnish with scallions.

 

With Northumberland Ale…

Baked White Fish
Recipe and photo: JamieOliver.com

Ingredients

3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil
Olive oil
1 fresh red chilli
2x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes
Red wine vinegar
4 pieces of white fish fillets (150 g each) – such as cod, whiting, pollock, skin off, pin-boned, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
1 handful of black olives, (stone in)
1 tablespoon capers

Method

To make the sauce, peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Pick the basil leaves and finely slice the stalks.

Heat a good couple of lugs of oil in a large pan over medium heat; add the garlic and basil stalks. Pierce the chilli once with a knife so it doesn’t explode when frying, then add to the pan. Fry gently until the garlic is soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes and season lightly with sea salt and black pepper, then simmer gently over a low heat for 30 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced.

When the time’s up, remove the chilli, and break up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then add a tiny swig of red wine vinegar to give it a little twang.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

Pour the tomato sauce into a 20cm x 30cm roasting tray. Season the fish fillets on both sides with a little salt and pepper, then place on top of the sauce.

Squash the olives, using the base of a jar or something heavy, and remove the stones. Sprinkle into the tray, along with the capers and most of the basil leaves over the fish.

Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through – check by cutting into the thickest part of one or two of the fillets; they should be pearly white and not transparent.

 

With Holy Smoke Peat-smoked Scotch Ale…

Smoky Black Bean Chili
Recipe and Photo: Gimmesomeoven.com

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bottle beer (or chicken/vegetable broth)
3 (15 oz. each) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt

optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa

 

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and continue sautéeing for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the beer (or broth), black beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm, garnished with optional toppings.

 Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

All photos of the brewery & products (unless noted) were provided by Church-Key.
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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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