Posts Tagged ‘recipe for pork tenderloin’

Summer sipping beers from Grand River Brewing

Posted by Shawn

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014


Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Grand River Brewing

– July 2014 –


In the heat of the summer, Savvy Hip Hops brings you a 12 pack of craft beer from Grand River Brewing of Cambridge.  This assortment is perfect for summertime sipping. Pop these bottles in the fridge & crack them open whenever the moment strikes. Afterall…that is what you have been doing with all of your Savvy Hip Hops – right?  Bottom line…enjoy these hard to find beers!

hiphops_largeBrewery owners Bob & Jane Hanenberg set out with a vision to make a variety of full-flavoured beers while keeping weary of the alcohol level.  Why? All to fully enjoy the craftsmanship of their beers.

Had a ‘session’ beer yet?

Grand River Brewing set out to create “session beers” (beer lingo: beers with full flavour and lower alcohol, enabling consumption of more than one session beer at a time).  Sessionals have now become a very popular style of brew amongst Ontario craft brewers.

The Hanenbergs along with experienced brewmaster Rob Creighton have been producing beers for about 7 years now, and we are certain that you will enjoy this month’s Taste Case.  Our Savvy Brew Crew team member Shawn McCormick had a chance to speak with the colourful brewmaster Rob about what makes Grand River Brewing so special. Read on for more stories…

It’s Beer O’Clock! Time to open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case

In your case you will find: two fruit beers, two amber ales, a premium lager and a black lager.

Found a new fav?

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

Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew  

Grand River Brewing

by Shawn McCormick

Grand River Brewing is named after the Grand River that flows through town of Cambridge. History goes that the land near the brewery was the location of some of the earliest hops farms in Canada. With this strong linkage to the past, Brewmaster Rob Creighton shares, “We have created a must-stop destination for folks traveling along the 401. We’re just a quick 20 minutes off of the highway.”

History Meets Present Day…

Grand River rooftopLocated in the former factory building of Galt Knife Company, owners Bob & Jane Hanenberg made extensive restorations to the century old building to showcase the historic architectural details of the post and beam construction, open rafters and Victorian trusses. With most of the building bathed in natural sunlight, they have created a unique space that’s both beautiful and functional for today’s brewery visitors. Anyone want to meet at this brewery for a Savvy Hip Hops event? 

Sessionable Ales

Grand River has always been focused on lighter, easy drinking ales. Rob explains that it is all about balance. He’s trying to brew beer that will appeal to a wide range of customers, not just beer enthusiasts looking for ‘extreme beers’.  You will notice that there are beers in your Taste Case that are as low as 3.5% alcohol, “but make no mistake…these are by no means ‘light’ beers”, states Rob. “They are full of flavour”.

Hard Water Makes Great Beer

Many of the world’s greatest beer brewing regions have one thing in common – hard water. Rob explains that in Cambridge, they have some of the hardest water in the province, with their water supply coming from 27 limestone wells. The result is that the hardness in the water helps increase the flavor and intensity of the beer.

Experienced Brewmaster

Grand River beer bottlesRob has been brewing beer commercially likely as long as anyone in Ontario, with 37 years under his belt. Don’t tell anyone….he originally lied about his age to land a job working at Labatt’s Brewery in London, Ontario back in 1977.  Then he became the first employee of Upper Canada Brewing Company (one of the early craft breweries in Ontario). His entire career has been in the beer biz in some capacity from equipment sales to packaging. All of this experience combined has been invaluable at Grand River, where they are a small and quickly growing brewery.  Rob and the others in the team are always wearing many hats.

Always experimenting, Rob is constantly reworking old translated German beer recipes, tweaking them until it feels right. As an example, Rob explained to me that originally his fruit beers used all locally sourced fresh fruit.  He discovered that much of the flavor remained in the fruit even after added to the brew.  He then tried freezing the fruit first, then thawing and blending them into the mash resulted in more flavour being transferred to the beer. You will taste this when you open up Wild Raspberry Tabby or Tank Top Tangerine. The fruit flavour pops!

Community Gathering Place

When you drop in for a fist you will notice that the brewery has become a community hub. “Many locals take their dogs for a walk, and end up stopping by to catch up on the local news over a pint.” 

Here’s to Rob & the Grand River team!


• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •


Grand River Brewing is all about moderate style beers with full flavour. The beers are listed in the random order they were tasted – feel free to try them in any order you like!

millracemildMill Race Mild (Mild Ale or Session Ale) 3.5%

An interesting “light” dark beer that’s very enjoyable in the summer, you may want to have this one on hand year-round!

Tasting Notes:This copper-brown ale pours with a slight fluffy head that indicates the moderate carbonation. Aromas of coffee and roasted malts intertwine with lighter notes of toffee and root beer. The palate is surprising crisp and refreshing with mocha notes dominating the dried fruit and light herbal notes. The finish is relatively short, clean, and crisp, making it a surprisingly refreshing drink on a hot day.

Suggested Food Pairing:This ale will work where amber ales or lighter stouts would work. Given the mocha/coffee influences, I would suggest it with a variety of grilled meats from the BBQ.


Tank Top Tangerine 4.5%

This fruit flavoured beer could become your next patio favourite with its refreshing citrus notes!

Tasting Notes: The light malts and wildflower honey dominate the aromas in this golden coloured ale. Candied citrus notes are there, along with light hop notes and a nice spice component that I finally settled on as ginger. Not too sweet, the light bodied ale is clean and crisp, with a palate very similar to the nose. The tangerine is light, with just a hint of citrus poking through at the right times and ending with a clean citrus peel finish. 

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a lovely refreshing beer that would pair well with Thai cuisine, lemon grilled fish, or just a sunny patio!


Wild Raspberry Tabby 5.0%

A Belgian inspired Abbey Ale, the raspberry addition turns this one into summer in a glass!

Tasting Notes: Pouring this salmon-pink hued ale into a glass gives the first indication of the raspberry deliciousness to come. Your nose fills with sweet with candied raspberries, wildflower honey, and some golden malt characteristics. The palate follows true to the nose and hints at red raspberries and strawberries in addition to the raspberry notes. There’s some body and weight to this and the fruit provides a lingering, sweet berry finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try this one with a spinach & strawberry salad with raspberry vinaigrette, or pineapple glazed ham.


Grand River Galt Knife LagerGalt Knife Old Style Lager 4.4%

A pre-Prohibition style lager, made to honour the 4 breweries that existed in the area in the 1800s.

Tasting Notes:Nice golden hue to this malt-forward lager. The nose has nice cereal notes, toffee, wildflower honey, and lighter citrus and hop notes. The palate offers up some tasty malt sweetness and body, with hints of grass and a pleasant hop bitterness on the finish. This is a lovely beer to pair with food!

Suggested Food Pairing: Sushi or herb roasted chicken would work well with this beer, as would spicy Asian food, Mexican cuisine, or even brunch!


Grand River Plowmans AlePlowman’s Ale 4.7%

This amber ale is hands down Rob’s beer…as he says “This one…is all about me!”

Tasting Notes: The colour of this beer is lovely reddish copper. The nose expresses malts, buckwheat honey, dried fruit, and the unmistakeable noble hops. The palate expresses some dark fruit (plum, black cherry) and has a nice malty weight to the body. The sweetness is quickly dried by lovely hop bitterness that refreshes and clears the palate. I can see why Rob loves this beer!

Suggested Food Pairings: Why a Plowman’s lunch (bread, cheese, charcuterie) of course! Also works with sandwiches, pizza, and Mexican food.


Enigma Black Lager 6.0%

Black Lagers look remarkably like a Porter or a Stout, but you’ll find them refreshingly different!

Tasting Notes: Pours clear brown with a thin, creamy beige head. The nose screams roasted malts, toast, smoke, dark toffee, and coffee. On the palate, dark chocolate and coffee notes intermingle with dried fruit, cola, and smoky sweetness. The finish is what will surprise you…these dark lagers have a relatively short and clean finish, leaving some light malt bitterness and espresso in your mouth.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with grilled salmon or pork chops. 


• Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •


With Grand River Galt Knife Old Style Lager…

Warm Potato Salad with Beer Dressing

From Bob Hanenberg’s Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients for the Salad

2-1/2 pounds red potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped mild red or yellow onions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Ingredients for the Beer Salad Dressing

6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup Galt Knife Old Style lager
3 Tablespoons malt or cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Method for the salad

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until a knifepoint can be easily inserted, about 20-25 minutes. Remove, and as soon as you can handle them, slice them, unpeeled, into l/4-inch rounds.

While the potatoes are still warm, gently mix them with the onions, parsley, and beer dressing. Do not over mix or the potatoes may break into pieces.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Method for the dressing

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the lager, vinegar, and sugar and boil for 5 minutes. Put into a food processor with the mustard. With the motor running, slowly pour in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Taste for salt and pepper.


With Grand River Galt Knife Old Style Lager…

Cheese Fondue

From Bob Hanenberg’s Kitchen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves 6


4 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 carrot minced
1/4 celery minced
1/2 onion minced
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups Galt Knife Old Style lager
1/2 liter heavy cream
5 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 limes squeezed


Melt butter in a heavy bottom saucepan and then add the garlic, carrot, celery, and onion. Cook briefly.

Add the flour and cook until thickened. Add 2 cups of the beer and the cream and simmer until slightly thickened.

Add the cheese, let it melt and then add the lime juice. Just before serving add the last cup of beer, stirring until heated.

Serve with cubed bread, apples, grapes, pears and ham. 


With Grand River Brewing Mill Race Mild…

Coffee Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

From Shawn McCormick’s kitchen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Serves 6-8


2 lbs pork tenderloin
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP fine ground espresso beans
3 tsp paprika (smoked, hot, or regular)
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup table salt (for the brine)
2 L cold water (for the brine)


Trim any of the fat and silver off of the tenderloin(s).

Mix the ½ cup of salt with the water until the salt is dissolved then put the pork tenderloin(s) in the salt brine overnight (~8 hours minimum)

Mix the rest of the ingredients together well for the rub

When ready to cook, remove the tenderloin(s) from the salt brine and rinse lightly. Dry with paper towels and coat thoroughly with the rub.

Use ‘7-6-5 method‘ for cooking the tenderloin(s). Preheat your grill on high for 20 minutes. Once hot, place the tenderloin(s) on the grill and close the cover. After 7 minutes on one side, turn and grill for 6 minutes on the other side again with the lid closed. Turn off the heat, leaving the lid closed for another 5 minutes. Check that internal temp in the thickest part id 145-150F (if not close the lid and check at 5 min intervals).

Remove and let rest for 5 minutes under foil.

Serve with Mill Race Mild or Enigma Black Lager and some roasted potatoes.


With Grand River Tank Top Tangerine…

Lemon Grilled Shrimp

From Shawn McCormick’s Kitchen
Prep Time: 20 minutes + 1 to 2 hours marinating time
Cook Time: 6-7 minutes
Serves 4


500g shrimp, 21-25 size (jumbo), thawed
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
500 mL Grand River Tank Top Tangerine
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp olive or other cooking oil


Put the beer into a medium sized pan and heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Cool until room temperature.

Add the oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest to the cooled beer reduction and add to a large bowl with the shrimp.

Keep marinade in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

I like to skewer them or ease of handling, but it is not necessary.

Grill over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked but not over-cooked.


Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!