Posts Tagged ‘Savvy Brew Crew Shawn McCormick’

5 Paddles – craft beers delivered!

Posted by Shawn

Monday, May 11th, 2015


And here we go again! This month, Savvy Hip Hops brings you a new Taste Case of beer and hopefully some new favourites to help you enjoy the warmer weather that has finally arrived! Our April feature is 5 Paddles Brewing Company from Whitby with a variety of beer styles.

If you are not familiar with 5 Paddles and their unbelievable library of beers, read through the following pageshiphops_large of our Beer Backstory Magazine to get to know more about the 4 brewmasters (there were 5 when they started) – who have over 100 different beers made already in the short 2 years that they have been open.

5 Paddles uses the tagline “Durham’s Beer” which is aptly named as they are located just off the 401 in Whitby. The founders all met through a local home brewing club and now they are brewing beers around the clock. They really have become the local hot spot for craft beer, continually selling out everything they make right at the brewery.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and find these eight bottles of beers all in refundable 650mL bottles, so there’s no reason to return your empties to the brewery, although we are sure you will want to visit after tasting these!

Baby Belg
Badass Pal Ale
In Your Face IPA
Home Sweet Home Pale Ale (2 bottles)
Heroine of Niagara Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Ale
Brother Ian’s Belgian 8
Midnight Paddler

Note: some Savvy Hip Hopsters will receive 1 bottle of Belgian Midnight Paddler in replacement for the Midnight Paddler…the brewery was a couple of bottles short at the time of shipping.

Found a new fav?  

Would you like more beer from 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

5 Paddles Brewing Company 

by Shawn McCormick

“Durham’s Beer”, 5 Paddles is conveniently located just 5 minutes off of the 401 in Whitby, and is definitely worth a stop for anyone heading by on the highway! 

Why “5 Paddles”?

The five original founders met through the local home brew club. They had tossed around the idea of starting a bre5 Paddles logowery together but weren’t sure how to do it. Along came Broadhead Brewery in Ottawa, who just happened to provide the exact nanobrewery model that these ambitious home brewers were looking for. That little spark combined with their passion, and soon the brewery was born. Looking for a name, they realized that they all would have a hand (or a mash paddle) in the brewing process as active brewers, and the name just seemed right! 

A Banker, A Mechanic, A Horticulturist, and a Brewer’s Supply Store Owner walk into a bar…5 Paddles Front

It may sound like the start of a corny joke, but the beer coming out of 5 Paddles is no joke! These experienced home brewers all brought their diverse, favourite recipes to the partnership, giving consumers an extremely wide variety of styles to choose from right from the day they opened. Over time, they’ve evolved to where each partner can brew any beer. But that doesn’t mean they have lost their originality! With about 100 beers in their repertoire, these brewers like to experiment and try different things.

Not in the LCBO?

I had a great chat with Ed Woods, who gave up his job as a diesel mechanic to be one of the Paddlers, told me that they have had a hard time keeping up with demand since the day their doors opened two years ago. With a small 2.5 barrel (~225L) system, all of the beer is snapped up through the front door. They aren’t offering keg delivery service yet, but some local bars and restaurants want their beer on tap that they actually come and pick up kegs themselves at the brewery!

At 5 Paddles, “we’ve never spent a dollar on marketing, yet we keep getting busier and busier”, says Ed. “Word of mouth is spreading amazingly fast. The other day, one of the locals was in the brewery and said ‘my neighbour told me that he HAD to stop and try your beer.”

Moving on Up!5 Paddles

Luckily, 5 Paddles has just purchased some 10 barrel (~900L) equipment which is going to allow them to increase their production substantially. They also realized they needed more space and moved late last year to a space nearby that will house the new larger equipment. Ed hopes that at some point, they will “hit a ceiling” and actually have supply meet the demand. Does that mean the end to small batches though? Not at all, as Ed explains that the 2.5 barrel system will be kept for experimenting and running the “one-offs” that 5 Paddles has become famous for.

 Last Words…

5 Paddles BottlesEd and I talk about the changes in Ontario’s craft beer industry. Ed’s excited about the great beer coming out, noting “Great beers are raising the bar for everybody. When I try a great beer, I get motivated and think that I have to make something better than this!”. Indeed his motto isn’t “Try 5 Paddles Beer”, but rather “Try new stuff. Try everybody!”

We raise a glass to the 5 Paddles team!


 •Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes•


5 Paddles makes so many different beer styles, but with their demand outstripping supply, we had to work hard to pull together enough beer for this month’s delivery. You’ll find a little bit of everything in your Taste Case this month, and if you have friends who are into beer, you might want to invite them over to try some of these!

Baby Belge (Belgian Ale)

A sessionable, golden Belgian Ale with the right mix of malt and spice! 4.7% ABV5 Paddles Ales

Tasting Notes:  Golden straw colour. Wheat and cereal notes dominate the nose at first, with hints of honey, lemon, and spice. On the palate, there’s the expected banana and bubblegum influence of the Belgian yeast, and a light hop bitterness and white pepper spice on the finish. Very refreshing sipper for a warm sunny afternoon outside!

Suggested Food Pairing: Food friendly. Try it with Gruyere grilled cheese (with or without caramelized onions on it).


Home Sweet Home (Pale Wheat Ale)

With a deeper colour and more malt-forward notes, this fresh and creamy Pale Ale is 5 Paddles’ best-selling beer and comes in at 5%.

Tasting Notes: Malt forward ale with lots of cereal and honey malt on the nose. The palate is a touch sweet at first (all about those honey malts) and then finishes with some nice drying hops. The vanilla is very light and comes through more as some toffee and “double-double” coffee notes. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Classic weeknight burgers on the BBQ, or just about anything fried!


Badass Pale Ale (American Pale Ale)5 Paddles Badass Beer

The first beer ever made at 5 Paddles, and refreshing for 6.3% ABV

Tasting Notes: Copper coloured, this is a malt forward Pale Ale with toffee and buckwheat honey  dominating the nose, and citrusy hops notes playing second fiddle.  On the finish, the hops kick in and take over with some tart grapefruit pith dominating the remaining malt stickiness, readying your palate for another sip.

Suggested Food Pairings: Shellfish, fried foods, pizza, or simple cheese and charcuterie.


In Your Face IPA (American IPA)

A big, bold IPA with 6.5% ABV, for those of you who love hops!

Tasting Notes:  As brewer Erin Broadfoot describes it, this is “A crisp and easy drinking west coast style IPA that is light on malt flavor and heavy on the hops. Hops lend notes of citrus, chardonnay, lemon and grapefruit.”  What else can we add? It is an excellent take on an American style IPA, with great hoppiness, spice, and malt balanced.

Suggested Food Pairings: This one says Mexican – try with burritos, nachos, or quesadillas.

there’s more…


Heroine of Niagara (Merlot Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Ale)5 Paddles Merlot Ale

For those of you who have not tried sour beers, this is a great introductory beer! 6% ABV.

Tasting Notes: With a nose of candied apple and clementine, you know this is something different! On the palate, the sweeteness is contrasted with some grapefruit-like sourness, and hints of dried fruit and oak. The finish is slightly sour and almost has a tannic astringency that is very refreshing. This is a great introduction to the sour beer style!

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with Tomato salad with vinaigrette dressing or enjoy in the evening with a chunk of blue cheese!


Brother Ian’s Belgian 8 (Belgian Strong Ale)

This is 5 Paddles take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and is a big, bold beer at 9.5% ABV.

Tasting Notes: The nose on this hazy brown beer is all about the sweet malts with toffee, cereal, roasted malt, and molasses. There is raisin and cherry joining on the palate, as well as toffee and light coffee notes. There’s enough hop and malt bitterness to make the finish dry, spicy and delicious!

Suggested Food Pairings: Barbecue, and grilled and roasted meats.


Midnight Paddler (Imperial Stout/Black IPA)

Unfortunately we couldn’t get enough Midnight Paddler for all of you, so in your Taste Case you will either have a Midnight Paddler or a Belgian Midnight Paddler. Both have the same beer base which starts as a Russian Imperial Stout with a load of hops (which is why some refer to it as a Black IPA). The difference in the yeast makes a huge difference, and indeed the in brewery, Belgian version is called a “Royal Canadian Quad”. Both 10% ABV.

Tasting Notes

Midnight Paddler: Very dark beer with roasted malt aromas of chocolate and black coffee. Noticeable hops influence in both floral and grapefruit notes. The palate is all stout at first with sweet malt notes at first, then the citrus and pine flavours you’d expect in an IPA hit. 5 Paddles Midnight Paddler

Belgian Midnight Paddler: Same deep colour and roasted malt and cereal aromas. The Belgian yeast used in this one brings out some dried fruit notes (figs and raisins) and some definite banana influence – one of our reviewers described the palate as a “chocolate covered banana”!

Suggested Food Pairings: Grilled meats, rich and creamy desserts like tiramisu or chocolate cheesecake.


• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •


With 5 Paddles Badass Pale Ale

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp     


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 34 Servings


1 dozen 12/16 count shrimp – peeled, deveined and tails on
1/2 lb. quality maple-smoked bacon
(Requires 4 wood or metal skewers)


Preheat grill to medium.

Cut bacon in half so you have 2 shorter strips per slice. Take half piece of bacon and wrap around shrimp totally engulfing it. Slide onto skewer (Remember to soak wood skewers in water, and even when well saturated the exposed ends still may burn apart. You can add tin foil onto the grill outside of the cooking areas where your wood skewer is exposed to the grill flames.) Slide 3 shrimp per skewer.

Grill the bacon wrap shrimp on the skewer for approximately 3 – 4 minutes per side making sure the bacon is cooked. If you’ve wrapped the shrimp properly the shrimp will cook slower and not overcook.

Slide cooked shrimp off of skewer and serve immediately with rice, veggies, and a glass of Badass Pale Ale. 


 With 5 Paddles Home Sweet Home Pale Ale

Beer Battered Fish

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings


1 lb (500g) white fish fillets (halibut, cod)
½ bottle of Home Sweet Home Pale Ale
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, plus some additional for dusting
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 egg
Enough oil (2”-3” minimum) to deep fry in the pan you are using.


Heat oil to 375°F

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and paprika well, ensuring there are no clumps of baking powder.

Beat the egg and fold into the flour mixture.

Slowly add the beer, mixing well to get rid of any clumps. You want it slightly thinner consistency than pancake mix, so add more beer or flour until you have the right consistency.

Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels. When dry, dust them with flour and dip into batter, ensuring they are well coated.

Slowly lower them into the hot oil. Deep fry until golden brown on each side, turning as required. This should take 4-6 minutes per batch.

Serve with fries, salad, and more Home Sweet Home Pale Ale!


With (Belgian) Midnight Paddler

Coffee Rubbed Pork Tenderloin                      

From Shawn McCormick’s kitchen

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings


3 lbs (1.5kg)  pork tenderloin

The Rub

4 Tbsp fine ground espresso
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp smoky paprika
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder or chipotle powder (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
BBQ Sauce (optional)


Mix all rub ingredients together. Generously coat the meat on all sides with the rub. Leave in the fridge for 5-6 hours (or even overnight).

Heat the grill on high until it is very hot (over 400°F), then turn the heat setting to medium.

Grill the meat 7-8 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. Baste with optional BBQ sauce if you want. Remove, cover lightly with foil and allow them to sit for 7-8 minutes. They should still be pink and moist in the center.

Slice into medallions and serve with sides and a glass of Midnight Paddler or Belgian Midnight Paddler.

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!




Good times at work makes good beers!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Beyond the Pale Brewery

-January 2015 –


We have a saying at Savvy Company – “if it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing”. This month we are featuring Beyond the Pale Brewery – and everyone at this brewery certainly believes in this saying too.  When I asked Ashleigh Craig (she’s the VP of Everything) what makes work so much fun, she replied with a big smile, “we laugh constantly – and these good times make good beers!”

hiphops_largeWe are thrilled to kick off the year by introducing you to Beyond the Pale (aka BTP).  The demand is great, the people at the brewery are fun & friendly and their beers are awesome.  One of our Savvy Brew Crew members, Shawn McCormick is a fan & tells his story, “You got to be in the know. I saw a tweet that one of Shane’s (the brewmaster) long awaited experimental beers was ready.  When I dropped by after work that day, they were already sold out!”

Our subscribers in Ottawa are in for a treat as they are assured growlers of signature beers as well as a new beer – you are the first! For our subscribers in Toronto, rarely BTP beers are shipped beyond of Ottawa, so after a few sips, we are confident that you will have reason for a road trip to the capital (or call us to arrange for more BTP beers in a ‘care package’ to be shipped to you).

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

Beyond the Pale kegWe are sure that a smile will come over your face when you open your Taste Case.  Inside you will find some BTP treats along with an assortment of 5 growlers of these 6 different beers:

Found a new fav?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in this months’ Savvy Hip Hops, or previously featured breweries, 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 & enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew


Beyond the Pale Brewery

by Debbie Trenholm

“I knew that I did not want to work for someone”, says Shane Clark (centre in photo below) as a smile comes to his face. He caught the entrepreneurial spirit early & after a career dotted with ventures including real estate, his ultimate dream was realized. He brought his home brewing hobby to the next level in 2011 when Shane and his high school buddy, Rob McIssac (left in photo below) openned the doors to Beyond the Pale Brewery in Ottawa.

Beyond the Pale guysRob dreamt of starting a brewery business. He lived in the United States for a number of years, and when he returned to Ottawa, he missed the craft beers that he had discovered south of the border.  Shane, meanwhile was making beers in his basement that hit the mark of what Rob longing for. More experiments, more beers, more late nights & of course loads of laughter, Rob & Shane decided to make it happen – start their own own craft brewery business.

I remember when rumours started & Ottawa was all a-buzz about the brewery with the weird name starting up.  Now beer lovers in Ottawa know exactly where the brewery is located, recognize the picket fence logo anywhere & ask for the beers by name at the pubs.

So what is with the name?

“My wife found the name,” Rob stated.  It does not only sound cool, it also has a historical meaning.  Lore according to Wikipedia explains that ‘The Pale’ was the region of Ireland that was under the control of the English government during the late Middle Ages. Over time, the size of this region reduced to an area along the east coast stretching from south of Dublin to the town of Dundalk.

In Latin, the word pale is palus, meaning stake or picket in a fence.  Naturally, this became the meaning of a boundary and eventually the phrase beyond the pale refers to something outside the boundary.   Now knowing all this, it is definitely appropriate name for a brewery that is constantly experimenting!

“Sometimes we call ourselves ‘Beyond the Ridiculous’ “ confessed Ashleigh with a laugh.

Big…really fast

It only took two short years, for the team to outgrow their space.  Bags of hops & kegs are stacked high everywhere, yet no one seems to mind. In true BTP style, they make a joke about it. “Everything we do here is  because of fun” proudly says Al Clark (Shane’s Dad – right in photo above).

In a few months, the tasting room & brewery operations will move to their new ‘digs’ in Ottawa’s City Centre where loads of room awaits. “I get an office with a door” remarks Rob, “and Ashleigh gets a desk!”  No doubt these are exciting times at the brewery and it is all a testament that they are onto a great thing!

Pushing their own boundaries

Beyond the Pale CutoffsRegulars visit the brewery & belly up to the tasting bar stating, ‘I want whatever brew is new’.  Shane & the trio in the beermaking team are constantly experimenting in the brewery and at their homes.  “We encourage our team to take ingredients from the brewery & play with their beer creation at home.  Who knows? They may create the next BIG beer for us.” When the brewery moves into their new space, Shane will bring all of his home brewing gear for the team to use onsite.  They have already decided that this equipment would be called, “The Kids Are Alright”.

And Shorts in January?

I happened to visit the brewery on a Thursday…High Stakes Cut-off Thursday that is.  While it was -32 outside with the wind chill, I was shocked that the brewing team were in cut offs.  Ashleigh explains, ”it’s been going on for 9 months.  It started with a bet that whoever forgets to wear cutoffs to work on Thursdays, owes the others steaks…really good steaks.”  So far, the ‘tradition’ has not been broken…that is how they roll at Beyond the Pale.


• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes • 


By cracking open your Taste Case, you will find that Beyond the Pale has something for everyone. Round up your beer lovin’ friends & enjoy the growlers.  The growlers are best kept cool for a month or so before opening.  But seriously…why wait? 

Pink Fuzz

Beyond the Pale - ShaneGrapefruit Wheat 20IBU/6% ABV

This unique brew has become Beyond the Pale’s signature beer. “Not your Bavarian grandfather’s wheat beer – far from it! It is the non-beer drinker’s beer”, explains Shane, who BTW does not eat fruit of any kind…go figure!

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: We use real grapefruit zest and juice at different points in the process to insert the character of the fruit into the beer.  The hops are carefully selected to emphasize the citrus notes, but the grapefruit flavour is surprisingly subtle & the bitterness of the grapefruit is nicely balanced by a zip of sweetness in the finish that makes it refreshing & far too easy to drink. ”It’s like a Mimosa!” exclaims Shane. 

Suggested Food Pairing: It goes down smooth on its own or with spicy Asian foods (think Phad Thai).  Hard crumbly cheeses – cheddar, parmesan, pecorino even manchego would be great.  If you like seafood, scallops & oysters would be mighty fine too. 

Rye Guy

Rye PA 52IBU/6.7% ABV

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:  Rye Guy is a West Coast style IPA that uses a ton of rye malt (that gives it a sweetness) as part of the all-Canadian grain bill. The American hops give it distinctive citrus and pine notes. The result is a very crisp, full-bodied beer that is surprisingly sessionable for 52 IBUs. “There is hop on the front & back with a sweet middle – like an Oreo cookie”, commented Savvy Brew Crew Debbie during the tasting at the brewery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Hands down this is begging to be enjoyed with a spicy Indian curry or Mexican fare.  

Breaking Bitter

English Special Bitter 38IBU/5.3% ABV

BTP’s most to-style beer.  Not always available, Shane & his team wanted to make a very malt-forward ale utilizing traditional ingredients that would have been used for a English-style Special Bitter.

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:  In true BTP style, Shane explains, “we upped the ante with boatloads of East Kent Goldings hops to give off a massive floral, grassy & citrusy aroma, followed by an amazingly balanced flavour, plus a big hop-forward finish with lots of sweet malt.”

Suggested Food Pairing: A British style beer deserves British fare – fish & chips would be delicious.  So would spicy sausage (aka Bangers & Mash) or even Sheppard’s Pie. 

HOYF (Hop On Your Face)

IPA 77IBU/7.1% ABV

Get ready for an EXPLOSION of hops! This brew takes it to the limit.  It’s made with 33 lbs of hops in a 700L batch – compare that to Pink Fuzz that has only 8 to 9 lbs of hops.

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: An unabashedly intense and aromatically obnoxious beer that is like nothing you have had before, without the overwhelming bitterness some IPA’s can carry. Those are Shane’s words my friend…and he & his team are proud of the balance between bitterness & hop that they were able to achieve in this beer.  And beer lovers are happy too!

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ for steaks or pork chops or pick up the phone & order in your favorite Indian curry.

Belle Hop Porter

Beyond the Pale Belle HopsPorter 51IBU/7.8% ABV
Note: this beer was not ready at the time of our tasting at the brewery. 

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: This is our inaugural collaboration we did with Stock Pot Ales. This robust porter is a bit bigger in booze, hops, and body than is traditional for the style, but we made it work. Massive amounts of chocolate and roasted coffee counter the heavily hopped beer. Piney and herbal notes add freshness to the rich, spicy ale.

Suggested Food Pairing: Meat…meat…meat!


The Darkness

Oatmeal Stout 30IBU/5.6% ABV
Chocolate lovers – get ready!

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: The Darkness is an incredibly dark and creamy beer that will overwhelms  the palate with loads of dark chocolate, cola & espresso coffee. “Holy smokes this is amazing’, commented Debbie during the tasting at the brewery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Anything with smokey bacon or alternatively, Ashleigh suggests to enjoy with rich chocolate desserts.


• Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •

With Pink Fuzz…

Lemony Lentil Soup

From Fresh Tracks Café at Whitewater Ski Resort, British Columbia
Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams with tips from Savvy Company’s Debbie Trenholm
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


2 cups of red lentils (dried)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
¼ tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped (fresh is best)
2 bay leaves
8 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (TIP: replace one cup of the broth with white wine if you have some open!)
juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp lemon zest 

Garnish (optional):

1 cup feta cheese, crumbles
2 Tbsp fresh dill chopped


Rinse the lentils in a colander & set aside to drain

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add onions & sautée until translucent. Add carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, rosemary, oregano & bay leaves.  Stir well and sautée until the carrots are tender.

Add stock (and wine) and the lentils. Bring to a boil.

Remove bay leaves. At this point, you may purée the soup or just leave it as is (TIP: I haven’t puréed before)

When the soup is done cooking, add lemon juice, zest and more salt & pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls & sprinkle feta & dill on top. 


With Rye Guy…

Mexican Beef Brisket & Winter Squash Chilli

From Canada’s Top Trending Recipes for 2014
Yield: 12 Servings


O Canada recipe Mexican chilii6 dried ancho chilies
2 cups boiling water
6 oz. bacon, diced
4 cups chopped white or yellow onions
5 lbs (approx. 2 to 2.5 kg) first-cut beef brisket, cut into 3-inch chunks
Salt and ground black pepper
2 jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped (optional)
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp chili powder
14 1/2-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
12-oz. bottle beer, plus more if needed…of course some to enjoy while cooking!
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated
7-oz. can diced fire-roasted green chilies
3 cups of  2-inch chunks peeled and seed butternut squash

Finely chopped red onions
Peeled, seeded, and sliced avocado
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Warm corn or flour tortillas


Tear apart the dried ancho chilies, then discard the seeds and stems. Place the torn chilies in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over them, then soak until soft, at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours.

When ready to proceed, heat the oven to 165°C (325°F).

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the bacon until it begins to brown. Add the onions and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Remove the pot with the onions and bacon from the heat and stir in the beef.

Place the soaked chilies and about 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid in a blender (save the remaining liquid to add to the pot later, if needed). Add the jalapenos (if using), garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, chili powder, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Blend to form a puree, then add to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, beer, cilantro stems and green chilies.

Stir well, cover, place in the oven, and bake for 2 hours. If the chili becomes too dry during cooking, add some of the reserved chili-soaking liquid or more beer. The meat is done when it is fork tender. If the meat is not yet fork tender, return the covered pot to the oven and check it every 20 to 30 minutes. Once the meat is tender, stir in the squash and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the squash is tender.

Remove the pot from the oven. Use a spoon to skim off any fat on the surface of the chili. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between serving bowls with the cilantro leaves, red onions, avocado, cheese and tortillas on the side.


With HOYF (Hop on Your Face)…

Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Salad

Beyond the Pale signFrom Long Nights & Log Fires Cookbook, by Ryland Peters & Small
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

This Middle Eastern flavoured dish is delicious as a main course or as a side dish with grilled pork chops, spicy sausage, ham or roasted turkey. The earthiness of this dish will be delicious with beer.


¼ cup olive oil
1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets
1 teaspoon ground cumin (this can be more if you like stronger flavours)
6 large Swiss chard leaves, chopped into 1 inch wide strips (alternately use spinach leaves- unchopped or beet greens)
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves (or can use more if you rather)
14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste – alternatively use smooth peanut butter)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly cracked white pepper


Put oil in a large skillet (cast iron is best) and set over high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 8 – 10 minutes turning often until they are dark, golden brown.

To the skillet cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute to cover all of the cauliflower.

Then add Swiss chard, onion & garlic and cook a further 2-3 minutes until chard has wilted & onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas to the pan and stir.  Season to taste with salt

TIP: if your skillet is not large enough for this recipe, fire up 2 frying pans on the stove & make the vegetable mixture.  Once done, combine both pans into a big bowl at the last minute.  

Combine tahini, lemon juice and white pepper in a small bowl and add a little salt to taste. Whisk to combine.  Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the top to serve.  Enjoy hot or serve warm.


With The Darkness (other BTP beers too!)

Best Bacon Jam – EVER!

From The Endless Meal
Yield: 2 cups


1 lb bacon
2 large onions (red or white), quartered & thickly sliced
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
½ cup water
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to large frying pan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring frequently until the bacon is just cooked (not crispy).

Remove bacon from pan & let sit on a plate lined with paper towels to remove some of the fat.

Pour off bacon drippings into a metal cup or bowl & set aside

Into the frying pan still laced with bacon fat, add onions and cook on medium for 8 to 10 minutes until translucent. Reduce to low heat. Add sugar & stir.  Continue to cook for about 20 minutes until the onions have carmelized (the kitchen will smell devine at this point!). Add coffee, water and the reserved bacon, stirring frequently until the onions are thick & jam like.  This may take about 30 minutes.

Remove pan from heat & stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste & add more salt if necessary.

Serve hot with red or white meats as an accompaniment, chutney or garnish.  Alternatively store in a Tupperware container or jar for up to a week.   I have used this is omelettes, added to soup, spread on toast in the morning or de-glazed a pan of sausages. You’ll get hooked and want to double the recipe next time!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!