Posts Tagged ‘Shawn McCormick’

Earn Your Beer with Whiprsnapr Brewing Company

Posted by Shawn

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
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Ahhhh…the lazy hazy days of summer! This month’s Savvy Hip Hops brings you a case of craft beer from a new Ottawa brewery… hopefully you’ll find new favourites to savour around the deck, pool, dock, or at your campsite! This month features Whiprsnapr Brewing Company, with several different beer styles for all of our suds-cribers!

As most of you will not be familiar with Whiprsnapr and their intriguing beers, read through this issue of our Beer Backstory Magazine to be introduced to their various styles of beer, the tireless owners and the brew-master himself.

Whiprsnapr has built a theme around #EarnYourBeer. Whether it is renovation projects, camping, mountain biking,hiphops_large-292x300 or just cutting the grass, there are all kinds of ways to #EarnYourBeer.  Located in a small industrial park in Bells Corners (the west end of Ottawa), Whiprsnapr is building on the community feeling in this well-established suburb. They have quickly built an extremely loyal following and regularly sell out of everything they make, so getting our hands on enough beer for all you suds-scribers was tough!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and find these six inspired beers. Whiprsnapr decided early on that they would try to use 1L refillable bottles exclusively, so you will have a full litre of each of:

Root of Evil Pre-Prohibition LagerEarnyourbeer (1)
The Mick Maple Cream Ale
Carol Anne Irish Blonde Ale
OK La Ginger/Coriander Cream Ale
Black Sunshine Black Lager
Inukshuk IPA


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 cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers and  enjoy your summer…however you #EarnYourBeer

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
Whiprsnapr Brewing Company

by Shawn McCormick

I’ve known Mike of Whiprsnapr for about 15 years & even got to help unload containers of brewing equipment last fall, so I jumped at the chance to write about Whiprsnapr. Open since last October, I’ve heard & seen many of the challenges & the plain hard work by the founders (and their wives too) that brought their dream to reality.

It all started with KISS…

The three founders met – funnily enough – at a KISS (the band that is) Kruise party early in 2014.  All of theIanm had signed up to go on the same cruise.  Ian McMartin (left) and David Howard were already moving forward with the project when Mike Feagan  sampled Ian’s beer. He knew right away he wanted to be involved.  When the third partner dropped out, Ian and David turned to Mike to join them.

Ian had been brewing beer for about 20 years and had been developing his own all-grain recipes, so he was a nteamatural as brewmaster. David and Mike brought the required business experience, but soon found they had many other roles to play in opening a new brewery. Recipe testing started with a small 2 barrel (228L) “test” system, but the team wasted no time in jumping into the big leagues, ordering a massive 20 barrel (2280L) system that arrived around Thanksgiving!

What’s a Whiprsnapr?

Ian’s grandfather always called him a “whippersnapper”.  Ian tucked this away knowing that if he ever opened a brewery, the name was already set. Finding the proper URL proved difficlogoult, so creative abbreviation was required. This works well for social media! The slingshot in the pocket is a hat-tip to perhaps the greatest Whiprsnapr of them all – Denis the Menace!

 #EarnYourBeer

Before the brewery was even an idea, Ian brewed beer with a buddy and they always referred to ‘Earning their Beer’.  Whether they were mountain-biking, camping, smoking meat, or doing other jobs around the house, it was their way of saying that they had earned their refreshments because of the work they had put in. This theme carries over into the word artwork and to the photos posted throughout the tasting room, showing the many ways they & their customers #EarnYourBeer

 

Edgy and Fun!

There is little pretence to this brewery. There’s industrial steel, tables made from recycled pallets and wire spools, and used fencing on the walls. The guys admit that they have an edge, and that edge is all about working hard and having fun. Their t-shirts and merchandise are instantly recognizable.

regularsLike the brewery name, all of Whiprsnapr’s beer names also have a story to tell. Through those stories, they hope to further the connections they are forging with their growing customer base. Mike, Ian, and David all come across as guys living their dream, and easily relate to the people walking in the front door. Along the line of furthering the conversations, Whiprsnapr is teaming up with “Do it For Daron” to release a beer (“The Mick”, rebranded as “22”) with 8% proceeds going to mental health awareness.

Visitors to the brewery appreciate that the owners are always there, ensuring the best experience that turns into repeat customers. Based on their inability to keep up with sales through the tasting room, it seems Whiprsnapr is succeeding beyond their wildest dreams!

We raise a glass to the Whiprsnapr team!


• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Whiprsnapr makes several different beer styles, but keeping up with both ales and lagelogosrs means that they are still running the 2 barrel system full tilt along with the large system. We figured these selections would work well with the heat of summer, and with one-litre bottles, you’ll want to have friends around when you open these selections.

Root of Evil (Pre-Prohibition Lager)

A transition beer for those used to mass-produced beer, this is similar to European pilsners, with a slight twist. 5% ABV

Tasting Notes: Pale gold. Wheat and cereal notes dominate the nose at first, with hints of honey, citrus, and noble hops. On the palate, the nose repeats with cereal malts, white flower honey, light citrus, and a slightly smoky nuance. The combination of hops adds a fresh, cleansing feeling to this beer. Very refreshing sipper for a warm sunny afternoon outside!

Suggested Food Pairing: A very food friendly beer. Try it with fish and chips, nachos, or even Thai food.

The Mick (Maple Cream Ale)

Initially brewed with maple sap (harder to come by in the summer), Whiprsnapr has moved to maple syrup with the addition of maple wood chips to add some body and the “woodsy” element that was missing. 4.7% ABV

Tasting Notes: Also pale gold. This cream ale is all about the maple. Without making it syrupy, this beer takes you to a wood-fired maple syrup operation, with sweet maple and a hint of smoke on the nose. On the palate, the maple sweetness is quite subdued, with some noticeable malt & cereal notes. There are just enough hops in this one to keep the finish clean and crisp. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Anything off the grill that has been slathered in BBQ sauce, club sandwich, or brunch!

Carol Anne (Irish Blonde Ale)

Named after Ian’s mom. 5% ABV

Tasting Notes: Deep gold colour, bordering on copper. This malt-forward Blonde Ale has both honey and wheat maltspoolside combined with Willamette hops, which give the nose a load of tropical fruit flavours. Pineapple, mango, marmalade notes dominate the nose and lead you to assume the beer is going to be very sweet, but the palate keeps the sweetness in check and the hops give way to a clean finish. Great medium weight body. Reminiscent of a lightly-hopped APA.

Suggested Food Pairings: Spicy Thai or Indian cuisine, Laksa would be very good. Would also pair well with a ploughman’s lunch (charcuterie and cheese).

OK La (Ginger Cream Ale)

A spicy cream ale that brings back memories of working in Malaysia for Ian. The name itself is Singaporean slang, kind of like us saying ‘Yeah sure!’, informs Ian. 5.5% ABV

Tasting Notes:  Fresh ginger on the nose. Some white flower honey, lemon, lime, and spice notes (Ian explains that there is fresh coriander in this, and that all ingredients are purchased and used the day of the brewing, so even the ginger is fresh ground). On the palate, the ginger is more muted, and the white flower honey dominates. Ian and Mike explain that even people who tell them that they don’t like ginger love this beer. It is very fresh, and would pair well with a very hot summer day on your deck, dock, or boat.

Suggested Food Pairings: I’d try this with Moroccan or Middle-Eastern cuisine, perhaps kafta, Moroccan stew, or shawarma. Surprisingly, it apparently doesn’t so work well with Thai food.whipsnapr fridge (1)

 

Black Sunshine (Black Lager)

A dark beer with great flavours, but a crisp lager finish. 6% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Very dark, almost black. Nose of bitter chocolate and dark coffee. Expecting the weight of a stout, the palate surprises with freshness. There’s some nice sweetness of the coffee and chocolate notes but they quickly disappear. With whiskey soaked wood chips added to the ferment, there’s a lingering (and intriguing) sweet whisky finish interspersed with black coffee.

Suggested Food Pairings: Smoked beef ribs. Other meats smoked with a sticky BBQ sauce should pair well with the light whisky finish.

Inukshuk (American IPA)

What craft brewery doesn’t do an IPA? Brewmaster Ian has tuned this to what he calls a ‘Canadian’ IPA to remind you of “…the days of just being in the woods doing whatever, breathing in all that good clean air.” 5.5%

Tasting Notes: Copper coloured. Nose of sweet, tropical fruit, green grass, pine pitch and pine needles. Medium bodied, the sweet notes of buckwheat honey and toffee are balanced by crisp citrus fruit, courtesy of the generous hops. There’s lots of citrus, spice, and pine, with the tropical fruit being more subdued on the palate. Finish is clean and slightly bitter with red grapefruit and tangerine lingering. A well-balanced beer!

Suggested Food Pairings: Tacos, fajitas, or any deep-fried foods.

 

• Recipes with a splash of the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

With Whiprsnapr Carol Anne

Butter Chicken Pizza
From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen

Prep Time: 10 (or 20) minutespizza
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Yield: 34 Servings

Ingredients

2 Pizza crusts (pre-made, or fresh dough)
2 cups Leftover butter chicken
1 ½ lb (700g) mozzarella cheese
½ cup Pine nuts
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
Few sprigs of Cilantro
2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)

TIP: If you don’t have any leftover butter chicken, pick up a jar of Patak’s butter chicken sauce (or similar). Cook two chicken breasts however you like. Shred the chicken (don’t cube it) into small, easily eaten morsels. Add the butter chicken sauce and heat thoroughly in a saucepan over low heat. If the sauce gets too thick, add a glug or two of beer to thin it to right consistency.

Method

Prepare your pizza crusts as you like. If using fresh dough and grilling on your BBQ, I suggest a little prebaking both sides over indirect heat (high temperature though) to set the dough so it is easy to move once loaded. If using prepared pizza shells, move right to step 2.

Pre roast the pine nuts in 350 oven or BBQ to being out the nutty flavours (they should be light brown but not burnt…and this changes very quickly so you need to watch them!).

Spread butter chicken generously over shell.

Chop the cilantro coarsely and sprinkle all over the chicken mixture.

Cover generously with mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the pine nuts and red onions over top.

Cook over indirect heat in BBQ or in an oven heated to 450F until cheese melts and edges start to brown. Using a pizza stone will help keep the bottom from burning.

Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with optional green onions before serving.

 

With Whiprsnapr OK La Ginger Cream Ale

BBQ Kafta
From AllRecipes.com

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs (700g) lean ground beef
1 medium onion, grated
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt (to taste)
¼ tsp black pepper
Skewers

Method

Preheat BBQ to high heat. If using wooden skewers, soak in water.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion, parsley, cayenne, allspice, salt and pepper until evenly blended.

Divide into 6 portions, and press around one end of the skewers to form a log shape approximately 1 inch thick and 6 inches long.

Turn BBQ to medium heat and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until meat is no longer pink.

Serve with salad, rice, and OK La Ginger Cream Ale

beersunset-skinny

With Whiprsnapr Root of Evil Lager

Lake Erie Perch
From Food.com

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp paprika
½ tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
4 fresh Lake Erie perch fillets

 

Method

Mix flour, paprika, and salt together and set aside.

In a small bowl, blend the egg and the milk.

Heat butter in a large frying pan.

Dip perch fillets in egg wash first and then into the flour mixture.

Carefully place them into the hot butter in the frying pan and brown on both sides (~5 minutes per cm).

Remove from the butter and drain on a paper towel to absorb excess butter.

Serve immediately with salad and Whiprsnapr Root of Evil Lager.

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

 

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5 Paddles – craft beers delivered!

Posted by Shawn

Monday, May 11th, 2015
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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)
Her
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 cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
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     

From Beerchow.com

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

Ingredients

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

 Method

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

Ingredients

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.

Method

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

Ingredients

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)

Method

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!

 

 

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Sawdust City beers are worth a drive to the Muskokas

Posted by Shawn

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Sawdust City Brewing Company

– November 2014 –

 

Month #10 of Savvy Hip Hops brings you a 2-4 of craft beer…and we are certain that you’ll find new favourites that will help you forget about the cold and snowy weather for at least a few hours! This month features Sawdust City Brewing Company and their assorted beer styles for all of our suds-cribers.

hiphops_largeIf you are not familiar with Sawdust City Brewing Company and their delicious array of beers, our Savvy Brew Crew member Shawn McCormick visited this new brewery while on holidays this summer to get the inside scoop about the brewery, their beers…and of course the brewmaster who makes them. With the range of beers you are receiving, there is something for every beer lover.

Sawdust City is not your average brewery. Instead of locating on the outskirts of town in an industrial complex, they took over a large, vacant building in downtown Gravenhurst. This puts them smack dab in the middle of the community – next to the fire hall, curling rink, and shops of small town Ontario.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

…and find these six incredible beers. What’s different about this package is that Sawdust City has invested in their own canning machine! With four cans of each style, you’ll be able to share these great brews with friends.

Gateway Kölsch
Old Woody Alt Beer
Golden Beach Pale Ale
Lone Pine IPA
Skinny Dipping Stout
Winding Road for 7km Saison

Found a new fav brew? 

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 cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Introducing…
Sawdust City Brewing Company

by Shawn McCormick

Located in the quaint little town of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Sawdust City Brewing Company has converted a former Canadian Tire Store into a striking and welcoming brewery.  With an appealing variety of beer styles, a tasting “saloon”, and lots of warmth with the wood decor, they have created a destination brewery that is worth finding on your way to Muskoka’s cottage country! 

Why the name ‘Sawdust City’?

Sawdust City signWhen the decision was made to launch the brewery in Gravenhurst, research of the town’s past revealed the nickname ‘Sawdust City’ from a time when the town hosted about a dozen sawmills. Processing the millions of board feet annually resulted in the entire town being coated in a layer of sawdust. Brewmaster Sam Corbeil explained that “the name just naturally fit”. 

Building a Following

Sawdust City is a bit unique in that they have been contract brewing for some time as their own brewery plans took shape. During this time, they developed a loyal fan base through beer fairs and distribution in pubs and bars around Ontario. Making great beer with catchy names like The Princess Wears Girl Pants, it’s no wonder people knew about Sawdust City before they had their own brewery! When I asked Sam to describe their style, he says simply, “We make different beers we love – hoppy IPAs, rich, malty stouts, and fresh Kölsch.” 

Becoming a Brewmaster

Sam Corbeil is the brewmaster at Sawdust City. More than 10 years ago while attending a beer festival in Belgium, he realized that he loved beer more than he loved his job in advertising. Upon his return, he started Googling brewing schools, eventually settling on VLB in Berlin, considered by many to be the premier school for brewing technology. He describes his time there as “Amazing – people from all around the world, sharing their passion for beer”.  Seriously folks, who wouldn’t like that?? Upon his return, he worked at True North and then with Robert Simpson (pre-Flying Monkeys), eventually ending up at Mill Street. He met current partner Rob Engman a few years ago, and the idea and plans for Sawdust City began to take shape. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sawdust City saloonA Saloon, Guest Taps, AND Live Music??

Sam mentions that they are trying to create a destination with the brewery, which just opened in late August. To this end they have a great saloon open every day, live entertainment on Saturday nights, and you can even enjoy craft beer from other Ontario brewers on the rotating guest taps. In the summer food trucks utilize their parking lot, strengthening the community connection. When asked what type of beer he drinks other than his own, Sam says he has lots of friends who all make great beer & he adds, “Why buy anything outside of Ontario? We make world-beating beers here!”

We raise a glass to the Sawdust City team!

 

 

 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

By cracking open your Taste Case, you will find that Sawdust City has something for everyone. Why not round up some friends and open up several of these to see who likes which style of beer.

Gateway Kölsch (Kölsch)

Paying homage to the lagered ales of Köln (Cologne), Germany, this crisp, bright, straw-coloured beer is named after the Gravenhurst hometown of Sawdust City, referred to as the “Gateway to the Muskoka”. 5% ABV

Tasting Notes:  Quite a fluffy head shows off the great carbonation. Straw gold in colour, crystal clear and bright. Aromas of hops, cereals, and pilsner malt notes. The palate adds light citrus notes and aromas repeat. Very refreshing, and an easy transition beer for those just getting into craft beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is such a food-friendly beer that it is hard to think of something that won’t work with it. Pair with grilled seafood, chicken in light sauce, or a toasted ham sandwich.

 

Old Woody Alt Beer (Altbier)

With a deeper colour and more malt-forward notes, this fresh and creamy Altbier also comes in at 5%.

Tasting Notes: The aromas are definitely more malt forward, with toffee, sweet spice, and a hint of plums/prunes.  The palate is similar with caramel and toffee dominating, some stewed fruits, and a slightly earthy taste. With a creamy mouthfeel, the mid-palate offers a hint of sweetness but the finish is dry with a pleasant hop bitterness to cleanse the palate. 

Suggested Food Pairing: This is another food friendly beer and the versatility of this one will match with stews and meat-or-mushroom-based casseroles.

 

Golden Beach Pale Ale (Session Ale)

A refreshing Pale Ale with flavour much bigger than its 4.5%ABV would indicate.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of pine, fresh grass, pineapple, and pink grapefruit. The palate is all about summer – fresh tropical and citrus fruit will bring you back to the heat waves of July (yes, even in snowy November!). The fresh hops add a lot of aromas and give a great cleansing finish. Session Ales get their name from the lower than typical alcohol, allowing you to enjoy more than one in a “session”.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with Thai or Indian, chicken-based curries!

 

Lone Pine IPA (India Pale Ale)

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

Tasting Notes:  Loads of bright pine, white and pink grapefruit, orange, light caramel notes, and a hint of green grass. The palate follows suit, although the caramel, tropical fruit and sweet orange lead. The finish is all about the hops – loads of white grapefruit rind and pith, with the unmistakeable pine pith batting clean-up. Aptly named!

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with burritos, nachos, or some heavily grilled meats.

 

Skinny Dipping Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

A lovely 5.5% ABV Stout to sip in front of the fireplace (or candles) on a dark stormy night.

Tasting Notes: Aromas of dark toasted malts, black coffee, cocoa, and hints of dried fruit. The creamy palate is quite similar with some malt sweetness at first, and the prune and fig notes being more noticeable. This quickly turns to a smooth coffee bitterness on the long-lasting finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with grilled meats, venison-based stews, or even a chunk of blue cheese!

 

Winding Road for 7 km (Saison)

The first beer in Sawdust City’s “Saison du Maison” series – these are Saison beers that will be released each quarter.

BREWMASTER NOTE: this beer was just canned and needs a little more time to “bottle-condition”, so let this one sit (not in the fridge) until after Nov 27th. Anytime after than it will be ready for drinking!

Tasting Notes: Named after a winding road that stretched for 7km – this rye Saison has beautiful spicy, Belgianesque esters dancing off the glass balanced with a hearty, bready, malt body. Burnt yellow in colour, like the tree lined back roads of Muskoka, 7km will bring you back to fall in Northern Ontario. A time of year when nostalgia and melancholy fog our minds and the early morning dew rises off the cold Autumn ground to create a haunting vision of the winter ahead. (Tasting note provided by Sam Corbeil)

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with chicken (or eggplant) parmesan or pork chops

  

  • Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Hip Hops •

With Sawdust City Gateway Kölsch…

Chicken Alfredo

From Savvy Sommelier & Brew Crew member Shawn McCormick’s kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken (breast or thigh)
1 lb (approx. 450 g) fettuccini noodles (or spaghetti)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup  heavy cream (whipping cream is best – of course!)
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
Few sprigs of parsley chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt

Method

Cook the chicken breasts over medium-low heat in a frying pan with some olive oil, turning regularly until cooked through. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the cream and increase heat to medium until the cream and butter mixture is simmering. Whisk in the garlic and Parmesan cheese until continue whisking until the cheese is melted.

While cooking the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a bit of the liquid in case you need to thin the sauce. Slice the chicken, and toss all remaining ingredients together, adding some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

With Sawdust City Golden Beach Pale Ale

Thai Chicken Curry

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5-6 mushrooms
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
1 carrot1 celery stalk
1 onion1 clove garlic, crushed
2-4 tsp Red Curry Paste (‘Thai Kitchen’ brand is in many grocery stores)
14 oz can Coconut Milk
2-3 cups chicken broth4-5 Tbsp olive or other cooking oil4 cups cooked rice

 

Method

Cut the onion and peppers into thin strips. If you like more vegetables use the whole pepper. Thinly slice the mushrooms, carrots, and celery.

Slice the chicken into thin strips. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium heat and add enough cooking oil to coat the pan. Sauté the chicken strips in small batches, removing each batch as they are cooked. Add more oil as required.

Turn the heat up to medium-high. Now sauté the vegetables in the same pan, adding more oil as required. Start with the onions and carrots. After 2 minutes, add the celery. After 1 minute, add the peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Stir another 2 minutes, then add the chicken, 1 cup of chicken broth and two tsp of the curry paste. You want enough liquid to dissolve the curry paste so add more chicken broth until the paste is blended in.

Add the can of coconut milk and more chicken broth to make a nice sauce.

Add more curry paste to taste. Heat thoroughly, then ladle over rice. Get ready for ooohs & aaaahs!

 

With Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA

Fish Tacos

Another one from Shawn McCormick’s kitchen!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 3-4 Servings

 

Ingredients

1 lb white fish (cod or halibut)
1 package of small tortilla (soft taco) shells
3 cups finely shaved Savoy cabbage
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
Coriander
Slice green onions
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

Cook the fish as you like – fried in butter, or poach it in lightly salted water. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the flesh is flaky. Once done remove and beak into smaller pieces to fit in the tortilla shells

Cut the Savoy cabbage across the grain so you have long thin strands of cabbage.

Mix the mayonnaise & lime zest together. Whisk in the lime juice a bit at a time. You want a thin sauce but not too watery. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Place fish in tortilla shell (I like to lightly warm mine over a gas burner on low). Top with cabbage, green onion, and a few sprigs of Coriander. Drizzle generously with lime-mayonnaise sauce. Enjoy every mouthful with each sip!

 

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Summer sipping beers from Grand River Brewing

Posted by Shawn

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
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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 cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew  

Introducing…
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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

Ingredients

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)

Method

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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!

 

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Here’s a Toast to Oast!

Posted by Shawn

Monday, May 12th, 2014
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Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Niagara Oast House Brewers

– April 2014 –

 

Month #3 of Savvy Hip Hops brings you a new case of beer and hopefully some new favourites. This month features Niagara Oast House Brewers and their special Farmhouse Ales for all of our suds-cribers!

If you are not familiar with Farmhouse Ales, before you pop the cork, read through this issue of our Beer Backstory Magazine to get to know more about this style of unique beer and Oast’s brewmaster. Our Savvy Brew Crew team member Shawn McCormick offers this tip, “With such an energizing, crisp style, you might want to wait until that weekend TO DO list & yard work is finished!”

Oast House sign largeShawn visited Oast House Brewers on a recent trip to Niagara.  In the following pages, he showcases their wonderful agricultural connection, that naturally starts with their facility (an old barn that is a Niagara-on-the-Lake landmark), great rustic finishing inside the brewery, and fresh, Farmhouse-Style beers.

Oast House has quickly integrated themselves into the wine & food scene in Niagara. “Oast House is a great representation of the current direction of Niagara’s culinary landscape – they are putting out an exceptional artisanal craft beer which strongly aligns with Farmland Ontario,” says Paul Harber, Chef-Proprietor of Ravine Vineyards in Niagara-On-The-Lake.

Open your Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case…

Oast House primarily has beers available in kegs for pubs or growlers for visitors dropping in at the brewery.  We worked hard with the brewmaster to find the best beers that will travel well.  Once you taste the Saison & and Bière de Garde, we are confident you will thank us for including two bottles of each!

2 bottles of Saison
2 bottles of Bière de Garde
A growler of Pitchfork Porter *drink this one first as it is poured fresh at the brewery!*

Found a new favorite Oast to toast? 

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 cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Introducing…
Niagara Oast House Brewers

by Shawn McCormick

 

Located in the heart of Niagara wine country, one might wonder if a brewery would compete with wineries for consumer attention. Quite the opposite, as Oast House Brewers brewmaster Kevin Somerville explains: “We find that the premium wine consumers are the same ones that also love the craft beer scene”. 

What’s in a Name?

An Oast House is the name of the building where hops were traditionally dried. It means “to kiln”. Although Oast House Brewers is a new brewery, they like to hold onto traditions and link to the agricultural background of their region.  Just one element of this is that they are growing their own hops on site and working with other local hops growers to feed their growing demand. 

Oast House Saison bottle & glassOast House Brewers is unique in their focus on Farmhouse Ales, of which Saison and Bière de Garde are the most common. Saison beer originated in the farming regions of Belgium and was typically brewed during the autumn or winter, for consumption during the following summer by the seasonal farm workers (“les saisonniers”). Traditional Saisons were low in alcohol, strongly hopped to prevent spoilage, intended to refresh and hydrate. Farm workers were entitled to up to five litres each workday!

Similarly, the “Bière de Garde” are the French version of Farmhouse ales. Also destined for farm hands, they are typically darker, more malt forward, and may have slightly less carbonation than the Saison.

Both styles are bottle fermented (in a process much like champagne). Oast House Brewers is the only brewery in Ontario with a bottle re-fermentation room. 

Becoming a Brewmaster

Kevin brewmasterKevin’s (in photo right) path to becoming a brewmaster started very early. He really liked beer, and his home brewing hobby that started in high school got “out of hand”. Knowing that he wanted to start a brewery, he signed up for a business program first before attending the World Brewing Academy in Germany. Kevin finished that program in Munich, then returned to Canada, where he worked at Alley Cat in Edmonton and a number of breweries here in Ontario. Kevin helped formulate the beer curriculum at Niagara College, serving as their first program coordinator (he still teaches part time). He had met current partners Mike Berlis and Cian MacNeill years ago at Inniskillin winery and their common love of great beer kept them in touch until they launched Oast House in 2013.

Ping Pong Tables, Guest Chefs & Live Music?

beer rack full of bottlesKevin mentions that there was a kitchen hood in the building that they kept when converting the old barn into the brewery. There’s a ping-pong table in the back room free for guests to use. Together with live music, they have created a real attraction and it is not unusual for the place to be packed on a weekend. Says Mike Dicaro of Spotlight Toronto: “The barn-chic decor and tasting room combines the best of both worlds with a winery-like tasting bar wrapped in a neighbourhood pub, especially when staff bring in guest chefs from Niagara to cook.”. Definitely a place worth visiting the next time you are in Niagara!

We raise a glass to the Oast House team!


 

• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Niagara Oast House Brewers are best known for their Farmhouse Ales and you’ll find these quite enjoyable. The beers are listed in order of lightest body to fullest – feel free to try them in any order you like!

Saison (Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale)

Saison bottle of beerA light, refreshing beer at 6.5% ABV, this beer is best paired with a day of hard work!

Tasting Notes: The great fluffy head when this is poured hints at the medium high carbonation. Aromas of citrus, yeast, some sweet candy sugar. Crisp, refreshing palate offers apple, pear, caramel malt notes and then finishes crisp with lemon zest and grapefruit peel notes. A very refreshing beverage to serve on a hot day.

Suggested Food Pairing: “This is such a food-friendly ale that it is hard to think of something that won’t work with it” remarks Shawn. Pair with oysters, lightly grilled seafood (try the Grilled Mussels recipe we’ve included), beer-can barbecue chicken or an artisan cheese & charcuterie board.

Bière de Garde (French Style Farmhouse Ale)

biere de garde label closeupWith a deeper colour and more malt-forward notes, this one is for sipping on the porch as the sun goes down and the heat of the day relents. 9% ABV

Tasting Notes: The aromas are definitely more malt forward, with toffee, grapes, and some dried fruit and spice notes. The palate is similar with caramel and toffee dominating, some stewed fruits, and a slightly earthy taste. With a creamy mouthfeel, the mid-palate offers a hint of sweetness but the finish is dry and crisp with pleasant hop bitterness to refresh. 

Suggested Food Pairing: This is another food friendly beer and the versatility of this one will match with just about anything off the barbeque. Try it with grilled burgers and sausages, or cheese based quiches (class French recipe follows). 

Pitchfork Porter (Porter)

oast pitch fork porter tagA classic Porter with 5.3% ABV, and a surprisingly refreshing palate!

Tasting Notes: Aromas of molasses, dark malts, coffee, and dried fruit. The creamy palate is quite similar with the prune and fig notes being more noticeable. With some additional coffee bitterness on the finish, this well-balanced beer goes perfectly with a cool spring evening. There’s lower carbonation in this beer and you’ll want to drink this one while it is still fresh.

Suggested Food Pairings: Try this one with lightly grilled meats, meat based stews (Shawn’s shares his Beef Stroganoff recipe on the following pages), nut loaf, or a glazed ham.


• Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops •

 

 With Oast House Saison…

Grilled Mussels (Grilled Moules Frites)

From The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook by David Ort

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

2 lb (1 kg) mussels
1 lb (500 g) mixed new potatoes, washed
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds
3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

 Method 

Gently dump the bag of mussels into a colander in your kitchen sink and rinse them with cold water. Look for any with broken shells or with open shells that don’t close when the shell is tapped and discard these. Most cultivated mussels are carefully cleaned before they make it to the store, but if you find any that still have beards, pull the beards off.  Hold the cleaned mussels in a large mixing bowl. 

Set a large handful of hardwood chips (cherry or apple are ideal) to soak in water for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain water away and transfer chips to an 18-inch-long (45 cm) piece of aluminum foil. Gather the chips into a pile and fold the aluminum foil around the pile to form a closed packet. Use a fork to perforate the top side of the packet with 20 to 30 holes.

Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half. The most delicious part of the potato is the surface that will eventually be in contact with the hot oil, so keep the goal of maximizing the surface area of the cut face in mind as you decide which way to bisect each potato. Place the cut potatoes in the boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until you can just barely slide a paring knife into them.

Once the potatoes are in the boiling water, you can head outside to deal with heating the grill. Lift the grate of your propane grill and place the wood chips packet on the metal bars or lava rocks that sit between the element and the cooking bars. Light the grill and heat it on high with the lid down for 8 minutes.

Back inside, transfer the parboiled potatoes from the hot water to a plate lined with paper towels. Dry thoroughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the crushed fennel seed, olive oil, kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper.

When the grill is heated and smoky, reduce the heat of all burners to medium. Open the lid and transfer the potatoes directly to the grill. Pour the mussels over top and use a pair of tongs to keep them in a pile. Close the grill’s lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Have a large serving bowl and pair of long-handled tongs ready. Open the grill and start removing any mussels that have opened or potatoes that are well browned on the bottom. Periodically close the lid for 1 to 2 minutes to wait for the slower ones to cook. Once nearly all the shells are open, discard any mussels with unopened shells.

Serve with Oast House Brewers Saison.


With Oast House Bière de Garde…

Cheese Quiche

(Goyère de Valencienne)
From Shawn McCormick’s kitchen

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

1 pie shell (your own or store-bought)
1 ½ cups grated sharp cheese (cheddar or other)
2 eggs
3 Tbsp milk or cream
½ tsp basil (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

If using a fresh pie shell, fill the bottom one layer deep with beans (to keep the dough from bubbling up) and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and save the beans for another use.

Whisk the eggs and add the milk or cream, then add the salt & pepper. Mix in the grated cheese and pour the egg & cheese mixture into the hot pie shell.

Bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes until set.

Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve with Oast House Bière de Garde.

 

With Oast House Pitchfork Porter…

Beef Stroganoff

From Shawn McCormick’s kitchen

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

1 kg of stewing beef
500g mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
750mL-1L Oast House Pitchfork Porter
4-5 Tbsp olive or other cooking oil

Method

Brown the beef in small batches in lightly oiled fry pan. As each batch is browned on all sides (still red in the center), remove and place into a slow cooker or large casserole dish.

Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the same fry pan and stir into the cooked beef.

Deglaze the fry pan with a few glugs of the porter, scraping to get any stuck bits and add to the beef/onion/mushroom mixture. Add enough porter to the cooking vessel to just cover the ingredients. Add salt and pepper and stir.

Cook in the slow cooker on low heat for 6-8 hours. If using a casserole dish in the oven, cover and cook for 4 hours at 300F. Stir every hour or so to make sure the meat is covered in liquid.

Once the meat is tender, thicken the broth with a few tablespoons of sour cream. Serve over rice or egg noodles, paired with the remaining Oast House Pitchfork Porter.

 

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Move over ‘Amazing Race’… Join The Great Canadian Wine Challenge

Posted by Debbie

Monday, August 26th, 2013
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So what happens when two Canadian-wine-loving guys – Shawn McCormick of Uncork Ontario and Calvin Hanselmann (@TheEvilDoctorD) – lament the fact that Canadian Wine Day (June 28th) is only one day? Why, they end up challenging each other to go for a year without drinking anything but Canadian wine!   When we caught wind of this all Canadian endeavor, the Savvy Team wanted to take part too.

As the saying goes, ‘the more the merrier!’

We invite Canadian wine lovers from coast to coast to coast to take part in the first annual The Great Canadian Wine Challenge (@TGCWC)!  The start line begins on September 1st…and it goes for a whole year.

Being a challenge of who-can-stick-to-the-drink-Canadian-wines-for-365-days, there are some basic rules & reds…err, I mean regs:

#1 – It is all about drinking great Canadian wine, but it is also about having fun along the way!

#2 – The duration of the Challenge is 12 calendar months, starting Sept 1, 2013

#3 – You may only purchase or open Canadian wine for the duration of the Challenge. This allows for a few exceptions like international wine events that may be attended, dinner parties where the host unwittingly opens something non-Canadian, wine-related courses you may be taking where other wines may be opened, and events like i4c2014 or The Riesling Experience where it would be terrible to miss the international wines on offer. With feedback, we decided to allow for international travel exemption as well, as we know how hard it is to get Canadian wine within Canada, let alone the rest of the world!

#4 – You must drink wine from at least three (3) provinces during the 12 month period, and at least 12 different wines during that time. Any Canadian wine counts – VQA, non-VQA, fruit wines, anything that involves fermenting fruit from this great country of ours.

#5 – Commit to a weekly update in one of these ways: via Twitter #TGCWC, a blog post, or an email Shawn & Calvin  and they will track updates from participants & feature in the TGCWC weekly updates.

 

Ready to take on the Challenge?

To join in the fun by emailing Shawn & Calvin or send a Tweet to #TGCWC.

If you are on Twitter, follow @TGCWC, @TheEvilDoctorD, @UncorkOntario and include #TGCWC of course!

“We also figured we should have some prizes for anyone who can complete The Great Canadian Wine Challenge @TGCWC“, explains Shawn (in red shirt at bottom).  “We’re putting our heads together on some outstanding Canadiana prizes, so stay tuned.  Until then, share on Twitter about the Canadian wines that you have discovered throughout the year.”

Nudge, nudge…
If you are a winery or wine-related business and would like to donate some swag & prizes, contact Shawn or Calvin at thegreatcanadianwinechallenge(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @TGCWC.  They will be sure to praise you all over the interwebs and in a special blog post.

Happy Canadian Wine Year!

Calvin & Shawn

 

Join the growing list of Challengers…

Want to be famous?  All you have to do is sign up for the Challenge and send Savvy Company your photo and you will be included in our poster-board of Challengers. Take a look to see who have committed to enjoying ONLY Canadian wine this year…

 

 

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