A Note from the Chris’
Two Different Perspectives on our part of Canada
It’s no secret I did not enjoy/appreciate growing up in the Ottawa Valley. I think this is typical of most teenagers in particular, but also people in general. I imagine the majority of those that live in Toronto don’t go to the CN tower and those in Niagara only go to the falls when they have company who want to see it. And I, like some teenagers (and some adults), enjoyed thinking and expressing my well-founded opinion that “there was nothing to do in the Valley but drink beer and play pool.” It was not until I came back from University that I realized (and not for the only time since) I was an idiot.
Five years of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo had caused pinched nerves along my back. I was instructed to go to the gym but really couldn’t make myself do it. This is what got me into finding alternatives to the gym. This is what had me looking into rafting, climbing, paddling, biking, etc. It was at this point that I started what I would look at over a decade later as the beginning of my love of the Ottawa Valley part that is Canada. It is not just the outdoors, running with scissors type stuff I enjoy. Through my travels I have really come to enjoy little parts of Canadiana. I used to be embarrassed that we were known for being polite and having an accent. I love and embrace it now and secretly wonder if all Canadians should take a personality test before leaving the country so they don’t ruin that reputation. I love that people I don’t event known will do the two finger steering wheel wave as I drive from brewery to home. I love that I can leave my house and car unlocked. I love that people I don’t know will make eye contact and say “hi” as we pass on the street enjoying the fresh air, the green trees and peace and annoying little yappy dogs.
The OTHER Chris on the other hand had a fresh perspective. Having come from Australia or France or wherever it is he claims he’s from, he started with a winter out west over a decade ago. He then came to the Valley that summer which is where we met and spent a summer learning about the Ottawa River together. He was still in University but kept returning each summer to enjoy what many of us take for granted. Rafting, kayaking, golf, snowboarding, skiing are a few of his favorite things (at this very moment I am writing this last sentence with a picture of Julie Andrews singing it in the Sound of Music… with the OTHER Chris beside her). Sure, he may say “whilst” and say “rooter” instead of “router” but It has taken him a far shorter time to appreciate not only the country but also the people than myself.
With Canada Day fast approaching I am particularly proud and humbled by all the opportunity and support that my fellow Canadians have shown the other Chris and I. From our every growing Canadian team to you, HAPPY CANADA DAY and cheers….eh!
Chris Thompson & Chris Thompson
It’s no longer a secret! We have partnered with the Killer himself. That’s right, WBC and Hockey Hall or Famer Doug Gilmour have collaborated to bring you a Kolsch-Style Ale with an IBU of 25 and ABV of 4.6%. You can expect a crisp and balanced flavour with a refreshing finish and a can design that has Killer written all over it…literally. You should expect to see these cans for sale before the end of the Summer in our retail locations and more widely available soon after.
Perfect weather, good friends, awesome music, and even better beer made the first annual #alwaystimetoplay festival a success. Because of this success, you can expect to see us host round 2 of this outdoor music and activity festival next year. Same time, same place, more awesomeness.
Let’s Make Some Alcohol
By Head Brewer Sean
If you have been following along our journey through brewing we are now at the fermentation process. If you haven’t, stop reading and go back a few posts to catch up. For those of you that have been reading, we have produced our fermentable wort and chilled it into the fermenter. That’s all good, but when does the wort become beer? Well we have to ferment it of course.
First, we will need to add yeast. Brewer’s yeast consumes sugar and turns it into alcohol. This is a very basic explanation on what it does but in reality there are a lot more variables and conditions it needs, to work correctly. Yeast goes through 3 main stages in the wort.
Stage one: Growth
Yeast are a budding type of organism which means they procreate by duplicating. One cell is spit out of another. The yeast will grow to their environment and stop producing once they have hit a happy amount to consume the sugars available.
Stage two: Primary Fermentation
In this stage the yeast has stopped growth and starts to consume the sugars. There are a lot of chemical reactions in this process but for the most part they take the sugar into the cell and spit out ethanol and CO2. These are the main by-products of fermentation. As the sugars are consumed the yeast work harder and create a lot of heat. We need to control this heat so the yeast doesn’t get too active and start spitting out bad flavours in the beer. Other flavours are products in this process called esters and phenols. Esters are the fruity flavours from yeast which can range from banana, apple, pear, plum etc. Phenols are spice characters such as pepper and other earthy flavours. These flavours aren’t strong in every beer and sometimes you don’t realize they are there, but they’re what make beer taste like beer. Without these flavours the beer would taste funny. Not every yeast strain produces phenols and when the sugars are all consumed the yeast start their next phase.
Stage Three: Secondary Fermentation/ Conditioning Phase
In this stage, the yeast starts to go to sleep. They have run out of sugar and start taking in all the weird flavours they have produced and store them in the cell for when they go dormant. This stage is very important or you can have off flavours in your beer that can range from butter and butterscotch to harsh fruity flavours.
Now that we know what the yeast is doing we can go through the process. Once the wort is in the tank we reclaim yeast that has gone through its third stage and gone to sleep. We pump this yeast into the fermenter after it is full. It takes about 3-5 days for the yeast to go through its entire life cycle. During this cycle we are controlling the temperature of the fermentation with glycol cooled jackets. This allows us to keep the temperature at a happy place for the yeast to work hard and not get stressed out. After that is done and the alcohol is reached we cold crash the fermenter to help drop the yeast to the bottom as well as clear out any hops and proteins left over from the process. Once it is crashed down to 0 degrees Celsius, we push the finished beer over to the Bright Beer Tank. This is a conditioning tank that allows the beer to clear and gets the beer off the yeast. Once it has sat in that tank for a day or two we force carbonate the beer to the desired carbonation level. We are then ready for packaging.
Fermentation is a very important part of the brewing process. As we say, “brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.” I hope this clears up some of the questions on yeast and fermentation. Please feel free to write in with any questions you have about brewing beer and the process. I will be glad to answer anything.
Cooking with Beer
Whistling Paddler Braised Cabbage
By Head Chef Sarah
Best Paired with Whistling Paddler
6 strips of bacon
1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 head red cabbage
1/2 cup Whistling Paddler
1 cup white vinegar
Chop bacon slices and start frying in heavy bottomed pot
Slice apple and sauté in bacon fat with bacon
Deglaze the bottom of the pot with Whistling Paddler
Add finely sliced cabbage and vinegar to pot, let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Pairs well with our Farmer’s Son sausage, made locally and sold at our Lakeside retail location.
WBC Annual Charity Golf Tournament
We will be hosting our second annual WBC Charity Golf Tournament at the Oaks of Cobden on Saturday, July 8th. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Ottawa River Keepers and Cobden Food Bank. Prizes have been donated by the Royal Canadian Legion, Olmstead’s Home Hardware, Whitewater Village and more. We also have a Royal LePage $10,000 Hole in One so sign up your team today for your chance to win. Email email@example.com to sign up your foursome.
The town of Cobden is closing it’s main street on Saturday, July 15th to welcome the community to listen to live music and check out local vendors. 12pm-5pm is free and tickets are available at multiple locations for The Headstones at 7pm. You can grab your pre-sale tickets at the Brewery, Whitewater Municipal Office, Olmstead’s Home Hardware, Cobden Shell, Kenny’s Store, or the Beachburg Pronto.
Kitchener Ribfest & Craft Beer Show
July 14, 15 & 16
Mmmmm Ribs. Mmmmmm Beer. Check out this match made in heaven in downtown Kitchener. Free admission and only $6 to get your beer drinking wristband. For more information look here.
Because Beer – Hamilton
July 14 & 15
There are way to many things happening at this festival to list so check out their website to see all the details. Why? #becausebeer
Free music, arts festival, and beer market. This is a free community event with over 40 bands and plenty of artisan vendors, visual artists, and craft breweries. Check it out here.
Questions from Friends
I’ve been to your brew pub in Cobden and loved that you can see into the brewery. It was very entertaining to watch what happens behind the scenes. My wife and I were trying to guess how many beers would be in one of those tanks so I thought I’d get the real answer from you guys. Any guesses?
Hi Geoffrey. We have something better than guesses! One of our fermenters fits 7000 litres of beer when it is full. That roughly translates to 150 kegs or 15,000 cans. Enough to supply just a few good parties.
We want to answer your questions about anything from the beer, the brewery, the boys or whatever else is on your mind. Due to the high volume of questions though, we won’t be able to post every one, but keep your eyes peeled in case yours makes it to the front page.
*Questions from Friends is for general questions in the areas listed above. For personal inquiries please use firstname.lastname@example.org