A Note from the Chris’
Giving back was one of the key motivations that James, Chris and I had when wanting to start a business. We wanted to build a business that while hopefully turning a profit, would provide us with means to also give back to the community and the country that we love so much.
What’s been enlightening however is to realise that while we feel we do our bit by providing gift certificates, merchandise etc. to local charities and events to raffle off and raise money, there are countless people out there across Ontario that devoting their time to creating, supporting and running charitable organisations. Whether it be for charities focussing on long term care and terminal illness, or minor league hockey, it’s fantastic to see the commitment, effort and support that is provided from local and big business, and local communities as a whole. Without these people, contributing would be near impossible and no doubt would slip by. So thank you, its truly tremendous!
We don’t do very well at keeping track of the charities and organisations that we donate to, however its rare that we don’t have some form of fund raising campaign going on. We’re in the midst of wrapping up our Movember campaign where we can proudly say that thanks to the fantastic support of our friends, we’ve managed to raise a good sum of money for Men’s Health ($ amount to be announced in due course). Naturally we have some pretty stellar Mo’s to go with. This is wrapping up just in time to start our Christmas Canned Good collection.
Christmas is a time of joy and happiness but we mustn’t forget that there are those in need. Every Christmas we decide to collect canned goods that we deliver to the local food banks. In return for canned goods donations in our Lakeside Brew Pub, we’ll buy you a beer. Last year we were proud to deliver a whole delivery truck full of canned goods to the food banks so lets try and make it two this year! Come on in for a bite, bring some cans and have a pint.
Merry Christmas Friends!
ps. We’re all crazy excited for the 12 Beers of Christmas and hope you are too!
Bye Bye Moustache
As mentioned in our previous blog we have been campaigning heavily to raise money for men’s health through Movember. While the moustache game around the brewery has gone from teenage boy to full on 80’s police officer level, we have successfully raised over $900 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Thanks to those who donated and supported this great cause. Now back to beard season.
We’ll be home for Christmas
There are only 3 days a year we actually close the doors to the brewery. One of those days is our epic staff rafting trip at the end of the Summer and the other two are Christmas Day and Boxing Day. While we love seeing your beautiful faces every day we also love a little family time for ourselves. In addition we will be closing the Lakeside pub the evening of the 12th of December for our staff Christmas party which promises to be filled with egg nog and karaoke. Our pub will also be closed Christmas Eve but the Lakeside retail store will be open until 3pm for any of those last minute shoppers.
Christmas Gift Packs
Need something for the beer connoisseur on your list? Have a Secret Santa you’re shopping for? Well have we got the gift for you! Stop into our Lakeside retail store to see our Christmas gift pack options ranging from $25 to $50 and don’t forget about the 12 Beers of Christmas which are now available for pre-order. They are the perfect gift for that special someone or even that person at the office you don’t really know that well. The gift packs are also available on our website for free home delivery within the Ottawa Valley.
By Head Brewer Sean
I remember the first conversation about the 12 Beers of Christmas. It was 3 years ago and I remember the asking myself, “how am I going to pull this off?” It’s one thing to make seasonal styles, but to make 12 brand new recipes and have them all finish on schedule for packaging is a daunting task to say the least. Flash forward to this year, our third annual 12 pack, and we are starting to get used to it.
I often think of the 12 Beers of Christmas every month of the year. It is a stressful cloud that hangs over me all year long. We normally start the early conversations about this 12 pack in September. I choose the limited style that were well received the previous year. I take the opinion of social media, bar managers and our own staff to see which beers were the most popular. This sets the baseline for how many new recipes we need for that year. This year we kept six of the recipes from last year, so we needed to come up with six new styles/recipes. I like to take this time to give all my brewing staff the chance to give their input. Over about a month-long period my staff and I spitball ideas for new beer styles and all of them tend to be great but it’s hard to fit every one in the timeframe allotted. Some of the styles that didn’t make the cut this year were, Nutcracker Brown Ale, Spruce Tip Pale Ale and Spiced Chestnut Ale. We even talk about crazy flavours like Mincemeat Pie Cream Ale and Turkey Stuffing Smoked Rye IPA haha! Obviously not all can make the cut.
Once we have decided which recipes make the cut, we sit down and work out the recipes. Some of the brewers get free reign to make the recipe themselves, others prefer to work out the recipe with me. Either way, I make the final tweaks for our system and give some them some tips and tricks to accomplish the flavours needed. This process takes roughly a week and then its time to start the daunting task of brewing all the beer. This year we decided to increase the case count which means we needed to brew more days down at our Riverside Brew house. This year it took an entire month to get all the beer brewed, Not packaged, just brewed.
The first step is finding all of the different ingredients. I work with our head chef to get as many local ingredients from her suppliers as possible, then I try and find suppliers of the items we can’t find locally. Which this year was only one ingredient…Sweet Fern. We had one of our brewers go out and pick fresh sweet fern for the herb beer. It doesn’t get much more local than that.
The stress of the brewing and packaging schedule normally hits me hard this time of year but with the great staff we have, this has gone off without a hitch. Pulling all day and night bottling shifts and labeling until after midnight just to get them done. But this year we have been able to rock out 1000 bottles a day and this stops the lonely night bottling. I remember last year I came in for a shift that started at 2am. It had snowed 2 feet that night and I had to shovel my way into Riverside and when I finished my shift I had to shovel my way back out. Thankfully all the packaging is being done at our Lakeside location this year. They plow Highway 17 a bit quicker than Fletcher Road.
The main bulk of the packaging is being done now. We are labeling and bottling most days down at Lakeside. If you want to catch a glimpse of the 12 Beer of Christmas come on down for lunch and you’ll see us bottling away on the other side of the glass. You may even catch us doing some quality control, because that is a big part of the 12 beers of Christmas. 😉
Cooking with Beer
Spiced Orange IPA Cheesecake
By Sous Chef Ben
Best Paired with He Who Shall Not Be Named
500g cream cheese
200 ml 35%cream
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
6 oz “He Who Shall Not Be Named”
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Juice from 1 orange, zest from 2
3 cups graham crumb mixture
Pat down graham crumb mixture in cake pan.
In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients until smooth.
Pour mixture onto graham crumb bottom.
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
12 Beers of Christmas Releases
For those of you that are new to the 12 Beers of Christmas, they aren’t just available to take home. Each of the first 12 nights of December we release one of the Christmas beers at a time at 12 different pubs across Ontario. Have a look at the list to see if there is one near you.
1st: Apple Pie Amber Ale @ The Burbs
2nd: Cindy Lou Brew Candy Cane Blonde @ Kully’s
3rd: A Valley Christmas Herb Ale @ TBD
4th: Pass the Cranberries Sour Ale @ Cheshire Cat
5th: Snackin’ Santa Milk and Cookies Stout @ Atomic Rooster
6th: Hey Puddin’ Sticky Toffee Pudding Strong Ale @ Mahtay Cafe
7th: Welcome to the Stage Brandy Butter ESB @ Beertown Waterloo
8th: Ho Ho Ho Smoked Spiced Stout @ Heirloom Cafe
9th: Brussels Stout Belgian Chocolate Stout @ Iggy’s
10th: Figgin’ Christmas Cake Fruit Cake Brown @ TBD
11th: Ugly Christmas Sweater White IPA @ Schnitzels
12th: Pop, Fizz, Clink Champagne Ale @ Beertown Waterloo
New Years Eve
Come on out to our New Years Eve party at the Lakeside Brew Pub. This year we will have Jack and the Aces playing us into the new year with a champagne toast right as the ball drops. Stay tuned for more details.
Questions from Friends
Post Coming Soon
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.
If your question does get picked you will become the proud owner of a swag bag full of WBC goodies. So ask away!
*Questions from Friends is for general questions in the areas listed above. For personal inquiries please use firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo Emily Santi Photo (www.emilysantiphoto.com)