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Issue No. 19

A Note from Chris

Good Beer is Worth More Than a Buck

So, what exactly is the buck-a-beer challenge? A simple answer, with a somewhat complicated outcome. In a nutshell, the Ontario government has lowered the minimum price that beer is allowed to be sold for and have challenged breweries to sell beer for as low as $1 per bottle/can. This has created a great deal of “buzz” in Ontario (pun most certainly intended), or has it? Well, in Ford’s campaign, it was a huge deal, and this resulted in proportionate coverage from mainstream media, responses from breweries and questions from the public.

The result of the challenge though? In my opinion, it appears to have fallen flat. So why is that?

Let’s start with our stance on the matter. Below is a social media message that we issued after getting questioned as to whether or not we were going to participate in the challenge by many of our followers/media outlets.

One thing I want to be clear about is that we don’t take a hostile stance toward this program/challenge. The Ontario government has been a big supporter of Ontario Craft Beer and the breweries in the province. WBC and the OCB hope to continue working with them to remove barriers within the province and ultimately benefit the consumer as much as possible (sorry if I didn’t phrase that right OCB, I tried).

I cannot comment for all breweries, and I don’t attempt to. However, I am confident that many share similar values to ours. Our brand rests on the pillars of high quality, locally sourced, and traditionally brewed beer, providing a safe, sustainable, and fun place of work for our staff, supporting the local communities and reducing our environmental impact. These values are not conducive to the budget or low price market space. We position ourselves as a premium craft beer/brewery and believe we provide that. We already make incredibly minimal margins (if any) on our beer, and if we were to sell ALL of our product for only a dollar per unit, we would be out of business within a month. The fact is that costs for breweries have been increasing at an accelerated rate. These costs include, but are by no means limited to, Ontario beer taxes which increase every six months. Taxes alone for a can of beer are approximately 50 cents.

What many people do not realise is that previously the price floor was only 25 cents higher (CHECK THIS). As you probably all know, we did not try to sell our beer for that price, and our pricing was in line with what we hope you believe the quality of our product is. What I find quite amusing is that there weren’t any products sold for $1.25, with the closest being approximately $1.47 (check this). So, if nobody was trying to sell for as cheaply as possible before, why lower the price now?

One argument is to encourage breweries to provide beer for a lower price to benefit the consumer. A proposed incentive to breweries for lowering the cost of beer is offering advertising space in return for accepting the buck-a-beer challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, beer at a lower price is excellent all round – as long as its sustainable.

Another argument is that it’s telling the population what they ‘might’ want to hear to attract votes. I couldn’t comment with certainty over this; however, considering that nobody sold at the previous price floor and that nothing was done to help reduce the cost to produce beer, I certainly think this argument has some validity.

So here we are, a couple of days before the Labour Day Weekend and a few brands have gone live with “buck-a-beer” compliant products, albeit only for a limited time. Why is that? In my opinion, because it’s not sustainable, even for the biggest of breweries.

Has this challenge harmed anyone or caused reason for real complaint? I don’t think in a significant way. For us, it really is a moot point. I’m only commenting because we get asked a lot, and I also find the discussion interesting. It does pose the question as to whether it encourages underage drinking, binge drinking and alcoholism as well as whether it is a diversion away from a more pressing political agenda. These are all topics worthy of considerable discussion.

I’m very interested to see how the new Ontario government continues to work toward benefitting the beer consumer with future initiatives, and if they make sense for our business, they’ll have our full support.

I’ll finish by commenting on a slightly different topic that arose due to our non-commitment to the “buck-a-beer challenge”. We, and other craft brewers, were recently accused of accepting government handouts while not taking the new government up on the challenge mentioned above. My feedback to this is short and straightforward. All of the government funding that we have received is calculated based on economic impact and is often only a percentage of the dollar value that we have to put forward to secure the funding. The support from the government has been fantastic on these projects, and they have resulted in significant job creation and other economic benefits.

I’m always interested in any questions, comments, alternative viewpoints etc. so please feel free to respond.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris Thompson


Brewery News

Annual Staff Day

The brewery and pub will be closed Tuesday, September 4th at both Riverside and Lakeside to give ourselves a little time to rest, relax, and get tossed around by the Ottawa River. We would like to thank our staff for another amazing and busy Summer. Cheers!

Staff Rafting Day 2017


Beer 101

Dry Hopping: What is all the fuss about?

By Head Brewer Sean

With astrolabe showing strong sales, I’d like to talk about my decision to not dry hop this beer. That’s right. No dry hopping with all that aroma still there. First, let’s delve into what dry hopping is and why brewers do it.

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops to beer post fermentation. Sometimes people will add them during fermentation and some will wait until it is done. The reason for adding hops at this juncture is to add aroma (and some small flavour) to the beer. This will get it to another level of hoppy greatness… but does it?

Most brewers will tell you that dry hopping is essential to their IPAs and APAs. I however, am of the opposite opinion. With oxygen level being the biggest factor in aroma and flavour degradation, why would you want to add any when you have a nice closed system keeping it all out? I think this is just an old school way of thinking of hopping. I’m sure some brewers will think otherwise but I base my opinion on trial and error. I’ve always gotten better flavour with adding more hops to the end of the boil than I do adding them post ferment.

This is what I do for Astrolabe. I add a lot of hops to the whirlpool to get all the flavour and aroma for this beer. And it works perfectly.

Anybody out there feel differently? Do you feel dry hopping is essential to making an aromatic beer? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Cooking with Beer

Astrolabe Mango Chicken

By Chef Paddy
Best Paired with Astrolabe Session IPA

Astrolabe BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

½ cup of tomato paste  

½ cup of white vinegar

½ cup of corn syrup

½ cup of astrolabe IPA or your favorite ale, lager or stout

½ cup of mango juice

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tbsp. of smoked paprika

1 tbsp. of chili powder

1 ½ of garlic powder

2 tbsps. of onion powder

1 ½ tbsps. of kosher salt

2 tbsps. of soy sauce

1 cup of pureed mango

2 tbsps. of corn starch

Method

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot, whisk.

Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 min.

Let stand to cool.

 

Chicken, Brussel Sprouts, and potatoes

Ingredients

1 avocado

1 mango

1 red onion

2-5oz chicken breasts

1 lb. of baby red potatoes

1 lb. of brussels sprouts

2 tbsp. of salted butter

1/2 bunch of cilantro

3-4 garlic cloves (chopped)

2 sprigs of rosemary (chapped)

3 tbsps. of vegetable oil

salt & pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice mangos, onions and avocado into thin strips and set aside.

Slice potatoes into halves. In a mixing bowl, toss potatoes in vegetable oil, garlic, rosemary and salt & pepper.

Place on a lined baking sheet, bake for 20-25 min.

 

Cut brussels sprouts into halves. In a medium sauce pot, boil 2L of water, cook sprouts for 4-5 min or until tender. Strain and set aside.

 

Preheat your grill/BBQ to 400F.

Cook chicken breast to about halfway (internal temperature 100F) and coat with astrolabe BBQ sauce, turning and saucing every 2-3 min until an internal temperature of 168F is reached.

 

Grill brussels sprouts for 2-3 min on each side, toss in butter and salt & pepper.

 

Place sprouts, potatoes and chicken on a plate, cover with slices of avocado, red onion, and mangos. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

 

Serves 2-3 people.

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Issue No. 18

A Note From Chris

Summer is Crazy (as always)

Summer finally arrived, and it’s been a challenging one.

The fire that we had in February set us back regarding inventory. We couldn’t brew for two months which meant that we depleted any stock that we had, and we’ve been working at 100% to try and keep up. Our brew team, led by Sean Goddard and our Logistics team led by Jesse Jacques have done a phenomenal job in scrambling each and every week to ensure that beer gets brewed, packaged and delivered. Working at 100% where every litre is critical is exceptionally stressful on people, equipment and systems and I genuinely commend all these team members for doing their best every day. In addition to this, there is now a North America wide can shortage which is making things extremely difficult for many breweries. With can orders getting delayed and even cancelled, we’ve been doing our best to keep a supply of cans via any means necessary. So far it’s not us impacted too severely; however, we’ve been told that this shortage may extend into 2019. We can only assume that this is primarily because of the recent tariffs that have been imposed by the US and have heard rumours that companies such as Coca-Cola immediately bought up two years supply of cans. At this point, we’ve been able to get some speedy orders from new suppliers however the future is unknown for cans which is rather worrying.

Our kitchen teams have been short-staffed since the outset, while a different cause, means the same scenarios in many aspects as the above. They’re all working long hours and operating at full steam every shift.  This has resulted in us keeping Riverside closed on Monday’s and Tuesday’s as well as now closing Lakeside on Tuesday’s for the remainder of the summer. The reasoning for this is to both maintain quality when we are open as well as allowing our kitchen team the required time off.  I’ve only mentioned a couple of areas of the business above. Everyone in the company is working extremely hard in this busy time; however, I wanted to highlight these two departments that have stood out in my mind. Well done guys!

All of the challenges aside, we’ve been brewing, selling and delivering more beer than ever, to more locations than ever. In fact, in June we sold more than four beers a minute which is pretty cool if you ask us! We have released our first ever canned seasonal (Astrolabe Session IPA – potentially my new favourite), and the kitchen, despite being short-staffed, is operating more efficiently than ever (maybe by force?).  When times are so challenging and stressful, it’s essential for us all to remember and highlight the successes and come to the end of the summer, we’ll all get together and spend a day on the river with some delicious, cold beers.

I’d like to close by commenting on by far the worst news that we received in the company’s short history. Just over a week ago we heard that our team member and good friend Adama Blackmore had passed away. This was profoundly saddening to the company as a whole, and I thank everyone for their kind words and support. Adama was not only a hardworking and reliable team member; he was a valued friend to anyone that got to work closely with him and liked by all. He will be sincerely missed.

Cheers,

Chris Thompson


Brewery News

Riverside Season is Coming to an End

Get your fill of BFRs and Bus Eaters while they last. Our Riverside location will be closing Monday, September 3rd. Its been another busy Summer with lots of menu changes and as always we are looking forward to the next. Call 613 582 7227 to make your reservation or visit us online at Open Table.

Tuesdays Snoozedays

It has been a crazy Summer at Lakeside with lots of new and old customers visiting for a pint and a meal. Our staff have been working their tails off and as a result we’ve opted to give them a bit of a break on Tuesdays. Beginning this months the Lakeside Pub will be closed on Tuesdays for the rest of the Summer. The brewery and retail will still be open but don’t expect the smell of bacon as you come in the door. We will be open 7 days a week again in September.


Beer Cocktails

Instead of our usual ‘Cooking with Beer’ recipe we’ve decided to do something a little different. Have a look at the recipe below for our beer cocktail for this month. Just in time for the heat of Summer.

Astrolabe Mendota

Ingredients

9 ounces chilled Astrolabe Session IPA
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) freshly squeezed juice from 1 to 2 grapefruits
3 ounces of pineapple juice
Garnish: grapefruit twist + pineapple chunk

Method

Mix Astrolabe, grapefruit juice, and pineapple juice in mixing glass.

Distribute mix among friends.

Garnish.

Cheers.

 

 


Events

Sessions Muskoka
August 4

Over 20 Ontario craft breweries will be at this event in the beautiful Muskokas. Great food, craft beer, live entertainment and the great outdoors are the highlights of this busy festival. For more information look here.

CNE Craft Beer Fest
August 24 – 26

In the middle of ‘Food Truck Frenzy’ will be 11 craft breweries serving samples at the Canadian National Exhibit on Toronto. Come for the Tilt-a-Whirl, stay for the beer. Just don’t do the opposite. Look here for more info.


 

 

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Issue No. 15

A Note from the Chris’

World Domination

OK well not quite, but we have begun to expand outside of the province which is pretty cool.

In February I flew to British Columbia with our Sales Manager, Blake Mahoney and over the course of the next 2 weeks were joined by our whole management team. The occasion was to launch Legion Lager in BC.

We’ve always had aspirations to take our brand across the country and when we signed our agreement with The Royal Canadian Legion, we decided to use that as the catalyst. Over the coming months we’ll be gradually adding other brands into our distributions channels in BC also.

We had a very successful event at the Legion branch in Burnaby (Vancouver) where the beer was well received and the support from patrons was encouraging. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks once again too all individuals from The Royal Canadian Legion, the Burnaby Legion branch and of course our own team that made this event happen.

When deciding how to expand to BC, we wanted to make sure we were able to keep our philosophy of supporting local businesses, the local economy and to use local ingredients. In order to do this we partnered with a brewery in BC and worked with them to brew our beer to the exact specifications in BC. This way, the beer we sell in BC is brewed there, using BC ingredients and using BC employees.

We now have a team of 5 sales staff working in BC, reporting to Blake and making Legion Lager available in bars and restaurants as well as private liquor stores.

It’s certainly a big undertaking with some risk involved but it’s a challenge that we’re happy to take on and feel that we’ll make it a success.

Here’s to finding Whitewater flowing in British Columbia!

Cheers,

Chris Thompson


Brewery News

We’re Going Canning Crazy

We are proud to say we are now the owners of a brand new shiny canning line. This will allow us to bring all of our canning in house and in turn, get more cans to you. For those of you wondering (because I was), it cans 32 x 473ml per minute. That’s 1920 cans or 908.16 litres per hour which means we can empty a fermenter in roughly 7.5 hours. That’s a lot of cans.

Beer of the Month

For the month of April, our KLR93 is going to be featured as Sobey’s Beer of the Month in all licenced stores. Keep your eyes peeled for one of our free samplings in your local store. In addition, 5% of the sales of KLR93 from Sobey’s stores will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Cheers to that!


Beer 101

What You Eat is What You Drink

By Head Brewer Sean

A lot of people don’t realize how much what you eat can change the way that beer tastes. Depending on the style of beer this can be very drastic. You wouldn’t want to eat spicy Asian dishes with a light American Lager as you wouldn’t even taste it. It may as well be like drinking water. Now maybe that’s what you want, but its important to remember the taste of the beer can also affect the flavour of your food. With our Brewer’s Dinner coming up on April 18th, lets talk about some beer and food pairing that will get the most out of the flavour on each side.

To give you an idea of what food will lend to what style of beer, we have paired the four original WBC brands with our recommended complimentary flavours.

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale

The best pairing for this style of beer would be Shellfish. This could be clams, scallops, lobster etc. With a light ale like this you will bring out the salt and natural sweetness of the shellfish while cleansing your palate with each drink. This can lend a lot to being able to taste the subtle flavours that shellfish can have.

Whistling Paddler English Style Ale

Fruits and cheeses would pair well with this beer. The English bitter naturally compliments the flavours and texture of the cheese while lending your palate to enhance the sweetness of the fruit cutting down on the tart of some berries. It will also cut through the fat of the cheese and cleanse the palate while you eat.

Class V India Pale Ale

Pork would be the best pairing for this highly hopped bitter beer. Pork chops, sausages,  and tenderloin are just some options. The strong pork fat can stand up to the strong flavours in this beer. It also pairs well with an apple slaw or relish.

Midnight Stout Oatmeal Milk Stout

Vegetarian dishes would lend well with this beer. I know that people tend to go to the dessert side for this pairing but let us think outside the box. Beans and legumes can add a richness to the beer while balancing the acidity and salt. Other veggies like carrots, peppers, and mushrooms can bring balance to the sweetness and richness of the beer. So, on one side you can enhance the beer flavour or you can blend it, leaving a more rounded flavour.

 

These are just some of the pairing you can use. And as you can see the food really helps and/or changes the beer profile greatly. Next time you have beer and it doesn’t taste great, let’s consider the food you’ve been eating with it. In addition, consider what you were eating that last time you had that beer. You may be surprised how much that played into what you liked and disliked about that style of beer.


Cooking with Beer

Beer Braised Ribs

By Head Chef Ben
Best Paired with KLR93
Ingredients

2 full racks of beef ribs

2 cups Whistling Paddler

4 cups water

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced

1 tbsp. onion powder

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

2 cups ketchup

 

Method

Cut full racks into segments of 2-3 bone pieces. Boil ribs with bay leaves and pinch of salt in 4 cups water on medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Remove from water and allow to drain well.

In mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients excluding beer. Lightly brush ribs and cook on grill 5-10 minutes for each side until grill marks show.

Transfer remaining sauce, beer, and rib segments to slow cooker and simmer for an additional 2-3 hours checking periodically and adding more liquid if needed. Ribs are done when the meat is falling off the bone.


Events

Brewer’s Dinner – Spring Feast
April 18

The snow is melting, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and we are cooking up a Spring Feast to celebrate the warmer temperatures. Toss aside those Winter boots and come on in to the Lakeside Brew Pub for some great food and beer pairings from our very own scratch kitchen. Hurry though. There are limited seats and tickets will sell fast. Get yours here.

Unleashed
April 27 – Opening Ceremonies

We at WBC are stoked to be the primary sponsor for this fantastic event. The Lakeside Brew Pub will be hosting the opening ceremonies.

April 27 – May 9 – Competition

“We at SEND are beyond fired up to be bringing UNLEASHED back to where it started, and where it belongs, Eastern Canada. The whitewater in Ontario and Quebec in the springtime is unmatched in its size, abundance of rivers and world class features, and is always just pure joy for kayakers every spring. Which is why we are hosting the multi stage, invitation only kayak event known as ‘Unleashed’ on this legendary whitewater. Unleashed brings together the worlds best paddlers, puts them in some of the biggest whitewater in the world, and tests their overall skills as not only freestyle paddlers, but racers as well. When all four stages are done, the athlete with the best results from each stage takes the win. This year we already have the most stacked men’s category we have had, as well as the biggest roster of female kayakers an event of this magnitude has seen. On top of all this we are super stoked to be working with the Whitewater Brewing Co., and just can’t wait to get this thing started!”

Photo: Seth Ashworth


Questions from Friends

Melissa asked:

What do you do with all the waste from the brewing process?

We answered:

Hi Melissa,

What waste?

We are very happy with how we use what could be considered waste from the brewing process. To start, 100% of our barley and hops get recycled into feed for our community’s local cattle. Local farmers pick it up from the brewery and bring it back to their farms on a regular basis. The cold water we use to chill the wort gets recirculated into the hot liquor tank to be used as hot water in the next brew. And finally, we reuse our yeast as many times as possible and add it to the barley bin once its done. In turn, we buy the local barley fed beef to make our delicious burgers. Mmhmm.


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 thebreweryboys@whitewaterbeer.ca


Featured Image Photo: Seth Ashworth
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Issues No.14

A Note from the Chris’

Fire!

Not a great start to my trip to British Columbia to launch Legion Lager (more on that next month).

I received a call that I hope to never receive again, “there has been a fire at the brewery”. At that point we did not know the extent of the fire, the Whitewater Region volunteer fire department were on site assisting and I was getting updates from some of our staff on site.

The good news is that the fire was small, nobody was hurt and there was no major damage. The fire took place in the attic and the extent of the damage was drywall, insulation, some wooden trusses and an ethernet cable. We were however very lucky on the time of day of the incident and that it was detected by our staff. If it had happened in the middle of the night, we would not have known about it until it was too late.

The cause is not yet 100% determined however it is looking like our steam boiler that heats the brewing system, malfunctioned and caused the duct in the attic to overheat.

While our insurance company and TSSA are going through their processes, we are not able to brew but hopefully we’ll be back up and running in a couple of weeks. It is likely to cause some inventory issues and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience if we are out of stock of some styles of beer.

I extend a sincere thank you to our amazing team of proactive staff that identified the fire and alerted the authorities, used fire extinguishers to prevent the spread of the fire and evacuated all patrons in a calm and efficient manner. We would also like to extend our thanks to the Whitewater Region Volunteer Fire Department for their speedy arrival on scene to put the fire out.

Ultimately it could have been a lot worse and we are all very thankful that it wasn’t.

 

Cheers,

Chris Thompson


Brewery News

Bun out of the Oven

Congratulations to our head chef Sarah on the birth of her second son. We wish her and her family best wishes. We can’t wait to see the little bundle of joy.

Summer Employment Opportunities

We’re hiring! There are lots of opportunities on the horizon to be a part of the WBC team. Servers, line cooks, dishwashers, and retail associates are just a few of the positions we will be hiring for. If interested please email your resume to jobs@whitewaterbeer.ca.

Now Available in British Columbia

On February 24th, Legion Lager officially launched in Vancouver, BC. Thanks to Legion branch #83 for hosting us as we celebrated this milestone and we are happy to announce our push to spread this delicious beer across the province. If you’re in BC keep your eyes peeled for Legion Lager to become available near you.


Beer 101

Beer from the West

By Head Brewer Sean

As some of you may know, I was out in British Columbia for our launch of Legion Lager. It was a great experience! We had a terrific launch and we were happy to be well received by our neighbours out west. As I was traveling across the province I noticed that there was a vast selection of breweries that I had never tried. Some of these I had heard of, but most of them I hadn’t. This gave me the Idea to write my post this month about the beers I had tried out west. Overall, I sampled 34 different beers across the province. For more in depth reviews of the beers I sampled check out my Untappd account here.

I was able to try beers from 12 different breweries that spanned the province from Kelowna to Vancouver. Some of the stand out places were, Tree Brewing Co., Parallel 49 Brewing Co., Central City Brewers & Distillers, and Powell Brewery. I was able to visit all of these while I was out and the biggest thing I saw was how the brewing community is just like it is here. All these breweries welcomed me in with open arms and allowed me to see the facilities and really start a friendship with all of them. I love the brewing community, and this province didn’t disappoint. I’ve always loved how welcoming this industry is and how the open communication of what works and what doesn’t allow us all to improve on our products. It’s just amazing.

Powell

The stand out beer on the trip was from Powell Brewery. Their “Ode to Citra” was just amazing. Massive stone fruit notes including mango and tropical fruits. Passion fruit was on the finish as well. Light body but refreshing. I could’ve put this beer away all night. Juicy and light is the best combo. It is a must try if you are going out West.

 

Tree

Another stand out beer was “Backcountry Nut Brown” by Tree Brewing Co. Strong nutty nose with hints of molasses and nuts. Moderate nutty flavours with dark caramel and molasses. Very clean fermentation profile with a sweet finish. Another staple beer for a great brewery. Tree had much more to offer though. IPAs, Ambers, Blonde Ales and Lagers were all hits on the tasting menu. This brewery is a must visit with something for everyone when in Kelowna.

 

Parallel 49

The last brewery I want to talk about is Parallel 49. This place was just epic. They had great food and beer that everyone should try. With so many beers on tap it was hard to choose. But lucky for me it was Double IPA Fest so they had a recommended paddle I couldn’t turn down. Afterwards I got some malt forward beers to get the contrast. All were amazing. For a more in-depth review please check out my untapped profile. We were also lucky to get a great tour of their impressive facility from their head brewer Graham.

All in all, BC was amazing and there were so many beers to try and talk about. I hope that some of the people reading this are out there right now and can swing by and try some of these amazing beers.


Cooking with Beer

Cranberry Mango Crumble with Cranberry Caram-Ale

By Head Chef Ben
Best paired with Astrolable Session IPA
Ingredients
Base

1 lime, juice and zest

3 cups diced mango

1 cup fresh cranberries

2 tbsp. flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

2 tbsp. graham crumbs

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flour

Caram-Ale Sauce

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Whistling Paddler English Style Ale

1/2 cup whipping cream

Method
Crumble

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine all base ingredients in a large mixing bowl and spoon into 9″x9″ baking dish.

In separate large mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over base.

Cook for 45-55 minutes or until top is nicely browned.

Allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Caram-Ale Sauce

Puree fresh cranberries and set aside.

In saucepan combine beer and sugar. Mix well and turn heat on medium low. Without stirring, cook mixture until it becomes honey brown in colour. Swirl pan for a more even heat distribution.

Add cream and cranberry puree to mixture and stir with non-stick whisk while simmering for 3-4 minutes or until smooth sauce is formed. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Drizzle Caram-Ale over crumble and enjoy.


Events

St. Patrick’s Day
March 17

Join us at the Lakeside Brew Pub on St. Patrick’s Day for some Celtic music, food specials, and our very own Irish Stout. Call the Lakeside Brew Pub at 613 646 0101 to make your reservation or reserve online today.


Questions from Friends

Damien asked:

I’d getting married this Summer and would like to get some kegs for the reception. Is that possible?

We answered:

Hi Damien,

We do private keg sales all the time but our availability of sizes and styles varies depending on availability. To order/reserve your keg call 613 646 0101 and ask to talk to our retail department. We typically ask for about two weeks notice to guarantee availability but we will always try to accommodate last minute shoppers when we can.


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 thebreweryboys@whitewaterbeer.ca

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Issue No. 13

A Note from the Chris’

At Risk of Poking the Bear…

2017 is behind us and 2018 has started with a lot of controversy. What has surprised me about this isn’t the fact that the minimum wage increase has become a prominent topic of debate, it’s the fact that it didn’t become so prominent until the wage increase was actually implemented.

I find it so surprising because this has at least been lightly covered in mainstream media for at least 4 months prior. I actually found it disconcerting that not many people were talking about the major increase because for us, it was extremely concerning.

At any one time we employ anywhere between 70 and 100 employees (due to seasonality) and while the majority are paid above minimum wage, a significant amount were either below $14 or in close proximity to the $14 dollar mark.

I should point out that I am not against people working lower wage jobs earning more money. I am equally not against the minimum wage being raised to $14 if that is what is deemed to be the lowest livable wage. Our staff are our strongest asset and I want them to be able to work as part of our team, and be able to afford to pay rent, bills etc.

My concern however is because in one giant leap, our yearly wages/salaries rose by over a quarter of a million dollars which comes directly off our bottom line. Now, many supporters of the minimum wage increase have very bluntly stated that the wealthy and greedy business owners need to eat the cost of this increase in their profits, not pay themselves as much and make savings elsewhere. The trouble with this very general and unspecific statement is that there is a clear lack of understanding of who this is really going to effect. The large businesses with vast profits are not my concern. They will eat the cost to some extent, continue to control industry prices as well as increase them if necessary and ultimately consumers will continue to shop with them. The vast and sudden increase will really hurt the small businesses most. Businesses whose owners pay themselves only enough to live on. Businesses that already operate on small margins and struggle to get by on a month to month basis.

I’ve read many derogatory comments about small businesses and how if they can’t be run profitably with a decent livable wage then they shouldn’t be in business at all. Many of these comments are far more rude than that. The issue with that is that so many businesses and small business owners operate on small margins and there is nothing wrong with that. I completely agree that if you are going to commit to employing someone, you need to be able to pay them a livable wage. That being said, the issue that I see is that the wage increase was introduced in a very irresponsible way (too rapidly) that is harmful to the “backbone of the Canadian economy” and was possibly done in this method for an ulterior motive.

I’m sad to say that I have already seen the knock on negative affects of this increase with the closure of multiple businesses that we work with. Those that are still operating have been increasing prices to help cope with wage increase, others have been cutting hours and forcing business owners to work more.

Increasing prices can certainly help businesses cope with the increase in wages however I see one major problem with that. The wage increase has impact on so many industries that if  the general decision is to increase prices then I fear that the increased wage becomes irrelevant. Many argue that in the past, increases in wages haven’t resulted in price increases. This however directly conflicts with what I am seeing on a daily basis. I can only hope that the price increases are not in line with the wage increases.

I think the largest challenge that we faced was that employees that already earned above minimum wage wanted to keep the same gap between their wage and the new minimum wage. I found it most challenging because to some extent, their job was still worth the same dollar value, but I can understand how they could feel undervalued. We decided to go back to square one and value each job in our business and set a dollar range for that job role based on performance. Everyone starts at the bottom of that range for the job and can move up with good performance and longevity. Once you have reached the max, the only way for further increases is to get a promotion to a new job. I’m not sure if this solution is the best, but so far it is well received and it has the backing of all our managers which is very important. Ultimately, if you want to be paid more, create value in your role and make a reason to be paid more.

As I stated above, I strongly believe that the minimum wage should be set at a level that provides those income earners with enough earnings to pay bills, eat and get buy on a day to day basis (livable wage). I do however strongly believe that the increase was too much over too short a period of time and was for a hidden political agenda. I feel fortunate that I was aware of the increase well ahead of the implementation date and that I devoted the time to run a forecasts with our accountants to see how it would affect our business. I feel sorry for those that are still struggling with this change and maybe don’t have the same resources to deal with this task and I happily offer my time to assist in anyway that I can. Please feel free to reach out.

I could continue writing on this topic for a long time and I have only touched the surface of a few points that are up for debate in my first attempt at writing an opinion piece. What I have written is by no means correct, however it is absolutely my opinion at this point in time based on what I know. I would happily have continued debate in person or over email if anyone would like to talk more about this however I ask that you please keep it respectful in contrast to so many social media posts that I have seen.

Cheers

Chris Thompson


Brewery News

Valentine’s Day is on the Way

But so is Anti-Valentine’s. Come on in and feel the love…or don’t. We will be hosting two separate evenings of Valentine’s festivities for both those who don’t want to celebrate and those who do. Have a look at the events section to see the details. In addition we will be having in store and online retail specials including one we built especially for our blog readers. Order your V-Day gifts for yourself or someone special, online starting February 1st to 14th and use discount code FEELTHELOVE for 14% off your merchandise purchase.

Legion Lager in the LCBO

That’s right! Our Legion Lager is now available in select LCBO locations. If it isn’t in yours yet you can always request that it be brought in. And remember that 5% of every can purchased goes back to the Royal Canadian Legion for Veteran’s programs across the country.

Baby on the Way

For those of you that have been into the Lakeside Brew Pub in the last few months, you may have noticed a growing belly in the kitchen. And no we aren’t talking about the beer bellies. We are talking about our very own Head Chef Sarah who has now left for maternity leave and we wish her well in the coming months. While she is away,  Sous Chef Ben will be taking over as Head Chef and we hope you are as excited as we are to see what he can do.


Beer 101

Let’s Raise a Glass to These Two

By Head Brewer Sean

As we grow year by year so does our brew team. This past year was just outstanding with the love and support we got from all of you, but because of this growth I have had a hard time running this brewery on my own. Because of this, we have added some new roles to our brew team. We have added an Assistant Brewer and Head Cellarman and I’d like to take the time to give them a warm welcome and acknowledge their hard work.

Matt Haycock will be stepping into the Assistant Brewer position at WBC. Matt joined our team as a Brewhand in 2017 and has become one of our strongest brewers day after day. Matt came from the wine industry working at reputable wineries like Inniskillin and when he moved back to the Valley he had actually come in for an interview for our logistics department. I sat in on that interview and I’m thankful I did. I scooped him up for the brewery right away and as the months went by his hard-working nature and happy attitude helped him quickly learn the ropes. Now Matt is part of every batch of beer we brew here at WBC. He will be taking over our Riverside pilot brewery as well as working closely with me on all the Lakeside brewing. I can’t wait to see what he can do in the coming years and hear more of his ideas for new seasonals. You can thank Matt for the delicious Cookies and Cream Stout from our 12 Beers of Christmas this past year.

Adam Wilson will be taking over our cellar as Head Cellarman. If you don’t know what the “Cellar” is, it is the cold side of our brewery. This encompasses all the processes and packaging of the cold beer. From fermentors to packaging, Adam will be working hard with me to get the best quality packaged products for you all to drink. Adam came to the Valley and again was looking to work anywhere in our company. With 4 years of cellar experience at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, he comes with big shoes to fill, and he didn’t disappoint. With in days he had changed some of our tank cleaning procedures and has been instrumental in all of our packaging. With his keen eye to detail and ever growing knowledge of the brewing industry he will help us to grow the cellar into a world class production facility.

In closing, I really am happy with this growth in our team. These two will help WBC to continue to grow and raise the quality of our product even more. If you are ever at either of our locations and have a chance to chat with these 2 passionate individuals you’ll get to see a small glimpse of what makes our team great. I wish them all the best in their new roles and can’t wait to see what new ideas they can come up with. Let’s all raise a glass to these two… a glass of Whitewater beer of course.


Cooking with Beer

Class V Bison Chili

By Head Chef Ben
Best Paired with Class V
Ingredients

2 lbs Ground Bison

10 Tomatoes, cored and diced

2 large red onions, halved and sliced

2 large white onions, halved and sliced

1 red pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

2 tbsp. brown sugar

3 tbsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. cracked black pepper

1/2 cup Chili powder

1/4 cup Cumin

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. dried basil

1 cup water

1 cup Class V IPA

 

Method

Cook ground Bison. Drain fat.

Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook until veggies have softened.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium to low heat for 1 hour. Stir often to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Serve with fresh bread and dollop of sour cream.


Events

Anti-Valentine’s
February 9

One of our annual traditions is to host an Anti-Valentine’s night for those that may not be “feeling the love”. This evening will be full of some not-so-romantic food items, loud music, and definitely no red and pink hearts plastered to the wall. Call 613 646 0101 to make your reservation.

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Love is in the air over here at WBC and you can be a part of it this V-Day. Come out for a romantic evening with that special someone in your life. Join us for some lovely specials and romantic music. Call 613 646 0101 to make your reservation.


Questions From Friends

Tanya asked:

We’ve been to both your pubs before and love the atmosphere for our rehearsal dinner/wedding. Do you ever rent it out?

We answered:

Hi Tanya, we absolutely do. We hope to host many weddings and private functions in the upcoming season and if you are looking to book something we would be happy to help. All you need to do is contact our General Manager, Steve, to set up the details. Email brewpub@whitewaterbeer.ca to get in touch.


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 thebreweryboys@whitewaterbeer.ca