A Note from the Chris’
Whitewater on our Minds
11 years ago, Wilderness Tours was ramping up for another summer of fun on the Ottawa River while Chris, James and I were unknowingly about to embark on a life changing 4 months. The 3 of us were starting as rookie raft guides having never met and as my namesake says, we were set to either be great friends or mortal enemies. Some say keep your friends close and your enemies closer so maybe we’re still to find out but for now I’m confident it was the former.
It was our incredible summers at WT that kept us returning to the Ottawa Valley and we found ourselves sharing our stories over a beer, or two, or more on the Rafters deck. Over the years, Wilderness Tours has changed in so many ways but at the same time, has not changed at all. The yearly return of some of the most interesting, adventurous and exciting people, combined with the incredible rushing waters of the Ottawa River have already provided us with a lifetime worth of memories.
People have started arriving, Chris, Blake and I have been paddling down the river and as our friends at WT are ramping up for another successful summer on Rafting Road, we’d like to congratulate Joe, Sue, Joel, Katie and all of the WT family in advance of their Rafters Re-opening. Throughout the winter they have successfully revamped the Rafters Restaurant and it’s looking spectacular. Opening this May, we’re looking forward to spending many evenings this summer enjoying the new décor, new menu and the best patio view in the Ottawa Valley, albeit with a Whitewater Beer in hand.
Chris Thompson & Chris Thompson
Birthday Bash & #Alwaystimetoplay Festival
Whitewater Brewing Co. is almost 4 years old and we want to celebrate in style. We will be hosting a birthday bash and one day festival that is all things playful. Craft beer vendors, delicious food, volleyball tournament, brewery Olympics and more are waiting for you at the Riverside brewery on the Ottawa River this June. Get your tickets this month for only $15 in store or here.
Save the Bees
For the month of May we are partnering with Olmstead’s Home Hardware of Cobden to give back to Mother Earth. All home deliveries will be accompanied with a small packet of wildflower seeds that can be sprinkled anywhere and will grow with zero maintenance. These packets come at no cost and will allow our local bee population to thrive and give back to us by pollinating many of the plants that we eat or use everyday. Order your home delivery here.
Legion Lager Now on Sale
Legion Lager is now on sale and available at the Brewery. While only a few bars and Legions are currently carrying this refreshingly crisp beer, we aim to have it across Ontario in the near future. The same goes for the Beer Store, LCBO, and Grocery Stores so keep your eyes peeled. If you live in the Ottawa Valley and you would like to order some Legion Lager for free home delivery you can do so here. Remember, 5% of every purchase of Legion Lager goes directly back to The Royal Canadian Legion Veterans programs.
Opening the Vault on Malt
By Head Brewer Sean
As a brewer, one of my frequently asked questions is “what is malted barley and how is it different to the barley you can buy at the farm feed store?” Well, the answer is simple, but first, we should know why the barley is malted.
The main purpose for the malted barley in brewing is to get sugar. Sugar is consumed by the yeast to create alcohol. The reason we can get this sugar so easily is because the barley (and other grain) is malted. The malting process makes the sugar more accessible.
The Malting Process
Let’s first talk about how the barley is malted to gain access to that sweet sugar. They take the barley kernel and partially germinate it. This makes the seed’s resources available to the brewer. During this process, we breakdown the barrier to gain access to the starch in the kernel. Without this process, we couldn’t get as much starch and flavour out of the barley as required. We need to be very efficient and therefore we need the malting process to save time and money on the brewing process. Once the malting process is complete, the farmers dry the barley to lock in the openings for the starch. Once dry, they take the barley and toast/roast it to differing colours and flavours. Farmers can produce hundreds of different colours and flavours of malted barley which makes building new beer recipes quite the task.
The Mashing Process
Now that we have the malted barley, what do we do with it? We mash it! The mashing process is where we convert the starch into sugar. Depending on the recipe we use 1-10 different malt varieties to get the colour and flavours needed. We then put this malted grain through a mill to crack open the kernel, gaining better access to the starches. We add the crushed malt and hot water together in our Mash Tun. Depending on the temperature we can get differing breakdowns of those starches and flavours. This will add body and sugar to the beer. The mashing process takes roughly 90 minutes to convert all that starch into sugar. At that point we make the sweet liquor turn into wort (we will go through that process next time.) Sweet liquor is essentially sugar water and it has all the colour and malt flavour needed for the beer style we are making.
I hope this helps with the questions about malted barley and what we do with it. In Issue No. 5, we will talk about what happens with that sweet liquor and how it gets turned into wort, which is pre-fermented beer.
Cooking with Beer
Class V Lemon Bars
By Head Chef Cory
Best Paired with Class V
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Class V
Powdered sugar for dusting
Yield: 10-12 bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, add flour, powdered sugar, butter, and salt. Process until well combined.
Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 8×8 pan. (For a 9×13 pan, double the recipe). Chill for 15 minutes.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes). This will help the crust and filling to stay in two distinct layers.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, sugar, and cornstarch. Add in the lemon juice and beer. Stir until combined. Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the centre has set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Ladies Night: Mother’s Day Edition
The first party at the Riverside Brew Pub for the season is a ladies only Mother’s Day party. Your $25 ticket includes your first drink, appetizers, and live music. Tickets are selling fast though so get yours here.
Bayfield Beer and Food Festival
Did you read the title? Is there anything more you need than beer and food? Check it out and purchase your tickets here.
Riverside Brew Pub Opens
Not really an event but still big news. Riverside will be opening for some weekends in May and then 7 days a week as of June 1st.
Palmer River Fest
Whitewater paddling fun for all abilities. This outdoor festival includes paddling clinics, live music, a beer garden, yoga, and vendors of various products. Check it out here.
Birthday Bash & #Alwaystimetoplay Festival
As stated above, this one day festival is going to be the event of the Summer. Tickets available here.
Questions from Friends
I called to make a reservation the other day and they told me I had a time limit on my table. Why?
Before 7:30pm, we limit the time allocated per reservation in our busy times so that we have a reasonable balance between the number of reservations we accept per day and the time per. This hopefully limits the number of people that are upset by being turned away. We typically allocate between 1.5 and 2 hours depending on group size which should be plenty of time to enjoy your meal and atmosphere. If you’re somebody that likes to sit, relax and take in the live music, we get that too, and any reservations after 7:30pm are unlimited in time.
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