A Note from the Chris’
Two Families, One Delicious Brew
We’ve been talking about hops a lot recently. Some would say too much. However, it’s harvest season and we are in the beer business after all.
About nine months before we opened the business, a good friend of ours, Marc, knew that we were working towards opening a brewery and mentioned a high school friend of his that was growing hops and needed help picking them with their first harvest. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if we thought it was going to be a legitimate operation or simply someone with some hops growing up the side of their house. Regardless we took Marc up on the offer and went and met with his friend Mireille, armed with beers for the occasion of course.
Upon arrival at the farm on L’Isle aux Allumettes, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Mireille, her brother Charles, Charles’ wife Lyne, their children, and rows and rows or hop vines growing in their field.
Marc Bru (different Marc) from the now Square Timber Brewing Company was present and brewing up a beer on a home brew system in their garage which reinforced that the beer scene was alive and well.
With beers flowing, we were graciously welcomed and given the tour of the farm before beginning to pick some hops which back then, had to be done by pulling down the vines and picking each hop flower by hand. I distinctly remember seeing Mireille’s hands which were stained green and yellow from the lupuline oils in the flowers. From what I understand, this is still an issue today.
We left the hop farm invigorated by the opportunity to use locally grown hops in our beer and will always be thankful to our friend Marc for introducing us. This is just one of the ways that he drastically impacted our lives before sadly passing away about 18 months ago.
Our relationship with Mireille, Charles, Lyne and their children has grown along with their farm and it’s always a pleasure to host them in one of our breweries. In fact, tonight we’re opening up the Riverside Brew Pub to host Lyne’s 40th birthday celebration. We continue to almost exclusively use their hops in our beer and it’s been incredible to see them grow alongside us and maintain the ability to keep up with our growing requirements/your growing thirst.
These kinds of relationships define our business and we look forward to celebrating many more of them to come!
Chris Thompson & Chris Thompson
Emily Santi Photo (www.emilysantiphoto.com)
Toronto KLR93 Launch
On the 18th of this month we will be launching our new KLR93 Kolsch Style Ale in the big city of Toronto. This launch is being hosted by the Lucky Clover Irish Pub on Lower Simcoe Street and provides everyone attending with a chance to win some amazing prizes. And yes, the Killer himself will be there enjoying his very own brew.
We like big trucks and we cannot lie
Our beer has now become so widespread across the province that its time we graduated to a big boy/girl truck. Coming this month we are getting our very own 36′ truck to spread our delicious brew to more of you. I call shotgun!
By Head Brewer Sean
This is the season for pumpkin everything. And why would beer not be on that list? Pumpkin beer can be delicious but with one extra spice or too much it can go to gross in no time. This month lets discuss some tips and tricks to making a great pumpkin pie beer.
First, lets talk pumpkins and gourds. You would think using pumpkin is the only way to make pumpkin beer but there are many different gourds that can lend a great pumpkin pie taste. Some are easy to get and others can be hard to find gems. In the Ottawa Valley, pumpkins are easy to find so that is your best bet in this region but don’t have a one track mind when it comes to brewing. Butternut squash can be another great gourd to use that will lend some nice sweetness to the beer. From the USA there is Blue Hubbard Squash, Grey Ghost, and Jarrahdales but they are harder to find. All of these will lend differing flavours and can be a good way to stay unique in this style of beer.
Now what do you do with the pumpkin/gourd once you get them? There are really two ways of using them. One is to cut them up fresh, scoop out the seeds, and put them through a processor to shred them up. Then they are ready to add right to the mash. This will give you a nice subtle pumpkin flavour. If you want to go to the extreme you can cut them up and roast them in the oven (190c for an hour or until they look well caramelized). To take it that much further (as pumpkin spice beers always do) you can coat them in spices and brown sugar before you roast them to lock in those pumpkin pie flavours. I suggest adding roughly 1lb per 4litre of final wort. This will get you a lot of flavour.
Last is the spice. You can add as little or as much as you want. Some of the good spices you can use (in no order of preference) are nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and clove. When it comes to spice addition you need to be light handed or this beer can go from nice and light to cloying and horrible. I add a smaller amount of spice to the pumpkin at roasting and then the same amount at the end of the boil. Once fermentation is done you can taste the beer and add more spice if needed to taste. This way you are certain you have the flavour you want in the beer without going overboard.
Pumpkin Beer Recipe
19 L /5 gallons, extract with grains and pumpkin; OG = 1.048; FG = 1.012; IBU = 19; SRM = 6; ABV = 4.6%
1.1 kg (1.25 lbs.) Muntons Extra Light dried malt extract
1.6 kg (3.5 lbs.) Northwestern Gold liquid malt extract
0.22 kg. (0.5 lb) Crytsal 60 malt
0.22 kg. (O.5 lb) Crystal 120 malt
2.3â€“2.7 kg (5â€“6 lbs.) pumpkin (cut into 1/8th)
Cascade hops (60 mins) (1.0 oz./28 g of 7.6% alpha acids)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dried ale yeast (US-05)
0.75 cup corn sugar (for priming)
Step by Step:
Bake Pumpkin slices with half the spices dusted on top for 1hr at 190 Â°C or until they look golden brown and soft . Heat 2.8 L (0.75 gallons) of water to 73 Â°C (163 Â°F). Place crushed grains in steeping bag and steep grains at 67 Â°C (152 Â°F) for 45 minutes. When pumpkin is ready, add chunks to grain bag and add cool water (to maintain 67 Â°C (152 Â°F) temperature). Combine grain and pumpkin “tea,” dried malt extract and water to make 9.5 L (2.5 gallons) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at the start of the boil. Add liquid malt extract and remainder of spices with 15 minutes left in the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 19 L (5 gallons) with water. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 21 Â°C (69 Â°F).
Replace malt extract and 0.45 kg (1 lb.) 2-row malt with 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs.) 2-row pale malt. Bake Pumpkin slices with half the spices dusted on top for 1hr at 190 Â°C or until they look golden brown and soft. Mash grains and pumpkin chunks at 67 Â°C (153 Â°F) for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops with 60 minutes left. Add remainder of spices with 15 minutes left in boil. Ferment at 21 Â°C (69 Â°F).
Cooking with Beer
Beer Braised Chicken
By Sous Chef Ben
Best Paired with KLR93
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
All purpose flour, for dredging
2 tbsp. olive oil
12 oz KLR93
1 cup pearl onions, chopped
1/2 pound small fingerling potatoes, halved
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 tbsp. brown sugar
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
Add chopped bacon to sauce pot and cook until fat renders. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil.
Dredge cubed chicken in flour, removing excess. Add to sauce pot and sear all sides.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium low heat until potatoes have softened.
Season with salt and pepper. Remove sprigs of thyme and serve.
Come out to the Lakeside Brew Pub for our very own Oktoberfest celebration. Live music, pretzels, games, and of course our seasonal brew Das Bier. Tickets are on sale now in our retail stores or on our website.
Germania Club Oktoberfest
Music, dancing, and all the German food you could eat. Head over to the Germania club for their annual Oktoberfest. First keg is tapped at 1:45pm. For more details look here.
Toronto KLR93 Launch
See above in Brewery News for details.
Ottawa Valley Craft Beer Festival
This local craft brew fest is being hosted at the Best Western in Pembroke. Come out and see/taste 12 fantastic local breweries and enjoy what Ottawa and the Valley have to offer. For more information and tickets look here.
WBC Halloween Party
Dust off those costumes and wigs. We will be hosting our annual Halloween party at our Lakeside Brew Pub in Cobden. Stay tuned for more details.
Questions from Friends
Can you make beer, like champagne, in a “method tradionel” that means natural carbonation, rather then adding CO2 afterwards?
Great question! Yes you can. There are a lot of breweries that carbonate their beer naturally. Especially in Germany where you aren’t allowed to force carbonate beer. The way you do this is by adding sugar at packaging. The residual yeast left over in the beer will consume this sugar and create CO2 naturally in the beer. The more sugar you add, the higher volume of carbonation you will get. Homebrewers use this all the time when bottling at home. The reason we do not use this method in the brew house is to control CO2 volume in the beer and speed up packaging time. It would take us an extra 2 weeks to naturally condition the beer. Breweries like Sierra Nevada have naturally conditioned their packaged product for years and they do a great job at it.
Thanks again for your great question!
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 ableÂ to postÂ 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!
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