A Note from Chris
A Month of Awards
April was a great month for celebrating the Ottawa Valley. On Saturday April 28th it was the 2018 Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce Gala & Awards. Last year, WBC won “Large Business of the Year” and it was a complete shock that we’re very proud of. This year, although we were not nominated it was great to go back and celebrate with all of the 2018 winners. Emily our Event Manager, Ryan our Ottawa Valley Sales Rep and Team Supervisor and myself went, fully dressed up and ready for the Masquerade Ball. Great food, better company and while I can’t list them all in this blog, some of the notable winners were The Nook Creperie, one of my personal favourite restaurants, Discount Car & Truck rentals who we do great business with and are fantastic to work with and the Eganville Leader who won a Lifetime Achievement Award with over 100 years in business (admittedly I forget the exact number of years). What a truly incredible achievement, something that many of us can only hope to achieve.
Monday was a new week and WBC was nominated for a business distinction award at the Ottawa Valley Tourism Association annual conference and AGM. Sadly I was unable to attend due to illness (maybe the good time on Saturday Night weakened my immune system) however we caught wind that we in fact did win. The whole team is incredibly excited and I am extremely proud of everyone that helped us win through hard work, dedication, support of a local company and our enjoyment of good beer, good food and sharing stories with great friends.
Finally word has got out that WBC is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. This is true and it is fantastic to have a government that is willing and capable of supporting small businesses and their growth.
At risk of sounding ungrateful, which I am sincerely not, I would like to clarify some points around this. The recent announcements have made it sound a little bit like we just received a cheque for half a million dollars. Sadly that is not the case, however that was never our expectations so we’re fine with it, I would just like to explain how it does work.
We have committed to a 5 year growth project for which the EODF will contribute those funds which total 15% of the project costs. Therefore we have to spend over $3,000,000 of our own money. We further have to hire 55 full time employees and begin exporting to the US. These are targets that we feel are possible, but very ambitious and will take a lot of hard work and a lot of things to go well. Not quite as simple as receiving the money which a lot of people have been joking with me about.
The project has started well and we’re on track however with recent and planned wage increases which were not announced when we made the application, I do see it being a very difficult project to complete.
All that being said, we’re over the moon about having this level of support from the Canadian Government and will certainly be having a beer to celebrate.
Riverside Opening Soon
It’s that time of year again where we dust off the bar, open the windows, and warm up the pizza oven. Our Riverside location will be opening for the season on May 18th at 4pm. For the month of May we will be open Friday 4pm – 9pm, Saturday 11am -10pm, and Sunday 11am – 7pm. Beginning June 1st we will be open Wednesday to Sunday. We won’t be taking reservations until the 18th but at that point you can call us at 613 582 7227 or book online here.
Back Up and Running
After a long 8 weeks of waiting for parts, work, and inspections, our brewery is back up and running after the great fire of 2018. For those of you that don’t know, our boiler for the brewing system had been affected by the small fire we had in February and made it so we couldn’t brew until it was fixed. We were lucky to have some inventory and be able to contract brew to keep things going in the mean time. For those of you who have been patiently waiting for Whistling Paddler you’ll be happy to know it was our first batch brewed.
Now that its finally Spring we are having our annual sale to take out the old and bring in the new. We are offering 20% off a selection of our 2017 merchandise including t-shirts, sweaters, and many more. Stop into our Lakeside retail shop or order online with discount code SPRINGSALE to get them before their gone.
Our Very First Canned Seasonal
Big News! We recently landed our very first seasonal in LCBO’s across Ontario. Beginning in May, our Astrolabe Session IPA will be available in 473ml cans in as many LCBO’s as we can get it into. If you haven’t tried this Juicy IPA yet keep your eyes peeled for it this month.
KLR 93 Province Wide
So far, May is great month for canned Whitewater Brew. KLR 93 will now be available in Loblaws across Ontario. So grab some next time you pick up groceries.
Time Just Flies
By Head Brewer Sean
It’s hard to believe I’ve been with WBC for 3 years. I still remember the first time I stepped into the Riverside location. My first thought was, “this place it so tiny”, but I do remember the smiles on the faces that were working there. I thought, “this place looks like a career I need”. Before I started, I sat down with the 2 Chris’ individually. They were very busy trying to brew, package and run a business, so we met on different days. When I talked with Chris D, at riverside, he had so much passion for the company. After a 2 hr chat I left feeling excited at the opportunity. I met with Chris M the next day at a local restaurant. He was a little more intimidating than Chris D but the passion was still there. I remember thinking, “these guys are so different”, but that’s what makes this company so great. Each of them were each others Ying and Yang. We used to joke about how they were like Mom and Dad. I won’t say which one was which.
After accepting the position, it was right to work. I was happy to join the team. Each day was hard work and so much fun. As the first couple months went by I was dreaming of the Lakeside which at this point hadn’t been built yet. When I was brought on, the plan was for me to run this big system but I had to prove myself first. After the first six months I managed to change procedures and increase quality. This was all it took for them to finally give me the Head Brewer title. With that came some hard times. My friends/coworkers started to pull away as I was their boss now and my work load increased at a crazy rate. Working 5-6 days a week for months to increase production but in the end, all that hard work paid off. As the team grew and faces changed we were able to build back up that family I loved here and became a well-oiled machine. Riverside started running 7 days a week. I still remember the month we hit 70 hectolitres on that small system and it is still something I talk about to this day. It was a crazy feat which I am quite proud of. The team worked so hard that month and it payed off. After then, there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish.
Finally, the beast that is the Lakeside system was ready. I spent months reading and learning to be prepared for this big jump and we knocked it out of the park. I must thank Eric Mainville for his tireless hard work in helping me create the procedures we still use to this day. We spent many 16-18 hour days brewing the first couple batches and it wasn’t easy. Months rolled by, growth was huge, and beer was flying out the door. We were making hundreds of thousands litres at a very different pace than it was 3 years ago.
I want to make a point of thanking my fiancé Kerry. None of this would’ve happened without her support. She supported my decision to leave my engineering job to pursue this passion. She supported me when I had to work late nights and weekends for years. We have had 2 beautiful girls during this adventure, so it hasn’t been easy. But she is the reason I get to make this great beer for you all.
As you can tell, I could go on forever, but in closing, I want to thank everyone that helped me get to this point. My life has changed so much these last three years and yes I’m one of those people that never feel like I’m working. I haven’t worked a day in the last three years, I’ve just been having too much fun. I also want to give huge thanks to both Chris’. The two of you have been great friends and bosses throughout this journey. I appreciate the job you have given me and there is no way I can express how much gratitude I have. Thank you!
Cooking with Beer
Asparagus Stuffed Chicken with Beer & Cheese Sauce
By Chef Natalie
Best Paired with Farmer’s Daughter
4 chicken breasts, skin on
8 spears asparagus
2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes, chopped
6 oz. feta, crumbled
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
3 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
1/4 cup old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a small bowl, mix together tomatoes, feta and pepper.
Take each chicken breast and cut from the top of the breast inwards through the thickest part to make a pocket – a paring knife or boning knife works best Cut asparagus spears in half crosswise and insert 4 halves into each pocket. The 2 tips of the asparagus can be sticking out.
Carefully spoon in 1-2 tbsp. of feta mixture into each breast.
In a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed oven safe pan, add 2 tbsp. oil and heat on high on stove top.
Place chicken breasts in pan skin side down and sear until a dark golden colour has formed (about 2 min) Flip the chicken and transfer to the oven and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
While cooking, make the sauce.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes.
Whisk in the milk and beer and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue stirring until sauce starts to thicken (should notice it coats the back of a spoon) Remove from heat and add mustard, seasonings, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and combined.
Serve sauce over the chicken, accompanied with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch
May 12 & 13
Bring Mom in for a special brunch this Mother’s Day between 10am and 2pm. No tickets required and flowers are on us. Make your reservation today by calling 613 646 0101 or book online here.
Git ‘Er Done Mud Run
Get muddy this month at the annual Git ‘Er Done Mud Run to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. After running 6k’s with 18 obstacles enjoy a Whitewater Pint on us. Cheers to that! For more details and to register click here.
Round 2 of our #Alwaystimetoplay festival is around the corner and its bigger and better this year. Follow us on Facebook to see the latest updates on the festival musicians and games and get your early bird tickets here.
Questions from Friends
What’s the best way to stay up to date with what is happening at the brew pub?
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)