A Note from Chris
Some day’s it feels like I’ve been working with the brewery my whole life, other days it feels like we’re only a year or two old. Well this weekend we celebrated our 5th Birthday at our Riverside Brewery and Brew Pub during the #Alwaystimetoplay festival.
I think both of the above feelings are somewhat justified. So many of our staff are fully committed to the brewery’s growth and success and because we’re fully immersed in its operations, we’ve probably put far more than 5 years worth of work and thought into it. Alternatively, we’ve been continuously working on bettering ourselves, the business and what we offer to our customers and because of this, we’re often working on new and exciting projects that keeps it all feeling fresh.
5 years ago, James, Chris and I were brewing in what are now the men’s washrooms at the Riverside Brewery & Brew Pub. We were producing only 150 litres per week which we’d sell out of within 24 hours and have to wait until the following week for more beer. In contrast, in our biggest production month to date, we brewed over 120,000 litres. In the same time frame, we’ve grown from 3 owners to over 100 team members in our busiest season’s and over 60 full time, year-round jobs. We’ve grown from delivering beer and picking up our grain orders in Chris’ Honda Civic and my old yellow kayaking van/house, to running our own fleet of delivery vehicles. We’ve made fantastic partnerships with Doug Gilmour and The Royal Canadian Legion as well as many other local businesses and organisations.
These are just some of the highlights but there have also been many challenges. We had a fire. We have been through a couple of legal battles. We’ve had multiple beer shortages. We’ve had team members choose to leave and we’ve had to make that difficult decision for some others. We’ve occasionally fallen short on customer and our own expectations. We’ve had to pour beer down the drain due to quality control issues and we’ve been called “just a bunch of F*&#ing Raft Guides” (we’re proud of that one).
One of the elements that I’m most proud of is our team’s continued dedication and willingness to learn from all of our mistakes and challenges. We certainly don’t get it right every time, nor do we always make the right decisions, but we do our best to continue to improve and do better the next time.
I really could go on all day writing about the last five years but I’m already late with this post, for which I apologise (it’s my fault). The last thing I would like to say is a sincere and heartfelt thank you! Thank you to everyone that has continued to or even at one point supported the brewery by choosing us to stock your fridge, fill your bellies or hang in your wardrobe. Thank you to all of our suppliers, bars, restaurants and stores that carry our product and talk us up. Thank you to our entire team, new and old that choose WBC to spend most of your days. Finally thank you to all of our families that are there with support, love and tolerance that help get us through each day. We wouldn’t be the organisation that we are without all of you so once again, thank you.
New Summer, New Seasonal
Have you ever wanted to taste sunshine? Well have we got the beer for you? Introducing a brand new seasonal with a fruity kick. Touch of Tangerine is a fruity blonde ale with 22 IBU and 5% ABV. Come grab a pint at the bar or a growler at retail while you can.
New Summer, New Stuff
Keep your eyes on our social pages for pictures of our new merchandise. Out with the old and in with the new. We have new colours of tanks, t-shirts, and whole new style of hoodie (pictured above). We’ve even brought in an old favourite in glassware with some fresh ink. Oh and don’t forget to grab your free koozie with purchase of 24 tallboys.
Our Riverside location is open and ready for hungry (and thirsty) patrons. Bring your partner, family, friends, or everyone you know to enjoy some brand new menu items. We upgraded our pizza oven so we’ve upgraded our menu. We now carry 6 pizzas, including the old favourite BFR with pulled pork, bacon, and sausage as well as introduced some new ones like Push Button with cranberry compote and prosciutto. Is your mouth watering yet? Call 613 582 7227 to make your reservation.
Touch of Fruit
By Head Brewer Sean
As you may know, we have been using fruit in beer for a few years now – almost since day one. With summer making a long-awaited appearance, I thought this month we could dive into the world of fruit beers.
With Touch of Tangerine hitting the market, we are reminded of how much people love fruit beer, and my hunch is that this beer will be a hit. For this beer, we have moved away from using juice to using a puree instead – tangerines are messy! The puree allows us to dial in a massive fruit punch with a lesser quantity than we would use of juice. For example, when brewing Watermelon Blonde, we juice close to 20 watermelons a week, and, this is a tiresome task!
But, I digress – back to making the beer! There are a few different ways to utilise fruit in the brewing process. They are; adding fruit to the boil, adding fruit to the fermentor, and adding fruit post fermentation. Each method will lend a different flavour profile. If you are looking for a cooked fruit flavour, you want to add to the boil. Apples and pears are excellent when used in the boil as they can add a pie-like taste. But there is a con to this method; you need to use a tonne of fruit as you will boil off some of those flavours and aroma during the boil. For this reason, I recommend not putting them in before the 20min additions.
The next option is to add the fruit right to the fermentor. This process is a little more challenging as you need to make sure the fruit is free from spoiling organisms. A way to avoid this is to use frozen fruit. Alternately, you can freeze your fresh fruits before adding them. Doing this won’t kill all the bacteria, but it will slow them down significantly. It is also great for fruit with thin skins like berries. Freezing thin-skinned fruit will make them burst slightly allowing the juices to flow into the beer. Adding the fruit to the fermentor will yield great of flavour, but you will have to use more fruit as you will lose some from fermentation and yeast drop out.
Lastly, adding fruit post fermentation. This method is the best way to get the most amount of flavour from your fruit. Much like adding fruit to the fermentor, you need to make sure that there is no bacteria present. At this point, bacteria will grow very fast as there is nothing to fight against it.
Here is what we do, for most fruit beer, at WBC; we add fruit juices/purees to the bright tank before packaging. We find that we get very bright and flavourful fruit flavour from this process. It also keeps all the fruit in the beer, and we don’t lose any from a dropout. We do our best to prosses all the fruit in-house; doing this allows us to keep everything fresh. However, doing so isn’t always possible as some fruits go out of season and we need to outsource to find the best and most pure fruit juices and purees. For us, our primary concern is to ensure there are no artificial flavours, additives or sugars – just pure, real fruit.
I hope this helps shines a light on the different ways you can brew fruit beers, and on how we make them at WBC. If you’d like to know more, please ask a question, and we can answer it in next month’s blog. We are always eager to hear your questions – education is power!
Cooking with Beer
Lemon Pepper Arctic Char with Honey Mustard Mint Glaze
By Chef Ben
Best paired with Legion Lager
5-7 ounce portion Arctic Char
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tbsp. cracked black pepper
4 ounces Legion Lager
2 tbsp. grainy mustard
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp mint, minced
In either bowl or plastic re-sealable bag, mix lemon juice, pepper, and Legion Lager to create marinade. Add fish and let sit for 15 minutes. Place onto baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 6 min.
Mix glaze ingredients together and cover Char liberally saving some glaze for final coating.
Place back in oven for 2-3 minutes to allow the glaze to cook on.
Once cooked, brush Char with remainder of glaze.
Serve with seasonal veg and roasted potatoes.
We are celebrating our 5th birthday in style with round 2 of our #Alwaystimetoplay festival is around the corner and its bigger and better this year.
Collaboration Nation at Sessions Toronto
It’s the People’s Choice Awards of Beer! 3 breweries, 3 collaborating celebrities, 1 LCBO SKU. Our KLR93 will be featured with two other breweries battling for votes to win a seasonal SKU in the LCBO. So come on down and vote Whitewater!
YGK Craft Beer Festival
This outdoor festival looks over the beautiful St. Lawrence River on the hill surrounding Kingston’s Fort Henry. Beer, food trucks and sunshine are all in attendance. Get your tickets here.
Jason Blaine Night with the Stars
Come on out to Pembroke Golf Club for Jason Blaine’s charity golf tournament. For more information and to sign up look here.
Ottawa Beer Fest
June 15 & 16
In the heart of Lansdowne this festival boasts beers from all over the province. Live music plays all weekend and great food is onsite steps away. Get more info here.
London Beer & BBQ
June 15 – 17
Drink, eat, and be entertained at this Southern Ontario outdoor food and drink show. Get more info here.
June 15 & 16
Join us in the Petawawa for ribs, beer, and hopefully sunshine.
Summerhill LCBO Sampling
Come on by Summerhill LCBO to try out a sample of our new Seasonal, Touch of Tangerine.
Cancer is a Beach Volleyball Tournament
Sun, sand, and fighting cancer. There is a lot of fun to be had at this charity volleyball tournament and why not stay a while for a whitewater rafting trip as well. Join us at Wilderness Tours for this awesome event. #alwaystimetoplay
Ontario Craft Beer Week
June 8 – 18
Also known as OCB Week. Stay tuned for more details on what we are doing to celebrate our favourite week of the year.
Questions from Friends
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