September 2013 23
Which beers and breweries inspire you?
What’s a typical day like at Church-Key Brewing?
Church-Key is small and my small staff and I wear more than one hat, typical day could include, brewing, book keeping, delivering, designing a label, picking up supplies, hanging with my kids, hanging out with other brew folk, in 13 plus years I have rarely had a bad day, but have very few the same.
- Northumberland Ale: 5% alc 20 IBU stock ale style, gold in colour
- Holy Smoke: 6.25% alc 17 IBU a peat smoked scotch ale, dark brown, malty and whiskey like
- West Coast Pale Ale: 5% 40 IBU Chinook hops give this pale ale a citrus grapefruit bitterness
- Church Key Red: 5% 20 IBU crystalized malt and caramel give this brew a heavy malt character
- Honey Oat Stout: 8.2% a imperial stout style, balanced with the honey and the silky mouth feel of the oats
the Great Pumpkin Ale: 7% cinnamon, clove , nutmeg and cardamom spice
this seasonal brew, that features 350 KG of real pumpkin as over half of
You can try Church-Key Brewing Company’s brews at The Branch Restaurant and Texas Grill this Sunday (September 29) with a $15.00 Rubber Boot Buffet and Drinking Song open mic! The taps start flowing at 2pm. You can follow Church-Key Brewing Company on Twitter (@churchkeybeer) or on Facebook (Church Key Brewing).
Beau's has released the Cask list for Beau's Oktoberfest (October 4th and 5th in Vankleek Hill). What is cask beer? It's beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured and served from a cask. This means it's fresh, unfiltered, served at a higher temperature and has a different taste than beer served on draught.
Muskoka Harvest Ale pours a dark amber colour with a fluffy off-white head that seems to cling to the glass. After the cork has been popped (or pried off in my case) aromas of floral hops become very noticeable; in the glass that floral hop note intensifies and brings with it aromas of grapefruit, fresh cut grass and malty caramel.
Those taste follows the aroma with a solid caramel background with layers of hop flavours (floral, fresh cut grass, citrus) adding bitterness, contrasting the sweet. It finishes with a slight dryness and earthy spice bitterness.
At 7% ABV and a big 750ml bottle Muskoka Harvest Ale is for sharing – celebrating the changing seasons and the bounty of the harvest.
Muskoka Harvest Ale poured a very nice golden brown with a thick light brown head. The aroma from the hops hits you right away with just a hint of toastiness from the malt.
The hops are definitely the star in this beer, offering the bitterness on first taste, with a marriage of grassy and citrus flavors. For me, who doesn't usually enjoy the bitterness in a beer, the honey-like sweetness on the end is a welcome taste.
The bitterness from the hops does stick around, however overall a very enjoyable beer, to enjoy a crisp fall day.
The Clocktower Brewpub’s seasonal Pumpkin Ale is available by the pint at all Clocktower locations and in growlers at the Brewhouse (575 Bank Street) starting Friday, September 27!
We are the #1 resource for beer in Ottawa. Below you'll find blog posts about future beer releases, events and even a few interviews with local brewers.
To help guide you through beer in Ottawa we've created a listing of breweries, bars and restaurants, a nifty growler guide and the most complete listing of beer-y events in the National Capital Region.
Week 2 of the Prud'homme Beer Certification in-class sessions started off with a quiz, testing what we'd retained from the week before. As it turns out, even in beer school there are no exceptions for your birthday when it comes to quizzes! I should have done my homework!
We then dove into the history of beer, which, of course, was discovered by a women! This certainly doesn't surprise me. I know that in Ottawa alone there is a large population of women who love craft beer. This is evident from the fact that 6 of the 14 participants in the class are women and some are members of Barley's Angels Ottawa, a chapter of a world-wide organization dedicated to encouraging education and interest in beer among women. Girl Power!
Before moving on to the beer tasting, we touched on the importance of beer glasses and how they can affect the taste of a beer – who knew!? I did know that beer glasses are made in different shapes to reflect the type of beer, however it was enlightening to hear how each glass is designed to bring out the flavours/aromas of specific beer. In June I attended the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston and while there got to visit the Sam Adam's Brewery where they've perfected their very own lager glass. So much is taken into consideration to enhance a beer lover's experience, from the shape of the glass to where your hand is positioned on the glass to prevent heat transfer.
This week's beer tasting featured lagers, and I found a new favorite in Kostritzer's Schwartzbier, a black lager that reminded me of a milder version of one of my favorite beers; Spearhead Moroccan Brown. Between rounds of chomping on dry saltines and swishing our mouths with water, we tasted 4 very different lagers.
It goes without mentioning that the beer tasting is my favorite part of the sessions, but it's not only because after talking about beer for over an hour, I'm craving one like nobodys business, but it's actually fun to compare amongst us what each of us are smelling/tasting. It's a type of learning process that I definitely can get used to!
Next week is proper pouring/storing techniques and wheat beers so stay tuned!
Das Hangover! We'll be hosting a Bavarian-themed brunch at the brewery
to cap off the 2013 Oktoberfest festivities. We invite all to share a
meal and raise a glass in celebration on family & community. This
all-ages event will feature all 9 Oktoberfest beers on tap, a full
brunch menu as created by Seed To Sausage, live accordian music by Ray
Baumgarten, and hot beverages by Bridgehead."
We know it isn't October, so why is this month's blogger roundup called the Oktoberfest Edition? Well, Oktoberfest really doesn't happen in October, well part of it doesn't. Traditionally the two-week Oktoberfest celebration starts in mid-September and finishes the first week of October.
In the spirit of Oktoberfest we asked Ottawa's Beer Bloggers what their favourite Oktoberfest experience was – local or not.
April Thibert – For Barley or For Wort
Fall is a favourite time for us here at For Barley and For Wort. Harvest beers and fires go hand in hand as the weather cools off. Oktoberfest and the fall are of course joined at the hip in the minds of beer lovers.
Our favourite Oktoberfest experience would have to be, like many others I am sure, Beau’s Oktoberfest. Our very first visit was a year where the weather decided to be chilly and damp. The ground was muddy but it didn’t stop us or many others from making the trip out to the festivities.
The food selection ranged from wood fired pizza to pretzels. There were hearty stews to warm you up and desserts a plenty.
The keg toss was the favourite event to watch. We were pleased at the number of families that attended and Beau’s had a barn area set up for the children. Add to that some live music and it was certainly a party.
Best part though? The beer of course. From the regular taps to the cask area there was a lot of beer. Did we try them all? No, some casks were empty but we did try as much as we could and weren’t disappointed.
Going back every year is a given it was just that much fun.
Ross Brown – Beer O'Clock
My favourite Oktoberfest experience was meeting two great celebrities, George Wendt and Shawn Majumder, at last year's Barrhaven Oktoberfest, where I was the official photographer. It was an awesome experience and opportunity.
Brian J. Papineau – bryehn.net
My Oktoberfest experiences have really been limited to three trips to Beau's event in Vankleek Hill (this will be my 4th).
I'm not a big fan of most marzen or Oktoberfest beers, so what I appreciate most about Beau's event is the variety of brews on offer, especially now that Bar Volo's Cask Days is involved. Last year there were 6 new beers, 2011 saw four or five and though 2013 looks mostly like a best of years past in terms of beers, there is an interesting new brew in the Dampfbier style that I'm eager to try. Having the Cask Days area has given me the chance to try a couple dozen beers I may have not been able to otherwise.
As for the event itself, I appreciate the authenticity of the staff costume, the Bavarian dance, the contests like stien holding and spouse carrying and the willingness of Walter Ostanek to show up every year.
And the food…man the food. Mainly really hearty grub that keeps you warm and soaks up beer nicely, but the downside is I tend to overeat a bit and get tired.
I'm planning to expand my horizons a bit this year and pay a visit to Oktoberfest Ottawa to see what some of the other local breweries come up with for the festivities.
If you've never been to an Oktoberfest event you're in luck, there are five celebrations scattered over the capital in the next two weeks and there's even an Oktoberfest Run! Check out our event calendar for more details.
Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They
have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go
head-to-head tasting La Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout by Microbrasserie Charlevoix.
A milk stout is a stout that has lactose, milk sugar, added to the brew kettle for sweetness and body. If you're vegan this beer is not for you otherwise this is a must try brew for any beer fan.
La Vache Folle pours a deep black with a light mocha head and sweet aromas of dark chocolate milk, roasted malt and raisin. The first taste is all sweet with hints of dark chocolate and coffee that progress to a slightly fruitier raisin flavour and finishes with a roasted vanilla. As it warms it seems to get sweeter with notes of chocolate milk becoming more prominent.
This is a solid stout and although it's very sweet it's also very balanced – the sweetness won't overwhelm you. Be careful though, at 9% ABV this brew does go down a bit too easy. It also induces a craving for the chocolatiest of chocolate cakes.
The Charlevoix Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout pours a rich dark chocolate brown with a thin caramel head.
The aroma is rich with mixture of coffee and caramel with slight nuttiness.
The taste mirrors the aroma with bold coffee and subtle nut flavours and with a 9% ABV you definitely get a slight burn from the alcohol on the palate.
Overall a well balanced stout, full bodied and creamy (and delicious).
Beer Run 2013 is a 13.3km brewery-to-brewery run to five Ottawa breweries (Mill St. Brew Pub, Beyond The Pale, Clocktower Brew Pub, Kitchissippi Beer Co. and Big Rig Brewery). All five breweries will be sampling their finest hand crafted beers and have its own unique atmosphere that will energize you for the next leg of the route. Live entertainment, fresh autumn air, beer education & brewery tours! Space is limited, registration is available online.