Some of you may know our historic brewmaster, Ed. Ed is the one who makes all of our historic beer by hand, using the same method and technique as was used in the 1860s. Ed has been one of the most important parts of the brewery since its inception. We will miss Ed’s passion, drive, and pure love of historic brewing.
Sadly, Ed will be leaving us shortly after this weekend. He has accepted a new opportunity at another brewery, and will no longer be the brewmaster at the Black Creek historic brewery. We will miss Ed very much, but we are happy and excited on his behalf for this brand new opportunity.
If you’d like to come and say your goodbyes, Ed will be brewing this weekend, and on Monday. The brewery will be open for tastings from 1pm until close, so if you’d like to come by and hang out with Ed one last time, now is your chance!
For the last eight months or so, I’ve been faithfully publishing a blog post every Friday. However, this week will be my last week at Black Creek Pioneer Village. I am moving on to begin a PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. North Carolina (and Chapel Hill especially!) is an excellent spot for craft beer, so I am excited to broaden my horizons while pursuing my PhD dreams! I will miss Black Creek immensely, and I will definitely miss my days down at the historic brewery. Thank you to my wonderful coworkers, our brewmaster Ed, and all of the friends i’ve made through working in the Brewery for the last year and a half.
If you’re a fan of my posts however, you’re in luck! I have posts queued for every Friday until December 21st. So the beer lore, facts, and information will continue until the village closes for the season. The blog will likely be picked up by someone else in 2019, so keep an eye out for that!
This may not be the last time you hear from me, but I want to thank my friends at the village for making my experience working here so lovely and fun. Picking up the hobby of craft beer has brought me so much enjoyment, and I hope to share that enjoyment through every post I make on this blog.
So, beer posts will resume next Friday, but I just wanted to make this note. Thank you all for reading and I hope you will continue to check back on Fridays for new posts!
Happy almost Simcoe Day! Some fans of the brewery may know that we usually brew a specialty beer around this time. Unfortunately, we will not be doing a Simcoe hop brew this year. However – we still have a great selection of historic ales to choose from all long weekend!
Our brewmaster will be at the village all long weekend, and we will be serving flights from 1:00 to close! If you still don’t have long weekend plans, consider coming down to visit the brewery.
This weekend is one of my favorite special events here at the village – Quilts at the Creek! The village will be decorated with more than 275 traditional and modern handmade quilts, creating a beautiful scene that is not to be missed!
Quilts at the Creek is an especially beautiful special event – the village is covered with quilts in various shapes, sizes, and colors. There is even a Quilter’s Marketplace, where you can purchase beautiful quilts and other lovely handmade pieces.
Quilts at the Creek will be running from July 28th to July 29th. If you get thirsty from walking around and taking in all the beautiful quilts, the brewery will be open from 1:00 until close! We will be offering up some lovely and refreshing summer beers, so be sure to stop by!
If you’re like me, your summer reading list is extremely long. But of course, I can always squeeze in a book or two about a subject that interests me. In this post, i’m going to outline some interesting books about beer in Ontario. The best part is, you can get all of these books right in the Black Creek Pioneer Village gift shop! What could be better than sampling historic beers, then picking up some reading about beer in Ontario and beyond? Here are some great choices straight from the gift shop shelves –
Pocket Beer Guide 2015 by Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb
Even though this book is a couple of years old, the information in it is extremely useful. It starts off by defining a few things – what is a craft beer? What is an ale? What is a lager? The book then rates and lists a number of breweries around the world – from Belgium, to Mexico, to South Africa, to Japan and beyond. There are even some great ratings from right in Ontario. This book is ridiculously handy for the traveler that enjoys beer. There are even some food pairings listed in case you’re not sure what to order with your beer of choice. This great little book covers 3,500 beers worldwide, including tasting notes and characteristics. Best of all, it’s small enough to fit into a purse or backpack.
Cooking with Beer by Jean Paré
You may remember this recommendation from the Father’s Day gift guide post on the blog. Cooking with Beer is full of beautiful color page photos, and easy to make recipes. There’s a range of fun beer recipes such as breads, burgers, stews, and dips. It’s a great way to get creative with beer, and use any leftovers from parties or holidays!
Canadian Book of Beer by Steve Cameron
This is a fascinating book about beer in Canada. It contains fun facts, useful information, and even recommendations. Where else could you find a food pairing, the history of malt-barley production, and historical facts about beer rations all in one book? This is a very entertaining read and a great way to learn a little bit more about beer that will entertain beer novices and connoisseurs alike.
Brewing in Ontario by Ian Bowering
If you’re a real history buff, a great choice for you would be this history of brewing in Ontario. This book is a more serious and scholarly look at brewing in this province, and the lore and heritage that has surrounded it for over 200 years. It traces famous names such as Joseph Bloore, and examines the impact that brewing has had in shaping this province.
Each of these books is available in our gift shop, so come by and take a look! Of course if you’re not a big reader, we also have other beer themed goodies and growlers for sale too.
Before I started working in the historic brewery, there were a lot of half-truths or myths about beer that I thought were true. It’s surprising what ends up as common knowledge, even if it’s not always accurate! Let’s go through five beer myths and see how true they really are….
Darker beers are stronger, more bitter, or more medicinal
I touched on this claim a little in my story of stout post. I hear this a lot down in the historic brewery, especially during porter and stout season. As soon as I pour out our inky black stout into the glass, many people assume that the darker the beer, the more alcoholic or bitter it will be.
Our stout comes in at 4.5%, which is a lower ABV than a commercial lager. In fact it has the same ABV as our session ale, the best bitter. As for bitterness, our stout does tend to have a roasted grains/coffee flavor, but it scores significantly lower on the IBU scale than other brews like our India Pale Ale.
The myth about stout being a medicinal beer comes from the story that nursing women in Ireland were “prescribed” a pint of Guinness to renew their strength and iron levels after breastfeeding. The fact that the typical mouthfeel of a stout is hearty and thick likely leads the drinker to believe it is a beer rich in vitamins and minerals. However, the medical validity of this claim is very questionable, and stout is no healthier for you than any other unfiltered beer. It is unlikely that beer will cure your iron deficiency or help you breast feed, but it does have some iron and B-12 in it from the brewer’s yeast!
2. Beer before liquor makes you sick, but liquor before beer does not.
I’ve heard this myth a million times, especially when I first started drinking. No matter what you drink in any order, drinking to excess will make you sick and likely give you a nasty hangover the next day. You can do it in any order you like, the results will still be the same. However, beer is normally consumed more slowly than a shot of hard alcohol, so maybe this myth comes from the perception that starting hard and finishing slow will help your body process the alcohol better. Either way, getting sick or hungover is solely dependent on your body’s tolerance and the amount you have decided to drink.
3. Beer tastes best straight out of the fridge, ice cold
Of course, this is purely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer ice cold beer straight out of the fridge, and that’s okay. However, cold beer actually numbs the taste buds, making it more difficult to taste all the nuances that it has to offer. It is actually recommended that ales (such as the ones found in the Black Creek historic brewery) be served at cellar temperature. It is even recommended that dark ales be served at room temperature for best enjoyment. In case you are wondering, cellar temperature is around 50F, and room temperature is about 55F.
4. A beer lower in alcohol has less flavor
This is similar to myth #1, and likely comes from the same mindset. It is completely untrue that a beer lower in alcohol tastes more “watery” or has less flavor. Again using our 4.5% stout as an example, our stout is full of rich coffee and roasted grains flavor. I would argue that our stout has some of the most intense flavors and nuances out of any beer we brew. To get a better sense of how a beer will taste, look at the IBU and any available tasting notes instead of looking to the ABV.
5. Beer is calorie dense/gives you a “beer belly”
From personal experience, I can say firsthand that drinking a lot of beer does not necessarily give you a beer belly. 🙂 However, beer is like any other food or drink indulgence – when consumed in excess, you may start to notice changes in your body. Beer ranges anywhere from 65-300 calories depending on the type of beer and serving size. When consumed responsibly and paired with good eating habits and an active lifestyle, beer is not likely to give you a belly or cause any sort of excess weight gain.
So there you have it! I hope this clears up any beer misconceptions you may have. Next time you hear one of these myths at a party or at the bar, you’ll know better and have a little extra knowledge to dispute it!
If you’re down in the brewery during our summer months, you might be sampling a flight with two similar sounding beers: Pale Ale and India Pale Ale. Both have a lovely golden color in the glass, and both have a nice citrus smell when brought up to the nose. However, as soon as you take a sip your tastebuds will be able to tell the two beers apart. What makes them so similar yet so different? Let’s explore the differences between our Pale Ale and our India Pale Ale.
Bitterness The first thing you’ll notice when trying both styles is that the India Pale Ale has a much more hoppy and bitter taste than the Pale Ale. India Pale Ales tend to use a much larger quantity of hops and malt, leading to a higher IBU and a much more bitter beer. Pale Ales tend to be on the less hoppy side, with a more mild flavor.
ABV With more hops comes a higher ABV! Our Pale Ale is 5% ABV, while our India Pale Ale is 6.5%. Pale Ales tend to be a better choice for a longer drinking session, as they will not get you intoxicated quite as quickly as a traditional India Pale Ale.
History Pale Ales were actually around first, and have been brewed since the late 18th century. They became the base for the India Pale Ale, which was brewed to survive the long journey to India during the dawn of the British Raj. By adding more hops as a natural preservative, the newly created India Pale Ale was able to survive the journey without spoiling. This difference in style has survived until the modern day, which explains why India Pale Ales tend to be much hoppier.
Availability Okay, so this one’s specific to the historic brewery. Our Pale Ale is only available in the summer months, while our India Pale Ale is available year round. So if you came to visit us in the colder months, come back and try another flight of our summer beers. I can outline all the differences for you between the two styles, but the best way to learn is through trying them for yourself!