Brews and News

Hello, beer-lovers!

Just a quick update today to share some brewery news. For those who missed our Say Cheese, Say Cheers! night back in October, never fear! Expert Julia Rogers returns next Thursday, November 13th for another cheese and beer pairing. Our evening starts at 7:00 and includes a tour of our historic brewery. For more information and tickets, please click here.

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We hope you had a safe and spooky Halloween! If you’re still in an autumnal state of mind, we do have a few Pumpkin Ales left in the fridges. The frost is on the pumpkin (sorry, couldn’t resist), but who said trick-or-treating is over? Drop by the brewery to snag a growler of this seasonal favourite—before it’s gone for another year.

Speaking of seasonal favourites, don’t forget that our first Christmas By Lamplight celebration is only a month away! The brewery will be open all three Lamplight evenings, ready to sling beer and make merry. So, business as usual, really! Book early to avoid disappointment; it’s one of our favourite events!

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And finally: it’s getting cold, we’ve set the clocks back, and I just mentioned Christmas…but far-thinking planners that we are, we’re already thinking about our spring beers for the LCBO. The four of us have been batting around names and ideas, but if there’s a beer you would like to see in the LCBO, let us know in the comments below!

We’re in the homestretch, friends. Here’s to Queen and country!

Katie

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A Spirited Affair: It’s Here!

At long last, tonight is the night! At 7:00 pm tonight, Black Creek Pioneer Village will glow with lamplight, echo with laughter and dancing feet, and host local breweries, wineries, and distilleries!

ReallyNiceGrowler

A Spirited Affair is an annual fundraiser to restore a selection of our historic buildings. Our Flynn House received A Spirited Affair’s attention last year. This year, we’re focusing on Burwick House: a prime example of a middle class home in 1860s Ontario.  With your help, we can preserve these unique buildings for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

For more information about a Spirited Affair, click here! And for a detailed breakdown of tonight’s events, here!

And don’t worry, we’ve got lots more happening at the brewery through October. Ed will shortly be brewing the Pumpkin Ale – perfect for Thanksgiving and Halloween. And on October 16th, we have the first of our two “Say Cheese, Say Cheers!” nights. Join expert Julia Rogers as she pairs five local cheese varieties with fine craft beers, sample our homemade bread and root chips – and of course, tour the brewery! Reserve tickets early to avoid disappointment; see here for more details!

Also coming up in October: our Hallowing Hootenanny returns! On October 18th/19th and 25th/26th, bring your wee ones to Black Creek for a frighteningly good time! Wear your favourite costume, trick-or-treat through the village…and maybe slip away for a sample of our Pumpkin Ale! 😉

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No question: with some much going on, autumn is one of our favourite seasons at Black Creek. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Cheers!

-Katie

Beer and Spice is Very Nice: Mustards from “Whisky and Spice”

We’re mixing things up here on the Growler today! Our beer isn’t just for drinking (though of course, we highly recommend that), and we’re always interested to see what people are creating with our ales. You may recall that I used our Irish Potato Stout in an Irish Lamb Stew…

Well, Dan Gordon of Whisky and Spice is doing something even cooler!

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Whisky and Spice is a producer of mustards that matches spices with craft beers, wines, and spirits. Over on his website, Dan explains:

“Our craft brewers, wine makers and distillers take great care to choose the finest ingredients. They apply many years, often decades or centuries of experience, to their craft…At Whisky and Spice our goal is to build on those complex flavours by matching craft beer, wine and spirits with the world’s finest quality spices to create products that excite the senses.”

Currently, Whisky and Spice makes three mustards: Whisky Honey Mustard, Riesling Apple Mustard, and Porter Pepper Mustard.

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That last one? Yes, that’s our porter, which makes us hugely excited!

In fact, according to Whisky and Spice, the Porter Pepper Mustard is about 40% beer by volume, which means you can really taste the beer. Out of curiosity, I perused the ingredient list:

Chinese mustard seed, porter (beer), molasses, brown sugar, cider vinegar, spices.

That’s it. No preservatives, no chemicals, no additives. It’s pretty amazing; this really is “whisky and spice” — or beer and spice, in this case!

Tasting this was like unexpectedly meeting an old friend. The porter lends a lot of flavour here: all of its espresso notes come through, as does its hint of dark chocolate. It goes really nicely with the molasses and brown sugar. The sweetness isn’t overpowering, though; this mustard actually has quite a bite to it. That interplay between sweetness and spice sent me back for seconds (and maybe even thirds…okay, yes, thirds).

 

There wasn't much left in the end...
There wasn’t much left in the end…

Again out of curiosity, I searched for Victorian mustard recipes, to see if they used beers as well. The formidable Mrs. Beeton has this recipe:

Indian Mustard

450. INGREDIENTS – 1/4 lb. of the best mustard, 1/4 lb. of flour, 1/2 oz. of salt, 4 shalots, 4 tablespoonfuls of vinegar, 4 tablespoonfuls of ketchup, 1/4 bottle of anchovy sauce.

Mode.—Put the mustard, flour, and salt into a basin, and make them into a stiff paste with boiling water. Boil the shalots with the vinegar, ketchup, and anchovy sauce, for 10 minutes, and pour the whole, boiling, over the mixture in the basin; stir well, and reduce it to a proper thickness; put it into a bottle, with a bruised shalot at the bottom, and store away for use. This makes an excellent relish, and if properly prepared will keep for years.

Isabella Beeton, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861)

 

But I think I may have to try this one:

Toasted Cheese

Cut some Cheddar cheese in flakes; put it in the oven and when quite dissolved, stir it up with pepper and English mustard.

Another way: Mix the cheese in a saucepan, with a little milk or beer and a little mustard. When it is a smooth paste, serve it up on buttered toast.

Madame Marie de Joncourt, Wholesome Cookery (1882)

Cheese, beer, and this porter pepper mustard on toast? Yes, please!

You can learn more about Whisky and Spice (and order some mustard of your own) here. Also, check out Dan’s Pinterest gallery; there’s some beautiful food photography!

Cheers!

Katie

 

 

We’re Back! Looking at our 2014 season

If you’re reading this, Black Creek Pioneer Village has once again opened its doors after our winter off-season. Or, if you are reading this prior to 9:30 am EST, we’re opening in just a few short hours.

After a long, bitterly cold winter, we are thrilled to return to our cosy brewery in the heart of the village. What are some brewery-related events to look forward to this season?

 

Year-Round

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Behind Closed Doors

Our Behind Closed Doors tour meets on the porch of the Half Way House every weekday at 12:30 pm. Led by one of our friendly beer experts, it’s a chance to stretch your legs and explore other parts of the village. No, we don’t necessarily explore beer on this tour ­– rather, we take you into closed and/or un-interpreted buildings to chat about parts of history we might not otherwise touch on.

If you’re with me, expect to learn about orphans and home children – a timely topic, considering the work Black Creek is doing with the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association this year.

 

Historic Brewery Tour

The Historic Brewery Tour also meets on the porch of the Half Way House: you can take the tour daily at 2:00 pm. We explore the social history of drinking in nineteenth century Canada, the ingredients used in beer-making, as well as the process of brewing in a historic brewery like ours. And of course, no tour is complete without sampling the finished product.

An additional cost of $4.50 per person does apply; you can purchase your ticket at Admissions!

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Beer Sampler

So, you have a taste for history, do you? Come join us in the historic brewery daily from 3:00-4:00 pm to try some samples of our historic beer. $4.50 gets you a 4 oz glass, which I will fill not once, not twice, but thrice – each time with a different style of beer. On weekends, we have an additional sampler from 12:30-1:30.

 

Brewery Apprenticeship

Try your hand at brewing: the Victorian way! Spend the day working alongside Ed, wearing traditional nineteenth century garments and learning to brew with historic methods. Join the beer tour to learn more about your creation, and then take a growler home as a souvenir. Spots are filling quickly, though – learn more here!

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Seasonal

Specialty Ales

Our list of specialty offerings for 2014 can be found here. With a new brew (or two!) every month, it’s always a good time to visit the brewery!

 

Hop Harvest

 The hop garden looks a little bare and forlorn right now, but in a few short months, our hops will have attained some impressive height. Spend the day harvesting our hops with Head Gardener Sandra Spudic, sample some special goodies and beer after working up that appetite, and come back in a few weeks to taste the Wet Hop Ale you helped us make!

This year, our Hop Harvest is on Saturday, August 23rd. Reservations apply; book early to avoid disappointment.

 

A Spirited Affair 

We had so much fun last year, we’re doing it again…but with a twist! We’ll be jumping a whole century in time, from the 1860s to the 1960s. Come enjoy drinks, food, and dancing at this event to fundraise for the restoration of our Burwick House. Best of all: 1960s-style clothing is highly encouraged. Between the inspiration of Mad Men and the Beatles, we anticipate a very sharp-looking crowd!

September 25th – save the date!

 Spirited Affair

 

Say Cheese¸ Say Cheers! 

This perennial favourite is back! Join cheese expert Julia Rogers as she pairs artisanal cheeses with craft beers. Our first event, on October 16th, celebrates Oktoberfest, while our second, on November 13th, is all about bold and beautiful Winter Warmers.

Visit our website to reserve your spot!

 

Day-to-day…

Honestly, I love it all. Let me pick four things; one for each season at the village.

Watching the new lambs skip and headbutt each other (they’re so soft and white, sometimes they almost seem to glow); the coolness of the brewery on those roasting summer days; the crisp snap to the air and frost-sheathed grass when I arrive each morning in autumn; and the gentle, amber-orange glow that fills the village during Christmas by Lamplight.

Our hops, on one of those gorgeous summer mornings that you just know is going to ignite into a scorcher...
Our hops, on one of those gorgeous summer mornings of restrained heat; the kind that you just *know* is going to burst forth into a scorcher of a day…

Staring down the season on May 1st, it’s hard to imagine fitting so many wonderful events into eight short months! We certainly look forward to seeing you here at the brewery.

It’s good to be back. 🙂

Katie

 

 

 

 

Event – Winter Warmer Beer and Cheese Tasting – November 14th

Join us on Thursday, November 14th to take the chill off winter with a pairing of robust, full-flavoured craft beers and hearty cheeses with rustic accompaniments.  Join expert Julia Rogers of Cheese Culture and treat yourself to a rich journey into the delicious world of cheese.  Guests will sample five cheese varieties from Ontario and Quebec each paired with a selected Canadian craft beer, along with our popular fresh-baked bread and handmade root chips.  This enjoyable evening includes a guided tour of the brewery and sampling of our historic ales.  The event begins at 7:00pm and tickets must be pre-purchased.

$33.95 per person, $29.95 for members (plus taxes). Call 416-667-6284 for tickets.

Event – Winter Warmer Beer and Cheese Tasting – November 14th

Join us on Thursday, November 14th to take the chill off winter with a pairing of robust, full-flavoured craft beers and hearty cheeses with rustic accompaniments.  Join expert Julia Rogers of Cheese Culture and treat yourself to a rich journey into the delicious world of cheese.  Guests will sample five cheese varieties from Ontario and Quebec each paired with a selected Canadian craft beer, along with our popular fresh-baked bread and handmade root chips.  This enjoyable evening includes a guided tour of the brewery and sampling of our historic ales.  The event begins at 7:00pm and tickets must be pre-purchased.

$33.95 per person, $29.95 for members (plus taxes). Call 416-667-6284 for tickets.

 

Event – Octoberfest Beer and Cheese Tasting – October 11th

Come out on Thursday, October 11th and enjoy a pairing of local beers brewed in the German-Czech tradition, paired with artisan cheeses and accompaniments that are perfect for fall.  Join expert Julia Rogers of Cheese Culture and treat yourself to a rich journey into the delicious world of cheese.  Guests will sample five cheese varieties from Ontario and Quebec each paired with a selected Canadian craft beer, along with our popular fresh-baked bread.  This enjoyable evening includes a guided tour of the brewery.  The event begins at 7:00pm and tickets must be pre-purchased.  This event features our Pumpkin Ale along with other beers brewed by local craft brewers!

$32 per person, $29 for members (plus taxes). Call 416-667-6284 for tickets.