I approached my brother Jed (he happens to be running the craft beer tent at the CNE) with the idea and he loved it. I talked to Jon Downing the Brewmaster and Professor at Niagara College and he loved the idea too. In fact he took the ball and ran with it, creating the recipe and compiling the ingredients as quickly as possible.
Here is the list of said ingredients:
CMC Ontario Malt
La Quebecois Malt
CM 6-Row Malt from Manitoba
CMC Superior Pils Malt
Wheat Malt from Saskatchewan
Honey Malt from B.C.
Irish Moss from PEI
Organically grown Bertwell and Tettenanger hops from Ontario
Herbs, Tea and a variety of berries from North West Territories and Nunavut
Maple Syrup from Nova Scotia
Birch Syrup from the Yukon
Partridge Berries from Newfoundland
And 2nd generation Canadian Weissbier Yeast. Sure it came from Germany, but once it started propagating on Canadian soil, those new cells became a lot like a many of us here in Canada...2nd generation Canadians!
Quite the list I know. And here it is, all layed out on the floor -
After the mash rest, we ramped the temperature, recirculated the wort, began the lautering process and started collecting the wort in the kettle. Once we had all the wort collected and the boil started rolling, then came the hops!
We had been anxiously awaiting this day for a number of weeks and now four different brews were ready to go. That's a lot of beer so we had our work cut out for us. Golden Beach Pale Wheat, Lone Pine IPA, Ol'Woody Alt and Skinny Dipping Stout, were all fermented, racked, filtered (well the IPA and the Alt were filtered), carbonated and ready to be put into packaging. We even had our first labels come in from the printers, take a look below -
Next up was our take on an American West Coast IPA, a style both Rob and I pine for (yes, this pun was intended) on a regular basis. Sawdust City's Lone Pine IPA will hopefully subdue the hop monster in all of us.
Then came our session beer, Ol'Woody Alt. Brewed as a Dusseldorf Alt, this style became a favourite of mine while bouncing from brauhaus to brauhaus in the Dusseldorf Altstadt. Sweeny, Seb, Marcio and Luis, this one's for you...oh and Estobahn.
Last, cut certainly not least came our Skinny Dipping Stout. Black as pitch and loaded with chocolaty goodness, this one turned out just as I had hoped. Plus the labels are pretty sweet too!(more shameless self promotion!) Kudos to Shannon for designing them.
So that was our big day. First collaboration, first bottle run, followed almost immediately by our first drinking session. All and all it was a pretty fantastic day for the Sawdust City Brewing Co. Yeah us!
So if you want to try a truly unique and 100% Canadian beer, come down to the CNE and visit the craft beer pavilion. Grab a pint of Great Weiss North and take a sip of Canada. Also be sure to try some of the other great breweries that are going to be there too....here's another list!
Lake of Bays - Baysville, ON
Muskoka Brewery - Bracebridge, ON
Beau's All Natural Brewing Co - Vankleek Hill, ON
Grand River Brewing Co - Cambridge, ON
Spearhead Brewing Co - Toronto, ON
Great Lakes Brewing Co - Toronto, ON
Camerons Brewing Co - Oakville, ON
Nickelbrook Brewery - Burlington, ON
Mill St Brewery - Toronto, ON
Wellington Brewery - Guelph, ON
That's a pretty fantastic list. So do yourself a favour and come down to the CNE for some great Canadian Craft beer.
Anyhoo, that's about it for now. Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the sawdust beneath your feet.