Friday, 25 November 2011

The Snow Was on the Ground, but we Still Went to the Beach

Last Friday was the official launch of Sawdust City Brewing Co's first beer, Golden Beach Pale Wheat.  We had two events going on at the same time, one down in Toronto at one of the East ends most legendary beer bars, The Only Cafe.  The other was in Muskoka at the soon to be legendary, Griffin Gastropub.  Both events went off with out a hitch.  The beer was flowing, the music was playing and fun was had by all.  Unfortunately Rob, Karla and myself couldn't be in both places at once, so while we manned the tables and taps at the Griffin, Troy and Kristina helped serve the Golden Beach at the Only.

We couldn't have been happier with the reception Golden Beach received and it was great to be a part of two fun events.  Hopefully we'll have as much luck with the rest of our releases, cause it won't be too long before Ol'Woody Alt available at beer bars across Toronto and Muskoka.  That's right folks, hot on the heels of Golden Beach Pale Wheat comes Sawdust City's second beer, Ol' Woody Alt.  Brewed over the past two days down at Niagara College we've brewed, boiled and pitched the next of our mainstay brands and by December 14th, Ol'Woody Alt should be pouring a pristine mahogany brown from the taps.  A more traditional ale, Ol'Woody won't be as hop forward, as citrusy or as light as Golden Beach, but it will be no less delicious.  With a solid malt body, chalk full of hearty Dark Munich Malt and a strong bitter bite from traditional German Noble hops, Ol'Woody Alt will be a great beer for the fall.  So keep your eyes peeled and your interwebs tuned to our Facebook and Twitter page for more news on the release of Ol'Woody Alt.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a look back at some of the faces and places that have enjoyed our first beer, Golden Beach Pale Wheat.  We've had a few people send in photos of themselves enjoying our beer and we'd like to offer those kind folks honorary citizenship into Sawdust City, they're now official Sawdust City-zens!  So if you got any photo's and you want to join our growing populace, send'em in and we'll post them here.  We love to meet new people and we welcome anyone to become a Sawdust City-zen!

Doesn't that look delicious!  So next time you're out at you local beer bar, pull out your phone and snap a picture of your glass, yourself  or your friends enjoying a Sawdust City product, we'd love to see it and we'd love to have you become a Sawdust City-zen.

Anyhoo that's about it for this time.  Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the sawdust beneath your feet.

Friday, 18 November 2011

If you Ever Needed a Taste of Summer, Today Would be the Day

I guess we couldn't have asked for a better day to release Golden Beach Pale Wheat.  The first of our 5 mainstay releases,  Golden Beach Pale Wheat, was originally designed to be our summer beer.  An easy drinking, hop forward American Wheat Ale, this beer calls for a sun soaked patio not a snow packed porch.
But if you've ever had a day where you want to recapture those lazy afternoons of August, this would most definitely be it!

Have a read from our label and table topper, it will give you a pretty good idea as to what this beer is all about.  Better yet, come out to the Griffin tonight and sample some for yourself!  If you don't happen to be up North, try these great beer bars in Toronto - The Only Cafe, Burger Bar, C'est What?, Highway 61, Grapefruit Moon, Bryden's and Cafe Volo, they will all have our beer on tap as of tonight.

It's been almost a year and a half since Rob and I met in his garage in Gravenhurst, but now the day has finally arrived, Sawdust City Brewing Co., will officially be selling it's first pints tonight at the Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge ON!

We're all super excited, Rob and Karla are making the long and apparently snow covered voyage from Gravenhurst to Bracebridge tonight and we'll be celebrating the fact that we can now buy our beer in our own pint glasses! Hazzah!

It's funny that Golden Beach Pale Wheat is our first release.  The name of the beer comes from the road I grew up on, Golden Beach Road.  The road itself is a windy Muskoka-esque road that branches off highway 118 as you make your way from Bracebridge to Port Carling.  It curves along the Muskoka River, passing lovely homes and cottages and of course past the towns largest tourist attraction (and claim to lame....I worked there for 6 years...dang), Santa's Village.  After passing "The Village" Golden Beach Road turns into Santa's Village Road and then it snakes its way back into town.  If you follow the road around, from Golden Beach to Santa's Village Road, through town,onto Highway 118 and then back to the start of Golden Beach Road  it makes a "loop".  I used to ride my bike around this loop when I was a kid.  It's about 10-15k I guess, but it seems like 10-15 years since I've done the loop.  And it seems almost fitting that, like when I was a kid and I'd ride the loop, Golden Beach Road has now brought my entire life full circle.

When I moved out of Bracebridge after University, I never thought I'd be back.  The jobs I had back then didn't exist up here.  But since that time, I've changed careers and frankly, you can brew beer just about anywhere.  It's basically a Universal job.  People drink and brew beer every where on this planet.  Humans have spent the better part of their existence learning how to get drunk.  We've gotten pretty good at it.  But even though I can brew anywhere, I'm glad I'm doing it here, in the town I grew up.

So here I am, about 15 years after I left, back where I started.  My life is a whole lot different than when I left, but then again so is the town.  But I'm glad to be back and I'm proud to be plying my trade and brewing beer in Muskoka.  If you get a chance tonight, stop by the Griffin, grab a pint and feel free to say hello to Rob, Karla and I, we'd like to meet you and we'd love to hear what you think about the Sawdust City Brewing Co..  We hope you like it.

Anyhoo, that's about it for this time.  Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the sawdust beneath your feet.

Friday, 4 November 2011

It's All in the Conditioning

I know, I know, this is getting somewhat redundant, but it's been another big week for the Sawdust City Brewing Co.  We've taken another step closer to getting our beer out in the market and it looks like we're close to pinning down a date for the release of Golden Beach Pale Wheat!

On Monday, October 31st at approximately 4:45pm, just before all the little ghouls and goblins hit the streets for some spooky treats, we received a notice from the AGCO that the Sawdust City Brewing Co had been granted a Manufacturer's License from the province of Ontario.  Basically this means that we are now able to produce and sell beer in the great and vast province of Ontario.  It's been a long road, but we've finally been given the green light and we couldn't be happier.  I'd post the actual license here, but I'm not sure of the legalities of all that.  So lest I lose it before I get to abuse it, I'm gonna err on the side of caution and just keep it in our internal files.  I hope y'all understand.

It's a good thing it came when it did too, cause the first batch of Golden Beach Pale Wheat has been brewed and is now cooling and conditioning in secondary fermentation.  I've been nervously tasting it each day, making sure it's progressing on course and so far the prognosis is good.  The Galaxy has given it a nice tropical citrus nose and the Sorachi has provided a nice lemony punch on the finish. As far as I'm concerned it's gonna be a wonderful summer beer.  Too bad it's the middle of the Fall right?  Well, sometimes the timing just doesn't work out, but I think we'll still be able to find a few drinkers willing to take the trip back to the land of summer.  Check out the back of our table-toppers.  It's got all the relevant information -

Like I said, it's looks like we're getting close to pinning down a date, right now we're eyeing up the third Friday in November, the 18th.  It's not 100%, but it's looking pretty good.  Keep checking back here and once we have the date and the list of bars it will be served in, we'll be sure to post it.

Other than that, it was another week of fun, this time at Volo CaskDays 2011.  This was the biggest and from many accounts the best  CaskDays in the history of the 7 year event.  I know I had a good time and it didn't hurt that we had a cask pouring at the event too.  "I Swear Sugarpants, it was your Idea" was cask # 77, here it is in all it's casky glory -
Yes, we were # 77...and we weren't the last ones.  So there were a lot of casks to be had.  Here's a quick shot of just one section of the event -

This was just the Ontario section, the rest of the Quadrangle at the Hart House was filled with other casks from such far flung locations as the U.K and British Columbia.  It was a veritable cornucopia of liquid decadence. With so much to drink and so little time, you can be assured that Rob, Karla and I did Sawdust City proud and worked our way around as many of these delicious casks as we could.  Alas, we couldn't get to them all, but what we did sample was fantastic.  Kudos to the brewers for putting their best foot forward and brewing some fantastic beer.  And Kudos to Ralph and his family for putting on a great event.  I can't think of how they are going to top it next year.  Speaking of's a photo of the tops of some casks -

Anyhoo, that's about it for this time.  Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the sawdust beneath your feet.