Monday, 20 February 2012

Family Day! 'Tis the Season to Blog

Happy Family Day everyone!  Who doesn't love a totally fabricated but very much welcomed holiday in the middle of the dreariest of all months?  Not I good readers, not I.  If they want to give all us hard working stiffs a much deserved break, then hey, who am I too complain?

Well again, another week has passed and more good news from the Sawdust City Brewing Co!  Last Friday, friend of Sawdust City and all around good guy, Chris Schryer went into the Edge 102.1 studios with host Fearless Fred and did an on-air tasting of our latest release; Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus - Uranal Imperial Stout. The results were good dear readers, oh yes, the results were good.  But don't take it from me, take a listen to the full interview right here -

So hot on the heals of this great review, Sawdust City is set to release it's next two beers.  As mentioned last week, Skinny Dipping Stout and Gateway Kolsch will both be making their debuts this weekend at the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival ( ).  But for those of you wanting a sneak peek, try popping by a few of our regular joints in Toronto as you might be able to find it on tap.  WVRTS Sausage and Beer Hall and Dominion on Queen, a few new bars serving Sawdust City brands will be carrying it as well.  So pop in for a pint, sample some new beer and enjoy a few of Toronto's finest beer bars.

And what of Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus?  Well you can still find it at a few places. Of course The Griffin in Bracebridge has it, although as I type this, only a scant few pints remain.  Sarah's Cafe on the Danforth may still have a few pints as well.  And a few bottles are floating around some of the better beer bars in the Toronto area.  But if you do want to try it on draught before it's gone and you are in the Toronto area (well, at least gone until next year) barVolo on Yonge St will be tapping the last remaining keg of our Uranal Imperial Stout this Tuesday!  After that, only a single Firkin cask will be left on this here third planet from the sun and that cask belongs to Milos Kral and the rest of the crew at the Gambrinus Cafe & Bistro in lovely London, ON ( ).  This is the first time Sawdust City has ventured outside of Muskoka and the Toronto areas, so head out and try it before the long, dark drought begins.  'Cause you won't see this massive stout again until next winter.

So after we launch the two remaining "Mainstay" brands in the Sawdust City stable, what next?  Well, as we approach a new season, you can expect to see another seasonal release.  Right now it's looking like a barrel aged saison...but who knows, changes can and have been known to happen.  But what you can expect is a return of Lone Pine IPA.  Next up on the brew schedule and the first brand to be brewed for a second time, Lone Pine IPA should be ready by mid to late March.  I really liked the results from the first batch, but I'm a little nitpickey so I've made a few minor tweaks to the recipe.  It will still be distinctly piney and hop forward, I've just made a few adjustments to the hopping schedule, hoping to bring about even more hop flavour and aroma.

Well, it's going to be a big week for us this week folks.  We're super excited about not only launching the last two brands, but we're very much looking forward to spending some quality time in our home town of Gravenhurst during the upcoming Winter Carnival.  Rob, myself and the rest of the crew will be at the Opera House throughout the entire event, pouring pints and introducing ourselves to as many people as possible, so please stop by our booth, try some of our beer and say hello, we're happy to chat!

If you happen to be around Gravenhurst this week and want to have an early taste of our beer, try stopping by Regatta ( ) for a glass of our Ol'Woody Alt.  They put us on tap last week so there may not be much left, but it's worth the trip down to the wharf and this fine restaurant any ways right?

Anyhoo, that's about it for now.  So until next time, keep the beer in your mug and the sawdust beneath your feet .

Friday, 10 February 2012

Skokie Meet Sawdust City. Sawdust City, Meet Skokie

Well it's been a few years since I've seen the iconic image of Skokie the Otter (well, iconic at least in the mind of a boy who grew up in Muskoka in the early '80s), but I'm glad to say that he's aged very well, doesn't look a day over 30.  I gotta say, seeing Skokie does bring back memories of my youth and Winter Carnivals of yore;  snow sculpture contests, speed hammering nails into logs, matinee movies and hot chocolate. Oh, those heady days of my youth.  For not thinking about it for almost a quarter century, the images are still pretty clear in my mind.

Yes, its been about 25 years since I've taken part in the Winter Carnival but I'm excited to announce that once again I'm going to be taking part in this fantastic annual event.  The Winter Carnival did go on hiatus for a few years and coincidentally, I also left the comfy confines of the Muskoka borders, but now we're both back. Skokie rides again! This time I'll be bringing a few friends with me, The Sawdust City Brewery.  Rob "The Big Kahuna" Engman and myself, along with the rest of the Sawdust City team, will be bringing a few of our new beers along with us to pour at the Gravenhurst Opera House throughout the duration of the festival.  Skinny Dipping Stout and Gateway Kolsch will be making their debut's in our home town.  So when you come out for some great music, why not grab yourself some great craft beer too!

They've put together a poster for the event, here it is -

And for more information of our beers, check these labels, they'll give you an idea what you're in store for.

We've got a little something for everyone with these two brews.  A dark, rich stout for those of you who like bolder beers.  And an easy drinking, more mellow kolsch, for those of you who like the lighter brews.  Both are packed with flavour so for those of you who just wanna try great beer, have a little of both!

We've had beer in Muskoka before, at the Mighty Griffin Gastropub,  but neither of these brews have been here before.  In fact, they've never been any where before, this is the first time we've brewed both of these and I'm really excited to be showcasing them on our home turf!
 They both been brewed and are patiently aging away in their respective fermenters, biding their time until they are unleashed upon the thirsty public.  Skinny Dipping Stout is a hardy brew, perfect for this time of year. Loaded with chocolate forward flavours of roasted malts this is a fantastic winter beater.  Gateway Kolsch on the other hand is drinker!  Designed after the Kolsch beers of Koln Germany, this light lagered ale is a session beer by design.  At 4.5% abv and made with soft German pilsner malt, you may find yourself having more than a few of these!

Sawdust City won't be the only brewery there though, Lake Of Bays and Muskoka Brewery will also be pouring at the event, which is fantastic.  We're so proud to be a part of this event and we're even more proud that we get to be standing beside our brewery brethren.  Both Lake of Bays and Muskoka make great beer, so we're going to have to bring our A game if we plan on standing next to them.

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

Monday, 6 February 2012

The 5th Annual Easter Seals Chili and Beerfest Wasn't The Only Fest This Weekend

A long and unnecessary title, I know, but after the whirlwind weekend we had at Sawdust City, it's going to have to do.  I'm tired.

So this is what happened on Friday -

We launched the Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus upon the unsuspecting crowd at The Only Cafe's Winterbeer Fest this past Friday night and I'm glad to report that it went over exceedingly well.  Along with it's good friends Ol'Woody Alt and Lone Pine IPA, Uranus was sucked dry in a mere matter of hours.  A good problem to have if you're a beer company.  Not so good if your a gas giant.

The Winterbeer Fest was put together by the good people at the legendary The Only Cafe in Toronto's Eastend.  Situated on Danforth Ave, The Only's Winterbeer Fest brought together brewers and beer fans for an outdoor celebration of all things beer.

As I mentioned, the festival itself was held outdoors on The Only's ample back patio.  And with temperatures running just above the freezing mark, you could not have asked for a better night to kick off the patio season...well in February. Just above freezing in February is fine, March not so much!  As soon as the gates opened at 5p the patio started to fill -

And with more brewers and imbibers dropping in throughout the night, that ample patio was packed to the brim in no time.  Along with us, there were a slew of other great craft breweries from across Ontario and the rest of Canada

Black Oak

And King Brewery

Just to name a few.  Railway City, Cameron's Brewing, Steamwhistle, Wellington, Flying Monkey's, Creemore and Beau's were all in attendance too.  There may have been others, but after a few of the Flying Monkey's Imperial Stout...well let's just say I may have forgotten.  And Flying Monkey's weren't the only ones that brought special beers just for this occasion.  Steamwhistle had an unfiltered, dry-hopped version of their massively successful Pilsner on hand, a rare treat indeed.  Wellington brought a one off cask of IPA, Black Oak had a cask of Hop Bomb Pale Ale and Beau's had their Beaver River IP'eh there too, a day before it's release none the less.

And while I was out exploring the fantastic wares of the festival, The Great Nodini and KR manned the Sawdust can't buy friends like that.  Unless you have an ample supply of beer.  Then yes, yes you can buy friends like that.

It was a beer festival so of course Troy Burtch from TAPS The Beer Magazine was there.  This time though he wasn't just there to represent Canada's only national beer publication, but apparently Scandinavian ingenuity as well...check out the awesome "skoozi"(sp?), a must for any outdoor beer enthusiast.

All and all, it was a fantastic time at The Only Cafe, but with so many breweries and so much fantastic beer, how could it not be.  Just ask Jaime, she seemed pretty happy to be there -

Friday was a good night for Sawdust City, but that wasn't all that was going on this weekend.  On Saturday and Sunday up in Barrie, Ontario, it was the 5th annual Easter Seals Beer & Chili Festival and Sawdust City was proud to be there serving our Ol'Woody Alt and Lone Pine IPA.

Representing Sawdust City at the Beer & Chili Fest was chef Sean.

Sporting the Sawdust colours, Sean doled and poured until he could dole and pour no more!  The crowds came early and often and Sean did his darndest to not only sate their thirst for beer but also for their thirst for information about our new brewery

He got the beer out and he got the word out.  By the end of the festival the good people of Barrie knew what Sawdust City was all about.

The Easter Seals Chili and Beer Fest was a wonderful event for a great cause and Sawdust City was just happy they could be a part of it.  And just like The Only Cafe's Winterfest, we ran out of beer in Barrie too!  So although I maybe tired, it was a successful weekend all around.  Thanks to Noddy and Kevy for manning the booth at The Only.  Thanks to Chef Sean for manning the booth in Barrie.  Thanks to Jaime and Steph for snapping some sweet pics.  And thanks to everyone that came out and tried out beer at these two awesome events.  We really do appreciate it.

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