Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hello Summer, is that you?

Well it looks like Summer has come a little early this year and as far as I'm concerned that's welcomed news.  With the mercury rising and the outside gettin' all hot and bothered it's time to lose those pesky long pants and dawn the shorts for another season of fun.  And nothing goes better with good ol' fashioned Summer fun than good ol' fashioned beer!  And it just so happens that I might know some people with some. Hazzah!

In fact, here's some getting all gussied up for a night on the town

Ahhh, don't they look all purdy like?  Look at Ol'Woody trying to stuff it self into them tiny kegs...down right precious!

But seriously, with our second batch of Ol'Woody Alt out the door and hittin' the town, we quickly moved from our delicious Spring beer to our delicious Summer beer, Golden Beach Pale Wheat.  Brewed last week, this hop forward American Pale Wheat Ale will be the perfect foil to that pesky Summer swelter.  At only 4.8% abv and loaded with Galaxy hop goodness, this Summer ale will be hittin' patios in a few brief weeks.

If you don't remember it from it's first appearance last November, take a read on this hear label!

So what else is new you ask?  Well listen close to this. Sawdust City Brewing Co. done just collected it's first award!  That's right folks, our first award show garnered us our first ever medal, a silver in the Flavoured Beer Category for our Skinny Dipping With Friends.  Hazzah!  At last weeks Ontario Brewing Awards, Sawdust City was one of only two new breweries to bring home some hardware.  Pretty sweet if you ask me.  Don't believe me, take a look at this here photo -

Skinny Dipping With Friends was a beer we made for a special Valentine's Day POP-UP Dinner hosted by the Griffin and the Dad's of Bracebridge.  Using our Skinny Dipping Stout as a base, we carefully added Cinnamon and Vanilla to make this one special brew.  If you don't remember it from it's release, take a gander at this here label -

Apparently some folks done liked it real good.  To which we give a mighty big thank you.  We'd also like to give a big congrats to all the other breweries that took home some awards at the show.  I gotta say, it's a great time to be a beer drinker in Ontario.  With so many great breweries producing so many great beers, we are certainly one lucky province. So here's to all of you...cheers!

Lastly, our growlers are here and should be full of delicious beer real soon.  Our filler is being put together as we speak and should be at the brewery soon and with that, we'll get them filled.  Hazzah!  If you can't wait for brewery fresh beer, stop by the Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge and their new upstairs lounge for some tap-filled growlers.  Don't believe me, take a look at this here pictures -

It done look real good, but it'll done look gooderer when it's full of beer!

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

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sunny San Diego

So last week was exhausting.  Let me tell you why.

It was the CBC.  No not the peoples radio, but the Craft Brewer's Conference.  An annual event that brings the world of craft brewing together for 5 magical days.  This years conference was in sunny San Diego, California.  A drag, I know.  Here is the view from the house we rented

That's the ocean right across the street.  A drag, I know. Thanks to the good folks at TAPS Magazine for finding and renting this wonderful house.

Like I said, we were there for 5 days and each day was filled to the brim with craft beer goodness.  Day one saw us head up to Escondido to visit the beautiful Stone Brewing Co. facility.  About 30 miles north of San Diego, this brewery is a must for anyone heading to the area.

The event being thrown that night was Saison Du BUFF-et.  A play on words, the name of the event refers to the BUFF (Brewers United in Full Flavour...or something like that) group started back in 2003 I believe by The Stone Brewing Co, Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing.  Back in 2010, the three brewers got together and made a Saison and the event saw them serving this beer, the 2012 re-brewing and a number of other collaboration brews between some fantastic craft brewers. Oh yeah, there was also some fantastic food.  Here's what the Saison looked like -

An all you can eat, backyard BBQ at one of the most gorgeous breweries you'll ever see.  A drag, I know.
Thanks to Mike Laba and the good folks at Muskoka Brewery for giving us a lift out to Escondido.

Day 2 started with a bar crawl through some of San Diego's local awesome craft breweries.  First stop was Ale Smith, which was highlighted with too many samples of their astounding Speedway Stout. So good.
Next up was Green Flash which had too many good beers to name.  But ultimately it was their wonderful brewery and brewhouse that stole the show.  Seriously this place was perfectly laid out and executed.  A template for how a brewery should be designed.  Here is picture (a bad picture) of their facility.

After we left Greenflash it was off to Pizza Port for some lunch and more delicious beer.  Located in the Oceanside district of San Diego, this is a must visit for anyone who likes pizza or beer. So basically anyone on the planet.

From there we headed to Ballastpoint which has some of the hoppiest IPA's you'll ever done taste.  Big Eye and Scullpin.  Crazy.  I think I had a few too many samples, cause then this happened

It's so great that everyone has camera on their phones now.  Big thanks to Rob Morra from Beau's for doing the heavy lifting and putting this tour together.

After the tour it was off to the San Diego Zoo for the CBC opening ceremonies.  With beer stands and food tents set up throughout the park, this was a well put together event and a great way to kick start the conference.  It was also a way to say hello to some old friends and to make a few new ones.

Day 4 was the first day of the actual event.  The conference, as always, started with an awards ceremony and the Key Note address.  This years Key Note speaker was Steve Hindy from the Brooklyn Brewery.  From this picture it looks like that guy in the blue shirt had too much fun at the Zoo the night before.

The opening speeches were once again filled with positive information and statistics from last year.  With massive amounts of growth and many inroads made by the craft brewing world, the speeches were also filled optimism and a rosy outlook for the near future.

Along with the Key Note address and a number of seminars directed at helping brewers and breweries grow their businesses the CBC also features a massive trade exhibition.  And guess what we saw on one of the tables

Thanks to the good folks at Stanpac for bringing Sawdust City along for the ride!

Day 4 was Friday and back in not so sunny Toronto, this happened


Another great review by Chris Schryer and Fearless Fred of Edge 102.1, this time of our newest release, The Princess Wears Girlpants.

Meanwhile back in sunny San Diego the CBC saga continues.  This time on a boat.  Thrown by the good folks at GEA, this boat tour was a fantastic event. Firstly, the San Diego harbour is beautiful.  Even more so at night.  Secondly, they loaded the boat with enough beer, sushi, scotch and cigars to satisfy the entire US Navy.  Infact three of them made the trip.  Look how happy they are

Oh wait, that's us.  But seriously, this is a snippet of the beer that was available.  These stations were all over the boat.  What to choose, what to choose.  Decisions can be tough.  A drag, I know.

Thank you GEA for putting on a great event.

Day 5 was mercifully the last day of the conference.  After a few more seminars and a little more smoozing we could finally head back to our oceanside house and relax with a few San Diego sized beers

Thank you Stone Brewing Co for providing way too much Ruination IPA.

All and all it was another successful CBC.  It was great to see so many Canadian brewers, breweries and beer bar owners make the trip down to San Diego to represent our wonderful and growing brewing scene.  I'd list you all, but seriously there was just too many....okay I will try

Grand River
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Brasseur des Temps
Dieu du Ciel
Central City
The Junction
Burger Bar
Kensington Brewing Co
Niagara Teaching Brewery
Great Lakes
The Indie Alehouse
Le Trou de Diable
Cheshire Valley
The Rhino
Toronto Brewing
The Griffin

Sorry if I missed you, like I said, there were a lot.

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