Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Long, Dark Voyage Tour 2015

Howdy Y'all, so another month has passed and much has transpired since our last communication. When last we spoke, we told you that Toftorg Golshop Ruler of the Third Empire of the Uranus was on his way to Earth to pick up some of his farvourite ale, our "Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus" Uranual Imperial Stout. Well all went smoothly, even with the massive order we shipped out to LCBOs across the province, Toftorg was able to get a massive supply aboard his ship, enough to last him at least another year.
He has since begun the grueling, return voyage back to his home planet. But while he was here, we had a chance to sit down and really talk.  There's nothing like a face to face meeting with the head of state of an extraterrestrial planet to really put things into perspective. Anyhoo, during our meeting he convinced us to make the trip to the outer reaches of our galaxy and visit him on his home planet of Uranus.
So in honour of Toftorg and our own personal Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus, we here at Sawdust City have launched a tour in support said journey.  See the poster below...

Before we leave the planet and begin the treacherous expedition through the deepest recesses of space, we thought we would do a smaller tour closer to home and load up on some beer from some of our closest friends.
First we stopped in the Kitchener/Waterloo area for a special collaboration brew with our pals at Block 3 brewing.

We elected to brew a beer specifically for a very special day, Pi-Day!  This particular beer will be a 3.14% Cherry pie saison. A lovely bready malt body, blended with tart cherries.  We will be releasing this beer at both our home tasting bars at 1:59 on March 14 (3.14159....for those of you counting out there).  Like that last piece of pie, this ale won't last long, so swing by either the Saloon here in Gravenhurst or Block 3's tasting bar on March 14th for a taste!

Next we journeyed to Ottawa for another collaboration with our friends at Beyond the Pale. These guys have been brewing some great beer over the last few years and will be moving into a brand new space real soon, so it was great to visit them at their original location before they open the new space (spoiler alert! The new space is amazing!).

While there, we brewed up an 8% Imperial Wit beer with a blend of 8 unique spices. Guess what we called it? Huit! has that name not been taken before? All kidding aside, we are really stoked to try this brew, look for it to be ready sometime mid March. Again, it will be available at Beyond the Pales tasting bar as well as at the Sawdust City Saloon.  

In between collaboration brews we decided to stop in at one of our favourite spots in Toronto, Thirsty & Miserable, for a good ol'fashioned tap takeover. Being that it was smack dab in the middle of this ridiculously cold winter, we wanted to bring beers that would warm them frigid cockles of your collective hearts. So we brought 7 of our darkest, biggest, most cockle warming beers.

From LDV & The Blood of Cthulhu to the more hop forward Pine Tar Black IPA and unique The Graeme Maple Coffee Alt.
It was a great night and a fun way to say congrats to Katie and her team just days before their 3rd Anniversary.

Lastly, we headed North to visit some new friends, the lads at Stack Brewing in picturesque, Sudbury, Ontario.  We hadn't really met before, but we figured what better way to make new friends than over a beer. Turns out they were awesome guys and super gracious hosts, we are really lookin' forward to headin' back to the Nickel City to visit them again and try our collab beer.

What was that beer you ask? Well we decided to brew a beer that celebrated that lovely stretch of highway that joins Muskoka to Sudbury, Highway 69! We put our collective heads together and created a 6.9% Belgian Pale ale with some unique hops from France and a little spicy black pepper. 69 should be ready by mid to late March, so plan on stoppin' by the tasting room at Stack Brewing in Sudbury or at the Saloon for a taste.

Now that we've completed our terrestrial tour across this great province, it's time for us to take off and soar into the heavens. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen spacial interference our communication system will be down and we will not be able to contact anyone on Earth until around March 22.  That is when we plan on entering orbit around Uranus. Once we reach orbit we will be able to use their much larger communication array and piggy back a signal back to Earth. Until then this is the last you will hear from us. So before we go into a communication black out, I just wanted to share with you a few more details about some upcoming events & new beer releases at Sawdust City.

Firstly, as we will be reaching Uranus on March 22nd we decided to throw a large party back on Earth so celebrate the fact that we traversed 2.57 billion kms of space and survived (crossing fingers). So on March 22nd in London, Ontario at the Mighty Milos' Craft Beer Emporium, we will be rockin' a 22 tap Tap Takeover!  That's right 22 taps folks. We'll have new releases, some old favourites, some one offs just for the event and of course those collaboration brews I mentioned earlier. So mark it in your calendar folks and we hope to see you in London at Milos' on the 22nd of March.

Now for some beer news. Our next release, which will be hittin' our shelves on Friday, March 6th, will be Twin Pine IIPA.  A massively hopped double IPA, this 8.8% ale is loaded with tropical hop aromas and flavours. We've been waiting to brew this one for a while (we had to wait until our 88th brew to do it) and we're are super stoked at the results. If you like hops, and I know you do, then trust me your gonna wanna try the Twin Pine IIPA. Peep the label below...

A tribute to one of our favourite 80's Sci-fi flicks, Twin Pine has a few subversive references to the classic film written into the label, Read through it and see if you can find them! But whether your a fan of the film or not, I'm sure your gonna love this new ale.  Look for it in 473ml cans in our retail store on March 6th and at your local kick ass beer bar around the same time.

Next up we have an old favourite comin' back, our barrel aged Belgian Golden Ale, The Princess & Girlpants Meet the ODB.  In case you forgot what it looks like, here's the label...

The stats on this years release are a little different, it's comin' in around 10% and we made a small adjustment to the draught version this year.  After tasting all 10 barrels, we decided to split the batch in to two distinct different versions. The barrels that went to draught got dry hopped with 2.5kg of Amarillo per barrel, while the version that will get canned we decided to leave as is.
The draught version, has a lot of wood & wine on the nose, blended with a nice hint of tropical hops from the Amarillo. It's bone dry and has a nice layer of funk in there as well.  Look for the draught version on tap at the Saloon in the next week and at your local beer bar not soon after.
The canned version is more about the wood & wine. There's a little hint of hops left over from the base beer, but the flavour is dominated by oak and white wine. Look for the canned version in our retail store on Friday, April 3rd. And of course, like we've been doing with our Saison de la Maison series, O.D.B will be canned conditioned.

Speaking of Saison de la Maison, the next release in this series is comin' up real soon.  To coincide with the Vernal Equinox, we will be releasing the 3rd beer in our Saison series. This one will be called, "There's No Way of Knowing". (Those of you that remember early 90's alternative Toronto rock, will clearly remember The Gandharvas and their epic song, "The First Day of Spring"...this is our tribute to that song).
After ol'Man Winter releases us from his icy grip, Sweet Lady Spring swoops in and brings us a fresh new start. And to celebrate that fresh new start, we've brewed a saison loaded with all that we love about Spring.  Comin' in at 5.5%, this light golden ale is our easiest drinking saison to date. Along with a big citrus hit from the Ella hops, we've also added fresh orange zest, lemon verbena and grains of paradise to this light sipper. Yep, you're probably going to want to drink this. Look for it in cans at our retail store on Friday, March 20th. Draught to follow soon after.

Lastly, I just wanted to let everyone know that yesterday was the 100th brew on our brew house at Sawdust City. And in honour of that momentous occasion we elected to brew something extra special...

      ...yes it will be back at the LCBO this Spring. Look for it early April.

I think that covers it. So as we leave the atmosphere and disappear into the darkness of space, I bid you all a fond adieu...for now....

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


Monday, 19 January 2015

Long Distance Phone Calls, Local Otters & Time Travel

Howdy Y'all, since last we spoke much has transpired. Yet nothing quite as immense as the communique I received just last week from the deepest, darkest recesses of Uranus. Our interstellar friend and ally Toftorg Golshop, (Ruler of Third Empire of Uranus), reached out to us here at the Sawdust City Brewery and let us know of his plans to return once again to our small corner of the Milky Way.

The message, which traveled across the vast expanse of space, took over two weeks to reach us.  In it Toftorg indicated that he had left Uranus with his personal convoy on another mission to Earth. Travelling at their vessels top speed, the 2.56 billion km trip should take him roughly one month to reach our planet. We expect him to land at his predetermined coordinates sometime around the 13th of February.

Along with his plans to once again visit Earth, the message from Toftorg also indicated that he was very much looking forward to procuring more of his favourite Earthly beverage, The Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus Uranal Imperial Stout. For since he last set foot on our planet, his personal stock of our luscious, dark liquid has all but vanished and he is in dire need of more. Designed to last the long, arduous voyage from Earth to Uranus, Long Dark Voyage is a Uranal Stout of the highest order and very rare outside of our home planet.

Within his message, Toftorg also mentioned that his ability to acquire any decent beer on his planet has for many eons been extremely difficult. In light of this information contained in his message, the timing of his return actually seems quite serendipitous, as it coincides with the estimated release of Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus at LCBO stores across in Ontario.

As Torforg goes on to tell us in his communication, the difficulty he and his fellow Uranians have in purchasing good beer stems from the fact that the only retail outlet able to sell beer on his home planet is run by a ruthless cabal called "The Ministry". Apparently, The Ministry which controls the distribution of beer on Uranus has made the purchase of any decent beer exceedingly difficult if not impossible for the average consumer. And although Toftorg is the Ruler of the Third Empire of Uranus, his title is mainly honorary and he holds very little political sway. He has to shop at the stores just like everyone else.

In his message he explains that The Ministry is owned and operated by three companies which are not of his home planet Uranus but actually hail from three separate moons circling the large gas giant. How they came to control beer distribution on his home planet was not discussed at length, but he did mention that it grew from an old agreement reached many years ago but had long since been considered out of date.

According to his message, these three moons mainly sell beer brewed on their respective moons at the stores on Uranus, with only a small amount of shelf space left to be filled by locally brewed Uranal beer. And as Toftorg states in his message, much of this "moon beer" is pallid and tasteless. He'd rather not drink anything that subject his tastes buds to their products. He longs for the rich, robust flavours of the beer he discovered here on Earth.

In the final paragraphs of his message, Toftorg told us he hopes to bring enough Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus back to his fellow Uranian people so that they too can see what a real beer tastes like.

We look forward to greeting Toftorg when his shuttle arrives next month and we hope to supply him with as much Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus as possible.  Our hearts go out to him and his fellow Uranian people as their plight is certainly one that we can understand. Hopefully their future brings forth change.

Anyhoo, that was one thing that happened...the other big news is that our newest release "Le Chandail De Skokie", a 8.5% Biere de Garde Ambree, is finally available in our on-site retail store and at kick ass beer bars across the province!  With a rich malt body, a spicy, yeasty aroma and a warming alcohol kick, Skokie is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

And to kick off the release of Le Chandail de Skokie, Skokie himself stopped by the brewery. That's right, the otter himself popped by Sawdust City, not only to have a few sips of his namesake ale but also to announce that it will be the official beer of the 2015 Gravenhurst Winter Carvinal!  Don't believe us? Well, here's the proof...

A charming fellow that Skokie.  Well, it goes without saying that we are extremely proud to be a part in this local event and hope to be apart of it for years to come!

So what else we got? Well, you'll be glad to hear that we got a few beers that should be coming out in the next month or so, an old favourite and a brand new beer!

First up, the old favourite.  The Princess & Girlpants Meet the ODB is just about ready to come out of the barrel and say hello to all y'all out there. This years version has been resting in Chardonnay wine barrels for 10 months. At 9.5%, this Barrel Aged Belgian Golden is tastin' great and should be canned and ready to go by mid to late February. And again, in our attempt to bring you a more traditional beer experience, much like our Saison de la Maison series, we will be employing our "canned conditioned" technique for this release as well.  Fruity aromas of peach and apples, intermingle with notes of sweet white wine and oak. A taste experience you won't soon forget.

You'll be able to pick up cans in our retail store and find it on draught at kick ass beer bars across the province around the same time.  It's been a while since we last saw the ODB, so here's an old version of the label. We still got to make a few changes, but have a look see...

Now for the new beer...Twin Pine IIPA. That's right folks, we're finally brewing a double IPA!
Now as you know, we've had the Lone Pine IPA kickin' around for quite some time and dang if we didn't skip right to the triple IPA with this years release of 11.05.  But now we've decided to take a step "back" and finally release a double IPA.

Outside of the obvious reason that our double IPA would be called Twin Pine (twice the Lone Pine), there is a more...let's say, obscure reason we elected to dub this brew Twin Pine. Ya see, it's a nod to one of our favourite classic 80's Sci-Fi pics, "Back to the Future".

For all y'all not so up to date with the Back to the Future lore, here's the story of the Twin Pine. So, as you may or may not be aware, when Marty McFly (Michael J Fox's character) meets Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd's character) before his first trip back in time, they meet in the parking lot of the Twin Pine Mall. When Marty travels back in time he accidentally runs over one of the trees that the mall is named after.  Upon his return to the future, the mall is now known as Lone Pine Mall. See what we did there?  Take a look at the photo evidence...

Anyhoo, Twin Pine IIPA is of course going to be an excessively hopped ale bursting with the over the top hop aromas and flavours you've come to expect from Sawdust City. The plan is to have it come in around 8.8% ABV and 88 IBUs.  We will also be brewing this beer for the first time when we brew our 88th brew on the Sawdust City system. We maybe letting our geek flag fly a little here, but dang it, we are what we are!

Look for Twin Pine IIPA to be hittin' our retail store early to mid February and again, them same kick ass beer bars across the province should be carryin' it around the same time.

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