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Exploring Lager Yeast with Cameron’s Brewing Co. (Part 2) No Comments »

In this second Ontario Brewer Podcast feature on Cameron’s Brewing Co. and lager yeast, Mirella Amato of BeerologyTM is once again joined by brewer Kyle Smith of Cameron’s Brewing Co.

Also in the studio is Debbie Levy, representing the cheeses of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese. Debbie explains that Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheeses are Swiss inspired but completely different from the stereotypical Emmental style of cheese. She then takes some time to introduce the three cheeses that Gunn’s Hill produces: Oxford Harvest, Five Brothers and Handeck. Kyle then leads the group through a tasting of this month’s two featured lager beers: Cameron’s Lager and Cameron’s Dark 266. Together, the trio tries all of the different beer & food combinations on the table, with each of them choosing their favourite flavour interactions.

A special thanks to our guest for this podcast: Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese.


Exploring American Hops with Nickel Brook Brewery (Part 2) No Comments »

In this second Ontario Brewer Podcast feature on the American style ales of Nickel Brook Brewing and American hops, Mirella Amato of BeerologyTM chats with brewmaster Ryan Morrow as well as Brad Quaile who is the production manager at Pine River Cheese.

Brad talks about this month’s three feature cheeses, two of which he created himself: Monterey Jack Cheese with Salsa, Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onion Flavour and Extra Old Cheddar Cheese. Brad and Ryan then share their respective processes for creating a new recipe. Before diving in and pairing the three Pine River cheeses with Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour American Pale Ale and Malevolent Imperial Black IPA, Brad takes a little time to explain the different between Monterey Jack and Cheddar…

The trio then compare notes on the different pairings. Brad and Ryan then draw another parallel between their respective jobs…

A special thanks to our guest for this podcast: Pine River Cheese.

Exploring Specialty Malts with the Clocktower Brew Pub (Part 2) No Comments »

In the second Ontario Brewer Podcast on the beers of the Clocktower Brew Pub, Mirella Amato, of BeerologyTM and head brewer Patrick Fiori explore the aromas and flavours in this month’s two featured beers: Winstons Dunkel and Wisharts E.S.B.

Debbie Levy, who is representing St. Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc., joins the Patrick and Mirella for this podcast and has brought in three St. Albert cheeses to sample alongside the two featured beers: Extra Old Cheddar, 4yr Old Cheddar and Onion Cheddar. As the trio mix and match, discovering a range of interesting pairings, Debbie shares some interesting stories on the production and history of cheddar cheese in Ontario.

A special thanks to our guest for this podcast: St. Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.


Exploring Water with Grand River Brewing: Part 1 No Comments »

This podcast marks the launch of the 2012-2013 Ontario Brewer Podcast season. This year will be all about discovering the fresh ingredients that make Ontario Craft Brewer beers taste so good.

In the first podcast this month, we are exploring water with the fine fold at Grand River Brewing. Brewer Rob Creighton and sales rep Jay Burnett chat with Mirella Amato of BeerologyTM about the role that water plays in creating the flavour profile of the Grand River Pugnacious Pale Ale and Grand River Hannenberg Pils.

Pairing Ontario Local Beer With Local Cheese No Comments »

by Andrew K.

After a few dozen visits to the Covent Garden Farmer’s Market in London, Ontario, I realized that I really liked cheese and craft beer – especially those made in Ontario. Unfortunately, I didn’t once think of combining them. Wine drinkers seem to have the monopoly on food pairings, and so it just didn’t occur to me that beer and cheese could be beautifully matched.

It turns out they work perfectly together. Craft beer is diverse enough (perhaps even more so that wine) that beers can deal handily with all the types and degrees of flavor found in cheese. And since Ontario’s beer and cheese scenes are full of great companies producing world-class products, you don’t have to worry about one outshining the other. Just take this guide in hand before you head down to your local farmer’s market, and when you get to the LCBO or Beer Store on the way back, you’ll be ready to explore some classic pairings for beer and cheese.

1. Highland Blue Cheese with Stonehammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout – Back Forty and F&M Brewery.

Tangy, rich, and herby, the Highland from Back Forty is not for the faint of heart. To stand up against the thick, sharp taste of the blue mold, only the Stonehammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout will do. This beer from F&M Brewery has the heavy mouthfeel that oat adjuncts can add, and there’s enough balance between sweetness and bitterness that the coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate notes all work well together. The Oatmeal Coffee Stout has everything that is underrepresented in the cheese, and that’s what makes the combination work so well together.

2. Heritage 6 Year Cheddar with Crazy Canuck Pale Ale – Balderson and Great Lakes Brewing.

Dry, crumbly and strong, this is the oldest cheddar that Balderson make, so it needs a similarly kicking beer to even it out. It’s a mistake to go too heavy on the mouthfeel here though, and too much bitterness will overwhelm the cheddar (which is still a fairly mild cheese). Pairing wines with this sort of cheese is a similar balancing act: not too dry or tannic, and not too fruity or sweet either. For those reasons, I’d recommend an American-style pale ale with enough west-coast hops to notice, but not too many to overwhelm. From Great Lakes Brewing, the Crazy Canuck Pale Ale fits the bill.

3. Neige de Babette and Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale – Brebis and Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.

The last of three cheesemakers from Lanark County on this list, Brebis is a thoroughly French affair. Their Neige de Babette is a coulommiers-style cheese, which is like a less-squishy brie. The rind is probably the most distinctive part of the cheese, though it’s incredibly rich, so whatever beer you drink with it better be malty or it will not keep up. To that end, crack open a bottle of Flying Monkey’s Netherworld. It’s a “Cascadian Dark Ale,” and it tastes a little bit like the offspring of a dark lager and a hoppy porter, which is just the thing to balance out the coulommier rind.

4. Mozzarella with Dark Lager – Empire Cheese and King Brewery.

If you’ve ever had beer with good pizza, then you’ve already had a good taste of what the right lager can do for mozzarella. With the milky, clean, and nearly sweet flavors of mozzarella, you’ll want to get something a little darker and effervescent to contrast it. To that end, the King Brewery Dark Lager is a perfect match. It’s a Munich dunkel, which is brewed with the same philosophy that mozzarella is made: with only a few ingredients of the highest quality. Unlike other lagers, the dark Munich malts give body and depth to this beer, which offsets the milky creaminess of the mozzarella. All said, though, it’s still a very drinkable lager, so if you do end up putting your cheese on a pizza, you’ll have something great to wash it down with.

5. Chèvre and a Belgian-style Wit – Fifth Town and Mill Street Brewery.

You know what they need in the Toronto airport? A Fifth Town booth. They’ve already got a Mill Street bar where high-flying management consultants can get growler fills of any of their great beers while waiting for their flight, and that’s great. But considering how well any of Fifth Town’s chèvre is matched with the Mill Street Belgian-style Wit beer, it’s quite possible that there are serious business synergies to be maximized. Until that happens, we can find other ways to enjoy the value-add that this cheese-beer partnership represents. In English: the Wit works so good with chèvre. Fifth Town makes powerful enough chèvre that the unfiltered yeast really makes a difference, and the big citrus taste of the Wit is actually just what a tart goat cheese could use. In sum, you should optimize your leverage over low-hanging fruit by picking up a wheel of Fifth Town chèvre and a 6-pack of Mill Street Wit.

Andrew is a Community Coordinator at He is a homebrewer and food-eater who is always ready to tackle new cooking challenges with the help of his local farmer’s market.

2011 Brewers Plate Podcast No Comments »

The Brewers Plate is a unique annual event, where master chefs and brewers come together with musicians and artists to stage an extraordinary locavore Spring feast. It’s an unforgettable evening’s entertainment and a deep appreciation of the food we eat every day.  The 4th edition of the unique culinary experience took place on April 6th, in a new and bigger venue – Artscape Wychwood Barns located at St. Clair and Christie.

Ontario Brewer was in attendance to sample the fabulous beer-food pairings, and talk to some of the members of the Ontario Craft Brewers in attendance.

Celebrating OCBers at Annual Golden Tap Awards! No Comments »

The Golden Tap Awards are a celebration of Ontario craft brewing and culture. This year, the awards weekend kicked off with a seven course dinner on Friday night featuring seven Ontario craft breweries and beers – the first Ontario craft beer dinner ever at Beerbistro. The Golden Tap Awards continued with an all-Ontario craft beer festival where the awards were handed out to winners on Saturday August 21st 2010. Thanks to the OCB beer lovers that supported Craft Brewers through the 2010 voting process and to the folks at Beerbistro for hosting – again!

The winners of the 2010 Golden Tap Awards were: 

  • Best Microbrewery in Ontario: Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company 
  • Best Brewery for Cask-Conditioned Ale in Ontario (presented in partnership with CASK!): Granite Brewery 
  • Best Bar for Draught Beer Selection in Ontario: C’est What 
  • Best Bar for Bottled Beer Selection in Ontario: Bar Volo 
  • Best Brewpub or Tied House in Ontario: Granite Brewery 
  • Best Bar for Cask Ale in Ontario (presented in partnership with CASK!): Bar Volo 
  • Best Regularly-Produced Beer in Ontario: Beau’s Lug-Tread Lagered Ale 
  • Best Seasonal or Specialty Beer in Ontario: Black Oak Ten Bitter Years 
  • Best Cask Ale in Ontario (presented in partnership with CASK!): Granite Hopping Mad 
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Great Lakes Caskapalooza ? Editor’s Circle Award: Drinkvine 
  • Editor’s Circle Award: Milos Kral & Chancey Smith’s ? Editor’s Circle Award: Brian Morin & beerbistro 
  • Best Beer of the Festival: Church Key Black IPA

Get out there and discover these great restraunts, breweries and brews today… if you not sure where to start… we can help!!

YOU can also look forward to celebrating the Canadian Brewing Awards in September… stay tuned to OCB website for winners listing!

Celebrating Highway 61 No Comments »


In one short year Highway 61 has established itself as one of Toronto’s top barbecue joints, the apparent road to rib heaven, a local favorite for great food and local pints and a true Ontario Craft Beer supporter.

Highway 61 is celebrating their 1st Anniversary, so now is as good a time as ever to walk through the doors and inhale the aroma of Toronto’s most delicious and authentic barbecue.  Kick back and enjoy their extensive collection of Blues and Classic Rock and savour a few of their many featured craft beers.  Be sure to tell the folks at Highway 61 that we sent you.

Here’s a great review:

“With the advent of gas grills and hectic schedules, the art of true barbeque has been lost.  Highway 61 is all about low and slow, with lots of smoke.”

Highway 61 is located at:  1620 Bayview Avenue in Toronto.  (416) 489-7427

Cheers Highway 61 and thanks for supporting Ontario Craft Beer.

Chef Howard Dubrovsky of Food Cult on Beer and Food No Comments »

Chef Howard Dubrovsky of Food Cult
In this installment of Ontario Brewer, we continue our focus on beer as an ideal accompaniment to food. Our special guest is Chef Howard Dubrovsky of Food Cult. We originally interviewed Chef Howard for our video documentary Food + Beer: A Match Made in Heaven, but found he had so many insightful things to say on the subject, we decided to put together this special podcast.

Second Annual Brewers Plate: The Podcast 1 Comment »

The 2nd Annual Brewers Plate – a local sustainable spring feast celebrating breweries, chefs, and food artisans – took place recently at U of T’s Hart House. The event, which saw the Great Hall packed with beer-loving gastronomes (or was that food-loving beeronomes?) was a resounding success. Beerology’s Mirella Amato served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, in which five of the OCB’s member breweries were paired with some of Toronto’s best restaurants.

The six restaurants featured at the event were: La Palette, Veritas, Jamie Kennedy Event Catering, Cowbell, the Gladstone, and Rebel House, while the participating breweries from the OCB were: Mill Street Brewery, Cameron’s Brewing, Wellington County Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing, and Black Oak Brewery. Each members’ beers were paired with mouth-watering gourmet dishes, all made from local ingredients.

You can get all the details – from the list of sponsors (including the Ontario Craft Brewers) to the menus – at Meanwhile, have a listen to the podcast for interviews with the participating brewers.

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