ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 7 NO.1 :: May 2018
Too Good to miss:
Alber Craf Is Bet Than
Albertaâ€™s Craft Scene Is Better Than Ever!
Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Chefs' Tips: Cooking with Beer
Craft Spirits | Craft Beer | Sorrel | Free My Grapes
Eat the change you wish to see in the world. SHOP LOCAL AT BLUSH LANE ORGANIC MARKET
CALGARY ASPEN WOODS 3000 - 10 ASPEN STONE BLVD. SW MARDA LOOP 2044 33 AVE SW BRIDGELAND 617 MEREDITH ROAD NE CALGARY FARMERS MARKET 510 - 77 AVE SE EDMONTON WHYTE AVE 8135 - 102 ST NW
22 Volume 7 / issue #1 may 2018
Your Link to Alberta’s Finest Meat Products Summer is coming, and the search is on for the very best sausages. We’re giving you hot tips for Alberta’s best! by Phil Wilson
22 Hot Okanagan: Wines That Shine It can be difficult to learn what a young wine region does best, so we’re looking at some stars from B.C. and why they shine by Jeannette LeBlanc Montgomery
16 Killing It – With The Skillet A baker’s best friend by Renee Kohlman
30 Freeing My Grapes More than just a hashtag by Tom Firth
18 Sorrel Soup Green soup, Green borscht, or Schav by Morris Lemire
34 Alberta’s Artisan Spirits Alberta’s Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition award winners by Tom Firth
20 Inside Job: Master Distiller Caitlin Quinn, of Eau Claire Distillery by Silvia Pikal
40 Distilling: State of the Union New releases and new distillers by Tom Firth and Linda Garson
26 Alberta’s Cheesy Successes! Alberta cheeses are taking top honours by Natalie Findlay
42 Open That Bottle Terry Andryo, Director of Community Initiatives, ATB Financial by Linda Garson
28 The Fruits of One’s Labours Alberta’s Fruit Wines by Tom Firth
The Alberta Brewing Boom Continues What was predicted to be a small wave of a few new breweries opening each year has turned into a tsunami by David Nuttall
Salutes and Shout Outs
Off The Menu – Executive Chef Andrew Keen’s Butter Cake
Book Review – Pancake Inventor’s Notebook
Chefs’ Tips and Tricks!
On the Cover: Many thanks to photographer Jeremy Fokkens for rising to the challenge with our theme of Alberta Craft this issue, for his front cover portraying how we all feel about our local Alberta brewers!
Letter From The Editor We couldn’t do it without our advertisers, contributors, and readers, and we really appreciate the support we receive from you all. Everybody wants to be written about, but it takes special and insightful people to realise that we couldn’t keep publishing without their help. For our birthday issue we’re staying close to home and highlighting Alberta craft producers – the local people and companies who make our food and drinks. And we’re only scratching the surface of all the amazing and talented small brewers, distillers, cheese makers, meat producers, and more.
You’ll notice the Culinaire banner on the cover says Volume 7, No. 1 – it’s our 6th birthday! It’s not a big number but it’s meaningful, especially in these tough times in Alberta. We have published 60 issues, and there are still many, many stories yet to be told of Alberta’s vibrant culinary scene.
This year will see our sixth Alberta Beverage Awards, and having grown every year, we’re proud of the success to become the largest competition for wines, beers, spirits, and mixers, in the province. Judging is in July after Stampede, and you’ll see the results in our October issue, which everyone tells
us is one to keep for finding good bottles throughout the year. Also coming up will be our second edition of the Alberta’s Finest Drinks Lists competition, and we're happy to announce that entries are now open until the end of June, when judging takes place. The beverage selection is an important part of the dining experience, and every licensed restaurant, bar, and hotel in the province can enter their wine, beer, and spirits lists at no cost for a chance to win one of these prestigious awards. The results are announced in our September issue. And while we’re talking numbers, our fourth annual Calgary Treasure Hunt is coming up fast on May 12th. It’s a day to remember with almost all new destinations and treats, so be sure to register at culinairemagazine.ca if you haven’t already! Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief
Fresco means ‘fresh’, which is how we approach summer at our shops– with an abundance of delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Perfect for your backyard barbecue.
CALGARY Willow Park 4
Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. italiancentre.ca EDMONTON Little Italy
| Southside | West End
Chef de Cuisine
ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Director: John Tatton 403-616-5231 email@example.com Sales Consultant: Daniel Crabtree 403-874-9640 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Consultant: Gillian Roberts 403-990-1512 email@example.com Multimedia Editor: Eva Colmenero firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth email@example.com Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Anna Brooks Natalie Findlay Dong Kim Renee Kohlman Jeannette LeBlanc Montgomery Morris Lemire Karen Miller David Nuttall Silvia Pikal Phil Wlison
Our Contributors < Dong Kim
Dong is a professional photographer, schoolbased children’s mental health consultant, and small business owner living in Calgary, but you’ll often find him traveling and eating his way through different cities and his hometown of Edmonton. Although he shoots a wide range of subject matter, his passion for food can be seen in the photography for various media including the “Edmonton Cooks” cookbook. Follow him @therealbuntcake and @shesaidyeah on Instagram..
< Jeannette Leblanc Montgomery
Jeannette Montgomery is an Okanagan-based writer with a focus on wine and food. She has a keen interest in sustainable viticulture and those working to help feed the planet. From dusty vineyards and well-worn boots to starlit dinners and not-so-sensible shoes, Jeannette is happiest unearthing the stories of a place and its people. She lives in Penticton with a ridiculous wine collection and a spoiled cat named Tippy.
< Morris Lemire
Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
Morris Lemire lives in Edmonton (and loves it) where he gardens, cooks, swims, skis, and writes. He loves the resources of the Edmonton Public Library system, researching and reading in support of his creative non-fiction writing. Mo worked in the wine trade for over 25 years, handling aspects from retailing to teaching. He’s benefitted from travel to many wine producing regions of the world, tasting the local foods that fit so well with local wines, which inspires his everyday cooking.
Salutes... Congratulations to Calgary’s Ali Asghari and Arash Hosseini on the success of their pitch for PilotsFriend on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Having secured a deal with Manjit Minhas, Arlene
Dickinson, and Jim Treliving, we expect to see this all-natural energy tonic, originally made for active duty jet pilots, propelled to great heights! And congrats to the 16 Alberta restaurants in OpenTable Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, reflecting more than 550,000 reviews over 2,500 restaurants.
Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, judged by 97 chefs, restaurateurs, journalists, and gourmets, has also announced its winners (also 16 in Alberta) with just five in common: Ten Foot Henry, Biera, Model Milk, Pigeonhole, and Bridgette Bar! Full listings at culinairemagazine.ca
and Shout Outs... Winter may just be nearly over, so to get the most out of your edible garden, ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen has released a brand new digital cookbook, Grow Gather Graze. There are gardening tips from Calgary Horticultural Society, step-by-step guides for planning and maintaining your edible garden, starting a herb garden, drying or freezing herbs, and storing your harvest, along with 14 recipes for soups, salads, mains and desserts. Download your free copy at ATCOBFK.com/gardencookbook There’s finally an end to the dearth of good Jewish food in Edmonton! At 10732 82 Avenue NW, Rooster Café and Kitchen brings us bagel boards with your choice of topping and salad, bagel Bennies, blintzes, challah French toast and sandwiches, and more. Products from local partners are featured, including Iconoclast Coffee Roasters’ beans and grounds to take home. Order a Kippered Salmon Club, and $1 is donated to the Edmonton Community Foundation’s ChefGail Fund. Renovations are complete, and Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria has now reopened on Calgary’s 4th Street SW. This bright and airy restaurant has added more seats, and for sports fans, there’s a new granite centre bar surrounded by high-definition televisions. All this and a signature, Italian custom-tiled oven, which cooks pizzas at 900º in 90 seconds! 6
Tuk Tuk Thai
Emilio Picariello, this 40-seat restaurant is open all day every day, with a simple Italian menu of flatbreads, pastas, and paninis from Chef Mike Scarcelli (ex-Teatro Group). Downstairs houses BLK Rabbit, a nightlife lounge with a resident DJ, open Thursday-Saturday. Like Emilios, BLK Rabbit’s food is homemade and uncomplicated, with great value tapas.
Tuk Tuk Thai is growing! Thai Sa-on’s Sam Chanhao has opened a second location in Signal Hill Centre, and new outlets are planned for Deerfoot City, 5th Avenue Place, Kensington, Creekside, and Airdrie! Our favourite dishes from Thai Sa-on are all here, with the prettiest unfolding lotusshaped takeout boxes, and plenty of table seating too. Both locations open seven days a week from 11 am.
Dandy Brew Company has opened their flagship location, now with a full service restaurant, in a renovated service station in Ramsay. Merritt Gordon of Eden, Pied Du Cochon, Park, and Rouge, is serving up fine dining-inspired drinking food. You won't go thirsty – there’s a curated cocktail list, rotating glass pour wine list, and 20 taps of Dandy beers too!
Serial restaurateur, Witold Twardowski, has opened Emilios in the ex Wine-Ohs spot on Calgary’s 1st Street SW, neighbour to his Plowshare Artisan Diner. Named for local bootlegger
With 30 successful years behind them, Great Events Catering has launched a new grilling and BBQ division offering mobile grilling for corporate and private events across Calgary. Lead by award-winning Chef Daryl Kerr, Rare Cut uses top quality meats, and offers vegetarian and pescetarian options too.
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
Popular Calgary breakfast spot, OEB, has now closed its original restaurant on Edmonton Trail, and re-opened in Bridgeland on 1 Avenue NE, where Bridges on First used to be.
Big Fish is getting decked out!
Creatively prepared,Â sustainably sourced fish and shellfish
Renovation and all-new patio coming soon!
Weekend Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner Located just north of downtown on Edmonton Trail with ample free parking Grand reopening the first week of June!
1112 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary | 403-277-3403 | www.big-fish.ca 7
Off The Menu by Linda Garson photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
We recently received a message: “Hi there! I have a request for the “Off The Menu” feature of the magazine: Rush Ocean Prime’s Butter Cake. Although this restaurant is now closed, I still think about the incredible Butter Cake that I had there years ago – to this day, it is one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted!” We couldn’t resist this challenge and set about sleuthing – and… lo and behold, we found it!
Executive Chef Andrew Keen’s Butter Cake
Many thanks to Lance Hurtubise of Vintage Group for letting us know it was Chef Andrew Keen’s recipe, and many thanks to Murrieta’s, where Keen is now Executive Chef, for sharing this recipe!
500 g sugar 454 g unsalted butter 115 g cream cheese 2 eggs 1½ tsp vanilla ½ tsp salt 230 g all purpose flour 6 tsp butter (for greasing pans) 6 tsp sugar (for coating pans)
115 g cream cheese 80 g sugar 1 egg ½ tsp vanilla extract
1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream sugar, butter, and cream cheese until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. 2. Add eggs one at a time allowing each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
3. Mix in vanilla and salt. Fold in flour and mix until just combined, do not over mix. 4. Rub six small baking pans or
ramekins with butter, and dust with sugar. Pour in cake batter and allow to stand at room temperature. Allow some room for the topping.
5. For the topping, whisk cream
cheese and sugar until smooth in a mixer fitted with a whip. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. Scoop the topping onto each cake evenly, allowing a little room for expansion.
6. Bake at 375º F for 30 minutes,
rotate and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Tops should be golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of each cake. Allow to cool and remove from pans. If there’s a dish in a local restaurant that you’d love to make, let us know at culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us, and we’ll do our very best to track it down for you! 8
by Karen Miller
Pancake Inventor’s Notebook A Photographer’s Cookbook
photographs of ingredients, tools, and finished product in all its glory, but with some telling more of a story. The recipe for Little Joe’s Ginger Beer Quartet with hot buttered rum and toasted pecan chips on p.22 has the plated pancakes with a comb, scissors and barbershop pole napkin!
David Leech & Lizzy Davies, $35
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover – well in this case, you get a pretty good indication. Leech and Davies, a Calgary husband and wife photography team, have published this tome themselves, the result of 15 years of experiences while cooking and traveling. They specialize in abstract photography, and the cover shot clearly indicates the artistry they bring to the simple pancake. They profess a love of pancakes in all possible incarnations and for all times of day, and have put together a very comprehensive essay on the subject, including a baker’s dozen of recipes. Each recipe addresses a different style of pancake and starts with the basics, combining wet and dry ingredients, and then suggests toppings, and offers tips for any substitutions or
adjustments necessary for availability or dietary reasons. The recipe page goes beyond the basics with tricks and secrets, and even songs to put on. The 13th recipe of their baker’s dozen is one made up specifically for leftovers, “Swags” – rolled-up leftover pancakes filled with everything imaginable (p.30). Their intrigue with the stylized possibilities of photography is evident as the book includes all types of
There is a lot of information in this cookbook, and one can truly see the passion and enthusiasm of Leech and Davies and how they love to share all their experiences, pancake or otherwise, with everyone. If you would like to join in their enthusiasm, cookbooks can be ordered at: urbanconceptgallery.ca/product/ pancake-inventors-notebook
Karen Miller is a former lawyer who got on the “know where your food comes from” bandwagon earlier than most and now focuses on foraging her daily food from local growers.
:: F ew sp o ts le f t f o r o u r 4 t h A n n u al C u l i n ai re C al g ary Tre as u re Hunt! ::
S at u rday, May 12th
New and exciting destinations to discover, and new treats to enjoy! Everyone has gone home a winner at our first three Culinaire Treasure Hunts; they’ve been so popular that they’ve all sold out, so this year we’ve planned new destinations and new treats for you!
And there are fabulous prizes for the people who visit the most locations, wear the best costumes, have the funniest team names, tweet the funniest photos… and lots lots more!
Places are filling up, so register today to be one of the lucky people to take part in this culinary adventure!
It’s a very fun and rewarding day, so if you haven’t already registered, grab a partner and sign up as a team of two, or sign up solo.
Trivia questions about participating restaurants, markets and stores reveal the answers for where to dash off to receive your treat, get your passport stamped, and maybe come away with a little culinary gift too!
Visit culinairemagazine.ca/culinaire-treasure-hunt/ to register, follow us on Twitter @culinairemag for the latest details, and like us on Facebook to keep up with the news and for more information!
:: It’ s g o i n g to b e another day to rem em ber! :: 9
Beer and Cheese Chowder
Cooking With Beer
by Anna Brooks photography by Ingrid Kuenzel and Dong Kim
Hold on, put your beer in food? Beer is for drinking, for relaxing after working hard or hanging out with some friends, not used for cooking!
in Canmore, says the explosion of craft breweries over the past few years — the Alberta Small Brewers Association anticipates the number of licensed brewers to reach 80 this year, compared to only 18 in 2014 — has made beer more versatile to drink, and to cook with.
Despite what the staunch Americanstyle suds consumer might say, Alberta brewmasters and chefs are finding inventive (and delicious) ways to elevate dishes using beer. This month, we looked beyond classics like beer-battered fish and chips, and asked local chefs what new discoveries they’ve uncovered in the world of food and beer.
Chef Hanson says the style of beer makes a huge difference in a dish; he’s found using something light and fruitforward like Grizzly Paw’s Beavertail Raspberry Ale is perfect for pork brines, while darker beers work better for something like braising beef.
Ross Hanson, executive chef at The Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company 10
“Beer has always been kind of overlooked as a college guy’s drink,” he says. “Something new that’s definitely got me out of the box, is pairing beer
Chef Ross Hanson
and cheese together. Similar to wine, beer reflects changes in cheese, and cheese reflects changes in beer.” Easy to try at home, Chef Hanson recommends pairing fattier or richer cheeses like Brie with something light in texture, such as a lager or blonde beer. What may seem like a strange
combination because IPAs often overpower, well, everything, Hanson says a nice, funky blue cheese pairs perfectly with a hoppy IPA. Who knew?!
Along with using beer in dishes like Biera’s smoked clams, Sanford says she’s also had great results making vinegar from beer. It’s a little more complicated, but she says the dark and hoppy vinegars she’s concocted have added beautiful flavour when making something like charred cipollini opinions.
Get cooking (and drinking) and try Hanson’s signature recipe for cheesy beer chowder.
Want to try a unique, but simple recipe? Try making Sanford’s sweet, malty syrup that’s perfect for topping off desserts and drizzling over savoury dishes.
Beer and Cheese Chowder Serves 6
2 Tbs butter 1 leek, chopped ½ head celery, diced 4 potatoes, diced 2 carrots, diced To taste salt and fresh cracked black pepper 4 cups (1 L) Grizzly Paw Rutting Elk Red 8 cups (2 L) chicken stock 4 cups (1 L) heavy cream 2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded 2 cups powdered nacho cheese
1. Heat saucepan on high. Reduce
heat to medium, and add butter (there should be a nice sizzle when you add your butter). Immediately add leeks and celery. Stir occasionally, until a small amount of brown caramelization starts to build on leeks, about five minutes.
2. Stir in potatoes and carrots.
Season generously with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
Chef Christine Sanford
Besides tasting good, cooking with beer can serve an economical purpose as well. Christine Sanford, head chef at Biera — Blind Enthusiasm Brewing Company’s new restaurant in Edmonton — says instead of tossing beer by-products, brewers can use them to make items like bread and syrups. “I think what we do that’s interesting is not using the finished product (beer),” Sanford says. “You have to be careful because they can be super overpowering, but you can use hop flowers or pellets. We do a hop sorbet with pear and fermented beer honey, and it’s really good.”
Instead of tossing beer by-products, brewers can use them to make items like bread and syrups
Wort Glaze ½ L wort powder 6 cups (1.5 L) water
In a medium-sized pot, whisk wort powder and water together. Reduce until syrupy. From here, if you want to add other flavours it’s up to you. It’s as easy as that! Note: You can buy wort or malt powder online, or at local brewing stores
3. Add beer. Use a wooden spoon to get all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot (make sure to save some beer for yourself!). Add chicken stock, stir and cook until carrots and potatoes are fork tender. 4. Remove from heat and stir in
cream. Before heat dissipates, quickly whisk in cheddar and nacho cheese mix. Let stand for a few minutes (the nacho cheese mix will thicken up your chowder). 11
Considered the grandfather of craft beer in Alberta, Big Rock Brewery has long led the charge in merging the worlds of beer and food. Trained in Austria, a country that ranked in the top three for beer consumption per capita, Big Rock’s executive chef Harry Griesser definitely knows his beer. Chef Griesser says he uses beer in just about everything: soup, shepherd’s pie, Montreal-smoked beef brisket — he even makes beer-infused ketchups and mustard! Beer isn’t applied to cooking the same way wine or sherry is: beer is used to infuse dishes, not to be reduced or used as a base flavour. Keeping that in mind, Chef Griesser says his biggest tip when cooking with beer is to watch out for hops. “You have to be really careful with hoppy beers,” he says. “If it’s too hoppy, it takes the flavours away from everything else and the dish turns bitter. Wheat ale or any basic lagers you’re pretty much safe to use in cooking.” Chef Griesser recommends starting out with lighter beers like Big Rock’s classic Grasshopper or Rhine Stone Cowboy, before moving on to something trickier, like making curry dishes infused with Citradelic IPA.
For now, impress your guests with a sweet treat and try out Chef Griesser’s recipe for Palatschinken, aka Austrian crepes!
Austrian Crepes with Rock Creek Pear Cider Filling Serves 6
2 cups (500 mL) 2% milk 250 g all-purpose flour 2 large eggs 2 egg yolks 40 g unsalted butter, melted Dash of salt Few drops canola oil
1 ²/³ cups (400 mL) Rock Creek Pear Cider 140 g sugar 2 cloves, whole 1 small cinnamon stick 2 large eggs 20 g vanilla custard powder 1 Tbs sugar mixed with ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1. In a bowl, add half the milk and Chef Harry Griesser 12
slowly whisk in flour until smooth. Add eggs, egg yolks, melted butter and remainder of milk.
2. Heat up crepe pan and add a bit of canola oil for coating. Lift up pan and hold at an angle while slowly adding a ladle full of crepe mixture. Swirl pan until bottom of pan is coated with crepe mixture. Cook until golden brown, and then flip over and cook golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Continue making crepes until mixture is finished. For filling: 1. In a saucepan, mix 1¼ cups (300 mL) of cider with sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil.
2. Mix remainder of cider with eggs and vanilla custard powder in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. 3. Remove cloves and cinnamon
stick from boiling liquid. Whisk in egg mixture and bring to a boil (be careful eggs don’t separate from the mixture, and harden).
4. Spread filling evenly on to warm crepes. Roll up crepes, plate, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist and graduate student currently living and studying in New York City.
12539-102 AVE | EDMONTON, AB 780-705-4928 heartofthehomeyeg.ca
2008 Airport Road NE 587-232-0538 | Yakimayyc.ca
Your Link To Alberta’s Finest Meat Products Artisans Of Sausage And More by Phil Wilson
If you’ve ever wanted to be that person at a party who has the hot tips on where to get all the best stuff in town, you’re in luck, because we’re about give you the low-down on great places to get fantastic meat products around Alberta. Summer is coming, and that means the search is on for the very best sausages money can buy. Edmonton is very lucky to have experienced a real boom in the quality and quantity of fresh sausages available, and one artisan in particular, Fuge Fine Meats, has been raising the bar locally with his outstanding links.
Steven Furgiuele, owner of Fuge, put in his time in the restaurant industry, most notably almost 4 years at Culina Millcreek, but came to the conclusion that he was not cut out for the grind of line cooking, neither mentally nor physically. However, Furgiuele still had a love of food and creativity, so starting his own business seemed inevitable.
Since his successful ATB BoostR campaign, which saw 121 people support the sausage maker to the tune of over $21,000, Fuge now boasts no less than 19 varieties of fresh sausages along with a dozen types of salami. Furgiuele has a deep affinity for the products born from his roots. “The Italian-focused products really strike a sentimental nerve with me. The Italian Fennel and the F-Bomb both feature copious amounts of red wine and pepperoncino from Calabria, where my father Franco (the F in F-Bomb) is from.” The Italian Fennel features toasted fennel and coriander, whereas the F-Bomb cranks up the heat with double the chili flakes and pepper paste. Furgiuele gets even more excited talking about one of his cured products, the Calabrese Soppressata, which reminds him of his days sausage making with his dad. “The first time I nailed my rendition of it, I called my father in Sault Ste. Marie to tell him I did it.”
Though the classics are inspiring, there’s plenty more tricks in the Fuge bag too. Four types of Bratwurst, a Chorizo Verde sausage, and a unique Gyoza link also grace the lineup, along with the Kielbasa Lazarenko, a nod to his Culina mentor, Brad Lazarenko. Though building a new business keeps him hopping, Furgiuele wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s all a sense of pride and satisfaction. I have built these recipes from the ground up. I always feel as though I am honouring my family and my roots. It’s my food with my standards. I’m living the dream – or trying.” In Calgary, Alpine Sausage has been proudly slinging some of Southern Alberta’s finest meats since 1981. With over 30 types of sausage available, head butcher Brett Norman is kept pretty busy. Brett’s sister, Janeen Norman, says that they’re especially proud of the Smoked Hungarian Sausage, which features Hungarian Paprika that a generous customer brings back personally from her trips to Europe. “It’s so full of amazingly rich flavour and kicks the pants off the paprika we get here in North America”.
Alpine Sausage also features old-world recipes, with the emphasis on old. “Our recipes for Danish Salami (Spegenpolse), Danish Pork Roll (Rullenpolse), and Liver Pate (Leverpostej) are over 100 years old,” says Norman, knowing full well this stuff sells itself.
The Mundare Sausage House is home to Alberta’s most famous sausage, the Stawnichy’s Ham Sausage, which is not only delicious, but is the subject of a massive 42’ tall sausage statue in Mundare. The edible version is fully cooked and ready to eat.
The family has a passion for food, and at no time is that more evident than when Janeen talks about Alpine’s bacon. “We are incredibly famous for our bacon. We make over 200 Kg of bacon weekly, and it’s even been over to Afghanistan with our troops.”
Irving Farm Fresh in Three Hills has a wide range of pork products, but it’s their Berkshire bacon that steals the show. It’s available in many Alberta farmers markets and The Italian Centre, and it’s worth making a special trip for.
Her favourite is Maple Cayenne, which sounds like a sweet and spicy delight, but the Black Forest bacon, double smoked, and British bacon are popular too. With all bacon cured, smoked, and sliced in house, Alpine should be on any Calgarian’s bacon bucket list.
Round out your local meat shopping with these additional favourites:
Victoria Fancy Sausage, in Edmonton, makes 10 varieties of deli luncheon meats in-house, along with numerous fresh or smoked sausages, a half dozen varieties of bacon, smoked ham, multiple varieties of liverwurst, and even Kubbie patties. It’s your one-stop-shop for bbq season.
Empire Provisions’ Calgary retail space may be new, but their reputation for quality charcuterie is already known far and wide. Take their selection of fresh or cured sausages to go, or enjoy many Empire Provisions products in their café. VDG Salumi in Calgary specializes in handcrafted, traditional Italian Salumi. Soppressata, Guanciale, Coppa, and more can be found to make your charcuterie board the envy of the neighbourhood. Valbella Gourmet Foods has been the pride of Canmore for over 40 years, specializing in European sausages, hams, and charcuterie. Phil Wilson is a food writer at Baconhound, Culinaire Magazine, and regular contributor for CBC Edmonton. Phil has a passion for comfort food, which is why he doesn’t own any speedos. 15
Killing It – With The Skillet story and photography by Renee Kohlman
A cast iron skillet can work wonders on any recipe – not only for frying eggs or searing steaks. Cast iron can also be a great vehicle for baking sweet things. With even heat distribution, easy clean-up (just wipe with a damp cloth!), and rustic visual appeal, a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can be a baker’s best friend. 16
Skillet Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cast iron can work magic on a classic chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. After the dough is pressed into a heavily buttered skillet, the giant cookie bakes
up extra chewy in the middle and crispy around the edges – just what you want out of a cookie! It’s a rich dessert, full of delicious puddles of melted chocolate, and a slice begs for a scoop of ice cream or at least a glass of ice-cold milk.
Makes one giant cookie 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing skillet 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed ²/³ cup granulated sugar 1 Tbs (15 mL) pure vanilla extract 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder 1 large egg, cold 2½ cups all-purpose flour 2 cups chopped chocolate (all dark, milk, white, or a combination)
Skillet Apple Cake with Streusel Topping You totally need to have this skillet cake recipe in your back pocket. It comes together in under 15 minutes and bakes up like a dream in a cast iron skillet. It’s simple and straightforward, with a tender crumb and a crispy edge. Enjoy it for breakfast. Pack it for picnics. Serve it at dinner parties and for afternoon coffee with old friends. Swap in other seasonal fruit as you like. Peaches and apricots would be lovely. Plums and nectarines, too. Rhubarb and raspberries can’t be left out. This is a versatile, everyday cake that looks as good as it tastes.
Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375° F.
1. Combine the butter, brown sugar,
granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to moisten, then increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2. With the mixer running, add the egg
and continue beating only until smooth. On low speed, add the flour, followed by the chocolate. Mix to form a stiff dough. ¹/³ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the skillet 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature 2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp salt 2 cups apples (any type), peeled and medium-diced
3. Generously butter a 25 cm cast iron skillet. Press the cookie down into an even layer. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and still wobbly in the middle, about 25-35 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until the crumb is set. 5. Serve slices of the cookies warm (with ice cream!) or place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for three days.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the rack in the centre of the oven. Generously butter a 25 cm cast iron skillet.
1. To make the cake: in a stand mixer
with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar on high speed until light, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. On high speed, beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy, around 3 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir into the batter on low speed, along with the chopped apples. Spread into the prepared skillet.
¼ tsp salt
3. To make the streusel, place the
¹/³ cup unsalted butter, softened ¹/³ cup packed brown sugar ¹/³ cup all-purpose flour
butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt, in a medium bowl and rub the mixture together with your fingers until incorporated and clumpy. Evenly scatter the streusel on top of the cake and bake for 25–35 minutes, until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
4. Remove the cake from the oven
and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. The cake keeps well refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things was published last year. 17
Sorrel Soup by Morris Lemire
Sorrel is a lot of things, and versatility tops the list. Its lemony acidity can be headlined or footnoted depending on the dish. Used fresh out of a spring garden it rocks a potato salad; sautéed in butter and mixed with cream, it softens, complementing a fish sauce. The legendary chef, James Beard, used it as a garnish on consommé. It finds its way into a wide mix of dishes from pesto to apple fritters and, of course, soup. Common Sorrel, (Rumex acetosa) and its sister plant French Sorrel, (R. scutatus) are perennial herbs. After the Second World War, sorrel was harvested from the wild wherever people could find it, in ditches, abandoned farms, and woodlots. It helped get them through difficult times. Like the European settlers who introduced it across Canada, it has naturalized, making it readily available,
if not yet well known (let’s work on that). Come May, look for it in your local farmers market, or ask your gardening friends. This bold herb deserves a place in every home garden, alongside perennials like mint, rhubarb, and lovage. Easy to grow, dependable and nutritious, sorrel’s apple green colour and tart flavour will win you over. Its name is a derivation of the German Sauer, the distinctive flavour of oxalic acid, the same acid that gives rhubarb its piquant taste.
Many Europeans use sorrel in soup, each nationality claiming that theirs is the only true version. The Russians call it green soup, the Ukrainians call it green borscht, and the Yiddish name is Schav. The following recipe is from my friend Walter, whose Prairie Mennonite family calls it by its German name, Sauerampfer Suppe. I call it delicious. Morris worked in the wine trade for 25 years. A keen gardener living in Edmonton, he writes on wine, food and the environment.
Sorrel Soup Recipe Serves 4-5
4 cups (1 L) homemade stock: chicken, ham bone, or beef. Also made with Mennonite farmer’s sausage (cook’s choice) 2 Tbs butter 2 medium onions, chopped 1 tsp dill 1 tsp salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 2 medium potatoes, diced 1 bay leaf 4 cups sorrel leaves, chopped
1. Make your stock the day before or at least one hour ahead. 2. Sauté the onions and dill in butter
with salt and ground pepper for around 10 min, until very soft. Add stock, potatoes and bay leaf, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the sorrel leaves, which will turn
a dark green. Stir until the soup just begins to bubble. Check the potatoes for doneness.
4. Serve immediately in warmed bowls. Tip: Poach eggs in the soup pot. Carefully set on top of each bowl. Note: Walter’s recipe is adapted and modified from Manna From Heaven cookbook. By the Warman Mennonite Special Care Home.
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Inside Job: Master Distiller by Silvia Pikal
At 27 years old, Caitlin Quinn has an impressive title for a young professional — she’s the master distiller at Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley.
Quinn was born in Winnipeg and raised in Scotland, where she completed a degree in chemistry. After graduating, she came to the realization that working as a chemist wasn’t quite what she wanted. To pursue a new career, she completed a master’s in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. “It’s way more entertaining being able to drink what you make at the end of the day,” Quinn says. In August 2015, she moved to Canada for the position of master distiller for Eau Claire Distillery. Quinn likes that she gets to do a little bit of everything at work, including planning out when products will be produced and released, managing a team of distiller assistants, blending spirits, trying out barrels used for aging spirits, and her favourite part of the job — recipe development.
Her favourite part of the job? Recipe development.
“Being able to go into a liquor store and see a product you’ve made from start to finish, I think that’s the most satisfying part.” She loves that she can read the handwriting of the batch number on a bottle on the shelf and know exactly which team member bottled it. In her time at Eau Claire Distillery, award-winning Parlour Gin, Prickly pear EquineOx and Three Point Vodka have all been released. Quinn’s 20
creativity has brought unique and tasty products on the spirits market, from a seasonal Christmas gin that made use of frankincense and myrrh spices, to a limited edition dill pickle vodka. Eau Claire Distillery’s most recent release, Cherry Gin, had a limited run for Valentine’s Day last year and quickly sold out. Now the London dry-style gin, infused with sour cherries and more than 12 unique botanicals, is back as a permanent product (and is also Quinn’s personal favourite of the white spirits). She’s particularly proud of their single malt whisky, which was a first for Eau Claire — and Alberta — and sold out in less than 2 weeks. (You can still get a sample from the bottles reserved for the distillery’s tasting room). “It’s busy but I like being busy. There’s never a dull moment. Being in craft distilling, things are happening all the time.” Quinn predicts we’re leading up to a major craft distilling boom in Alberta, similar to the craft beer boom, following changes to legislation in minimum production requirements in 2013. She notes more and more distilleries are opening in Alberta (if you just look at the numbers of an organization like the Alberta Craft Distillers Association, they currently have over 20 members). “It’s great to see the industry is growing and people are interested.” While working at the first craft distillery in Alberta has been exciting, she says it also means being subject to more scrutiny. “We were the first to do everything, so when we bring out products there’s a lot more questions and people expect more from us. It’s good in a sense because we get to set the tone and put a benchmark for the industry.” For those who want to work in distilling, Quinn recommends getting
an education, whether it’s completing a master’s degree or pursuing a certificate or diploma from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.
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“It helps to give that background knowledge that a lot of people can’t get - it’s not like with brewing where you can homebrew and open a brewery. And make as many connections as you can. It sounds like a cliché but it’s really about who you know.” Quinn says as a young woman in distilling, she stands out a bit, so she’s eager for more women to join the field. “It’s strange being young and female in a sea of male faces,” Quinn says. She points to when she was a student in her master’s program; she estimates that out of 60 students in the program, there were only about six women. “More and more women are getting into it now, which I like seeing. I hope they’ll see people like me or female brewers, and think of it as a career option. People don’t think being a distiller is a real job — but here I am.”
Silvia Pikal is a writer and editor based in Calgary. She recently won a 2018 Alberta Magazine Award for her feature writing.
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Wines That Shine by Jeannette LeBlanc Montgomery
Working in a young wine region can be risky. Established growing areas like Europe have known signature grapes and styles, but for the new world, that history is still in the making.
a to-scale pyramid on property and they embrace what the unseen forces of nature contribute to the process. They were one of the first to produce a traditional method sparkling wine, recognizing early on just what cool climate acidity can do.
In British Columbia, winemakers and viticulturists are listening closely to the land and discovering what the future holds.
Why it’s cool: modern refinement and big acid
Wine to watch: Cipes NV Brut, a non-traditional blend of riesling, chardonnay, and pinot blanc, for its concentration of flavour, balance of fresh acidity, and persistent soft mousse.
Wineries to watch: Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Kelowna) and Bella Wines (Naramata)
Bella Wines cultivates long-term relationships with small lot growers and brings a hyper-focus to showcasing terroir.
Summerhill was an early practitioner of organic, biodynamic, and natural winemaking practices, before more recent buzz took flight. The winery has
One of the newer houses, Bella has quickly earned a dedicated following for their sparkling-only portfolio. Among their many single-vineyard wines is
The province has several ‘geographical indications’ (or designated viticultural areas), all with unique climates and terroir. Varied growing conditions make it difficult for a region to hang its hat on a single grape variety or style, so it can be challenging to learn what B.C. does best. Yet amid the noise of exploration, a few stellar examples shine.
Méthode Traditionnelle (aka sparkling wine)
Summerhill Pyramid Winery Courtesy Linda Garson 22
Riesling Why it’s cool: mineral, mineral, mineral Wineries to watch: Orofino Winery (Cawston), Synchromesh Wines (Okanagan Falls) Since achieving wider recognition these last few years, the Similkameen Valley isn’t much of a secret any longer. Orofino Vineyards has quietly and steadily established itself as a premium crafter of wines carrying a sense of place, notably through their riesling. Once blended from different vineyards, Orofino now produces three rieslings that are distinct reflections of their mineral-driven sources. Bella Wines
the “trad-nat” (traditional natural): a natural sparkler without added sugar or yeast, using a fermenting wine for the secondary bottle ferment. Next level wine geek.
Amid the noise of exploration, a few stellar examples shine
Wine to watch: Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling, any vintage, for its vibrant acidity, telltale citrus, and stony foundation. “Riesling is a grape that tends to show off soil differences. In 2012 we really began noticing those differences soon after fermentation, so now we have three vineyard specific rieslings. It was such a cool opportunity to delve into
the intricacies of our Similkameen appellation that we had to bottle them separately.”
John Weber, Winemaker/Co-owner, Orofino Vineyards Set behind a rocky outcropping on the back roads of Okanagan Falls is Synchromesh Wines, celebrated by fellow wine enthusiasts for their focus on riesling – with up to five or six in any given vintage. Known for giving full technical disclosure, Synchromesh proudly shares their wines’ off the chart acidity levels and other eyebrow raising numbers to provide a valuable education for all of us.
Synchromesh proudly shares their wines’ off the chart acidity levels
Wine to watch: 2017 Storm Haven Vineyard Riesling for its signature delicate fruit, dancing acidity, and glimpse of what’s to come – if we have patience.
Wine to watch: Chardonnay 2017 King Family Vineyard for its unmistakable signature Bella operatic harmony of bright acidity, elegant mousse, and promise for the future. “I look at Traditional Method as a technique, and my goal is to discover what each vineyard has to say. Some sites are better suited for Ancestral Method and some for Traditional Method; it’s up to winemakers to adapt to what suits our region, not follow a recipe from another wine region.”
Jay Drysdale, Winemaker/Co-Owner, Bella Wines 23
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Why it’s cool: structure and grace Wineries to watch: Bench 1775 (Naramata), Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (Oliver) Bench 1775 grows fruit at three vineyard locations: on their bench in Naramata, the south in Osoyoos, and the central Okanagan valley. The diversity offered from multiple vineyard sites helps build complexity in wines; warmer sites reach riper flavours while the same grape from cooler vineyards can hold acidity and other nuances. There’s a love for cabernet franc at Bench 1775, being the winemaker’s favourite. It shows. Wine to watch: 2014 Cabernet Franc cl214 for its seamless integration of quiet structure, vibrant fruit, and enduring minerality. “Cabernet Franc is exciting to work with, especially clone 214. It’s elegant and aromatic, with fine tannins and distinctive floral and herbal notes. This variety does particularly well in our hot dry summers with moist, cool autumns. And the fruit is so expressive when grown in the gravelly, silty soils of the Okanagan.”
Valeria Tait, Winemaker and Viticulturist, Bench 1775
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards has farmed on the Black Sage Bench since 1994, including the vigorous-growing cabernet franc. With full southwest exposure and sandy well-drained soils, it’s a unique environment to explore what this grape has to offer.
Tinhorn is a leader in sustainability, in all aspects of their business, and was one of the first in B.C. to focus on single varietal cabernet franc. It holds a well-deserved and loyal following.
When the Skinner family planted Painted Rock’s vineyard in 2005, the focus was on Bordeaux varieties with a couple of exceptions. Fortunately for us, one was syrah. Vines are surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of rock and benefit from long afternoons in the sun. The goal at Painted Rock is to craft premium wines of exceptional quality, and that’s echoed from vineyard to cellar.
Tinhorn was one of the first in B.C. to focus on single varietal cabernet franc Wine to watch: 2014 Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franc for its rich palate, distinctive herbal qualities, and overall refinement. “Tinhorn Creek has been growing Cabernet Franc on the Black Sage Bench for more than 20 years. It’s proven to be one of the outstanding grape varietals in the Okanagan Valley, both for longevity and fruit quality.”
Andrew Moon, Viticulturist, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 24
Why it’s cool: power and elegance Wineries to watch: Painted Rock Estate Winery (Penticton), Le Vieux Pin (Oliver)
Wine to watch: 2015 Syrah for the future, because this powerhouse will take its time relaxing and is well worth the wait. “Our decision to plant syrah was based on great advice from John Schreiner, who knew there was potential for it in the Okanagan. With our long hot summer days and cool nights, we can capture both bright fruit and spice for a balanced and polished wine.”
Lauren Skinner, Director of Sales & Marketing, Painted Rock Estate Winery
Above Vaseux Lake is Liquidity Winery, a collage of creative expression in many forms. The contemporary winery and bistro double as an art gallery with seasonal rotating artists of international acclaim. Included in their vineyards are multiple clones of Liquidity’s signature grapes: pinot noir and chardonnay. There’s a reason they focus on these varieties, and the proof is in the bottle.
Painted Rock Estate Winery Courtesy Carey Tarr Photography
Translating as ‘the old pine’, Le Vieux Pin on the Black Sage Bench is an example of how new world winemaking can both embrace and redefine the old. The strength here is attention to detail and persistence in vision, led by a French winemaker and viticulturist who fell deeply in love with the Okanagan. There’s something magical about that combination, an indefinable ‘x’ in the equation of delicious.
French-inspired wines that are uniquely British Columbia. A steely, briny minerality shows through the portfolio, possibly a result of the valley’s history as a lake eons ago. Wine to watch: 2012 Speaking Rock Chardonnay for its equal parts soft fruit, brilliant zesty acidity, and lightly creamy texture.
“When planting the vineyards in 2000, Wine to watch: 2014 Équinoxe Syrah for I chose chardonnay because it can be its orchestral meeting of new and old, with made in many different styles. I use that aforementioned indefinable quality. 50% oak and 50% tank influence for the complexities it brings. This site has a “Syrah has a great ability to show different prevalent minerality that comes from our characteristics of a site. Working with it is subsurface layer of ash and limestone.” like being a painter with a palette of aroma, texture, and taste. In the south Okanagan, George Hanson, Winemaker & Owner, Seven Stones Winery there’s more heat with a big difference in temperature between day and night to keep natural acidity for natural freshness. When it’s in your glass, the syrah is really alive.”
Wine to watch: 2016 Estate Chardonnay for its delicate balance of ripe tropical fruits and shining acidity in a cradle of softness. “Our climate and rocky, gravelly, sandy soils make Okanagan Falls perfectly suited to grow premium chardonnay. The diurnal temperature shifts here are crucial; warm days allow for excellent flavour development and ripeness, while cool nights help the fruit retain fresh acidity for balanced wines.”
Alison Moyes, Winemaker, Liquidity Wines Jeannette LeBlanc Montgomery lives in B.C. wine country, with access to plenty of research material – and a large cellar.
Severine Pinte, Winemaker/Managing Partner, Le Vieux Pin
Chardonnay Why it’s cool: brilliance and intensity Wineries to watch: Seven Stones Winery (Cawston), Liquidity Wines (Okanagan Falls) Seven Stones overlooks the picturesque Similkameen River, producing around 4,200 cases per year. This boutique winery uses all estate fruit to craft elegant,
Seven Stones Winery 25
Alberta’s Cheesy Successes! by Natalie Findlay
Oh, cheese! Alberta honours your greatness, your truth, your ability to keep your tradition strong while expanding your global reach. You adopt new milks, new processes, new technology – and from Gruyere to Gouda to vegan, your appeal is part of the human condition – who doesn’t love cheese? As author Clifton Fadiman said, “Cheese: milk’s leap towards immortality.” Let’s take a look at how Alberta is cutting its cheese. The last bi-annual Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Awards took place in 2015, and were open to purely cow’s milk cheeses. Alberta cheeses took home top honours in four categories: –– Feta cheese from Tiras Dairies –– Medium Gouda from Sylvan Star –– Aged Gouda from Sylvan Star –– Natural smoked Gouda cheese from Sylvan Star This year, the Grand Prix Awards have joined forces with the Canadian Cheese
Awards, which are open to all cheeses produced in Canada using the pure milk of Canadian cows, goats, sheep, and water buffalo, and follow strict rules regarding artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, with no modified milk ingredients allowed. The aim is to honour cheese that has achieved technical excellence and exhibits the highest aesthetic qualities, while highlighting flavour, aroma, texture and taste. The finalists have been chosen, and the awards will be presented in June. Alberta’s 2018 finalists include: –– Feta/Cheese in Brine – A2 Cows Milk Feta by Crystal Springs –– Feta/Cheese in Brine – Goat Milk Feta by Crystal Springs –– Smoked Cheese – Gouda Natural Smoked by Sylvan Star –– Best Farmstead Cheese – Gouda Natural Smoke by Sylvan Star –– Best West Cheese – Gouda Natural Smoke by Sylvan Star While these companies have been awarded top billing from their industry peers, they are but a few of the producers of the cheesy excellence that Alberta has to offer.
Alberta is home to many excellent cheese makers producing over a hundred varieties of cheeses, all working at their craft of pleasing taste buds throughout the province. These cheese producers have gone on to capture ribbons in many fairs and cheese competitions, so be sure to try out their award winning cheeses. Fairwinds Farm is a certified organic goat farming operation in Fort Macleod producing mainly chèvre and feta. They don’t use hormones, and the goats are given access to pasture year round. Noble Meadows Farm in Nobleford makes plain, soft goat cheese that took top honours in the Best Farmstead Cheese category in the 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards. Alberta Cheese Company has been producing cheese in Calgary for more than 40 years! Tiras Dairies, in Camrose, turns milk into feta and saganaki cheese. The Old School Cheesery produces Cheddar cheeses in their store, just outside Vermilion.
Fairwinds Farm 26
Sylvan Star is located between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake; all their cheeses are lactose free and made with heat-treated milk. Early Dawn Goat Dairy is a small family farm and goat dairy making artisan goat cheese and other goat’s milk products from their herd of happy goats in Alberta’s Foothills. Lethbridge County’s Crystal Springs Cheese produce primarily cow’s milk feta. Latin Foods has queso covered. Vital Green Farms is a family operated dairy farm near Picture Butte, making cream cheese. The Cheesiry, near Kitscoty produces raw milk and pasteurized sheep’s milk cheeses from their from their pasture raised flock of East-Friesian sheep. And… here’s the great part, you can buy Alberta cheese in many different styles so you can celebrate your cheese plate and buy local at the same time. Win win! Adrian Watters, of Springbank Cheese Co, notes that Calgarians' cheese buds are maturing, and a once-timid group are now yearning for more nuanced flavours. Vital Greens
Whereas we used to use the “best before” date apprehensively, now many are using that date as a “best after” date; a date that denotes when a cheese is reaching it’s ripest, not declining. Let’s not leave out the cheesy frustrations that have plagued vegans and those that are lactose intolerant. There are many new “cheezes” on the market with no dairy in sight. A number of Alberta companies are producing excellent vegan “cheeze”; options include Prana Kitchen from Langdon, and Glowfood out of Banff. Both have many different flavours and styles to choose from using primarily nut bases to build delicious cheeze options, so vegans can indulge their cheese cravings. For a more intimate knowledge of cheese, Alberta has many fine cheese shops that are more than willing to help you through the maze of delicious cheeses available. You can also sign up for informative group classes to educate your tastebuds in cheese land, such as NAIT’s young cheese making fundamentals and Calgary’s Make Cheese’s classes with Early Dawn Goat Dairy. As you can see, Alberta has a lot of cheesy goodness to offer. Whether you are a full-on cheese aficionado, vegan, or somewhere in between – great cheese is always on the menu.
Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she manages her own business creating custom cakes.
The Fruits Of One’s Labours: Alberta’s Fruit Wines by Tom Firth
As someone who has spent over two decades talking about wines great and not so great, I have nothing but great things to say about fruit wine. Both good and not so good examples exist, but by its very nature fruit wine offers something special – the opportunity for sharing with enthusiasts a purity of fruit that is unmatched in grape wine. Grapes of course are a fruit too, but those grape-based wines are so well known that fruit wine is the term generally used to describe wines made from other fruits. Naturally, some fruit wines might have rhubarb or other vegetable ingredients, but lets gloss over that. Fruit wines are typically found in cooler climates, like Canada, where our shorter growing seasons (and nasty winters) make ripening some fruits a difficult proposition each year, and the fruits that do thrive here – like strawberries and raspberries – also have a wonderful intensity of flavour that are perfectly suited to making fruit wine. A common complaint about fruit wine is the sweetness, and many run on the sweeter end of the spectrum, though many carry respectable acidity that helps to balance the flavours. Most fruit-base wines should be served cool to cold and can be quite refreshing on the deck or patio before a meal. 28
With the strong interest in mixed drinks and cocktails these days, a number are also well-suited to dialing up the fruit in a sparkling cocktail or punch. There are less than a dozen fruit wineries operating in the province at the moment, though the liquor manufacturers license issued by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission doesn’t distinguish between estate wineries using honey or fruit. As Albertans embrace locally produced products, and with some recent changes to how Alberta’s liquor manufacturers can sell their products (such as at select farmer’s markets), and some adjustments to the liquor mark up, thankfully we should continue to see even more great Alberta bottles. Is fruit wine good? Of course it is. Whenever I judge at a Canadian wine competition (and I’ve judged a few), I love taking a break from the mainstream and simply looking for pureness of fruit, clean aromas, and the refreshing nature of these wines.
Some to try:
Field Stone Black Currant Fruit Wine Clean and wonderfully fresh fruit flavours and aromas of what else – black currants. With 14 percent alcohol, there is a good balance between the fruit, the heat, and the sweetness, which is well restrained. Very respectable and very quaffable. CSPC +783516 $19
Shady Lane 2015 “Erdeeren” Strawberry Wine A well-made strawberry wine sings a song of summer in my heart – no matter the time of year. An aroma that evokes picking strawberries with sticky hands, leads into a palate of slightly dried strawberry fruit. Quite dry, it’s quite refreshing well chilled on the deck. CSPC +785402 $25
Birds & Bees “Big Tease” Raspberry Wine 2011 Talk about fruit. Absolutely chocka-block with raspberry tones, there should be a message telling drinkers that each wine glass is equal to two cups of raspberries or something similar. A serving suggestion for fruit… Clean and perfectly raspberry-like, I don’t think more needs to be said. CSPC +731365 $25
Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge. He is the contributing Drinks Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine
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Freeing My Grapes by TOM FIRTH
Canada, I love it with all my heart, but sometimes it’s a bit of an odd place. Take for instance, wine and other alcoholic products; it’s much harder to get these products in a province other than their originating one than it should be. In part, it’s due to each province having their own liquor monopoly which determines pretty well what they think consumers want in their retail stores. Consumers could be clamouring for German red wines (for example), but the relevant monopoly might have
Quails’ Gate 30
determined that they don’t want to carry them on their monopoly shelves. Here in Alberta, we are quite lucky to have privatized liquor retailing, which ensures that pretty much everything under the sun is available here, but you might have to look high and low for it. Back to the interprovincial nature of the discussion, unlike many other Canadian products, one simply can’t go online or phone up a winery in another province and get some shipped here. Yes, there are a few options for Albertans, one – we have no limits on liquor products accompanying us on our
interprovincial travels (as long as it’s for personal consumption), and two – it is possible to ship it essentially via the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) who will levy the Alberta portion of the liquor taxes on your purchase, and release it to your care once that fee is paid. Canadian wineries, in recent years, have been making efforts to #freemygrapes and open up interprovincial shipping for alcohol. I do fully support the cause since it isn’t just about consumers having access to well-made Canadian
Take for instance, wine and other alcoholic products; it’s much harder to get these products in a province other than their originating one than it should be. In part, it’s due to each province having their own liquor monopoly which determines pretty well what they think consumers want in their retail stores. Consumers could be clamouring for German red wines (for example), but the relevant monopoly might have determined that they don’t want to carry them on their monopoly shelves. Here in Alberta, we are quite lucky to have privatized liquor retailing, which ensures that pretty much everything under the sun is available here, but you might have to look high and low for it.
Canadian wineries, in recent years, have been making efforts to #freemygrapes Back to the interprovincial nature of the discussion, unlike many other Canadian products, one simply can’t go online or phone up a winery in another province and get some shipped here. Yes, there are a few options for Albertans, one – we have no limits on liquor products accompanying us on our interprovincial travels (as long as it’s for personal consumption), and two – it is possible to ship it essentially via the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) who will levy the Alberta portion of the liquor taxes on your purchase, and release it to your care once that fee is paid. Canadian wineries, in recent years, have been making efforts to #freemygrapes and open up interprovincial shipping for alcohol. I do fully support the cause since it isn’t just about consumers having access to well-made Canadian products across the country, but also about producers having access to markets that are controlled by liquor monopolies. Good luck finding a lot of Ontario wines in BC, or vice versa… Our proximity to
BC and our open liquor model means to me that in most cases, we already have the best wines, but can always use a little more. Many wineries have wine clubs that have access to special or advance releases, small batch wine, or strange and special
things that, as a consumer, I would love to be able to access – but on April 19th, the Supreme Court of Canada made their ruling regarding interprovincial shipping of alcohol, and upheld the restriction on purchasing out of province alcohol for Canadians. Generally, whenever I am talking about wine in whatever publications I am writing for, or for any consumers, I prefer to talk about wines that are already here, on wine lists, and on retail shelves, and it’s for a few very simple reasons.
First of all, I don’t really want to run foul of the AGLC by suggesting people break the law, but we already have one of the best selections in the world – in no small part due to the devoted and world-class retailers and sommeliers prepared to recommend the perfect bottles, but also the importers and their agents who have already invested heavily into building a brand and
supporting it in Alberta. Why would I suggest that someone bypass their efforts? Below, I’ve included some recommendations of wineries that aren’t here (yet) and some that are from wineries that are available here, but not
their entire portfolio. These wines might be available in smaller quantities or limited to wine club members. Freeing those grapes might be happening in the near future, but please do support locally made wines, and the restaurants and retailers working with Canadian wine. That said, it might be worth planning a little domestic vacation to wine country this year – and keep some space free in the trunk.
Quails’ Gate NV Cailleteau Gamay Nouveau Okanagan Valley, British Columbia The gamay nouveau is a “nod” to the fresh and fun wine that is Beaujolais Nouveau.
Released each year on the third Thursday of November (sound familiar?), look for some bubblegum aromas with strawberry, cherry, and pepper on nose and palate. Very well made, it’s an homage for sure. Enjoy with roast fowl or hearty vegetarian dishes. $20
Black Hills 2015 Roussanne
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia A grape somewhat uncommon outside of France, but with a small amount of plantings in BC, this grape should be on the rise. Sleek on the nose with steeped
tea, peach and dried nectarines, while on the palate a silken texture balances a slightly nutty flavour profile and tropical fruits. $30
Seven Stones 2013 Speaking Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Similkameen Valley, British Columbia Very classic expression in the cabernet sauvignon realm here with cassis, cherry, and cedar leading the way on the nose and palate, with dense, chunky tannins, and plenty of bell pepper, someJoieFARM lovely cocoa powder, and violet tones. Perfectly
Plein de Vie Brut Rosé
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Available in very limited quantities, it’s a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay… so like a champagne, but without all the fuss? Bright, almost candy-like aromas of cranberry and strawberry jelly with toastiness and mineral, while on the palate, clean and generous fruit with a slightly coarse mousse. No denying it’s a damn tasty treat. $24
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia One of my favourite pinot noir producers in the Okanagan, they’ve also had a name change recently from SpierHead to the slightly easier to spell check SpearHead. Part of the “Gentleman Farmer Vineyard” and made up of three pinot noir clones, look for a skillful expression of this difficult grape. Crushed black
drinkable now, though would benefit from 2-3 more years or a vigourous decanting before service. $30
Orofino 2016 Pozza Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Similkameen Valley, British Columbia Similkameen cabernet franc? Yes please! Rife with plum fruits, pepper, and pencil shaving aromas, the palate is mid-weight and a little lean with ripe strawberry fruits, white pepper, and so much more. This is simply a beautiful
Time 2014 White Meritage
example of what cabernet franc can be. Pairings? I’ll decide after the second glass – thank you very much. $23
SpearHead 2016 “GFV Saddle Block” Pinot Noir
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia The dynamic duo of sauvignon blanc and semillon go hand in hand here with plenty of wonderfully aromatic tropical fruits, peach and tangerine, along with mid-weight oak presence. Don’t serve too cold or you’ll risk subduing the finer, herbaceous and floral touches. Very drinkable and a companion to freshwater fish, or lighter poultry dishes. $25
fruit, vegetable leaf, cranberry, herb and earth on the nose, with excellent balance on the palate right down to a food friendly, tart finish. Duck confit would be a heavenly match here. $33
Serendipity 2013 Pinot Noir
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia A favourite stop on the Naramata Bench, Serendipity has a number of great bottles to enjoy. Their pinot noir evokes a medley of black berry fruit jelly, spice box, cocoa powder and herbs on the nose and palate. Pretty generous fruits and good tannin structure to hold it all, make for a good
Cellar Hand 2015 Cabernet Franc
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia One of my favourite BC producers and one of my favourite BC grapes, Cellar Hand is a second or alternate label for Black Hills, best known for their “Nota Bene” blend. Rife with berry fruits, cocoa, and dried herbs on the nose, the palate is robust with true flavours and well-integrated tannins opening up with blue fruits and earth on the finish. Very tasty from start to finish. $25
JoieFARM 2016 32
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Alberta’s Artisan Spirits by Tom Firth
This past winter, I had the pleasure of being one of the inaugural judges of the Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition focused on craft made, artisan spirits being made right across Canada. Aside from several days of judging near-innumerable sample bottles, it was an excellent snapshot into the quality being produced from Vancouver Island right to the Maritimes. Notably, several Alberta distillers competed well against much older and well-established producers in other parts of Canada too. Here is a selection of this year’s Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition award winners made right here in Alberta. Complete results can be found at artisanspirit.ca
Stone Heart Distillery Stone Heart Vodka
Coming from Innisfail, Alberta, the Scott family has worked their land for 4 generations, but recently decided to work with farm to bottle distilling. Their vodka is triple distilled and a Silver medal winner-not bad for a young, small batch distillery. Look for a perfumed nose with a mild, peppery character and plenty of citrus that leads onto the palate. The slightly creamy texture is a nice counterpoint to the spicy mid-palate too. Simple cocktails are going to be best to let the flavours shine through. CSPC +785419 $40
Rig Hand Distillery, Brum
Rum? Made in Alberta? Yes, it’s true. This Bronze Medal winner isn’t “technically” rum, since rum is made 34
from sugar cane, though Alberta does have quite a bit of sugar beets and here we are – Brum. A dead ringer for rum on the nose and palate, though running a little sweeter and a touch more vegetal before a fruity finish. Fine for sipping, but also great with a cola mixer. CSPC +778175 $50
Hansen Distillery Border Crossing Rye Spirit
A Silver Medal winner, and one of several top-shelf younger spirits being produced in the province – while we wait for an influx of Alberta-made whiskies. This is something special – 100 percent rye grains in the mash all sourced from within Alberta. Vibrant and spicy on the nose, the palate is downright fiery with spice, leather, and plenty of fruit too. This bottle should come with cowboy boots. CSPC +789505 $40
Park Distillery Bird’s Eye Chili Vodka
Some like it hot indeed. Park’s Bronze Medal winning chili vodka is a slumbering giant that starts off so mellow and silky but come the midpalate… it’s decidedly fiery. Packing a lot of chili heat, it’s well suited to cocktails of all stripes that can handle the three (count them-three!) Bird’s Eye chilis from Thailand that go into each bottle. CSPC +778445 $50
Wild Life Distillery Gin
Several award-winning gins are being made in Alberta these days, and this Bronze Medal winner from Canmore is packed with juniper and citrus characters with a little bit of heat (43.3 percent alcohol) letting an aromatic and fruity/perfumed flavour come through. Works well in a G&T but should shine in summery punches or batch-style cocktails. CSPC +790937 $52
Strathcona Spirits Distillery Single Grain Wheat Vodka
One of the finest vodkas being made in the province and made from wheat sourced only 23 kms from the distillery. It’s light and slightly tropical on the nose with plenty of cereal notes too, while flavours are so smooth showing no rough edges. Absolutely love the textures and rolling it around the mouth while enjoying it neat. Silver medal this year too. CSPC +787817 $48
RAW Distillery RYE Unaged With the recent boom in craft distilling in Alberta, we definitely are seeing plenty of unaged soon-to-be-whiskies in bottles and on shelves. Few things make me happier than thinking about how good things will be when we have five and ten year old whiskies made right here. Briefly aged in former port wine casks, the nose has a young rye spice profile with berry fruit, and floral character on nose and palate. Damn good and Best in Class for this year’s White Spirits. CSPC +789675 $40
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Red Bison Brewery
The Alberta Brewing Boom Continues by David Nuttall
Back in March 2016, Culinaire ran an article Craft Breweries: The Next Alberta Boom? It was intended to inform people of the expansion that had occurred in the previous two years, since the province dropped the minimum new brewery size requirement. What was predicted to be a small wave of a few breweries opening each year has turned into a tsunami, as no fewer than 24 breweries opened up in 2016, and licenses were granted to dozens more. That led to last year’s recap, and while fewer breweries opened in Alberta in 2017 (only 17), there is a possibility of over 50 more opening province wide in 2018 or 2019. While this is an absolute boon to the beer lover, it has far more reaching effects than meets the eye. Obviously, this boom is a nice shot in the arm to the Alberta economy; employing people 36
from the design stage, through the building/redevelopment period, up to the completion of the finished brewery. There is also the labour needed to promote and run the business and many affiliated industries (like merchandise, glassware, bottling and canning production, etc.), but it’s the ingredients required to produce the beer, most of which are locally grown, that are now becoming major players. Because of this, Alberta farmers have enjoyed not only a boost in sales, but also in publicity. It has been common
knowledge throughout the brewing world for decades that Alberta grows some of the best barley for beer anywhere. However, this hasn’t been generally advertised in marketing campaigns or on the sides of bottles or cans. Until now. It is this province’s craft breweries (and distilleries) that are proudly proclaiming their malt is locally grown and produced, and thus its reputation is on the rise. This may be part of the reason Alberta craft breweries were allowed into the Calgary Stampede for the first time ever in 2017, an acknowledgement by Canada’s biggest agricultural exposition that local beers made with local ingredients are all part of the agronomy and Western Culture the Stampede promotes. This explosion of breweries and distilleries has also been followed by an increase in the number of malt producers. Alberta has long been home to two major malt
houses, Canada Malting in Calgary and Rahr Malting in Alix. What is new is the development of specialized malt houses that produce smaller amounts of unique malts that are needed for certain craft beers.
Big Rock Brewery Calgary, bigrockbeer.com Traditional, Grasshopper, Rhine Stone Cowboy
Red Shed Malting near Penhold, Origin Malting and Brewing Co. of Strathmore, and Hobo Brewing and Malt near Beiseker, are a few of these new suppliers, and we can expect to see more in the future. As noted in their names, some of these malt houses are reviving old European traditions and also expanding into brewing. The other major ingredient in beer that heretofore has seen little local contribution is hops. That is also about to change. What began with one hop yard in 2014 (Northern Girls Hops of Darwell) has now expanded to multiple farms and a brand new Alberta Hop Producers’ Association. As a nascent crop in this province’s landscape, there needs to be an exchange of ideas, information, and best practices to see what varieties work best in this climate, and dare we say, terroir? While there have been a couple of beers made in the past using all Alberta ingredients, look for more in 2018 and beyond.
The ingredients to produce the beer, most of which are locally grown, are now becoming major players Lastly, there are other enterprises that are beginning to appear throughout the province. More distilleries, meaderies, cideries, and fruit wine producers are starting to dot the countryside. We are a whole lot of global warming away from ever seeing large vineyard plantings here, but almost all forms of spirits are now being made in Alberta. The importance of locality cannot be overstated. Not only is the locavore
Alley Kat Brewing Company Edmonton, alleykatbeer.com Amber, Aprikat, Scona Gold Brewster’s Brewpub brewsters.ca Farmer’s Tan, River City Raspberry Ale, Hammerhead Red Ale
1996 Wild Rose Brewery Calgary, wildrosebrewery.com Velvet Fog, IPA, Electric Avenue
Big Rock Brewery
movement spreading, but many of these new businesses are very regional in scope. Several aren’t located in or near bigger cities and/or are too small (right now) to sell their products province-wide. However, as burgeoning industries, these new liquor entrepreneurs are forcing municipal and provincial governments to add or amend existing legislation to keep up with what’s happening out there in the real world. Not only will these breweries and other spirit producers continue to challenge the status quo, they will also keep us happily awash in new beer and other alcohol. So, get out there and drink some Alberta pride! Following is a current list (as of time of writing) of craft breweries that have opened since 1985. With the speed new ones are arriving on the scene, by the time you read this, there will be more. We’ve included their location, website, and a couple of their core or major beers. This list does not include breweries that may have beer on the market, but no facility with their name on it (yet).
Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Canmore, thegrizzlypaw.com Powder Hound Blonde Ale, Rutting Elk Red, Evolution IPA
2005 Jasper Brewing Jasper, jasperbrewingco.ca Sutter Hill Pil, Rockhopper IPA, Jasper The Bear IPA
2009 Drummond Brewing Red Deer, facebook.com/somethingbeer
2010 Banff Avenue Brewing Banff, banffavebrewingco.ca Bow River Pilsner, Lower Bankhead Black Pilsner, Head Smashed IPA Yellowhead Brewing Edmonton, yellowheadbrewery.com Yellowhead Premium Lager, Yellowhead Black Lager, Remlar Pale Ale
2011 Village Brewery Calgary, villagebrewery.com Village Blonde, Village Wit, Blacksmith
Two Sergeants Brewing Fort Saskatchewan twosergeantsbrewing.ca Bangalore Torpedo, Patrolman's ESB, Passon D'Ale Coulee Brew Co. Lethbridge, couleebrew.co Range Road Cream Ale, Bears Hump Brown Ale, Hoodoo Hops IPA Trolley Five Brew Company Calgary, trolley5.com Derailed Pale Ale, Hey Porter!, High Five IPA
2011 (continued) Ribstone Creek Edgerton, ribstonecreekbrewery.ca Ribstone Creek Lager, Lone Bison IPA, Rangeland Pale Ale Norseman Brewing Company Camrose, norsemeninn.com Longship, Eric The Red, Thor’s Hammer IPA
Tool Shed Brewing Calgary, toolshedbrewing.com People Skills, Red Rage, Star Cheek IPA
2015 Troubled Monk Brewery Red Deer, troubledmonk.com Golden Gaetz, Pesky Pig, Open Road
Wood Buffalo Brewing Ft. McMurray, woodbuffalobrewingco.ca Lift Kit Lager, Wood Buffalo Pale Ale, Northern Special IPA
Last Best Brewing and Distilling Calgary, lastbestbrewing.com Show Pony Pale Ale, Last Best IPA, Dirty Bird Black Lager
Blindman Brewing Lacombe, blindmanbrewing.com Blindman River Session Ale, Longshadows IPA, Triphammer Robust Porter
Minhas Brewing Calgary, minhasbrewery.com White Wolf Witbier, Centre Street Bridge Lager, Dutch Nation lager
Half Hitch Brewing Company Cochrane, halfhitchbrewing.ca Farmer’s Daughter Pale Ale, Fire ‘n Fury Red Ale, Shotgun Wedding Brown Ale Situation Brewing Edmonton, situationbeer.com Page Turner IPA, Iconic Milk Stout, WTF Blood Orange Gose Banded Peak Brewing Calgary, bandedpeakbrewing.com Plainsbreaker Hopped Wheat Ale, Summit Seeker IPA, Chinook Saison (Theoretically) Brewing Company Lethbridge, theorybrew.ca Curiosity Amber Ale, Ionic Irish Style Ale, Quantum Wheat Ale Common Crown Brewing Co. Calgary, commoncrown.ca Brewmaster, Coppersmith, Journeyman Mill Street Brewing Calgary, millstreetbrewery.com Base Camp Stout, Snow Day White IPA
Fat Unicorn Brewery Plamondon, fubrew.com Last Call Blonde, Naughty Amber, Cossack Imperial
Hell’s Basement Medicine Hat, hellsbasement.com Polly's Pale Ale, Boxcar Comforts, Paddle Wheel
Olds College Olds oldscollege.ca Old Skhool, Student Series
Bench Creek Brewing Edson, benchcreekbrewing.com White Raven, Naked Woodsman, Northern Grace
Dog Island Brewing Company Slave Lake, dogislandbrewing.com Dibs Berry, 9 Mile Session Ale, Pit’s Wit
Dandy Brewing Company Calgary, thedandybrewingcompany.com Dandy In The Underworld Oyster Stout, Golden Brown Dandy, Une Vieille Maitresse
Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling coldlakebrewingdistilling.com French Bay IPA, Raspberry Wheat, Cold Lake Lager
2013 Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Canmore, (second brewery)
Cold Garden Beverage Company Calgary, coldgarden.ca This Must Be The IPA, Red Smashed In Buffalo Jump, Dandelion’s Blonde GP Brewing Grande Prairie, gpbrewingco.com Mercury, TK IPA, Blowout Stout
Boiling Oar Brewing Calgary, boilingoar.com American Pale Ale, Kolsch, American Imperial IPA Grain Bin Brewing Grande Prairie, grainbinbeer.com Pipestone Pale Ale, Participant Special Bitter, Red Willow Amber Medicine Hat Brewing Company Medicine Hat, medicinehatbrewingcompany.ca Saamis Sessional, Gentleman’s Stout Canmore Brewing Company Canmore, canmorebrewing.com Ten Peaks Pale Ale, Mineside Stout, Railway Avenue Rye IPA Lakeland Brewing Company St. Paul, facebook.com/lakelandbrewing Frigid Gypsy Blonde Ale, Jay Bird Amber Ale, Power Failure IPA Bent Stick Brewing Edmonton, bentstickbrewing.com Swap the Hops Pale Ale, Brick Is Red, Dark Farm High Line Brewing Calgary, highlinebrewing.com HighPA, Alberta Plain Ale, Smokes 4th Meridian Lloydminster, 4mbrewingco.com Rig Up Red, Sparky IPA, Border Porter Prairie Brewing Company Three Hills, prairiebrewco.com Eqwitty Orange, PBIPA, Orkney Bay
Annex Ale Project Calgary, annexales.com Bitter Division, Metes and Bounds Folding Mountain Hinton, foldingmountain.com Parkway Porter, Overlander Pale Ale, Elevation Imperial Red Ale Blind Enthusiasm Brewing Company Edmonton, blindenthusiasm.ca ESM, BRO, DEB Zero Issue Brewing Calgary, zeroissuebeer.com Multiverse, Dystopia, Nemesis Siding 14 Brewing Ponoka, siding14brewing.com Switch Point Honey Cream, Ten Wheeler IPA, Brakeman Brown Ale Paddy’s BBQ and Brewery Calgary, paddysbrewbecue.com Black Lager, Alberta Smash, Cascadian Dark Ale Town Square Brewing Co. Edmonton, townsquarebrewing.com Forged Rye Amber, Cornerstone IPA, 2919 Blonde Ale Origin Malting and Brewing Strathmore, originmalting.com Patio Pilsener, Full Sleeve, Legal Issues Oldman River Brewing Lundbreck facebook.com/OldmanRiverBrew Blue Bridge Lager, Oldman River Pale Ale, Blind Canyon Blonde Ale
Railyard Brewing Calgary, railyardbrewing.ca Railyard IPA, Railyard Lager, Railyard Nitro Stout Township 24 Chestermere, township24.ca Meridian Dark Lager, Range 28 Blonde Ale, Dominion Kolsch King Of Springs Didsbury, beerdmeister.com Beerdmeister Blonde Ale, Beerdmeister Cream Ale, Beerdmeister Honey Lager Beer Factory St. Alberta, beerfactory.rocks Mosaic Pale Ale, Malty Goodness Brown Ale
2018 Brauerei Fahr Turner Valley, fahrbeer.ca Fahr Away, German Pilsner Red Bison Brewery Calgary, redbisonbrewery.com Bent Path IPA, Alta Mira Stout, Party Pants Pale Ale Snake Lake Brewing Sylvan Lake, snakelake.beer Kinabik Pilsner, Varsity Hall Red Ale, Sidewinder IPA Bell Hop Brewing Red Deer, bellyhopbrewing.com Pale Saison, Black Beer, Belgian Amber
Rocky View Brewing Company Cochrane, rockyviewbrewingco.ca IPA, Amber Ale, Blonde Ale
2017 Citizen Brewing Company Calgary, citizenbrewingcompany.com Batch 1 Session Ale, Batch 2 Northwest Pale Ale, Wicklow Nitro Stout Fitzsimmons Brewing Airdrie, fitzsimmonsbrewing.com Big Hill Blonde, East Lake Amber Caravel Craft Brewery Calgary, caravelbrewery.com Captain’s Log, Dead Ahead, Hazy Horizon Hefeweizen
Medicine Hat Brewery 39
Distilling: State Of The Union by Tom Firth and Linda Garson
I’ll relate a little anecdote: several times over the last few years, I’ve been asked what possible number of distilleries can be successful in Alberta. Without fail, I manage to quote a number 5-15% or so less than the actual number operating. So, lesson learned – don’t ask me. As we go to print, Alberta currently has over well over 20 distilleries, and more on the way. It’s hard to believe that all this has happened in only a few short years since the province removed the minimum production requirements for liquor manufacturers in 2013. According to David Farran, President of the Alberta Craft Distillers Association, “The craft distilling industry in Alberta is quickly growing, tracking the consumers thirst for craft cocktails and their meteoric rise in popularity.” One of the newest distillers operating in Alberta, Jordan Ramey of the Burwood Distillery notes that, “Alberta is uniquely and conveniently set up to become the next big whiskey producing region. We grow some of the best barley in the world, are home to some of the best malteries in the world (both large scale and now craft scale), and we're just beginning to produce some of the best and most unique craft style spirits.” Craft distilling is here to stay, and Ramey knows better than most that being a small craft producer means tight 40
margins and long hours, when he says, “We must, above all else, be buoyed up by a genuine love and passion for the process and product.” Hear, hear!
Burwood Distillery Vodka A fine example of locally made, quality vodka with a lean, mineral-laden, and spicy nose showing lime style fruits, and a touch of cracked pepper. Oily and spicy on the palate, it runs a little hot, perfect for Caesar’s or a screwdriver (I’m thinking Caesar). $50 at the Distillery
Burwood Distillery Honey Eau de Vie Using honey sourced from a family connection in the province, this is a one-in-a-million eau de vie for sipping and savouring. At a hearty 42 percent ABV, and containing about 11 percent mead as a base, it’s tropical and spicy with honey, banana, rose petal, and softer pear notes. It’s got a little kick on the palate, but silky and very, very smooth right to the softest, most delicate floral notes on the finish. Lovely, local eau de vie. $59 at the distillery
Eau Claire Distillery Cherry Gin
Eau Claire Distillery EquineOx Mule
This elegant London-dry gin is infused with sour cherries and more than 12 botanicals for a unique and balanced, complex flavour profile. Sweet yet tart, Eau Claire suggest mixing Cherry Gin with lemon juice, simple syrup, and tonic or soda, to make a Cherry Gin Collins, but call me a purist, I really enjoy it neat or as a martini. A versatile gin to stretch your imagination. CPSC +800293 $49
In collaboration with Calgary’s Annex Ales, Eau Claire Distillery worked on perfecting this cocktail for over a year – and what a delicious result. Eau Claire’s barley-based spirit, Prickly Pear EquineOx, joins forces with Annex Ale’s delightfully spicy ginger beer, with an added twist of lemon and sweetness, to make this sweet-sour, gingery-spice, fizzy patio pleaser. CSPC 791715 4 pack 341 mL bottles, $15
HaveYouEnteredYourWines,Beers And Spirits Yet? For a complete list of judges and competition details, go to culinairemagazine.ca/aba Registration Deadline June 29 Judging Takes Place July 16â€“18 Visit culinairemagazine.ca/aba to enter your wines, beers, and spirits for the 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards. For more information, contact competition director Tom Firth: email@example.com
Open That Bottle story by Linda Garson photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
“My journey started on a farm, and agriculture was always a part of life. I’d never have thought I would have landed back in it, but you fall back into it through passion and love,” says Terry Andryo, Director of Community Initiatives at ATB Financial. A fourth generation Canadian, Andryo grew up north of Winnipeg on a hobby farm, with hogs, chickens, and cows for milking, although eventually wild boar became their big crop. Cooking was a way of life, and when they ate an animal they ate everything, not only the best pieces. “Today, if you come to our place there’s still tongue in the freezer, and there’s kidney in the freezer. The only thing we avoid is tripe, I never figured out how to eat tripe,” he laughs. Andryo was one of the few farm kids in his area to leave agriculture for art, and he has a background in design. Even today, he is creative and still draws. After a stint designing buses and furniture, he ended up in an advertising agency, resulting in him being wooed to Alberta 10 years ago to work at AdFarm, an agricultural agency. This led to a position at ATB to market agriculture businesses. “My role allowed me to connect farmers to brewers, so I fell into this and 42
it’s worked out pretty well for me,” he says. “It grew because of our presence, and physically being on the ground; being active, and being engaged with both communities.” “This role has allowed me to expand being that conduit,” he continues. “Knowing so many people in rural Alberta and combining that with knowing so many people from urban Alberta, you can match people together to have a conversation. What we’ve tried to do purposefully is to be out there and more visible. I’ll go out and help to brand cattle in the spring, and we’ll help seed and harvest; and we do this because we know how much of an impact it makes.” Last year, Andryo won the prestigious Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year award. “It was a huge honour, and pretty humbling that your peers think of you in that way,” he says. “Some of the things that we’re doing have now helped other companies see that we can’t just be talking to ourselves, we’ve got to be talking to the consumer.” So what bottle is he saving for a special occasion? Andryo has a cherished bottle of Village V, the 5th Anniversary Belgium Triple,
given to him by his good friend, Jim Button (co-founder, Village Brewery). “To get one out of 200 bottles, you feel that you’re a part of their journey,” he says. “You’ve seen them start, and you’ve seen them grow and evolve. They’re doing such great quality beer, and they speak so much to the community. They’ve embraced me, and in turn I try to embrace them and connect them, and bring a rural audience into Village. Every first Wednesday of the month there’s a hump day meeting, and I try to bring farmers in to make them feel part of the contribution of the craft beer movement.” And when does he plan on opening the bottle? “I’m hanging onto it,” Andryo says. “Jim told me to save it until April or May because it was aged in a wine barrel. It was made six months ago, but only released at the end of January.” He continues, “Jim said “Don’t open it yet, make sure you save it for a special occasion”, and I’ve been asked two or three time already, “haven’t you cracked it yet?” So probably Father’s Day or Mother’s day I’ll open it and celebrate, because I think it’s a special occasion bottle.”
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