The Ontario Craft Brewers

The Ontario Craft Brewers

October 13, 2005 12:34 ET

Tour Your Tastebuds and Enjoy Fall Colours Along Ontario's New Craft Beer Route: Match Fall's Hearty Fare and Cooler Days with Delicious, Full-Bodied Ontario Craft Beer

Attention: Travel Editor, Food/Beverage Editor

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2005) -

Autumn in Ontario is the perfect time to explore the province, and take in the fall colours and crisp weather. Fall daytrips to Ontario's craft breweries on the new Craft Beer Route offer visitors the opportunity to visit quaint communities, go on scenic drives, experience local culture, sample handcrafted beer and tour breweries.

The Ontario Craft Beer Route, established this summer, features five craft beer regions: the Capital Region (Ottawa and surrounding area), the Golden Horseshoe (around Toronto from St. Catharines to Pickering), Lake Country (King, Barrie, Muskoka and the Kawarthas), Greater Southwest (Guelph to Neustadt to Windsor), and Toronto. To download the craft beer route map and for unique daytrip ideas, visit www.ontariocraftbrewers.ca.

The Ontario Craft Brewers, made up of 25 small brewers, also have tips for beers to match fall's crisper weather and heartier fare, and recipes for fall fare to match and cook with craft beer.

Far from the Ordinary, Yet So Close to Home:

Aside from discovering a wide variety of award-winning, handcrafted beers, visitors to Ontario's craft beer regions will encounter beautiful scenery, historic architecture, and cultural activities such as gallery and studio tours, fall festivals, pick-your-own farms and farmers' markets. At Ontario's craft breweries, visitors can sample beer not available anywhere else, explore historic buildings and meet passionate brew masters.

"We invite people to come visit our craft breweries, located in beautiful regions and quaint communities throughout Ontario, to see first hand how our beer is made, meet our passionate brew masters, and taste and enjoy the fruits of our labours," said Jason Ellsmere of Cameron's Brewing Company, one of the 25 Ontario Craft Brewers.

Fall Daytrip Ideas from The Ontario Craft Beer Route:

Among the many day-tripping suggestions featured on the Ontario Craft Brewers' website, here are ideas for daytrips to each of the five regions:

Greater Southwest:

- After touring the five craft breweries of this region, head over to Elora where you can lunch beside the falls and fall colours or travel Highway 6 south to the Aberfoyle Antique Market with wares from over 100 vendors (open until October 30). The Saugeen River Country region in the southern part of Grey/Bruce Counties is revered for its brilliant red and gold colours. During harvest time, the apple district has Mennonite fruit stands, small town festivals and events.

Lake Country:

- After experiencing the art of craft brewing at one of the four local breweries, tour your way through King, Hockley Valley, Simcoe area or the Muskoka region with its scenic lakes, galleries, parks and local festivals.

Golden Horseshoe:

- If you are planning a trip to Niagara Wine Country, be sure to include a tour of Ontario's local craft breweries. With some of the finest local produce and restaurants in Ontario, take your notebook to compare the flavours of local beers, wines and foods.

- If you enjoy golf, visit the Oakville area for a round of golf at the area's world-class courses and visit some of the local craft breweries.

- If you enjoy hiking, visit the Pickering area for a hike on the Oak Ridges Moraine, and enjoy some relaxation and refreshment at a local craft brewery.

Capital Region:

- After taking in a tour and tasting at one of the Capital Region's craft breweries, take advantage of the great outdoors with a hike and visit a local market, gallery or festivals.

Toronto Region:

- Toronto has much to offer beer lovers and day-trippers, so after sampling lagers, pilsners and ales at the city's many craft breweries, visit one of the many galleries and museums or take in one of Toronto's many unique neighbourhoods such as the Beaches, Little Italy on College St., and Queen St. West's bohemian area.

A One-Stop Guide to Fall Getaways

Available at breweries, provincial tourism information centres, LCBO stores, hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and key tourism attractions, the Official Guide to Ontario Craft Beer Route is an in-depth guide to daytrips to the 25 Ontario Craft Brewers, including maps, tour information and contact information for each brewer. Along with a wide selection of day trip ideas, the Ontario Craft Beer Route is available online at www.ontariocraftbrewers.ca.

"Planning a day or weekend getaway to the craft beer regions is easy, just visit our website at www.ontariocraftbrewers.ca or pick up the Ontario Craft Beer Route map. All the information you need is at your fingertips," said Ellsmere.

Nature's Perfect Match

Ontario Craft Brewers brew beers that are among the best in the world, earning major national and international awards. With cooler weather here and the increasing popularity of matching beer with food, the Ontario Craft Brewers want to help Ontarians experiment with the full-bodied, distinctive flavours of craft beers, and match these beers with hearty fall fare.

"With more than 110 beers, each one with its own distinctive style and full flavour, Ontario craft beers are perfect for fall's crisp weather and nourishing cuisine such as stews, meat pies, fowl and fresh vegetables. There are so many great, unique Ontario craft beers for people to discover. There is one to match each individual taste and the flavours of any dish," said Ellsmere.

Fall Beer and Food Matching Tips:

- Use ale as you would use a red wine, as a match with your choice of red meat or in marinades with pork, poultry and beef. Cameron's Auburn Ale or Neustadt 10w30 Brown Ale make a good base for marinades.

- Choose foods with a complementary character to your favourite beer such as a robust stew with a full-bodied ale, such as Mill Street's Tankhouse Ale or County Durham Signature Ale, or pizza and burgers with amber lager, such as Walkerville Amber Lager and Great Lakes' Red Leaf Smooth Red Lager.

- Broad, strong beer matches well with the flavour intensity of dark, rich sauces and marinades. Try a dark lager such as Brick Waterloo Dark or King Brewery Dark Lager.

- Just as wine with higher acidity goes well with spicy or oily dishes, so will a more bitter or "hoppy" beer. Try Elora ESB from Trafalgar Brewing Company, or a Steam Whistle Pilsner.

- When entertaining, try a 'beer and cheese' celebration. Since beer clears the palate with each sip, beer, like wine, is compatible with cheese. Here are some beer and cheese tips:



- A nutty, well-aged cheese is nicely complemented with a dark,
malty beer. Try Black Oak Nut Brown Ale or Amsterdam Nut Brown
Ale;

- A sharp, tart cheese matches perfectly with a hoppy, bitter
beer such as Granite Brewery's Best Bitter;

- A strong blue cheese goes well with a strong, sweet ale. Try
Keefe's Irish Stout from Granite Brewery or Wellington's Iron
Duke Strong Ale.


- Fine chocolate matches nicely with a dry stout, such as Wellington's Imperial Russian Stout.



Vienna Lager Roasted Pear and Squash Soup
Courtesy of Chef Brian Morin, The Beer Bistro
Pair this meal with: BLACK OAK NUT BROWN ALE

Ingredients:
1/4 cup (2 oz. vol.) butter
2 medium sweet onions, roughly diced
2 medium leeks diced, white ends only
4 pears, peeled and diced to 1" pieces
5 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced to 1" pieces
(approximately 2 to 3 large squash)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
2 bottles of Saint Andre Vienna Lager
1 cup (8 oz. vol.) 35% cream
Salt to taste
2/3 up (4 oz. vol.) blue cheese
1 bunch of chives, chopped
(Serves 16 10 oz. portions)


Directions:

1. In a large heavy pot melt butter and saute onions and leeks until soft and translucent.

2. Add diced pear and squash to the pot and saute until squash looks like it is starting to soften.

3. Add cinnamon, freshly grated ginger and pepper, saute for another minute or two.

4. Add chicken stock and Saint Andre Vienna Lager.

5. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.

6. Remove from heat and puree in small batches, stain through a fine strainer.
7. Return to the stove, add cream and bring to a boil for 3-4 more minutes adjust salt.

8. When serving, crumble a little chopped blue cheese on top with chives.

The Ontario Craft Brewers

The Ontario Craft Brewers are a group of 25 small brewers that are dedicated to making great tasting beer in Ontario. The 25 members of The Ontario Craft Brewers brew their beers locally in communities throughout Ontario - from Carleton Place to Windsor and St. Catharines to Bracebridge. Ontario craft beers can be found at the breweries' on site retail stores, pubs, restaurants, and select LCBO and The Beer Store locations throughout Ontario. For more information on The Ontario Craft Brewers, visit www.ontariocraftbrewers.ca.

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