Friday, 2 May 2014

Spring Has Sprung and the Festivals have Begun

Howdy Y'all, it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but like I've said countless times before, we've been very busy.  I'd love to tell you, right here and now, that we have a solid opening date set, but sadly, I can't. We're close though...oh, so very close. Floors are polished, walls are up and the brewhouse is in place...we just have all the finishing touches to put on our brewery before we are set to open. Please bare with us though as that announcement of a solid opening date is precariously close.

In the past 6 weeks, we've seen an amazing transformation of our brewery site. Walls have sprung up like weeds, steam piping has started to crawl through the building like ivy sprouting in Spring and our once shiny stainless steel tanks have been buried under the dust of a thousand odd jobs . It's really been quite astonishing. Every time I walk into the building it looks different and I get a whole new wave of excitement. So like I said, please bare with us as we can't wait to share the news of our opening with you.

In the mean time though, please let me regale you with tales of our impending festivals. That's right, good readers, 'tis the season for beer festivals! And like any good brewery worth it's salt, we got a bunch coming up. Now that Ol'Man Winter has finally released us from his crusty, icy and most hateful grip, it's time to let loose and tear into some sweet Springtime beers. You've earned it good readers, you've earned it.

First up, we got the annual release of our Springtime favourite, The Princess Wears Girlpants. A hoppy Belgian inspired Golden Ale, this 9.0% monster will help you quickly erase the horrors of the past winter. Loaded with mounds of Motueka, gallons of Galaxy and astonishing amounts of Amarillo, The Princess is the perfect way to kick off the Spring. It's been a long year since we last saw The Princess, to take a look at our fresh new label.

 
We made a few changes to last years label, cause this year folks, The Princess is heading to the LCBO! That's right good readers, fresh off a Silver Medal performance at the Ontario Brewing Awards, The Princess Wears Girlpants was selected to be a part of the Summer Seasonal program at the LCBO. Starting at the beginning of June and straight through til September, you'll be able to pick up a Princess and take her home! If you can't wait until then though, feel free to stop by a kick ass beer bar near you and find The Princess on tap. Just yesterday we sent out kegs of Princess to bars and restaurants from London to Ottawa and right across the Golden Horseshoe.  Happy Spring time good readers, your welcome.
 
Wait though, I forgot to mention on more thing. Before we kegged off our Princess, we stole a few liters away for another annual release, The Princess & Girlpants Meet the ODB.

 

 
Last week we filled 8 barrels with our Belgian Golden and we've put them into deep storage for the next 6-8 months. So come next September-ish, keep an eye on this here blog or on any of our social media sites for more info on this years ODB release. Last years version also took home a Silver Medal at the Ontario Brewing Awards and we expect nothing less from this years version. Until then, sleep tight sweet Princess. Sleep tight.
 
As for all those events and special occasions I told you we had coming up, first off we have a big date with Mr,Adam Stiles, Meteorologist at City TV.  On Friday, May 9th, myself and my trusty brewer Aaron Spiney, will be going on air with Adam Stiles to brew a very special collaboration for this years Session Toronto.  That's right good reader, you'll be able to tune into City TV and watch all the action. I can't tell you too much about the specifics of the brew, you'll just have to tune in and find out!  In the mean time, check out the website for Session Toronto and pick up your tickets cause they are goin' fast
 
 
Just over a week later on Monday, May 19th we are taking part in our first ever Brewer's Backyard at the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. That's right good reader, on holiday Monday, Victoria Day we'll be pouring some delicious brews for their Victoria's Secret Event.  Last week, Cass & Jon our hosts from The Brewer's Backyard, came up to Sawdust City and we brewed something really special for this event. Again, I can't tell you much about the details of this brew...cause it's a secret....a Victoria's secret, so you'll just have to come down to the Brickworks to find out. Keep an eye on their website for more details
 
 
Next up we have the Spring Beerfest hosted by our good friends at The Only Café. Friday, May 30th and Saturday, May 31st, Beerfest is a chance to shake off the Winter blahs, catch some rays on the patio and enjoy some great Ontario Craft beer. We're hoping to be launching a certain 4.5% awesomely hoppy Golden Beach Pale Ale at this fest, so come by and get your first taste of this Summer slammer. Peep their website for more details -
 
 
Just a few days later, on Wednesday, June 4th, we'll be taking part in one of our favourite events of the year, The Brewer's Plate Toronto. Pairing fantastic food with mind blowing beer, this is truly an elite event and one not to miss. Held at the CBC building in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Brewer's Plate is a gastronomic gorge fest. So after you've picked up your tickets, pack your appetites and notch a few extra holes in your belt, cause this event never disappoints.  Check out all the great chefs and top notch Ontario Craft Brewer's coming to this years event.  
 
 
A short 8 days later, we'll be kicking off OCB Beer Week with an event at BarHop in Toronto. On Thursday, June 12th, we'll be bringing a whole wack of crazy one-off beers to this Toronto hot spot for a "Kinda-sorta Tap Takeover".  I mean, we don't have 30+ beers in our arsenal to take over all their taps, but trust me when I say, there will be enough.  A few months ago, Rob and Matt from BarHop came up to Sawdust City and we brewed a very special beer just for this occasion, that along with a  number of other one-offs will be available for one night only. And just to top it off, we're also going to be taking part in a "Hop Talk" that night. That's right good reader's, while you sit quietly and sample some beers, you can listen to us drone on incessantly about our good looks and wonderful charm. Then if that's not enough, after we're done talking, you can chat with us, ask questions and hear us talk even more about ourselves. So come out to BarHop and kick off OCB Beer Week in style. 

 
 
The very next day, on Friday, June 13th, we're gonna be right in the heart of downtown Toronto taking part in Session Toronto.  That's right good reader's, this years Session Toronto is being held at Yonge & Dundas square. It's gonna be a wonderful celebration of craft beer at it's finest. With 30 breweries creating 30 collaborations available for one day only, this event is gonna be huge.  I've already posted the website, so be sure to stop by and pick up your tickets before their gone.
 
Then on Saturday, June 14th back home in Gravenhurst, we're gonna be taking part in the annual Gravenhurst Car Show.  For the third year in a row, we're gonna be the sole beer vendor available at this fantastic event and like last year, we're gonna be sponsoring the music stage.  We'll be breaking out our draught trailer for this event, so come down to Gull Lake Park and while you check out some beautiful cars, make sure to sample some beautiful craft beer.
 
 
Well that takes care of that. So as you can see, we certainly have our work cut out for us. Like I said, we're working really hard on getting the brewery open, but we still gotta get out there and hit the festival circuit.  Keep and eye on this here blog and all our social medias and hopefully you'll be hearing the big announcement soon enough.
 
Anyhoo, that just about does it for now. Until next time, keep the beer in you mugs and the sawdust beneath your feet.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Evolution of a Brewhouse Floor

Howdy Y'all! So maybe some of you good folks out there on the information superhighway have been poppin' by our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and following our progress here in Sawdust City. I've been doin' my darndest to keep all y'all informed and up to date on how the build out at our little brewery is goin'. I know, I know, y'all are pretty busy, so maybe you missed a few of my (probably) too frequent updates, that's okay, I totally understand. But now, as our brand spankin' new floors are finally nearin' completion, I thought I'd give y'all a little pictorial tutorial on the evolution of thems floors.
So sit back and enjoy as I take you through each step in the evolution of our floors. From the very beginning, as our floors took those first steps and crawled outta the primordial dirt and went from a mere hole in the ground to a purdy shiny red technological marvel!  Alright, I maybe slightly over sellin' it, but like I've said before...it's my blog, so deal with it!

 Okay, let's begin.

Here is our hole as it looked in the beginning


Not much more than a simple hole in the ground. In order to have a stronger base and to hold the weight of all our tanks (and the weight of those tanks full of beer!) we needed to scrape the dirt down a few inches and then compact the earth. Here's the back hoe scrapping down those precious few inches.


Once the earth was scrapped down, sprayed with water and then compacted with a giant "stamper" machine, rebar was fitted and the trench outlines were made.  The scraped down floor was also "sloped" so that once the concrete was poured, it would leave us with a gently sloped floor leading towards the drain for easy clean up of our brewhouse and cellar floors.


After all the rebar was in and the trench drains were outlined it was time to start pouring concrete.


Here are a few shots of the first few pours of cement...


It doesn't look like much now, but this ugly puddle off goo is gonna turn in fantastic lookin' floor!


One day after that mess of cement was poured...ta da! Here was our newly formed floors with the outlines for our trench drains.


If you look closely, you can see little pieces of rebar that have been bent and cut off. They are sitting on the edge of the trench. More on that later...


Here we see the floors being cut with a giant saw to release excess pressure and to stop cracks from forming. He used the saw to cut a number of incisions in the concrete from one end of the slab to the other. These small cuts will be filled with the epoxy later.


As the floors were being cut, these guys are taking those pieces of rebar and reattaching them through out the trench...


...which looked like this, after they have been reattached.


From there, wood was cut and then put in place to create trench forms for our brewhouse and cellar trench drain.


Here is what it looks like with after all the trench forms are in and the drain attached.


 After everything was in place, it was time again to pour more concrete. This last pour will go around the trench form, leaving us with our completed trench drain.


The next day after the cement had dried, the trench forms needed to be removed...


...leaving us with our new, fully formed trench drains.


Now that we had our floors and trenches, it was time to prepare them for the epoxy coating. Why the epoxy you ask? Well, during any given day, the brewhouse floors are bombarded with near boiling hot water, cold water, caustic and acidic chemicals along with spent grain, yeast and other by products of the brewing process. This takes a sever toll on the floor. And in order to protect the floor and give it a long, healthy life, a coating is placed on top. The first step was to "scrape" the floors. This would give them a rough surface which would help bind the expoxy to the floor during application. This machine was run over the entire surface...


Leaving our floors rough and ready for the application of epoxy.


Along with doing the larger surface, the trenches needed to be prepared too. Here they are getting into each little area to make sure everything goes properly.


Once the entire floor and trench drain were prepared, the epoxy was applied. They started with the foot walls around the brewhouse, cellar and packaging hall. Then they applied the epoxy to the trenches.


Next up was the packaging hall...


...then lastly the brewhouse and cellar.  And here it is, with the epoxy applied. It now has to dry and cure for at least 48 hours before we can put any weight on it.


 So there you have it folks, the evolution of our brewhouse floor. Pretty fantastic stuff if you ask me!  In the coming weeks, we'll have much more going on and hopefully I'll be able to share more build out information with you as we go along.  So keep an eye on this here blog, along with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for daily updates.

Anyhoo, that just about does it for now.  Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the Sawdust beneath your feet!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Episode 2014 - A New Hope

As the rusty hinges of another year creak loudly shut behind us, we lean forward and reach out excitedly too turn the shiny door knob of a new year (expect in Vancouver where they've banned door knobs. Brilliant).  And as this passage way to a new year slowly opens ahead of us, we take time to reflect on what the past 365 days has brought us.

Here at Sawdust City, 2013 was a very busy year. The biggest news being that we finally purchased the building that will house our new brewery, retail store and eventually our own on-site restaurant. We began the process to purchase the space way back in February and finally in July the deal closed and it became official. Not only did we purchase the building but we've also started construction, getting it ready for the coming brew house.  Yes, the deal took longer than we anticipated, but in the end, it finally closed and we couldn't have been happier.  It's 20,000 square feet of home!  Finally we have a place to call our own, and as construction continues, the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter every day.

We not only got larger by adding a new building, but we also grew by adding another member to our small team. Early last year we hired a brewer to look after the day to day brewing duties at Black Oak. In April, Aaron Spinney joined our team and came on board as our Head Brewer.  Since then he's brought his passion for beer and his colourful imagination to the Sawdust City family, helping us too not only continue to grow but too have a fun doing it!

As the mercury continued to rise and summer quickly approached, we launched our very first beer at the LCBO. On May 17th our Lone Pine IPA went live on the shelf.  I can't believe it's been nine months...dang time sure flies, but it continues to sell well and we've been more than happy with the reception to the our first release.  So to all y'all that keep buyin' Lone Pine, thank you, we truly do appreciate all the support you've given us and we'll keep doin' our best to bring you a damn fine IPA.

In June, Rob and I had the pleasure of travelling to Norway to collaborate on a beer with a local independent brewery. Honestly, I never pictured travelling halfway around the world to brew a beer, but dang if it didn't happen. It's still kinda hush hush as the beer is still being developed, but all signs point to go and hopefully we'll see the beer hit shelves in Norway sometime in February. Both Rob and I are very excited and we're very hopeful our first international collaboration works out well. 

The rest of the summer was a blur of beer sales, amazing weekend festivals, tap take overs and events of all kinds. I could write entire blog entries on each event, but I'll spare you the gory details...just trust that it was fun.

The summer came to a close with our first seasonal release at the LCBO, our Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus, being shipped out to the warehouse.  Again, it took a lot longer to hit the shelves than we would've liked (almost 60 days in the warehouse!), but in the end we've been blown away by the response to LDV.  We sent just under 5,000 bottles to the LCBO and as of today (in just over 2 months on the actual shelf) there is less than 100 bottles left (so hurry and a grab some!).  Dag.  Again, to all y'all that decided to take the Long, Dark Voyage, thank you and we're gonna do our best to continue to bring you fun, great tasting, imaginative seasonal releases in 2014!

As Fall settled in and construction on our building continued, Rob and I travelled to DME in Prince Edward Island to have one final inspection of our completed brew house. It was fantastic to see it completed. After months of discussions and endless planning, to see it there, in all it's stainless steel glory was...well....it was glorious.  All shiny and new...and finished. Dang, we were both over the moon. But then, as we hit the town to celebrate our new brew house, life, as it tends to do, brought us quickly back down to earth.  Something went wrong with our latest shipment of Lone Pine to the LCBO and we had to recall the batch. It was a monetary disaster, but we ultimately we couldn't afford to send this beer out.  This was definitely the low point of 2013. 

But each year has it's ups and downs, and as a whole, 2013 has been mostly up for the Sawdust City Brewing Co. And instead of wallowing in self pity over this misstep we quickly rebounded by brewing another batch of awesome Lone Pine IPA, releasing our next fantastic seasonal Kolsch'45 to bars and restaurants across the province and lastly by being the centerfold in TAPS the beer magazine (which was a ton of fun).

So 2013 ended in a flourish for the Sawdust City Brewing Co., and lookin' back, it was one helluva year! Sure it wasn't perfect but we made lots of new friends, had some ridiculous adventures, brewed some awesome beer and we got way closer to our dream of finally opening our doors in Gravenhurst.
2014 is shaping up to be pretty great too.

Firstly we got two new releases coming out very shortly, Bloody Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus a 9.7% Raspberry Imperial Stout and Futhered Muzzy, a 6.7% Belgo-Irish Brownish Ale. This last beer was a collaboration we did with Monty Bretin, winner of this years Mighty Mustache Competition at The Only Café.  Both are slated for home delivery through Amazing Clubs of Canada. You'll also be able to find them at bars and restaurants across the province.  Like I said earlier, we gonna continue to try and bring you some more fun releases throughout the year, but look for these two beers real soon!

Another thing we're very excited about in the new year is our new canning line coming at the end of February.  A brand spankin' new 12 head rotary filler from Palmer Canning - Beer Canning Lines (www.palmercanning.com) Excuse my Fench, but it's the balls! We are very excited to add this new piece of equipment to the Sawdust City arsenal.  If you get a chance, pop by their website and take a look at it, like I said...it's the balls!
To go along with our new canning line, we've been workin' on the art for our new cans as well, and I don't mind sayin'...but they are absolutely amazing! Our graphic guru Shannon has done a knock out job creating these new cans and Rob, Karla and I are so excited to show you them.  I can't show you them right now as Shannon is still finishing them up, but as soon as we have completed version, we'll be showin' everyone!

Lastly, and probably most importantly...our opening date. Construction is starting to ramp up and things are coming together at the building.  Our hope is to be open by Easter 2014. Now, if this past year has taught me anything, it's that things always take longer than you anticipated. Maybe it's the heady feeling of a new year though, but I'm extremely optimistic about this date and as of now, it looks like this is gonna happen.  (*crossing fingers*)

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

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Dust has Actually Started to Fly!

Howdy Y'all, it's only been one little ol'month since I done talked to y'all, but shoot if a lot of goin's on ain't transpired since then.
Firstly and most importantly, the dust FINALLY done start to fly! It's still 2013, so we done just got in under the wire, but yep, there most certainly be dust in the air and construction has finally begun at the Sawdust City Brewing Co.! Big ol'saws have started to chew away at the cee-ment and the holes for our trenches have been cut.
Here take a look at some of the photos from the first work done on our soon to be brew house  floor -


Now before we can start bringing in our brew house and the rest of all our equipment, we gotta get our floors ready. So the first thing we gotta done get done is cutting our trenches, which now look a little like this -


We've removed them big dominoe lookin' blocks and the holes for our trenches are all cut now. So the next steps are to pour the concrete into them there rough cut holes to properly form a workin' trench. They will also be constrcutin' a curb around our brew house area so as that we can keep the mess in an easily workable area.  That should be happening in the next week or so, so once I done got some more photo's I'll be postin' them on this here blog or our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Now I know, I know this has done taken a lot longer than we originally promised, that's true. But if there's anything I done learned over the past two years, it's that anything worth doin'...is worth doin' well. And sometimes that done take patience.  Some y'all might be sayin' to yo self, "shoot, I know that guy, and dagnammit, he ain't no patient sunofagun!". This is also true. So believe me, this has been a tough stretch fer me and my poor nerves. But heck if I ain't excited now! And I'm also just tickled pink that all y'all have been just as patient and have stuck around to see Sawdust City grow from a "crazy pipe dream of an idea" to a full fledged "work in progress". And shoot, soon that "work in progress" will be an actual brewery! So stick around folks, cause we movin' into the home stretch.

Other than this here visible work, the plumbers have also been in workin' on the pipin' in the basement and in our washrooms...that ain't so sexy as they say, so ain't gonna post any pics of that. But rest assured that "work in progress" is progressin'.

Shoot, the Holiday's be right around the corner and it might be gettin' cold outside but dang if things ain't be heatin' up in Sawdust City. Cause not only is the dust finally startin' to fly, but we got our next seasonal hittin' the bars startin' next week too, Kolsch'45!

Back in September we tucked away some of our delicious Gateway Kolsch into a few wine barrels we just done had lyin' around.  Aged in them wine barrels for over 3 months, we finished off this ale by minglin' it with locally grown cranberries from our friends at Johnston's Family Marsh in Bala, ON, for 45 fun filled days. We stuffed 10lbs of cranberries into each barrel and just let the two of them get to know each other. The result is our Kolsch '45.


Light and tart, this holiday treat comes in at a very drinkable 5% ABV and has a nice oaky, barrel character to go along with snappy dry finish. Our man Spinney spent all day yesterday pullin' it out of the barrels and gettin' it all carbbed and gussied up and ready to hit them streets.


This pink hued, holiday treat will be a great foil to a lot of them big, boozy, dark beers that are out and about at this time of year.  Now don't get me wrong, we love our big, boozy, dark beers just as much as the next guy. We're just sayin', before you get into them heavier ales, we recommend easin' into your next session with a few glasses of Kolsch'45. Look for it soon at a local, kick ass beer bar near you. It's a limited release, so get it before it's gone!

If that ain't enough, we've also been busy workin' with Monty, the winner of this years Mighty Mustache Competition, gettin' his very own beer ready for our next delivery to Amazing Clubs Canada.


If y'all recall, back in September as part of Toronto Beer Week, we held our 2nd annual Mighty Mustache Competition at The Only Cafe in Toronto. Monty took top prize this year, not only walkin' home with the coveted Golden Cant Hook, but he also got the opportunity to design, brew and have his visage emblazoned on his very own brew. And last week Monty came by the brewery and brewed his "Fuzzled Muzzy" with Spinney.  An Irish Red Belgian Ale...(or something like that), "Fuzzled Muzzy" is as rich, red and full bodied as his outstanding mustache. It will be one of two brews that we'll be sending out to Amazing Clubs as part of their "Beer of the Month Club" at the end of January.  The other beer we will be sending will be brewed just after the Holidays, and it's gonna be a bad mamma jamma...stay tuned for more details on that one!

Now if you y'all don't happen to be a member of the Beer of the Month club, don't y'all worry yer pretty little heads aboot it cause they gonna be plenty of both them beers sent out to beer bars across Ontario. So look for them to hit the taps early February.

Yer just aboot caught up with everthin' goin' on at Sawdust City now, so from all of us here, we'd like to wish all y'all Happy Holidays!  We're gonna be pretty busy over the next few weeks so I might not be able to post anything here til the New Year. So if you don't hear from us, have a safe and Happy Holiday. It's a magical time of year, so be sure to share some of that there magic with all your family and friends.

Anyhoo, that just aboot does it for now. So until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and sawdust beneath your feet!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Apolgies

Howdy Y'all, so it's been quite sometime since I done rapped at y'all but as you've been able to see through our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we've been pretty dang busy. Unfortunately this here post, my first in a few months, brings with it some bad news. We've decided to recall our latest batch of Lone Pine IPA from the LCBO (bottled Oct 25) and dispose of the remaining product in the brite tank.
After tasting the product and with much scrutiny, back and forth and wall punching we just felt that the beer was not up to our quality standards and as such could not be sold.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't our Lone Pine IPA. We have the utmost respect for our beer drinking public and we just felt that if you were to receive this beer that you wouldn't be happy with it...cause we weren't.

This certainly wasn't an easy decision for us to make as we had already bottled the product and shipped it to the LCBO before we made the call. In the short term, this was a total financial boondoggle. As a new start up company, on the brink of opening our new facility in Gravenhurst, ON, this could not have come at a worse time.  But in the long run, we felt that if we were to let this go to market and you were to have tried this batch, then maybe you would've lost some degree of trust in us...we didn't want that.

Quality is as important to us as it is to you and we only want to sell you beer of the highest quality.  So unfortunately there will be no draught Lone Pine going out to any of our loyal licensees for at least another few weeks and what ever stock is still available at the LCBO (I assure you, all other batches have met our rigorous quality standards) is all that we will be available for the same time period.

We hope that you understand our decision and decide to continue to purchase Lone Pine IPA when we do have it back on the LCBO shelves and in the bars.  

Dag, that was a bummer. But thank fully we do have some good news to share with you too... our brew house is all but complete!  Rob and I just came back from a trip to Charlottetown, PEI and the DME production plant and we've seen it with our own two eyes. Here it is, all piped together and almost ready to go -


We're hoping to start work on our brew house floors in the next week. This means we can have our brew house shipped to us in about three weeks. We can see the light folks!  Keep your eyes on this here website and I'll be keeping you updated more frequently on the progress of Sawdust City.

We also want to let y'all know that our "Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus" is finally on the LCBO shelves. After 52 days of waiting in the bowels of the LCBO Durham warehouse, our Uranal Imperial Stout finally made it's way onto the shelves last week and we couldn't be happier.  Big roasty malts with rich notes of espresso, bitter dark chocolate, anise, licorice and a big hop kick to boot, this is one bad ass beer. We really hope y'all like it. For all y'all wonderin' what a Uranual Imperial Stout looks like, here it is in all it's glory -


Now you've seen it, now go out and taste it! There was only a limited amount released to the LCBO, so it won't be around for ever!  So go out and get your hands on Uranus today!

We also want to let you all know that our next seasonal "Red Rocket" spiced stout will be hitting bars and restaurants across the province this week. Spiced with coffee from our good pals at Toronto's Red Rocket Coffee along with Cinnamon, Vanilla and a healthy dose of cayenne pepper, this bold beauty is sure to warm the coldest of heart cockles.  This year we're sending it out to bars from as far East as Ottawa & Kingston to as far West as London & KW. So ask for it soon at a kick ass beer bar near you.  And as an added bonus, for those of you who are part of Amazing Clubs, "Beer of the Month Club" we will be bottling a limited amount of Red Rocket and sending it out as part of their home delivery.  We're dropping it off on Friday so you should be receiving it some time soon. Here's what you should be lookin' for -


Lastly, we gots a few events comin' up that we'd like to share with y'all.

This Thursday, on Halloween night we'll be pouring two special one off beers at BarHops Black & Orange Halloween party. One beer is our Smoked Pumpkin Chai Roggenbier, "The XTC Version was BetterER" a beer I brewed with my good buddy Noddini.  We had it at this same party last year, we just made it betterER this time around. More smoke, more chai, more rye and more betterER!

The other beer was a collab that we did with the good lads at BarHop, "The Blood of Cthulhu". An Imperial Stout aged on raspberries, sour cherries and cranberries, its a wallop of chocolate goodness and tart, fruity bad assiness.  There ain't much of either two of these beers, so get it while you can.  Along with a whole slew of other great craft beer from some other great Ontario breweries, our Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus and our Red Rocket Stout will also be available on draught. It's gonna be a fun night. Peep the poster for more details -


Just a few days later, on 11.05.13, those same good lads at BarHop are gonna host another party for us. This time it's with our good friend Ryan Morrow, Brewmaster at Nickelbrook Breweries. We're gonna be releasin' our very special Birthday Barrel Aged Barley Wine.  Brewed on 11.05.12 this spiced barley wine was aged for 10 months in second use bourbon barrels givin' it a wonderful balanced oakiness, with hints of citrus, vanilla and rich caramel malts. Coming in at 11.05% this is certainly a sipper, so to make sure y'all can make it through the night, we decided to bring a total of 11 beers to drink as well! A mini-tap takeover if you will. So come on out and help us celebrate our collective birthdays and our brand new beer. Remember, remember, the 5th of November...but it you can't, peep the poster for more details -


Lastly, we are gonna be pourin' at one of Toronto's largest food and drink shows, The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.  From November 14th til the 17th we will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, North Building serving along side 1,500 other wines, beers & spirits from all over the world.  Packed with 45,000 visitors over the three days, this is certainly one fantastic event. So get gussied up and come out to sample some Sawdust.  Peep the website for more details - http://www.foodandwineexpo.ca/sitepages/?cid=341

So there you have y'all, that's what's happenin' right now and fer the next few weeks. We're gonna be doin' lots of work on our building in the coming weeks, so keep checkin' back here for more up to date information and pics.  And like I said, we are truly sorry for not havin' any Lone Pine IPA available at the moment, but we don't want to give our loyal fans anything but the highest quality beer.

Anyhoo, that just about does it for now. Until next time, keep the beer in your mugs and the Sawdust beneath your feet.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Outta the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

Well July just started and it's almost August! Shoot if time don't just keep a marchin' on? Seems like the older I get, the less time I got. Now if that ain't a sweet piece of Hillbilly wisdom for all y'all to chew on.
But shoot, it's okay, it may've seemed like a short month, but dang if we didn't get a lot accomplished in them there 31 days. First up, let me give y'all an update on our building. We done tore out the ol'ceiling! Take a look at this here photo (a pictures worth a thousand words as they say...and I'm a guessin' you gots better things to do with your time then read a thousand words)


Yep, the ceiling is gone, but we still gots a lot a work a head of us. Next up, the floors!

Listen here, July also proved to be a pretty good month for us too as we took home two Silver medals at this years U.S. Open Beer Championships! That's right folks, our Ol'Woody Alt & Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus (Barrel Aged) took home some sweet silver hardware in the Alt and Barrel Aged Imperial Stout categories respectively. Purdy darn good if I don't say so myslef!  But get this, we also took home the Judges award for the "Most Creative Name". Out of over 2,500 entries our Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus took home top honours. Shoot if ya don't believe me, check it out fer yerself -

http://www.usopenbeer.com/

We're all purdy happy about the results and guess what, hot on the heals of these big wins Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus is comin' to the LCBO! That's right folks, come this September y'all be able to pick up our Imperial Stout at your local LCBO store. Now, we done changed the label some, so if y'all need a little reminder of  what it looks like, here it is -


Now Spinney and I, we done brewed it just last week and it's tastin' mighty fine if I don't mind sayin' so myself. But it's gotta age a little before we send it out, so you gotta hold tight. Now if y'all can't wait til September to get yer hands on some of our "bigger" seasonal offerings, well then we gots some purdy good news for y'all! This years version of "The Princess & Girlpants Meets the ODB" is available as we speak at kick ass beer bars near you.  Aged for two months in Gamay barrels from Malivoire Winery and Chardonnay barrels from Southbrook Estates, our hoppy Belgian Golden has turned into a whole new animal! All that barrel sittin' got done got the Princess all tarted up and she's ready to hit the town! With subtle hints of oak and a cheek puckering tartness this 9% Golden Ale is sure to please once again.  It y'all can't remember what the label looks like, take a gander -


Now that ain't the only barrel aged beers we have available right now either! As of today (that is if you're reading this on Friday, July 26th...if not, then disregard the today part) we're releasing our 1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch, 1 Biere Series at the Toronto Festival of Beers. Featured in the Barrel Brews tent at this years fest will be our 3 offerings along with a number of other Ontario Craft Beers aged in all sorts of different barrels.
Now what we done did, is we took our Alt and aged it in 3 different barrels to see what would happen. As you might be able to guess we aged it a bourbon barrel, a scotch barrel and an old dirty wine barrel (along with some tart cherries from our friends at Cherry Lane in Niagara).

If y'all can't make it to TFOB, our good friends at WVRST in downtown Toronto are goin' to be featuring these three beers at their restaurant. So keep an eye out for that and try it out. I gotta say, I'm really diggin' on the Alt with tart cherries, it's tastin' might fine.

Shoot, then it's August! And dang if August ain't gonna be crazy! We gots lots lined up, purdy much every weekend is loaded with festivals and what not. Startin' with the Civic Holiday Long Weekend. We done got three events! Count'em 3 events. First up is the Parkin' Lot Party at the Griffin on Friday, August 2nd. Along with our good pals at Lake of Bays and Mill St Brewery, we gonna fill up the Griffin parkin' lot with beer, music and food. We prolly gonna have a special cask on hand to celebrate the most holy of all holidays in Ontario...Simcoe Day! Guess what's gonna be in the cask?

It's gonna be a fun night but we ain't got no time to rest, cause the very next day is Session Muskoka! An all day, all beer event at Annie Williams park in Bracebridge and we done brewed 4 special beers just for this occasion. In collaboration with the good folks at the Griffin, we had 4 staff members/friends come by our pilot system to brew some very special beers. We gots "Leather & Lace" (Honey Heffe Halapeno...yes I spelled that right), "Diana Sauce" (Chocolate Vanilla Blueberry Milk Stout), "The Carney" (Lemon Sage Belgian Strong Ale), "The Pith Helmet" (Grapefruit IIPA).

Now all these beers gonna be pourin' at the Griffin booth so after you stop by the Sawdust City tent and have yer fill, head on over there to try these special beers and remember to vote...cause there be a winner!
Y'all best get yer tickets fast as they be sellin' quick. For more info and for tickets, peep the site -

http://muskokabeerfestival.ca/

And if ain't enough, the very next day we gonna be at the Bazilliontth Annual Kashe Lake Craft Show and Sale.  We had a fantastic time last year showin' off our beer and talkin' with the good folks down on Kahshe Lake and we're super excited to be comin' back again. 'Cept this year we're bringin' way more beer so be sure to come on out for some good times and some great beer.

Now that was just the first weekend! The next one is just as crazy as we are headin' East to Oshawa for a Tap Takeover at the fabulous Buster Rhino's Southern BBQ. We're bringin' 6 beers on draught, including our very new and aforementioned Princess & Girlpants Meet the ODB  and one cask of our Bourbon Barrel Aged Alt (it's the only one in existence). It's gonna be an all party with delicious Southern BBQ and home grown Ontario craft beer. If y'all want some more info, peep this here event page -

 https://www.facebook.com/events/151797705015063/

The very next day, with a belly full of all that delicious BBQ and a brain full of way too much beer, we gots to get up early and head back to Toronto for The Only Cafe's Summer Fest! Speakin' of The Only...now I maybe gettin' a little ahead of myself cause this ain't gonna happen til, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th, but we gonna be doin' our 2nd Annual Mighty Mustache Competition for Toronto Beer Week at The Only Cafe.  And this years event is gonna be even bigger than last years. Thanks to our good friends at Amazing Clubs Canada, the winner of this years event will not only take home the coveted Golden Cant Hook, but he'll also get his face on a beer label that will go on over 150 cases of beer and be delivered to homes across Ontario as part of the Beer of The Month Club. Now if that ain't a purdy darn good prize, I don't know what is?  So get yer dusters growin' boys!

Now where was I? Right, August. Well the next week we're goin' even Easterer...we headin' to the Nations capital for the National Capital Beer Festival. This be our first trip to Ottawa as the Sawdust City Brewing Co., so we're purdy darn excited. We're join' a purdy sweet list of craft breweries for this fest and we're hopin' to make some new friends, so peep the site and come out to try some great craft beer -

 http://www.nationalcapitalbeerweek.com/

But like I said, this a busy month, so we're pullin' double duty that weekend with half our team stayin' home to support another great local event, The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce 22nd Annual Dockside Festival of the Arts.


We're the main sponsor again for this fantastic event and we'll be bringin' our tap trailer loaded with all the craft beer it can hold. So come on down to the Muskoka Wharf, shop for some great local craft and drink some great local craft beer.

Man o'man, that certainly is a busy month fer this here small comapny, but that ain't a bad problem to have! We're glad to do it. Now, I prolly missed a few things here and there, so keep yer eyes and ears on this here blog, our Facebook page and our twitter feed and check back real regular like cause we be postin' new stuff all the time. And if y'all into the instagram, pop by our feed at sawdustcitybeer

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

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Big News and Lots a Brews

Well shoot, if that just wasn't the busiest week! Well, not so much a week as 8 days, but heck, you get the picture. Startin' with that big news we done dropped on y'all last Friday, and carryin' on all the way through to this past Saturday, with the Session Craft Beer Festival and the culmination of OCB Beer Week 2013...we've done been runnin' around like a buncha headless chickens!

That's right, if you ain't heard yet, we finally got our new home right here in good ol'Gravenhurst, Ontario. We told y'all that once we knew where we'd be, we'd be shoutin' it from the roof tops. And shoutin' it we did! If you ain't seen it yet, here's our new digs -


Well shoot, if that ain't just the purdiest thing you ever done laid eyes on. Our new home folks. Like I said before, it used to be the Old Canadian Tire, but now it's the New Sawdust City!  We're just as pleased as punch to finally be comin' home to Gravenhurst and we can't wait to get up and runnin'. Now, we don't get the keys til July 10th, so still got some time before we move in. And once we do get in, well, that's where the fun begins. We're gonna have to do some breakin' down and then some fixin' up before we get our brand new DME brewhouse delivered. So with a little luck, and a lotta hard work, we're lookin' at hopefully a Fall opening this year.  Keep yer eyes on this here blog for more updates, cause we're gonna be keepin' y'all up to speed on what's goin' down at Sawdust City.

Like I said, we done made this announcement last Friday, then not 24 hours later, we were at right back at'er! And right here at home none the less.  That's right, we were at Gull Lake Park in Gravenhurst, Ontario, slingin' our wares to the kind patrons of the Gravenhurst Antique Car Show.

Put on by the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, the Antique Car Show was celebrating it's 20th year and what a celebration it was.  From the time the gates opened, until Terri Clark done left the stage that night, the crowd was buzzin' and people were enjoyin' the beautiful weather, amazing cars and of course...our great craft beer!  Take a look at this here beauty picture -


Heck, if I ain't mistaken that done be the first time we ever had our entire line up pouring at one time! Sounds kinda funny that after more than 18 months we ain't never had our whole team together, but shoot if that ain't the truth.  But that ain't all, we even brought the food -


Now with all that beer and all that pig, you can bet yer britches that it was a busy day. I can't recall a time during that whole dang day where we weren't busy pourin' pints. And shoot, after a day like that, you can get down right dirtay! Take a look at my poor feets. Shoot -


Now it might've been busy and we may've gotten a tad bit dirty, but I tells ya, were were just tickled pink by the reception we got from the good folks of Gravenhurst.  So many y'all came up to congratulate us on our new home and y'all enjoyed so much of our beer...well shoot, I just don't know what to say, but thanks!  We're gonna do our best to represent Gravenhurst just the best that we can. Hopefully, we'll do ya proud. So please, once we're open, drop by and say hello, cause we love visitors.

After such a great day, it was real nice to have a day off before the craziness of OCB Beer Week really done took off. Now, I don't want to bore y'all with all the details, cause between tap takeovers, beer dinners, rap performances & bottle royales we done did a whole heckuva lot.  So instead of goin' through it all, I'm just gonna say thanks to all the breweries, bars and heck, just about everyone that helped make this OCB Beer Week so fantastic.

First off, thanks to the OCB for puttin' together such an amazing week. We know it takes a lot of work to organize such a massive event, but somehow it done get better every year! Thank you.

To all y'all bars, BarHop, Get Well, The Only, Morgan's on the Danforth, The Rhino, Bryden's & Stout Irish Pub I just wanna say thanks for hostin' all the different events. If it weren't for all y'all we wouldn't have no wheres to party!

To Spearhead, Kensington & Beau's, thanks so much for doin' some collabs and for including us in some of your events. It's great to have such camaraderie in this here beer business.

To Fearless Fred, it was a blast workin' with you on the Allison Brier. Now, I know we didn't take home the big prize, but shoot if that t'wernt a tasty brew!  For all y'all that didn't get to try it...and there was a lot, cause it done run out so fast, here's a shot of Fred enjoyin' it with our almond encrusted, cinnamon honey drizzled, baked brie -


Shoot, it was tasty! Now, I may not be able to see the future, but if I were a bettin' man, I think we may see Allison again...cheers Fred!  

And lastly, a big thanks to Jed, Curt, Diana and the rest of the Griffin crew for not only backin' up MC Hops and the Figure Fours for our one and Only performance, but for also puttin' on such a great festival in Session Toronto.  Heck, what a way to wrap up OCB Beer Week, 20 great collaborations, tons of fantastic breweries, food vendors and shoot just about anything you could ask for in a Summer's day. Thanks!

Now what's next for Sawdust City? Well we gots a few events already lined up for July. First up we got our Sudbury Saturday night. We're hittin' the road folks and headin' North to Sudbury and the Hard Rock 42 for a tap takeover on July 6th. Now it's done been a while since I was up in Sudbury, heck, I ain't been back since I walked them there hallowed halls of Laurentian University.  So I'm purdy excited about finally headin' back for a night of fun and revelry. We're gonna be bringin' a full boat o'beer, so be sure to swing by the Hard Rock 42!

Next up we gots the Canadian Beer News Summer Fest at The Rhino in downtown Toronto.  We were at this event last year and it was a ton-a-fun. We're hopin' to bring out a new beer that day too...so pop by their website -

https://www.facebook.com/events/166234240217528/

get yer tickets, and keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed for more information On what that Dang beer just might B?

Lastly we gots the Barrel Brews tent at The Toronto Festival of Beers on July 26-28th.  We're bringin' three different beers to this here tent...well actually it's one beer we done did three different ways. We done barrel aged our Ol'Woody Alt in three different barrels, to show y'all how a barrel can affect a beer. What we ended up with was, "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Biere".  Here take a look at this here web clip from Chris Schryer and Fearless Fred as they try all three

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6D4EaLhLWvc

For more information, on all the other Barrel Brews pop by the TFOB website -

http://www.beerfestival.ca/barrel-brews

Well shoot when I get talkin', I just go on and on. Hope I didn't bore y'all. Like I said, it's been a busy week, but man if I don't feel good about it.

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