Ramblin’ Road at Southwest Ontario Licensees

Since December 2012 our hard working neighbours and friends have been able to take home our 3 premium beers, the Country Pilsner, Country Ale and Country Lager in 6 packs as well as 20L and 50L Kegs. Shortly after our un-official launch we also made our beers 999537_534290003296336_170542008_navailable to local licensees within Norfolk – your favorite restaurants, check it out and ask if they have Ramblin’ Road stock. During this spring we took our time perfecting the unique and refreshing DPA, Dakota Pearl Ale, made with pure potato goodness, making it available in single-serve bottles as well as kegs.

The buzz about the brewery is growing daily as a natural result of the delicious beers and local support we have gotten from not only Norfolk residents, but surrounding communities and visitors to our area, seeking out the Brewery Farm experience. Over time, the number of licensees that carry our beers in either bottles or on draught has also grown.

We would like to thank all of our supporting licensees, and we hope for long and prosperous partnerships. To find the closest licensee based on your postal code, please click here. If you are a licensee looking to add us to your offering, please get in touch via sales@ramblinroa.ca.

10 Reasons Why Eating Local is Better!

Here at the Brewery Farm, we pride ourselves of being part of the local Norfolk Farming Community. If you are a local reading this, you will know why our community is so wonderful, and how incredible the variety of our local products is. On the other hand, some of you might not be quite familiar with the harvest and products that you put on your table that actually came from Norfolk County.

Let us start by telling you that Norfolk has been named Ontario’s Garden. We are the number one producers of asparagus, cabbage, sour cherries, blueberries, sweet corn, strawberries, ginseng, pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers, and sweet potatoes, not to mention the tremendous variety of other products the County places in second and third place for such as tomatoes, onions, cauliflower, raspberries and apples. With such variety, eating local products should come naturally to everyone. Here are 10 reasons why eating local produce and products is indeed better:

  1. Tastes better: local products are guaranteed to be the freshest, most nutrient filled.
  2. Better for the environment: local products create less pollution and conserve energy as they do not have to be transported over large distances and time.
  3. Better for your wallet: shorter transportation means fewer expenses that you have to pitch in for when buying local.
  4. Appreciate farmers: by buying locally you support your farmers and producers as well as your local economy.
  5. Reduce waste: local products can use less packaging, which would end up in landfills.
  6. Build community: by buying locally, you build trust and you build your own community, by enjoying and supporting where your food and products have come from.
  7. Keep the landscape lush: supporting local farmers means they have a reason to keep their lands busy, filled with delicious produce and you encourage them to produce better and more diversified products.
  8. Create jobs: the more food gets produced locally, the more need there will be for jobs in your area, but even greater, the businesses required to support the additional jobs will strengthen your community
  9. Be seasonal: let your taste buds run wild with seasonal products picked locally. Remember the taste of sun-ripened strawberries, new crop potatoes, the first pickings of local sweet corn. It gives you an extra reason to have versatile meals.
  10. Trust what you eat: buying locally takes out the guessing game. Buying locally you know your food and products have been treated with love, respect and pride. You might even know who great your strawberries, and that they ripened under the rays of the sun, and not in the back of a truck.

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Let’s raise our Ramblin’ Road pints to all of the Norfolk farmers, and our proud supporters and customers. If you want to learn more about the Brewery Farm, or visit our very own Hop Garden, stop by the Brewery Farm. (Follow this link for directions)

John Picard

French Family Ramblin’ Road Rib Recipe

Delicious Ribs with Ramblin' Road Country Pilsner

Delicious Ribs with Ramblin’ Road Country Pilsner

This is one of the French Family Flavourites! So after years of rib recipe trials and t-ribulations, here’s the recipe they have created and selected to share with the Ramblin’ Road Community!

 

 

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds of pork side ribs (about 1 big side )
1 Tbsp. dry Italian seasoning
2 small cooking onions, peeled and quartered
water
AND…
1-2  bottles of Ramblin’ Road Country Pilsner
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic (or more if you LOVE IT), minced
1 tsp. dijon prepared mustard
1/4 tsp.ground ginger
1/8 tsp.ground cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp.ground allspice
1/8 tsp.ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp. corn starch

Cooking instructions:
Carefully remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs.
Cut the side of ribs into 3 – 4 equal sections and place in a large deep pot with the onions and seasoning. Add water to just cover the ribs and pour 1/2 a bottle Ramblin’ Road Country Pilsner into the pot. Set the remaining bottle of Pilsner aside (or just drink it because it’s really good!).

Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour. When done, drain. In a roasting pan or casserole dish place the ribs meat side down and in a single layer.

Ribs soaking in the Ramblin' Road sauce

Ribs soaking in the Ramblin’ Road sauce

While meat is cooking:
Prepare sauce a small saucepan by combining remaining bottle of Pilsner (or pop open a second bottle if you finished off the first earlier) with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, mustard, ginger, cayenne pepper, allspice and cinnamon.

In a small bowl mix the pineapple juice and corn starch and add it to the mixture in the saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Pour sauce over the ribs. (You can cover and refrigerate at this point until ready to cook)

Bake uncovered at 375* for 30 minutes (45 minutes if refrigerated) , turn over, and continue cooking an additional 15 minutes or until browned and dazed ( I mean glazed!)

Ramblin' Road Ribbers!

Ramblin’ Road Ribbers!

ENJOY!

A very special THANK YOU to Janice French for sharing her Family Recipe with us. We hope that all you Ramblin’ Road lovers will have the opportunity to make these at home. For those creative, we invite you to share your Ramblin’ Road recipes with us!

 

Tips for Growing Hops – From the Brewery Farm

Hop Garden - Ramblin' Road Brewery Farm

Hop Garden – Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm

We get a number of people asking in-person and on social media about how to grow their very own backyard hops, so here are a few tips to get you started.

Hops are not terribly picky about where they can grow, but there certainly are places where they grow best. Hop, or humulus lupulus – try saying that 3 times really fast – is grown in the northern temperate regions of North America and Europe. In the past hops plantings were wide spread across South-Western Ontario . While we have one twitter follower that plans to experiment with growing hops north of the 60th parallel, our growing tips are for those of us residing in warmer parts of Canada where we get 120 frost-free days or more in a year.

Step One: Getting your beerly paws on rhizomes

The best place to find a reputable seller for home-growing is asking folks in homebrew forums or getting in touch with your local homebrew supplier. Keep in mind that getting rhizomes across the border would be rather difficult so stick with Canadian suppliers. Choosing one or two varieties is a good start for a home hop garden.

Step Two: Find out what kind of soil you have in your yard

Ideally, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic (PH ~6.0) is well enjoyed by hop plants. Here in Norfolk County, we typically have sandy loam, which is fantastic for drainage. If you’re stuck with soil that doesn’t drain well, it can be amended by mixing in some peat moss and plant material compost with lots of elbow grease. Soil conditions will also improve in subsequent seasons if you’re actively growing plants in the plot.

Hop Rows at the Brewery Farm

Hop Rows at the Brewery Farm

Step Three: Setting up a trellis or locating a fence for the vines

Set up the trellis before you plant the rhizomes so you don’t disturb the roots. If you don’t like getting telemarketers calling you at dinner time then you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the hop plants will feel if you start hammering poles into the ground next to them.

Step Four: Plant, Water, and Watch them Grow

Once the threat of frost is over, you can plunk them into the ground. The buds on the rhizomes should be point up or horizontally and be 1” under the soil. They need plenty of water and fertilizer because they get big, really big. So water often and before the sun is at its peak so they it doesn’t evaporate too quickly. Once the vines sprout, make sure they are on the trellis and not touching the ground.

Ramblin' Road farm grown Hops

Ramblin’ Road farm grown Hops

Step Five: Harvest, baby, Harvest

This is the best part. When the cones are papery and dry to the touch, harvest with small scissors. If you only harvest ripe cones, you can get a harvest every other week. While we have machines to help us harvest the acres, there is something serene about getting up with the sunrise and hand picking the cones – we would do it by hand if we could.

Are you thinking about growing hops? Which varieties are you going to grow? Let us know in the comments.

 

John Picard

Ramblin' Road Hops

Farm sunshine through our Hop Garden

Brewing Beer in Ontario’s Garden – Wait, where?

Norfolk County FarmThis Canada Day, we are grateful for many things: the wonderful country we live in, our Brewery Farm this summer, but special mention needs to go to our home of Norfolk, and our neighbouring Farmers.

When it came to coming up the Ontario’s Garden slogan it was almost serendipity according to Saj Jamal, the man who’s been credited with putting the two words together in a simple but perfect harmony to describe our home, Norfolk County.

Norfolk County

“Ontario’s Garden” grew out of a wholesale food strategy to give kudos to the farmers and food producers that fills Ontario dinner tables with tasty abundance.

Norfolk County is a special place. We Norfolkians know that we live in one of Canada’s most fertile places to grow a huge variety of foods, but outside our rural region the words Norfolk County are usually responded with blanks stares. We are proud to live and brew beer in the place that we have called home for decade, the discovery that awaits our city friends is marvelous.

Ramblin’ Road beers are just a small bushel of the overall harvest that Norfolk County has to offer.

Norfolk County Did you know that Norfolk County is Ontario’s leading grower of apples, asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, green onions, peanuts, pumpkins, squash, strawberries, corn, and sweet potato? We’re not kidding, Statistics Canada verified this. Oh, and did we mention Norfolk County is Canada’s largest pumpkin patch.

The diversity of food that Norfolk County can grow, cook, and brew is pretty darn amazing. The diversity is what makes Norfolk County Ontario’s Garden. Remember the backyards that grandma, or nona, or a-ma, used to cover every square inch with tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and so on? Well, Norfolk is just like that, but 1607 km2.

As Norfolk’s self-proclaimed “ambeersadors”, we pay homage to the diversity of our foodshed by brewing many different beers and growing a variety of hops.

Cheers to Norfolk this Canada Day!

John Picard

Thank You Norfolk

The Erie Beach Hotel

Erie Beach Hotel

Erie Beach Hotel

A short trip from the Brewery Farm, the Erie Beach Hotel is located in Port Dover, a picturesque port town. Becoming one of the first licensees to carry Ramblin’ Road beers, the Erie Beach Hotel became an extended part of our family. Patrons have been able to pair the delicious dishes prepared at the Erie Beach Hotel with Ramblin’ Road draught in the Terrace Room and bottled in both the Terrace and the Cove Room.

Ramblin' Road and Perch

Ramblin’ Road and Perch

For over 60 years, three generations of the Schneider family have looked after the Erie Beach Hotel, serving recipes passed down through the generations that have kept people coming back. In the summer the dining areas will always be bustling with vacationers, day trippers and the locals, all anticipating the freshest and most delicious sea food.

For those looking for the port town experience, an ice cold pint of Ramblin’ Road Country Pilsner, paired with a platter of Perch is recommended. Both represent the true local flavour of Norfolk County.

For other meat lovers, the Country Pilsner can also be paired with the delicious wings in the Terrace Room.

Ramblin' Road Country Ale and the Prime Rib Dinner

Ramblin’ Road Country Ale and the Prime Rib Dinner

The bottled Ramblin’ Road Country Ale is recommended to be paired with the mouth-watering Prime Rib dinner, available only on Fridays between 5pm – 8 pm.

Ramblin' Road and the Wings

Ramblin’ Road and the Wings

For the out of towner’s, we recommend staying at the Erie Beach for your Norfolk get-away, and remember, the Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm is just a short drive from this historic eatery and hotel.