Ramblin’ Road Road Gear

With Summer here and the beer season well underway, the Ramblin’ Road beers have been flying off the shelves. Also available at the Brewery Farm, you can pick up your favorite Road Gear!

Ramblin’ Road Bottle Opener & Key Chain

Bottle opener and key chain

Ramblin’ Road 16oz Pint Glass

Ramblin' Road pint glass

Ramblin’ Road Hoodies (Men’s and Ladies)
ramblin' road hoodies

Ramblin' road hoodies

Ramblin’ Road Caps

Ramblin' Road caps

Ramblin’ Road Golf Shirts (Men’s ad Ladies)

Ramblin' Road golf shirts

Ramblin’ Road Tee Shirts (Men’s and Ladies)

Ramblin' Road tee shirts

Ramblin' Road tee shirts

 

Come by the brewery farm to pick up yours!

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

For the Love of the Humble Spud

Potatoes at the Brewery Farm

Potatoes at the Brewery Farm

The potato is probably one of the most humble foods we can grow and eat. I mean who came upon the humble spud with its dirt covered skin and said “that’s going to be delicious!” But we’re glad someone did. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of different variety of potatoes. If you’ve ever come across a seed catalogue then you know what I’m talking about – and that doesn’t even include the wild varieties of potatoes found all over the world.

Interestingly enough potato plants are part of the nightshade family of plants, which tomato, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco also belong to. Norfolk County’s climate and soil conditions are quite ideal for growing these plants. Before farmers here took up horticulture, many farms in Norfolk County grew tobacco as a cash crop – there’s a black and white documentary produced by the National Film Board if you want to see what it used to look like back in the day. Those days are now long gone. Instead Norfolk fields are covered with plants that produce delicious foods, like potatoes.

Potatoes in the pocessing

Potatoes in the pocessing

Ask a potato farmer, “which type of potato should I grow”, and I can guarantee you’ll need at least a 6-pack of our DPA – Dakota Pearl Ale – to share because that’s how long your friendly potato farmer can talk about potatoes. Since I’ve been told that blog posts shouldn’t be 6 beers long to read, here is the reader’s digest version of the type of potato we grow.

It’s called a Dakota Pearl, and rightly so. With very shallow eyes its skin is smooth and bright like a shimmering pearl. We chose this potato with chip making in mind because it comes out of the fryer sturdy, light, and crispy.

Fresh EXTREME Kettle Chips

Fresh EXTREME Kettle Chips

In order for chips to come out of the fryer looking and tasting like chips, its flesh has to be relatively dry and not too sugary or starchy. Who knew that these same properties of the Dakota Pearl would also be perfect as a brewing ingredient too?

It was a few months ago when we said “hey, let’s create a unique beer, one that we can use to wash the sliced potatoes prior to cooking our Kettle Chips. That’ll give us a really great snack chip and hopefully create a fantastic new beer, something very special to Ramblin’ Road.”  All that potato goodness was returned to the brew line where we innovated a process to start the fermenting process again only this time with potato sugars. The smoothness and finished flavours were excellent.

DPA - Dakota Pearl Ale

DPA – Dakota Pearl Ale

We knew we were onto something, so we kept tweaking the recipe. And here we have it, Dakota Pearl Potato Ale for our community. Cheers to you and to potato farmers everywhere!

John Picard

 

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.

The Brewery Farm Story

If we had a nickel for every time someone asks “what’s a brewery farm?” I’d have a kick-ass bottling line to replace the one I had to leave on the table when we had to challenge the system to get the necessary approvals to launch this project, in the country. Having a brewery in the country, just made sense to a farm boy who grew up in the rural lands of Southwestern Ontario. With all of the interest and support of the community, we decided it was time to tell you the Brewery Farm story. It all started off as a seed of an idea to make a product with a rich agricultural connection and since that time, over the past five years, that seed has grown into the Brewery Farm.

Brewery Farm Hop GardenHaving the good fortune of living in farm country, we are blessed with rich sandy loam that many garden crops thrive in. From this soil, the idea of a Norfolk County microbrewery was planted. Over the past few decades we have tilled Norfolk County’s exceptional soil to grow peanuts; and it is this same type of earth that hops thrive in. Five years ago our family planted our first hop rhizomes, initially six varieties, on a couple of acres just off Swimming Pool Road.

The “farm” in “Brewery Farm” is inspired from the self-sustaining old family farms that stretched across much of Southern Ontario over a century ago. We didn’t simply want a brewery, but rather a brewery that could be self-reliant on the land that it is built on. Traditional farming also means survival by continually diversifying and improving the crops grown in the fields. So, we now grow Dakota Pearl potatoes and eight different varieties of hops – and we can’t wait until the Spring when they start shooting upwards from the thawing grounds. The potatoes are cooked into kettle chips on the farm as well, just recently making a crisp and crunchy debut, in six varieties of extremeness.

John Picard and the Ramblin' Road 6 packsLike any modern family farm we believe that we have to be connected to the community in order to support the community. We want the Brewery Farm to be a place where the folks of Norfolk County and their friends from near and far can gather, sample a freshly brewed premium beer, and appreciate the agricultural roots and innovation of this region. On most weekends, I’m happy to share a sample and talk beer, just ask me a question, it’s a great story.

John Picard