Even though summer is still a few months away, most Canadians still appreciate a barbecue-style meal during the colder time of the year. This week, one of Canada's top microbrew beer destinations, Craft Beer Market, launched its new spring menu at its four locations across the country and there are some barbecued dishes that will get you primed for barbecue season. Classics like the 20 Napkin Burger are still up for eating, but now, you can look forward to dishes like an Ocean Wise ahi tuna poke bowl, crispy-fried chicken topped with hot sauce and maple syrup in a house-made pretzel bun, smoked ribs and more.
As far as beer halls go, Craft Beer Market has always made the effort to partner with local Canadian suppliers such as Calgary's Community Foods whenever possible.
“Community Foods has been an integral partner of ours for quite some time," says Craft's executive chef, Joel Cumberland on working with quality local producers in different cities across the country. "They have allowed us to stay true to our values at Craft Beer Market by providing us with naturally raised Alberta products. Whether it’s getting products on short notice, or sourcing specialty products for events, Community Foods can always be counted on for great service and consistent products.”
Enjoying the new tender, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs drizzled with sticky house-made black garlic and miso barbecue sauce at Craft Beer Market may require a few napkins, but they'll need a perfect pint of beer too.
Whether you're popping by Craft Beer Market's for dinner and drinks with friends or you are planning to cook up some ribs at home with the family and need something to sip along with it (of course you do), here are three refreshing, Canadian-made porters that Craft's co-owner and head beer honcho (a.k.a. certified cicerone) Rob Swiderski is loving lately.
Coulee Brew Co.'s Coal Bank Porter (Alberta)
Do you want to win one of these? We're giving away a growler to anyone that completes their Coulee Brew Passport for our "Flavours of the World" challenge! . Starting on February 7th, every Tuesday & Thursday our chef will feature a different country's cuisine! If you order the special, you get a stamp on your passport. Depending on how many you collect, you could win awesome prizes including a growler, coulee brew gear, beer glasses, a 6-pack, or a $25 gift card!
Just over one year old, this Lethbridge microbrewery has been getting more and more popular across Alberta for its signature four-beer lineup, including an E.S.A. and a refreshing Kölsch. One of its newest seasonal concoctions is a unique and subtly smoky porter that Swiderski recommends swigging.
"The complementing subtleties of smoke from both beer and ribs work well together and allow for matching intensities. The slight hop character help to cut the slight sweetness from the black garlic and miso BBQ sauce on our ribs, as well as letting some spice shine through."
Chaos & Solace's Paramount Porter (B.C.)
"As soon as I saw that smoked ribs were coming onto our new menu, I thought either a porter or Rauchbier [smoked beer] would pair best," says Swiderski. "Because we don't have any Rauchbiers on our menu, great Canadian porters like this one from Chaos & Solace won out!"
Located in Chilliwack, Chaos & Solace is one of B.C.'s newest breweries, after opening in the summer of 2016. Craft's Vancouver location is currently one of the only places you can get a taste of this bold-tasting porter outside of Chilliwack. If you want to compare to with other porters side-by-side your ribs, get a flight of beer and include other B.C. brews like Phillips Long Boat Chocolate Porter or Cannery's famous Blackberry Porter.
Collective Arts' Stranger Than Fiction Porter (Ontario)
Famous for its contribution to the art community, Hamilton's Collective Arts Brewing not only creates high quality batchs of beer, but it also partners with artists from around the world to design its beer cans. Cool, eh? Its rich, chocolate-y porter makes for an especially smooth sip that plays well with the umami-heavy sauce that coats the tender ribs.
"The carbonation [of a porter like this] works well to scrub your palate of the smashed potatoes and parsley shallot aioli, allowing a great flavour rush with every bite," says Swiderski.