Years ago, Derrick and Donna Smith began brewing a quartet of ales together, the steaming vats of barley filling their small facility with steam. They quickly gained the attention of beer drinkers and critics and expanded into a 10,000-square-foot space. There, they invite you to check out new craft brews such as Classic Nut Brown Ale, Bold Belgian Pale Ale, and Seasonal Citrus Wit. Rotating seasonal suds fill the recognizable frog-emblazoned bottles with beers whose flavors vary with the season. Derrick and Donna offer clients a peek inside their operation with tours and tastings.
What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
At Purple Castle Brewing's 4,300-square foot brew house, aspiring vintners create their own delicious red and white wines during brewing, bottling, labeling, and corking sessions. Amid rustic wooden barrels and shiny metal vats, seasoned wine experts teach visitors how to ferment, bottle, mature, and kennel-train a batch of fine wine. Patrons crush flavor-filled grapes such as an off-dry German gewtraminer or a rich Australian shiraz, crafting their own labels to slap on their handmade potables. Each 23-litre batch fills up to 30 750 mL bottles and lasts for up to two years, supplying amateur winesmiths with a good start to a collection or plenty of thoughtful gift ideas for any occasion.
Two enormous projection screens and 16 high-definition televisions strategically placed around Golden Spike Pub make each of 250 seats the best in the house. Weekly entertainment, including poker, karaoke, and live music from DJ RockBottom on Fridays and Saturdays, fill the gaps between sports games games. Amid all the live and televised events, Golden Spike's chefs craft classic pub dishes such as yam fries and pan-fried perogies filled with bacon and kielbasa sausage. They also whip up 11 flavours of housemade chicken wings by the pound, including sweet Thai chili, Cajun, and dry Italian, named in honour of the sure-footed gondoliers who never fell into the Grand Canal.
Boasting new edible creations from Chef Peter Link, The Tudor Ale House menu and The Forest Ale House menu each pair domestic and imported pours with classic pub fare and fine dining entrees. For herbivorous eaters and their yak bodyguards, veggie quesadillas burrow peppers, onions, spices, and cheese into an extra large tortilla. Simmered in marinara sauce, meat-stuffed cabbage rolls join potato and cheese perogies at The Tudor Ale House, and fried-chicken strips marinated in buttermilk and dipped in seasoned flour slink into The Forest Ale House's honey-mustard or sweet-chili dipping sauce. Breaded and fried schnitzel at either establishment audibly tiptoes its crisp crust over to tables on a bed of seasonal vegetables. A large selection of draft beers and highball cocktails further complements courses.
Almost anyone can bake cookies, because cookbooks and ingredients are plentiful. Wine Kitz wants to lend the same ease to the art of winemaking by packing the cookbook and ingredients into one convenient kit. The franchise equips people with quality beer- and winemaking kits that they can brew at home or in-store over a period of four to nine weeks. The low-sulfite kits are made with grape juices from around the world, including vineyards in Italy, California, Australia, Chile, and on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The passion Wine Kitz' staff has for winemaking goes past ingredients to the root of the process; owner Dario Gigliotti aspires to own a vineyard someday and is always happy quick to lend a tip or suggest a food pairing to amateur vintners.