Terroir Symposium 2016 – Terroir 10 x Muskoka Brewery

What started out as a small gathering of a group of people in the hospitality industry has now grown into a major gastronomic event. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Terroir Symposium has expanded its programs to include topics on art, culture, and technology. The venue, AGO’s expansive, light-flooded space, allowed this year’s event to amplify its offerings by making use of the whole building to host development workshops, dynamic presentations, food-focused art tours, and curated dining experiences.

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Keeping up with the global trend towards plant-based eating, Terroir 10 challenged its chefs to create an entirely vegetarian-based menu, which was served during the walk around luncheon. Participating chefs included Canadian chef Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy restaurant in NYC, Hans Vogels of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Aidan Gallian of Uncle Smoke Barbecue, Michael Hunter of Antler, Anna Chen of Figo, and much more.

As a signature beverage partner, Muskoka Brewery offered an assortment of beers to pair with this year’s dynamic plant-based menu.

The brewery uses all natural ingredients without preservatives. To retain more flavours in the beers, Muskoka has been using a machine that clarifies beer instead of filtering it since 2013. Its products are now all unfiltered with full of exciting flavours.

We joined founder and president Gary McMullen’s invitation to a private tasting of Muskoka Brewery’s premium handcrafted beers and an introduction to its Moonlight Kettle Series. The Moonlight Kettle is a program that started over a year ago where two individuals outside of the team are paired with a brewer to develop exclusive recipes from start to finish. When the program originally started, the beers were created late at night under the intrigue and mystery of a full moon (hence the name Moonlight Kettle). Although the brewers cannot always operate on a full moon now, the Moonlight Kettle Series are still a fun and fantastic learning experience, with new products being released on a monthly basis. The unique beers created from the program are sold in bottles in Muskoka Brewery’s retail store and draft at the brewery.

 

For the tasting, we tried three beautiful beers from the Moonlight Kettle Series, the “Gose ‘Round”, the “Lucy’s Beard”, and the “Equinox”.

The “Gose ‘Round” is a traditional German gose style wheat beer that fell off the radar for a number of years and had just regained popularity recently. It is light in colour, and contains 30% – 40% malted wheat along with malted barley. It has a lot of salt content (Himalayan pink salt) with a little bit of tartness and aromas of coriander and citrus, making it great to pair with seafood like mussels and halibut.

The “Lucy’s Beard” is an Irish red ale made with Muskoka Roastery Coffee’s Howling Wolf coffee beans. It has a reddish-copper colour (just like the brewer’s majestic beard) with coffee aromas and a medium-dry finish, which goes well with dishes like shepherd’s pie, goat cheese salad, and crème brulee. For the event, Michael Hunter of Antler’s Mushroom Tarte Tatin (prepared with caramelized onions, foraged mushrooms and sorrel-walnut pesto on a puff pastry), Alexandra Feswick of the Drake Hotel’s Snow Pea and Cabbage Slaw Sandwich (made with cabbage, avocado, lemon cashew butter and mizuna) and Aidan Galligan of Uncle Smoke Barbecue’s Ontario Wild Spring Tart (topped with monforte dairy chevre, ramps, daylily, pearl onion and nettle vinaigrette) beautifully enhanced the flavours of the ale.

The “Equinox” is an American wheat beer containing 30-40% wheat malt. It is pale straw/gold in colour with a bit of cherry & vanilla flavours and a nice full body to it. A bready malt backbone balances the tartness of the black cherries. It is very drinkable and great to pair with a summer salad with goat cheese or a shrimp cocktail. I found Anna Chen of Figo’s Spring Shooter prepared with Taggiasca olive zabaglione and fresh ricotta the perfect complement to this beer.

To celebrate 20 years in business, Muskoka Brewery has collaborated with four major breweries across North America to release new beers in the next four months. Its partners include Le Trou du Diable from Quebec, Howe Sound Brewing from Vancouver, Ellicottville Brewing Co. from New York, and BarrelHouse Brewing Company from California (the folks that bought Muskoka brewery’s old brew house). We look forward to seeing the new creations and of course, enjoying them with more delectable food.

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