Harrowsmith ex-food editor Signe Langford provided this issue’s ultimate farmhouse-fare lineup to lean back on, but what should you pair with it? While these craft beers can hold their own ground, they are also designed to elevate everything from our farmhouse cabbage rolls to our blueberry peach maple upside down cake. Do you know what else pairs well with Canadian beers? Our homegrown musicians!
Whether you’ve spent the day splitting wood or you’re on the flip side of that and sitting beside a snap, crackle fire, here’s the ultimate harvest-time six-pack to consider. These beers are designed as rewards for mucking barns, apple picking or pickle making. Even if your biggest exertion is watching The Biggest Little Farm on Netflix, daydreaming counts too.
After stacking wood and stocking your fridge, download these songs for a full-on sensory experience as Canadian as Balderson’s double-smoked cheddar and the McIntosh apple. Pairings can be mingled.
Country Vibes Organic Amber Lagered Ale, Beau’s Brewing Co.
Van Kleek, Ontario
Tasting notes: This ale is like a roll in the hay. It’s toasty and malty, with a small hop bite on the finish.
Soundtrack: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” Shania Twain
Autumn Archer, Barncat Artisan Ales
Tasting notes: This heavyweight porter (8.2 percent) will sweeten any equinox celebration, as it’s brewed with local clover honey. Don’t forget to howl at the moon.
Soundtrack: “Howl,” Tanya Tagaq
S’mash Pumpkin Ale, Banded Goose Brewery
Tasting notes: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” This ale is pretty much pumpkin pie in a glass, without the crumbs. No plaid shirt required.
Soundtrack: “Gumboot Cloggeroo,” Stompin’ Tom Connors
Red Dirt Road, Moth Lane Brewing
Ellerslie, Prince Edward Island
Tasting notes: This red ale will put the pink back in your cheeks, just like the dropping temperature. It’s a solid corn-shucking-session beer.
Soundtrack: “Small of My Heart,” Madison Violet
The Reckless Rooster, Shakespeare Brewing Company
Tasting notes: You can put all your eggs in one basket with this Ontario pale ale. If you’re feeling cooped up, this one will un-ruffle your feathers with just a bit of bitterness at the end.
Soundtrack: “Home for a Rest,” Spirit of the West
Plowman’s Ale, Grand River Brewing Company
Tasting notes: This American amber/red ale is made with five types of hops and backed up by a hearty grain balance. It’s as nourishing as udder balm on your weary hands at day’s end.
Soundtrack: “Farm in the Middle of Nowhere,” Buffy Sainte-Marie
Jules Torti’s work has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail, travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. With experiences as a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer, she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life.