The Saltbox Brewing Company’s beer names tend relate to aspects of the province’s heritage. For example, Make and Break double IPA takes its name from the marine engine used by fishing vessels in the early 1900s. The Loyalist Old English Ale is a tip of a tricorn hat to the 35,000 British subjects who resettled in Nova Scotia following the American Revolution. Blue Nose 1850 is named after the famous schooner that was built in Mahone Bay and features on the reverse of Canadian 10 cent coins.
Daniel aims to reach beyond the craft beer market. “We love the creative, seasonal, alternative aspect within that drinkable, palatable framework but we also want to appeal to people outside the craft beer bubble. We want to produce beers that are sessionable and drinkable, and appeal to anyone from a 24-year-old craft beer drinker up to my dad, who’s touching 70. We don’t want to be pigeon-holed as a one-hit wonder craft brewery,” he explains.
While I was out a few months ago, my girlfriend Helen baked a batch of granola. We ate it the next morning and I was blown away by the flavour and crunchy texture. It was excellent; significantly better than any shop-bought version that I’d tried.
“In Austria craft beer makes up just two to three per cent of the market. Austria is not the USA, where craft beer has a good 12 per cent market share of the beer market. There's a reason. Namely, here in Austria and Germany we've always had a well-maintained beer culture. We had good beers and the tradition lives on strongly here and there wasn't much of a place for craft beer,” answered Markus Trinker, the creative brewmaster at the Wildshut Stiegl estate.
As this is a Christmas use-up meal you can make use of pretty much any leftover that you have available in your fridge. Simply chop it and chuck it on top of the base! My experiments included using Brussel sprouts, bacon and walnuts; they all turned out to be tasty.
“We always have our steak for two on, which we’re proud of — either a chateaubriand or roasted rib with chips and a bearnaise. It might sound a bit boring for a signature dish but it’s something we have on all the time. It’s rooted in that pub ethos of steak and chips. But it’s the best steak you can get, with everything well prepared,” said Guy Manning of the Red Lion Freehouse.
“The idea, actually, is that we give a stage to Alpine cuisine in its modern form, to show that the end product is based on signature, home-grown products; that it draws sophistication from things that are in essence simple. That’s one characteristic of the region’s cuisine and that’s why the Festival of Alpine Cuisine is here,” explained Klaus Buttenhauser, the organiser of the Festival of Alpine Cuisine.
“We season on the griddle. The beef is 100 per cent chuck, ground to 10 millimetres then pressed to five inches in diameter. We season on one side and time for one minute-forty, then season on the other side and time it for one minute-forty. Then it’s up to 75 degrees for 30 seconds. That's how it should be,” said Michael Johnson, Fat Hippo's executive chef.
Whenever myself and Helen are in a place that serves scones we revive our long-running discussion about how ‘scone’ should be pronounced. I’m a firm believer that scone rhymes with ‘cone’. Just look at the similarities in how they are spelt. She is adamant that rhymes with ‘con’. That was also how the woman who took our orders said it.
“People are becoming aware that gin doesn’t have to taste bitter or be drunk with tonic; it can also be enjoyed with lemonade. There’s a massive expansion of gins that are not traditional — some are sweet, others are not. Mine is a classic example of that. The base is ten botanicals traditionally distilled in a copper pot. It is not prioritising the juniper…juniper’s not the main event for a lot of products. In a nutshell, less bitterness is key to the current popularity of gin,” asserted Dan.