Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shanty Cellars

I am not a huge consumer of alcoholic beverages but I do like a glass of wine with dinner every now and then, a sip of good quality whiskey every now and then, and especially a flavorful craft style beer with friends and always in moderation. You can imagine my excitement when my cousin Kim and her friend Debbie decided to delve into the world of home brewing and wine making. They realized that for the most part beer making seemed to be dominated by men and Kim wanted to give it a shot and prove that beer can be good, if not better with a woman's touch. Debbie not being the biggest fan of beer decided that she would start making homemade wine and with that it didn't take long until Shanty Cellars was formed!

While I like to share my life in words and pictures here on my blogs my cousin decided that she would share her journey via step by step videos which can be seen on the Shanty Cellars channel of YouTube . (Just click on their name and you will be magically taken to view their videos)

In early October the first of their brewing equipment arrived and it didn't take long for the fun to begin and now here we are mid November and the first batch of beer is ready to be sampled and I being the first subscriber to their channel informed them that my opinion mattered and I would be more than willing to donate my time and taste buds to give an honest critique of each and every product they complete. I know I am a kind person - what can I say my parents raised me well! 

Being the amazing person that she is Kim decided to color outside the lines with her first brewing and ended up substituting the dextrose with brown sugar resulting in a brown sugar lager. I will admit we were all a bit nervous about her decision to stray from the proven recipe but I can now say with no hesitation, "Well played Kim, well played!"

After much anticipation I finally got the call inviting me and my lovely wife to the inaugural taste testing! My only regret of the evening is that in all the excitement I never took a picture of either of our hosts which I discovered while reviewing the photos this morning. Kim and Debbie - be prepared because next time I see you I'm going to be like the paparazzi, your destined to be famous now ya know!

My lovely wife smiling despite my constant intrusion with the new camera!
The quiet corner of Shanty Cellars

Upon our arrival there was a nice spread of finger foods which included several different cheeses and crackers, a bread bowl with dill dip and 2 different styles of cubed bread for dipping, hot pepper jelly and cream cheese, pretzels and horseradish marmalade spread, veggies with hummus, mixed nuts and a great cookie platter with after dinner mints on the side. 

Once we were settled in our host brought us out frosty pub glasses and the wait was finally over - it was beer thirty! 

And let me assure you it was well worth the wait - There was great color, aroma and flavor. Just enough carbonation which resulted in a well balanced, flavorful, aromatic brew which would be enjoyable with a meal, at a hot summer cookout, or just as it is after a long day at work. But for us it was much more because we were enjoying it with family and friends.

So here is to a great beginning of Shanty Cellars, I wish you well with your endeavour and may all your brews be a success, Cheers! Oh and don't forget to call when the next batch is ready, I'll make the food!


Kim said...

What a lovely review. I did so enjoy the evening with good friends and an admittedly rather tasty beer. I actually think the company made it taste better. -Kim

Debbie said...

awwwwwwwwww... you're too sweet!!!
We were blessed with your company and having you critic our first crafted home brew was a delightful added bonus! I can't think of anyone I know who could do such a fine job as you.
Thank you so much! <3

Madame La Tarte ;-) said...

Sounds like ya'll had a lovely evening! <3