Chatelaine Kitchen

Pairing beer with six summer recipes

Here are my top Canadian beer and cider picks from the festival, along with a delicious recipe to match

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I recently attended Toronto’s Festival of Beer, an annual event that showcases and celebrates over 200 exhibitors from Canada and abroad, from local craft brewers to rare Canadian and imported brewers. The Festival had something for every beer enthusiast and although I’m not a beer expert, I do enjoy a glass from time to time and love to cook with it, supporting Canadian breweries whenever possible.

Here are my top (affordable) Canadian beer (and cider) picks from the festival, along with a delicious recipe to match:

Chili-espresso ribs: These fall-off-the-bone ribs call for amber-hued pale ales, such as the Spearhead Hawaiian Pale Ale (brewed with real pineapple juice), Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale or Black Oak Pale Ale.  

Succulent and smoky ribs: Our smoky ribs are sweet and spicy making a smooth beer like a Steamwhistle PilsnerBeau’s All Natural Ale or Big Rock Traditional Ale a no-brainer.

Spiked barbecue sauce (variation): Kick up our classic barbecue sauce by adding some beer. Customize the flavour to your preference: A a clean, classic taste with Mill Street Organic, a deep, rich Mill Street Coffee Porter for smokiness or a fruity St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale for sweetness. Baste the sauce on your ribs, chicken or pork for a great barbecued meal.

Classic baked beans: This slow-cooker classic calls for a bottle of beer for added flavour. Try Creemore Springs Premium Lager or Great Lakes Brewery’s Red Leaf Smooth Red Lager. For a flavour boost, try it with Nickel Brook’s Maple Porter made with real maple syrup that’s full of sweet, smokey flavour.

Roast pork loin with bacon-cider gravy: We like our traditional Sunday roasts (even in summer!). Try our roast pork loin with local craft ciders such as Thornbury Cider and William Premium Cider

Chocolate Guinness cake: This classic cake can be made with any type of stout. We recommend trying the recipe with The Flying Monkeys aptly named specialty beer, 38 Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake, or the more accessible St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.