Recently, Statistics Canada released its annual report on liquor sales for the year ending in March 2012. And guess what? Canadians like their beer. They like their beer more than wine and spirits combined. Personally, I’ll take a strawberry margarita over a beer any day of the week, but as a proud Canadian, I’ve been known to partake of a few brewskies. (That’s slang for beer, eh?)
Canadians consumed $9.2 billion (billion!) worth of beer during that fiscal year. That’s a lot of bathroom breaks and table dances! It’s no wonder that many craft breweries are trying to get in on the action.
I’d like to think that people’s palates are changing and evolving, and we are no longer satisfied with the beer of Bob and Doug Mackenzie, as great and iconic as Bob and Doug were. We want to explore other options and expand our horizons. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of diehards out there that have been loyal to one beer brand for their entire adult lives, and that’s OK too. But as a whole, I believe that people are more willing to take a risk with their beer and try something new.
I also believe that it’s important to support local businesses in any way that you can. Whether it’s buying fruit and vegetables at the local farmer’s market, or buying a baby gift at a small, local merchant instead of a big box store, or trying some local beer from a craft brewery in your home city. Support the little guy and we will all reap the rewards.Buying close to home will not only boost your local economy, but will also promote healthy industry growth and helps to build communities. It also encourages free enterprise, creativity, and competition. Buying local beer ensures that you are buying a boutique-branded artisan product that is crafted with tender loving care.
We have a some local entrepreneurs that have begun to craft their own beer under the name The Farmery Estate Brewery. They are the only craft brewery in Canada to grow their own ingredients – barley and hops, making their craft beer truly unique!
Just as there are recipes for cooking with wine, there are recipes for cooking with beer. Beer will produce a delicious, yeasty bread that is wonderful when paired with a hearty chilli or stew, or just slathered in butter, and this bacon cheddar beer bread is no exception. I used Farmery Estate Lager as my beer of choice, but you can use whatever local craft beer you like best.
Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread
makes one loaf – adapted from Pastry Affair
- 10 slices bacon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- 12 oz bottle of beer
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 4″x9″ loaf pan.
Cut bacon strips into small pieces. Fry over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt, shredded cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. Add beer and mix until just combined. Place bread mixture in the prepared loaf pan and roughly spread to the edges. I like the ridges of a textured crust so I do not smooth the top once placed in the pan. Pour melted butter over the top of the dough mixture so it’s completely coated.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan to completely cool.