Saturday, October 15, 2011

Symphony Under the Sky and Ochsner's Porter

*This post got stuck in my drafts back in early September, so please read it with cool-ish evenings and ever so slightly changing leaves in mind.*

Like most September long weekends during the past few years, Charles and I found ourselves at Symphony Under the Sky. This year a weekend pass picked up at the 104th Street 'Al Fresco' block party meant we attended five concerts throughout the four day event.

Charles suggested his favourite concert over the weekend was Sunday afternoon's Rhapsody in Blue, which featured George Gershwin's American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue, and of course Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture complete with live canon shots. I preferred the Saturday evening concert led by Ian Tyson, which could have definitely has something to do with a Folk Fest related love of Four Strong Winds...

Beyond the music there was the usual food to be enjoyed, namely Fat Franks covered in mustard, pickles and sauerkraut, and warm, cinnamon-y mini donuts. Always the last indulgence of either for the year, I particularly enjoy these treats at Symphony Under the Sky - they signal the end of the best of the summer.

To balance out the Fat Franks...

A much welcome addition to this year's ESO concession was Ochsner's 1905 Alberta Porter, another brew by the Alley Kat/Sherbrooke team. Here's a little bit on the brew from the program:
Ochsner's 1905 Alberta Porter is named after Robert Ochsner, one of the earliest known brewers in Alberta. It was first brewed in 2010 to mark the 105th anniversary of Alberta becoming a Province. It is also the third in a series of beers sponsored by Sherbrooke Liquor Store and Alley Kat Brewing Company to recognize the winning Homebrewer of the Year at the Edmonton Home Brewing Guilds' Aurora Brewing Challenge. In 2010, the winning team of Patrick Doyle and Ray Duperron won gold... in competitions across Canada.

This porter was a treat to sip throughout the weekend. A serious departure from the usual big name lagers and IPAs, it was smooth and rich with a nice bite and a beautiful coffee aroma. With all those rich flavours it was lovely on both the cool, rainy Friday evening and the warm, bright Sunday afternoon.

Can't wait for next year's line up.


Anonymous said...

Actually according to Jeff Werstiuk's Kanpai blog(08/2010, on the Sherbrooke website), it was Elizabeth Ochsner who did the brewing. While her husband Robert took care of the business end of things.

(oh Darrell here, I've had it - it's a great porter!)

Marianne said...

So it does (heres' the blog link:

I wonder why they didn't mention that in the program book...?

Thanks, Darrell. That's actually pretty fantastic that it was Elizabeth behind the brews. And yes, it's such a lovely one :-)

Anonymous said...

D'oh! Wish I had thought of the Mole! Well, I mean before it was suggested...I'm sure I Must've read that soon after it went up - I frequently check to see what's new at Sherbrooke as well as routinely peeking at Kanpai!. Guess who'll be looking for more Ochsner's?;-) Might be an idea to experiment with various chocolate pairings...possibly a dark coffee truffle(hmm, though not a truffle Kerstin's Chocophilia Mocha Bean?), perhaps a good 75-80% bar with cocoa nibs or maybe a good mint chocolate. And speaking of chocolate, I Have to get to Kerstin's one of these days - for Theo & Zotter among others.

Marianne said...

I think this one would definitely be great with some chocolate. We have a great 'Cappuccino' bar from Domori right now that might work well too. And also one coming in from Patric.

Yes, certainly stop by. We have a bunch of Zotter right now (we didn't get the Black Beer bar unfortunately), though it's moving quite fast (as per usual). And Theo should be in sometime this week, as well as Amano once again.

BTW, I finally got around to actually trying the Askinosie the other day. Did you try the San Jose del Tambo from Ecuador? Wow - it's incredible. And then I saw it won gold at the Academy of Chocolate awards this year too.

Anonymous said...

San Jose del Tambo, from Askinosie...have to remember that. I was actually just browsing the Patric site & spotted a few pairing possibilities, such as the 75% Madagascar Sambirano Valley, the 70% Rio Caribe Superior or maybe the Mocha OMG(if you don't end up with clashing coffees. Oh also noticed a couple interesting Madecasse bars earlier. But enough, I'm starting to drool just thinking about it all - will try to stop by Tues. or Thurs.-oh, early Thurs., Sugarbowl Cask...Heatseeker, inspired by coconut & curry. Hmm, 'inspired by'?