Didi and I met the Cape Ann Brewing Co. Fishermen (Tom and TJ) for the first time at this year's New England Food Show in Boston. You couldn't miss these two, clad in their trademark orange fisherman overalls. It's evident upon meeting them that they love what they do. Taste a sip of any of Cape Ann's beers and you'll see why. The beer is simply fantastic.
They stopped by our booth and surveyed the gourmet sea salt blends and sugar blends we had laid out for tasting. Within minutes ideas were swirling as they contemplated different pairings with their beers and our sugars. Our Orange Ginger Sugar with their Bavarian Wheat beer - perfection! We supplied them with sugar to rim their samples for the remainder of the show.
TJ had further plans for the Orange Ginger Sugar. He immediately started brainstorming about using it in a white beer that would feature flavors of orange and coriander. It was decided a batch would be made at their next Home Brew Night.
Living on the Northshore in MA has its its perks, but I'm beginning to think that one of the best perks is having access to the Cape Ann Brewing Co. brew pub. Stop by almost any night of the week and there is some great event going on - whether it be Trivia Night, Shuffleboard, or Knitting. My favorite night is Monday's Home Brewing with TJ.
The setting is super laid back - you bring a pint of your favorite beer to the back room and take part in learning how to do a home brew. TJ does a great job of teaching you as he goes - even letting you help out by stirring a pot or tossing in hops.
The highlight for me was adding in 2 lbs of our didi davis food Orange Ginger Sugar to that night's batch, aptly named "Didi's Wit" (wit for "witbier"). The smell was divine - the citrus from the orange juice and peel, followed by the spicy ginger. It wouldn't be ready for several weeks, as it needed to ferment as well as be carbonated.
However, we were able to sample other beers that were in process from previous Home Brewings - a favorite of mine being their "Pick Ale" that features cucumbers. It tasted like summer in a glass.
Two weeks have since gone by, and Didi's Wit is available on tap - TODAY! Didi and I are just now heading out to Gloucester to taste - so if you are in the area, stop by for a visit!