At a time of year when people tour sugar bushes and consume stacks of pancakes with maple syrup, an Ottawa-area brewer offers its own take on the season: Maple beer.
Heritage Brewing, a craft brewer in Carleton Place, uses maple sap instead of water to brew its Maple Bush Lager.
“The beer varies in dryness from year to year depending on the sugar content of the sap,” the company says.
“This beer has the aroma of maple, the smokiness of a sugar camp and the rich colour of amber maple syrup.”
The beer is only available in the spring months. It is among other special seasonal products — such as Passion Brew, for Valentine’s Day, laced with passion fruit — for sale at the brewery or select LCBO stores in Ontario.
Another way to celebrate maple sugar season in the Ottawa area is to sample the special March Maple Madness menu at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
It features St. Albert blue cheese with roquette and Belgium endive, toasted walnuts and maple dressing, coupled with grain-fed chicken with Oka cheese and maple bourbon glaze. For dessert, there’s maple bread pudding.
And Signatures Restaurant at the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute will serve a dish of seared foie gras on a bed of cranberry and vanilla polenta, served with maple sauce and hazelnut crisp.