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Bivalves and brewskis — Niagara style


By Brian Yeo

OK, I’ve got to keep this one short and sweet. There is simply much too much pre-holiday bah-humbugging to do, lumps of coal to wrap, and reindeer games to play this time of year that time is a precious commodity.

And given that I’ve taken the Mayans at their words of impending doom I have every intention of cleaning out my wine and beer cellars prior to the December 21st apocalypse which is taking much of my focus, or lack thereof, at the moment.


Anyone care to join me for a little aged Bordeaux or Belgians? So these, fine folks, may be the last coherent thoughts I ever utter in written form, but then again, I have never really met a Mayan that I could trust or been known for coherent thoughts, so who knows.

833Typically, I’m not the sort to reflect on the past but as we move into the end of year/end of times I wanted to mention a couple of things from 2012 that were definite highlights for me and how they will be joining forces to bring fine food and craft beer to Niagara on Friday Dec. 14.

First off was the emergence of some new craft breweries into the area and the strength to which they have come out of the gate. In particular, the Silversmith Brewing Company’s Black Lager quickly became one of my go to, must drink, damn this is good, please open soon so I can buy lots, sort of beers.

The other was the rising Tide and Vine Company popping up throughout the region in a vintage VW Microbus bringing some of the best oysters and other seafood delights you can find anywhere to the wineries, farmers markets, street food dinners, and events in the area. And as much as the food and drink is important to me the thing that strikes me most is truly what genuine and great people Chris and Matt (from Silversmith) and Mike and Kat (from Tide and Vine) are.

These people are as seriously committed to what they are doing as they are to the region and represent a bright future for all who call Niagara home. I do truly feel fortunate to have gotten to spend time with all of them throughout this last year and am more than excited to indulge in a unique collaboration and celebration which will be happening at the Silversmith brewery in a couple short days.


If you haven’t experienced the true bliss that fresh oysters paired to a good stout presents than you are in for a treat. And take it a step further Silversmith and Tide and Vine have combined their talents to produce an Oyster Stout.


Mike has let me know that Caribou, Malpeque, and Glacier Bay oysters from the Maritimes were added to the boil with the intent of adding a touch of minerality and salinity to the brew, which is always a lovely compliment to the rich roast and cocoa character of many stouts, while Matt has promised me the beer is dry and highly sessionable (danger alert).

ss-oyster-event1Tide and Vine will be offering a full menu to tease your gustatory senses and details can be found on Silversmith’s Facebook page here. And Silversmith will be showcasing 2 new beers in addition to the Oyster Stout, Black Lager and Breakfast Wheat.

I’ve heard what they are but won’t say anything more other than I can’t wait to try these. Also, in showing their support to the craft beer community of Ontario, Silversmith will be bringing in 3 beers from guest breweries for the night which, once again, I have been told and know very well which will bring a great compliment to what the crew from Silversmith will be serving up.

Tickets for the Oyster Stout Evening at Silversmith are $10 and space is limited. If you haven’t got yours already call the brewery at 905-468-8447. This promises to be a great evening.