Aug 5, 2018
Burgers are a summer grilling staple, but sometimes they can be a bit… dull. While switching up your protein (turkey burgers, anyone?) is an easy option to liven up dinner, there are other ways to freshen up BBQ night.
Try Village Beer Buns from Calgary Italian Bakery
Calgary Italian Bakery and Village Brewery have teamed up to offer a BBQ-ready product that’s guaranteed to please.
Village Beer Buns are a delicious, fresh-baked option that can add dimension and flavour to your basic burger and perhaps surprisingly—there’s not a drop of actual beer in them!
All the Taste, Without the Alcohol
“I think the cool thing about the Village Beer Bun is the fact that it has this nutty taste based on the Village Blacksmith Beer,” explains Louis Bontorin of Calgary Italian Bakery which crafts the buns in their Calgary facility. “Through the process and the fermentation of the dough, all the yeast and alcohol is burnt off. So what you're left with is that nuttiness of the beer; all the flavour, with no alcohol content.”
The buns are perfect for burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and grilled meats, and several local restaurants have also added them to the menu.
The Calgary Italian Bakery Village Beer Bun is just one example of how the bakery uses natural ingredients and local partnerships whenever possible in its products, and here, all the baking is done from scratch. There are no mixes, and no frozen par-baked starters.
“Scratch means you're back to the basic ingredients,” explains Bontorin, “You're back to flour, water, salt, sugar. We're not taking a bag and dumping it into a mixer and adding water.”
How Beer Buns are Made
Calgary Italian Bakery partnered with Village Brewery for this unique local product, taking
spent grains that would ordinarily be thrown away, and turning them into a tasty addition with tonnes of depth and flavour.
“The spent grain actually becomes one of our ingredients; it’s a partial replacement for some of the flour and it also has some moisture content so we need to add less. We do add some beer for flavour, but of course the alcohol is all baked out in the process,” elaborates Bontorin.
The grains give hints of caramel, espresso and chocolate to the dough with just the right amount of subtlety. Not only are the spent grains a tasty addition to the ingredient list, the ability to reuse them saves at least some of that waste from the beer making process from going to a landfill.
Village Beer Buns Gain Popularity
The buns are unique in Calgary, and they’re flying off the shelves; you can find them at your local Co-op store, but you’ll also see them on the menu at several local restaurants and brew pubs across the city.
“Dads definitely love these,” laughs Bontorin,“It does have a unique flavour and taste which is that nuttiness I mentioned, and that makes it fantastic for grilling and a great addition to a Saturday night BBQ with friends.”
Bontorin likens the Village Beer Buns to the popularity of Pretzel Buns a few years ago, predicting they’ll be a hit this summer.
Find Village Beer Buns in the bakery department at your local Calgary Co-op.
Written by Chef Chabot
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