Welcome to Beer to the People, a new series that will feature unique companies bringing Ontario's unique craft beer and beverages to people across the country. At The Wheeled Brew we focus on supporting amazing local brands, as we are one!
Looking for the ultimate crunch, Judith Derlachter took what was a special request from beer loving friends, and created a beer lover's dream: Beer Bread. Started in the beer-rich city of Montreal, Broadway Beer Bread caught The Wheeled Brew's attention on a visit to Black Lab Brewing! We decided to sit down with Judith and slice through the story of how it all started, craft beer, and more.
Tell us a bit about how Broadway Beer Bread was created?
I started experimenting with baking beer bread about 7 years ago. It was fun seeing how different beers drastically altered the bread's flavour. Forever being a bread lover I also wanted to create the ultimate crunchy crust! Over the years, friends and family would ask me to bake this special bread, and finally it was my dad who said, "you should start a business doing this!" He gave me the push to create Broadway Beer Bread one year ago. (Incidentally, named after the street we live on in Montreal.)
What kind of reactions do you get from people who try the bread, and what does it pair best with?
Often with the very first bite, people are surprised at how much you can taste the beer. The flavour is often stronger with darker beers like stouts. Then they usually remark on the slight sweetness and also saltiness which is a hallmark of the bread. I use a really nice sea salt which just punctuates the flavours. The bread pairs really well with cheeses like brie, cheddar and gruyere. Also different jellies, like peony jelly which I make in the summer from the flowers in my garden. Recently, some very ambitious customers have been making French toast out of a particular bread, the Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel stout loaf. (Editor's Note: Getting in my car now)
If you could drink one type of beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hardest question ever (Editor's note: We totally agree) ! I apologize but I have to give you a top 10 in no particular order:
Dieu du Ciel - Disco Soleil kumquat IPA
4 Origines - Apriknot pale ale
Kahnawake Brewing - Alright! Alright! Alright! pale ale
Labrosse - Et tu, brute? IPA
Black Lab - rhubarb sour
Dieu du Ciel - Castelnau English brown ale
4 Origines - Cacao Cosmos porter
Shillow Beer - Bitter Waitress black IPA
West Shefford - L'autre sorte rousse
Trou du diable - Saison des tracteurs
What does supporting local breweries mean to you?
It means everything! That's how this all got started. Baking the bread truly evolved out of my passion for craft beers. It is all my favourite things combined - food & drink, art, science, the people bringing it all to life! It is also extremely important to me to support small businesses that are right in my very own city or nearby. Working with local breweries means I am using the freshest beer to make fresh bread everyday!
What is the most far out beer you've worked into the bread?
I would say 4 Origines Caffiend coffee stout. It's personally my favourite beer bread. Something happens with the chemistry of this one. The beer turns the bread into almost an oatmeal loaf (as if there were actual pieces of oat in the bread, which there aren't), with malty and caramel notes. And then obviously the coffee flavour which I am obsessed with. The sea salt in this one comes out in the crunchy crust and melts in your mouth.
What would you like to do next with baking, beer, and bread?
I just want to keep on doing what I'm doing! I love that the business is a small one - I bake from home. Getting to know my customers, the amazing folks running the breweries and also the awesome Instagram community is the best part. Especially watching their faces when they taste the bread! I'm going to keep on doing events and bread tastings at different breweries. The next one I am baking for is the Sugar Shack at Kahnawake Brewing, which I am very excited for!
Where can people find this magical Broadway Beer Bread?
Aw, thank you so much!! Customers order the bread through Instagram or email, and then pick up at my home in NDG, in the western part of Montreal. I also offer delivery and have multiple pick-up points each week. I am also hoping to do another event this summer at Black Lab Brewing in Toronto - the last one was awesome!
Have you seen any other businesses or brands bringing Beer to the People in a unique way?
Well I would have to give a shoutout for this one to some of the amazing people I work with that make Broadway Beer Bread possible! Lisa Nighswander (@nighswander66) and Greg Chambers (@gregchambers8207), design and make my reusable, zero-waste bread bags. It is very important to me to have a bag that customers can buy and reuse each time they order a loaf. The first time a customer orders a bread bag, a loaf is included on the house! I would like to also give credit to Tove Ohlander of Tbydem who designs my apron/maker skirt. It is designed to be functional for all makers - bakers, brewers, glass workers, artists...It is beautiful and practical and allows me to work so comfortably!
Check out and follow Broadway Beer Bread on Instagram HERE
Check out The Wheeled Brew's Toronto based mobile bar & tap truck HERE