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Meet Muskoka Roastery

In early October we released Shinnicked Stout, a coffee stout to warm you up after experiencing the teeth-chattering cold we endure during Ontario winters. Community Rep Victoria Rombis sat down with Jordan McKenzie of Muskoka Roastery, the folks behind the coffee used in our latest brew.

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Jordan, what is your favourite part about working for Muskoka Roastery?

As the Brand Manager at Muskoka Roastery, I handle all of our marketing and advertising, including coordinating with our media agency and being the photographer for most of our posts, which is why you’ll see my hands in some of the photos! I moved to Muskoka from Toronto, and it’s so beautiful here – plus I work with such a fun group of people so it’s been a great change.

What’s your personal favourite roast?

I have two. I typically drink the Howling Wolf at work, and the Wood Roasted Espresso at home (it’s delicious). I don’t know why I pick different roasts for different places, but I do like to use my old-school espresso machine at home.

Why do you love being based in Muskoka?

It’s beautiful here! I’m a pretty outdoorsy person, and there’s so much to do, from going hiking at Arrowhead or swimming in the lake. To be honest, I was surprised to find out how much you can do here. There’s so many restaurants and activities in town, I’ve really enjoyed it.

One of the Legends of our Mad Tom IPA is that it was named after the Mad Tom Catfish, native to the lakes in Muskoka. Have you ever had a run in with him?

No, thank goodness! I have an irrational fear of fish, I don’t even like knowing that they’re in the lake. I go along on fishing trips but I secretly hope nobody catches anything.

Have you ever experienced that feeling of being “Shinnicked” and if so, can you tell us the story?

Oh, totally. I’ve jumped in the lake with friends for May 2-4, and I think I’ve even jumped in as early as Easter weekend. You jump in the lake and it is definitely not warm, you have to gasp for your breath. In retrospect I’m not sure why I did that, but it seemed like a very Canadian thing to do!

Everyone has a favourite coffee mug, what’s the story behind yours?

Mine is mint-green mug, bowl shaped, and a big one. Sometimes I’ll get crazy and froth up some milk. It’s a two-hander, it looks adorable and it keeps your hands warm.

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What’s your favourite beer style? Does your favourite style of beer have a similar taste profile to your favourite type of coffee?

I am a stout drinker! I’m not just saying this because our coffee is in the Shinnicked Stout, I’ve always really liked darker beers and stouts. When we were approached to work with Muskoka, I saw coffee and stout together and I was sold right off the hop. My favourite beers definitely share a flavour profile with my favourite coffees.

What’s your favourite beer from Muskoka Brewery?

Shinnicked Stout, obviously! I also really like Winter Beard.

Why do you think the Lumberjack beans work so well in our Shinnicked Stout?

Because they have a really smooth taste, it’s a coffee that is strong enough that you can still pick up the flavours in the beer. But it also doesn’t overpower the beer. It’s a nice balance.

Do you think this could be a “gateway” beer for coffee-lovers that might not consider themselves beer-drinkers?

Maybe. I could see coffee-drinkers being more inclined to try it. On the other hand, our staff member Megan is not a coffee-drinker, but she really likes the beer.

We sometimes play around with using beer in food recipes – have you ever experimented with coffee in recipes?

Largely, we’re kind of purists when it comes to our coffee, we don’t typically add it to stuff. But our customers have told us that they use it in anything from candles to steak rubs. You can use coffee grinds for a lot of different things.

What is something that many people may not know about Muskoka Roastery Coffee, or coffee in general?

One of the things I didn’t know before working here is that the coffee bean is the pit of a coffee cherry.  It’s actually a red fruit and the coffee bean is the pit. There’s also a lot of science that goes into the roasting and blending of the beans. I think some people may not know that we’re a local company and we’ve been roasting in Muskoka for 16 years. We started from roasting coffee beans in a café and now we have branched out into doing more exciting things.

What are you most proud of as a company?

The 100% compostable coffee pods are something that I am very proud of. Disposable coffee pods are contributing an astounding amount of waste to landfills, so playing a small part in changing that feels good. Especially being in this area where we are so close to nature.

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RAPID FIRE

Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
Hot coffee

Black or Double Double?
Black. But on Fridays I put maple syrup in my coffee because its Fri-YAY!

Coffee on the Dock, or Beer on the Dock?
Beer on the dock

Spider Dogs or S’mores?
S’mores

Muskoka Chair or Hammock?
Muskoka chair

Coffee in the a.m. or coffee in the p.m.?
COFFEE ALL THE TIME.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the people behind our newest brew, to learn more about Jordan and Muskoka Roastery visit their website, www.muskokaroastery.com

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