A lot’s been happening this summer in the various surrogate kitchens of the Mountain Rambler Brewery. From visiting local farms, to planting cucumbers and herbs for our kitchen, to developing recipes, we are getting closer and closer to our goal of giving Bishop a menu that matches the mission of our business and fills a void in our community. Our goal at the Mountain Rambler is to support our local farmers, cook with the freshest and tastiest ingredients, and make from scratch everything we can. When we can’t, we will source from local partners that can. Cooking from scratch allows us total control over what goes into our food, and perhaps most importantly, how it tastes. With these intentions in mind, we hope to provide an opportunity to give thanks to the land while sharing a delicious bite and a cold beer at the end of the day. What better way to celebrate the mountains?
Earlier in the season we had a great day out at Banner Springs Farm, checking on the hop plants that will eventually make it into our taps, and preparing to stock the shelves of our future brewery kitchen. With the help of friends, we harvested, pickled and canned bushels of hop shoots, which are delicate asparagus-like growths that must be cut back for the benefit of the growing hop vines. Now we anxiously await the moment we can crack open our first jar and top a salad with the beautiful pickled shoots. Throughout the summer, we’ve been pickling Bishop-grown cucumbers for topping hamburgers, as well as dehydrating apples and tomatoes for the winter.
We’ve been working hard to find a way to purchase high quality ingredients, while keeping prices down for our customers. This is a tricky balance, as growing food on a small, sustainable scale is expensive. Generally, you get what you pay for. One solution to the problem is growing some of our ingredients ourselves; literally cutting out ALL of the middle men. At the beginning of the summer, Hillary Behr began planting greens for our salads, as well as herbs, in various garden plots around Bishop, including in her own yard. We hope that this experiment will be successful, and that we will find that by having our own brewery gardens, we can offset some of the costs of buying locally.
We would like to thank you in advance for your patience as we work to create a stable menu, and form relationships with local sources that we can depend on; these things will take time. We also hope that our loyal community can come to appreciate our different way of doing things. That no, we will not always have tomatoes for your salad or hamburger, but when we do, we can guarantee that they will be worth the wait. Instead of expecting tomatoes in the winter, when they are colorless and mealy, how about trying out a different veggie instead? Or, perhaps sun dried tomatoes that keep all winter long? We hope that our delicious, seasonal-dependent menu will gently push these questions, and make us all consider a different attitude toward food and dining.
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come.
Parmesan Polenta Tots. Our twist on classic “tater tots,” these cheesy polenta nuggets are fried to a crispy golden perfection and served with a pesto dipping sauce.
Falafel. Served with made-to-order pita bread, house-pickled veggies and tzaziki (yogurt) sauce, our falafels will please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Bratwurst. Your choice of a classic or spicy cajun brat (both locally crafted), served with two types of homemade sauerkrauts and dijon dipping sauce.
your local rambler chef, Katie Ryan