Award-winning syrup flows in Kinburn

KINBURN – Three Kinburn brothers, with a lot of help from the rest of the family, are back in business as the maple syrup season kicks off in West Carleton.

STD Maple, an acronym for Scott, Trevor and Donald, three brothers native to Kinburn, just started boiling their first batch of award-winning male syrup last weekend and are ready for their fourth year of producing small batch craft maple syrup.

“We run the operation in conjunction with our other brother, Tommy, the lead labourer, and our father, Don Sr., aka The Captain,” Don Jr. told West Carleton Online in an email interview.

STD Maple utilizes traditional and sustainable methods for producing “that sweet gold” creating a renowned finished product. One of many colours, appropriate density, clarity and flavour.

STD Maple, from left, Don Armstrong, Trevor Barton, Donald Armstrong, Tommy Armstrong and Scott Barton, in the sugar shack ready to go. Courtesy STD Maple
Donald and Trevor celebrate STD Maple’s win at last year’s Carp Fair. Courtest STD Maple

STD Maple syrup is getting quite a reputation after winning numerous awards at the Carp Fair. STD Maple won first prize in the medium class in 2017 and first prize in the dark class in 2018.

“We take pride in our operation and has been proven so with our wins exhibiting at the Carp Fair for two years in a row.” STD Maple operations manager Scott said.

“Ottawa Valley, Lanark County, and Western Quebec are the Maple Syrup capitals of the world,” said ‘master chef’ Trevor. “We have won first prize for two years now, competing against many illustrious producers, at the Biggest Little Fair in Canada. It may be safe to say that we produce the best Maple Syrup in the world.”

Boasts aside, spring is when it’s time to ‘put up.’

“We love this time of year,” says Donald, who specializes in quality control. “A change in seasons – enjoying the outdoors and reaping the awards by producing such as exquisite product off our property. This is a hobby we are most certainly passionate about.”

The three brothers have been next door neighbours and have been tapping their sugar maples since 2016. Sharing 10 acres of rugged land, rich in granite and deciduous hardwoods, within Eastman Heights north-west of Kinburn.

With the start of the maple season in full flow, the brothers expect 2019 to be a challenging year to defend their title.

With the deep amounts of snow and long winter, their production capacity will be scaled back. Currently, they are collecting on snowshoes, gathering the sap in five gallon buckets.

“No lines, just pales, the old-fashioned way,” Donald said.

The wood used to heat the stove and boil the sap is salvaged from the fallen and dead trees on the property. Finishing the maple syrup is an art – use of a hydrometer to measure the appropriate level of sugar content is key to determining the readiness of the syrup.

“The finished product, golden to amber to dark, boasts an array of flavours; light sweetness to subtle smokiness,” Donald said. “Enjoyed best on home made pancakes, waffles, in your favourite BBQ sauce, or drizzled on spicy and crispy fried chicken.”

As good as it sounds, you’ll just have to imagine the flavour. Or invite yourself over to one of the brothers’ homes for breakfast. The syrup is divided up between the family for their own comsumption and the odd competition.