hops and leaves

"vegebeerian" is a thing.

BREWGLERS.

Dogfish and Google pair up to brew URKontinent Dubbel

"Unlikely partnership," my ass. Cool concept of brewing tea with the beer ingredients to get a sense of the flavor in the propagandistic video (favorite part: the not-forced-AT-ALL videoconferencing MacBook Pro). WILL REPORT BACK HOPEFULLY.

Ask and you shall receive.

Chicago’s Revolution Brewery is holding a autumn fall tasting dinner next week! I’ll be honest y’all. I couldn’t pick a lot of these ingredients out in a lineup, BUT STOKED NONETHELESS. WILL REPORT BACK POSTHASTE.

Reception Cocktail:

Made with Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch

Amuse-bouche:

Brussel sprout leaf, golden beet & apple salad

1st course

Erehwon Farms carrot bisque, roasted red beet sorbet / Beer Pairing: Revolution Brewing El Hefe Loco Hefewiezen

2nd course

Salsify, Butternut Squash, Endive and Chorizo over Apple Puree, Apple Cider Reduction and Pumpkin Seeds / Beer Pairing: Metropolitan Dymano Copper Lager

3rd course

Gentle Farmer fried okra, pickled figs, leek fettuccine, zucchini sauce & cardamom gastrique / Beer Pairing: Revolution Brewing Hop Princess

4th course

Goat Cheese (or Mushroom) Pierogi, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Braised Cabbage, Pears and Spiced Sour Cream / Beer PairingRevolutionFausten Weizenbock

5th course

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse Tart, Ginger Molasses Iron Works “Ice Cream,” Caramel, Sweet Potato Chips / Beer Pairing: Metropolitan Iron Works Alt

After Dinner Drink

Revolution Barrel Aged Skara Brae Scottish Ale, aged in Heaven Hill Rye and Bourbon Barrels

Figs and goat cheese: the bacon challenge

I lose my shit over figs since I had my first fresh fig just over a year ago, so I’ve been trolling tastespotting.com and whatnot for fig recipes but everyone was wrapping up figs in bacon or prosciutto and even though I haven’t had bacon in over ten years my mouth instinctively WATERS. So whatev, it’s cool, we’ll roll with it by USING BEER TO RECREATE BACON. I’ve read about beer pairng well with certain flavors (one source I had actually recommended an Orval with this Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog) but I had never tried to use a beer to recreate a missing flavor, and recreating a no-dice flavor like smoky, salty, fatty  bacon seemed like a cool challenge.

ENTER THE RAUCHBIER.

This rauchbier (smoked beer) urbock is from the Schlenkerla brewery in Bamberg, Germany. Few places make rauchbier much anymore because it can taste sort of heinous, but it’s made with malt that was dried in a smoke kiln, so it tastes super smoky and rich—Schlenkerla started doing this around 1405, but clearly most breweries eventually figured out how to dry their malt in other ways. Schlenkerla’s one of the two breweries in Bamberg that does smoked beer, and is known for its more intense smokier taste. Smoked beer smells, and tastes a whole lot like bacon, which confused and grossed out any and all roommates of mine who were present for this.

It’s pretty intense, especially at first sip, but it worked really well with the figs, balsamic, and goat cheese. The Urbock was about as dark as a Doppelbock, and had really great malty aftertastes, once the HOLY SHIT BACON flavor died down. The Humboldt Fog was sort of ashy to begin with but the cheese was more crumbly than creamy. To recreate the fatty texture of bacon, I’d probably use a creamier goat cheese like a softer chevre, even though the ash was A+.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with half a bottle of Rauchbier that smells like bacon slapped you in the face.

More on Bamberg and a recipe:

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I will not stand for this.

The good: food truck roundup on chilly Thursday nights, the goat cheese tamales from the fine Mexican-masked wrestlers of the tamale spaceship truck, the Left Hand Milk Stout which was smoky and solid.

The no-good: THIS ABSURD TREND OF BEER IN MASON JARS. I thought this was just a pox upon the Mission district but it’s inching its way west. Okay ONE, I suspect it isn’t a full glass, and TWO, it is some damn Anthropologie catalog BS that made for the worst foam situation of all time, and THREE, idk I just like ranting.

Blackberry and peach galette and Goose Island Matilda

Of course I needed to kick this off with a dessert. This is from some time ago, back when peaches were overly ripe the Friday before labor day, so I liberated a bunch from my office kitchen. I knew I wanted to get into this whole pie-baking scene, so I made a galette for the end of summer and matched it with a Chicagoan Belgian pale ale I always saw in Mountain View’s BevMo but never actually got, a Goose Island Matilda.

YO POP QUIZ. What’s the difference between a pie, a galette, and a tart? As far as I can deduce from the internet, a pie crust is usually flaky with lots of butter or lard, but not much sugar. Tart crusts tend to be more sugary. Galette crusts share more in common with pies, but cosmetically they are lazy—broke ass pies, if you will. So I made this galette with a cornmeal crust cause I wanted something with more heft to it than just refined flour + butter, even though somewhere, my mother just shuddered at me suggesting flour + butter Is Not Enough.

I went to fucking town on this dessert. I love playing with my food, so the processes of mashing up the dough, rolling it up, and pinching it around with my hands made for a super fun afternoon, even though it’s revolving doors putting the dough back in the fridge after every step. I matched up blackberries with peaches and nectarines for this recipe, cause peaches are super mellow but blackberries hold their shape. The galettes were gone in about 20 minutes after I invited some friends over to attack them, so GOOD WORK ALL.

The Matilda was an awesome match for this. It was spicy and sweet and had enough malty heft versus the sort of gooeyness of the peaches and blackberries. True confessions, I sort of just wanted to try the Matilda so I wasn’t sure how it would work as a dessert beer, but since the galette was actually very low in added sugar, nothing felt too sweet. AWESOME.

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Hops and leaves.

The rabbit equivalent of hit it and quit it. Or just beer recs and recipes.

The last thing the world needs is another bad hops pun but I couldn’t resist, and vegebeerian and barleywhines were no-gos, so we’ll all have to make do, especially those friends of mine who associate the beer-with-a-sledgehammer appeal of hoppy IPAs with the downfall of American taste and subtlety.