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Beer & Food
The Great American Beer Festival just keeps getting bigger. More than 800 breweries poured more than 4,000 beers for approximately 62,000 people attending the festival last week in Denver. The enormous convention center setting took on an atmosphere of part circus, part beer-geek Disneyland and part over-sized carnival. Even the pretzel necklaces took it to a new level; instead of wearing a string of pretzels around their neck many participants had a large BAG of pretzels clipped to their necklaces.
For many brewers, particularly the winners, the highlight was Saturday when 280 breweries collected 306 medals in 102 categories. There were 8,496 entries from 2,404 breweries. View the 2018 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.
Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, has won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence in the category of “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.”
This is the first time a beer professional has won the award since the James Beard Awards were established in 1990.
“This is my 20th year at Brooklyn Brewery, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate a banner year,” Oliver said. “Chefs are the closest peers of the modern craft brewer, so the culinary side of brewing has always been very important to me. I have a lot of friends in this room. This is a great honor, and I think it signals the fact that real beer is back where it belongs – at the table.”
Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989, then went to work at Brooklyn Brewery in 1994.
His first book, “Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food,” won the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Award and was a finalist for the 2004 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. His most recent book is “The Oxford Companion to Beer.”
Celebrating the end of Prohibition 78 years ago, Santa Margarita Ranch and Firestone Walker Brewing will host a festival April 8 that features bourbons, ports and barrel-aged beers.
Tickets are $50 and the event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the historic ranch 20 miles south of Paso Robles, where Firestone Walker Brewing is located.
The lineup of barrel-aged beers already includes selections from Firestone Walker, Lost Abbey Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing and Stone Brewing and others likely will be added.
Bourbons scheduled to pour include Blanton’s, Bulleit, Basil Hayden’s, Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey Rare Breed.
Wineries scheduled to pour ports include Cass, Roxo Cellars and EOS. More likely will be added.
Guests will enjoy tapas from Chef Chris Kobayashi (Artisan), Chef Mark Sahaydek (The Grill at Avila Beach Golf Resort), Chef Justin Gabbert (Novo) and other chefs yet to be named.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.fromthebarrel.net or call (805) 540-3508.
The Brewers Association has announced SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience has added a second session. It will be held June 3-4 in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Attendees may sample beers from 72 craft brewers, who team up with a duo of expert chefs to pair each beer with special dishes. Educational salons and private tasting salons will provide additional opportunities for attendees to interact with chefs and brewers.
Details from the press release:
In 2010, the event sold out in less than one day, which is why SAVOR has expanded to two nights for 2011.
SAVOR tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 3, at SavorCraftBeer.com. General Admission tickets for Friday, June 3 or Saturday, June 4 are $110 and SAVOR Salons are $30 per Salon.
NEW FOR 2011
Two Expert Chefs Orchestrate Pairings
This year’s menu items and pairings will be carefully designed by expert beer and food pairing chefs from both coasts: Adam Dulye of Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco and Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s in Washington, D.C.
Educational Salons and Private Tasting Salons
Nine ticketed Educational Salons, seating 90 people in an auditorium, will feature the culinary and brewing artistry of chefs and craft brewers along with in-depth discussions of flavor and pairings.
Full-Size Stemmed Glassware
For the first time, SAVOR attendees will receive full-size commemorative glassware for sampling at the event and later for personal use.
We’ve started a beer countdown to Valentine’s Day on our Twitter feed, but some things just don’t fit into 140 characters.
Turns out that Boston Beer has partnered with FromYouFlowers.com to create a Samuel Adams Hoppy Valentine’s Day basket.
The package includes dark chocolate, artisanal salami, gourmet smoked gouda cheese, an assortment of mixed nuts, a bottle-opener key chain, two Boston Lager Pint Glasses and flowers . . . in this case a jar of hops.
No beer. But, not surprisingly, Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch has a solution. “Couple the basket with a six-pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and you have the perfect gift,” he said a press release. The release includes results from a survey that found 70% of women says it’s hard to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
“Men are typically overlooked on Valentine’s Day, so we wanted to come up with a way for them to receive something they actually want and will enjoy,” Koch said for the press release.
The hops, of course, are the flower addition to the package. The are the same noble hops that Koch rather famously travels to Bavaria each year to choose from each year’s crop.
The package costs $54.99 and is available through Monday. Customers who enter the promotional code “SAM” will receive 20% off on their order.
Boston Beer Co. has added a pumpkin beer to its Sameul Adams “Harvest Collection,” a mixed pack of beers for the fall. The 12-pack includes two bottles each of Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Octoberfest, Boston Lager, Dunkelweizen, Irish Red and Black Lager. Harvest Pumpkin and Dunkelweizen are available only in the Harvest Collection.
Samuel Adams first pumpkin beer includes 11 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel (a barrel contains 31 gallons) in the recipe, along with some smoked malt and traditional pumpkin pie spices.
Baker Carlene O’Garro of Delectable Desires bakery in South Boston has created Harvest Pumpkin Bread to accompany the beer. O’Garro is a beneficiary of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, which provide microloans and business coaching to entrepreneurs in the food and beverage and hospitality industries. The recipe:
Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale Bread
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup Harvests Pumpkin Ale puree (see below)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking power
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
1. Preheat over to 350°. Combine the sugar and oil in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer with paddle attachment at medium speed. Slowly add the egg.
2. Stop the mixer and add the harvest Pumpkin ale puree (directions below).
3. Turn mixer to low-medium speed and leave it running for 4-5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
4. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed or until all the ingredients are mixed together.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9- by 5-inch loaf pan, leaving room at top of pan for bread to rise.
6. Bake for 60 minutes. Check bread by sticking the center with a knife (when knife comes out clean, remove from oven). If needed, bake for another five to eight minutes or until knife comes out clean.
7. Once the bread has fully cooled, finish with light dusting of powdered sugar.
Pumpkin Puree ingredients
1-15-oz. can pumpkin puree
2/3 granulated sugar
1 bottle Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Combine all the ingredients and stir slowly. Set aside until ready to use.
Stone Brewing has revealed that mustards Stone Cali-Belgique IPA Cali-Dijon Mustard and Stone Pale Ale Stone Ground Mustard with Chipotle Peppers Stone and consumers thought contain its beer do not.
The San Diego area brewery offered a public apology for what it is calling “MustardGate”:
“We had no idea this was happening, and we immediately removed them from sale as soon as we learned of it last week. We work with Russ Bruhn, a local guy who owns a company called Carlsbad Gourmet to supply the mustards; Russ then contracts with another company to produce them. It is this company that we have found failed to put the beer in the mustard. What they did with the beer, we’re not sure. We sent them full kegs and they sent us back empty kegs . . . one can only imagine where it might have gone.
“It is important to note that all of our other sauces, including our hot sauces and grilling/BBQ sauces, which are made by a different local company, do in fact have our beer in them.
“We accept full responsibility for this misleading mustard and are committed to making it up to you if you bought it. If you come to the Stone Company Store with a jar of the above-mentioned mustards before September 1st, we’ll swap it for a 22oz. bottle of Stone Cali-Belgique IPA or Stone Pale Ale. If you can’t make it to the Stone Company Store, use the online coupon code mustardgate for 10% off any purchase from StoneCompanyStore.com good through September 1st.
“Needless to say, the sham mustard isn’t going to hurt anybody, and frankly, it’s still damn tasty mustard. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of exchanging it, be confident in the knowledge that you can still safely and satisfyingly continue eating it. Or better yet, pour a dash of our beer in your mustard and enjoy it the way it was supposed to taste.”
The Assignment: pick one of Deschutes Brewery’s adventurous craft beers and create a dish that pairs with it perfectly. For the average home cook, this might prove challenging. But for 18 outstanding chefs, it’s a piece of cake. Or, perhaps it’s a huckleberry white chocolate spice tart with toasted vanilla meringue.
That’s what chef Gavin McMichael of The Blacksmith will be pairing with The Abyss at the 21st annual Sagebrush Classic Feast on July 18. Other pairings include chef José Andrés’ “Not your everyday Caprese salad” with Green Lakes Organic Ale and chef Roberto Donna’s combination of La Fleur Ale and Lobster salad with fava beans, string beans, roasted beets and salsa verde topped with baby arugula.
The complete menu is posted to the Sagebrush Classic website. Tickets for Saturday night’s feast can be purchased online for $200 each. Besides Saturday’s culinary gathering in the Broken Top Meadow in Bend, Oregon, golf enthusiasts enjoy Friday’s fierce but friendly amateur golf tournament. Tickets for the golf tournament are $2,500 for a four-person Patron Team, or $650 or $850 for individuals (the higher price includes a ticket to Saturday’s feast). Proceeds primarily benefit Deschutes Children’s Foundation.
The Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic is a golf tournament and gourmet culinary event held each summer in the spectacular mountain town of Bend, Oregon. The primary beneficiary of the event is the Deschutes Children’s Foundation, which works to assist families and children in need in Central Oregon. Visit http://www.sagebrush.org for more information about the two-day event.
Beer loyalists can celebrate a victory in the world of pairing food and beverage as Arne Johnson, Brewmaster at Marin Brewing took home top honors on January 20th, 2009 at the 3rd Annual Three on Five event in San Francisco. The brain child of Emily Wines, master sommelier at the Michelin rated Fifth Floor restaurant, in San Francisco, CA, Three on Five pits a sommelier against a beer professional and an expert in an alternative alcohol beverage category in a tantalizing competition to see who can pair his or her beverage of choice best with the pre-selected five course menu. Each menu item is paired with a wine, beer and mixed concoction and the diners in attendance rate each pairing on a 1-5 scale. The 2009 Three on Five contributors included two-time champion Emily Wines, Brewmaster Arne Johnson and in a new-this-year beverage category, sake guru Beau Timken, owner of the True Sake store and author of Sake: A Modern Guide.
Arne Johnson took top pairing honors in 3 out of the 5 courses. Emily Wines took top honors in one course, as did Mr. Timken. The first course was Aligot, consisting of fresh dug potato soup, truffled brie, celery and truffle, with which participating diners preferred the Orval Trappist Ale from Belgium. Second course was Crevettes, a wonderful combination of black tiger shrimp with chermoula vinaigrette, crystal lettuce, spinach and pine nut pistou, with which the favored pairing was with the Bon Muroke Nama Genshu, sake from the Fukui Prefecture. The third course was Loup de Mer, consisting of pan seared wild striped bass with scallops, kalamata olives, baby artichokes and caper berries with lemon mousseline, with which Russian River Brewing Company’s’ Temptation Ale was named the favorite.
Marin Brewing Company’s gold medal winning Pt. Reyes Porter was the favored selection for the main course consisting of wild boar “pot pie,” wild mushrooms and celeriac remoulade. Rounding out the evening was a Poire et Citron created with sable breton, caramelized pears, citrus gelée poire william-caramel sauce and huckleberry sorbet, and participants chose Ms. Wines selection of a 2003 Doisy Vedrines Sauternes as the favorite.
Mr. Johnson’s overwhelming victory supports the growing trend of pairing beer with food. It is clear; beer is no longer just for BBQ’s and ball games. For more information about events like Three on Five, Arne Johnson or his beers visit www.marinbrewing.com
The first thing I noticed as I made my way to the 14th Annual Bones and Brews Festival was everybody and their dog seemed to be headed for the same place I was. In a place the size of Portland that tells you something. The 14th Annual Bones and Brew Festival, a benefit for the Oregon Zoo was held August 2nd and 3rd in Portland’s historic Pearl District next to Rogue Ales Public House and Distillery.
I’d seen the fest listed for years but , even though I’m a HUGE fan of good BBQ, I’d never felt like making the trip back to Portland a mere week after the end of OBF. That is no longer the case. The sounds of happy people and the heavenly aroma of pork BBQ filled the air as I entered the three city streets closed off for the fest. The barriers transformed this little piece of the Pearl District into Portland’s largest neighborhood backyard BBQ. Grill-masters competed with each other, offering succulent foods including traditional, Hawaiian, Asian, seafood and vegetarian barbequed edibles.
Thirsty festival goers eagerly chose their libations from 25+ Microbrews on the street of Microbreweries, many from the Northwest like Roots, Double Mountain, Ninkasi, New Old Lompoc, Mt. Hood Brewing, Hopworks, Lucky Labrador, Captured by Porches brewpub, Laurelwood, Willamette, Alameda, Rogue, Eugene City Brewery, and Issaquah Brewhouse and more.
Bones and Brew is a family-friendly event and there were plenty of activities for the kids, buckets of chalk for hopscotch and sidewalk drawings, face-painters, musical acts, and a designated kid zone. Our four-legged family members weren’t forgotten. Dogs were more than welcome at Bones and Brew in fact it seemed to be a requirement. My dog, Maggie, made lots of new friends as she enjoyed gourmet BBQ dog treats and lapped up all the non-alcoholic dog brew she could lay her paws on.
I didn’t get around to visiting the dog psychic, I’m not sure I want to know what Maggie has on her mind, or give her the chance to blab all kinds of embarrassing family secrets to a total stranger. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, my dog was already recently washed so I had no need for the dog wash station but apparently there were many dirty dogs in attendance because they seemed to be doing a brisk business each time we walked by.
There were fun contests happening periodically throughout the 2 day event. I watched the Kobe Bleu Ball eating contest with horrified amazement as contestants jammed Rogue’s signature Kobe beef and blue cheese meatballs into their mouths to see who could consume the most in 3 minutes. They didn’t even have to swallow, just kept pushing more and more into their mouths until they looked like crazed chipmunks on a feeding rampage.
Live music by Chervona, Oh Captain, My Captain, School of Rock, PK Flyers, Power of County, The Ty Curtis Band, and Bucyrus Erie, rocked the main stage. Chervona, a local Russian band, is so energetic and so much fun to watch, if I had to describe the music I’d have to call it a sort of gypsy punk polka and I enjoy it immensely. Chervona was followed by School of Rock. It’s exactly what you think it is. Except these kids aren’t in a program based on the movie, the movie was based on their program and these kids are very talented. They blew everyone away with fantastic covers of iconic hits of the 60’s and 70’s.
BBQ street included Tennessee Red’s, Cousin Kenny’s, and My Brothers BBQ. Tennessee Red’s won this year’s People’s Choice for Best Ribs, Cousin Kenny’s won Best Sauce and Best Brisket, and My Brothers BBQ won Best Pulled Pork.
What better than an evening of tasty BBQ, great craft beer, and excellent live entertainment? I can’t think of anything, can you? This event just became an annual for me. See you there next year.
Over 4,000 people attended the Bones and Brew event this year and $11,000 was raised for the Oregon Zoo’s new Predators of the Serengeti exhibit. 100% of admission donations go to the Oregon Zoo. Sponsors included Portland Magazine, Portland Street Car, Portland Tribune, and Snake River Farms.
To see more photos from the festival, take a look at the Bone & Brew Photo album.
It seems fitting that Oregon’s biggest annual beer event, The Oregon Brewers Festival, is preceded by a small gathering at Portland’s Rogue Ales Public House, where Fred Eckhardt schooled and entertained a sold-out crowd of enthusiasts on beer, cheese, and delicate art of milking a manatee.
A generation of brewers and beer enthusiasts cut their teeth on Fred Eckhardt’s writings on brewing and beer styles. His nurturing support of Oregon brewers like The Widmer brothers, Karl Ockert of BridgePort, and John Maier of Rogue Ales, to name a few, has helped make the Oregon beer scene what it is today.
A Beer and Cheese tasting may sound like an extended-pinky event to some of you but Fred really does manage to find a wonderful array of Oregon cheeses to pair with equally special Oregon craft beers. Add generous dollops of history and Fred’s personal stories and you have the makings of a great evening.
The 10 beer and cheese pairings sampled were:
- Roots Organic German Style Helles paired with Tillamook White Aged Cheddar
- Klamath Basin Golden Ale paired with Ancient Heritage Scio Feta (from sheep’s milk)
- Rogue Dead Guy Ale paired with Tumalo Farms Pondhopper
- Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar paired with Monteillet Fresh Chevre
- WalkingMan Knuckledragger Strong Ale paired with Oregon Gourmet Willamette Valley Camembert
Break for a cleansing glass of Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin
- Rogue Chocolate Stout paired with Rogue Creamery Chocolate Stout Cheddar
- Eugene City Brewery Triple Jump Pale Ale paired with Juniper Grove Redmondo Goat Cheese
- Issaquah Frosty Frog Spiced Smoke Beer paired with Rogue Creamery Spiced Chipotle Cheddar
- Hair of the Dog Fred Strong Old Ale paired with Rogue Creamery Oregonzola
- Rogue Olde Crustacean Barleywine Ale paired with Maytag Blue of Iowa (the only non-Oregon cheese offering)
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine was as the wait staff circulated the room with trays of beer and cheese.
The room went quiet as Fred began to speak, “Why beer and cheese, and not wine?” he asked, “Well, let me quote this New York wine writer, who said that ‘wine and cheese is a train wreck in the mouth.’ Wine and cheese have nothing to do with each other, but beer and cheese are both simple, nutritious foods born of grain and nurtured by fermentation.”
Fred referred to the cheese and beer flowchart we’d been provided, which to my untrained eyes, showed they had exactly two things in common, grain and packaging. I guess you could see similarities in the process of each if you pulled back, way back, and looked at each process on the most basic terms. Truly, the only similarity between beer and cheese I’m really interested in is they both taste good, especially together.
The volume in the room rose as we all sampled our first pairing, Roots Helles and Tillamook White Aged Cheddar. Next to the cheese on the plate were pretzels and apple slices. Fred instructed us to make a sandwich of the three, take a bite and munch it up and then take a sip of the Helles. Delicious! The sweet and salt worked together to bring out the hop character in the Helles.
“The milk of most mammals has been made into cheese,” he said,” even yaks, reindeer and manatee — though I have no idea at all how they milked the manatee.”
“Manatee’s have milk?” I wondered as my brain digested that little tidbit, “Who the heck…”
“But milk they did,” Fred continued as I strained my ears to hear more, “because manatee cheese was an ingredient in the baldness elixir that Sir Francis Drake brought back from the New World to the thinning-on-top Queen Elizabeth. Manatee cheese, mixed with rum and chewed tobacco, to be exact: After three weeks, the Queen decided it wasn’t working and She Was Not Amused. Sir Francis had to beat a hasty retreat to escape a death sentence … leaving me still wondering how you milk a manatee.”
The wait staff swung into action and delivered the next pairing. It was getting harder to hear Fred as the noise level in the room began to drown out Fred’s microphone. Where’s a cattle prod when you need one?
The second pairing was Klamath Basin Golden Ale and Ancient Heritage Scio Feta. I’d never had Feta from sheep’s milk or Klamath’s Golden Ale before so I was eager to sample each separately and together. The Feta was wonderfully salty and firm. The Golden Ale light and mild. The combination…perfect.
I could hear Fred on and off with the ebb and flow of the crowd.
“Cheese Tasting is just like beer.” he said, “Look – Sniff – Taste – Evaluate – and then Post Evaluate.”
As the third pairing was delivered he rattled off the 7 types of cheese. Now the cheese guild describes them this way, “Fresh, Natural Rind, Soft White, Semi-Soft, Hard, Blue, and Flavored.” Here’s how I think I heard Fred describe them, “Unripe, Barely Ripe, Curds, Ripe, Ripened,” and something else I couldn’t quite make out. I tried to figure out where Tumalo Farms Pondhopper, paired with Dead Guy Ale, fit into that list. (Pondhopper turned out to be an aged goat cheese, infused with hop flowers and steeped in Oregon beer.) I didn’t taste the hops in the cheese but it was good and the pairing was excellent.
Fred continued to dish out beer trivia and cheese facts as more beer and cheese circulated the room. Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar paired and Monteillet Fresh Chevre. I love Hazelnut Brown Nectar but I’ve never been a big fan of soft white cheese. “What the heck,” I thought and dove in, “this is what we’re here for.”
The cheese had a very light taste and the texture of ice cream. When I took a sip of the Hazelnut Brown Ale they seemed to cancel each other out, leaving me with nothing but the texture of the cheese. Interesting, but I’d rather have the beer by itself.
As the fifth pairing was served the room had gotten pretty loud. I did catch a couple interesting things Fred said.
“I spent my 7th year on a goat farm – When you flunk 1st grade there’s hell to pay!” and “For those of you ladies who are interested, I will be conducting a tour of the men’s room after the last pairing…”
The pairing, Walking Man Knuckledragger Strong Ale and Willamette Valley Camembert arrived. The cheese had a thick rind with a soft cheese center the consistency of Velveeta. The cheese itself had a bitter finish, but when combined with the strong ale it seemed to cancel out much of the beer hop bite and bring out the sweetness of the malt. Not bad together, don’t think I’d eat the cheese alone though.
Time for a break! We were served Spruce Gin by Rogue Spirits to refresh our taste buds. Whew! It woke mine up. I’m not really a gin man but I could get used to this stuff.
We’d all just settled back into our seats when the sixth pairing was served. Rogue Chocolate Stout and Rogue Creamery Chocolate Stout Cheddar (also made with Rogue Chocolate Stout.) Both were delicious separately and when combined the sweet chocolate really came to the forefront.
The seventh pairing, Eugene City Brewery Triple Jump Pale Ale and Juniper Grove Redmondo Goat Cheese was a bust. The ale was good, the cheese okay, but the combination did not make my mouth happy.
The eighth pairing, Issaquah Frosty Frog Spiced Smoke Beer and Rogue Creamery Spiced Chipotle Cheddar, made up for the previous and I found both delicious separately and excellent when combined.
With the ninth pairing Fred warned the group that anyone allergic to penicillin shouldn’t try the cheese. For some reason that didn’t set off alarms in my brain. Hair of the Dog Fred Strong Old Ale and Rogue Creamery Oregonzola were served. “Oregonzola? What the heck is Oregonzola?” I thought as I studied my sample. It sort of resembled blue cheese, and I hate blue cheese. I took a bite and found out it was indeed a form of blue cheese. Thank god I had a glass of beer to wash it down with…yuck! Sorry but as far as I am concerned, Blue cheese falls in the same taste category as liver, you either like it or hate it with a passion.
And so, when the final pairing of Rogue Olde Crustacean Barleywine Ale and Maytag Blue came around I politely offered my cheese to someone else and finished off the evening with the strong bite of Old Crustacean hops on my tongue.
There was a vote at the end of the tasting. The Issaquah Frosty Frog Spiced Smoke Beer paired with Rogue Creamery Spiced Chipotle Cheddar received the most votes and was named best pairing of the evening.
As Fred conducted his tour of the men’s room for a giggling group of ladies, I thanked my host and left. It had been the perfect start for the busy week that is Oregon Brewer’s Festival, and I look forward to more Fred tastings in the future, next time I’ll sit closer, maybe Fred will divulge the secret of how they milked that doggone manatee.
For more pictures of Freds 17th annual beer and cheese tasting go to Flickr.
It would seem you might measure the history of how Americans perceive the relationship between beer and food, and thus the status of beer itself, based on the covers of beer cookbooks. And perhaps the photos inside.
Witness the progression of covers for what we call “beer cookbooks.” Bob Skilnik writes in Beer & Food that breweries of the early post-World War II took a disjointed approach to putting beer and food together in consumers’ minds. Storz Brewing in Nebraska was unique, long publishing booklets and eventually a hardcover cookbook in 1956 that was jammed with recipes.
The cover of that book, however, featured unplucked game birds hanging upside down and awaiting attention. Few photos accompanied the recipes themselves. By 1983 Anheuser-Busch did a little better with The Official Budweiser Cookbook, an 80-page collection of recipes on medium paper stock with nearly 20 full-page color photos. But, like the cover featuring Potato-Kielbasa Salad and Beer Rye Bread, most were hearty “down-to-earth” dishes.
Compare that to the recently released Great Food Great Beer: The Anheuser-Busch Cookbook, 300 glossy pages thick with luscious photos filling every other page. Pure food porn. The one on the left features Roast Red Peppers with Garlic and Garlic-Stuff Mushrooms (recipes below).
The 1983 cookbook opened with a quick history of Anheuser-Busch and just the briefest primer on how beer is brewed. Great Food Great Beer begins with a bit more history, goes even lighter on the beer making and instead gives a dozen pages to the aesthetics of beer — such as pairing food with beer, pouring beer, glassware, and menus for entertaining. Each recipe includes a suggested beer pairing, always suggesting a beer A-B brews or distributes as well as style for independent souls who might go their own way.
As one review of the book noted, “with the Clydesdales now pulling the bandwagon for beer-and-food pairing, the concept is likely to get a much wider airing.”
The beer-and-food education, in case you were wondering, is not as extensive as in the first half of Lucy Saunders’ The Best of American Beer & Food, nor are the recipes introduced with the extra bit of information that emphasize the artisanship at the core of her book.
The recipes also do not appear quite as challenging or perhaps as wide-ranging as in Saunders’ book, but we’re not talking meat and potatoes or “Fried Pheasant al la Storz” (to choose one from the 1956 book). Recipes such as Grilled Snapper Packets or Leek and Chanterelle would even impress a wine drinker.
Available in clubhouse stores and online before Christmas, Great Good Great Beer hit bookstore shelves this month. Just in time for the Super Bowl.
Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic
8 red bell peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the broiler. Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet and broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat source until the skins are blackened and blistered all over, turning as needed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper or plastic bag and close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes (the steam will loosen the skins).
2. Meanwhile, on a cutting board, using the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic with the salt, then transfer to a small bowl. Add the olive oil and pepper, stirring well to blend.
3. Peel, stem, and seed the roasted peppers and cut lengthwise into strips 3/4 inch wide. Arrange the pepper strips on a platter and drizzle with the garlic oil, scraping it out of the bowl to get all the garlic. Garnish with the parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
Cook’s Tip: Roasting intensifies the flavors of vegetables, and red peppers are no exception. You can roast the peppers in the oven or on the grill. You can prepare these peppers up to a day ahead, then cover and refrigerate. Let them come to room temperature and drain off any excess liquid before serving. Be sure to use very fresh garlic, as old garlic will taste bitter and strong.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs; see Cook’s Tip) or plain dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
24 large button or cremini mushrooms, stemmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small saucepan, combine the garlic and cream over low heat. Slowly cook until the garlic is soft enough to mash with a spoon, about 45 minutes. (The cream will be reduced and thick.) Remove from the heat and mash the garlic into the cream with a fork, making a rough purée. Stir in the panko and salt, mixing thoroughly.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lay the mushroom caps, top side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the edges with the olive oil and fill the centers with the garlic mixture.
3. Bake until starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to plates or a platter, discarding any released liquid. Sprinkle with the pepper and serve.
Cook’s Tip: The vast amount of garlic here is tempered by being slowly cooked in cream, resulting in a rich, mild garlic stuffing. Panko, or Japanese bread crumbs, is very light and crunchy. You’ll find it at Asian markets.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
The Brewers Association continues to reveal more details about “SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience” May 16-17 In Washington, D.C.
The event will feature “educational salons.” Scheduled speakers include: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Jim Koch of Boston Beer; Randy Mosher, author of “Radical Brewing”; Marnie Old, Assistant Dean of Wine Studies at the French Culinary Institute; Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery; and several “savvy cross drinkers” including Lauren Buzzeo, Assistant Tasting Director of Wine Enthusiast magazine; Ray Isle, Senior Editor of Food & Wine magazine; and Ken Wells, Senior Editor of Conde’ Nast Portfolio.
The BA previously announced the 48 breweries that will pour beer at SAVOR.
From the press release:
The public can enjoy three different tasting sessions scheduled May 16th and 17th at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium located at 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W. in Washington D.C.
Today, American beers are judged to be among the world’s best and have earned a respected place at the table alongside wine. In fact, two-thirds of today’s wine drinkers consume beer. This past summer National Public Radio observed, “Beer has gone from the House of Commons to the House of the Lords.” Additionally, Gallup in July 2007 confirmed beer is still the most popular adult beverage in the U.S.*
To ensure attendees can interact directly with the craft brewers, each session will be limited to no more than 700 consumers. Tickets are $85 each and will include a wide variety of small dishes and appetizers crafted to match the taste profiles of craft beers, a commemorative tasting glass, souvenir program, Craft Beer Taster’s Journal, and 2-ounce samples of specially selected craft beers. Federal City Caterers, which has catered many White House functions and Congressional receptions, will orchestrate the food menu.
The event will wrap up American Craft Beer Week celebrations across the country.
Gordon Biersch co-founder Dean Biersch plans to return to the brewery restaurant business next year, rolling out a concept the North Bay Business Journal says “could be a new chain.”
Biersch and Dan Gordon opened their first Gordon Biersch brewpub in 1988, turning it into a national chain that they sold eventually sold and a stand alone microbrewery.
Biersch left the company a year ago. A Sonoma resident, he plans to reopen the 105-year-old former electric-rail depot that most recently housed Sebastopol Brewing. He plans to reduce the brewery size to make more room for the kitchen and diners.
HopMonk Tavern will serve a variety of beers brewed elsewhere. That will include a pilsner from Gordon Biersch, but also many seasonal beers and in a variety of styles beyond the German-inspired beers that are the hallmark of GB.