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Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

For a vegetable dish tonight i had vignole in mind – an italian braise of spring onion, artichokes, fava beans and peas. I used flageolet beans instead of fava. I had no clue what to make for a meat course and entered Wegmans with some vague ideas of turkey or chicken or maybe even salmon burger in mind. But there i stumbled on organic boneless/skinless chicken thighs: they looked nice and one could prepare them simply and simply as pan seared cutlets (this being summer and our AC is not functioning, the oven prep was out of the question). Back home i decided to make a quick Jeremiah Tower marinade – whizzed garlic and oilve oil. My variation also included thyme and jalapeno. I started to make it in a blender but the mixture was too heavy for the device so i poured some beer i was meaning to have – Stone IPA. Covered the meat in the mixture and left it at room temp for 30mins. Removed most of the marinade, and seared skin side down for 3mins and then turned for 2mins more. Lowered the heat and let them to finish cooking for about 5mins more. Excellent!

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Strange Brew

During this cold winter i sort of lost any interest in mixology. So no wonder i missed the article on the subject once so dear to my heart, of beer cocktails – Bartenders hop up cocktail flavors with beer… The article is so insightful and quotable you want to memorize it.
The Strange Brew sounded especially interesting so i couldn’t resist to try this crazy concoction. Used the Plymouth gin and Green Flash West Coast IPA.
And though i’m not a big fan of drinks on the rocks this one came out amazing. Smooth, bitter, not sweet and highly aromatic. Top notch.

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A confession – i’m not a big fan of writing (and reading) beer tasting notes. I find them (similar to wine TNs actually) too trying, in many cases forced by the rigid format (no less than X words) of beer reviewing sites.
And then a good belgian is a good belgian, who really cares what you think about Orval, repeated in the umpteenth time – this is a damn great beer – but you either love it or don’t, end of story. It’s like writing the review of Sistine Madonna really.
Now once in a while here comes a beer that is different and daring – like this Avatar Jasmine IPA by Elysian.
After brewing for a while i understand how difficult is to pull a flavored beer through so i applaud their effort. In fact jasmine is as difficult as lavender – you overdo it and end up with a toilet freshener…
So here are my tasting notes (won’t bother with obvious – this is a solid IPA)…
Aroma – an certain clash of herbal hops and jasmine flower.
Flavor – Elysian brewer should get kudos for choosing right malts to go with jasmine – a perfect balance!..
I think i’ll go get more of this quite an intriguing beer.

Oh in case you wonder apropos of Valentine reference, i found this beer much better than a requisite champagne…

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Many moons ago one of the members posted on then popular What Beer Did You Drink Today thread on eG: I drink my homebrews only… At that time i dismissed him as a show-off but here we are – almost a year of home brewing under our belt, and a nice selection of our beers in the fridge: and i’m totally ready to eat my words.
Today we brewed one more – a bitter pils with guajillo and d’arbol chiles that tasted promising, and in celebration we poured only ours at dinner – Strong Wit, Saison d’Hiver and Saison D’Autumn. What a rewarding feeling it was!
And accompanying dinner was not lame too – simple lamburgers of fatty lamb, minced red onion, pasilla chile powder, coriander, cumin and cilantro served with warm wheat naan and radish/onion/yogurt salad.

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Apple Beer, Almost

So there was an orphaned bottle of Unibroue Ephemere Apple in the fridge that begged to be imbibed. I felt its pain but couldn’t imagine to stomach this beer neat. At this point another bottle caught my eye: this one contained leftovers of fresh cider i was meaning to use in some fancy autumnal cocktail. And then, oh the sweet spur of the moment, i decided to mix both liquids in a drink: a generous splash of cider (how much is this – 2oz maybe?) topped with a bottle of Ephemere Apple – pretty, light and tasty. And feels like a perfect fall: decoration with a cinnamon stick or anise star still recommended for those sophisticated drinkers among us.

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Brewing Under Rain

For fall winter brewing we moved the action to the garage:
Winter Brewing

And this was a summer set up:
Summer Rain Brewing

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Modern Beer Cocktails

Recently several publications covered beer cocktails offering a bunch of interesting recipes by known mixologists. Some of them are luckily available online:
In Food Arts Beer Tails.
Some more here: Flavor Touchdown.

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