Thursday, January 25, 2007

Beer as Cuisine

Not alot of posting in this direction so far. I know. [Insert Day Job Whining] Anyway...

I think the "Beer as Cuisine" concept has two basic angles; using beer as an ingredient in food preparation and beer as an accompaniment to prepared food. The former meaning beer having a greater role in overall flavor development than simply using it as a liquid component. The later meaning the use of beer to enhance/support/contrast/etc. the enjoyment of mowing through your delectations (much in same way that wine is used). One evening over the holidaze we enjoyed a bit of store brand Asiago with cashews and a bottle of North Coast Brother Thelonius. Slightly sharp, firm, and nutty cheese with that salty cashew (earthy? slightly sweet?) followed by the softly warming, mildly sweet and spicy Strong Dark Belgian-Style ale. Very nice. Speaking of cheeses; New Years Eve, we had an aged Edam that we were washing down with Sandemans Ruby Port. Mmm, fantastic!

I brew an Irish Stout every year and prepare a good meal of corned beef, boiled potatoes, steamed cabbage, carrots and house made soda bread. This year won't be any different but with one exception, I'm going to cure my own corned beef! Ha, ha!!! I'll get some good natural brisket and brine away. Lotsa cracked pepper, Indian coriander, allspice, some mustard seed and a fair dose of bay leaf. Should be good. I'll use the Egg to cook the brisket "low and slow". The Stout is based on Guinness (of course). Medium-light bodied, silky from using too much flaked barley, tart from a bit of acid malt and intensely roasty/coffeeish from a generous dose of roasted barley. Good with the corned beef, helps to clean the palate off a bit after a bite of rich and fatty brisket. Hmm, I'll have to get that going soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happy New Year?

Wooof. Zero action in the home brewery these days. Frakkin' Day Job. Holidays were great though. The Holiday beer turned out very nicely. Firm brown, softly malty (chocolate biscuits and toffee), slight phenol spiciness (warming spices; clove, cinnamon, etc.), quite firm bitterness and a citrus zesty hop flavor. Very nice indeed. Pretty much killed that keg. Took out most of the 2nd keg of Pac Man Pale. Started in on the tank of O-fest lager. Now this one is real good. More Pale Bock than a strict strong Marzen. Firm Munich malt finishing clean with a whiff of alcohol. Otherwise, mostly settled for Celebration Ale and Brown Shugga. Half-racks of the former was a capital idea, thank you Sierra Nevada. A case of 22's of the latter held up pretty well. Didn't care too much for the Jolly Roger this time. Just not doing it for me; candyish, phenolic, and dirty tasting. Scored a bottle of Glenmorangie 15yr from Santa, dee-licious! New Years Eve was sweet. Woke up on the 2nd and went to work. We got an XL Big Green Egg from Santa. Very killer! Looking forward to getting that going. Just have to get it put together. Woulda had it cleared today but ran out of light.

Looking forward to StrangeBrewfest up at the Water Street in Port Townsend next weekend. We've got our travel arrangements squared for the Toronado in February for the Barley Wine Festival. We've decided to hit Belgium in May. Then I'll come back and give notice (yuk, yuk, yuk).