Friday, January 30, 2009

Lookin' for Suds in All the Wrong Places

Brew pubs in Utah?

Now this is some change I can believe in!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beer of the Week

One could speculate that since I haven't been tending to this blog and writing up beers, I haven't been tasting new and exciting brews. One would be wrong.

This week's BOTW comes to us from a place familiar to those acquainted with the American brewing revolution, Northern California.

Located about 30 miles north of San Francisco, Moylan's Brewery in Novato, California has a wide array of beers, including a pale ale, an IPA, a Stout, a barleywine style, and the star of our show, "Kilt Lifter" Scotch style ale.

A Scotch ale, or "Wee Heavy," as it is sometimes known, is one of four distinct brewing styles to come out of Scotland. The other three are called "Scottish Ales," and are named to reflect their increasing original gravity: light, heavy, and export. A Scotch ale has an original gravity higher than all three.

Barley being an abundant crop in Scotland, malt was never in short supply. In fact, when Scotland joined with England in 1707, the treaty specifically exempted Scotland from a malt excise, further encouraging the region's malt heavy ways.

Hops crops were another story. The common bittering agent refuses to flourish in Scotland, forcing Scottish brewers to use other ingredients for bittering like ginger, spices, and other herbs. Thus we have the malt-heavy and hops-light brews that comprise the style of the Scots.

Kilt lifter pours a dark amber color with a nice, tight, off white head. A caramel and biscuit smell is married with some fruity aromas (oh my God, is that watermelon?).

The beer is sweet and thick, but not as thick as some other Scotch ales out there (McEwan's). There's definitely a strong malt sweetness to the front, but it's complimented with a raisin taste and a distinct and just slightly bitter finish. There are earth tones in this beer, but not peat to the extent of a Scotch whiskey.

If you are leery about trying new Scotch ales, this is a quality beer not to fear. The malt isn't overpowering, and the earthiness of it doesn't knock your socks off. A fine outing from Moylan's.

Links of Interest:

Moylan's Brewery

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recipes on the Brain

What is the next best thing to drinking delicious beer? Why cooking with it of course. Combining my love of beer and my love of cooking not only provides me with tasty food, but also a better understanding of the flavors that shine through in certain beers.

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite and easiest recipes I make involving beer:

Slow Cooker Kielbasa in Beer

3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Medium Onion (I prefer red onion to add color)
7 Medium Potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes)
1lb Polska Kielbasa (use the best you can find, check your local meat market)
1 Can or Jar of Sauerkraut
Spoonful of Horseradish
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Beer Ingredient:
2.5 bottles of an Oktoberfest Style Beer (My favorites to use are Paulaner Oktoberfest or Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest; if you don't have access to either, a brown ale will work in a pinch)

1. Turn the slow cooker to high. 2. Rough chop the garlic, onions and potatoes and toss them into the slow cooker. 3. Next, cut the Kielbasa into chunks that are about 2 inches long and add to the slow cooker. 4. Then add the horseradish and spices. 5. Finally, add the beer and the sauerkraut and stir.

Let the whole thing cook for about 4-5 hours checking in on it about once an hour to stir and see how it is coming along. If the beer boils down but you are not ready to serve, simply add a little more beer or some water. It is ready to eat when the potatoes are fork tender.

Enjoy with some spicy ground mustard and the rest of the 6 (or 12 if you are up for it) pack.

Links of Interest:

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Hello 2009!

Ok, I know, we have really been bad at the whole keeping up with the blog thing. Moving to Minneapolis, starting a new job for me, and Ryan starting law school has had our minds on other things. But I promise that we will be back soon posting and sharing our love of beer. Check back soon for reviews, recipes, and rants.

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