Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Autumn in New England goes like this, apparently: The "leafers," as they're lovingly referred to, pile into their cars and make the long weekend drive through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, scoping out the fall foliage. They stop at pick-your-own apple orchards and pumpkin patches. They pick more than they know what to do with. Meanwhile, all of the local breweries  chuck pumpkins and spices into their brew kettles, and on their way back home, the leafers stop for seasonal six-packs. Here's the pick-six I brought home to sample.

Autumn in New England goes like this, apparently: The “leafers,” as they’re lovingly referred to, pile into their cars and make the long, laid-back drive through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, scoping out the fall foliage. They stop at pick-your-own apple orchards and pumpkin patches. They pick more than they know what to do with. Meanwhile, all of the local breweries are chucking pumpkins and spices into their brew kettles, and in most cases, these concoctions are magical. On their way back home, the leafers stop for seasonal six-packs. Here’s the pick-six I brought home to sample.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Squash blossoms with ricotta, corn and black beans and a roasted jalapeno chimichurri

Why not another squash blossom recipe! I you’re going to make some, go all out. Still not sold on edible flowers? At the very least, bookmark this amazing roasted jalapeno chimichurri sauce.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Squash blossoms with goat cheese, lavender and honey

I’ve been dying to make squash blossoms, but I’m always too late to the farmer’s market to nab a fresh bunch. Not only did I get a bunch recently — but they were buy-one-get-one! It took a little bit of time to gently work with the blossoms, but it was so worth it. These crispy and creamy little purses are phenomenal.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Chipotle-pumpkin chili

Are pumpkin flavors just for fall time? Absolutely not. It is a winter squash, after all. Pumpkin is chock full of vitamin A, which helps maintain your immune system while your entire office or family is sick.


(more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s back!  The first guide we ever undertook for the blog — way back in October 2010 — was our Oktoberfest beer review. We covered a few local beers, some national brews and even an import or two. This year we decided to try a few more Oktoberfests on the market, because who doesn’t want a second round? Prost!

*Note: Our rating system is out of five stars.

Two Brothers Atom Smasher

Two Brothers Atom Smasher

(7.7% alc. by volume)

The Atom Smasher is Two Brothers’ Oktoberfest-style lager. This was the first Oktoberfest beer I had of the season this year. I’m not sure how far the reach is for this brewery, as it’s a local product from Warrenville, Ill. What differs it from the competition? It’s aged in French oak foudres, which are historically used for fermenting and aging beer and wine.

Impressions: This was certainly a pretty smooth Oktoberfest, and pleasantly average. What do I mean by that? I like my Oktoberfests to snap a little more than this did, but it was very easy to put down. I tasted a bit of honey and maybe something along the lines of oak.

Rating: ★★★

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

Yuengling Oktoberfest

Yuengling Oktoberfest

(5.4% alc. by volume)

Yuengling’s Oktoberfest is a newbie to the Oktoberfest beer market. It was introduced in 2011. Lucky for me, Yuengling is distributed in Virginia (and a handful of other states, not Illinois. Sorry, Sarah).

Impressions: This was pretty thin for a Märzen-style beer. The flavor was pretty standard, too, with some soft caramel and yeast fragrances. I also found this beer to be a bit sweet, which didn’t bother me.

Rating: ★★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

(6.5% alc. by volume)

Let me start this by saying that somehow we got this all backwards because Caitlin’s from Ohio and I’m from Pennsylvania and she got to drink Yuengling and I, instead, had Great Lakes. What added salt to the wound was seeing Brown’s gear in a picture online of this Cleveland-based brew. So sad.

Impressions: I really enjoyed this and I’ve never found a Great Lakes beer I actually like. You got me, Cleveland! This Oktoberfest (which I also enjoyed on tap) had the crispness I love in a Märzen-style beer. It had a caramel-y, spicy flavor that went great with my cold roast beef sandwich.

Rating: ★★★★

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

St. George Brewing Company Oktoberfest

St. George Brewing Company Oktoberfest

(6% alc. by volume)

The St. George Brewing Company is located in Hampton, Va., about four hours from where I live. After trying this beer and deeming it to be my favorite of the Oktoberfest bunch, I’m sad to report that St. George’s beer is only distributed in Virginia and North Carolina.

Impressions: I wasn’t prepared to like this beer so much. It was the last bottle I added to my pick-your-own six-pack. Frankly, I though the label was a little corny. But I took the risk and ended up loving this beer! It poured with a nice thick head and maintained a  sparkly carbonation. I picked up on flavors brown sugar and caramel with just a tinge of bitter hops. Overall, this was a nice, crisp Oktoberfest.

Rating: ★★★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Victory Festbier

Victory Festbier

(5.6% alc. by volume)

I tried Victory’s Summer Love Ale a few months ago, admittedly because I thought the label was cool. This label, on the other hand, I absolutely hate. Had I not been looking specifically for Oktoberfests, I never would have picked this up in a million years. It looks like beer for children.

Impressions: This Philadelphia brewery’s Oktoberfest-style beer fell a bit flat for me (I hadn’t been a fan of its summer ale, either). Definitely the caramel-style notes you look for in a fall beer, but instead of a fuller grain or oak-y flavor, it ended on sort of a green grass note. Certainly not a bad beer at all, but the fact that neither the label nor the taste was impressive made it lose points in my book.

Rating: ★★.5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

Paulaner Oktoberfest Maizen

Paulaner Oktoberfest Maizen

(6% alc. by volume)

Haha. I love the label on this one: rows of women in skirts carrying fistfuls of beer mugs. This is definitely a German beer, and it’s brewed in Munich. Once just a seasonal beer, this Oktoberfest can now be enjoyed year-round.

Impressions: Where the St. George’s Oktoberfest was sparkly and crisp, Paulaner’s is dark and heavy with earthy flavors of nuts, grass and wheat. It’s heavy on the malt taste and left me feeling full.

Rating: ★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Capital Brewery Oktoberfest

Capital Brewery Oktoberfest

(5.5% alc. by volume)

I’d never even heard of Capital Brewery before I picked this beer up. I’ll admit it was sort of a random grab and I almost passed it up entirely. I’m always hearing good things about a lot of Wisconsin breweries, so I figured this was my chance!

Impressions: Another unbelievably average Oktoberfest. This was definitely the first of the bunch where I picked up on the fruity flavors the most (I would definitely say apple). But it wasn’t a very robust flavor profile, and I noticed that I was sipping it almost robotically instead of truly enjoying it. I also realized what was missing most from my Oktoberfest picks this year: No imports. I think my grand lesson is to pick an imported Oktoberfest brew if you have the option!

Rating: ★★.5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

BONUS: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

(7% alc. by volume)

This isn’t an Oktoberfest-style brew, but it’s seasonal, no doubt. True to the description on the label, this brown ale is brewed with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. Dogfish Head is widely available in the U.S. To see if it’s available in your area, consult this distribution list.

Impressions: Everything you need to know about the taste of this pumpkin ale is on the label. It’s got all of the flavors of pumpkin pie: cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, almond and just a touch of yeast. The taste is very smooth and somewhat sweet. This is autumn in a bottle. Delicious!

Rating: ★★★★

— Caitlin

(–% alc. by volume)

Any interesting facts about the beer. Location of brewery, appearance of label if it stands out, etc.

Impressions: appearance, taste. Did you eat anything while you drank the beer? What foods do you think it’d work well with?

Rating: ★★★/5 (copy and paste those stars, they’re not available in wordpress I grabbed it out of microsoft word)

———————————————————————————–

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Don't make this if you're very, very hungry - like we did. Not that it won't fill you up, it will. It just takes a little longer to prepare than you would expect and the fantastic smells will kill you.

  • 4 flour tortillas*
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces beer (this is the average bottle size – choose a milder beer like an amber ale or lager)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (or another vegetable of  your choice, or just more corn)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese – we went with Monterey Jack

    Neither corn nor peppers are in season where I live - BUT this was the perfect time to whip out the veggies I blanched and froze at the end of last summer!

Spray a springform pan with oil, or apply oil with a paper towel. Place one tortilla in the bottom of the pan, trimming the edges if necessary.

In a pan with oil, add the onions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until onions have softened.

Add the beans and the beer, bringing the liquid to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the liquid to almost completely evaporate. The recipe said this should take 8-12 minutes but I think that was a complete lie. It felt more like 15-20 or so. But we were also wildly hungry so it may not have taken that long.

Add the peppers, corn and scallions until heated through. Remove from the heat.

Layer about 1/2 cup or so of the mixture onto the tortilla in the pan, followed by a handful of cheese and top with another tortilla. Repeat and finish with the last tortilla on top, sprinkling some extra cheese on this.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Makes about four servings.

*I don’t have a springform pan and, instead, used an 8-inch cake round and smaller tortillas. Because the sides of my pan were not very high, we were only able to layer four tortillas and had about two cups of the black bean mixture left.

Recipe adapted from: Elly Says Opa!

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

Admittedly, I already had leftover chipotle peppers from another recipe, and I just bought a jar of honey that I've been crazy about from our winter farmer's market - so this recipe sort of fell into place.

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Possible dippers

  • carrots
  • steamed or raw broccoli
  • red pepper strips
  • crisp tortilla strips or tortilla chips
  • apples (as usual)

Toss the cheese in the corn starch to coat. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the beer to a boil. Lower the heat and slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly. Once the cheese is a smooth consistency, add the garlic, honey, chipotle pepper and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add more beer if the fondue seems too thick.

Serve immediately – and keep stirring! This is definitely a good recipe if you have an actual fondue pot that you can keep over heat. Otherwise place the fondue in a bowl inside of a larger bowl that is well insulated. And like I said – keep stirring!

Makes four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Honey.com

*Throughout February we’ll post fondue recipes as part of our Fond of You guide (get the Valentine’s Day reference?). You can find all of our fondue recipes here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »