double ipa

Christmas Cookie & Beer Pairing

Posted on Updated on

IMG_4423

(Note: This is a modified version of a piece I wrote for the Stormcloud Brewing Co. mug club members.)

We all know that Santa prefers beer instead of milk with his cookies, so this month’s post is all about beer…and cookies!

Award-winning chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate Adam Dulye and Certified Cicerone® and Beer Judge Julia Herz explain, “A pairing is a match between beverage and food, with the goal of having the individual parts interact in a synergistic way to create an enhanced and elevated experience. Simply stated, craft beer and food can transform each other” (Dulye and Herz, 50). To transform your traditional holiday desserts, I’ve utilized a few of my favorite beer educators and did some field research of my own to compile a list of holiday cookies that pair well with our Stormcloud beer.

0dd5bccc-4ef9-4291-a779-a41206254551

Rainmaker Ale & Snowball Cookies (also know as Russian Tea Cake, not to be confused with Pfeffernüsse, which have a very different flavor.)

As our flagship beer and GABF bronze medal-winning brew, I knew I had to find a cookie that accentuated all of its best qualities. This cookie works so well because the dusting of the powdered sugar draws out the dark fruit flavors from our house yeast as well as some subtle caramel notes from the malt. In turn, the beer really helps to bring out the nuttiness of the Snowball Cookies. Looking for a Snowball Cookie recipe? Check out this link.

ef845c71-a234-4832-bf40-f6111f629d19

228 Tripel & Apricot Thumbprint Cookies

Our abbey-style Tripel is extremely versatile in food pairings, with its complex flavor and wide range of delicious yeast-driven aromas. I love the Apricot Thumbprint Cookies paired with 228 because the dryness of the beer cuts through the sweetness of the apricot jam, providing a pleasant balance. Additionally, the cookie adds backbone to the base malt flavor of the brew, giving it a playful enhancement. Want to make your own Apricot Thumbprint Cookies? Click here for a recipe!

e7afade1-c0e0-4dda-a30c-56e83077bb59

Whiled Away® IPA & Orange Gingerbread Cookies

This was one of my most surprising findings. I was a little skeptical of this pairing at first, but after seeing it come up time after time in my research, I knew I had to try it. The hop flavor works really well to cut through the ginger spice, which in turn mellows out the bitterness. Then, the orange zest of the cookie enhances the bright citrus hop presence in Whiled Away, creating a perfect marriage of flavors. I have to say, this was my favorite beer and cookie pairing! Try it out for yourself, using this recipe.

ba9915ff-78ad-4a79-b47d-e79e8993106d

31 Planes IIPA (Plane 16) & Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

You can’t go wrong with the classic cut out holiday cookie, especially topped with a smooth, rich buttercream frosting. The dryness of our IIPA combined with the bitterness from the hops helps to balance out the sugary sweetness of the cookie. In finding this balance, the beer expands the cookie’s flavor range, allowing the palate to identify and enjoy the subtleties of the cookie (such as vanilla and butter notes) instead of just being overpowered by sugar. If you’re hoping to make a batch of these holiday staples, this recipe may be just what you need.

caa72aef-34a3-46f7-8ab1-bca1f5927047

Rowed Hard Stout & Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Stouts go well with just about every dessert imaginable, but combining our Oatmeal Stout with a peanut butter and chocolate cookie takes it to the next level. The chocolate of the cookie brings out an even balance of sweet and cacao elements from the malt, while the creamy mouthfeel of the beer sweeps the peanut butter across the palate in a most alluring way. This beer plays well with both milk and dark chocolate, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit – this recipe is a good starting point.
Interested in doing some beer and cookie pairing of your own? 

A common way to pair food and beer is looking at the following three interactions — compliment (flavors that match each other); contrast (flavors that intensify or suppress each other); and cut (flavors that cleanse the palate). The Brewers Association Beer & Food Course book also explains that you should, “Expand your tasting notes to include places, memories, and sensations” (Dulye and Herz, 50). For more information on food and beer pairings, check out this awesome resource from the Brewers Association.

I’d be interested in hearing what beers you pair with your favorite cookies, so please feel free to share. Grab a crowler or growler to go and start baking!


References

Bender, Jonathan. Cookies & Beer. Andrew McMeel
Publishing, 2015.

Dulye, Adam, and Julia Herz. “Beer & Food Course.”
         CraftBeer.com, Brewers Association, Mar. 2017.

Mosher, Randy. “American Craft Beer and Food: Perfect
Companions.” Brewers Association, 2009, p. 7.

Murphy, Nikelle. “7 Delicious Beer and Cookie Pairings
You Have to Try.” The Cheat Sheet, 12 Feb. 2017,
http://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/7-delicious-beer-and-cookie-
pairings-you-have-to-try.html/.

Rhodes, Jesse. “Beer for Dessert.” Smithsonian, 29 June 2011,
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/beer-for-dessert-
24136392/.

Richards, Bryan M. “How to Pair Beer with Desserts That Aren’t
Chocolate.” CraftBeer.com, edited by Jess Baker, Brewers
Association, 9 Feb. 2018.

Specketer, Jenn. “Craft Beer and Christmas Candy Pairing.” Bites,
Barrels and Brews
, 14 Dec. 2015, http://www.bitesbarrelsandbrews.
com/2015/12/14/craft-beer-and-christmas-candy-pairing/.

Stanz, Carissa. “This Holiday, Skip the Milk and Pair Your Favorite
Christmas Cookie with Beer.” Wide Open Eats, edited by Sarah
Ramsey and Lyndsay Burginger, 12 Dec. 2017, http://www.wideopen
eats.com/this-holiday-skip-the-milk-and-pair-your-favorite-
christmas-cookie-with-beer/.

Advertisements

So Long Sweet Summer, So Long Grapefruit IPA

Posted on Updated on

4 Micro-Reviews of Grapefruit Brews

IMG_8385.JPG

Labor Day weekend has come and past, and I am slowly saying farewell to summer. I am excited for autumn, but won’t truly be able to embrace fall until the weather cools off. To help with my transition, I decided to finish off the last of my Grapefruit IPAs and share some micro-reviews with you! You’ll notice these are less serious, more train-of-thought reviews than my usual. Enjoy!

Grapefruit IPA
from Perrin Brewing Company in Comstock Park, MI
Style: India Pale Ale | ABV: 5% | IBUs: 35

This beer has been a summer staple for me since Perrin first released it in the spring of 2013. Brewed with real grapefruit, this beer is super sessionable, and balances out the traditional grapefruit tartness with a not-so-subtle sweet malty backbone. A refreshing pool, river, or lakeside beer. Perrin’s Grapefruit IPA is not nearly as hoppy as I prefer my IPAs, so if you are also looking for something a bit more IPA-like check out Juicy, the Grapefruit IPA’s big sister. Juicy is an Imperial Grapefruit IPA, brewed with 12 different hops and twice the amount of grapefruit – an untamed yet refined citrus bomb of goodness!

Grapefruit Sculpin
from Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits in San Diego, CA
Style: India Pale Ale | ABV: 7% | IBUs: 70
This was actually my least favorite of the bunch, which really surprised me. Sculpin IPA (the base beer) is a really solid IPA of which I love, and I am also a huge fan of the Pineapple Sculpin. The thing that got to me was the aftertaste – it was just TOO grapefruity. I think the bitterness of grapefruit masked the beer’s complexity throughout the palate, and by the end it just tasted like straight grapefruit juice. Well, boozy grapefruit juice. This beer was not for me, but if you dig grapefruit juice it might be worth giving a try.

Grapefruit Jungle
from Sun King Brewing Company in Indianapolis, IN
Style: India Pale Ale | ABV: 7.5% | IBUs: 77

Grapefruit Jungle (GFJ) is one of Sun King’s annual one-off specialty beers. I had the pleasure of attending Sun King Brewing’s 7th Anniversary Party and release of this delicious beer earlier this summer. The 2016 GFJ has a super fruity nose – aromatics of grapefruit, tangerine, and apricot. The taste on this bad boy is a well-balanced roller coaster of bitter and citrusy hops, with malt undertones that keep it from getting out of hand. This careful combination of Amarillo (ruby grapefruit), Simcoe (resiny pine), and Cascade (sweet orange zest) hops make this not only a solid Grapefruit IPA, but a solid IPA in general.

Grapefruit Dead
a collaboration between 18th Street Brewing in Hammond, IN and Mikkeller of Copenhagen, Denmark
Style: Double India Pale Ale | ABV: 9.7% | IBUs: 75

Grapefruit Dead is my favorite of the four on this list. As a Double IPA it naturally boasts a higher level of hoppy delight. This beer is brewed with grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest, and – like Sun King – utilizes the Amarillo hop to fully capitalize on the bright bitter yet citrusy flavor. The front of the palate on this beer presents a sweet, almost caramel-like malt combined with grapefruit rind, and quickly slides into a wild garden of resiny grapefruit bitterness. This has a smooth mouth feel despite the occasional bitter pucker and ends with a pleasantly warm, boozy finish. Again, this is not only a solid Grapefruit IIPA, but a solid IIPA in general.

IMG_8384.jpg


Have you had any of these beers? Do you have a favorite grapefruit beer? Is there a beer you would like to see me review? Let me know!

MORE ON: Hops, Coffee, and Beer.

Posted on

In addition to my post from last week: Hops, Coffee, and Beer – Oh my!, here is a video by The Dump Buckets about the same launch event at Scarlet Lane Brewing Company celebrating the release of two delicious beverages: Tiberius Centurion IPA and Tiberius Dry-Hopped Sumatra.

And yes, I am one of the people being interviewed. Cheers!

Hops, Coffee, and Beer – Oh my!

Posted on Updated on

IMG_8266

Yesterday my husband Luke and I attended a launch event at Scarlet Lane Brewing Company celebrating the release of two delicious beverages: Tiberius Centurion IPA and Tiberius Dry-Hopped Sumatra. Local craft beer AND local craft coffee? Yes, please.

While we both enjoy high-quality handcrafted beverages, we each have our niche. In our relationship, Luke is definitely more the coffee person. He has his own small-batch roaster, organizes cuppings, and is very specific about which of our multiple brew methods he chooses to use for each coffee. I, on the other hand, am the beer person. To discover this event that catered to both our likings was just plain exciting!

Tiberius Centurion IPA is a Double IPA by Scarlet Lane Brewing Company. It clocks in at 8% ABV and 100 IBU (hence the “centurion.”) As far as Double IPAs go this one is quite approachable, especially for IPA fans ready to take it up a notch. Despite the high bitterness, it maintains balance with a sweet malt backbone and fruity esters. The esters are especially apparent in the nose of the beer – a lot of banana notes sneak through the spicy hop bouquet. The ABV is high enough to give you a pleasant warm mouth feel, but the flavor is so well balanced you don’t get that heavy alcohol taste present in so many Doubles.  If you are looking for a Northwest dank style Double IPA in the heart of Indiana, I highly recommend checking Tiberius out.

Tiberius Dry-Hopped Sumatra is a hopped, medium roast coffee by Tinker Coffee Co. I’ve never heard of dry-hopping coffee before, but as a self-proclaimed hophead and coffee addict I was excited to give it a try. The hopping process they used involved resting the green (pre-roasted) coffee beans with whole hops for about 3 weeks prior to roasting, and then resting the roasted beans with hops 3-4 days more. The most unique part of the coffee was definitely the smell. The roasted beans and (more subtly) the brewed coffee gave off a heavy aroma of hops – very floral, earthy, and green. My palate was not tuned enough to pick up flavor complexities because I made the mistake of drinking the beer first, but I definitely picked up on some citrus towards the back of my mouth. The sample of the coffee I had seemed a little watery, but we bought a pound of it to play with at home. This was such a neat idea, and it was fun seeing the beer-coffee collaboration work the other way. If you love hops and coffee, make sure you check out this Sumatra!

Tiberius Centurion IPA and Tiberius Dry-Hopped Sumatra are both brought to you by the Horizon hop. I love seeing local, cross-industry collaborations, and had a great time at this event. It was a delightful way to spend a rainy Saturday! If you are interested in trying either beer or coffee, check out Scarlet Lane Brewing Company or Tinker Coffee Co. Additionally, I believe there is another release event celebrating both beverages January 15, hosted by The Sinking Ship.

Cheers to the Indianapolis coffee and beer scenes!


 

Have you had either/both Tiberius Centurion IPA and Tiberius Dry-Hopped Sumatra? Do you enjoy these kind of events? Share with me your thoughts in the comments below!