Sunday, December 27, 2009

Batch #312 - Buster

Rules are made to be broken, and we're going to break a few today. Rules about production limits, and style guidelines. Plus, there has to be some rule prohibiting sweet wort on the ceiling. Thus, Buster: barleywine-lager thingamajig, 1.095 from Pils malt mashed low-n-slow for a highly fermentable wort, 50 BUs, Munich lager yeast and attendant fermentation.

(There is not, as yet, as far as I know, a rule against eating the mass of tofu-like hot break material Skip skimmed off of the top of the kettle prior to the first hop addition.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Who's going..... Santarchy this weekend??

Our Chanukah feast

Latkes. Big fat ones. Crisp on the outside, and soft and a little chewy in the middle. With a choice of sauteed leeks, pastrami- seasoned smoked salmon, or cherrywood-smoked nueske bacon on top. A blob of creme fraiche and some fresh dill and chives- now that's what I call a miracle. The beer, of course, came from Shmaltz Brewing- He'Brew Origin pomegranate ale.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Nifty Idea

How many times have you tried to guess how much beer is left in a keg by gently lifting it? And are you also as bad as I am at guessing? Well, then you might do like me, and buy a spring scale for about $10-$12.

Water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon, and for the level of precision we're involved with here, beer may be assumed to weigh the same. Weigh your kegs empty, and write the tare weight on the side with a sharpie, and wonder no more how much beer is left. Gross weight-tare/8.3=gallons, quick-n-EZ!

...Full post

December Beer Dinner At Slows BBQ: Blow by Blow

Oof. I would say we were stuffed like the proverbial Christmas goose Monday night at the Slows Beer Club Dinner for December. (And partly stuffed with said goose.)

Butter Poached King Crab Leg, Spaghetti Squash, and Asian Pear
Seriously Bad Elf

This beer is Ridgeway's decidedly British take on a Belgian Tripel. It's estery (pear,) with a whiff of higher alcohols. The rough edges were smoothed away by the food.

Turkey and Coconut Milk Soup
Bad Elf

Awesome pairing. The soup had lemongrass in it, which really clicked with the beer, a strong bitter made with UK grown Cascade hops.

Foie Gras and Golden Raisin Risotto with Goose Cracklings
Great Lakes Christmas Ale

The luscious rich ale, with caramel, ginger, and cinnamon, was perfect with the foie gras.

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Pink Lady Apple, and Beet
Anchor Our Special Ale

Spicy, herbal Anchor Christmas was especially good with the pork and the beet. As a bonus, there were smoky beet greens with bacon.

Cassoulet with Goose Leg Confit, Sausage, and Goose Pastrami
Scaldis Noel

It takes a beer with backbone to stand with the hearty bean and meat stew. No problem here. The peppery pastrami, smoky kielbasa, and savory confit played nicely against the 'big wall of malt.'

(Mr. Cicerone's) Winter Warmer

Tourtiere is a meat pie with ground pork, beef, onions, and other vegetables. Kind of like a Quebecois version of a pasty, only it gets a dose of clove or allspice. The beer is similar to a strong Scottish Ale, with a threshold level whiff of smoked malt, so this worked well.

Plum Pudding with Egg Nog Ice Cream
He'brew Jewbelation 13

This beer goes to 13! Wheeze, gurgle, gurgle, gasp, thud.

The pudding. That's brandy in Chef Brian's hand, at left. Unfortunately, the flames from brandy don't photograph well, so you'll just have to imagine them....

...Full post

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I love Haggis!

Conveniently, Arcadia Brewing hosts their annual anniversary party (13 this year),on the day after Eccentric Day. Another fine evening of celebration, including bagpipes, kilts, tatties and neeps, feats of manly strength (such as downing a yard of beer), and Tim Suprise's "address to the haggis". We dined on (house-smoked) salmon and braised lamb shanks, with the aformentioned neeps. And drank the 13th anniversary beer, "Cereal City", a delicious bitter of 1.044 gravity, hopped with Styrian Goldings. Plus, ESB, Big Dick's Olde Ale, and the award-winning bourbon-aged Cereal Killer Barley Wine which was eminently drinkable despite its bourbon notes and strength. Mmmmm. Plenty of foot-stomping music was provided by Fonn Mawr, and the cast of characters we found there enjoying the evening just added to our overall enjoyment. Oh, did I mention the haggis?



That would be Bell's Eccentric day, an annual party at The Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo. It's not a "costume" party, but rather a day where one is free to express your inner "eccentric" self, however that may be. We arrived around noon, having been reminded at 9.15AM by our friends Skip & Cat they we were lame- they were already there with their first beer. First order of the day- breakfast beer! I opted for an oatmeal stout, and Mr Cicerone wept tears of joy as he drank a pint of cask-conditioned Porter. And, on from there.....Memorable beers were Rye Stout, Sour Stout (more like an Oud Bruin), the cask-conditioned porter, Wild One (an amberish wild ale with notes of fruit and wood. Tart. Good.), Golden Funk (a golden ale with Brettanomyces,spiced with cardamom and galangal. Delicious!), Quinannan Falls Lager (a strong pils, born of a fevered dream. Delicious.), Two Hearted Ale (of course) and Eccentric Ale 2008 (sweet, sweet, sweet). Bourbon-aged Hell Hath No Fury had run out by the time I decided to try one. The eccentricities continued with lots of delicious food - smoked pheasant, tongue and blood sausage, goose liverwurst, calves liverwurst, lots and lots of strange cheese, baby octopus cooked in sesame oil,lots of fish eggs, pickled eggs, smoked salmon, lots of strange breads, and that's about all I can remember. Oh, the outfits. Larry Bell was "yesterday's news", and Mr Mallett looked sweet in pink polyester pants.

...Full post

Friday, December 4, 2009

Off to Bonny Doon!

That would Eccentric Day, at Bell's. Then, Arcadia's anniversary party tomorrow, where we will listen to Mr Surprise wax lyrical about a certain spicy morsel before tucking into it! (That would be HAGGIS!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some Slows Holiday Dinner menu details

Just in, from Tara....
"Found out a little more exciting yummy news for the Slows beer dinner-- foie gras-- yes foie gras-Yummy!!!,
--Venison paired with Anchor Steam Christmas Ale
--House Smoked Pastrami
Annette's Family recipe for Plum Pudding- Dessert of course
So with all of these fun yummy one of a kind items on the menu for Monday and the exclusive beer offerings we have had to make an adjustment to the price and it will be $60 a head-- but I can guarantee that IT WILL be worth it!!!!
So Hope You can make it on Monday but Please RSVP cause seats are limited and filling up!!! Remember it is the best way to kick off the Holidays!!!!
Take Care and have a great weekend!!!-Tara"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More about Slows Holiday Dinner

(Mr Cicerone didn't mention the possibility of Fois Gras, probably paired with Great Lakes Christmas Ale.....)

Just in from Tara....

"Hello Everyone!!! Christmas is upon us!!! And that being said, So is our fantastic beer dinner!!!

A couple of things to mention first- Mike and Annette will be our hosts/ beer experts to talk us through this yummy experience and Chef Brian and Michael are planning an amazing menu to pair, but secondly this our last scheduled beer dinner!!!! Next year the beer dinner/ club will take a different shape, due to Brian and Michael having to focus on the new Slows to go. So that being said, please come in and celebrate a wonderful year of great beer, amazing food and good times!!! There will be at least 8 Christmas Beers (Holiday Ales) on hand.

So please RSVP with Terry, Myself or any other manager (313)-962-9828
Also, if there is anything that you are looking for or want us to try to pull off in the New Year please let us know!!!

Have a great night take care and hope to see you Monday December 7th at 6:30pm.

Happy Holidays!!!!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Beer Dinner At Slows BBQ Monday, December 7

This one will be the last one for a while, as the Slows team focuses on opening their new take-out facility. It's Christmas/Winter beers; moderately to very strong beers brewed to help fortify us during the cold months. While the menu and beer list are still in flux, it can be said with some confidence that this will be a beer and food blowout. Blow. Out. 'Twill be more expensive than the typical Slows dinner, owing to some very fancy food, which may include venison, goose, lobster, and the like. Plus some commensurately fancy beers, some of which have varying degrees of bad elvishness. One might even find the hand of Mr. Cicerone behind one of the offerings... for reservations or more information contact Slows at 313.962.9828... hope to see you there!