Friday, July 29, 2011

Sour = Yum!

An EXCELLENT Berliner Weisse, courtesy of The Bruery.

Cool Beery Things Coming Up

  • Cold Beer + Hot Glass and Glassblowing Event - August 4, 2011 at Furnace in Dearborn. Beer tasting and a custom tumbler! More info here. Mrs. C. (and maybe Mr. C.,) will be pouring beers.

  • Tuesday August 16 - New Holland dinner at Forans. Aww, yeah.

  • Wed Sept 7 - Dark Horse featuring Scotty Karate at The Rockery. (If you are not aware, Scotty Karate is both a musician, and a beer.) (Both will be there.)

Dragonmead Dinner At Foran's Grand Trunk

I'm a little late in getting this up, but it's still worth salivating about...

Menu, click to embiggen.
This dinner was great from end to end, and we were very happy to dine with our friend Mr. Bill Wrobel, one of Dragonmead's owners, and his son Andrew. Bill is an active supporter of the homebrewing scene, and a first-rate beer judge.

The first course was pretty exciting for us, as it combined so many of our favorite foods in one course (polenta for Mr. C, prawns and Manchego for Mrs.) The beer, which has a lot of depth in both the malt and the hop department, seemed to tilt one way or the other depending on how much of each morsel was on the fork.

The sweet sloppy joe and zippy slaw were really good with the Ring of Fire; both carried heat but also tempering sweetness.

Guest Chef Marc Djozlija's pork loin dish was very carefully put together, and it paid off. The potato/goat cheese puree was a good foil for the apricot ale, with its tangy and earthy flavors. The pork and stone fruit compote resonated with the fruity and malty flavors in the beer, and it was all bound together with a drizzled reduction made from cooking down some pork bones with, among other things, (if I recall correctly,) some of the beer. A great pairing. We look forward to Marc doing a beer dinner again some day at his place of employment. It was interesting to find out from Bill that "Castlebrite" is actually a variety of apricot, the name making it a compelling ingredient for Dragonmead....

Dessert. Well. Mrs. C. and Mr. Wrobel just basically thought all they needed was some of the Calders Vanilla and the Sin Eater beer, a strong Belgian Dark type ale as an ice cream float. The ice cream melted quickly on top of the battered, deep fried apple, but they just poured it right into their beers! I must admit that although this was aesthetically challenging, it tasted OK. The apple, with a light crispy fried batter coating, lit up a sense memory for me, and it took some rummaging around in my dusty old brain to figure it out: McDonald's apple pie! They don't make these any more, because they're unhealthy(!?)(Who knew you're not supposed to subsist on fast food?) but they were standard apple pie filling inside a crispy, deep fried batter coating. And they were awesome, if you weren't so eager that you burned your face off on the scalding thing. A tasty blast from my distant past.

The next beer dinner at Foran's will feature New Holland beer, and is on Tuesday, August 16. We'll be there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's summer!!

Which means octopus, either baby or whole, marinated in olive oil, onion, garlic & oregano, and grilled for just a few minutes until crisp. Served with Mr Cicerone's spectacular Maibock....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

MBG Summer Festival 2011

The heck with Christmas and all of those Hallmark holidays, this is my idea of a red letter day. I just looked at the final brewery and beers list, and it is staggering. I didn't count, but am told there are a total of 450 different beers. Check out Dark Horse's lineup- it looks like they account for about 50 of 'em! Michigan Microbrews has the .pdf of the official festival program here.

As if time wasn't short enough to conduct our important field research, we are taking time out to participate in a Brew Bubbas panel discussion on Ciceronery. The program schedule is here, but I suspect that the "subject to change" disclaimer is already in effect... see you there!

UPDATE: The schedule at the link above is finalized, unless someone gets hit by a blimp, or something....

SB40 Revealed

Just outside frame: paper sleeves for the 40s.

As anyone that knows me can confirm, I am often willing to go too far for a joke. Thus, Batch 339, "Shorty B 40,"  code-named SB40, was a 'malt liquor.' Packaged, in part, in 40 oz. bottles. The beer was made from Briess 2 row malt, bolstered by roughly 12% (as extract) Pioneer sugar. Though your humble correspondent deviated from established industry standards and bittered this brew with an excessive 22 BUs from Mt. Hood in one kettle addition, he is pleased to report that this is by far the blandest beer he's ever produced. But not the weakest, no sir, this black hole of flavor clocked in at 5.9% v/v. Because it takes all kinds to make a village, this beer actually moved pretty well during the party. I might try to slip the leftovers into the Michigan Brewers Guild VIP lounge at the Summer Festival; Selewski will drink it....

The complete list of beers served at Uncle Dave's Big Gay Party can be seen here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thanks Susan!

After a long day of after-party cleaning in 90 degrees, nothing could have been better than our gift of that rare of gems, Cantillon Fou'Foune. It went particularly well with mango salsa and our apricot cheese torte.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The first guest has already arrived!!

.....and Uncle Dave's party  isn't until Saturday!

(Mr Cicerone has been working around the clock getting the 11 beers we'll be pouring ready, and I've been double-timing it in the kitchen making, um, let's see....cheese tortes, fig/garlic jam brie in filo, smoky baconey beans, mac & cheese, couscous, cheesecake, fancy mayo for the fish and ham, salad dressings, jerk rub for the lamb, and there's still the chicken and ribs....)

Should be a fine time!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Breathing fumes.....

See the label? It's Brewdog's Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Our friend Richard was given a bottle for Fathers Day from his wife and daughters (thanks Barb, Meg & Mariah!), and we were invited over to his house, along with our friend Pete, to share. Ouch!
It's stout. Well it was once. It's now 32% ABV stout and packs a punch, with strong alcohol fumes (and a wee bit of stoutness) on the nose, with a rummy boozy taste that was like drinking rum. Straight. Cask strength even. The surprise was that there was a decent amount of carbonation that did help its "drinkability", a little. As it warmed, there were definite chocolate and roast notes, and more fuitiness typical of a strong stout.

EDIT: Mr. C's tasting notes- Ethanol fumes aside, there was a pronounced port-like aroma. The flavor held lots of roast and hop bitterness, with some chocolate and raisin. Very interesting. I would recommend a serving size no bigger than 1 oz., though....

Richard, *before* the Penguin.....

Check out the "Best By" date!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Awww, Yeah!

Mudbugs, andouille, and some rye peppercorn pale ale. Laissez les bons temps rouler!