Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beer Event: Michigan Renaissance Festival; Buccaneer Beer Fest

This upcoming weekend is a theme weekend at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. The name of the event is the Buccaneer Beer Fest and it is the weekend of September 5, 6 and 7.

For more info please visit their website: http://www.michrenfest.com/buccbeer.html

-Sandy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beer Quickie: Corona Light

Just tried the Corona light. It is surprisingly full-bodied! It tastes just like original Corona, and still goes great with lime. I recommend trying the light style! (Whether you are watching your diet or not)

-Sandy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beer News: Model to be Caned for Drinking Beer

Via AP Video News Wire

"A Muslim model on Friday said she was ready to face a caning penalty next week for breaching Malaysia's Shariah law, which forbids Muslims to consume alcohol. (Aug. 23)"

Please follow the link to watch the video.

http://video.ap.org/?f=MIHOL&pid=VEl5mIUwmX9ZzU6ZR8OiK_Rs4J6pSR_b

-Sandy

Beer News: A beverage of many uses - Try beer in your cooking

Via The Holland Sentinel

The Holland Sentinel
Posted Aug 23, 2009 @ 10:53 PM

Holland, MI —

Although I’ve never really acquired a taste for beer, on a rare occasion, having one on a hot summer evening is refreshing. But beer has other uses than for quenching a thirst — try it in your cooking.


I have made beer can chicken that has become a favorite, and have even purchased the little stand that holds the beer and the chicken. When I am ready to make the chicken, I put the can of beer in the holder, prop the seasoned bird on top, set it on a grill that is at pre-heated to 350 degrees, close the lid and don’t peek until an hour has passed. The chicken turns out browned and crisp all around and is always tender and juicy. Try it with chicken stock when there is not a beer in the house.


Marinating chicken in beer for an hour before cooking makes for some tender and flavorful chicken. You can then season it, grill it, deep fry it or bake it.


Sometimes, I use beer in barbecue sauce concoctions I experiment with. Using barbecue sauce as a base and adding extras like beer, honey, brown sugar, or fruit marmalades makes for some interesting flavors. Sometimes hitting the mark, sometimes not. But that’s the fun of experimenting.


The German culture dictates to cook brats in beer, and a Milwaukee tavern offers an outdoor cooking with beer class in their beer garden. Lucy Saunders (from the Web site www.beercook.com) has published a cookbook called “Grilling with Beer: Bastes, BBQ Sauces, Mops, Marinades & More, Made with Craft Beer.” She has also authored a book called “Cooking with Beer.” Both look interesting. The site has a plethora of cooking and grilling ideas.


The Beer Cake recipe is from a friend who loves to cook and share her recipes.

BEER CAKE
By Sylvia Tanis
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind
1/2 cup peanuts
Cream shortening, sugar and eggs, add sifted dry ingredients, add to wet ingredients alternate with beer. Add nuts. Bake in a tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

BEER CAN CHICKEN
By Connie Page
1 (4 to 5 pound) whole roasting chicken, rinsed and dried
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind.
Open beer and pour out 1/3 of the beer. Rub entire chicken with Olive Oil (to help hold seasonings in place). Season chicken liberally inside and out with salt pepper and garlic powder. Insert chicken onto beer can, place on a pre-heated grill, positioning legs so it doesn’t tip over (sometimes I use a throw-away square baking pan and put the chicken and can in it). If your grill uses indirect heat, use the outside burners and turn off the middle burners. Place chicken and can in the middle of the grill, close the lid and let cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, keeping the temperature as close to 350 as possible. Check the chicken after 1 hour to make sure it’s not getting too brown. The bigger the bird, the longer the cooking time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beer Review: Market Street Pub's Frau Blucher


Last week I was in Florida for vacation. I was tipped off by beerme.com about a brewery in Gainesville, the Market Street Pub. This is a quaint English-style pub. Their website was really lacking, so I wasn’t quite sure what kind of beer I would be encountering.
They had one house brew available, Frau Blucher. (Note the Young Frankenstein reference.) It was described as : "Traditional dunkel wheat with understated hops, lending to a sweet malty finish."
Cool. I ordered a pint. No gimmicks here, this is a straight up bar, with a selection of pub food (more on that later).
The Frau Blucher had no head and minimal carbonation. Its color was very dark but clear; think a Guinness that was clear. Its taste was very acidic, and reminded me of a ‘malt beverage’ that was beer flavored. It was sour, with a little bit of sweet for balance. And although the smell kept reminding me of the restroom, the beer grew on me while I drank it. I think it would go very well with a sausage meal.
Speaking of food, the pub also had a small menu selection, mostly traditional pub food. However, since Florida is in The South, they also offered black beans and rice. Let me tell you! This place has the best black beans and rice I have ever had!
My suggestion: order a import English beer and the black beans and rice.

-Sandy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brewery Review: New Holland Brewery (and Artisan Distillery)


I visited the New Holland Brewery pub on Thursday, July 30 2009. I am sad that I visited too late at night to take a tour of the brewery. The cost for tours is $5 per person.

The pub at the New Holland Brewery is very artistic. In line with the typical downtown Holland architecture, the pub has a tin ceiling. They use their tap handles as art on the walls. And it is clear they have become a big part of the culture of downtown Holland with esoteric trophies and homages to life in Holland. The lighting in the pub is adequate, no one is left in the dark, but the lighting is very strategic to make the bar feel like a ‘hole in the wall’. My only complaint as far as d├ęcor and architecture in the bar is that the bar is very tall, and the stools are very short. For anyone who is not very tall and Dutch, this can be a bit uncomfortable. But since I understand that their average patron is Dutch, and larger than the average American, this is excused.

New Holland Brewery pub has a very large selection of beer on tap; 12 beers, plus a selection of hopwines, wheatwines and ciders. Sizes of beer offered are 10 oz, 16oz, 20 oz, pitcher and boot. You can also buy 6-packs, gift packs, growlers and kegs of their beer and take it home. Their beers are offered in a variety of stores. I can always find Mad Hatter and Sundog at my local Meijer. Sometimes I can also find The Poet stout and their seasonal beer. Their summer seasonal is called Zoomer. It was not available on tap the night I visited the pub. My drinking partner Andrew is quoted as saying “They have good brand cultivation.” And he mentioned that the beer is “exceptional.”

This brewery has also ventured into artisan distilling. They offer at the pub 8+ artisan liquors including: vodka, gin, white rum, dark rum and whiskey. These are offered for sale to take-home. Due to Michigan state law, these liquors are not available yet for off-site purchase. On top of these, they make liqueur infusions at the bar from farmer’s market finds. I was fortunate enough to try a cucumber-infused gin. I had it as part of a cocktail made with lemonade. I highly recommend it! It was as refreshing as a cold salad on a hot summer day.

The prices are fairly typical of a bar. Drafts range from $4-$6.50, 6-packs are around $9. Flights of 6 beers are available and prices vary depending on selection. Distilled liquor starts at $4.50 for a shot, and prices go up depending of the drink. Their signature cocktails are $6 each (which includes the farmer’s market infusions). Their whiskey is a bit more expensive. Bottles of liquor may be bought for $30-$60 depending on their flavor.

If all this isn’t enough, they have a mug club. For a small fee they will give you your own engraved 10 oz mug. Every time you visit, you will be able to drink your beer from your very own custom mug.

On the food side, a full menu is offered, and they bake their own bread. I would go just for the fresh-baked bread. Delicious!

I am definitely going to revisit the New Holland Brewery pub.

-Sandy

Photos courtesy of E. Ogle

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beer Review: New Holland Brewery’s Copper Pot Vienna Lager


I ordered the Copper Pot Vienna Lager at the New Holland Brewery Pub in Holland, MI. It was one of their specialties on tap on Thursday, July 30 2009. I have a feeling that finding this brew at any other time would be difficult. They offer it in a 16 oz, 20 oz, pitcher and “boot” size (comes in a pitcher shaped like a boot a la “Beerfest”). Flights of multiple brews are also available – for more on this, wait for my brewery review. The pint cost $4 and was served in a stout glass.
My overall impression of this beer is that it is a surprising light-feeling lager. I really wanted to keep drinking it!
The head is about 1 inch, it was creamy but was able to maintain a lightness that was unexpected, not thick at all. It is a medium-dark caramel color, which was very beautiful. But I couldn’t help but notice that the color on every beer at New Holland Brewery was nothing short of beautiful.
This lager smells like wheat with a light yeastiness. The first sip is somewhat surprising, in that it is sweet. Although not overwhelming by any means, this sweet beer was a welcome contrast compared to my average pint. This sweetness adds to a well-balanced flavor profile: wheat, sweet, light bitter, hops. These four flavors, I think, are what every beer drinker wants out of their drink! As the beer warmed up, it started tasting crispier, almost like a good salad. The hint of vegetable started coming out as it warmed. This beer may possibly win me over to the dark side of warm beer drinking!
I will definitely order this beer again – if I can find it.

-Sandy

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