Cooking with wine is common place. What should also go hand-in-hand with cooking and foodies… craft beer. There are many styles out there and many different types of dishes that you can make anything from appetizers to entrees to desserts. Earlier in January, I invited some friends over for a five-year Deschutes’ Abyss vertical tasting (2007-2011). We had pita & hummus, brie and bleu cheeses, honey & pear pizzas, and more. I also made some dark chocolate pudding with the use of one of my favorite beers from Eugene, Oregon…
Oakshire Overcast (espresso stout)
makes about ten 6 oz. servings
- 1 cup milk, or soy/rice/almond/hemp/coconut milk alternative
- 5 Tbl cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup (12 oz) Oakshire Brewing Overcast espresso stout (or another stout/porter)
- 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk + 1/4 cup (2 oz) regular milk/rice/soy/etc milk alternative
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 4 to 5 oz in chopped up chocolate bars)
- 1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 white, 1/4 dark brown)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredient Notes: slideshow below shows component detail
- There is a total of 4.5 cups of liquid. If you choose against using a can of coconut milk (usually 14 oz), you can use heavy cream or whipping cream in its place (you need something thicker than normal milk).
- I opted for the candy bar route. I got some fancy chocolate bars and chopped them with a knife to aide in their melting quicker. I used a full 3.5 oz (100g) extra dark chocolate bar from Panama (80% cacao) and about a 1/4 of a 3oz (~22g) milk chocolate bar. You can choose whatever style of chocolate that you like. About 4.25 oz (~122g) of chopped chocolate bars was 1 cup in a measuring cup. When making this again, I will likely opt for a higher milk chocolate mix… the pudding turned out great, but the 80% dark definitely made it more on the bittersweet side.
- Whisk together 1 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine craft beer, coconut milk, additional milk, cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, salt, and nutmeg into a large saucepan. Warm over medium heat until chocolate chips have melted.
- Whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat or until pudding thickens* and begins to boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Cover and chill well before serving (4-6 hours, or overnight).
- Stir again prior to serving. Enjoy!
*Prep Note: If you double the recipe, you need to heat it longer… you don’t want to apply extra heat to do it quicker… it may not thicken properly/consistently.
The above pudding recipe would work great for a get together… say, the Super Bowl, or even just a nice dinner party. It’s a very versatile dessert. This is a mainly music-based blog. If you stumbled in on a recipe search, check out my other recipes at THIS LINK. For specific “cooking with beer” links, go here:
- Flat Tail Pumpkin Stout Tiramisu
- Framboise Cranberry Relish
- Blue Moon orange sherbet float
- Oakshire espresso stout float
For New Year’s Eve 2011, I took a classic tiramisu recipe and altered it a little bit into…
Pumpkin Stout Tiramisu
Makes 12 large servings
Ingredients: makes a 9″ x 13″ pyrex sized tiramisu sheet
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 16 oz. package of mascarpone (soft Italian cheese)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- one (1) 12 oz. package of lady fingers (about 40 of 4″ cookies used)
- ½ cup (4 oz.) pumpkin stout
I used Corvallis-based Flat Tail Brewing’s Feathertop Imperial Pumpkin Stout, which was aged on vanilla beans and sweet cinnamon bark
- ¼ cup strong coffee (espresso or strong batch of french press)
- cocoa powder (for dusting) or semi-sweet chocolate bar (for grating or curling)
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. If you don’t have a double-boiler, here are some alternatives. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
- Add mascarpone to whipped yolks. Beat until smooth. Using a hand mixer will help.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks (also with a hand mixer). Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.
- Take half of the lady fingers (about 20 cookies) and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl (9″ x 13″ pyrex). Mix the stout & coffee together and then brush about half of the mixture over top of the lady finger layer. Brushing (versus dipping the cookies or pouring the liquid) gets some of the flavor into the cookies, but it doesn’t turn into a soaking mess. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers.
- Repeat ladyfingers (remaining 20 cookies), stout/coffee, and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa powder or chocolate curls. To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.
- Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Enjoy!
I think this would be great with any darker beer… a coffee stout, like Eugene-based Oakshire’s Overcast espresso stout would be amazing – and I think I’ll try that next. Also, if they make the imperial chocolate pumpkin porter Big Black Jack next fall, I may have to try it with that as well. Since craft beers vary by region, if you can’t find the exact beers above, I’m SURE you’ll find something suitable. The best part of the recipe… you get plenty of beer to drink while you’re making it.
This is a mainly music-based blog. If you stumbled in on a recipe search, check out my other recipes at THIS LINK.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Voodoo Doughnuts is famous for their crazy and amazing doughnuts… they now have two locations in Portland and one in Eugene (represent!). They also recently came up with a special Eugene Slug Queen doughnut for the annual crowning of the new Slug Queen (this year is Holly GoSlugly)…
Well, just across the craft beer wire, Newport, OR-based Rogue Ales they got label approval for their new Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Porter in tribute to Voodoo’s maple bacon bars. It’ll be out in 750mL bottles and is made with maple syrup, apple-smoked bacon and vanilla beans…
Personally, I’d have gone for a “jelly & pretzel voodoo doll beer” over this one, but you know, they don’t really poll the vegetarians before proceeding. LOL! Anyway, an interesting concept… I’ll check with my meat-eating friends when it comes out.
My favorite local Eugene brewery Oakshire has been delving into single batches and barrel-aged beers lately. One of my favorites so far is the Heart-shaped Box… a barrel-aged espresso stout with cherries, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. Freakin’ wondrous. Well, they’re going to start bottling and releasing some of their barrel-aged creations under the moniker “HELLSHIRE.” The first one hits May 7th at 8am, the morning after the Sasquatch Brewer’s Dinner:
Hellshire I – barleywine aged in bourbon barrels
The official press release on Hellshire I…
For 10 months, it has rested quietly and now it is time for it’s triumphant unveiling!!
Our new line of barrel aged beers, dubbed The Hellshire Series, will have it’s first release with a grand party on Saturday May 7th beginning at 8AM. A limited number of bottles will be sold in 22 ounce, wax dipped bottles for $15 each. Along with live, local music, we’ll have complimentary coffee and we will have a local food cart on site cooking up breakfast sandwiches. Oakshire beers will be sampled and sold along with the last of the Heart Shaped Box and any other goodies we can dig out of the cooler. Come and have brunch at Oakshire Brewing!
Hellshire I is a bourbon barrel aged barleywine. It is 10% abv and spent 10 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels. Notes of vanilla, coconut and bourbon intertwine with the complex malt and hop flavors. We’ve bottle conditioned it, so enjoy it now, or store it in your beer cellar for months.
Hellshire, our barrel aged beer program, is currently underway and growing. With an inventory of 50 barrels, we’ve got plans for wild (sour) beers, bourbon aged beers, gin barrel aged beers and more. We expect someday to be able to release 3-4 unique barrel aged beers per year, but for now we’ll wait until the beer tells us it is ready. All of the Hellshire beers will be released in bottles in limited quantities at the brewery.
I’ll be camped out at 8am… despite the brewer’s dinner the night before. It’ll be a fun morning… I’m looking forward to more bottled goodness, and maybe the Heart-shaped Box bottles will rise up one of these days.
Related Sidenote: Love Oakshire’s beers? Wanna try a warm weather treat? How about an Overcast espresso stout float. Yum!
I’m not a “beer blogger” per se. I’m a music blogger, but I’m a homebrewer and dig a good local beer. For Oregonians, this is an event to get excited about…
From May 2nd to May 8th, Eugene Oregon will host its first annual beer week.
Eugene Beer Week will celebrate craft beer culture in the Willamette Valley.
The US craft brewing industry has been growing steadily and cities across the country have been organizing beer celebrations to promote the industry. These beer weeks include a great number of beer tastings, brewers dinners and other events celebrating craft beer. Breweries, retailers, bars, restaurants and beer writers participate in beer weeks by helping bring greater awareness to a region’s craft beers. Cities such as Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago all boast successful beer weeks.
Eugene Beer Week’s objective is to bring a greater awareness of craft beer in the Willamette Valley. They aim to accomplish this goal by providing a website that beer drinkers can peruse and locate beer related events taking place during the week. Eugenebeerweek.org will also provide a forum for businesses to promote their beer week efforts. Eugene Beer Week culminates with the Sasquatch Beer Festival that celebrates the life of one of Eugene’s former brewers, Glen Falconer.
What’s in store?
- Beer Dinners – Special dinners featuring a beer or several beer paired courses
- Beer Releases - Release celebration celebrating a new beer
- Festivals – Craft beer festivals
- Tastings – Special tastings of craft beers
- How to Brew/Taste/Enjoy – demonstrations and informational classes
For more information visit eugenebeerweek.org (or Facebook and Twitter below). Stay tuned for some great events around town.
SO, in late 2009, I jumped on the “damn, I like this tasty beer” bandwagon and bought a case of Deschutes Brewery‘s The Abyss 2009. I had it in 2008 and liked it; so why not!? The price wasn’t something to sneeze at, but it essentially became the start of my now bustling beer cellar. The Abyss is an Imperial Stout, clocking in at 11% abv – brewed with licorice and molasses with 1/3 of the beer aged in oak barrels. It’s quite a treat, and it comes out once a year in black wax dipped 22oz bombers.
It’s also in limited quantity, hence my impulse purchase of an entire case being not all that irrational. A beer barrel (BBL) is 31 gallons (roughly 2 full kegs)…
Vintages (production numbers from Deschutes):
2006 – Released December 2006 (approx 90 BBL)
2007 – Released January 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2008 – Released November 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2009 – Released November 2009 (approx 600 BBL)
2010 – Released December 2010 (approx 600 BBL)
Well, fast forward to Thanksgiving 2010, I cracked a 2009 Abyss open, and wow… I did not like it. I shared it amongst friends; so we managed to kill the bottle. We had plenty of beer on hand that day (various homebrews as well as growlers of Block 15′s La Ferme de Demons & Gilgamesh’s Mamba); so I didn’t make a big deal of it.
Then I had another Abyss 2009 around Christmas. I drank about 8-12 ounces of it and hated it… I did the unthinkable. I poured about half a bottle down the drain. When you’re expecting a creamy & dense licorice & molasses bold stout on your lips, the taste that was coming from the glass was simply unpalatable.
The 2007, 2008 & 2010 Abyss vintages were / are phenomenal and hit the mark based on what you’d expect from a partially oak-aged imperial licorice & molasses stout. What went wrong with 2009′s vintage?
Jan 31, 2011… the brewery announced that they found the culprit… a wild yeast called Brettanomyces (aka “Brett”) was found in some of their oak barrels (this also affected the 2009 Mirror Mirror release). Brettanomyces varieties (Bruxellensis, Lambicus & Anomolus), as well as other wild yeasts like Pediococcus or Lactobacillus are sometimes used on purpose in beer. In fact, I have a double red ale going now that just finished a fermentation with Wyeast’s Roeselare #3763 – which is a souring yeast blend with a Belgian style ale strain, a sherry strain, two Brett strains, a Lacto culture, and a Pedio culture.
As with many things beer, I’m blaming my friend Aaron for my introduction and head-over-heels love of sour beers. Last summer he was on a sour kick that baffled me, then he introduced me to some sours, and then Cascade Brewing in Portland opened up a pub. Now… every time I go up there, I have to hit up their Barrel House in SE Portland. I went to a brewer’s dinner last fall (menu) that was out of this world amazing. They are the “House of Sour Beer,” but even Cascade trys to stay away from Brett, as it has a way of taking over everything. They had some beer get infected, rolled it out to the barrel house and then destroyed the barrel(s) involved afterwards.
Brett is a wily devil, and its impact on the 2009 Abyss is likely bad news for many people. Well, now that I know what is giving off the “bad flavor”… here is where I’m going to see if psychology and perception are gonna make this more than half a case left of “infected” 2009 Abyss turn into a treasure.
February 6, 2011… I decided to crack open another bottle.
First taste? Oh, yeah, it’s definitely infected.
But… now I like it.
Explain that! Not even five weeks ago, I had some of the very same infected beer, and I dumped more than half the bottle. Now, I have it… tastes probably identical, but since I was expecting a soured Brett-y beer, I am totally digging it.
Oh, Brain, you have pwned me again.
Happy psychology experiment on Deschutes’ accident. Well, at least I have some more left to enjoy over the coming years. For future releases, they will be flash pasteurizing their oak-aged beers – to kill any wild yeast strains prior to blending. 2009 Abyss & Mirror Mirror may be bad for some, but they also may be a special treat for others. I’d suggest not sending them back to the brewery for a refund. Find someone out there who will trade you for it. Rather than seeing it get dumped, put it to use… in a sour fiend’s mouth. :)
Updated: this Week of Wild is yummy. I tasted a half dozen taps yesterday. My favorites were the Duchesse De Bourgogne and New Belgium La Folie. The Tastival is tomorrow – Friday, December 17th. Per the owners, there are now upwards of 70 beers lined up!! It starts at 5pm @ 16tons. Nosh Pit will be on hand for food.
There is a partial listing with details of the beers at the 16tons blog:
Sixteen Tons in Eugene, Oregon, is hosting a “Week of Wild” Fest the week leading up to Friday, December 17th. They will have special wild ales and sour ales on tap all week, culminating in a special event on Friday with upwards of 40 different wild ales – a mix of draught and bottles.
The week-capping Week of Wild Tastival will be held Friday December 17 from 5-10pm. Tasting tickets are $1. Beers are 1-4 tickets for 3oz tasters. No entry fee. Event will be held at 16 Tons. Check sixteentons.biz for updated info as the week approaches.
From BeerAdvocate: Wild Ales are beers that are introduced to “wild” yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus or Brettanomyces Anomolus), Pediococcus or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various “sour mash” techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be quite strange, interesting, pleasing to many, but also often deemed as undesirable by many.
Featured breweries will include:
- Block 15
- Hair of the Dog
- De Dolle
- Russian River
- The Bruery
- Oud Beersel
- 3 Fonteinen
- De Ranke
- New Belgium
- Brouwerij Girardin
- and more…
I love Oregon’s killer beer scene… and even though many of these wild ales aren’t native Oregon, several of them are… I love it that great beer stores in Portland and Eugene continue to bring in fantastic selections.
To find Sixteen Tons… they’re at 265 E 13th St., Eugene, OR 97401 | (541) 345-2003. They’re open 12-8pm most weekdays, staying open a bit later on Fridays & Saturdays (10pm), and open 12-5pm on Sundays. http://sixteentons.biz/