Though the summertime months can sometimes call for food and beer pairings of a tamer kind, we’re embracing the heat with our monthly offering, Big Barrel Double IPA and Spicy Shrimp & Grits.
”The inspiration is always the beer. Shrimp and Grits is a classic southern dish but we thought we could put our unique spin on it and emphasize the food and beer relationship. Big Barrel is a perfect palate cleanser and we felt it was a great opportunity to incorporate some heat into the grits , so that you get the textures and bold flavors up front but temper them with the tropical flavors that come from the Ahtanum and Nelson Sauvin hops in the beer” -Corey Rapp, Executive Chef
Big Barrel is packed with assertive hop flavors, which temper the spicy sriracha in the sauce and the grits’ habanero kick. Meanwhile, the sweetness from the shrimp and the creaminess of the grits brings a nice balance to the hop forward IIPA.
If you’re still looking for other pairing ideas for our Big Barrel IIPA, don’t be afraid to go for the bold:
- Big Barrel cuts right through the “tang” of strong cheeses such as Gorgonzola or Bleu.
- It tempers the richness from creamy sauces or fried foods.
- Pair a snack of freshly cut fruits with Big Barrel to bring out the beer’s floral and tropical notes.
- Big Barrel’s citrus hop bitterness pairs well with a rich, creamy seafood dish…especially one that packs some serious heat like our Spicy Shrimp & Grits!
Give the dish a try for yourself at each of our Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants and sound off in the comments below to let us know what you think!
We are always looking for an excuse to visit our friends and fans in the Northern half of our great state. If there happens to be a plethora of great events and awesome people to share our beers with, even better! Such is the case with the 2014 San Francisco Beer Week. The gang from KARL will be all over town throughout the week hosting tap takeovers, pairing dinners, and reveling in the killer craft beer scene up in SF. The following list is where you’ll find us imbibing over the next 10 days and we invite you to join us as well as explore all the great beers in your town.
Monday, May 13th marks the start of the 7th Annual American Craft Beer Week, and with that comes the release of our annual American Craft Beer Week Rye IPA. Brewed each year at the end of April, this draught-only offering combines the piquant spice of malted rye with the zesty citrus hop character of American-grown Cascade and Ahtanum hops. The result is a more full-bodied San Diego-style India Pale Ale with a depth of flavor that pairs especially well with spicier fare. And with grilling season already upon us, we figured we’d share our recipe for Tōgarashi Surf & Turf Kebabs to pair with our limited release American Craft Beer Week Rye IPA.
Tōgarashi seasoning is a staple condiment in Japanese cuisine that combines an array of savory and aromatic ingredients, ranging from dried orange peel to nori to Szechuan peppercorns. There are many different preparations but the key ingredients are listed in the DIY recipe below. Of course, if you’re short on time, you can always pick-up pre-made tōgarashi at your local gourmet food store or Japanese grocer.
2 tbsp. Szechuan Peppercorns
1 tbsp. Dried Orange or Tangerine Peel
1 tbsp. Shredded Nori
1 tbsp. Dried Red Chilies
1 tsp. White Sesame Seeds
1 tsp. Black Sesame Seeds
1 tsp. Poppy Seeds
1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
Step 1: Gently toast peppercorns and sesame seeds in a small sauce pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Using a clean coffee grinder or small food processor, grind peppercorns, citrus peel, nori, chili pepper, and sesame seeds until well-ground but not powdered.
Step 3: Combine ground spices with poppy seeds and ginger and store until ready to use.
Tōgarashi Surf & Turf Kebabs
1 lb Beef Tenderloin, cut into 1 ½’ cubes
10-12 Large Sea Scallops
Wooden Skewers, soaked in Red Trolley Ale
2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp. Tōgarashi Seasoning
½ tsp. Sea Salt
Preparation: Combine oil, tōgarashi, salt, and steak in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to skewer and grill.
Tōgarashi Beer Butter
½ c. Butter, softened
2 tbsp. Red Trolley Ale, warm
1 tbsp. Tōgarashi Seasoning
Preparation: Using a small food processor or whisk, combine butter, Red Trolley Ale, and tōgarashi and blend until smooth. Do not refrigerate.
Steak Kebabs: Using your beer-soaked wooden skewers, build your steak kebabs alternating between meat and pearl onions. 1lb of tenderloin should yield about three full steak kebabs. Grill over hot coals until medium rare. Cooking times will vary depending on your grill.
Scallop Kebabs: Pat scallops dry and carefully skewer 5 or 6 per stick. Generously coat both sides in tōgarashi beer butter and grill over high heat for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side. Baste scallops in beer butter once after turning and once before removing from the grill.
Veggie Kebabs: Skewer Japanese eggplant, onions, and sweet peppers to your liking. They’ll cook much faster than the steak and a little slower than the scallops, so it’s best to keep them separate. Grill over high heat until peppers are lightly charred on both sides.
Beer Pairing: The combination of dried citrus peel and Szechuan peppercorns in the tōgarashi seasoning will really punctuate the citrus and floral hop flavors in an American IPA or Pale Ale, while the beer’s hop bitterness is assertive enough to stand up to the complex spiciness. We suggest trying this recipe with either our American Craft Beer Week Rye IPA or Tower 10 IPA.
I’m sick and tired of beer and bacon… said no one ever.
Yes, it seems America’s fixation with barley-based beverages and salty pig parts is one that will continue to transcend even the most radical epicurean trends, and that’s fine with us. So to celebrate our affinity for suds and swine, we put together a few pairings to go with our hoppy Coastal Reserve IPA’s.
If you’ve ever donned lederhosen and headed off to your local Oktoberfest celebration, you know the importance of eating before knocking back liter-sized steins of beer. And while Oktoberfest offers many a beer fan the opportunity to rekindle their fondness for day-drinking, nobody wants to go in unprepared. So before you end up buying a pretzel necklace out of desperation, consider trying this pork-filled beer for breakfast recipe. Prost!
Oktoberfest Pork Benedict
Oktoberfest Pulled Pork
Don’t stress, this part is easy and can be done overnight in the crock pot.
What you’ll need:
1 6-7 Quart Crock Pot
2lb Pork Rump Roast
3 12oz bottles of Karl Strauss Oktoberfest. room temperature
4 Medium White Onion, peeled whole
4 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
8-10 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
What to do:
1. Rinse pork roast, pat dry, rub generously with salt and pepper, and place in the bottom of your crock pot.
2. Add onion, garlic, and thyme to the crock pot, surrounding the pork roast.
3. Carefully pour room temperature Oktoberfest into your crock pot.
4. Set the timer for 10hrs on low and walk away.
5. In the morning, remove your pork roast and pull meat.
6. Keep pulled pork warm in a covered dish.
Oktoberfest Bratwurst Gravy
What you’ll need:
1 lb Bratwurst, uncooked & uncased
1/4 cup White Onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup Karl Strauss Oktoberfest, room temp
4 tbs Butter
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
What to do:
1. Brown uncased bratwurst and onion in a medium saucepan until nearly cooked through and crumbling.
2. Add Oktoberfest and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. This will lend the flavor of a Wisconsin-style beer-braised bratwurst.
3. Add butter and return medium-high heat. Once butter has melted, stir in flour.
4. Slowly stir in milk, continuously stirring over medium-high heat until thick.
If you’ve never poached an egg, here’s a link to Alton Brown’s method.
No need to bake biscuits from scratch, store-bought oven-bake buttermilk biscuits will work perfectly.
Pulling everything together:
Pull biscuits apart, top with a poached egg, Oktoberfest pulled porked, and bratwurst gravy. Fattening? You betcha!
Much like coffee beans and wine grapes, oysters and hops owe much of their flavors to terroir: the environments in which they’re cultivated. Mineral rich soil and long summer days in Oregon’s Willamette Valley give Centennial hops a floral aroma and resinous pine-like bitterness, while the cool waters of San Diego’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon gives Carlsbad Luna oysters a clean brininess and melon-like finish. With hundreds of hop cultivars and oyster appellations, there are virtually limitless options for pairing fresh oysters with hoppy beers.
Hoppy Beer and Oyster Pairing
Pairing: Tower 10 IPA – Without any garnish, Tower 10’s caramel malt undertones draw out the oyster’s sweetness. Add a little lemon juice and you’ll boost the zesty grapefruit flavors of T 10’s Cascade and Chinook hops.
Coast Kumamoto – Originally a Japanese appellation, Coast Kumamoto oysters are farm-raised in Humbolt Bay, California. They’re sweeter than the Sweetwater and fruitier than the Carlsbad Luna, making them a natural match with fruity Belgian IPA’s.
Pairing: Blackball Belgian IPA – Warm fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain, combined with Curacao orange and citrusy Pacifica hops gives Blackball the perfect mix of flavors to complement the sweet and fruity Kumamoto oyster.
Carlsbad Luna – Carlsbad Aquafarm has been sustainably raising shellfish in San Diego’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon for the past twenty-five years. Their Luna oysters have a mild salinity and melon-like fruity finish. Look for them in San Diego restaurants or at a number of local farmers’ markets.
Pairing: Big Barrel Double IPA – The tropical fruit flavors of the Nelson Sauvin hops draw out the natural fruitiness of the Carlsbad Luna.
Blue Point Oysters – Cultivated by Blue Island Oyster Co. in New York’s Great South Bay, this world-famous variety has a crisp texture, clean salinity, and hints of celery and pine.
Pairing: Boardwalk Black Rye IPA – Boardwalk’s complex toffee and spicy malt profile balances the salinity, while its bracing Centennial hop bitterness draws out herbaceous undertones.
Grilling ribs requires a leisurely kind of patience – a low-and-slow attitude that’s not too common here in California. We’re not saying we’re impatient; it’s just that our patience is typically reserved for less leisurely activities, like rush hour traffic and the DMV. That being said, there are still plenty of ways to prepare a good rack of ribs without conceding any beer-drinking time. So, if you’d rather not spend your summer afternoons choking over a smoky barbeque, try our California-style BeerBQ Beef Ribs recipe below.
BeerBQ Beef Ribs
1 4-5lb Beef Back Rib Rack
2 12oz Bottles Karl Strauss Amber
Roasting Pan & Rack (16 x 12 x 2.5)
*Charcoal Grill – optional for finishing ribs
Step 1: Prepare marinade by whisking the ingredients below in a medium-sized bowl. Rinse ribs in cold water, pat dry, and place meat side down in a non-reactive pan large enough to accommodate ribs and marinade. Pour marinade over ribs, cover, and refrigerate for 8-24hrs.
1 c. Orange Juice
½ c. Pineapple Juice
¼ c. Cider Vinegar
¼ c. Soy Sauce
2 tbs. Honey
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tbs. Fresh Ginger, grated
Step 2: Remove ribs from refrigerator, drain marinade, and pat dry. Apply a salt and pepper dry rub, place ribs on roasting pan rack, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 300. Pour both bottles of Karl Strauss Amber into the roasting pan, place rack with ribs over the beer, and cover entire pan tightly with aluminum foil. Cook ribs at 300 for 2 hours.
Step 4: Prepare orange chipotle glaze by blending the following ingredients in a blender or food processor. If you’re sensitive to spicy food, only use half the can of chipotle chilies.
Chipotle Orange Glaze:
½ c. Orange Marmalade
½ c. Honey
1 7.5oz Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
Step 5: Remove ribs from oven and keep covered for 20 minutes. Next, remove foil and drain liquid from the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the <blank> out of yourself.
Step 6: Using a basting brush, generously apply glaze to both sides of the ribs.
Step 7: Finish ribs uncovered in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes, or finish on a charcoal grill to add a crispier texture and grilled flavor.
In case you missed the memo, Windansea Wheat is now available in bottles year-round. That’s right, six-packs and twelve-packs of our refreshingly smooth Bavarian-style Hefe hit store shelves just in time for summer. So, to celebrate the bottle release of our favorite warm weather wheat beer, we’re sharing this fresh summertime ceviche recipe and pairing.
Traditional ceviche is a cold dish consisting of fresh fish, shrimp, or shellfish, cooked in citrus juice. Its origins are believed to date back to the Inca, but rather than compromise the brevity of this post with a culinary history lesson, we’ll just say that ceviche has been around long enough to vary from region to region. In SoCal, ceviche is typically prepared Baja-style, using fresh caught shrimp, or rockfish and lime juice. The recipe below is based on the Baja-style, with a few ingredients added to match Windansea Wheat’s bright fruity flavors.
Windansea Shrimp Ceviche
1.5 lbs fresh shrimp – peeled, deveined, and diced in ½” pieces
1.5 cups fresh-squeezed lime juice (8-10 limes)
8oz Windansea Wheat
5 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium hothouse cucumber, diced
1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 cup watermelon, diced
1-2 red jalapenos, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Sea salt to taste
Step 1: Combine fresh chopped shrimp and lime juice in a medium-sized bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours. The acidic lime juice will cook the shrimp, causing their color to change from blue/gray to pink.
Step 2: Remove lime marinated shrimp and drain off 2/3 of the lime juice. Add 8oz of Windansea Wheat, cover, and return to the refrigerator for an hour. Adding the beer will not only cut the acidity of the lime, but its sweet, fruity flavors will complement the watermelon and mango.
Step 3: Remove shrimp from refrigerator, drain off liquid, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add tomato, red onion, cucumber, mango, watermelon, jalapeno, and cilantro. Mix ingredients well, add salt to taste, and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Step 4: Serve with tortilla chips and a Windansea Wheat.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a Yelp-crazed foodie, you may have noticed a resurgence of “odd bits” on local menus. Comparable to beef tongue, cheeks, and tripe, oxtail holds a tasty place outside most people’s comfort zones. And while they’re more commonly used to create flavorul stocks and stews, we’re putting them to good use in a San Diego favorite – the street taco.
Preparing oxtail isn’t difficult, it just takes time (9-10hrs). Well-prepared, oxtail is rich, tender, and flavorful. If undercooked, it will have the texture of a chew toy. So, if you’re a patient master of the crock pot, this recipe should be right up your alley.
Beer-Braised Oxtail Tacos
What you’ll need:
Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl.
¼ Cup chili powder
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tsp. black pepper
½ Tsp. cayenne pepper
½ Tsp. cinnamon
Large Frying Pan
½ Cup all-purpose flour
½ Cup butter
6-qt Crock Pot
1 22oz bottle Off The Rails
1 cup chicken stock
1 large white onion, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded/chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Chopped white onion
Salsa verde or habanero hot sauce
What to do:
Rinse oxtails in cold water and pat dry.
Coat oxtails in dry rub, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Melt butter in a large skillet, dust oxtails in flour, and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. When oxtails are golden brown, remove from skillet and reserved on a plate.
Add onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and garlic to the skillet and sauté on high until onions are golden brown. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to the crock pot, adding the chicken stock and bottle of Off The Rails to the remaining vegetables in the skillet. Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat.
Arrange browned oxtails in a layer over the sautéed vegetables in the crock pot. Pour the warm liquid contents of the skillet over the oxtails, cover, and cook on low for 9-10hrs.
Once the oxtails have finished cooking, meat should easily fall away from the bones.
Suggested beer pairing: Tower 20 IIPA – T-20′s dry hop bitterness will cut through the oxtail’s rich flavors, while complementing the zesty lime and cilantro.
Beer-infused Crème Brûlée? Yes, well, it’s more like crem-brew-lay, but you get the gist. What started out as an off-the-wall idea three years ago has since turned into one of our favorite desserts. Brewed with cocoa nibs and locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans, Wreck Alley adds rich layers of dark chocolate and an espresso-like roast to this classic dessert.
Our Chefs Gunther and Corey, the masterminds behind this recipe, have earned a solid reputation with their drink beer/think food approach to cooking. Continually pushing the craft beer and culinary envelope with their innovative methods, these two were recently selected to share their expertise at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.
If you’re looking for something to pair with your after dinner Wreck Alley, give this recipe a try. Also, look for this and other great beer-centric recipes in an upcoming craft beer cookbook by Chef’s Press, the publishers behind San Diego’s Top Brewers.
Wreck Alley Crème Brûlée
2 cups Wreck Alley Imperial Stout
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
12 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 shallow, oven-proof ramekins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place stout in pan, bring to a slow boil and reduce to a ¼ cup. Place cream in a non reactive pan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream. The pod can be used as an additional flavor enhancer by adding it to the cream while heating, remove and discard before whisking. Heat cream and vanilla slowly until steaming. When cream starts to steam remove from heat. Do not boil the cream. While the cream heats through, whisk together egg yolks and sugar with wire whisk until pale in color and sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour about ½ cup of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture whisking quickly to temper the mixture. In a slow stream, add the remaining hot cream to the egg mixture while continuing to mix with the whisk. Add the reduced stout to the brûlée mixture and mix well. Divide the mixture evenly into six ramekins, placed in a deep baking dish. Fill the baking pan with hot water about half way up the sides of the ramekins and place in a pre-heated oven to cook for 40 minutes or until just set. Check for doneness by gently shaking the ramekins; the brûlée is finished baking when the edges are set/firm but the middle still jiggles a little. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool before serving.
Sprinkle the top of each brûlée with a thin layer of granulated sugar. With a kitchen propane torch (available at most household supply retailers) point the flame onto the sugar and heat until it begins to melt and is deep golden brown color.
Use the broiler setting of your oven to brown the sugar by placing the brûlée about an inch away under the broiler flame/heat source for 20 to 30 seconds. Check frequently to ensure even browning.
For an additional twist on this classic, add your favorite fruit like strawberries, raspberries or banana slices to brûlée. Gently insert fruit pieces by pressing them into the cold brûlée and follow the same finishing instructios above.
If you’re a craft beer drinker and you’re unfamiliar with PubCakes , we suggest you seek them out and discover what you’ve been missing. For the second year in a row, our Pastry Chef friends Misty and Kaitlin created a special beer-infused cupcake for our Anniversary. This time around, they were inspired by our 23rd Anniversary Old Ale; a beer with rich notes of bourbon, toffee and dried fruit. What they came up was such a hit at our annual Changing of the Barrels celebration, folks have been clamoring for the recipe ever since.
If you’re looking to have your life changed by a decadent dessert and beer pairing, test out this recipe provided by the ladies of PubCakes. And if you haven’t dropped by for a visit, check out their storefront in San Diego’s College Area, and try the Top 10 Cake made with our Tower 10 IPA.
Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary PubCake
1 cup Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 bag toffee bits
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring beer to a boil, remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. While the beer is cooling, add cupcake liners to your muffin pan (you’ll need about 12 standard size cupcake liners).
2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar on high until mixture lightens and increases in volume. Add the egg and beat in well. Next, set the mixer to low and add dry ingredients and beer in 1/3 increments until fully incorporated. Finally, add the toffee bits and mix thoroughly.
3. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven half way through the cooking time for even baking. The cupcakes are done when a stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan as soon as they’ve cooled enough to touch; this will prevent the bottoms from steaming.
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 lemon, zested
1 16 oz package powdered sugar
1. Beat the first three ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, use the back end of a wooden spoon to put a hole in the middle of each cupcake. Put the butterscotch pudding into a zip lock bag and cut off the corner to fill each of the holes with pudding. Frost in a circle with the blackberry buttercream. Finally, top with a shortbread cookie, which were rolled about 1/4” thin and in 1 1/2” rounds. Slice a blackberry in half and place on top of the cookie.
To the uninitiated, bread has no business meddling with pudding. They both have their places and the thought of a tapioca sandwich is about as appetizing as pouring barleywine on your fruit loops. However, once you’ve tried the real thing, you won’t care what it’s called. Truth be told, there’s no better way to make use of stale bread, unless of course you’re one for feeding the birds.
There are many different recipes for bread pudding, using different breads, fruits, nuts, and spices but this recipe truly captures the flavors of the Holidays. If you’re looking for the perfect dessert pairing to enjoy along-side a glass of Two Tortugas Belgian Quad, give this a try. If you’re a bread pudding aficionado, check out this recipe by our Chefs Gunther & Corey in December’s West Coaster Magazine.
Two Tortugas Spiced Bread Pudding
1 16oz Loaf Challah Egg Bread
3 Cups Straus Family Organic Whole Milk
2 Cups White Baking Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
8 Large Eggs
1 Tbs Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Powdered Ginger
1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 Tsp Cayenne
1/2 Cup Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup Dried Black Currants
1/2 Cup Raisins
10 oz Two Tortugas Belgian Quad- for cooking
12 oz Two Tortugas Belgian Quad – for drinking
Day/Night Before: Place cubed bread in a large mixing bowl and leave out to stale overnight. In a medium-sized mixing bowl soak dried raisins, currants, and cherries in 10 ounces of Two Tortugas, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Pour the remaining 12oz of Two Torugas into a glass, sit down, put your feet up, and enjoy.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 13″ x 9″ x 2” baking dish, and strain excess beer from beer-soaked fruit.
Step 2: Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices until well blended. Pour liquid over cubed bread, add beer-soaked fruit, gently mix by hand until well combined, and let rest for 25 minutes.
Step 3: Pour mixture into 13″ x 9″ x 2′ baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Step 4: Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with fresh whipped cream and candied walnuts or frost with vanilla butter cream.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the 3rd Annual San Diego Beer Week kicks-off on Friday 11/4, beginning a ten-day county-wide celebration of our favorite barley-based beverage. With Beer Week comes an onslaught of pint nights, pairing events, rare beer dinners, beer book signings, and even brewer trading cards – I didn’t fact check that last one but it wouldn’t surprise me. With so many beer events going on, the real fun is planning events that stand out. For one of our events, we teamed up with KnB Wine Cellars for a beer dinner of a different kind. Beer and grilled cheese sandwiches: the ultimate beer and comfort food combination.
The research phase began with some “field work” at Venissimo Cheese Shop, followed by an afternoon of vigorous tests. In the end, we came up with some incredible pairings and discovered that beer and grilled cheese could quite possibly be the next big thing.
Below is one of our favorite pairings that will be featured at our SDBW event at KnB Wine Cellars on Friday, November 11th from 6pm-10pm. Look for more beer and grilled cheese pairings to come, as we’re feeling a blog series coming on.
Two Tortugas Belgian Quad : Bucherondin & Fig Preserves on Grilled Brioche
Two Tortugas 11.1%ABV - Our most recent GABF award-winning beer with a bronze in the Belgian Abbey Ale category. Belgian candi sugar gives this robust strong ale a higher alcohol content over a medium body. The flavors are a delicate union of sweet toffee, dark fruits, and warming spices.
Bucherondin – “Boo-share-oh-DAN” An assertive and tangy French goat cheese that sharpens with age.
The Pairing: The sweet toffee flavors of the Belgian Quad balance the sharp tanginess of the cheese, giving it a creaminess that complements the buttery brioche. The fig jam draws out layers of dark fruit with notes of fresh berries and plums. If there were a perfect grilled cheese for dessert, this might be it.
Still not sure what to do with your #IPADay? Looking for a simple yet enjoyable way to celebrate your favorite India Pale Ales. Here’s a guide to selecting the best cheeses from around to world to match with your favorite IPAs. Since our beers are only available in Southern California, you can use these suggestions as a guide for finding IPAs in your neck of the woods. If you’re planning to spend your #IPADay in So-Cal, come see us for Cask Night with $4 IPA pints & $8 growlers of IPA to-go.
IPA & Cheese Basics:
It’s beer, not rocket science but consider the following when seeking the perfect cheese for your IPA.
- More IBU = More PU – Assertively hopped IPAs can handle the stinkiest blues.
- Dry bitterness balances sweetness and cuts richness.
- Bitterness will over power certain spices but will also intensify scoville units (i.e heat).
Hop Flavors/Terroir: Different growing regions produce hops with very distinct flavors and aromatics. Here are some basic examples:
USA Pacific Northwest: Floral, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, resinous pine
Continental Europe: Grassy, minty, floral, herbal, spicy
England: Woodsy, earthy, herbal
New Zealand/Australia: Floral, berries, tropical, citrus
Tower 10 IPA & Apricot Stilton
Tower 10 IPA – A West Coast-style India Pale Ale brewed with tons of Chinook and Cascade hops for a floral aroma and zesty grapefruit-like bitterness that lingers through the dry finish.
Stats: 7.0% ABV – 9 SRM – 70 IBU
Apricot Stilton: England’s “King of Blues” studded with dried apricots for a pleasant blend of fruit and tang.
The Pairing: Tower 10′s forward hop bitterness stands up to the assertive tang of the Stilton, while the apricot draws out the citrus and fruity hop flavors in the beer.
Worthy Substitutions: Racer 5 IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA.
Big Barrel Double IPA & Mango Stilton
Big Barrel Double IPA - A boldly hopped Double IPA brewed in true West Coast fashion. A blend of Ahtanum and New Zealand grown Nelson hops lend a vibrant tropical aroma and clean citrus hop bitterness that lingers through a dry finish.
Stats:9.0% ABV – 15 SRM – 80 IBU
Mango Stilton: A tangy English blue studded with candied mango and spicy ginger.
The Pairing: New Zealand-grown Nelson Sauvin hops give the beer an intense floral and tropical hop character. When paired together, the hop bitterness stands up to the tanginess, while accentuating the tropical fruit flavors in both the beer and the cheese.
Worthy Substitutions: Epic Armagedon IPA, Kern River Double IPA, Alpine Nelson
Boardwalk Black Rye & Memoire + Midnight Moon
Boardwalk Black Rye - Inspired purely by imagination, this full-bodied black ale combines rich and spicy rye malts with the vibrant hop profile of a West Coast Double IPA.
Stats: 8.0% ABV – 80 SRM – 80 IBU
Memoire: A smooth a creamy Dutch Gouda, sprinkled with truffles for added spice.
Midnight Moon: A 1 year-aged goat’s milk cheese from California with sweet toffee flavors and a nutty finish.
The Pairings: Memoire’s spicy black truffle flavors draw out Boardwalk’s spicy rye malt character, while the sweet Midnight Moon softens the hop bitterness and accentuates the beer’s toffee undertones.
Worthy Substitutions: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Deschutes Hop in the Dark, Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
Every so often a small but dedicated group of our employees gather to talk beer and food. The group includes our Executive and R&D Chefs, our Brewmaster, and a few other foodies lucky enough to make the guest list. During these discussions we chat about great beers we’ve tried, restaurants we’ve visited, and even dishes we’ve prepared at home. By taking ourselves out of “work” mode, we’re able to get great work done. Our Chefs Gunther and Corey use these gatherings as an opportunity to prepare and share their latest beer and food pairings. Over the years these guys have done some truly remarkable things with beer in the kitchen – and this month’s post is a homage to their passion for beer and food. Below is a recipe inspired by their Belgian IPA Mussels, created especially for April’s menu. This version uses ingredients available at local farmers markets, including the Carlsbad Aquafarm mussels we use in our brewery restaurants. I picked up the mussels, produce, and bread at Sunday’s Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Ingredients: Prep Time – 25 Minutes
2 lbs Carlsbad Black Mussels (cleaned and de-bearded)
6 Slices Bacon Chopped (pre-cook and pat dry before chopping)
½ Cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
½ Cup Finely Chopped Fennel
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Tbs Clover Honey
2 Tbs Butter
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Cup Blackball Belgian IPA (room temperature)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Step 1: Scrub mussels with a coarse brush under cold running water. Remove any beards and discard any mussels that are broken or open. Reserve cleaned mussels in a large bowl of ice water until ready to steam.
Step 2: Melt butter in large saucepan. Add bacon, fennel, onions, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Step 3: Add Blackball Belgian IPA and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover, and steam until mussels have opened (4-5 Minutes). Remove from heat and discard any mussels that have not opened.
Step 4: Transfer mussels to serving dish, reserving the broth in the saucepan. Return broth to medium heat and stir in honey and cream. Ladle broth over mussels and serve with grilled French bread.
If your better half says they don’t care about Valentine’s Day, don’t be fooled – IT’S A TEST! For all you last minute romantics looking to mix things up this year, we’ve got your game plan. Below are some decadent pairings combining our beers with artisan chocolates from the fine folks at Eclipse Chocolat in San Diego. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, they’ve got quite an impressive selection at their store on El Cajon Blvd in the North Park area.
Complement: Find a beer that shares similar flavors with your chocolate. An example would be the the milk chocolate and dark fruit undertones of a Baltic Porter paired with a blackberry infused dark chocolate truffle. Easy, right?
Contrast: Find a beer and chocolate combination that enhances both by combining different flavors. An example would be pairing a tart Kriek or Framboise with a sweet berry infused white chocolate. Also, don’t discount hoppier beers; they’re great with chili infused chocolate.
Red Trolley Ale & Salty Dulce de Leche Chocolate
The salty white chocolate and pretzel contrast nicely with the sweet caramel malt flavors of Red Trolley Ale for a delicious balance of sweet and savory.
Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale & Balsamic Pink Peppercorn Truffle
While Fullsuit’s complex malt profile is a natural fit with the rich dark chocolate, it’s the beer’s phenolic peppery character that matches beautifully with this peppercorn infused truffle.
Parrot in a Palm Tree & Blackberry Goat Cheese Truffle
Parrot in a Palm Tree’s layered chocolate and dark fruit flavors meld perfectly with this blackberry and goat cheese truffle for the quintessential complementary pairing.
22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout & Chili Hazelnut Chocolate
The dark chocolate flavors of an Imperial Stout are a natural match with chocolate but this robust pairing takes it a step further. The spicy cayenne-candied hazelnuts enhance the beer’s bourbon flavors that linger through its warming finish.
Pintail Pale Ale – Lemon Thyme Truffle
The floral and citrus character of Amarillo hops mirror the zesty flavors of this lemon and thyme infused truffle, while the sweet white chocolate balances Pintail’s hop bitterness.
Tower 10 IPA – Mango Masala Chocolate
American IPA’s are a great match with spicy India cuisine so it’s no surprise that Tower 10 is a bitchin addition to the Mango Masala Chocolate. T10′s hop bitterness tempers the spice of the masala, while citrus hop flavors highlight the candied mango. Who says IPA’s can’t pair with chocolate?!
Coming Soon: Karl teams up with Misty from Pub Cakes for special recipes and pairings with our 22nd Anniversary Stout.
22nd Anniversary Stout 9.0 % ABV – A bold Russian Imperial Stout brewed with vanilla beans and aged three months in American oak bourbon barrels. This robust strong ale has rich dark chocolate and espresso flavors, underpinned by nuances of vanilla, bourbon, and oak.
Old Columbia Barleywine 9.5% ABV – A full-bodied English-style Barleywine with rich toffee and caramel malt flavors, undertones of fried fruit, and a sweet warming finish.
Imperial Amber Lager 7.5% ABV – A massive amount of Centennial hops give this more robust version of Karl’s favorite beer an aggressive floral and pine-like hop character, over a backdrop of caramel and toasted malts.
Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale 6.3% ABV – A Belgian-style brown ale brewed with a blend of caramel and brown malts for toasted and sweet coffee-like flavors, underpinned by the peppery spice of Belgian yeast. Aging on French oak adds a hint of vanilla to its slightly dry and warming finish.
Featured Pairing: Steak N’ Egg Sandwich
Steak N’ Egg Sandwich: Grilled prime rib-eye steak, poached egg, provolone and broccoli rabe on a grilled French roll. It’s served open-faced with a field green salad.
The Pairing: For our Anniversary, we created a flavorful pairing worth celebrating. The caramel and toasted flavors of our Amber Lager seamlessly complement the succulent steak, while its smooth finish balances the savory egg and cheese, refreshing the palate between bites. You’ll want a fork and knife with this one.
Whether you’re hosting a holiday get together or bringing something to your office party, a thoughtfully paired beer and cheese spread is always a good call. Sure, you can bust out your Mom’s favorite Chardonnay with some store-bought brie but this isn’t 1987 and you’re more original than that. When most of us think of paring cheese, wine is the first thing that comes to mind – and while wine and cheese have their moments, any Sommelier will be hard-pressed to compete with beer’s range of flavors. When was the last time you found a Zinfandel that tempered the heat of a chipotle infused cheddar or a Riesling that complemented a coffee & lavender-rubbed cheese? The answer is probably never and that’s why beer is a much better partner to cheese. Here you’ll find a few simple yet sophisticated cheese parings to accompany the beers in our Holiday 4-pack, along with a DIY tasting sheet to guide your friends.
Beer & Cheese Pairing Basics:
There are many different approaches to planning a great pairing but the general principles are rather simple. Start with your beer, evaluate its flavors and decide what you want to accomplish with your pairing. Use these tips as a guide:
Complement: Find a cheese that mirrors the flavors of your beer. An example would be taking a sweeter English Barleywine and finding a cheese like Noord Hollander (aged Gouda) that matches the caramel and toffee notes in the beer.
Contrast: Find a beer and cheese combination that enhances both by combining different flavors. An example would be tempering the heat of a spicy cheese like Chipotle Cranberry Cheddar with the hop profile of an IPA or balancing the tanginess of Bucherondin with the sweetness of a malty Red Ale.
Beer & Cheese Pairings with Our Holiday 4-Pack
Our Holiday 4-Pack is available exclusively in our Brewery Restaurants and includes a 22oz bomber of Red Trolley Ale, Tower 10 IPA, Parrot in a Palm Tree & Big Barrel Double IPA. Below are some beer and cheese pairings featuring all four beers included.
Red Trolley Ale & Bucherondin
Red Trolley is a medium-bodied red ale with a sweet caramel malt profile, underpinned by notes of dried fruit.
Bucherondin is a semi-aged goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley of France with a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
The Pairing: Red Trolley’s sweet caramel malt flavors provide a nice contrast to the tangy Bucherondin. Try this pairing with fig jam to add a complement to the dried fruit flavors in the beer.
Tower 10 IPA & Chipotle Cranberry Cheddar
Tower 10 IPA is an American-style India Pale Ale with assertive citrus and floral hop flavors from Cascade and Chinook hops.
Chipotle Cranberry Cheddar is studded with dried cranberries and infused with spicy chipotle for a nice blend of sweet and spicy flavors.
The Pairing: Tower 1o’s hop bitterness gently tempers the spicy chipotle, while the citrus and floral flavors in the beer are complemented by the cranberry.
Parrot in a Palm Tree & Barely Buzzed
Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter with layers of chocolate, coffee and dried fruit flavors.
Barely Buzzed is an American white cheddar, dusted in coffee and lavender. This full-bodied cheese is aged on Blue Spruce racks, developing notes of caramel and butterscotch with hints of cocoa and coffee.
The Pairing: Parrot’s milk-chocolate and espresso flavors draw out the coffee and nutty flavors in the cheese.
Big Barrel IIPA & Stilton Blue
Big Barrel is an aggressively hopped Double IPA with a vibrant floral aroma and tropical fruit character.
Stilton, “The King of Blues”, is a soft, tangy, and complex English blue with an assertively ripe flavor.
The Pairing: Both Big Barrel and Stilton possess bold flavors on their own but when paired together their flavors are mellowed. Big Barrel’s hop bitterness is balanced by Stilton’s bold flavors, allowing a rich floral and tropical fruit character to emerge in both the beer and the cheese.
Parrot in a Palm Tree 8.5 % ABV – A robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny port barrels, the resulting brew boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish.
Extra Special Bitter 5.6% ABV – A traditional English-style ale brewed with imported Ashburne and Maris Otter malts for rich caramel and toasted malt flavors. Dry-hopping with Willamette hops adds an earthy hop character that lingers through the finish.
Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale 6.3% ABV – A Belgian-style brown ale brewed with a blend of caramel and brown malts for toasted and sweet coffee-like flavors, underpinned by the peppery spice of Belgian yeast. Aging on French oak adds a hint of vanilla to its slightly dry and warming finish.
Featured Pairing: Parrot in a Palm Tree with Holiday Shake N’ Cake
Holiday Shake N’ Cake: Baltic Porter vanilla bean ice cream shake topped with spiced whipped cream. Chocolate cupcake, caramel pecans, and raspberry coulis.
The Pairing: Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, this is the perfect pairing to end the year on a high note. Our Baltic Porter ice cream shake is a decadent blend of vanilla and chocolate malt flavors. It’s served with a caramel and raspberry drizzled chocolate cake that draws out layers of dark fruit and espresso in the beer. Santa’s coming to town for this one.
12/23 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – San Diego State University vs. Navy – We’re the exclusive beer of this years VIP Tailgate. Join us before kick-off between 2:30 and 4:30pm for pints of Karl Strauss Amber Lager, Red Trolley Ale & Tower 10 IPA.