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Karl Strauss San Francisco Beer Week Events

San Francisco Beer Week kicks-off today and we couldn’t be more excited to participate in the Bay Area’s annual craft beer celebration for the first time. When we expanded  beer distribution into Northern California last year, we missed San Francisco Beer Week by about six-months. This year however, we have a handful of events planned in San Francisco and San Jose that will feature San Diego favorites like Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA, as well as harder to find special releases like our 24th Anniversary Flanders-style Red Ale and Barrel-aged Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. So, if you’re interested in dropping by for a pint and chatting up our motley crew of Karl Strauss reps, check out our event schedule below.

Red Trolley San Francisco

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24th Anniversary Flanders-style Sour Red Ale

When I began my career in the craft beer industry, Karl Strauss Brewing Company had just celebrated 18 years of brewing in San Diego. It was 2007; San Diego was home to a close-knit band of breweries, and you could count the number of craft-savvy beer bars on one hand. San Diego’s beer scene was plenty mature at the time, but the cult-like demand for San Diego beers was still a few years away. And while high-octane hoppy beers were putting SD on the international map, a more experimental and lesser-known brewing practice was developing behind closed brewery doors.Sour Beers

Experimenting with different ingredients and techniques is one of the most exciting parts of brewing, especially when a little spontaneity or a happy accident leads to new discoveries and complex flavors.  The most exciting discovery of my first year with KARL was sour beers. In my life before beer, I knew nothing about spontaneous fermentation or wild ales; my only real experience was pouring a Duchesse de Bourgogne down the drain because it tasted like balsamic vinegar. That being said, my education began when I discovered a cache of dusty, cobweb-covered oak barrels in a dark recessed corner of the brewery. Curious,  I asked around and learned that these barrels contained sour and spontaneously fermented ales inoculated with lactic acid-producing bacteria and wild yeast. At first, I didn’t know what to make of folks using bacteria and wild organisms to make beer, but after reading up on the styles and doing a little bar stool research, I was hooked. Read the rest of this page »

Beer Cheese Soup

If you’re a Wisconsin native or a regular at San Diego’s Hamilton’s Tavern, odds are you’re familiar with beer cheese soup. And while this awe-inspiring comfort food may throw a wrench in your quest to be the biggest loser, we think you’ll agree that beer cheese soup is worth a few extra minutes on the treadmill. So, if you’re looking to add another beer-centric recipe to your repertoire, celebrate this Super Bowl Sunday with Red Trolley Beer Cheese Soup.

Red Trolley Beer Cheese Soup

Ingredients:RT Bay Bridge
8 Strips Bacon
½ Cup Yellow Onion, chopped
½ Cup Celery, chopped
½ Cup Carrots, chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
12oz Red Trolley Ale
1 ½ Cup Chicken Stock
1 Cup Half and Half
¼ Cup Flour
8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar, shredded
4 Ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped

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Parrot in a Palm Tree: Two Years Later

If you’re hoarding a private stash of our 2010 holiday offering, Parrot in a Palm Tree, there’s no doubt you’re wondering how well it’s aged – and to be perfectly honest, we were pretty curious ourselves. So, like any self-respecting craft brewery, we took matters into our own hands and recruited a few seasoned craft beer professionals to evaluate the first installment in our less than literal “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales.

An honest and snob-free evaluation of Parrot in a Palm Tree by Ryan Ross and Randy Clemens:

Parrot in a Palm Tree – Holiday Baltic Porter 2010
8.5% ABV – 50 SRM – 35IBU
Original Description: Aged three months in San Pasqual Tawny Portbarrels, this winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle, as this limited release will age with the best of them.

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Fruitcake Donuts with Fruitcake Ale

Brewing a fruitcake ale as our 2012 holiday release was a crazy undertaking,  so our sharing an off-the-wall recipe for fruitcake donuts shouldn’t come as a surprise. When considering how to include Mouette á Trois in our “Cooking with KARL”  series, our first thought was to use the beer in an actual fruitcake, but that felt too easy. Instead, we took a page from the Voodoo Doughnut playbook and created fruitcake donuts. So, if you’re an adventurous type that wants to have fruitcake donuts with your fruitcake ale, try this holiday-inspired beer for breakfast recipe.

Making fruitcake donuts

Fruitcake Donuts:
1 Cup Sugar
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Orange Zest
¼ cup Dried Cherries, finely chopped
¼ cup Dried Apricots, finely chopped
2 eggs
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Cup Whole Milk
4 Cups All-purpose Flour
Vegetable Oil

Mouette á Trois Glaze:
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
¼ Cup Mouette á Trois, warm

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Thanksgiving Beer Bacon Stuffing

What sounds better for Thanksgiving than beer bacon stuffing? It’s not a tough question; if we didn’t have you at beer, we definitely had you at bacon. So, rather than search the web for the latest vegan or paleo-friendly alternative to Thanksgiving’s most important side, commit to diet-busting tradition and try this recipe for beer bacon stuffing. Remember, we all go back to the gym in January when exercise goes back in style.  Heck, why not make a practice batch of beer seasoned bacon just for fun? Seriously, make a practice batch.

Beer Seasoned Bacon

Beer Seasoned Bacon

What You’ll Need:
½lb (6-7 Slices) Think-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
1tbs Honey
2tbs Red Trolley Ale
Black Pepper
Basting Brush
Broiler Pan

What to do:
Position oven rack about 6” from heat source and preheat to broil.  Separate uncooked bacon strips and place 6 or 7 across broiler pan. Combine honey and beer in a small mixing bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Remove mixture from microwave, stir, and use basting brush to generously coat both sides of each bacon strip. Dust bacon with black pepper and cook on Broil for 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes to avoid burning. Once bacon is crispy, remove from oven set aside to cool. After bacon has cooled, finely chop and reserve in a bowl for later use.

Beer Bacon Stuffing

What you’ll need:
½lb Thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chopped
1/4lb Salted Butter
2c Yellow Onion, Chopped
2c Celery, Chopped
2c Crimini Mushrooms, Chopped (Optional)
1c Leeks, Chopped
1tbs Fresh Sage, Minced
1tbs Fresh Thyme, Minced
*Pre-prepared Chopped Beer Seasoned Bacon
2c Chicken or Turkey Stock
1c Red Trolley Ale
12c Unseasoned White Bread Stuffing Mix
Salt to taste
5 Quart Oven-safe Sauté Pan or Stock Pot

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350. Add butter and chopped bacon to a large sauté pan or stock pot  and cook over high heat until edges begin to brown. Add onions, celery, mushrooms, leeks, sage, thyme, and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to medium, add beer seasoned bacon, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Once beer seasoned bacon is incorporated, add beer and stock to the pot, and bring mixture back to a boil. Once you’ve reached a simmer, reduce heat to low and gradually add in stuffing mix. Once all ingredients are well incorporated, taste stuffing and add salt if needed. Cover pot and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and continue baking for an addition 5 minutes. If you’re successful, and you will be, the photo below is what you’ll have on Thanksgiving.

Need help with your Turkey? Try our beer-brine recipe. 

Beer Bacon Stuffing

San Diego Beer Week Peanut Butter Cup Porter

When San Diego Beer Week kicked-off for the first time in 2009, we brewed a special release Imperial Pale Ale to commemorate what has become an annual celebration of San Diego’s vibrant brewing community.  The following year we made our SDBW special release an annual event with a small batch of SDBW Licorice Stout, and in 2011 we kept the tradition going with the release of our SDBW Double IPA. For this year’s beer week release, we chose a more experimental recipe conceived by our very own brewer John Hunter. Inspired by curiosity, Halloween candy, and a borderline obsession with peanut butter and chocolate, John convinced Brewmaster Paul and the rest of the Karl Strauss team to brew this year’s special release – SDBW Peanut Butter Cup Porter.

San Diego Beer Week Peanut Butter Cup Porter – An English-style Brown Porter brewed with organic peanut powder, cocoa nibs, and vanilla beans. The resulting brew is a beer’s answer to the peanut butter cup – a medium-bodied porter with smooth layers of peanut butter and milk chocolate.
Stats: 5.6% ABV – 56 SRM – 30 IBU

FAQ: I have a peanut allergy, will this beer make me ill?
Answer: YES! 

SDBW Peanut Butter Cup Porter Float
1 16oz Pint Glass
2 Large scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
8oz SDBW Peanut Butter Cup Porter
1 Peanut Butter Cup

If you’ve made a root beer float, this should be a no-brainer. Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to an empty pint glass, pour chilled beer over the top, and garnish with a peanut butter cup. Growler fills of our SDBW Peanut Butter Cup Porter will be available 11/2 – 11/11 at each of our San Diego Brewery Restaurants. Mention San Diego Beer Week on Friday 11/2 or Friday 11/9 for an $8 ½ gallon fill.

Peanut Butter Porter Float

SDBW Peanut Butter Cup Porter Float

Beer for Breakfast: Part IV

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: Oktoberfest Pork Benedict
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
Salt
Pepper

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

Who needs hollandaise when you can have sausage gravy instead? 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
Salt
Pepper

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.

Other Ingredients: 
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!

Mouette à Trois: A Holiday Fruitcake Ale

With Two Tortugas taking home medals at both the Great American Beer Festival AND the World Beer Cup, it’s safe to say the bar has been raised on our “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales. This year’s beer is Mouette à Trois, a San Diego spin on the traditional Three French Hens. Long story short, we don’t have French Hens so we’re compromising with French Seagulls. As for the beer, rather than selecting a more traditional beer style like the Baltic Porter (Parrot in a Palm Tree) or a Belgian Quad (Two Tortugas), we went the experimental route. We wanted to create a flavorful winter warmer that captured the perfect mix of holiday cheer and holiday cliché, so we brewed beer’s answer to fruitcake. Think of it as a blend of “HOHOHO Merry Christmas!” and “Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s the Tylenol?”

Have a look at the label below, keep your fingers crossed that it does well at GABF, and stay tuned for a sneak preview in our Brewery Restaurants.

Mouette A Trois Label

Mouette à Trois – Holiday Fruitcake Ale
8.5% ABV – 35 SRM – 10 IBU

From the label: Mouette à Trois est la meilleure bière que vous avez jamais goûté ou notre nom n’est pas Karl Strauss.  Mouette à Trois, meaning Three Seagulls, is the 3rd installment in our less than literal “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales. Brewed with fresh apricots, cherries and a blend of spices, the resulting strong ale is Belgian Dubbel meets fruit cake. Rich layers of candied fruit and warming spices are punctuated by notes of toffee and fresh-baked bread. Aging on brandy-cured French oak adds hints of vanilla that linger through a warming finish. Don’t. Even. Think. About. Regifting.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Whether your first experience came on a trip to Ensenada or on a lunch run to Ralph Rubio’s namesake eatery, few street foods define our region better than the fish taco. No, we’re not talking about that fancy-pants smoked trout and goat cheese version served by your local pop-up gastro tent; we’re referring to the beer-battered, fried goodness of the Baja-style fish taco. And while the jury is still out on who makes the very best, we think the recipe below is pretty darn good – especially since it calls for Karl Strauss Amber.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Karl Strauss Amber has a new look. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Karl’s birth, we’re celebrating the original “Godfather” of beer with new packaging. You can see the new label below.

Karl Strauss Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Fish:
1lb firm white meat fish filets- Rockfish, White Seabass, Kelp Bass, Halibut, or even Tilapia will work.  Cut filets lengthwise to a width of about 1.5”.

Marinade:Fish used in Beer Battered Fish Tacos
1 12oz bottle Karl Strauss Amber
1 Medium Onion, sliced
2 Red Jalapeno Peppers, sliced
½ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Combine marinade ingredients and fish in a large, covered container or zip-lock bag, and refrigerate for 2-3hrs.

Baja Fish Taco Sauce:
½ cup Sour Cream
½ cup Light Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
2 tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce

While your fish is marinating, make your Baja sauce by mixing the ingredients above in a small bowl. Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.

Beer Batter:
1 cup  McCormick’s Tempura Mix
¾ cup Karl Strauss Amber, cold
1 tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp Black Pepper

McCormick’s frying instruction adjusted to fit this recipe:

POUR vegetable oil into a large heavy skillet or saucepan, filling no more than 1/3 full.  Heat oil to 375°F on medium heat.

STIR Batter mix, beer, and spices in medium bowl until mixed.  Batter will be lumpy.

DIP Fish strips into batter.  Shake off excess.  Carefully add several pieces at a time to hot oil.

FRY 3-5 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

SERVE on corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, baja sauce, and fresh lime.

PAIR with Karl Strauss Amber, of course!

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Karl Strauss Amber-Battered Fish Tacos

KS Amber Label Art

New Karl Strauss Amber Labels