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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

Beer and Oyster Pairing

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

Karl Strauss Oysters

Upper Left: Carlsbad Lunas; Lower Left: Hog Island Sweetwater & Coast Kumamoto; Right: Blue Points

Hog Island Sweetwater – Farm-raised by Hog Island Oyster Co. in Tomales Bay, CA, the company’s namesake oyster is the perfect balance of salty and sweet.

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 LunaCarlsbad 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.

Karl Strauss IPA's - Coast Reserves

Boardwalk Black Rye IPA, Blackball Belgian IPA, Big Barrel Double IPA, Tower 10 IPA

BeerBQ Beef Ribs

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 RibsBeerBQ Ribs
1 4-5lb Beef Back Rib Rack
2 12oz Bottles Karl Strauss Amber
Salt
Pepper
Roasting Pan & Rack (16 x 12 x 2.5)
Aluminum Foil
*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.

Marinade:
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.

Perfect Pairing: Pintail Pale Ale or Tower 1o IPA

Ribs finished on a charcoal grill

Windansea Shrimp Ceviche

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.

Beer-Braised Oxtail Tacos

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:
3lbs Oxtail
 
Dry-Rub:
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
 
Browning:
Large Frying Pan
½ Cup all-purpose flour
½ Cup butter

 
Cooking:
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
Salt
Pepper

Serving:
Corn tortillas
Chopped white onion
Chopped cilantro
Lime
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.

Wreck Alley Imperial Stout Crème Brûlée

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

Ingredients
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

Directions:

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.

Finishing:

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.

Or

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.

23rd Anniversary Old Ale PubCakes

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

Ingredients
1 cup Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
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

Directions

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.

Blackberry Buttercream

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 lemon, zested
1 16 oz package powdered sugar

Directions

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.

*David Lebovitz’s Butterscotch Pudding

*Ina Garten’s Shortbread Cookie Buttons

Pubcake Construction

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.

*If you have a bottle of our 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout stashed away, check out last year’s PubCake recipe.

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale

Red Trolley Ale Chili

Super Bowl Sunday is an American holiday about the important things in life: food, friends, and BEER. Regardless of one’s football affiliations, the big game has grown into a national Sunday Funday that usually leads to a three-day weekend. Whether you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl this year, odds are you’re going to be in the market for some good eats to go with your favorite beers. If this is the case, try our recipe for Red Trolley chili topped with beer-braised short ribs. Oh, and if you happen to run into Biff Tannen, ask him when the Chargers are headed back to the Super Bowl…

Beer Braised Short Ribs

What you’ll need:
4 bone-in beef short ribs, about 2.5lbs
3 cups Red Trolley Ale, Karl Strauss Amber, or Off The Rails
1 cup chicken stock
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red jalapeno, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs cooking oil
Salt
Pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Season short ribs with salt and pepper and dust in flour. In a Dutch oven or large ovenproof skillet, heat oil on high heat and brown short ribs for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove seared ribs from pan and reserve on a plate.

Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to the skillet and sauté on high until onions are golden brown. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, before adding chicken stock and Off The Rails. Bring mixture to a boil and return short ribs to the skillet. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Uncover and continue to roast for 20 minutes, or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove from the oven and skim the fat from the braising liquid.

Red Trolle Ale Chili

Red TrolleyAle Chili Pre-Boil

What you’ll need:
2 lbs ground sirloin
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 15oz cans black beans, drained
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained
3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, not drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 12oz bottle Red Trolley Ale
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbs beef bullion
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne
Salt to taste
8oz white cheddar cheese, shredded

What to do:
In a large stock pot, brown beef over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, and peppers and sauté until onions are translucent.

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and red trolley ale and bring to a boil. Stir in chili powder, beef bullion, black pepper, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 ½ hours.

Top with Off The Rails braised beef short rib, shredded white cheddar, and serve.

Red Trolley Ale chili with beer-braised short ribs

Windansea Wheat Vinaigrette

The Holidays are over and, like most years, overindulgence may have played a part in your annual waistline expansion. Now, we’re not card-carrying dietitians but we do know that there’s still room for beer in any healthy diet – it’s purely a matter of prioritizing. Rather than sip on soda water with your cheese fries, why not make room for a beer by having a salad?  Even better, why not use beer to make a flavorful dressing with all natural ingredients?  Try this recipe for Windansea Wheat Raspberry Vinaigrette and think twice before giving up beer. Remember, nobody likes a quitter.

Windansea Wheat Raspberry Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup Windansea Wheat
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Cup Fresh Raspberries
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Directions: Combine raspberries, honey and Windansea Wheat in a blender and blend until emulsified. You want this mixture to be a little on the sweet side, as the vinegar will balance it. Next, add seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and blend on high. Congrats, you’re done!

Salad Featured Below:
Organic Spring Mix
Persian Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Raspberries
Red Pear
Goat Cheese
Candied Walnuts

The Pairing: Windansea Wheat is an unfiltered Bavarian-style Hefeweizen with a slightly sweet and fruity flavor profile.  The beer’s fruity flavors are a natural compliment to the raspberry and pear, while its subtle sweetness is a nice contrast to the tangy goat cheese. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the yeast in suspension is rich in complex B vitamins.