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.
Remember that one time in college when you split a brownie with your roommate and then ate an entire box of cereal? These aren’t those brownies but that’s not to say they’re not special. Until two weeks ago, I had never heard of a hop brownie. In fact, the thought of cooking, let alone baking, with hops left a bitter taste in my mouth. That all changed the day I visited the Goschie Hop Farm in Oregon and experienced Gayle Goschie’s special hop brownies. The interplay between hop character and chocolate was assertive yet delicately balanced – I was a fan.
Back in San Diego, I couldn’t help but wonder how well a hop brownie would pair with Boardwalk Black Rye. I decided to find out– and after several failed attempts in the unofficial Karl Strauss R&D kitchen (my house), I struck gold. In hindsight, I should have asked Gayle for her recipe but I think we can all agree that experimenting is fun.
Cascade Hop Brownies:
Preparing hop butter/oil:
¾ Cup Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
1/2 tablespoon ground Cascade hop pellets
* Use a food processor or clean coffee grinder to grind hop pellets
Heat butter or oil in small saucepan over low heat until warm (too hot and you’ll extract too much bitterness from your hops). Remove from heat and stir in ground hops. Let stand for 5 minutes and strain through a coffee filter. Yields a little over ½ a cup of green hop infused oil/butter.
Method #1: From the Box
Step #1: Go to the grocery store and purchase a box of Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge Brownie Mix.
Step #2: Substitute 1/3 cup veggie oil with 1/3 cup of hop infused oil.
Step #3: Follow the instructions on the box.
Method #2: From Scratch
1/2 Cup hop infused vegetable oil or butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Large eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
* Vanilla Bean Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 nonstick metal baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk hop-infused oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Next, add the egg and beat in well.
3. Gradually mix in dry ingredients until batter is well blended. Fold in chocolate chips before spreading evenly in your 8×8″ baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven half way through the cooking time for even baking. The brownies are done when a stick inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs but no batter.
Vanilla Bean Frosting
1/2 Cup butter (softened)
2 Cups powdered sugar ( sifted)
1 Vanilla bean (seeded)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add butter, sugar and 1/2 vanilla bean to a mixing bowl. Gently whisk until well blended. Whisk vigorously for 3 minutes, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
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