Beer of the Week: Brooklyn Cuvée La Boîte

BK Brewery MenuBrooklyn Cuvée La Boîte (8.2% alcohol): This Belgian strong pale ale from Brooklyn Brewery – pronounced “la-bwat” – is named after a New York City spice shop. Brewed in the “Grand Cru” style, it pours a hazy golden-orange apricot color with a small white head. The spices come together to produce a highly-aromatic brew. Sweetness from honey and orange are complemented by a bit of citrus and spiciness from coriander and pepper. I was expecting Cuvée La Boîte to have a slightly overpowering full-bodied flavor because of the high alcohol content and the strong aroma; however, I was pleasantly surprised by this highly drinkable beer. The sweetness along with a subtle spiciness is evident at the beginning, but the spiciness builds up and then finishes out smooth. I have never seen this at any liquor store or bar I’ve been to, so I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer for the first time. I even purchased a second so I could really savor the complexities of the “Brewmasters Reserve.” Enjoy!

This brew is only available from August through November, so if you see it, TRY IT!

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Brewery Tour: Brooklyn Brewery + Top 3 Visitor Tips

BK Brewery

I’m happy to say that I finally visited the Brooklyn Brewery this weekend! On Saturday, the brewery has tours every hour beginning at 1:00 p.m. Make sure arrive about an hour early, though; there are several lines you have to get through – the line to get in, line to get beer tokens, beer line and finally the tour line. This sounds like a lot of waiting, but the staff is organized and the lines moved rather quickly.

BK Brewery 2The “brew house” is set up like a German biergarten with large wooden picnic tables and minimalistic decor. Beer tokens cost $5 a piece or you can get 5 tokens for $20.  One beer costs one token. About a dozen beers are available for purchase. Brooklyn Brewery also sells souvenirs and beer to-go.

The tour wasn’t necessarily a tour in the traditional sense. We were escorted into a large room with all of the brewing equipment. Unfortunately, we had to stay in this room because the brewery is in the process of expanding, so the other rooms were off-limits. The tour guide have us a brief history of the brewery, its founders, how it became what it is today and a brief Q&A session. We lingered in the room for about 5 minutes afterwards to get a few photos and to ask some additional questions and then were quickly ushered out.  All in all, the tour lasted about 30 minutes. BK Brewery 3

I would definitely visit Brooklyn Brewery again to hang out in the brew house, but I probably wouldn’t go on the tour again. However, if you’re a first timer, I would recommend taking the tour to learn a little bit about the beer you’re drinking and the brewery itself. Plus, I must admit, the tour guide had us all laughing!

Beer review to come soon!

Top 3 Visitor Recommendations:

  1. Bring cash there is no ATM.
  2. The brewery doesn’t serve food, but they encourage patrons to order food and bring it in. I suggest sampling pizza one of Brooklyn’s finest!
  3. If you’re looking for something to do before or after your visit to the brewery, check out Allswell for some good drinks and eats located just one block away!

Homemade Gnocchi With Dubbel Mushroom Sauce

I love Gnocchi, but I’ve never made it from scratch because I always assumed it would be really difficult and time consuming to make. After coming across this reciple on The Beer Cook, I am ready to start kneading the dough right now! The frozen stuff tastes pretty good, but pair homemade gnocchi with a rich, earthy mushroom sauce and you are are all set for an autumn feast!

Ingredients (For Gnocchi):Photo Coutesy of www.thebeercook.com

  • 4 russet potatoes (Make sure you get the right potatoes or your gnocchi will fall apart)
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)

For Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup evaporate milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspsoon minced garlic
  • 10 sliced white mushrooms (Or another mushroom of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp. buteer
  • 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup beer (This recipe uses a Dubbel, I like Green’s Endeavour Dubbel Ale, which is actually also gluten-free!)

Cooking Directions (For Gnocchi):

  1. Prick holes in your potatoes with a fork and microwave for about 5 – 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Carefully peel the potatoes while still hot and mash with work or potato ricer.
  3. Add the flour and salt.
  4. Add egg until the poptatoes are binded togeher.
  5. Knead with your hands on a flat, floured surface. (Tip: Add more flour as you need it)
  6. Once the dough is not sticky, form a dough ball, roll out into “ropes.”
  7. Use a knife to cut into gnocchi-sized (bite-sized) pieces.
  8. Roll the pieces on a for to form ridges.
  9. Boil a pot of salted water and drop in the gnocchi in batches.
  10. Remove gnocchi’s from water when they rise to the top. (TIP: Use a slotted spoon to remvoe excess water.)

For Sauce:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a pan.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Cook over medium heat or until the mushroom start to brown.
  4. Add the milk and evaporated milk.
  5. Stir in your cheese until melted and well-blended.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Pour in your beer and remove from heat.
  8. Pour your suace over gnocchi and top with parsley and parmasean cheese.

Dobrou chuť!

The Just Beer Project – Just IPA

Just IPAThe Just Beer Project Just IPA (4.8% alcohol): This India Pale Ale from the Just Beer Project located in Burlington, Vermont is best described by its tagline, “You just drink it. It tastes great. JUST IPA.” This beer brand is relatively new to the market. Magic Hat’s Alan Newman and Stacey Steinmetz began brewing beer using this brand name last year with their company, Alchemy & Science, a subsidiary of the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adam etc.). Click here to read more.

This brew pours clear amber with an off-white head. Earthy, bready malt and floral notes come together for an inviting aroma. The low ABV makes this IPA highly drinkable ever for those who are just beginning to experiment with this style. Don’t let me scare off the IPA lovers, though; it’s GOOD! A variety of hops including: Chinook, Ahtanum, Citra, Cascade and Simcoe are at the forefront of Just IPA’s flavor. However, a bit of floral and citrus zest creeps up at the end to balance out the overall hoppiness. The Just beer Project successfully produces a beer that is different than others on the market. It maintains the traditional hoppy flavor of IPA without the high alcohol content. I think this beer is a nice change of pace for this style and genuinely enjoyed drinking it. It is not the best IPA I’ve had, but it proves how multi-faceted this style can be. So, stop thinking about it and JUST DRINK IT! Cheers.

Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

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Here is a quick and easy dinner to make on a weekday night.You will find the recipe for the honey beer sauce below. The ingredients are pretty common and because it is a pan sauce you can have some fun experimenting with other ingredients. This chicken goes well with sauteed spinach and wild rice especially if you put some whole grain mustard in with the sauteed spinach. Enjoy!

Pan Cooked Chicken with Honey Beer Pan Sauce

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Guinness Chocolate Pudding

The fall weather is here and that means Guinness is reentering my life again. I do enjoy Guinness throughout the year, but definitely find myself drinking it more in the colder months and St. Patrick’s Day of course. I’m always looking for creative ways to incorporate beer into my food, so when I came across this recipe for Guinness Chocolate Pudding on ButterPlusCream, I had to share this relatively easy dessert that is sure to please. Combine beer with some chocolate and you have one awesome dessert.

Ingredients: (Makes about 6 servings)Photo Courtesy of www.butterpluscream.blogspot.com

  • 8 large egg yokes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 14.9 ounce can Guinness Draught
  • 3 cups heavy cream or whole milk
  • 7 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Make sure your chocolate is 70 – 42% cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.
  2. Slowly pour some of the Guinness into a measuring cup, pouring down the side of the glass to reduce foaming.
  3. Pour 1 cup of Guinness into a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan.
  4. Add 2 1/4 cups cream (or milk) and whisk to combine.
  5. Set over medium heat whisking occasional until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  6. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  7. Slowly pour chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  8. Return mixture to saucepan and set over moderately low heat.
  9. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon. (Tip: This should take about 15 minutes. It is okay if pudding looks slightly separated.)
  10. Divide pudding among serving dishes leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set.
  12. Pour remaining Guinness into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  13. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. (Tip: This should take about 20 minutes).
  14. Pour syrup into small bowl and let cool.
  15. Beat remaining cream until soft peaks form.
  16. Combine Guinness syrup and 2 tbsp. sugar and beat until blended together.
  17. Divide cream among serving dishes and serve.