Beer of the Week: Saison Dupont Cuvée Dry Hopping (2014)

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Saison Dupont Cuvée Dry Hopping (2014) (6.5% alcohol): This Saison/Farmhouse Ale brewed by Brasserie Dupont in Tourpes, Belgium is a classic saison that pours a murky pale honey gold with a thick white head. The complex aroma features notes of grass, yeast, malt, floral, and sweet fruit with some spicy undertones.  The overall flavor is a bit milder;  tangy wheat flavors commingle with hoppy bitterness. Some subtle fruitiness and a bit of citrus break through toward the end. The flavors and aromas came together to create a thoroughly enjoyable drinking experience. I was extremely hot and thirsty after several hours of walking and this beer did the trick! I would gladly drink Saison Dupont again!

**This beer was ordered on tap at Monks Café in Philadelphia – a must visit if you are in the city of brotherly love! Read about my experience here.

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Beer-Steamed Clams

Photo Courtesy of www.bevcooks.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.bevcooks.com

I have been craving seafood ever since my first trip down the shore this summer. It must be the salt air, but I want it all! After a bad experience with clams at a local restaurant, I thought I could do better. I went in search of a recipe for steamed clams and found something even better – Beer-steamed Clams from Bev Cooks.

Ingredients (Serves 2 for dinner or 4 for a snack):

  • 2 pounds little neck clams
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • juice of one lime

Directions:

  1. Keep the clams on ice until you’re ready to clean and cook
  2. Dump the clams into a large bowl and cover with room temp water and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and add more water.
  4. Let them sit for another 20 minutes.
  5. Drain the water and add more water (last time).
  6. Now, add 1/2 tsp. salt and let sit for 20 more minutes.
  7. Drain the water.
  8. Give the clams a good scrub and set them aside.
  9. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  10. Once the bubbling settles, add the jalapeno and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  11. Add the clams to the pan and pour in the beer and stock.
  12. Toss around for a second because you’re going to have the urge.
  13. Now, cover and let them steam anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, until they all pop open like little babies. (Tip: If some don’t open, discard them!)
  14. Now, fish out the clams and arrange them in little bowls.
  15. Back in the pan, add the cilantro and lime juice.
  16. Let simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes.
  17. Pour the beery broth over the clams.
  18. Serve with crusty bread and a nice big green salad!

Dobrou Chut’!

 


 

 

Philly Beer Week

With some last minute planning, I was able to make it to Philly Beer Week. Yay! After doing some research, it became clear that Monk’s Café is a staple for beer – and food – lovers in Philly. I made sure this was my first stop of the evening. Due to some technical difficulties, we only made it to one more notable bar before last call. It turns out that Apple Maps doesn’t work that well when you’ve had a few beers and have no idea where you are! Here are some highlights from my trip:

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Monk’s Cafe

It was a bit crowded at Monk’s when we arrived and there wasn’t much standing room, but we order a beer and stood in the corner. A few bar stools opened up rather quickly as parties were seated for dinner. We had heard Monk’s was known for its sour beer, but we didn’t see any on the draught menu. I started off with the Saison Dupont Cuvée Dry Hopping (2014) followed by a Russian River Damnation and finished with a Firestone Walker Union Jack – recommended by the bartender.

I heard someone order a Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale and immediately started bombarding him with questions. He responded by grabbing an extra glass and pouring me a sample. Did I mention I love Monk’s Café? The beer was delicious and all I could think was why did I just order another beer and why don’t they have this on tap? It turns out Monk’s has a back bar with a different beer selection including Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale on tap as well as several other beers I would have liked to try. Unfortunately, we were on our way out when we made our “discovery,” so I guess I will just have to make my way back to Monk’s café – very soon! Next time, I am heading straight to the back bar.

 

The Farmer’s Cabinet

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By the time we arrived at The Farmer’s Cabinet it was quite late. The bar/restaurant had a prohibition era vibe. There were some interesting cocktails I wanted to try, but I was there for the beer. The bar had a “tour of Europe” in honor of Philly Beer Week featuring beers from Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium. Since I had just returned from Bavaria, I was immediately drawn to the German beers. Many of the kegs were already kicked, so I ordered the only two German beers left on tap: Würzburger Pils and Lammsbräu Pilsner. I haven’t tried too many French or Italian beers, so I was eager to taste those as well. The bartender kindly poured us about half a dozen samples to try. To be honest, I don’t remember what we sampled, but the tasting piqued my interest in French beer.

Reviews to come soon. Cheers to another successful Philly Beer Week!

Grilled Smoky Pork Subs

Grilling season is officially here and I couldn’t be more ready! BBQ Like It’s Hot has the right idea this summer. The perfect combination of moist, smoky pork with a bit of char from the grill combined with fresh bread and salad greens will make these Grilled Smoky Pork Subs a must have at any BBQ this season.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 3/4 lbs. pork rump
  • ½ cup beer (Pale ale)
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Italian style bread rolls
  • Salad greens

Directions:

  1. Cut pork into large cubes and place in large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl add beer, paprika (mild and smoked), oregano and garlic.
  3. Mix until paprika is dissolved and then cover the pork with spice mixture.
  4. Cover and leave to marinade for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Prepare grill for direct high heat.
  6. While grill is heating, remove pork from fridge to allow to get to room temperature.
  7. Put cubes of meat onto metal skewers and grill directly over coals until pork is cooked all the way through.
  8. Serve pork on Italian style bread rolls over a bed of salad greens.

Dobrou Chut’!

Back in Action

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Hello readers! I must apologize for my temporary hiatus. I just got back from an AMAZING European vacation. I spent some time in the German countryside as well as the Czech Republic absorbing – and eating and drinking – everything around me. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you! I spent most of my time doing “research” for HeadOverBeers! Thanks to my good friends at DHL, I should be receiving some special beers in the mail soon. Fingers crossed that everything arrives, undamaged. Reviews to come soon!

I’ve also been busy redesigning my site. You’ll notice some layout/graphic changes. Let me know what you think! Cheers!

 

Top 10 Ultimate Bottle Openers

Bottle openers are essential to beer lovers. However, it always seems like you can never find one when you need one. These practical yet stylish bottle openers give you the functionality while making your friends slightly jealous ;).

Here are my Top 10 Bottle Openers:

Photo Courtesy of www.amazon.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.amazon.com

  1. Recycled Bike Chain Bottle Opener: This eco-friendly bottle opener made from recycled bike chains is only 10 dollars.

    Photo Courtesy of www.threejaneny.com

    Photo Courtesy of http://www.threejaneny.com

  2. Ooh La La Bottle Opener Bracelet: This stylish bracelet looks more like a fashion statement than a bottle opener and that’s what I love about it. I would wear this bracelet all the time; its only a bonus that it’s a bottle opener as well. Plus, its available in more than a dozen colors!
  3. Bottle Opener Rings: This handmade stainless steel ring available for both men and women is virtually indestructible.
  4. Bottle Opener Key Chain Hand: This bottle opener is already cool, but you can even personalize it to fit your personality.

    Photo Courtesy of www.shapeways.com

    Photo Courtesy of http://www.shapeways.com

  5. Fish Bottle Opener Necklace: All I can say is love, love, LOVE! This design of this piece is modern, yet the bronze-infused stainless steel gives this necklace an antique look that I just can’t get enough of.
  6. 686 Original Snow (Tool)Belt: By merely wearing this multipurpose belt, you’ll be prepared for anything.
  7. Iron Guitar Bottle Opener: The opener appeals to the musician in you.
  8. Hawthorne Antique Key Bottle Opener: “The Hawthorne will be the key to unlocking many [craft] beers.”

    Photo Courtesy of www.thinkgeek.com

    Photo Courtesy of http://www.thinkgeek.com

  9. Bullet Bottle Opener: Made from a 50 caliber Browning Machine Gun (BMG) bullet, this opener will have your friends running– to get their hands on one! Small and lightweight, this opener is perfect when you’re on-the-go.
  10. Brass Knuckles Bottle Opener Necklace: This bad@$$ bottle opener is available in a choker version for women and a longer version for men.