“It Takes Beer to Make Thirst Worthwhile”

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My German beers have finally ARRIVED! Yay! For those of you that don’t know, I recently visited Germany and the Czech Republic. My mouth waters thinking about all the amazing beers I tried. I couldn’t get enough of the Bavarian beers, so I decided to bring a few brews back to the states with me. By the end of my trip, my suitcase was stuffed and close to being over the weight limit. I went with the next best option; I shipped about 10 kg of beer to New Jersey. I started and ended my trip in Germany, so I wasn’t able to ship any Czech beers – bummer. I still got a nice selection of Germany’s finest, though. Based on what I read, I had no idea if the beers would actually make it or not. Turns out that DHL was capable of delivering everything undamaged for around EUR 50. This may just be the best package I have EVER received! All I have to do is put on some lederhosen, pop open a beer and it will be like I never left Deutschland. I will review one beer each week, so make sure you check back to see what I try first!

 

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Peaches and Ale Cream Pie

It’s peach season in New Jersey and I went peach picking for the first time this year! I have about 12 pounds of peaches sitting at home waiting to be eaten. Believe me, 12 pounds is a lot of peaches. What better way to enjoy all of these juicy peaches than combining them with beer and trying out some new recipes. The Beeroness has done it again with her recipe for Peaches and Cream Ale Pie. Yum!

Photo Courtesy of www.thebeeroness.com

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

Ingredients:

  • One pie crust (Note: This recipe requires a deep dish pie pan – 9 1/2 inches, 1.8 to 2 qt.)

For the cream layer:

  • 16 wt. oz. cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup cream ale
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

For the peaches:

  • 1 ½ lbs. peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ¾ cup cream ale

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll the pie crust out on a flat surface, line a deep dish 9.5 inch pie pan, trim the excess.
  3. In a blender or a food processor add the cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, salt, egg, 2/3 cup cream ale, vanilla, flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  4. Blend until smooth and pour into pie crust.
  5. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add the peaches, cornstarch, sugar, butter and cream ale.
  6. Simmer until thickened, about ten minutes.
  7. Pour the peaches over the cream cheese.
  8. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the edges of the filling has set but the center still jiggles when shaken, about 40 minutes.
  9. Chill until set, about 4 hours.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: Neumarkter Lammsbräu Pilsner

Neumarkter Lammsbräu Pilsner

Neumarkter Lammsbräu Pilsner (4.8 % alcohol): This German-style pilsner brewed by Neumarkter Lammsbräu in Neumarkt, Germany pours a partly cloudy pale yellow with a meager head. This aromatic pils envelops the senses in layers at first emanating grass, malt and barley followed by fruity melon sweetness and a nice dosage of herbs. The taste isn’t quite as complex as the aroma, but I picked up subtle hops, grass and hay that make way for a clean, crisp, dry finish. This is a solid pils.

(Beer) Potato Gratin a la Flamande

I used to love Potatoes Au Gratin as a kid and had long forgotten about this yummy dish until I began perusing recipes that utilize beer. Potato Gratin a la Flamande from from One Perfect Bite brings me back to my childhood with added sophistication.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):

  • 1 8-ounce yellow onion, halved, then finely sliced
  • 1-1/2 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup flat beer (Amber)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • Optional garnish: chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 425° F.
  2. Spray bottom and sides of a deep baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Alternate layers of onions and potatoes in casserole; first layer should be onions, last layer should be potatoes.
  4. Lightly salt and pepper layers as their built.
  5. Combine beer and brown sugar in a small bowl and pour over potatoes.
  6. Dot top of potatoes with butter.
  7. Cover dish and place in oven.
  8. After 10 minutes reduce oven thermostat to 375° F.
  9. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes longer.
  10. Remove cover, pour cream over potatoes and bake until golden brown for about 15 more minutes.
  11. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  12. Garnish with parsley if using.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: Würzburger Hofbräu Premium Pils

Würzburg, Germany

Würzburger Hofbräu Premium Pils (4.9% alcohol): This beer brought me back to my trip to Germany with one sip. I stayed just outside of  Würzburg while visiting Germany, so this brew became one one my go-to beers while in Deutschland. This German-style pilsner brewed by Würzburger Hofbräu AG in Würzburg, Germany pours a clear, pale, straw yellow with a foamy one-finger white head that hangs around. The aroma is uncomplicated floral hops with a hint of toasted malt. Würzburger Pils is crisp and smooth like a good pilsner should be with welcomed hop bitterness and subtle malt flavors. Everything comes together for a nice, dry finish. No need for any extras with this beer, just straight up deliciousness in a glass. This is honestly a beer that you will keep coming back to.

 

Cherry Lambic and Cream Popsicles

Stay cool with homemade ice pops this summer. I know that your local supermarket has hundreds of ice pops to choose from, but most of these are artificially flavored and loaded with sugar, plus they don’t have the secret ingredient – beer. Yep, you heard me! These delicious ice pops are made with Kriek Lambic, a beer made by fermenting lambic with sour Morello cherries. Homemade ice pops are easy and fun to make; thanks for this awesome recipe A Cozy Kitchen.

Photo Courtesy of www.acozykitchen.com

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

Ingredients (Makes 4, but recipe recommends you double):

  • 2 cups (about 1/2 pound) chopped cherries 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup Kriek Lambic beer
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. organic cane sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. Add the chopped cherries and sugar to a blender.
  2. Blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the Kriek Lambic and pulse for about 10 seconds, just until combined.
  4. Set aside to allow the bubbles to go away.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and sugar.
  6. Fill the popsicle molds with the lambic mixture about 1/4 of the way. (Tip: I was able to find popsicle molds at my local dollar store or you can use small plastic cups or an ice cube try for large ice cubes.)
  7. Next, layer with a few tablespoons of heavy cream and then the rest of the cherry lambic mixture.
  8. Pour the rest of the heavy cream into each of the popsicle molds and transfer to the freezer.
  9. Once your popsicles have been in the freezer for one hour, add the popsicle sticks to each popsicle.
  10. Freeze overnight.
  11. Run the popsicle molds under warm water to loosen.
  12. Eat immediately!

Dobrou Chut’!

If you’re interested in making some other frozen boozy treats this summer, check out 23 Ice Pops That Will Get You Drunk.

Beer of the Week: Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

IMG_8221Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA (7.5% alcohol): This West Coast-style IPA from Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California pours an inviting apricot orange with a thick white head that holds up nicely. It has a robust aroma of tropical fruit, citrus, woodsy pine and a touch of honey. Grapefruit citrus flavors stimulate the senses followed by bready malt undertones finished with hoppy bitterness. Union Jack is slightly thicker, less hoppy than expected as well as noticeably smooth and well-balanced that I was surprised to find it had such a high ABV. Overall, this is a highly drinkable IPA that offers something slightly different for this style.

Union Jack IPA has won a number of awards since 2008 including recognition from the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Australian International Beer Awards, European Beer Star and the California State Fair. Listen to the experts and drink up!

I drank this beer on tap at Monk’s Café in Philadelphia during Philly Beer Week. Read more about the other beers I tried and bars I visited here.