Beer of the Week: Schneider Weisse Aventinus

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Schneider Weisse Aventinus (8.2% ABV): This Weizenbock/Wheat-Doppelbock Ale pours a cloudy chestnut brown with a sudsy head that thins out quickly leaving very little lacing. The aroma reminds me of unsweetened banana nut bread. I picked up on caramel, toasted malts, banana, the slightest bit of citrus and traditional fall spices such as nutmeg, allspice and clover. These flavors carry over into the taste, but the banana is a bit more prevalent here. Sweet banana comes first followed by plum and cranberry. Hearty spice and nice dose of alcohol come through once Aventinus warms up a bit. The flavors come together to balance out the sweetness. I haven’t tried many beers in this style, but I will definitely be sipping on this again in the near future.

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Beer Mac and Cheese

It’s fall and finally time to indulge in some of your favorite comfort foods that you’ve been missing out on all summer. I’ve been cooking outdoors for the last few months and I have to admit I am excited to get back in the kitchen. Beer Mac and Cheese from A Spicy Perspective is the perfect dish to welcome your taste buds to fall. If you like this recipe, I highly recommend visiting A Spicy Perspective for more mouthwatering recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound DeLallo macaroni noodles
  • 12 ounce bottled beer (IPA)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound shredded cheddar, off the block (not pre-shredded)
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  2. Once boiling, cook the macaroni according to package instructions.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, pour a bottle of beer in a second large pot. (Choose a light crisp beer that you like to drink.)
  5. Place the pot over high heat, and add the cream cheese. As the beer starts to simmer, break the cream cheese into pieces with a whisk and whisk into the beer.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar.
  7. Warm and whisk until completely smooth.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour it into the cheese sauce.
  9. Reduce the heat to low, then stir and cook another 3 minutes to thicken.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. To serve, scoop the beer mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

NOTE: If you let the mac and cheese sit too long and it firms up, place back over heat and stir in a little water to loosen the sauce.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: Anchor IPA

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Anchor IPA (6.5% ABV): This India Pale Ale from Anchor Brewing Company based in San Francisco pours a dark orange-red amber with a half-inch off-white head that leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is earthy hops at first with notes of sweet fruit and orange/grapefruit citrus. I also picked up on a notable malt character that I was not expecting from this IPA; there is an earthy, musky, bready component to the aroma not usually found in IPAs. At first sip, I taste sweetness from the caramel and then citrus followed by some bitterness from the hops for a clean finish. This is a solid IPA if you’re not in to the bold flavors that traditional IPAs offer. Anchor IPA is drinkable and not too filling. This is a good beer to drink as you transition from summer to fall beers.

Pumpkin-Honey Beer Quick Bread

‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin. Why not jump on the bandwagon, right? I stumbled upon this recipe for Pumpkin-Honey Beer Quick Bread from wait for it… Cooking Light. I didn’t know it was possible for a dish with the words “beer” and “bread” to be light, but I’m ready to eat it.

Photo Courtesy of www.myrecipes.com

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

Ingredients (Makes 2 loaves):

  • 14.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup honey beer at room temperature (You can use any beer you want)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin pie spice) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup water and flaxseed.
  5. Place sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl
  6. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended.
  7. Add flaxseed mixture and pumpkin; beat at low speed just until blended.
  8. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined.
  9. Divide batter between 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
  10. Bake at 350° Farenheit for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans.
  12. Cool completely on wire rack.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: Goose Island Sofie

Goose Island SofieGoose Island Sofie (6.5% alcohol): This saison/farmhouse ale from Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago pours a hazy, straw yellow with a small, thin head that doesn’t last long. The aroma is made up of fruity citrus, grass, earthy yeast and a bit of musty funk. Tart orange citrus mixed with breadiness and caramel malt is complemented by peppery spiciness and finishes with a bit of sweetness. Sofie manages to have a nice, clean finish even with its complex flavor profile. This is a light, refreshing, highly drinkable beer that pairs well with many of my favorite summer dishes such as Beer Steamed Clams.

Sofie was awarded the Bronze Medal – Belgian and French Style Saison award at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011.