Hopped Up

Hopped Up Eugene

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Cooking and drinking for one. When the family is away, the mouth will play.

Rare is the chance to have the house to myself. While I love the sounds of a home filled with family, I savor the quiet when they are away. I like to watch sappy movies or read when I get moments like these, but it had been a while since I’d been able to make scones and we had been talking about them for days. There is nothing better than the smells of fresh baked goods on an early autumn evening. And I knew that the bottle of  Ohio state Fat Head’s Brewery Head Hunter IPA in the fridge would keep me company while I got to work. So I cracked the bottle open, started baking and finally tried a new way to cook bacon to perfection.

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Photo: www.fatheadscleveland.com

 

Apple and cheddar scones are to die for any time of year, but especially in the fall. Honeycrisp apples are in season right now, and I love to use their tart sweet fruit in baked goods. I’ve made this recipe many times over the years, but after tasting the IPA, I used Gruyere cheese in the scones instead. I thought this savory and more complex cheese would pair well with and balance the strong hop and citrus flavor of the beer. What does a scone like this need to become a sandwich? Bacon and tomato.

How do you cook your bacon? I used to bake it in the oven on a cookie sheet, because I hate the grease popping  at me on the stove and the smell of the house afterward. However, I have recently been turned onto frying bacon in water and it is hands down the only way to go (thank you Eugene Foodies!). Put your bacon in a frying pan and just barely cover it with water. On medium low heat, simmer the water until gone and finish the bacon in the grease until crisped to your liking. What this does is eliminate “bacon house” smell and keeps the meat moist, yielding a succulent and perfectly cooked piece of bacon that is neither too dry or too chewy.

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Smothering some Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard on a smoking hot scone, I layer on the bacon and tomato. Sweet Organic Redneck tomato’s from the farmers market, crispy bacon, soft apple with amazingly melty gruyere cheese. I walk to the couch with my bounty and sit down in peace to eat my meal.

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It is a simple thing, to make a meal and drink a beer. The pleasure, for me, is in the process. And watching my family’s faces when they first bite into whatever I have served them. When cooking for one however, the flavor comes to mind first. It must be exactly what I want, when I want it. Choosing beer is in many ways the same. When I pair it with a meal, I am looking for a specific outcome. A duo of choices that results in a contented finish.

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Head Hunter IPA is a bold beer. Fat Head’s website states that this is a West Coast Style IPA and I would have to agree. Hop forward to the extreme, heavy pine and citrus waft through the nose and mouth. Highly agreeable to the palate, if you like strong IPA’s that is, with a finish that is right bitter. Pairing well with my food choice for the night, I finished this bottle in record time and was left wanting more.

The good news is that I can trade for more. Or I can wait a few months until Fat Head’s opens their west coast brewery location in Portland and grab some myself.

 

Hopped Up Eugene

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To say that there is great beer in the good state of Oregon is easy. To say that about another state, as an Oregonian, is a little harder. However, I have good friends spread across the country and they have endeavored to “open my eyes” as it were, by trading beers with me. Packages have been received and shipped. It has been a great summer in that regard. Sad to say, the dog days of summer are nearly over, but we can still enjoy the fruits of our labor and with a little summer pasta paired with Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA (Frederick, Maryland)

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photo: www.flyingdogbrewery.com

What is a Belgian IPA? A combination of Belgian yeast and American Hops. Sweet fruit and a hopped finish. Not all will find it appealing, but I certainly do. Raging Bitch is a perfect balance of the two, a lighter IPA, not so heavy on the tongue as a local IPA. Refreshing scents of dried orange, mango and yeast. A lovely light amber color with a nice head that left a nice lacing in my Spiegelau glass. A sip reveals a mild sweetness and malt that finishes mildly bitter on the back of the tongue.

Flying Dog’s website suggests pairing this beer with tangy fruit and cheese or cajun spice, and I can see why they suggest this, strong flavors pair with a strong beer. I chose tomatoes from my garden diced up in a lemon pepper pasta with burrata mozzarella on top.This recipe is probably my family’s most favorite, it helps that it only takes the time to boil noodles to get it on the table.

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www.hophunting.com

[gn_box title=”Ingredients (for a family of 3-4)” color=”#253″]

2 packages of Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta

2 packages Trader Joe’s Burrata Mozzarella

1 container of cherry tomatoes (or from your garden as mine were)

2-3 cloves garlic

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

In a large pot filled with water, add 3/4 tsp salt and a glug of olive oil. The water should taste like the sea. This is absolutely necessary, otherwise your pasta will have no flavor, even though it is lemon pepper. Enhance it, bring that flavor out with salt. The olive oil keeps pasta from sticking. Bring to a boil and add pasta. (Tip: put burrata containers on counter top an hour before you start boiling the water to bring it up to room temperature).

While pasta is boiling slice up your garlic and mash it a bit with the flat of your knife. Put it in a large bowl and add about 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup or more of balsamic, 1/4 tsp salt and a crank of pepper. Slice your tomatoes in half and add them – mix everything around and let them sit. I kind of mash the tomatoes a bit on the side of the bowl.

Add pasta once cooked al dente and toss well. Fill three or four bowls with pasta. Place a whole, or half, ball of burrata on top of the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Add a pinch of salt. Sit down to enjoy.
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www.hophunting.com

How did the two work together? They paired beautifully. My husband and I shared the bottle and wished we had more. Sips of a slightly sweet and bitter beer to balance out the flavors of the sun ripened tangy tomatoes and perfectly cooked lemon pasta. Finished with a silky smooth bite of heavenly burrata.

The beer trade is alive and strong. I enjoy receiving just as much as I love shipping. To be able to share some of Oregon’s bounty of craft beer with my friends across the states, and have the ability to talk about what they are sipping on is fantastic. If you find yourself in need of some Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA, contact Lacey on her website www.hophunting.com for a trade.

Hopped Up Eugene

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Eric Buist of Buistmedia created the HopStories concept a couple of years ago.  Born out of his personal love for beer and of his craft as a videographer and producer.  On the Hopstories about page, Eric puts the why like this:

Before a beer delights your senses, before it’s plucked off the shelf, it journeys from brewery to market, it’s bottled, before it’s transformed from simple ingredients into the beverage we all know and love, each and every beer starts out as an idea, a dream. It takes someone special to dream up a good beer, men and women who dedicate their lives to the craft. Their dreams, dedication, and determination are what make up a brewery. And every brewery’s different. From the largest mass market producer to the smallest single batch tinkerer, each one has its own history, culture, and direction. It’s what makes the soul of a place, and you can taste it in their beer. Every brewery has a story, and we’re going to tell it.”

Today, meet The Oregon Beer Crew.

Hopstories: Oregon Brew Crew from Eric Buist on Vimeo.

The Oregon Brew Crew is the oldest homebrew association in Oregon and one of the oldest and largest in the country. They are passionate about volunteerism, giving back to their community, and educating homebrewers so that they can take the next step and become professional brewers. Their club is a unique blend of hobbyists, professional brewers, and craft beer pioneers.

This video was created as part of their entrance for the American Homebrew Association Radegast Award.

www.oregonbrewcrew.org
www.hopstories.com

Hopped Up Eugene Gets Sky High

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Our Hopped Up Eugene Columnist Lacey “Hophunteror” Harrison is still out working on her damaged kitchen. For pictures of what a little fire can do to your kitchen, head to Lacey’s page and take a peek. Drop her a note and let her know you miss her! Today we’re getting Sky High.

HOPSTORIES #1
Sky High Brewing and Pub, Corvallis, OR
by Adam Gaylord

 

We love talking with people about beer. It’s one of the main reasons we started Hopstories. Our conversations with Scott McFarland, co-owner of Sky High Brewing and Pub, were no exception. “I’ve always had this fascination and interest in beer and I’ve always enjoyed it,” he told us.

Growing up in Europe, Scott learned to appreciate good beer younger than most. “I’ve been drinking ales since I was 14. That’s what I started on was those English ales so I’ve always had a taste for those better beers.” But it wasn’t until the early ‘80’s working as a bartender in his mom’s restaurant in Portland that Scott found his epiphi-beer. Every craft beer lover has what we like to call their “epiphi-beer”; that first microbrew that opened their eyes to what beer can really be. For a Colorado kid like me it was Fat Tire. Eric cut his teeth on Dirty Bastard.

For Scott, it was “Redhook ale. Back before they called it ESB. And Grant’s Scottish Ale.” His face lights up talking about the early days of Oregon craft brewing. “Those were the first two breweries that made local craft beer.” Scott added a tap to his mom’s bar bringing the grand total to two. “People loved it.”

Open in late 2012, Corvallis’ newest brewpub features 12 taps pouring a rotation of traditional style ales and lagers brewed using locally manufactured equipment and locally sourced hops, grains, and yeast. Laurence Livingston, Sky High’s head brewer, is serious about local ingredients.

Fresh, Local beer!
Fresh, Local beer!

“Local’s great. The more we can do locally the less carbon cost we have. We can help the planet. I’m really all about that.” Sky High gets almost all its hops from Crosby Hop Farm just up the road in Woodburn. “The key is getting those hops to the beer as soon as possible,” Laurence told us. For their fresh hop beer, one of the first brewed at Sky High, the hops were harvested in the morning, trucked to the brewery, and in the tanks the next day. It’s hard to get fresher than that.

Laurence’s commitment to quality ingredients comes through in his beers. His latest, a Belgian honey triple, includes “local raw unpasteurized wildflower honey.” An amateur bee keeper for over 20 years, Lawrence knows a thing or two about this particular ingredient. “Honey has its own special characteristics that lend unique flavors.” Eric and I had the pleasure of sampling this unique brew straight from the tank (one of the fringe benefits of Hopstories) and I for one can’t wait until it’s ready. It’s delicious.

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Quality beers like the honey triple, fresh hopped IPA, and their Russian Imperial Stout (brewed with absurd amounts of unsulphured blackstrap molasses) are quickly earning Sky High a solid reputation in the Pacific Northwest brewing community, a family they were welcomed into with open arms. Scott told us that when he was just getting started, “I could walk into any brewery and they’d pour me a pint, throw open the doors and, say ‘What do you want to see?’. They were excited for me. That’s a really nice working environment. It’s not just a business, it’s got some soul.”

Every Brewery Has a Story. Left to right: Adam Gaylord, Laurence Livingston, Matt Huizenga, and Eric Buist.
Every Brewery Has a Story. Left to right: Adam Gaylord, Laurence Livingston, Matt Huizenga, and Eric Buist. | Image Photo by Genevieve Weber – Corvallis Advocate

And that’s what we’re looking for here at Hopstories, the soul of Pacific Northwest brewing. We hope you like Sky High’s story. If you do, check back often for updates on up and coming brewery videos, keep an eye on our Facebook page, and let us know why we should visit your favorite brewery.

Thank you to Eric Buist – BuistMedia for permission to share this story!

Hopped Up Eugene

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Our Hopped Up Eugene Columnist Lacey “Hophunteror” Harrison suffered a catastrophic kitchen fire this week and is out of commission as she and the family take up residence in a long term hotel.  Glad everyone was ok!

HOPSTORIES #4
Brewers Union Local 180, Oakridge, OR
by Adam Gaylord

It’s not difficult to find good beer in Oregon. Just about every little town has a brewpub, most serving a good beer or two. But with so many breweries, what can be hard is finding something truly different. For beer lovers willing to wander off the beaten path to the small mountain town of Oakridge, Brewer’s Union 180 offers “a chance to try something unique,” owner and brewer Ted Sobel told us. Oregon’s only real ale public house, every BU180 beer is brewed from a recipe specifically crafted for cask conditioning (as opposed to the slightly more common practice of cask conditioning a beer usually served from a keg). The difference is palatable.

“It’s really easy to make a 7.5% IPA, gas it up, and serve it at 38 degrees. Take that same pint and sit it on the bar and wait until it goes to 50 and it tastes like rubbish.” But a true cask beer, hand drawn at traditional cellar temperature (roughly 52 degrees) in a British style imperial pint (95 mL larger than a standard US pint) in a classic pub setting makes for a truly unique experience.

Open in 2008, BU180 represents not only a different direction in Oregon brewing but a complete one-eighty for Ted. “I was a highly paid software engineer with time off and health insurance and a pay check. And then I quit. I didn’t know what I was going to do.” A tour through England introduced Ted to real ale and cemented his lifelong love of a good pub. What makes a good pub? “You’ve got to have character, you have to have atmosphere, and you have to have personality,” he told us. Packed full of books, local art, and an impressive beer bottle collection, Ted has created a place to sit and enjoy a beer free of typical restaurant-style pressure. “We like to learn names, find out who everybody is, and welcome everybody and let them feel comfortable. There’s no wait staff. We don’t have somebody come to the table and take your order from you. If you want something, you come to the bar. We leave you alone.”

Free to chat, play pool, and most importantly, enjoy cask ale, a visitor might be tempted to stay. Ted will understand. “I spend more time in here than at home. This is my other living room. It’s cozy, I think.” We couldn’t agree more.

Thank you to Eric Buist – BuistMedia for permission to share this story!

Hopped Up Eugene – The Oregon Brewers Festival

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In two weeks, people from all over the world will flock to Portland for the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival. I have never experienced a brewfest of this scale before, spanning five days down on the waterfront and 85,000 people, but this year I am lucky enough to be one of them. Having a game plan is important, as I will be driving up for one evening and heading home after.  Read up about the event, so you too can plan and enjoy once to get there!

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  • For the first time in the event’s history, nearly a dozen brewers from Germany and the Netherlands will be in attendance. Each will be pouring five varieties daily in the Specialty Tent and are available for meet the brewer sessions as well. In addition, they will be hosted by a number of local breweries during the week, so check out the website and go see them. This is awesome! Wet your tongue and excite your palate with beer from another country, it will add to beer travel fever you know you already have.
  • If you are brave, you can try 88 beers in the main festival alone. And another 100+ in the Specialty Tent. The Specialty Tent is where it’s at folks. One off’s you might not ever get to try again, cellar specialties, expensive and limited selection will be available. I’m hitting this tent first. Hands down.
  • The highest ABV beer in attendance will be Dogfish Head Oak Aged Strong Ale at 11%. The lowest is Cigar City’s Blood Orange/Dragon Fruit Florida Wiesse at 3.5%.
  • The most represented of the 30 styles of beer at the festival this year are fruit beers!! What?? This is the first time since incarnation that IPA’s have not been the most common style. Wow, does this speak volumes about where craft beer is headed? I am hoping to find out more at the festival.
  • Designated Drivers (we love you, thank you) and minors: you can look forward to live music each day, food booths, craft vendors, home brew demonstrations and complimentary handcrafted root beer in the Crater Lake Root Beer Garden.
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Photo: Timothy Horn

 

Living in Oregon does have its perks. I have had the pleasure to try some amazing beers both in Eugene and Corvallis as part of Oregon Beer month, and I cannot wait to experience this festival as well. It is no secret that the craft brew industry is growing exponentially all over the U.S, making up 98 percent of all operating breweries in the states today. Oregon alone has 173 breweries in 70 cities, with Portland at 56 and more than any other city in the world. 6500  plus people are employed by breweries in our state, and it will take over 2200 volunteers to make this festival run. Come out and support this amazing event and time in craft brew history.

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Photo: Timothy Horn

Below are some more links to help you plan your travel should you need them. If you would like information on the specific breweries coming in from Europe, ask and ye shall receive. And remember to drink responsibly and use Portland’s greatpublic transportation as much as possible.

Traveling to Portland? http://www.travelportland.com

Want to find out more about Oregon’s craft beer industry? http://oregoncraftbeer.org

While you are in PDX, why not try a food tour? http://www.forktownfoodtoursportland.com

Check out Portland Guide’s at http://portlandfoodanddrink.com

Hopped Up Eugene!

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Earlier this week, I sent my husband to the store for some beer to go with dinner.  I told him I needed something acidic and a bit of an edge, not a lager and not dark beer.  Acid and zing is obviously not either, but I am  a woman and cannot help myself when it comes to giving so many details.  On the grill I had a Tri Tip going, and a salad in the kitchen, the beer would need to be strong enough to pair with both red meat and a tangy salad full of kalamata olives, tomatoes, capers and Gorgonzola cheese.

My beer pairing rule of thumb in general is to pair like with like; bold with bold, smooth with smooth, etc.  Strongly flavored dishes such as curry or spicy salads with beers such as IPA’s and Pale Ales.  Desserts and Porters.  Stouts and tomato based dishes or greasy food to cut the fat. This does not always work, but when asking another person to bring a beer to dinner, these are the examples I give.  My husband came back with Elysian Brewing Loser Pale Ale  and Worthy Brewing IPA.  One too many choices right there. So we opened both and got down to dinner.

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www.hophunting.com

Worthy IPA is slightly more bitter at 69 IBU and has a noticeable hop presence, versus the Elysian at 57 IBU.  Light amber gold in color, smelling of pine and citrus, with a very surprising mellow flavor. Fruit forward with a lot of citrus, and a mild bitter finish. A sip of the IPA, followed by a long pull of the Elysian Loser Pale Ale with its flavor base rooted more in grain and tropical fruit was wonderful. Loser is darker and has a heavier mouth feel, sweet notes of mango come through, ending with bready malt.

www.hophunting.com
www.hophunting.com

One beer needed for its mild citrus and bitter notes to bring out the  flavors of the basil and cilantro chimichurri and Gorgonzola cheese. A second fruity heavier beer enhancing the flavor of the marinated and grilled Tri Tip. Both paired well together, and both enhanced the dinner. And while doing dishes and meal clean up, a frozen Kit Kat will do…along with the left over Loser. Chocolate, wafer and a now heading toward room temperature beer that was not being left on the table, combining to end the evening the right way. With a clean kitchen, happy family, and belly full of goods. Recipes for chimichurri and Tri Tip marinade are below.

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www.hophunting.com

Tri Tip

(24 hours in advance, combine the following ingredients in a gallon sized bag)

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp cumin

1 1/2 Tbsp coriander

1 Tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp ancho chile powder

1 Tbsp smoked salt

1 Tbsp sea salt

2-3 lbs Tri Tip

Close bag, shake it around, then ensure the air is pressed out massage spice blend into meat. Let sit up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. The longer, the better. There are many methods to grill this large piece of meat. I sear both sides for three to four minutes each, then move to the other side of the grill where the burners are not on and let it cook from indirect heat until done to my likeness, which is medium rare.  Slice it very thin, and place over any kind of salad and you will be very happy. It also makes excellent lunch meat and french dip filling.

Chimmichurri

1 large bunch of cilantro

1 large bunch of basil

3 Tbsp white balsamic

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot

zest of 1 lemon or lime

Juice of half lemon or lime

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, combine the above ingredients, and taste as you go. You may need to adjust for acidity and salt. Consistency is also another personal preference. I add more olive oil as I go as well. This can be used to top any kind of meat, or as a salad dressing. I tossed my salad in the chimichurri, and then topped the Tri Tip with it as well. It was divine. For an interesting enhancement, try adding some beer (or wine) that you plan to drink with dinner that night.

 

Hopped Up Eugene

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The Snakebite and Black.  A mixture of beer, cider, and black currant syrup or liqueur. A drink that some pubs in England apparently refuse to serve.  Well, according to a few websites online at least, and the reasons vary based on the site.  What is it about this drink that evokes such legend?  Does it cause powerful intoxication?  Or is it simply a mixer that has the potential to make bar owners look bad, as if they are serving cloudy beer to customers?  Enjoying a good mystery, especially one revolving around alcohol, I set out to create my own Oregon version at home.

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According to Norm of Manchester UK on www.theguardian.com, when the question of the drink ban was broached, he stated “Having worked behind a bar for many years, I know nothing of chemical reactions, but plenty about people’s reactions, and snakebite seems to have the power to intoxicate quicker and more potently than your average brew.”  Beer and cider are not typically known for their unbelievably high alcohol content, so I cannot not imagine one glass having the same affect as say a mixed drink using hard alcohol. Is this because people swill these down hand over fist?  

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For my experiment, I chose Hop Valley’s Double D Blonde Ale, a crisp and easy to drink beer with an ABV of 5%.  Mixing with that, I used Square Mile’s Spur & Vine.  A hopped apple cider, ABV 6.7%, slightly sweet, nice and dry. Pour the glass half full of cider.  Using a steady hand and the back of a spoon, slowly pour the beer over the spoon, allowing the beer to rest on top of the cider.  Finally, top with a tablespoon of a dark berry liqueur or syrup.  I used homemade elderberry bitters, for a drier and not so sweet a finish.

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I think I have solved the issue.  Yes, I know I have.  The drink-ability of such a beverage on a scale of one to ten is a hundred.   The color is appealing – a head to toe veritable sunset.  Slightly hazy due to the beer, just like all good afternoons should be.  Bringing the glass to your nose, flowers, summer, hops and apple are all noteworthy.  First sip of hops and citrus hit you only for a second, followed by hints of grain, carbonation and fruit.  Minimally bitter with a sweet dry finish, this drink is easily consumed in large quantities.  It is no wonder if some pubs refused to serve it.  This mix is the perfect balance for those days when you can’t decide between beer or cider.  Go for the middle.  Drink both.

The fifth definition of the term “snakebite” on www.urbandictionary.com reads as follows: “Lager, cider and blackcurrant, sometimes referred to as a snakebite and black, diesel (scotland) or even “Jungle Juice”.  The combination of sugar and alcohol goes to some peoples heads and as a result some publicans refuse to serve it and claim it is illegal.  Did it go to my head?  Considering that I paired it with a quesadilla and a hearty baby kale, arugula and spinach salad topped with roasted chicken and homemade Caesar dressing, I can honestly say that no, it did not. Had I drank more than one? Well, that would have been a different story.

Hopped Up Eugene

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Hopped Up Eugene April 16-22

BLT (Bacon, Lemon and Tomato) Pasta with Pelican Tsunami Stout

What does one eat with an unbelievably bitter, dark as night, stout?  Generally, I will drink a pint of stout and then switch to a lighter beer if I am having food.  I find that while quite tasty, stouts can overwhelm both my taste buds and stomach if I am not extremely choosy with my food selections.  Enter Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta, and Pelican Pub & Brewery Tsunami Stout.  Homemade pasta, and a lemony hollandaise sauce, both of which have bacon fat in them.  Fried bacon, tomato, basil and goat cheese feta to top it off.  And the stout.  Nothing subtle about this pairing, it is an all out flavor war in your mouth, and I like it that way.

PB Tsunami Stout left4beer
Pelican Pub’s Tsunami Stout | photo: left4beer.com

Pelican’s website talks about their belief in beer cuisine.  An intentional melding of beer and food that is well thought out and integrated in an effort to create memorable food pairings.  I hope this recipe follows in that tradition.  Pairing equally strong flavors is what makes a recipe work.  The crunch of bacon and lemony sauce are equally as explosive in your mouth as the stout.  Sweet tomato bites here and there work well with the bitter espresso flavor of this beer.  My farmers market find of Ferns Edge Goat Dairy feta is an unexpected twist, soft and salty, it tempers this unusual stout.  This cheese would be a great addition to a cheese plate pairing with this beer.

Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta

Spaghetti pasta, homemade or store bought.  I used this recipe, and simply added 3 Tbsp bacon fat to the dough when I mixed it together

1 lb. bacon, chopped and fried

1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup goat milk feta cheese

Basil roughly chopped

For the Hollandaise:

Juice of one lemon

7 egg yolks

3 Tbsp bacon grease

salt & pepper to taste

pasta

If you are going to make your own pasta, do so about an hour or so ahead of time. You have to let the dough rest for a good twenty minutes before you can start the thinning and cutting process, so plan accordingly.

This dish is meant to be served lukewarm, not hot, and it moves fast once you start.  Boil your pasta in water that has been salted like the sea and a bit of oil so the noodles don’t stick together.  Pour your beer in a few glasses and let it come up a few degrees too, it is better closer to room temperature than just out of the refrigerator.  At the same time, mix your hollandaise ingredients up and let them sit.  Chop your tomatoes, basil and crumble your cheese if it isn’t already.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour into the hollandaise sauce and mix well.  Plate your pasta and throw some of the above accouterments on top.

BLTA

Paired with this dish, Tsunami Stout worked wonders for my palate, balancing out the normally overwhelming flavor of salty pig. Bitter, but not acidic, with flavor notes hitting on licorice and a biting cocoa powder after taste.  Pelican says that this stout will “bowl you over”.  They are not joking.  It is not for the faint of heart.  At their restaurant, they recommend pairing it with their Clam Chowder or their Tsunami Stout Chili.  At home, I recommend this pasta. Simple and quick to make, this could easily become part of a work week recipe repertoire.

For more information about Pelican Pub & Brewery, please visit their website,facebook page, or take a drive on a Saturday up to Pacific City and let us at Hopped Up know what you enjoyed most about Pelican’s Beer Cuisine.

Hopped Up Eugene

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I have had the pleasure to attend two of Party Downtown’s Brewers Dinners recently, and both times I’ve walked away inspired to recreate one of their dish pairings in my own home.  Of the seven courses we dined on for the Brewers Dinner, the plate that made the biggest impression was the hot link sausage, cider braised greens, cornbread, apple jam and pig ear – paired with 2 Towns Ciderhouse Bourbon Barrel aged cider.

Having now sampled several varieties, I can say with confidence that Party Downtown excels at making their own sausage.  I happened to walk by their smoker before the dinner started, and I pretty much wanted to crawl inside it so I could bathe in the aroma of goodness coming out of that thing.  Au du smoked sausage.

2 towns cider and party downtown
photo: 2 Towns cider Facebook page

Imagine with me for a second, walking by the smoker that houses your future meal.  Several hours later, having said sausage on a plate in front of you, and a glass of the Bourbon Barrel Cider sparkling right next to it.  Anticipating how the sausage will taste, pull the flute full of cider to your nose and inhale the intoxicating scent of cider aged for four and a half months in a Buffalo Trace Barrel.  It is strong and heady.  A dry cider with a slightly sweet after taste, you know this course is going to be great – and it is.

For this work week meal inspiration, I picked up some German Oktoberfest sausages made in Woodburn, Oregon.  Mustard greens from the farmer’s market were already in the fridge, and I have cornmeal galore in the garage.  As the specific cider is not something readily available in the grocery stores I frequent, I decided to go for beer.  This is a bold dish, and  I needed something in kind.  A strong, forward flavor with citrus notes to replace the bourbon barrel infused aroma of the cider, so I picked up some Hop Valley Citrus Mistress.

I would recommend this beer to anyone looking to drink their first IPA. Yes it is bitter and hoppy as any IPA should be, but the citrus seems to round that off a bit and make it a rather friendly first try.  Citrus Mistress is a beer I could drink year round.  It’s an easy IPA to pair with barbecued food, and I am looking forward to stocking up while it is still on the shelves.

Barbecued Mustard Greens, Sausage and Cornbread Pudding

1 package sausage, kielbasa preferred

1 – 2 bunches mustard greens (recipe below)

1 cornbread pudding (recipe below)

PairingCollage
photos: Lacey Harrison

 

First make the Cornbread Pudding (adapted from www.sophistimom.com).

1 cups water

1 cup cornmeal

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

5 eggs

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat the water, salt and butter in a pan until boiling.  Take off heat and add sugar and cornmeal, stir until sugar is dissolved.  In large bowl, mix the eggs, cream and nutmeg.  Combine the cornmeal mix with the cream mix, then add in cheese. Pour into a greased deep pie plate and bake for 45-60 minutes.  At 40 minutes, start checking it with a toothpick or knife.  Once this comes out clean after a poke, turn the oven off and remove to cool.

After the pudding is in the oven, start your Barbecued Mustard Greens.

1 – 2 bunches mustard greens

olive oil

salt

pepper

white balsamic vinegar

finalsausage
photo: Lacey Harrison

Turn your barbecue on medium-high heat, rinse your greens off and throw them on the grill in a bunch.  After about two minutes, flip them over and grill again for two minutes.  This does two things.  One it steams the inner leaves a bit, and two creates a nice char on the outer leaves.

Take the greens off the grill after both sides have been “cued,” chop them up, place in a tinfoil sheet about 12 inches long.  Sprinkle with salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss.  You want a decent coating of the three, so do it one more time.  Close up the tinfoil around the greens and get ready to throw them and the sausage on the grill.  Timing is everything here – you want your pudding to be nearly done at this point, because you are about 10 minutes away from plating your food.

Grill the Sausages and Mustard Greens just enough to create nice sear lines on the sausages.  When flipping the sausage, flip the tin foil packet.  When removing them both from the grill, crack open the packet so the greens stop cooking.  Plate your food and call the family to dinner.  I love Party Downtown’s use of various kinds of plates, so I pulled out Grandma’s old china bowls and got to work.

The char on the mustard greens helps to alleviate their usual bitterness.  My only wish is that I had used two bunches, hence my suggestion for 1-2 in the recipe.  None of us got quite enough.  The savory sausage and sweet cornbread pudding together in one bite is a meal in itself.  Pair this dish with the Citrus Mistress, and you have a party in your mouth!

hop valley citrus mistress
photo: Hop Valley Facebook page

I appreciate Party Downtown’s innovative food style, their dishes worked very well with the 2 Towns Cider picks.  I am now on the hunt for a bottle of the bourbon barrel aged cider so I can work up a dish to pair with it.  I look forward to watching both companies to see what else they produce, and dream of future recipes inspired from the pairings at the brewers dinner that night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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