Lacey Harrison

A Very Merry Gnocchi Party!

////

Parties do not have to be hard. Parties can by thrown together simply due to a mutual love of a specific food. One person mentions gnocchi, the next confesses their love of this particular pasta, another states they’ve never made it before and would love to learn how to make it. Within a few weeks, twenty plus people are making time for a much looked forward to party during the busy holiday season.

Days and hours before the gathering, photos get sent around by party goers, teasing each other with what they are bringing. The droolfest begins.

porkbelly
Pork Belly brought by Ellen Brenner (Photo: Ellen Brenner)

Though events such as these do take a lot of planning, especially in between Christmas and New Years, it never seems to feel much like work. Having something to look forward to, knowing others will enjoy what you bring just as much as you do, makes it all worth while. The only pressure you feel is to show up and eat. A lot.

Rosascups
Chocolate chip shot glass for eggnog shooters made by Rosa Mariotti (Photo: Mike Bragg)

Rosa Mariotti and Bill Anderson graciously opened up their home and welcomed their guests last Saturday, with open arms and pasta boards made by Bill at the ready. Rosa taught us how to make the gnocchi by hand, encouraging us to get our hands dirty with flour, olive oil and sparkling water. “Do not be afraid of the dough” one person says to another. We laugh, we mix, we roll the gnocchi with gusto.

gnocchicollage
Gnocchi making (Photo: Mike Bragg)

For those who are ready to eat, there is a never ending table of all things Food. Bone marrow butter, tomato jam, Tuscan chicken liver pate, homemade crackers, cheesecake. Next to the table, someone is stirring something in a pot or three. In another room, fudge, truffles, wine, eggnog and edible shot glasses stand next to a tree with Secret Santa gifts to be opened later in the evening.

kirks table
Not meager offerings! (Photo: Kirk Koenig)

This is not the first time a get together has occurred with this particular group of people, nor will it be the last. Camaraderie and friendship can begin in a thousand different ways. Some people bond over children, some over jobs. Some people meet at the park, and some online. There is a certain and immediate comfort level found between those who share a love of all things food, and it brings us together quite often.

On the last day of the year, I leave you with both a recipe and video for gnocchi and party making, in the hopes that you will be encouraged to spend time with those you care about, by sharing some food with them. From our group of food lovers to yours, Happy New Year!

[gn_box title=”Cavatelli Gnocchi” color=”#725″]

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sparkling water
  • 4 tsp olive oil

Watch the video for hands on instructions and try making pasta yourself! We loved a browned butter infused with rosemary sauce the best, but a simple marinara topped with works just as well.
[/gn_box]

Hopped Up Eugene

/////

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.

hhglass
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.

baconcollage

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.

sandwickassy

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.

sandvickbeer

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

/////

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)

bitch203
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.

photo 2
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.
[/gn_box]

photo 3
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 – The Oregon Brewers Festival

////

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!

FinalOBFLogo2014

 

 

  • 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.
OBF 2013 2
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.

OBF 2013 4
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!

////

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.

beershot
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.

kitkat
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

///

According to The Hungover Gourmet, there are a lot of potential cures for the dread hangover.  We all have our thing that works for us, and we have all shared our tricks with others.   It is camping, BBQ, and just general “Great Outdoors Season” here in Oregon, and we all like to have a good time, so I too am going to share my tried and true recovery method.  We are going to combine two separate restoratives for ultimate effect.  Because you know that at some point this summer, or in the past, you have had need for The Cure.  Especially after a long day of golfing or rafting.

Tomatoes offer a boost of vitamins and nutrients for the tired body, and booze helps stop the head hurt.  Shuffle to the kitchen.  Grab a beer, preferably a lager.  Fosters works great for this, especially since their 25.4 oz. oil cans don’t mess around.  But desperate times and all, you have what you have.  I have Worthy Brewing Easy Day Kolsch.  I am not much of a Kolsch drinker, but I really dig this stuff.  Next, grab some tomato juice.  If you don’t have any, tomato sauce works in a pinch.  Now do the somewhat horizontal fridge search for some Tabasco, but remember to keep the head above the stomach!  Grab some salt.  We aren’t going fancy on our first glass, just getting the job done out of sheer necessity.  Pour a third each of tomato juice and can of beer into a glass.  Hit it with a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Swirl it around, drink it up.

 

www.hophunting.com
www.hophunting.com 

 Take a deep breath and stand there for a minute, preferably not swaying.  Feeling better?  It doesn’t take long, does it?  Now that we are clear headed, we are going to wake up the palate and the mind by adding some spice and citrus to the final glass.  

I was recently gifted some Rokz Bloody Mary Infused Salt and some Citrus Jalapeno Infused Salt.  Rokz is a small company here in Eugene, they make a wide array of fantastic drink salts and sugars.  Get the rim of your glass wet and heavily sprinkle some of the bloody Mary and citrus jalapeno salt on the outer edge, and sprinkle some inside to combine with the beer and juice. A couple of splashes of Tabasco and some bloody Mary mix if you have it, top that with at least half a cup of tomato juice and the rest of the beer.  Salty, spicy, zesty and smooth. Take a seat on the couch, sip your drink and relax.  Follow that up with a heavy dose of water and you are golden.

www.hophunting.com
www.hophunting.com

You know you’ve done it. Maybe you rafted the river and drank a bunch of light beer like it was water. Maybe you went to Vegas…need I  say more?  Maybe you pulled an all nighter, hopping from bar to bar, waltzing down the street singing Beastie Boys songs with your friends, only to end up in some late night diner for an early breakfast. You wake up some time the next day, and wow. You do not feel well. There are several things you can do in this situation to minimize the damage. Power through it, you don’t no help! Eat some aspirin and chug some water. Go back to bed and pretend you never woke up, and pray that when you do, you won’t feel like death. Or you could drink Breakfast Beer of Champions and get your day moving!  And watch this. Definitely watch this.  

Hopped Up Eugene

////

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.

beforepour

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?  

snakebiteelderberry

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.

snakebite

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

/////

Hopped Up Eugene May 22-28

As the three day weekend better known as Memorial Day Holiday comes upon us, people begin pulling out dusty smokers and contemplating what they will drink and eat over the long weekend.  It is both a time of remembrance, honoring those who have died protecting our country, and a nod to the upcoming summer months, which can only mean grilling and beating the heat with a frosty beverage.  To that end, I give you Salem’s Gilgamesh Brewing Mamba Beer and a Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich.

gilgamesh-mamba-black-te-23644-447z
Photo: www.madeinoregon.com

Gilgamesh Brewing’s website describes this beer as “a unique malt beverage defined by black tea, bergamot, tangerine peel and rye.”  As a person who enjoys a very hoppy IPA, this is a serious departure from my beer drinking norm.  I was not too sure about it at first.  However, it is filled with scents and flavors of summer and it pulls a person in fast.  The beer paired perfectly with the open faced smoked meatloaf sandwiches I made, and was quickly dubbed a perfect summer unison.

I have never in my life smoked anything.  I BBQ year round, but smoking? I talked about wanting to do it, but never made the time.  It took a free smoker from a neighbor, some serious blog reading, and a bunch of advise from the people on the Eugene Foodies! Facebook page to get it done.  I am now addicted. meatloaf

Smoked Meatloaf:

2 lbs 85/15 hamburger

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes in oil (drained)

1 Tbsp pesto

3 Tbsp horseradish

4 cloves black garlic (you can find it at Trader Joes)

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 cup ketchup

2 eggs

For topping:

1/2 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (or other)

1 Tbsp lightly crushed rock sea salt

Get your smoker ready before you mix the ingredients up.   Here is a great website/recipe to start with if you are new to the process, or need guidelines for the process, please review it.  Thoroughly combine all ingredients together in a large bowl, except for the last two.  Take out a small pan and form the meat into a loaf.  I used a 9×12 cookie sheet that I made sure fit down in the smoker.  Or form hamburger patties – this would make an exceptional burger as well.  When the meat is smoked to the correct temperature (165 degrees), coat the top with the BBQ sauce and sprinkle salt over the top.  All in all, I smoked the thing about 3 1/2 hours at 225ish degrees. mambomeatloaf

The beer with the food.  How did it fair together?  Meatloaf sandwich on a slice of thick white bread with mayonnaise and mustard, topped with salad fixings tossed in a black cherry balsamic.  Black garlic for rich sweetness.  Horseradish and  hot paprika for a kick.  The BBQ sauced and salted outside for a caramelized crunch.  Sips of a sweet black tea with slices of orange in it, just like grandma used to make in the summer, but in beer form.  This hopless ale offers a fruity nose with hints of rye, a very intriguing sweet black tea and orange flavor at first sip, finishing dry with a citrus rind tang at the end.  This pairing  is both complex and simple at the same time.  It offers flavor dimensions of unusual meatloaf ingredients and nontraditional beer.  Simplicity in that people have been eating meatloaf sandwiches and drinking beer for forever, the pairing just upped the ante a bit.

Gilgamesh Brewing is a family owned business, operated by three Radtke brothers and their father. When it came time to name their operation, they were inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the worlds oldest written story. The tale chronicles epic battles, camaraderie, and feasts full of food and beer. Head Brewer Mike Radtke says “These elements of their life really resonated with us…Our Emblem is an ancient Sumerian cuneiform which is the original written word for beer.”

Gilgamesh takes the word “camaraderie” seriously. In addition to a large food and beer offering, their brewery campus in Salem is very active in the community, with offerings such as Armed Forces Day this past May 17th with bands, BBQ and discounts for all military members, Salsa 101 lessons, and Science Night with the next topic being Weather, Climate and Meteorology on June 19th.  Check out their facebook page and website for more details, and watch this short and funny video about the family made by Portland Loves Pints.

gilga
Photo: www.gilgameshbrewing.com

 

Sasquatch Brew Fest 2014

///////

Back for its twelfth year in a row, the Sasquatch Brew Fest is hitting Eugene the first Saturday of June.  Enjoy craft beer (many of which are brewed specifically for this event), food booths, a silent auction, raffles, a home brew contest and an impressive line-up of live music.  Happening in a neighborhood full of artistic expression and a multitude of great breweries and inventive restaurants (the new Fermentation District), attendees can look forward to this event being held in the great outdoors, as it once was in the festival’s early days.

Local breweries such as Ninkasi and Falling Sky will be in attendance, along with Carlton Oregon’s Fire Mountain Brewery, Sunriver Brewing, Nectar Creek Honeywine of Corvallis, and many more.  Musical guests include Tatiamo, Douglas County Daughters, Hank Shreve Band and well-known Eugene-based headliner, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies!

cherry poppin daddies photo
The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies will be headlining the music venue at this year’s Sasquatch Brew Fest

Be sure to get in on the Sasquatch Brew Fest Beer Dinner.  It will be held Friday, June 6, at 7 pm at the Falling Sky Delicatessen and will feature food from Falling Sky chefs paired with beer from festival participants.  Click here for reservations.

This event was created in dedication to the memory of Glen Hay Falconer, a leading and popular brewer of now closed Wild Duck Brewery.  Proceeds of the Sasquatch Beer Fest will benefit the Northwest Legends Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to produce this annual event and to further the beer and brewing culture here in the Pacific Northwest by awarding brewing scholarships to worthy candidates each year.

A worthy event which works to bring beer to the masses, while supporting brewers.  This is one event I cannot wait to attend!

Saquatch brewfest glasses
The 2014 Sasquatch Brew Fest will be moving outdoors this year

When: Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where: 155 Blair Blvd, Eugene Oregon – Ninkasi Brewery distribution parking lot

Time: starts at 12 pm, last call at 10:30 pm.

Cost: $10 dollars per person includes entry fee, a commemorative glass, two taste tickets and live music all day long.  Additional taste tickets can be purchased for $1 dollar each on festival grounds.  21 and over.

Hopped Up Eugene

////

Hopped Up Eugene May 15-21

Failure can result in some pretty amazing outcomes.  I failed to remember not to pour cold water in my hot Pyrex dish a few years back, resulting in glass all over the stove and floor and a ruined meal (and they say Pyrex won’t break, proved them wrong!).  When looking for beer to go with our Pho soup last month, I grabbed what I thought was 10 Barrel S1nist0r Black, a surprisingly light bodied dark beer which would pair well with the brothy soup.  I could not have been more wrong.  What I ended up with was 10 Barrel’s Project: Failed Red Ale.  I was not happy once I realized  my mistake.  But sometimes trying for one thing gets you another, and while you may not have originally wanted it, the result is exactly what you were looking for.

phobeer

Like making beer, the process to bring about homemade Pho is lengthy and takes a lot of patience.  So too with beer, the end product is worth the wait, as well as the running around town to find all the ingredients to make Pho!  I used this recipe that was recommended by a friend.  It gives very detailed instructions.  I suggest reading the steps to broth making several times prior to starting.  This will give you a clear path, without having to constantly refer back to the blog.  Once you have made the broth, the hard part is over.  Store the left over broth, and assemble the soup as depicted in the blog post.

phoprep
When it is time to make the soup, be sure to prepare all your ingredients while the noodles are softening and the broth is heating.

The combination of Project: Failed and the Pho was a huge surprise.  I was very skeptical, but was not going to open anything else, the beer was getting drank.  I left about 20% of the fat in the broth,  and there is an amazing richness I would have never expected in such a seemingly simple soup. A bold malt scent melds with the aroma of savory beef bone and garnishes of cilantro and lime.  The caramel and creamy smoothness of the beer magnified the richness of the broth, bringing out all the flavors of the spices used; ginger, licorice from the star anise, cinnamon and clove. The thinly sliced beef in a spoonful of broth magnified hints of sweetness in the beer, something I would normally not pick, but worked really well with the dish. A delightful meal for a cold and rainy May evening.

phodone

Judging from the hilarious video the brewery posted on their site telling the story of Project: Failed, I would say that the art of failure has been mastered. The crew at 10 Barrel is clearly happy with the results, and so am I. 10 Barrel Brewery is located in Bend Oregon, with Pubs in Portland and Boise, Idaho.

And in another stroke of beer genius, earlier this year the brewery rolled out beer vending machines that I swear if I ever come across, I will be running for quarters! This is something I have not seen since it was 3am in Brugge Belgium, out of beer and informed by the hotel staff that on the basement level, we could use our Euro coins to buy some cans. Can I throw out a delighted Squee of delight for the beer machine!?

pubbeer
Photo: www.facebook.com/10BarrelBrewingCompany