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Pairing: Horrifying Vintage Holiday Meals with Beer

12-23-2014

Nothing says Christmas time like copious amounts of unwanted traditional treats to choke down. Buzzfeed took it further with their top list of horrifying vintage holiday dishes. In case you are intrigued by the combination of jell-o with tuna, jello-with turkey or jell-o with green olives, here is a select list of dishes perfectly paired with beer.

 

 

Tuna Christmas Tree Paired with Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale

There’s nothing like discovering your elf on the shelf whipped up some tuna salad adorned with parsley, jell-o “ornaments” served with a side of stale crackers in the middle of the night. To really celebrate this molded atrocity, pair it with Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Light bitterness from the hops combat the sweet jell-o while cutting through the creamy concoction while the body is light enough to not overpower the tree, which may or may not turn out to be edible.

 

Frozen Fruitcake Salad paired with Hoegaarden

Picture all the reasons fruitcake is bad. Now, add in some spinach and what appears to be a creamy cheese, although in this case mayo isn’t too off of a guess, either. That is the quivering mound of fruitcake salad. Pair it with Hoegaarden, a Weisbier. The beer’s creamy mouthfeel and bright nose are sure to complement, if not somewhat hide, the sweetness from the cake-salad.

 

Molded Pate Cheese Balls paired with Arcadia Ales Nut Brown

The name says enough in regards to this dish’s flavor profile. Just imagine hands lovingly mushing and molding liver and cheese together into globe-like shapes then dumping them into a mold and adding jell-o. Jell-o used to be its own category on the food pyramid, apparently. Arcadia Ales Nut Brown ale has a steady malt bone that adds a roastiness to the cheesed mold and pairs well with the meatiness of the liver.

 

 

Noel Glazed Ham Paired with New Belgium Trippel 

What this ham is glazed with remains a mystery of epic proportions. Best bets are on a spreadable cheese or mayo. However, jell-o is definitely included in this dish. How else would it look so festive? Drink New Belgium Brewing Co. Trippel to highlight the sweet tones of the baked ham while simultaneously scrubbing off any thick residue left behind by the mystery glaze.

 

Holiday Vegetable Loaf Paired with Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils 

Nothing says the holidays like a loaf. A healthy alternative dish to bring to a feast, this has everything; cranberry-shaped whales, apples, broccoli, mashed potatoes, tomatoes and mystery loaf. Pair a can of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues Brewery with this free-form salad experiment. The light body won’t take away from the salad-ish ingredients while the grassy hops and bready malt character might actually enhance this dish. Maybe. Anything is possible

 

#GiveBeautifully

12-22-2014

What is the best, most beautiful, present you received in past holidays? This year, Stella Artois harkened back to its historical birth and focused on helping others give beautifully during the holiday season.

 

 

Stella Artois was first created for the holidays as a gift to the people of Leuven, Belgium. Each holiday season, the brand's origins – reflected by the Latin "Stella," or star – are celebrated in a variety of ways. This season, Stella Artois chose to lift up and celebrate real-world examples of thoughtful, timeless gift-giving” – PR Newswire

 

The #GiveBeautifully campaign from Stella Artois focused on real people who, with the help from the brewery, were able to truly make this season memorable through the act of giving. These stories from across the globe were then brought together and highlighted in the #GiveBeautifully series from Stella Artois.

 

 

Highlights from the series include the Piano, featuring a one hundred-year-old piano serving as the vehicle of joy for a couple. Or the Oak tree decorated in a thousand lights in Portland, or the story about the community documentary videographer’s new camera. Each story highlights the numerous ways we can give this season.

 

‘Tis the season to give and the iconic holiday lager is once again showing the unique ways the holidays can reach us all. 

Cask Ale 101

12-11-2014

You’re enjoy an evening out and are happy to celebrate it with a night out. Your beer arrives. Its near room temperature and flat…and perfect. It’s a cask ale and it’s becoming increasingly popular in craft bars around the country.

 

 

The cask ale hails back to days of yore in England when placing beer in a cask for secondary fermentation was the norm. Cask ale, also called real ale, is beer that is placed into a cask after primary fermentation to undergo secondary fermentation before being directly pulled from the cask or firkin. It usually is usually stored for just a few days to rest and allow solid particles to drop. Because the beer undergoes secondary fermentation in the container it can take on the characteristics of the wooden cask or of any additional flavorings added to the cask (cacao nibs and hops are examples) for secondary fermentation. This means that the final product is sort of like those mystery suckers you used to get at the bank…you know it’s going to be typical sucker sweet but the actual flavor profile isn’t revealed until you unwrap it, or in this case, tap the firkin. These ales generally are stored and served at a warmer temperature in order to ensure the yeast does not go dormant.

 

 

Additionally, firkins are not hooked up to a bar system in the same way as your typical keg. Instead, you have to use a hammer to punch in the bunghole, which is the horizontal spout located on the side of the firkin to draw out the beer. There is no separate tank to provide extra carbonation. To draw the beer out of the firkin, either a special hand pump system is used, with the firkin being stored in the cellar, or it is laid out at the bar and directly served using a simple gravity tap. With such a system, the cask is susceptible to oxygenation, which means the cask ale’s shelf life is shortened, although the oxygen can provide a nice softening effect on the beer.

 

Cask ales are a fantastic way to continuously explore the world of beer and all of its varying components. Make sure to try out a taste next time you see a firkin up at the bar. 

 

 

2014 Beer Mashup

12-09-2014

As the year comes to an end, it’s time to celebrate all the fantastic beers we’ve discovered over the course of the year. Much like the much-anticipated pop music mashup, each style is a deliciously good way to remember the year individually, although we don’t suggest mashing them all together into a liquid hot mess to choke down.

 

 

New Belgium Brewing Co. Snapshot

Snapshot Wheat hallmarked the spring with its bright and tangy flavor. This unfiltered wheat ale arrived during the throes of the Polar Vortex, bringing with it a bright, citrusy hope for the future. Since then it has yet to disappoint with each tart sip.

 

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

The release of Rebel IPA dared us to try a new IPA from one of the godfathers of craft beer. The IPA showcased the scope of Samuel Adam’s brewing prowess with its well-balanced hop-forward presence, making it the second best-selling IPA in the country in just a few short months.

 

 

Stone Brewing Co. EnjoyBy IPA

The EnjoyBy IPA series from Stone Brewing highlighted the educational component of drinking, in this case the sooner you drink it, the better. Brewed to be consumed within thirty days, each style in the EnjoyBy series showcases the unique characteristics of the hops that result in such a freshly bitter beer.

 

 

Arcadia Rapunzel Wheat IPA

Arcadia Ales helped bring a newly popular style to the Michigan consciousness with Rapunzel Wheat IPA. The ale combined the creamy and smooth mouthfeel of a wheat beer with bright citrus hop bitterness. Representing the Michigan beer landscape even more, the beer incorporates locally-sourced hops.

 

Right Brain Brewery Smooth Operator

The cream ale from Right Brain Brewery came just in time for summer, providing an exceptionally flavored, light-bodied “lawnmower” beer option for the Michigan craft beer sector. The easy drinking beer in the 16-ounce can soon became (and remained) a top hit for those who like to laze the day away with a cold one in hand.

 

Traveler Beer Jolly Shandy

The newest beer project from Alan Newman, Traveler Beer, brought a brand new option to the Grand Rapids area with its craft shandy lineup. When Jacko, a pumpkin shandy, showed up on the scene just in time for witching season, beer drinkers learned how innovative the style could be.

 

Shocktop Shockolate

Roasted cocoa nibs brought a rich, roasted flavor to this Belgian wheat style ale. The style came in just time for a decadent chocolate treat during the cold season.

 

 

Deschutes Brewery

After much anticipation, the 6th largest craft brewery in the country brought its wares to the West Michigan market. Black Butte Porter, the country's best-selling porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA and Jubelale all launched the market in October. After a few months of getting to know these well-balanced and tasty beers, new seasonals and beer styles will soon be available as Michigan continues to get to know (and love) one of the best nationally-ranked craft breweries. 

 

Perrin Brewing Killing Craft

After two long years of anticipation, Perrin Brewing launched its first packaged beer on the Michigan beer scene with the super limited bottle series. The Killing Craft series began with the bourbon barrel aged duo, Kill Em All and With Kindness, which started off this series that is focused on highlighting the artistry of crafting beer. 

Upcycle Bud Aluminum Bottles into Tumblers

12-01-2014

Continue the circle of life for your Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles by upcycling them into holiday gifts. This easy DIY Instructables tutorial gives a step-by-step guide for creating an aluminum tumbler that is a simple gift for any beer lover. 

 

 

All that is required is a hacksaw, a dowel, a wood surface and an empty Budweiser or Bud Light aluminum bottle. The result is an eye-catching addition to any dinner set or bar. 

 

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Deschutes Da Shootz!

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