January
4
2008

The Session: Doppelbock

Troegenator

A beer of substance
With brash malty attitude
Local boys done good

Celebrator

A Celebrator
On my twenty first birthday
That’s what friends are for

Further down the road
What was once overwhelming
Now sustains my soul

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session: Winter Beer

References: This post is part of The Session. The Session is a monthly group writing project for beer bloggers. This month’s theme is Doppelbock and is hosted by Brewvana.

Doppelbock is a rich malty bottom fermented beer. It was originally brewed by monks and was sometimes called “Liquid Bread” because it was used to provide sustenance during Lenten fasts. From what I could gather, today’s doppelbocks have more alcohol than the original brew (though that was still strong for its time). Because of their connection with Lent, doppelbocks are often associated with the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Often brewers release doppelbocks as seasonal beers around that time. However, the two I reference in the haiku above are brewed year round.

For the record, I was actually given a six pack of Celebrator for my 21st birthday. I have to admit that it was way more than I was ready for at the time. However, I did appreciate that it was a beer to appreciate. When I revisited the Celebrator for this post, I was happy to see that my taste had caught up with my appreciation. Wow. Good stuff.

Check out the full roundup of Doppelbock Session posts.

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Thing of the Day: Ultimate Beer

December
7
2007

The Session: Winter Beers

Winter Storm “Category 5” Ale

the ice storm outside
mighty adversary to
the storm in my glass

Snow Goose

warm hoppy reward
for the temporary path
I dug through the snow

Santa’s Private Reserve

After breaking in
to Santa’s Private Reserve
I’m now jolly too

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session: Winter Beer

References: This post is part of The Session. The Session is a monthly group writing project for beer bloggers. This month’s theme is Winter Beers and is hosted by Barley Vine.

You gotta love winter time when brewers turn up the cheer and release their seasonal Winter Warmers. It’s like a little reward for beer lovers simply for living through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the first frost, and a general increase in stress as the end of the year holidays approach.

Some brewers feature beers with spices, others offer beers with heftier malt and hop profiles, nearly all increase the alcohol content a smidge… or more. In any case it’s special and fun and the variety is astonishing.

In the haiku above, I’ve highlighted some local brewers from Maryland as well as the Rogue Brewery from Newport, Oregon. I think these three beers are outstanding examples of the Winter seasonal. I could go all Winter with these three beers alone, but I am very glad that I have an incredible assortment of other Winter Warmers to choose from as well.

Wishing you a warm and wonderful Winter filled with cheers!

Checkout the complete round up of The Session: Winter Beers.

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Thing of the Day: Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey

November
2
2007

The Session: Beer and Music

Yeah, I’m a Parrot Head

that first sip of beer
takes me to the same place as
Jimmy Buffett’s songs

Dance a Little Jig

with whiskey and stout
and some fast Irish music
to chase it all down

Ah… Youth

out after midnight
my brother on the guitar
sipping stolen beers

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session: Beer and Music

References: It’s time for The Session. This month it’s hosted by Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey. The theme is Beer and Music. The instructions are to share how you experience beer and music together.

As you can probably see from my haiku today, it was my brother that got all the musical talent in the family.

Here are some past haiku that touch on the beer and music theme:

The full round up of Beer and Music Session posts is now up.

Thing of the Day: Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads

October
8
2007

Satisfied

Another Session
Connects, satisfies, and builds
Beer community

Written by Captain Hops.

References: The Session for October has come to an end. The full round-up of Beer and Food writings has been updated with all the posts that came in over the weekend. By my (non-scientific) count there were 28 participants, 16 recipes, descriptions of 4 formal beer dinners, and at least 60 beer and food pairing recommendations. In addition, I counted 7 first time Session participants. That adds up to a complete success in my book. Thank you for participating and contributing your ideas, time, and experience to this community effort. Cheers!

Thing of the Day: Making Artisan Cheese: Fifty Fine Cheeses That You Can Make in Your Own Kitchen

October
5
2007

The Session Round-up: Beer and Food

Welcome to the October 2007 edition of The Session. The Session is a group writing project for beer bloggers that occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each month a new host is chosen and that host picks a theme. I am your host this month and the theme is Beer and Food.

the Session beer food

I am looking for posts about pairing beer with food or using beer as an ingredient in food. I hope to see recipes, pictures, tasting notes, stories, menus, reviews or anything else that fits the bill of fare. Whether you write about which beer goes best with chili dogs or give your family’s secret recipe for vegan stout stew or post pictures of those ale braised lamb shanks you had last week, I want to know every mouth watering detail.

If you own a blog and want to participate, be sure to check out the announcement and full instructions. It’s easy and rewarding to join in the fun.

Here is the roundup of all contributions to The Session this month:

  • Beer from the Motherland (pairing, recipe): Kieran Haslett-Moore from New Zealand leads off with mouthwatering descriptions of a beer and cheese pairing session he organized. He wraps up with an “incredibly indulgent recipe” for an ale and cheese dip.
  • Akelas Biggins (recipe, pairing): The Dude takes us down to Texas and treats us to his famous Beer Butt Chicken. He is also kind enough to recommend a beer to go with it.
  • Beer In Food (story, recipe): Bob Skilnik (author of Beer & Food: An American History) provides some background on the Lithuanian-American experience. He then risks life and limb to give us his mother-in-law’s secret kugelis recipe. Kugelis is a uniquely Lithuanian potato pudding dish that goes great with beer.
  • Beer Haiku Daily (pairing, recipe): My own contribution consists of two haiku and a recipe for Portobello and Beer Chili.
  • The Best of American Beer and Food (pairing, cooking): Please welcome Lucy Saunders to the beer blogging community. She developed an entire website on the topic of beer and food just for The Session! Okay, so maybe she’s also supporting her recently published book The Best of American Beer and Food. 😉
  • The Beer Nut (pairing, review): A story about the joys of curry and beer and a review of new “slow-brewed” lager called Time.
  • The Barley Blog (recipes): Ray breaks out his wife’s recipe for Newcastle Pot Roast and gives us a bonus recipe for Turkey Gravy with Bourbon. Mmm… Bourbon Gravy…
  • Hop Talk – Ron (story, pairing): Ron give some great advice for pairing beer and desert and reminisces about the event that opened his eyes about the combination.
  • Appellation Beer (story, pairing, recipes): Stan shares Victory Brewing’s Smoked Gouda Cheese Loaves with Roasted Peppers and Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe. This was a personal favorite that didn’t make it into the 1990 book the Brewpub Cookbook that he and his wife put together.
  • Seen Through a Glass (pairing): Lew Bryson will have multiple posts today celebrating the joy of beer with every meal. Without further ado it’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Brewvana (story, pairing, recipe): J. Wilson makes a strong case for living well with good food and beer and then shares his special recipe for Doppel-Brat Stew.
  • BoakandBaily.com (pairing, recipe): Boak and Baily brings us a lamb and pale ale pie, paired with Brakspear Triple. Yum.
  • Stonch’s Beer Blog (food, beer): Stonch leaves the pairing of beer and food to others and demonstrates quite ably that it doesn’t take rocket science to enjoy a nice meal and a fine beer with friends.
  • That’s The Spirit – Beaumont’s Beer Blog (story, pairing): Steve Beaumont takes us back to Munich and tempts our tastebuds with one of his “Hall of Fame beer and food pairings: Weissbier and Weisswurst.”
  • The Brew Basement (cooking, recipe): Jason Tucker is quickly building a nice resource on cellaring beer and gives some great advice on cooking with aged brews. In particular rich aged ales can replace port in many recipes with surprisingly good results.
  • Sioux Brew (recipe): Photographer Tim Hynds gives us a haiku, an apology, and a recipe for lambic sorbet. Looks tasty.
  • The Brew Site (recipes): Jon gives us the recipe for the Oktoberfest braised pot roast he made last weekend and then reminds us of the decadent Guinness cupcakes he discovered in August
  • Trouble Brewing (recipe): Eric Trimmer informed me of his Session post with a haiku:
    A beer reduction
    Over vanilla ice cream
    My Session entry
  • Lyke 2 Drink (pairing, recipe): Rick laments the dearth of restaurants that take beer seriously and then describes a recent beer and food dinner he attended. He leaves us with a recipe for cheddar cheese soup.
  • My Beer Pix (pairing): A day in the life of Beer Sage and Beer Molly. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and a night cap.
  • Beer Philosopher (pairing): In his first Session post, Shawn takes the FUD out of beer and food pairing. Like Stonch he believes that no expertise is required, just experiment and enjoy. There are no “beer police” that will take you to task for doing it wrong.
  • Climbing (cooking): Another new participant in The Session describes his experiment with beer pancakes.
  • A Good Beer Blog (cooking, pairing): Alan draws inspiration from Lucy Saunders’ Grilling with Beer and ‘cues up an “insane amount of meat”.
  • Beer, Beats, and Bites (pairing): Greg describes his first opportunity to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and host a beer pairing dinner at a private club. It sounds to me like it was a great success and this won’t be his last.
  • The Lost Abbey Brewers Log (pairing): Tomme heaps praise on the amazing Chef Vince Marsaglia and can barely contain his enthusiasm as he describes in exquisite detail a recent beer dinner they created together.
  • Hump’s Brewing (pairing): Josh pours a few words about that time honored pairing that everyone can get behind: pizza and beer.
  • Beerjanglin’: A stong case is made for eating and drinking locally. A number of brewpubs and breweries within 100 miles of Albany New York are highlighted for their use of locally grown produce.
  • Brookston Beer Bulletin (beer pairing): Jay Brooks uses haiku, pictures and words to describe the 10th annual beer dinner at the Northern California Homebrewers Festival. Wish I was there.

The Session for November will be hosted by Tomme Arthur of the Lost Abbey. Keep an eye on his site for an announcement of the next theme.

I have compiled a good round-up of all previous Sessions. Delve into the archives to find a treasure trove of beer themed writings, podcasts, pictures and other postings. It also includes information on how to volunteer as host. I will update this page every month.

October
5
2007

The Session: Beer and Food

Dinner at the Brewer’s Art

Bacon wrapped shrimp burst
Through ale infused tangyness.
Balanced by Westmalle

Portobello and Beer Chilli

Bold sweet and spicy
carried by earthy mushrooms
on ale’s firm shoulders

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session beer food

References: This is my contribution to The Session for October. On the first Friday of each month the beer blogging community writes on a common theme. I am the host this month and I chose the theme Beer and Food. I chose this theme because I love good beer and good food and not because I have any particular skill in this area. However I have full confidence in the beer writing community to provide me with tastings and pairings, recipes and descriptions that will keep my mouth watering for months to come.

My first haiku is a reminiscence of the meal I ate this week at the Brewer’s Art. Their Resurrection Barbecue Shrimp (with their signature Resurrection Ale used in the sauce) were truly fantastic and went very well with a goblet of Westmalle Dubbel.

The second haiku is about my famous Portobello and Beer Chili. I created it for the Super Bowl one year when I knew there were vegetarians coming over. If it wasn’t for the vegetarians it would be my famous Steak and Beer Chilli. Here’s the recipe:

Olive oil
3-4 Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 beer, good (IPA’s work well)
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Sauté mushrooms and onions in large pot. When tender add tomatoes, beans, beer, garlic, jalapeno, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir thoroughly, bring to boil, then cover and let cook on low for 1.5 hours. Retrieve garlic cloves, cut off ends and squeeze garlic into pot. Stir in brown sugar, salt and pepper. Serve with corn bread, sour cream, cheese, green onions or whatever.

Meat-Loving Alternatives: Feel free to substitute steak, pork, chicken or any other type of meat in place of (or in addition to) the Portobello mushrooms.

Update: Here is the round-up of the Beer and Food Session.

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Thing of the Day: The Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking with Craft Beer