Thursday, December 4, 2014

Caren West: A Lady Who Loves Beer


Photo credit Teodora Nicolae
Naming her dad as her ideal drinking buddy, she says that although she prefers more hop-forward beers when given a beer list, she'll try just about anything (including drinking a PBR when the time calls for it). Hells yeah.

Celebrating nearly a decade of business in Atlanta handling public relations for some very beer-centric clients (including Wild Heaven, Frozen Pints, and Cypress Street Pint & Plate to name a few) this social butterfly really knows how to throw a party and is a powerhouse of positive energy and enthusiasm wherever she goes.

Meet Caren West: a lady who loves beer.

How did you end up in Atlanta, and do you think you'll stay for always?
"To make a very long story short: I graduated from Auburn University, so ended up spending a lot of time in Atlanta throughout my college career, but never thought I would make it my home. After I graduated, I spent one last glorious summer at the beach working at the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, moved to South Carolina for hot minute, and then the next thing I knew I found myself in Atlanta looking for jobs.

I love our city. I am so proud to live in Atlanta and own a business here. I don't see myself leaving any time soon (or really ever) other than buying property in other cities and the beach, but I will always have a home in Atlanta. I made a very conscious decision to open a business in Atlanta and will continue to do my best to support the community and all the incredible businesses and people who make our city so great."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Craft Beer Report Card: Have We "Failed Our Female Fan Base"?


**This post has been updated with amendments to clarify an earlier version.




I'm rather fond of men. I happen to married to one, so that works in my favor.

The shaven, the non-shaven, the hipster and not-so-hipster--men in all their delightful array of loveliness, directness, stewardship, etc. That they happen to co-habit the culture of craft beer along with me is even more reason to raise my glass in celebration.

It has been MEN, among all my supporters, that have been some of my most loyal and consistent friends, and I am deeply glad for it. Although many a reader, writer, and editor inquiring about my site has attempted to frame it otherwise. (And yes, my Lady friends have also got my back. Holla!)

It's also worth mentioning that I have a son, and there is nothing about his maleness that offends me. It seems absurd to even have to make a statement like that. His boy-ness (yes, I'm possibly making up a word; deal with it) has been a gift to me, and if I'm being honest, also a relief--I feel far too inferior in the ways of womanhood to raise daughters.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Victoria Coombs: A Lady Who Loves Beer


Enrolled in full-time Art Direction studies, mother to seven children, and representing Georgia's Girls Pint Out in East Atlanta (and I thought I was busy), she's also the proud co-owner of Them Two Birds along with her husband Aaron. 

This Woman's crazy big heart, courageous spirit, and kickass work ethic is an inspiration to dream bigger, work harder, and love more--and I know I'm not alone in thinking so. 

Meet Victoria Coombs: a lady who loves beer!

Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Georgia? Do you think Atlanta will be your forever home?
"I was born and raised in Woodstock GA. My husband, Aaron, and I recently moved to downtown Atlanta and we love it. Although Georgia will always be home, I do not believe it will be my forever home. I would like to live all over the world once our children are grown."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pretzels + Beer = Officially Good Together


Pretzels and beer. It's a combination that works, and when it comes to Knotty Pretzels, they're making things official.

Using the hashtag #theofficialpretzelofbeer, you can officially lend them your support by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign, which went live in November and expires December 14th.

They recently reached out to ask if I'd accept some free samples, and I agreed to give them a taste test. I got a chance to try samples of both their Zesty Italian and Hot Wing flavors, and both were a big hit in my house.

Kid-approved (even the hot wing flavor wasn't too hot for my four-year-old to handle), the herbs in the Zesty Italian, though not officially listed as an ingredient, had a subtle rosemary quality that I really enjoyed.

There's a good reason I don't keep snack foods like this around the house. I can't stop eating them! Although the two flavors they sent paired best with a Pale Lager or Imperial Pilsner in my opinion, an IPA or Pale Ale (depending on the hop profile) would not be out of place.

They have a quality crunch that outshines the bargain brands we usually bring home, and were reminiscent of the "fancy" bagged pretzel varieties I've brought home on occasion (like those mixed varieties with nuts and small sourdough crisps).

I'd love to see some more explicit pairing suggestions, and more variety--like pretzels dipped in dark chocolate paired with an Imperial Stout perhaps? Or sweet and spicy curry pretzels with something of the Belgian variety? Now I need beer, and pretzels.

I definitely recommend you give these a try. And if you get a chance, let the folks at Knotty Pretzels know what you think by posting your own impressions to any of their social media listed below.

Let Knotty Pretzels know what you think!

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Full disclosure: The images and opinions here are my own. Although samples were provided for review, no paid sponsorship or endorsement exists between Knotty Pretzels and HEYBREWTIFUL. Sponsored posts and/or sending samples of your product for feedback or review does not guarantee or secure endorsement or favorable promotion. I will always give my honest feedback on all items regardless of paid sponsorship. Inquiries and other requests should be sent to the address listed on my contact page, with the understanding that not all requests will be accepted or considered. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Creating a Snack-Centered Craft Beer Feast



Craft beer pairings don't have to be complicated. In fact, it's possible to put together an elegant and simple feast entirely from foods of the snack variety. I put together a selection of store bought items (and suggested styles of beer) for a throw-together craft beer feast that will have you giving thanks in no time.

Why snacks?

Salty and sweet barside snacks work for a reason--because beer is built on malt, and (though to varying degrees) malt is the sweet sidecar to bittering and flavoring hops that makes us drool. And as any beer that is balanced with both bitter and sweet will prove, these flavors offer the perfect counterpoint for creating deliciousness. And they don't have to be of the typical peanut and pretzel variety either (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Not only is a snack-centered feast easier than creating an entire meal, but it's a lot more fun for less formal gatherings where you'd rather open up those larger bottles to share with friends without worrying about meal prep (or involved cleanup afterward).

Without further ado, here are my top picks for the table, which include an array of store-bought cookies, chocolates, and salty standbys you can pick up the day of (or days before) your gathering.



My must-have salty and sweet items for creating a snack-centered craft beer feast:

  1. Popcorn! H&F caramel bacon popcorn, to be exact. I seriously recommend you buy an extra tub of this (for personal use only). By itself? A dream. With beer? A fantasy come true. As an alternative, look for tins or bags of candy-coated or kettle cooked popcorn.  
  2. Olives! A range of green and black marinated olives and thinly sliced salami or other cured meats. Harry's in Marietta has a great selection (just be careful of those pits, or make sure to choose from the pitted options).
  3. Cookies & Chips! Fruit-filled, chocolate-dipped, flakey and buttery cookies and crunchy sweets--including fig-filled rugelach, dark chocolate dipped pretzels, dehydrated apple or sweet potato chips. You get the idea.
  4. Cheese & Crackers! Soft, fresh cheeses rolled in herbs and flavorings, or aged and funky cut from the block--cheese is a fun and easy pairing with beer. I picked up these pretty little rounds (made by from Caly Road Creamery) from The Stout Brothers, but Sweet Grass Dairy is another local and very tasty choice if you ask me. And don't forget the crackers (seed-covered or salted ones are my favorite).
  5. Pie! In all its iterations: apple, pecan, chocolate, sweet potato, cranberry-pear... you name it! OK, pie isn't really a snack, but I found servings of each in two-person servings at my local grocer. Why not slice them up into littler bites and serve them all? (There can never be too much pie).

Need ideas for beers to go with your holiday table? Check out this style guide for a tour of beers that are perfect for meals with a savory and sweet menu, or swing by your local growler shop or bottle shop with your menu in mind and ask for suggestions (they're almost always eager to help).


Friday, October 31, 2014

Craft Beer Mocked on Cover of The New Yorker: Geeks Unsure If They Should Celebrate


Entitled "Hip Hops" and created by Peter de Sève, The New Yorker's November cover was a sign to some that craft beer has "made it." 

Others, notably Oliver Gray of Literature & Libation (who won first place for best beer blog in this year's North American Beer Writers Guild contest), were less enthused:
"It plays to stereotypes. Are we guilty, as a community, of perpetuating those? We sure are. So many beards. So much plaid. Does that make this a clever cover, or anything accurate? Nope."
Adopting the posture and air of a sommelier presenting wine to diners in a fine restaurant, the waiter in the image, dressed in his finest flannel and denim, politely displays the bottle for the woman at a communal table, waiting for her approval before (presumably) pouring the contents into a glass.

Though his pretentious display is largely ignored by others in the scene, the man across from her scrutinizes his own beer, nose upraised and lips pursed in the theatrical manner of a connoisseur.

Yes, it's snobbery. But it's all pretend.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Leigh Germy: A Lady Who Loves Beer




Meet Leigh. She's Terrapin Beer Company's Atlanta Market Rep. and an all around awesome Lady. 

A crazy talented photographer, and a resource for healthy balance between beer and brewing up a hella strong immune system (she gave me some rad tips on juicing a while back) this sweet and sassy beer beauty jumped in to fill the feature for Atlanta's October Lady Who Loves Beer. 

Thanks Leigh!

Hey, go ahead and wish her a happy birthday while you're at it by drinking a Terrapin beer (it's her birthday month, she tells me).


Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Georgia? Do you think Athens will be your forever home?

"I'm a nomad from the midwest. My family moved around most of my childhood. I moved to Atlanta 10 years ago, looking for something new and warmer weather. I live in Decatur currently. I always dream about going West; who knows what will happen?"


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{Cookies & Beer} Oatmeal Cookies with a Grown Up Twist



On a whim, I picked up some dried tart cherries that were on clearance and thought they'd make a fun alternative to raisins for my all-time favorite cookie--oatmeal chocolate chip with raisins.

After a little first day of Fall walk with the kiddo this week, we baked up some oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries (we taste-tested the combo while making them, of course). The salty, chewy, chocolaty, bitter, tart combination is right up my alley.

I also had Goat Boy, an Imperial Weizenbock on hand, and opened it up to savor with these lovelies. Almond milk for the kiddo, and we were two happy campers. Cheers!

The beer is spicy, with notes of clove and mild banana aroma. The clove gets more noticeable as the beer warms, and the beautiful reddish color of the beer is just perfect for an early Fall afternoon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jen Price {A Lady Who Loves Beer}




While her brick and mortar might still be a ways off, she says she's gone to bed dreaming of the customers who frequent her "beer boutique" every night for two years. And she's recently taken a huge step forward in making that dream--reality.

A transportation planner by day, this Lady has led a not-so-secret life as a craft beer evangelist in her off hours, and is hoping to one day make it a full-time affair.

Already up and running with a mobile craft beer education venue called Atlanta Beer Boutique, she's partnered with businesses in the Atlanta area to make use of their space, and is spreading "the good word" through events featuring craft beer cocktails and food pairings located throughout the city.

With a series of 'Perfect Pairings' on the calendar in coming months (you can sign up here for updates)--she's focused on bringing non-beer drinkers who have been turned away in the past--to the gospel of craft beer.

I had a chance to sit down with Jen last week (over some beers of course) and chat about her first loves and future plans.

Meet Jen Price: a lady who loves beer.  

Have you always been into beer? How did you get interested in it?
I think my earliest memory of drinking beer is with my Dad. Probably at 5, maybe. He used to drink High Life. The champagne of beers. I would prepare his beer, when I knew he was coming home. Pour it for him into his glass, and he would let me drink the foam off the top.

It’s my first choice. Next to that might be liquor, and if nothing else is available then I might drink wine. I would probably have water before I drink wine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top 5 Tuesday's {Food + Beer} Blogs You Should Devour Immediately


It's Tuesday! And that means it's time for a top five roundup of beer-y deliciousness that will make your head explode! OK, so maybe I just had too much coffee this morning, but hey!

This week I've got five {food + beer} blogs I've drooled over excessively somewhere in the last 30 days that you should devour immediately!

GET TO IT! EAT ALL THE THINGS! More exclamation marks!!!!!




In particular, these Tripel Threat (yes, I said Tripel) Fried Pickles with Satay Peanut Sauce. You had me at fried pickles. And bacon (note to readers, there's no actual bacon in this dish). Did I mention these have beer in them? Because they do. Oh, yes. And pickles.

From the source: "This dish has been designed to be an uncommon flavor experience. Belgian beer, dill pickles and peanut satay sauce aren’t exactly commonly found together. But the combination of the three are out of this world."


2. Beer & Baking http://beerandbaking.com/

Stacked donuts, stacked donuts! That's the little stacked donuts song I sing to myself while doing this motion (someone stop me before this gets too weird). Also, please make these for me ASAP. K, thx.

From the source: "Old Fashioned Glazed Doughnuts are my favorite doughnut in the whole entire doughnut world. It’s nostalgia, it’s comforting, it’s familiar, and it’s crunchy and delicious."



3. Love Beer, Love Food http://lovebeerlovefood.com/

Love beer? Love food? Check out the delectable delights from the smarty pants Cicerone at Lovebeerlovefood, including these saucy beer-infused oysters!

From the source: "Whenever I make a trip to my hometown of Boston I basically subsist on a diet of seafood and beer. [...] This recipe is my take on the classic mignonette with plenty of freshly grated ginger, shallot, lemon zest, beer and a touch of vinegar."




4. Life, Food, and Beer http://lifefoodandbeer.com/

Beer chili cheese fries with jalapeno cheddar cheese? Yep. Plus a recipe for homemade beer chili. Tastes even better after a night of drinking, or so I'm told.

From the source: "It was like eating nachos. The flat potatoes made it much easier to hold all the chili and cheese goodness. I was so impatient with these pictures, I literally took four pictures because I couldn’t wait any longer to dig in! And I may have slapped Huck’s hand when he tried to steal one! I was hungry and don’t like to share!"


5. Cooking and Beer http://www.cookingandbeer.com/

Because you always need dinner rolls (and beer).

From the source: "I was seriously craving some dinner rolls at this point. Actually, I was craving turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce AND dinner rolls…but I’m trying to be patient here and not go crazy when Thanksgiving is still months away. I have problems, and I’m really trying to soak up these last days of summer. I promise. This is one of my favorite dinner roll recipes. It never fails. This time I added beer, and it seriously gave a whole new meaning to life."


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Do you have a favorite {Food + Beer} blog that I missed? Let me know in the comments on TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM (Stay tuned for more TopFiveTuesday roundups coming soon!).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Seasons' Sippings: A Feast of Georgia's Craft Beer for Fall




It’s early September, but my brain is already in full-time Fall mode. I keep thinking creme brulee, sweet potato pie, mountains of buttery garlic mashed potato...

And also beer. Of course.

SNEAK PEAK! Coming soon, I’ll have some new craft beer pairings to share with y’all, including seasonal deliciousness scheduled for the Brewer’s Association website craftbeer.com in October. And I've partnered with Peach State Ale Trail to provide some syndicated and original content!

In the meantime, you and I both can start planning our holiday craft beer “to drink” lists with these local offerings from breweries and brewpubs all around Georgia!

Here's what Georgia had to say when I asked what's on tap for Fall!

Editor's Note: Although attempts were made to include all Georgia breweries and brewpubs in this list, some responses were not received prior to publication deadline when solicited for comment. Updates will be added as new information becomes available.
Visit for a bite and a pint, or check your local growler shop for tap selections.

Rick Tanner's Grille & Bar/Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative: “We will have a Pumpkin Pie Porter coming out this month and then our holiday Feliz Naviquad Belgian ale around Christmas. We will also be Releasing our Dylan's Dubbel and Hoppy Balboa Dbl IPA this year."

Max Lagers: “MaxFest Oktoberfest will tap Sept 20. Other upcoming beers: The Gremlin Baltic Porter, Harvest Ale, Old 320 Barley Wine. Harvest is a deep red beer with a balance of toasted malt and citrusy hops. Baltic is a collab with Gremlin Growlers with smoky/coffee notes and will likely be wood-aged. Old 320 is an American-style Barleywine which I haven't brewed in 4 years, but will likely stay true to the original. It’s won several ACATs in the past.”

Twains: “We'll have out AutumnFest Ale, and at least one more, but we haven't decided yet. Tuesday September 9 at 7 pm, we will be tapping a collaboration beer with Second Self, a Summer Saison. We can't wait to see you there!”

Wrecking Bar: “This Fall we'll release a Black Rye IPA, Oktoberfest, a Brett Porter and a Pumpkin Dubbel. Later we'll have a Gingerbread Imperial Brown.”

5 Seasons: "We'll have our annual Oktoberfest Lager release. And we do a huge Oktoberfest celebration. At 5 North it is on Saturday, September 27, and at 5 Westside it will be on Sunday the 28th.

Friday, August 29, 2014

{Brewtiful} Sponsors: August


My sponsors for the month of August generously donated in support of HEYBREWTIFUL. Sponsor benefits include monthly mention on the blog and social media, and monthly ad space reserved in the sidebar (this month's sponsors also got some free HB swag for helping to fund my recent trip to San Diego for the Beer Blogger's Conference). 

Sponsorship makes possible the ongoing travel, writing, web-hosting, and photography you see here, which is otherwise wholly a labour of love. You can extend your support by becoming a sponsor, visiting the affiliates listed in the sidebar, or commissioning written or photographic work from our founder. For more information on becoming a sponsor for 2014, please contact me



{Brewtiful Sponsors: August}
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

What a {brewtiful} San Diego Beer Bloggers Conference

Sharing the platform: some notes on collaborative blogging


When I first started HEYBREWTIFUL, I did it because I really wanted to talk about beer. And not just to myself. 

I wanted to know if there were other women like me out there, passionate about the craft, science, and stories behind this glorious beverage. Turns out, I'm definitely not alone. As an outsider to the craft beer community, I still had misconceptions about beer being a "guys thing," but I quickly discovered that adding the word "craft" to the beer scene meant a whole lot of women were also eager to partake. 

I started a series called "Ladies Who Love Beer", highlighting passionate female consumers of craft beer. To date, it is the most successful content for engaging new readers and is now published monthly, with a 6-12 month advance schedule.  

The goal of the series was and continues to be to highlight that women are present, not as anomalies, but as fellow leaders, enthusiasts, and eager participants with the same range of tastes, levels of education and interest in this elegant and diverse experience that craft beer has to offer. 

Fortunately, there's always going to be someone who knows more than I do, which is possibly the best scenario for a writer. It means there will always be more things to learn. More adventures to have. More stories to tell. And that's really awesome.

For me, collaborating with others on content creation is a way I stay accountable. It's the way I stay inspired, and connected to that first wide-eyed feeling of being uninitiated to the world of craft beer. However small an act of activism, being present and visible as a woman in a historically male-dominated realm, invites and encourages others (men and women) to participate as equitable contributors to the craft beer conversation.

Writing can be kind of a lonely enterprise. And although the ease of online publishing means just about anyone can potentially find an audience, grabbing the attention of readers in a climate where anyone and everyone is saying something online, can sometimes be a challenge. By sharing the podium, I have the opportunity to not only uplift others, but connect with those who have experience and expertise that excites and uplifts me and inspires me to keep writing.

Increased visibility, as likely anyone who has an investment in engaging an online audience can tell you, is a currency. And in many ways, you're only as credible as the people you surround yourselves with. Fortunately for me, there seem to be super smart, super creative, super plugged in women around every corner.

One of them is my friend Karie, a talented pastry chef who has a real love for craft beer. I've been wanting to do food and beer pairings for a while, and although I'm really into food (I eat. A lot. Unashamedly.) I'd also already worked with Karie on setting up her website (which included getting her some usable images of her work, some headshots, and a logo design), and we enjoyed working together, so naturally I thought of her when I made the decision to start a new series on food and beer.

I wanted the pairings to be credible, creative, and have a value that extends beyond my personal desire to consume excellent beer and food in one sitting. So naturally I thought of asking Karie if she'd be interested in working together on a series, which I've dubbed "A Brewtiful Pair".

Karie contributes her talents in baking and pairing knowledge, writes a "Chef's Notes" section and drafts the recipe for sharing, and I contribute pictures of the finished pairing, polish up the post with an introduction, links, and then initiate the link sharing and promotion of the content (including posting or submitting the link on sites such as Foodgawker, Reddit, and Craftbeer.com).

It's a win-win. Karie gains exposure for her new business, I get to hang out and eat her desserts. And we both have a reason to spend time enjoying beer in each other's company. Which in a world that is increasingly connected in virtual ways, is refreshing. It's sort of fun to think that with all the brewery collaborations going on out there, that Karie and I are brewing up a beer-related collab of our own. 

What kinds of collaborative projects are you doing with your blog? Are you interested in working with me on a collaborative project too? I'd love to hear from you! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 signs your hotel room might be fancier than you are


I'm in San Diego right now at the Beer Bloggers Conference, and I'm staying at the very fancy and beautiful Marriott Mission Valley. I'm caffeinated, hydrated, and as rested as I can be with my internal clock on East Coast time (I've been up since 5:30AM which I'm sure isn't going to affect my beer drinking at all later). Can't wait to officially join the conference activities this afternoon.

In the meantime, I've created this little sneak peak of the fancy things I'm noticing in my hotel room. Because... hello fancy. In all seriousness though, this is a very comfortable and beautiful hotel. I only wish I'd brought my swim suit to lounge in the hammocks surrounding that gorgeous pool (travel fail).

I'll be back to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of days, but until then, enjoy these "five signs your hotel room might be fancier than you" pics!


1. Your toilet paper is more fastidious than you.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Diego, Here I Come! #BBC14



Tomorrow, I'm getting on a plane and heading to San Diego for four days. That's right Dudes and Dudettes. I'm California bound.

While we're on the subject, please take a minute to give some love to my sponsors (on the sidebar at the right) who made investing in this year's Beer Bloggers Conference a reality. Their support, and the support of family and friends, have helped offset the considerable costs of attending and I am so very lucky and grateful.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beerside Chatter {Episode 1}

Hi people! I started a new project I'm calling @BeersideChatter because I want to do some more collaborative writing (this blogging can be some lonely stuff y'all). Will you join me?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wild Heaven {On Earth}



Off Covington Highway at the bottom of a dead-end dirt road, opposite the old-timey car mechanic on your left, Wild Heaven's newly opened tasting room and brew space is waiting.

It's a typical Georgia summer, hot and humid and punctuated with sudden downpours. It rained yesterday. And the day before. Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven's brewmaster, is prepping their Fall seasonal, a Marzen brewed with mission figs.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mary Macrae {A Lady Who Loves Beer}


A recent graduate from Georgia State University, this Gremlin Growlers intern has goals of lobbying on behalf of the beer community. A local Peachtree City Chapter Rep. for GA Girls Pint Out, she's also an active volunteer within the Georgia craft beer community. 

Meet Mary Macrae: a lady who loves beer. 

Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Atlanta? Do you think this is your forever home?   
I’m originally from New York. My dad’s job relocated us when I was still fairly young. I can’t definitively say that Atlanta is where I want to be forever, but I really enjoy exploring the city. Over the past few years I’ve been exposed to some of the state’s most interesting places and gotten the chance to meet some really cool people. If I were to leave now, I would definitely miss it.
When you're not drinking beer, you're...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

{6 Women} + 12 Beers = IPA Day Celebration!



In preparation for International IPA Day (which this year falls on August 7th) I asked five women who love craft beer for their local and all-time favorite India Pale Ales. OK, 6 really--but I cheated and included myself. I can do that, right? 

With a few exceptions--Bell's Two Hearted (and old standby) and Tropicália from newly opened Creature Comforts were in quite a few of these ladies' top five picks--most IPA selections were unique. Drink any of these delicious India Pale Ales to celebrate today, or every day! Just not all at once, mkay (#everythinginmoderation)? 

Join the celebration by using #IPAday2014 and tagging any of the Ladies using their handles below on Twitter (or your favorite social media platform). Cheers, y'all! 


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{TOP GEORGIA PICK}
Terrapin's Belgian IPA, Monks Revenge 
Athens, Georgia | Style: Belgian IPA (Cabernet barrel-aged)
9.6% ABV | 82 IBUs

"I've had this beer on draft at Trappeze in Athens and in Atlanta at Brick Store Pub. It's an excellent take on the regular Monks Revenge. The red wine is perfectly present. You almost forget you're drinking an IPA."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

{A Brewtiful Pair} Peach Cobbler & Oak-aged Wild Ale



The Beer: Love Child No. 4, Boulevard Brewing Co.

An oak barrel aged wild ale, this limited release from Boulevard Brewing adds a delightful funk to any sweet dessert, and in particular offers a delightful counterpoint to peach cobbler, blending together the bubbly sweet, carmelized peach with wine-like, tart-sour notes from the beer. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Boulevard was acquired by Flemish family-controlled Duvel Moortgat in 2013.

From Boulevard Brewing: "Oak barrels were used to age the majority of beer used for Love Child No. 4 — with beer aged from 16 months to nearly six years. Another portion of the beer spent 11 months in stainless tanks, souring on Lactobacillus. While very tart, the sourness is short-lived and the beer finishes dry with a trace of oak."

Notes/Commercial Description (from Beer Advocate): "Love Child is made by blending batches of beer, aged for between 11 months and 5 years in whiskey barrels (50%), wine foeders (15%), and stainless steel tanks (35%). The beer gets it's funk from Lactobaccillus and Brettanomyces (the same Brett used in Boulevard's Saison-Brett)."


HB's tasting tips:
 Similar to the Flanders red, the tartness of this beer might be a bit much for those just beginning to dabble in sours. To ease into the complex flavors and mellow the intense tartness of your beer, try blending a portion (up to half) with unflavored tonic water. The result--easier drinking, and more beer to go around. One bomber would be more than enough for a four-person brunch, for instance. Store leftovers like you would an opened bottle of wine, by sealing the open bottle with a cork or wine stopper and storing in the fridge.



There may be no better way to transition from summer to cooler months than with a warm, peach-crusted cobbler and fresh whipped cream. Served with a delightfully sour, peach-colored beer, this brewtiful pair will have you slow down and savor what's left of these long days of summer. The best part of this dessert (aside from the crumbly, gooey, crusty goodness) is that any fresh, seasonally available fruit will work, making this a recipe that will carry you through a year's worth of seasonal eating. 

The Pairing: Peach Cobbler
Pairing by Karie Michele Brown of Beverly Jean Bakeshop

Recipe:
1/2 c. butter
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 2/3 tsp. baking powder
2 1/4 milk

5 cups fresh fruit, roughly
water just to cover (see process)
2 c. sugar

Streusel topping: Karie's streusel topping recipe is top secret, but you can make your own easily by following this recipe. Karie recommends baking the streusel on a parchment lined sheet tray at 350 degrees (12-15 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through) and using it as a topping for ice cream or freshly cut fruit.


Process:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine fruit and half of the total sugar measurement and water (just to cover) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining half of the sugar, flour, and milk. Use a whisk to remove any lumps (the mix should have the consistency of pancake batter).
  • With the butter in the pan you are using for the cobbler, place in the oven for a few minutes to melt.
  • Once butter is melted, remove your pan from the oven and without mixing, pour the batter into the baking pan (do not mix!).
  • Pour the fruit and sauce mixture evenly across the top of batter--do not mix.
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. The juices will be bubbling straight out of the oven, so allow to cool and set. Serve as needed.

Desserts and plating courtesy Karie Michele Brown, Beverly Jean Bakeshop

Chef Karie recommends Pairing the Love Child No. 4 amplifies the peach notes of the cobbler, and tames the sour notes of the ale. Best baked and served on the same day, adding freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream keeps this dish in the classic Southern style. Add some fresh mint leaves for presentation or for a refreshing flavor addition. For the streusel, use it as a topping for the cobbler, or serve on the plate as a bed for ice cream (a Chef’s trick to keep ice cream from melting too quickly once hitting the plate).


More suggestions:
Looking for more peachy goodness to go with your Love Child? Try any of these other suggested food pairings with this wild ale that are certain to get your drool on.

The B.L.P.
by KitchyKitchen
Peach Cobbler Mug Cake
by Cooking Classy
Easy French Toast Sticks
by Just a Taste


















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I like food. I like beer. Together, they make a brewtiful pair. Do you have a brewtiful pairing you'd like to see featured on this site? Leave your comments below or let your opinion be known via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{Brewtiful} Sponsors: July


My sponsors for the month of July generously donated in support of HEYBREWTIFUL. Extend them my thanks by visiting their links below. For more information on becoming a sponsor for 2014, visit the link here: www.gofundme.com/bbc14heybrewtiful

Sponsorship makes possible the ongoing travel, writing, web-hosting, and photography you see here, which is otherwise wholly a labour of love. You can extend your support by becoming a sponsor, visiting the affiliates listed in the sidebar, or commissioning written or photographic work from our founder: send queries to heybrewtiful{at}gmail{dot}com.

Good beer deserves good food, and as a supporter of the local food service community, I encourage you to support the good people at The Giving Kitchen who make it possible for members of the food industry facing hard times to afford medical care, housing, and other expenses in times of need (read more).



{July's Brewtiful Sponsors}
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{A Brewtiful Pair} Flemish Style Red Ale & Blackberry Galette



The Beer: Oude Tart, The Bruery

With the aroma and colour of dark plums, this tart, oak-aged sour beer is a dramatic visual and culinary counterpart to the seasonally available Georgia blackberries around every corner this time of year. The complementary flavor combinations of the blackberry galette Chef Karie put together for this pairing provides a delicious interplay of sweet and tart that will definitely become part of my seasonal drinking repertoire.

HB's tasting tips: Blended by up to half with tonic water (similar to a Shandy) the tart notes of this Red Ale reveal layers of complexity that might be obscured by this intensely sour, Flemish style (also called Flanders red or Belgian red) beer. Though I didn't have any on hand, the inclusion of a shot of black currant (like that used in a Guinness and Black) might also be appropriate as an addition to a sour beer cocktail.

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