Skip to main content

Two days and counting down......

I don't write about craft beer often enough even though I really do love it. I love it the way a wine lover loves wine. I particularly love the right beer paired with the right food. So, it is hard for me when, once each year, I pick out a thirty day period on the calendar in which I don't drink beer. It's not for religious reasons. It's not particularly related to my health, although I usually drop a pound or three in that thirty days. It's simply an exercise in self discipline. I do it because I can.

Well, my thirty days for this year are almost over. In fact, as I write this, there are two days left. This Saturday, March 3rd, I will officially "release" myself from the commitment I made when I returned from Amsterdam. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I don't really drink what I would consider a lot of beer. In a typical week, I might consume 4-8 beers and almost never more than two at a sitting.

I wrote in an earlier post that I think we are living in the Golden Age of beer. This is because of the craft brewers, the much improved distribution system for these craft beers and the internet. Today, anyone interested in beer beyond what the big national brewers make, can easily educate themselves about what else is out there. There are sites like Beer Advocate that provide a wealth of information to those wanting to know more. Then there is this, which my wife bought me for Christmas. Warning, beer geeks only need apply.

Then there are the beer festivals that have grown immensely in popularity. The granddaddy of them all is the Great American Beer Festival held annually in Denver, Colorado. This three day event allows beer lovers to taste an amazing selection of beers in a single location. If you can't make it to Denver, it is likely that somewhere within a reasonable car ride from you, someone will hold a local beer festival this year.

Then there are the craft brewery tours and tastings. Many of the smaller brewers offer tours, which include a tasting of their offerings for a modest fee (and even sometimes free). If you like beer even a little bit and have never done it, find out where your most local craft brewer is (you'll probably be surprised how close they are) and spend a few hours on weekend day seeing how beer is made and enjoying their brews.

If you think you don't like beer, or you think beer is Miller Lite of Budweiser, think again. The number of styles and tastes is as broad as it is for wine and the complexity of these craft beers allows any food to be expertly paired with a beer that will enhance the food.

Just for the record, I'm not of the payroll of the Craft Brewers Association - I just really love craft beers.

Not that I'm counting, but it's less than 48 hours before my thirty days are over. My biggest challenge will be deciding which beer I'm going to have first. I have my eye on a couple that have been waiting patiently for me in my refrigerator. No matter what, I'm sure whichever I pick is going to really taste good.


Popular posts from this blog

Oven Roasting Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

A while back I wrote a post about using the preserved tomato sauce from 2008 that we still had in our pantry. It was the last jar of what was the best tomato crop we have grown -- to date. This weekend we picked and roasted the first batch from this year's garden with high hopes that we could match the richness of flavor from that magical year.

I wanted to share the process, especially since it's so simple, at least up to the canning, which I won't cover here. Those of you that can know it's not really hard, just a little time consuming.

The first step is pretty obvious, get yourself some tomatoes. We like to grow our own, but you can also buy them from a farm or farm market. Here's a little tip if you decide to buy -- offer to buy the "seconds", you know, the less than perfect tomatoes that everyone else has passed on. They can have blemishes, partial spoilage and even the occasionally bug hole. Don't worry, you're going to cut away any bad par…

2008 was a very good year....

...for tomatoes in Newburgh, NY. That's where we lived then and where we grew, roasted and canned tomato sauce. We actually did that every year but there was something magical about the quart mason jars full of that 2008 vintage. Last night, as part of Meatless Monday dinner, we opened the last one.  Nearly 4 year old tomato sauce you say? Isn't that, um, dangerous? Not at all if the jars are initially prepared correctly, the canning process is carried out properly and the seal remains intact. It was both exciting and a little sad to crack open that seal, but the finished meal made it all worth it. Cynthia's original recipe was a perfect use for that special vintage.

Herbed Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach and Chard Filling
Ingredients (crepes) 1 cup AP flour1 cup + 2-4 tbsp liquid of your choice, could be stock, milk, beer, water or any combination thereof - I used 1 cup Better than Bouillon No Chicken and 3 tablespoons of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout beer3 large eggs2 tbsp unsalted q…

Authentic Unbeatable Swedish Meatballs!

Think Ikea, But 100 Times Better
A Guest Post by Anneli from Delicieux
I am delighted to be back here on A Reluctant Foodie doing another guest post for Al. Our last challenge (Stuffed Peppers) was such fun that we decided to do it again and this time I suggested 'Balls"!

'Balls' was a fun choice as it gives such a large scope for experimenting - meatballs, fish balls, rice balls, chocolate balls, ice cream balls...the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the childishness of repeatedly writing 'balls'!! (and yes, I'm 36, not 3!)

In fact, I had no trouble at all deciding which 'balls' I was going to make, it was inevitable. I am half Swedish and I was brought up in a house where certain Swedish foods were regulars at our table. I was aware of Ikea and their meatballs before the rest of the world began their love affair with them.

My Mormor (Grandma) used to make them fresh and serve them with dollops of sweet lingon berry sauce, boiled potatoes …