Sunday, 30 December 2012

Beery Yuletide Greetings!!

Yuletide greetings, happy holidays and a merry Christmas to all!  

I'm finally home from the sea for a little while and have stocked up the beer cellar (aka the garage!) with some fine offerings which I will be talking about soon enough.  I also got a Christmas beers box from Best Of British Beer which I will review shortly.

However, now that I am home the one thing I have been longing to do is cook with beer, more accurately, BAKE with beer :-)

I found a fun little recipe that used Coor's Blue Moon as a cup cake ingredient and thought I'd give it a go...

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Blue Moon beer
1/4 cup milk

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat into the mixture.
  3. Mix the Blue Moon beer and milk in a cup and add to the bowl, beating to mix.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, then slowly add to the mixture, folding in so as not to knock the air out of it.
  5. Finally add the vanilla and fold in.
  6. Fill paper cake cases 2/3 full and bake in the oven at 200°C for 18 minutes until they are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I iced half of my batch with lemon buttercream icing and left the other half plain as there are fussy people in my house J
I found that the beer added an interesting texture to the mix, making it a bit more chewy.

Try it out and let me know what you thought.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Repositioning Round-Up 3: The Finale

Well, we are finally coming to the end of our travels from the West to the East coast through the Panama Canal.  I tried beers in each country we stopped at and here are the last ones:

Costa Rica: Imperial – Ceveceria Costa Rica
Light gold with a creamy white head and an acidic citrus taste.  Not bad in the heat but your usual adjunct lager :-)

Costa Rica: Pilzen – Ceveceria Costa Rica
Light gold and acidic like Imperial but with a more malty body – I liked this one much better!

Columbia: Aguila – Ceveceria Bavaria S.A.
Gold with a fuzzy white head the aroma of this brew reminded me of Heineken.  Aguila has a good body with a balance of hops and malt but seems a bit oily.  Not bad for an adjunct lager though.

Puerto Rico: Magna Premium Lager – Cevecera de Puerto Rico
Clear light gold with a low head with a slightly limey aroma with a background of grain.  This is a lager with a very good body and a balance taste of grain, malt and some sweetness.

St. Thomas US Virgin Islands: Banks Premium Caribbean Lager – Banks (Barbados) Breweries
This lager was interesting – light amber in colour with a fizzy head and very carbonated it has an acidic lime aroma.  It had a very acidic taste also with a lime and grain background, interesting but odd as well!

And now we are on the East coast!  And Christmas is coming too… stay tuned!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Repositioning Round-up 2: San Francisco & Mexico

Let’s continue with my repositioning adventures.  After Oregon we ventured to San Francisco where my beer tasting continued.  I was fortunate enough to try the Anchor Steam beer, which holds the copy right for this name as it is the last beer produced by the original steam method.  I also got to try one of Speakeasy Ale & Lager’s offerings – the Big Daddy IPA.  Next we moved down away from America and into Mexico.  I’d asked my twitter friends for some recommendations for Mexican beers and was not disappointed by Modelo Negra which I think will be my go to Mexican beer from now on.  Let’s check out the tasting notes:

San Francisco Anchor Steam Beer
This beer had a beautiful amber colouring and a low head.  With a grainy, lightly citrus aroma this brew was quite satisfying with my burger.  I enjoyed the bitter beginning leading to a maltiness that filled the mouth.

Big Daddy IPA – Speakeasy Ale & Lager
Gold with a lingering white head this offering had a good balance of bitter grapefruit sweetness and nettle linger – my favourite combination in an IPA.

Modelo Negra - Modelo
This was recommended to me by Beerinalia on Twitter when I asked which beers I should try in Mexico and the Caribbean.  I’m really glad I took his advice!  Darm amber in colour with a quick;y dissipating fuzzy white head this beer had a rich malty sweet aroma with some underlying fruitiness.  I found the malty taste very refreshing with it’s sweet linger.

Victoria – Modelo
This was a recommendation by my server in Huatulco, Marco.  It is light amber with little to no head and a pine aroma.  Victoria has a good body with a grainy taste and only a little bitterness which was very refreshing in the heat.

Pacifico Clara – Modelo
Pale gold with no head to speak of this lager was not too bad despite the fact that I am not a fan of lagers in general.  It has a sharp lime aroma and a crisp grainy taste but I found it a little on the alkaline side for my tastes.

Bohemia Dark – CervecerĂ­a CuauhtĂ©moc Moctezuma

I have had the regular Bohemia before but had not found the dark version until my current season in Mexico.  I enjoyed it a lot more than the regular version, once again confirming my love of darker beers!  Nut brown with a low head this offering has a slightly astringent flavour with some roastiness.  The flavour begins mild but then becomes more roasted like a stout.  I found it more refreshing and watery than a regular stout though.

We are almost through the Panama Canal in my beer adventures so stick around to hear more soon!