Beer Syrup

Yes, you read it right – beer syrup. What, you ask, exactly is that?

It’s a lovely elixir of almost unbelievably luscious flavors made by using beer in reductions and, well, to make syrups. On pages 197 & 199 of the new (totally fantastic!!) Beer Pairing book by Julia & Gwen, they cover making syrups.

goodies simmering in beer....

goodies simmering in beer….

I’ve got some in my fridge from the prep I did for the Big Beers festival in early January. For the seminar I lead, I had simmered various fresh citrus fruits & dried vegetables in beer. Once the fruits and vegetables were done, I saved the liquid. Almost every liquid in my kitchen finds a new life in other dishes. At a minimum the worms in my compost pile are extremely happy with what we give them!

Making beer syrup is quite simple with perhaps the most difficult part simply deciding which beers to reduce. Caveat: very bitter beers are not good candidates, as they can get very unpleasantly tannic. (I first learned this in cooking prep for the TFOB). It’s not what you or the beer really wants. All the same, experiment and cook a variety of beers down to see what you get, taste every few minutes to learn more about what’s happening and how the flavors change until you find what you want.

In preparation for my Vail session, I simmered ruby red grapefruit, lemons, limes, blood oranges, valencia oranges, and kiwi in 3 different beers: New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Allagash Nancy, and Bruery Terreaux Oude tart with Bosenberries. WOW! Talk about a very fun and tasty experiment – or shall I say exbeeriment….in all events, the syrup in my fridge from those exploits is deliciously awaiting being included in recipes. So far, I’ve used some for baking sweet potatoes (yum), smoothies (yum), and punch

I love sharing new ideas with hungry audiences - Vail rocks!

I love sharing new ideas with hungry audiences – Vail rocks!

(yum). They’re quite versatile so get creative.

Lucy Saunders, long time food & beer pro, is an outstanding resource for cooking with beer. Her books are useful, fun and a delight for the enthusiastic cook using beer in the kitchen. And I’m just starting to get to know Adam Dulye, beer chef for the BA.

When you find yourself looking for a new idea, make some beer syrups. I guarantee it’s beer as you’ve never had it before and well worth while. Oh, and sipping on a beer while you’re cooking is the best way to happily wait for the alchemy to happen.


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Press Release from ROW Adventures

Today’s a great day to register you, family and friends for this coming trip! I’d love to see you along ~



The Best In Family Adventures Just Got Better – ROW Introduces Family “Beer” Tasting Trip

Like ales and lagers of breweries, no two root beers are alike. ROW Adventures introduces a family twist to their popular Craft & Raft adventure on the Rogue River.


Perfect Summer memories: WEB & ROW Family Raft & Craft

Perfect Summer memories: WEB & ROW Family Raft & Craft

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – A new and innovative spin on their Craft & Raft™ adventure, ROW Adventures’ “Family” Craft & Raft™ trip marries the thrill of whitewater rafting on Oregon’s Rogue River with exclusive beverage tasting for adults and kids alike. Adults sample a number of delicious craft beers from Oregon breweries, each paired with hors d’oeuvres that complement and enhance the flavors of the brew. Kids get to do just the same with specialty crafted root beer from regional breweries.

“Two things set our trip apart from the other craft beer trips in the area,” explains Peter Grubb, founder of ROW Adventures, “First, we have Ginger Johnson, enthusiastic beer specialist and owner of Women Enjoy Beer, come along with beer, food pairings, and knowledge. Secondly, we’ve decided that these specialty trips should not only be fun if you are over twenty-one!”

The Pacific Northwest is the self-proclaimed king of breweries and there are more than a dozen brands of root beer in the region as well. With variations in flavor distinctions, carbonation, and sweetness, each root beer brand (like beer) is unique.

So, what makes root beer taste like root beer? Here are the basic components:

•  Anise: Licorice flavor

•  Sarsaparilla: A bitter root that lends the root beer flavor

•  Birch oil: Made from the sap of birch trees; lends a flavor similar to teaberry

•  Wintergreen: Minty flavor often found in chewing gum

•  Sassafras: A deep, bitter flavor derived from the sassafras tree

•  Vanilla extract: Bourbon or Tahitian; gives root beer its distinct creaminess


great times on the Rogue River

This trip is set to be offered July 20, 2013. The Rogue River is a premier whitewater destination and offers the only summer lodge to lodge rafting vacation in the United States.  Spaces are limited.

To learn more about ROW Adventures, visit:; call 800-451-6034; or e-mail For other media, press inquiries, or photos please contact Mychal Ferger.


ROW Adventures, voted the World’s Best Tour Operator by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers in 2012, began as a whitewater rafting company in Idaho in 1979. ROW now operates adventures throughout the world in 17 different countries emphasizing water adventures. ROW founders Peter Grubb and Betsy Bowen raised their two children on the rivers, lakes, and forests of the Northern Rockies. Through their own outdoor adventure experience as parents, they developed family-oriented itineraries that emphasize nurturing relationships with oneself, family, and nature.

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