Last weekend found WEB in Vail, Colorado for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival. It’s an annual event hosted at Cascade Resort, put together by the incredible Lodge’s. A big thanks to them for this longstanding well run event featuring “big beers” – aka robust, higher alcohol, full flavored beers.
I had the opportunity to present Cooking With Beer. With a room full of 35 folks interested in quaffing and noshing, we walked through 3 different foods prepared with various beers. Here’s what we covered.
Collage, by Deschutes and Hair Of The Dog, was used in making slow cooked Roasted Pork & Beans. The beer was used to rehydrate beans (small red chili, pinto, great northern) and added a deeper flavor overall. Along with the other ingredients added including cooking in some dark Dagoba chocolate, the dish was a good match for the Collage, a rich and enormously flavorful beer. A bonus flavor kicker of Cypress Grove Bermuda was a hit as well.
Sixth Glass, by Boulevard Brewing, was utilized in a humus mix. A local food coop has a lovely dried humus mix, ready to welcome liquid to come to life. Sixth Glass was added in the mix, along with red bell pepper and chopped cilantro and a few other goodies and served with the beer including a small chunk of CGC Midnight Moon. A new spin on a simple dip gave it new life.
This course proved to be a great wrap up. Ladyfinger cookies were soaked in Fluxus by Allagash Brewing. We scooped a fresh dip of Blue Bunny Natural Vanilla ice cream, topped it with the soaked cookies that had been tossed with Dagoba Lemon Ginger chocolate shavings and fresh lemon zest, and voila! A new explosion of flavor.
Many hearty thanks to all our guests, to the super troop of fest volunteers who took directions well in a very condensed time frame, to Lilly & Diane, and to Laura for believing the topic has merit for this sophisticated crowd.
And of course, our glass is up to the Brewers who supplied these special beers. They’re already limited releases – to give us some of them for this express purpose is humbly appreciated:
Naomi of Allagash, Todd of Boulevard, and Cam of Deschutes are to be commended for making the beer possible.
Cooking with beer is a specialty for us and when you’re ready to bring in new flavors, new ideas, and an entertaining presenter, be in touch. Have ideas, will travel.
Cheers to next Big Beers, Vail!