Beery Details for 2016 Vail Big Beers Cooking With Beer Seminar

Whew!

One thing I am grateful for is friends. Industry friends in particular are on my mind today, as I am developing my seminar at the 2016 Vail, CO Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival.

It’s a huge treat to be invited to return and give another flavorful session to a packed room. Thanks to Laura, Bill and everyone who gets this tasty beast off the ground, year after year.

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

I love this festival for many reasons: well run, well done, well attended, super engaged guests, a slightly elevated (though not snobby) brand of attendee. My former WEB Captain Diane and I rocked the session out in 2014. Perhaps it was the aroma from the slow cooker of the Grown Up Pork & Beans I made in our hotel room…in any event, Vail – here I come again.

As alcohol regulations stipulate, interstate trade of beer has its own miasma to negotiate, including labeling. To that end, two of my three choices for breweries were ruled out this week. Damn! So I set about to scramble and replace.

It’s not fun to be asked – “Hey – I need a replacement for someone else, it’s short notice…can you help me?This is where relationships come full circle. I was able to call on two other industry frolleagues who were very quick to reply and say YES! Both of whom I’ve worked with before in beer, food & cooking events. They understand the rules of beer law and see the value in working together.

Today I’ve got it all dialed in, thanks to the help of all three generous breweries & folks. Here they are:

The Bruery, Placentia CA. Patrick’s beers and operation have long-held my taste buds at attention – the styles they brew really agree with me, are very refreshing, low alcohol many, and I’m very eager to develop my recipe and serve it with a fresh Bruery beer at the event.

New Holland Brewing, Holland MI. My friend Fred, aka The Beervangelist, stepped right up to the plate. He and I have done the Fred & Ginger show (literally!) at GABF and other events (SAVOR) as well as sharing a passion of the bigger picture of food, cooking and community. I’ll gladly be cooking with and serving one of their beers in Vail.

Are you coming?

Are you coming?

Allagash, Portland ME. Having featured Fluxus in 2014 at Vail, I was very happy they replied so quickly to my request to again be one of my partner beers. And deliciously so! Allagash is an absolute go-to brand for me – my husband even packed 3 (4) packs home with him earlier this year when he was in Portland. Good man. Great beer. Thrilled to have them return to the line up for my event.

A BIG shout of thanks to the two who won’t be served (this time):  Jared Long, Brewer & my brother in beer, Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, Laramie, WY & Larry Chase, Brewer & My Fine Husband, Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland OR.

So – support your local brewer? Heck Yea I do!! Local casts as wide a net as you wish your neighborhood to be. The globe is my neighborhood and I’m sending cheers to these neighbors today.

See you in Vail ~

p.s. the skiing is snowtastic too!

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Big Beer Recipes

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.

Big Beers, big flavors

Big Beers, big flavors

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.

Course 1

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.

Course 2

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.

Course 3

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!

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