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.

Cheers!

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All Hail Vail!!!

Yes, it’s that time of year again folks: The Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival is kicking off this week in snowy gorgeous Vail, Colorado, USA.

Yours truly will be returning (queue the music please) to give a lively & info chocked beer & cooking session: How To Cook With Beer, Wandering Around The Kitchen with Ginger. It’ll be loads of fun, there will be tastes and tricks, tips & ideas for you to take home with you.

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB....

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB….

Laura & Bill Lodge, Sister & Brother Wonder Team, put together this world class event and I’m thrilled to be heading there again.

In 2014 I was invited to present for the first time – here’s the menu I made & served to the happily SRO room. Wow! Yes, please – sign me up for more. They do such a great job there’s a wait to be asked to return to present if you fit their needs.

I’m also hosting a Marketing Beer To Women Workshop, Pour it on! You can register here.

Laura knows I’m available at a moments notice for this one and anything she’s involved in. Great people usually = great events.

Hats off, pints up and skis on – see you in Vail!

Now, back to my kitchen…I’m fine tuning the goodies to be served with my 3 fan-taste-tical beers: New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Allagash’s Nancy & The Bruery’s Oude Tart with Boysenberries (is your mouth watering yet??)

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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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Be In It For Good

  • Remain connected to the experience and flavors
  • Be generous hosts – make everything feel easy
  • Who are you, what do you want, what do you want to say

The above thoughts all came from a friend and colleague whom I much admire, like and respect; Fred Bueltmann, New Holland Brewing & widely known as the Beervangelist.

Fred’s words often resonate with me as I believe the philosophy of what he is communicating is not prevalent enough in the industry. I’ll expound.

1. Remaining connected to the experience is where the consumer starts. The consumer wants to connect with your beer and brand. The industry professionals already involved need to constantly and emotionally remember this every day. The customer is who you are making the beer for. Yes, you have to love it yourself to really do it justice. That said, you can’t drink it all yourselves so keep one eye on the customer, always.

Be in it for good.

Be in it for good.

2. Remain connected to the flavors. I am a huge proponent of flavor, not style. Consumers 1. Don’t necessarily know about style 2. Consumers don’t necessarily care about style if they do, 3. Flavor is where the conversation needs to start with everyone, no matter their experience. Flavor is a common ground topic. Every one tastes and explores flavors. Start with this common denominator to make steady constant progress.

3. Be a generous host. Do all of your guests feel welcome to the brand? Do they buy your products on sale or off sale or both? What does the environment in which they purchase your beer look like? What do the labels look like? Who do they speak to? Who do they repel? Being generous implies a cognizance and awareness of Who The Customer Is. Many times the “who” is she.

4. Make everything feels easy for the customer, including buying your product and consistent taste of beer. Attention to quality is key here. Successful businesses, otherwise known as brands, build their worlds on consistency. Something the consumer can count on, to return to over and over again, for the experience they are looking for. How specifically consistent? That’s up to the company and what they want to be consistent. I can guarantee if you have a flagship beer (or more) they must be the same, every time to the consumer.

5. Who are you? Who you are is part of the story. The story is what the consumer, especially the female buyer and consumer, want to know and embrace. The story makes a brand.

6. What do you want? Knowing what your goals are, aka what do you want, is critical in every endeavor from playing musical chairs (I want to be around til the last chair) to businesses (I want to deliver a delicious high quality product every time).

7. What do you want to say? Communication is addressing your story and message forward, it’s called marketing – bringing your product to market. It’s a good word and a principle concept in building and sustaining a solid beer company.

Your female customers deserve no less. You deserve no less. Be in it for good.

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Fred Bueltmann, New Holland Brewing (4/18/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for 18 April 2012 – Fred Bueltmann, Beervangelist and partner of New Holland Brewing, in Holland MI.

Fred’s been a long time member for the contributing beer community starting with home brewing when you had to know the right person to buy supplies and working for what was still Kalamazoo Brewing.

Find out where beer starts with Fred (hint: it’s not the technical side!), listen to some great stories and learn what else New Holland creates to please the taste buds.

Pour yourself a fresh beer and enjoy ~


Download Here: 39.8 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at KSKQ.org.

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Beer, Chocolate and Gelato

Today’s post is inspired by Fred Bueltmann, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and drinking and eating with last week at SAVOR. We were on deck for a Friday Salon, the last one of the evening.

National Building Museum, site of 2011 SAVOR

Fred is a terrific person with a gracious crowd manner. Given that the evening had progressed well for all in the salon room (read: some had a small glow on so they were chatty), he was also excellent at moving straight ahead regardless of the banter in the room. For the most part, the guests were very tuned in.

Fred chose to feature and talk about Beer & Chocolate. While it may be old news to some in the beer community, it’s important to remember that there are still millions of people, and millions of those people are women, who don’t think to pair these two goodies together.

The chocolates were from Gail Ambrosius, Chocolatier Extraordinaire, and the beers were of course from Fred’s brewery, New Holland.

I’ll be so bold as to say the entire room enjoyed the pairings, the information and the great delivery of Fred with his flight of 5. They were:

  • Golden Cap Saison Ale with Cointreau Truffle
  • Dragon’s Milk Ale aged in oak barrels with Shitake Truffle
  • Black Tulip Trippel Ale with Lemongrass and Ginger Truffle
  • Pilgrim’s Dole Wheatwine with Sea Salt Caramel Truffle
  • Night Tripper Imperial Stout with Cinnamon & Cayenne Truffle

Wow. Wow.

Tonight then WEB is offering Beer and Gelato for our women’s event. We offered it in answer to a huge positive response based on an Imperial Stout malted milk shake at an event last summer. It should prove to be enlightening since most consumers don’t think to pair beer and gelato (or chocolate), much less with dessert in general.

Cheers and chocolate to Fred. Looking forward to keeping the education machine rolling forward.

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Still Savoring

Julie and Steven of Boulevard Brewing

Thanks today to Steven Pauwels & Julie Weeks of Boulevard, Ken Grossman & Father Thomas of Sierra Nevada and New Clairvaux respectively, and Fred Bueltmann of New Holland.

Thanks equally to Nancy Johnson and the BA, to Stephanie Clayton & the great Federal City Catering Staff.

Why the recognition?

Because they were the reason I was at SAVOR, starting with Nancy. As the Events Director of the BA, she’s the lead on driving the events the BA puts together. I am grateful she responded to my inquiry to help in any way at this spectacular event. I’d have been happy to sweep the floors afterwards. She gave me an opportunity to be part of the Salons. It was fascinating, very fun and another terrific enhancement to the entire event.

High expectations were all exceeded

Steven, Julie, Ken, Father Thomas, and Fred were all the crux of the Salons. Julie helped me get set up for Steven, and the rest were the easy to assist fine featured speakers in the salons. The Salon sessions were tastings sessions full of engaging information from the presenters. Relaxed, beautiful settings allowed the attendees to really get an intimate bubble of time with these remarkable contributors to the craft beer community.

Stephanie and her entire staff were uber helpful, well trained and ready to assist with a nod, and genuinely good people. I’m often impressed by the service staff of any event. They are the ones who make it all tick, handle details most of us don’t even think about, and pull it all off making it look easy. (And often I’m miffed at why more people don’t recognize how important these people are.)

In any (SAVOR) event, my gratitude to participate in the event to them all. They made it easy and even more fun than I had thought I’d have (and I have a high fun-meter expectation).

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