Cooking With Beer: Smoothies

I love to cook.

Using beer as an ingredient is simply a way to expand my larder of choices. And it’s surprising how many people still are relegating beer to glassware only.

Time to get your apron on, people!!

With a nod to the Beer Smoothies & Summer Drinks article I wrote for dear friend Karie Engels a while back, I’d like to share a few ideas today.

1. Beer can be added to myriad recipes. When you use it consider why it can or shouldn’t be included. For instance if you’re using milk and want to sub beer, figure out if the protein factor of adding milk will be critical in substituting beer.

2. Any beer you find to be suitable yet you’re not going to drink it can be stored in a clean glass container in the fridge for a few weeks. Put a lid on it.

3. Any beer you won’t use as above in short order, I suggest dedicating a few ice-cube trays to freezing the remaining beer and using it one cube at a time when desired. Let the beer decarbonate totally for best freeing and accurate quantities. Once it’s frozen solid, flip it out of the trays into a container for easy access.

4. Buy beers that interest you solely for the purpose of cooking with them. Then do so.

5. Make notes if beer as an ingredient is new to you. One reason – if you’re actually using heat in your cooking (vs. prepping sans heat) hops will concentrate into a very unpleasant way. Experiment and record.

Whatever you do, try. I learned the heat lesson when I was practicing to present at the Toronto’s Festival Of Beers a few years back. Knowing that the horrid concentrated uber bad bitter can happen, I adjusted and made the sauces (per my talk) successful.

Enjoy the enormity of flavors you can find in modern beers. Start with classics and move into areas of foods that you really enjoy cooking and prepping. Friends are usually close at hand to support your endeavors and eat the samples.

Salud to summer, smoothies & cooking with beer ~

 

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Energy Source = Women + Beer

What’s your energy source? Where do you get the gumption to get up and move, shake and otherwise make the world a better place?

My money’s on women and beer. Two universal aspects of Life On Earth, these two everyday and everywhere ‘things’ are what drives me forward.

OBF: Women + Beer = success

OBF: Women + Beer = success

Women and beer were more than prevalent in some recent travels too. First at the 2014 Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland OR. This festival is a massive one, with tens of thousands of guests roaming the breezy Tom McCall Waterfront Park in the heart of The City Of Roses.  Not only do masses of guests descend, the workaday folks in downtown as well as locals show up to support, sip and enjoy.

Women make a healthy amount of the guests attending. And why wouldn’t they: Flavor is for everyone. Beer is not a gender drink, it’s global and meant to be enjoyed by all.

Next, Toronto’s Festival of Beers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What a joy to get to be at this festival, work it and work with the organizers and guests. The TFOB is a gathering place, for again, tens of thousands of revelers in a comfortable setting at the Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place in

Fun & Flavor Lovers at TFOB, Snowman Brewing booth

Fun & Flavor Lovers at TFOB, Snowman Brewing booth

Toronto.

Last year we lead a Cooking with Beer session in the Grillin‘ Tent; this year I was invited to lead 9 various tasting tours, Trails, we called them, for guests – walking tasting tours covering unique flavors, ciders, and gluten-free choices. Education makes the work go round and it was certainly moving at TFOB!

Finally (at the moment!) onward to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in sparkling Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s obvious females make between 75 – 85% of all purchases, as there are always lots of women in Las Vegas taking advantage of all the opportunities to be had there. Sarah Johnson, an incredible quiet and constantly moving forward force at Mandalay Bay, gets it. Check this out.

Women and beer. You can bet your top, middle and bottom dollar it matters to include women in the conversations. She’s a flavor lover, an adventurer, and ready to jump in.

Cheers to women & beer, OBF, TFOB & Mandalay Bay –

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Beer: Like Savoir Faire, It’s Everywhere

Where have you looked lately where beer is not available?

Beer is truly part of the human society fabric. From your local brewery and brewpub to the retailer and distributor. From the grower to the manufacturer and from the vendor to the end consumer.

Toronto's Festival Of Beer 2013

Toronto’s Festival Of Beer 2013

Having returned recently from Toronto’s Festival Of Beer, it’s obvious that beer culture is alive, enjoying, and well in Canada. Yes, it’s a huge country – and like America there are nuances to people enjoying in varying degrees and in all sorts of ways with all kinds of flavors.

I’d bet money that this landscape is repeated often and universally in countries and areas all over the world. No matter what the actual beer is – indigenous ingredients have been used forever where ever people make beer. Those that also realize this know that making beer is one way to render unsafe drinking water safe (boiling in the brewing process).

Beer was on the Rogue River in the evenings following our annual Raft & Craft trip with ROW Adventures as well. We added a fun facet to the usual evening tastings and pairings: root beer.

Root beer tasting on the annual Raft & Craft trip

Root beer tasting on the annual Raft & Craft trip

Bringing beer to life means recognizing that life for people doesn’t have to start once you hit a legal age of majority. Pish! I’d refer to the fact that children have drank beer time immemorial, since – once again – making beer made the liquid safe to drink. When you look through this lens, keep in mind those beers (of “underage” consumption) were and are generally low in alcohol. They’re made for hydration so need to be lower alcohol.

So back to present day and the reality that breweries are growing at a rapid rate in the US of A. Countries like new Zealand and Australia are seeing growth. China, Italy, Japan, and many others.

Like savoir faire, beer is everywhere. So look around you, enjoy what you want, and share in the flavor diplomacy that’s available.

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