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Oskar Blues & Sierra Nevada beer dinners coming to Publix Aprons Cooking School

ApronsCookingSchoolOver the next few weeks, the Aprons Cooking School located in the Publix Supermarket on San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin will feature two outstanding beer dinners. On October 25 join Geoffrey Hess and Noah Tuttle of Oskar Blues Brewing Company for a pairing dinner featuring favorites like Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub. And on November 7 the chefs of Aprons “Bring Home a Celebration” with Sierra Nevada beers.

Located in Lyons, Colo., the original Oskar Blues brewery was the brain storm of Dale Katechis. His restaurant, Oskar Blues Brew and Grill was founded in 1997 and was known for its Southern comfort foods, Cajun and creole cuisine. To compliment his foods, Katechis wanted quality beers and decided to begin brewing his own in 1998 in the basement of the restaurant. His beers were so popular he moved his brewing operations into a 60-year-old shed behind the restaurant where in 2002 Oskar Blues became the first craft brewery to can their beers instead of bottle them. Controversy ensued.   But, 11 years later, the practice of canning craft beers has spread throughout the industry and has become common practice.

Now the brewery owns several other restaurants in the Front Range area of Colorado including Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids as well as ChubBurger in Longmont, Colo. The brewery has also moved to Longmont along with its attached Tasty Weasel Tap Room. In 2012, the company opened a second brewery and tap room in Brevard, NC not far from the beer destination of Asheville.

Presenting the dinner at Aprons are Geoffrey Hess and Noah Tuttle. Hess is responsible for Chains and Grains at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont Colorado. He Works closely with their national chain accounts and runs the Hops and Heifers brewery owned Farm.  Noah Tuttle started off in the packaging line at the company’s Longmont, Colorado, facility as well as the Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids restaurant in Longmont. He worked his way up to senior brewer, and last year was offered the opportunity by Oskar Blues owner Dale Katechis to be the Head Brewer for company’s new expansion brewery in Brevard.

The menu for the dinner includes:

  • Grilled Shrimp Soft Tacos with Lemony Roasted Poblano Salsa paired with Mama’s Little Yella Pils
  • Dale’s Marinated Crispy Chicken Sliders with Pickled Red Onions paired with Dale’s Pale Ale
  • Deviantly Braised Lamb Shank with Grapefruit Gremolata paired with Deviant Dales
  • Blue Cheese & Pine Nut Shortbread Cookies with Cherry Poached Pears paired with Old Chub

The dinner begins at 6:30 and tickets are $45 each. Go to http://www.publix.com/aprons/schools/Jacksonville/Home.do for more information or to purchase.

Ken Grossman learned to homebrew from the father of a close friend. From an early age, he was enamored by the sights and smells of the fermenting jugs of bubbling beer, wine and sake. His first attempts at making beer were rudimentary at best, but began a lifelong passion for the art of fermentation.

Grossman opened a homebrew supply store in downtown Chico, simply named The Home Brew Shop. As he and fellow homebrewer Paul Camusi got more into the craft, Grossman’s brewing became more and more elaborate, and, soon enough, people were eager to sample his new brews.

Grossman began planning a new small-scale brewery based in Chico. He took the name of his favorite hiking grounds in the nearby mountains and decided to launch Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Grossman knew he wanted to make a hop-forward Pale Ale, but he also knew that the key to convincing people to try the beer and come back for more was consistency. He spent the last of his money and countless months to make sure he could reproduce identical batches of beer. He dumped 10 batches before getting the perfect balance into his Pale Ale, the beer that helped to launch the American craft beer movement and changed the tastes of millions.

The holidays have always been about gathering with friends and family to share a great meal, but nothing makes a meal better than pairing it with some very special Sierra Nevada beer. Publix and Aprons Cooking School invite you to “Bring Home a Celebration” with an evening of fun, featuring world-class beer and food pairings just in time for the holidays. Sierra Nevada’s Beer Ambassador and resident beer geek Bill Manley will join Publix chefs to present a cornucopia of food and beer filled with exciting holiday flavors.

The menu includes:

  • Celebration Popcorn paired with Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Shrimp and Kellerweis, Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro, Orange and Lime paired with Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
  • Porter Sausage Turnovers paired with  Sierra Nevada Porter
  • Grilled Steak with Torpedo Smashed Red Potatoes with Chilies paired with Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere
  • Narwhal Ice Cream Float paired with Sierra Nevada Narwhal

The dinner begins at 6:30 and tickets are $45 each. Go to http://www.publix.com/aprons/schools/Jacksonville/Home.do for more information or to purchase.

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Beer Dinner

 

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Summer beer round-up, video segment from “I Know Jax”

In the heat of a Jacksonville summer, a cold beer is just the thing to beat the heat and humidity. With that in mind, I embarked on a journey to several local beer emporiums and picked out a selection of brews that will quench your thirst as well as intrigue your taste buds.

Watch the segment from “I Know Jax,” then read more about each brew below.

Green Room Brewing Co. — Pablo Beach Pale Ale

This refreshing, locally-brewed ale is packaged in a can making it perfect for picnics, barbeques and other outdoor activities. The brewers at Green Room have captured a citrusy brew with notes of pine and hints of malt to cut the bitterness. Serve this straight out of the cooler or in a pint glass and enjoy the great weather here in the River City.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing — Summer Shandy

Shandy’s are the perfect summer beer with their light and refreshing flavors that are not too heavy. They combine favorite summertime flavors, in this beer’s case smooth wheat beer and sweet lemon. Served very cold, this beer is ideal for sipping on a lazy Sunday afternoon on the back porch.

Harpoon Brewing Co. — UFO White

Brewed with hand-ground spices like coriander and orange peel, this refreshing unfiltered beer follows in the 300 year tradition of Belgian spiced wheat beers in spectacular style. Typical of the style, this beer pours hazy and golden with a fluffy white head. The drinks smooth and refreshing with hints of orange and spice.

Spoetzl Brewery — Shiner Ruby Redbird

With a reddish color and an invitingly sweet grapefruit aroma, this brew promises a drinkable experience that it truly delivers. The flavor is predictably of ruby red grapefruit making this a great, sessionable beer with a flavor that is agreeably different from other beers on the market. Drink this one cold and from a pint glass to fully enjoy.

Cigar City Brewing Company – Cucumber Saison

Brewers tend to look for the next interesting flavor profile. The guys over at Cigar City has found it in this refreshing summer treat that positively reeks (in a good way) of cucumber while it maintains the funkiness one expects in a saison. Drink this one chilled in flutes with a fresh summer salad for a lively and refreshing experience.

Brooklyn BrewerySummer Ale

Lemon is a common and welcome flavor in summer beers and Brooklyn does not disappoint with this entry into the summer beer market. The flavor is biscuity with a light lemon note that rounds out the sweet malts. Drink this one straight from the bottle while enjoying a cool summer breeze on your porch swing.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Kellerweis

According to the brewer’s website, ““Kellerweis is one of the only American Hefeweizens made using the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation. This difficult and labor-intensive technique adds uncommon depth and flavor complexity.” The flavor is bready with light lemon notes along with cloves and white pepper. This beer is a great accompaniment to any summertime backyard party.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Beer Styles, I Know Jax, The Beer Guy

 

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Reflections on a beer weekend with family

familyAfter a great weekend of beer sometimes it is nice to sit back and reflect on the fun that was had and the memories that were made. Followers of this column have often read that beer is a social beverage. It started over 9,000 years ago as the driving force behind binding our nomadic ancestors in civilized communities and continues to bring people together. Whether it is family, friends, or date night, beer can – and often does – helps people connect.

This week I had the pleasure of conducting my sister and brother-in-law around to several of my favorite beer destination here in Jacksonville.

First, we dined at the always fun and delicious Kickbacks in the King Street Beer District. And, even though the draft list is truncated due to the on-going construction of Guttyworks & Goozelpipes – Kickbacks’ soon-to-open sister restaurant and beer bar, owner Steve Flores manages to keep excellent brews on the menu. I accompanied my perfectly cooked ribeye with garlic-cream sauce with the tasty Ipswich Dark Ale, a satisfyingly hoppy brown ale. Others at the table sampled Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen, a smooth and refreshing brew with delightful fruity notes.

Following Kickbacks we meandered over to Bold City Brewing Company where I sipped on their newest release Big John Miller’s Apricot Wheat. This is a worthy edition to the Bold City lineup and perfect for a warm summer evening sitting al fresco in the parking lot of the brewery. It is a golden hued, cloudy wheat beer with all the notes one expects in a well-crafted wheat – flavorful malts with just the right touch of sweetness and subdued bitterness. The edition of fruit provides a delightfully tart apricot bite that is perfect for drinking with friends and family while catching up.

The next night, Friday, was date night and my girlfriend and I decided a stop at Intuition Ale Works was in order. As most people who know me will tell you, I am not shy about talking of my love for this local gem of a brewery. The consistent quality and friendly servers – who I am proud to call my friends – make this a favorite tap room for nearly all who enter. I enjoyed their distinctive Belgian-style Golden Ale, Duuval first and enjoyed the unique twist given to this stalwart style of beer. But, the star of the night was their popular rye ale Shotgun Shack served on nitro. The addition of nitro lent a smooth creamy character to the beer that I had never experienced before – but, will definitely drink again!

Intuition was followed by Dahlia’s Pour House another King Street Beer District bar that is always adding interesting and difficult-to-get brews to their tap line. My girlfriend is on a bit of a lambic kick lately and went for the Framboise while I went for Dogfish Head’s fruity and hoppy seasonal Aprihop. While we enjoyed our drinks, a follower of the blog and his wife stopped in to chat and enjoy a beer or two. In all it was another very enjoyable evening.

And then on Saturday I had the pleasure of pouring beer at the funky and fun Green Man Gourmet store in Avondale. Pete, an advertiser on the television show I appear on, I Know Jax, and a friend had asked me to pour the new Belgian Trappist ales he is selling and talk to his customers about the brews. Of course I agreed and, as always had a great time pouring. The first brew on the pour list was Westmalle Tripel an elegant, fruity and exceptional ale that is perfect for special occasions or dinners at home. Next in order of lightest in color to darkest was the always delicious Orval that presents itself with a hop-forward character due to the dry-hopping done during fermentation and the slight tang of brett yeast added in secondary fermentation. The third brew that was offered for tasting was Westmalle Dubbel a slightly sweet beer with hints of toffee, dark fruits and chocolate. The final beer poured was the astoundingly luscious Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout. This heavy stout pours thick and rich and is redolent with chocolate balanced with subtle hints of coffee. It just begs to be drunk with desserts like cherry pie, raspberry tart, or even crème brulee.

For dinner I met my sister at Lola’s in the King Street Beer District and had the always amazing La Fin du Monde from Unibroue. This elegant Belgian-style triple is sweet and delightful with a floral bouquet that was a perfect accompaniment to the spicy jerked chicken burrito I ordered for dinner. Lola’s boasts over 50 drought beers and always has a great collection of brews from Unibroue.

The capper to the weekend was the Friends and Family soft opening of Jacksonville’s first World of Beer. The doors were opened to us because my daughter Taylor, aka The Beer Princess, will be working at this location. It was a who’s who of the Jacksonville beer industry with representatives from Champion Brands, Brown Distributing, Micro Man, North Florida Sales, Sierra Nevada, and Highland Brewing. On tap were some fantastic brews such as Petrus, World of Beer’s C’est la Vie brewed exclusively for them by Bavik, and a special firkin from Engine 15.

So, as you can see, the weekend was one full of great beers, great food and great family fun. We enjoyed our time together, chatting about the past as well as the future, and enjoyed good beers along the way. As a social lubricant, one could not ask for a better medium. So, as many archaeologists will tell you, beer brought civilization together, and in the case of my family, is an integral part of our gatherings. I would have it no other way.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Beer, Relaxing, Restaurant

 

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Founders crossing the pond, distributing to UK

foundersMore proof that the American craft beer surge is finding its way across the pond to Europe came this week in the form of a press release April 16 from Founders Brewing Company. The makers of the popular and oh so delicious Founders Breakfast Stout, also announced on their website that their brews are being exported to the United Kingdom in bottles with draft beer to follow.

The text of the press release follows:

(UNITED KINGDOM) – Both year-round and seasonal beers will be available in bottle immediately with draught expected to follow later in the year.

John Green, President of Founders Brewing Co. said of the partnership, “We’ve been looking at export opportunities for a while now, and we’re excited to partner with James Clay in making the United Kingdom one of our first international markets.”

“We are delighted to bring Founders Brewing Co. beers to the UK market” comments Ian Clay Managing Director of James Clay. “Founders is one of the most respected breweries in the world brewing a truly world class portfolio of beers. Introducing beers of Founders’ calibre to the UK is a fantastic addition to an increasingly diverse and vibrant UK beer culture.”

James Clay are particularly excited about the arrival of Founders Brewing Company’s All Day IPA. American IPA is fast becoming the beer-drinker’s style of choice, but with most coming in at a heady 6 – 9% abv often one can’t enjoy more than a couple. Founders Brewing Company’s All Day IPA is an award winning American Session IPA that has been expertly brewed to keep all the flavour of its stronger cousins, but at 4.7%abv.

Other beers available at launch include Porter (6.5% abv), Pale Ale (5.4% abv), a more traditional Centennial IPA (7.2% abv) and the remarkably smooth Scotch Ale, Dirty Bastard (8.5% abv).

The full range of Founders Brewing beers will be available through James Clay by early May.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Jax Beer Week — Day Four

jaxBeerWeek2013Dahlia’s Pour House

The gang at Dahlia’s will be offering thirsty Jax Beer Week revelers $4 IPAs.

Bold City Brewing Co. 7:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m.

The crew at Bold City are treating their guests to a Florida Tap Takeover featuring spectacular brews from across the great state of Florida. The tap list includes:

  • Cask & Larder Black Ale (Winter Park, FL)
  • Big Storm Brewery Wavemaker Amber Ale (Odessa, FL)
  • Due South Brewing Roasted Cocoa Stout (Boynton Beach, FL)
  • 7venth Sun Brewing Graffiti Orange (Dunedin, FL)
  • Tequesta Brewing Company Terminally Ale and Irish Red Ale (Tequesta, FL)
  • Cigar City Brewing Humidor Series IPA (Tampa, FL)
  • Pensacola Bay Brewing Lil’ Napoleon IPA (Pensacola, FL)
  • Florida Beer Company Gaspar’s Porter (Melbourne, FL)

Blackfinn American Grille 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Intuition Ale Works will stop by the Finn to pour one of thier classic brews: Intuition Jon Boat Coastal Ale.

While visiting enjoy:

  • Complimentary Tastings of Intuition Jon Boat
  • Passed Appetizers
  • $3 Craft Drafts
  • $4 Import Drafts
  • $10 Burger or Flatbread and Draft Beer Feature
  • Happy Hour Food and Drink Specials

Grassroots Natural Market 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Grassroots will host a Jacksonville Beer Tasting featuring Ben Davis owner and brewer at Intuition Ale Works who will bring a special cask brew. Also at the tasting will be a cask brew from Green Room Brewing in Jacksonville Beach.

Beer Specials

Intuition Ale Works, Kickbacks Gastropub, Pele’s Wood Fire, Broudy’s, Beer:30, European Street Riverside, Black Sheep Restaurant, O’Brother’s

 

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Jax Beer Week — Day One

jaxBeerWeek2013Pele’s Wood Fire: Bell’s Brewing Co. Beer Dinner

In little over a year, Pele’s Wood Fire has established itself as a true destination restaurant. With over 50 craft beers on tap and many more in bottles, it has also proven itself as a gourmet eatery that is truly plugged in to what its guests are seek. So, it is not a surprise that they are opening this year’s Jax beer Week with an extravagant dinner paired with beers from Bell’s Brewing Co.

The menu, prepared by Chef Micah Windham, features his trademark flair for using organic ingredients with an artisan’s flair.

First Course

Prosciutto basil and tomato sandwich, beer cheese dip paired with Bell’s Amber ale.

Second Course

Arugula shaved fennel salad, spiced candy pecans, grapefruit segments, Oarsman vinaigrette served with Bell’s Oarsman a tart German style beer.

Third Course

Banana leaf wrap trout stuffed, beer bacon risotto, butter sauce paired with Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

Fourth Course

Brown butter seared gnocchi duck confit, beer duck demi, shaved parmesan reggiano served with Bell’s Best Brown Ale.

Fifth Course

Ravioli with buffalo ragu, fresh tomato, garlic oil, basil, hand-pulled mozzarella paired with Expedition Stout.

Sixth Course

Hanger steak with Tuscan fries and a third coast malt shake, “Steak & Shake.” Paired with Third Coast Old Ale.

Seventh Course

Double Cream Stout infused vanilla pot de crem, beer candied nuts, baked cocoa nib meringue served with Bell’s Double Crème Stout.

The cost for the dinner – if tickets are still available — $75 per person including tax and gratuity.
Reservations must be made by calling 904/232-8545. Only 40 seats available.

Brewer’s Pizza: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Brewer’s will host a night with Grassroots Natural Market. The guys from Grassroots of Riverside will come out and drink some brews, rub elbows and pour some beers for sampling.

M Shack

All week the burger wizards at the Beach’s M Shack will be featuring beer and burger parings. You could eat there every day, all week and still not have them all! But, from the looks of the menu, you sure will wnat them all.

M Shack daily specials include both beer and food combined:
  • Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA paired with Asian Burger, Sirracha Cole Slaw and Hoisin BBQ sauce & pepper jack cheese $9.95
  • Cigar City Maduro paired with Truffle Portobello Burger with Bacon Smoked Gouda and Sherry Glaze $12.45
  • Sea Dog Blueberry paired with super kale salad, apples, avocados,pecans, raisins, ginger garlic dressing $12.45
  • Narragansett Lager paired with classic combo with all beef Hebrew national hotdog $9
  • Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout paired with The Medurable: cheeseburger topped with foi gras and caramelized onions $24.95
  • Julian Cider paired with the Rooster and the Pig sandwich: marinated chicken breast, smoked ham and an over easy egg. $18.50
 

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6 Beers that are anything but ordinary

pizza beerAlmost on a daily basis a brewmaster somewhere comes up with a new idea for a beer flavor. Some sound interesting, others sound horrible, and still others sound just plain outrageous. Sure, there are the tried and true styles like Pale Ale, Stout, and IPA, but brewmasters are adding twists to these varieties to jazz them up and create new specialty brews.

Here are six brews that challenge your taste buds to go beyond the familiar and try something that just might blow them away.

Terrapin Liquid Bliss

Years ago a very successful candy had an equally successful ad campaign that found chocolate lovers and peanut butter lovers mixing the two flavors by accident. Terrapin’s Liquid Bliss mixes those same to flavors, but this rich, delicious porter was anything but an accident. Part of the brewery’s fabled Side Project series, this beer may be a bit difficult to come by, but should you be lucky enough to score a bottle you will find that chocolate and peanut butter can also find their way into a delightful brew.

Mamma Mia Pizza Beer

For time immemorial pizza has always been better when accompanied by a cold beer. Recognizing an opportunity, Tom and Athena Seefurth of Campton Township, Illinois created a brew that not only goes well with pizza it tastes like pizza. The beer boasts flavors garnered from tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and basil. Pizza Beer may not be showing up on the menu of your local pizzeria anytime soon, but it certainly ranks as one of the oddest flavors to ever be created.

Wells Banana Bread Beer

Banana is a common flavor in Belgian beers, but Wells Banana Bread Beer hails from UK’s largest private brewing firm Wells & Young’s. That does not deter this from being an interesting and surprisingly refreshing beer that has been described as banana pudding in a glass. The brew is widely available in the United States in both bottles and on tap. Try a pint and you see if it takes you back to those backyard barbecues and Aunt Betty’s famous dessert.

Southern Tier Crème Brulee Imperial Milk Stout

Fancy restaurants make a killing on their dessert cart. One of the items on that cart is almost always Crème Brulee, a sweet custard with a caramelized sugar crust on top of it. Southern Tier took the deep burnt sugar and rich flavors of custard and somehow got it into this astounding brew. If you see this beer on the list at your favorite restaurant, order it instead of dessert. It is definitely worth it.

Anheuser-Busch Budweiser & Clamato Chelada

In Mexico a Michelada is a mixture of beer, lime, salt, and hot sauces or chile slices. Add to that interesting concoction clam juice and you have the Budweiser & Clamato Chelada. A-B says that they “Clamato is carefully blended with the beer to create the proper balance of the crisp finish of Budweiser or Bud Light and the signature taste of Clamato.” We say try at your own risk.

St. Somewhere Lectio Divina

The folks over at St. Somewhere in Tarpon Springs, Fla. are masters at producing authentic Belgian flavors in their wonderful and funky brews. In this brew they took it a step further and added the refreshing flavor of rosemary to the mix. Lectio Divina is a tart, red beer that lingers on the palate in only the most pleasing of ways. This is a real treat of a beer.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Beer, Beer Styles

 

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