Tag Archives: Pale Ale

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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Thasnksgiving beer pairings just in time for your feast

Not long ago I was asked what beers would be on my Thanksgiving table this year. While I had a quick answer at the time, I started thinking about what would really be good with the different foods that are part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I started thinking about the flavors and what would truly work best with them. Below are my recommendations of beers to try with the various courses of your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving feasting in my family begins the moment you walk through the front door. Generally there are platters of cheese, crackers, and other salty, savory snacks. These types of snacks are perfect for a well-hopped Pale Ale. Locally, here in Jacksonville, a perfect choice for this is Intuition Ale Works’ People’s Pale Ale. For those out of the area looking for a good Pale Ale try Dales Pale Ale or the granddaddy of all Pale Ales: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. These beers will also pair well with appetizers like shrimp cocktail or bruschetta with tomatoes and basil.

Thanksgiving dinner proper begins with a salad in my family. My mother has a favorite oriental style salad she makes with a sesame seed oil and vinegar dressing and dry Ramen Noodles crumbled into it that is a hit with our gang. The sweet salad dressing deserves a beer that will not over-power it so I like pair it with a Belgian White Ale like Blanche de Bruxelles. The wonderful balance of coriander and citrus in this brew enhances the sweet and tangy dressing marvelously without overpowering it with hops or malty sweetness. Try this beer with other similar, sweet salad dressings since the spices can hold up to the flavors of sweet lettuce, tomato, carrot, and cucumber.

For the main course of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, cranberry sauce, and so on you have to decide a direction to go. I have always aimed for a beer that would take a middle road through all of these flavors, enhancing them without distracting from them. Many beer connoisseurs will point you towards a toasty, malty beer like a Brown Ale. I don’t disagree with that in theory, but for my taste – and I think a lot of other folk’s if they have the where-with-all to save it – Oktoberfest Marzen works wonderfully. Oktoberfest-style beers have many of the characteristics of Brown Ales, but tend to have a cleaner finish. To me that is important. I want a beer that is going to refresh and cleanse my palate between bites, not leave a lingering malty flavor. One of my favorite Oktoberfest beers is Ayinger Oktoberfest. You may still be able to find some at your local beer store, so hurry on out for it. If Ayinger is not available try others like Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest of Flying Fish Oktoberfish.

At the end of the turkey gorging, there are always all those wonderful desserts. In our family that means pumpkin pie, apple pie, and rich chocolate cake. But, I have also seen families who serve mouth-watering desserts such as trifles and carrot cake. What you want here is a beer that can add its own spiced, sweet flavors while still allowing the delicious desserts to shine. In my recommendation recently, I suggested Southern Tier Pumking to pair with pumpkin, sweet potato, or pecan pie. The pumpkin spices in this brew are marvelous and will enhance your enjoyment of the pies. For chocolate desserts I have a bit of a wild idea: chocolate chili beers. You may have to look a bit for one of these but if you can find them try, Samuel Adams The Vixen a Bock beer brewed with dark cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and chilies; or try Cigar City Hunahpu an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Peruvian cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chilies, Madagasgar vanilla beans, and cinnamon.

At the end of the meal, while you are lying on the sofa in all your stuffed majesty, watching the football games a good easy-drinker would probably hit the spot. What you probably want after all that food is a lighter, lower-alcohol brew to relax with. Again, for those who think ahead, grab your growler and head to one of the many great breweries in Jacksonville. You can even pick up a six-pack of Intuition Ale Works’ Jon Boat Coastal Ale at most local grocery stores.

But, no matter what beers you decide to serve with your Thanksgiving meal, it is my sincere wish that you have a safe and happy day with your family and friends. I also hope that you will take a moment to think about all that we have to be thankful for, in particular, please take a moment to think about the many United States Service Members who are away from their families – whether over-seas or domestically – that proudly protect our rights and freedoms.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW

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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Beer, Beer Food Pairing


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Terrapin releases collaboration with Swiss BFM

Sitting around a table at Kickback’s in the King Street Beer District talking about beer is not an unusual occurrence for me. I can often be found prowling the establishments along that storied street from Lola’s to Bold City Brewing, looking for good beer and great conversation. But, last Friday, Oct. 26, it was the guests at the table and the reason for the gathering that made all the difference.

Surrounded by several beer bloggers, John Cochran and Brian “Spike” Buckowski, owners of Terrapin Beer Co., spoke about their newest release; Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne. The brew, a collaboration with Swiss brewery BFM, is a hearty barleywine made with about 20% rye malt. The gathering was put together by Team Hopheads to introduce the new brew to the Jacksonville market.

John and Spike met as brewers at an Atlanta microbrewery and quickly began to piece together a plan for a new brewery in Athens, Ga. Terrapin had humble beginnings as a contract brewer, but in 2002 released the first beer of their own. That beer, Terrapin Rye Pale Ale went on to win a gold medal at that year’s Great American Beer Festival in Colo. Since then the brewery has won many medals at beer competitions world-wide. Along with the accolades, the brewery has grown from producing just 162 barrels of beer in 2002 to an expected 24,000 in 2012.

The inspiration of Jérôme and Spike’s came from a chance meeting of Jérôme Rebetez, brewer at Swiss brewery Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM). Jérôme was in Athens visiting and decided to tour the Terrapin brewery. He and Spike quickly became friends and started talking about doing a collaboration brew. A style and recipe was hammered out through email and the result was Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne.

The brew is unique in that it was brewed at both breweries using the same ingredients except for one; the yeast.  Each brewery used their own strains and the brews came out very different. The U.S. version is a smooth, rich, and warm brew that was aged in American oak bourbon barrels for 11 months. It has enticing notes of dark fruits, oak, and alcohol on the nose that carry through to the flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla. The Swiss version tracks closer to a Flanders sour than a barleywine with aromas of red wine, brown sugar, and rum. The flavor reveals a complex brew that hints of caramel and toffee among tart cherries and grapes.

For those interested in the particulars of the brew, it was made with the following ingredients:

Malt: 2-Row, Rye, Munich, Carapils, CaraAroma, Caramunich III, Melanoidin

Hops: Bravo, Columbus, U.S. Golding, Amarillo

And, of course, each brewery’s yeast.

The finished product weighs in at 10.03% ABV.

Look for Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne at your local beer seller now. But, hurry as it is in very limited supply.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Beer, Beer News, Beer Styles


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European Street to give away servings of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA for free

Every once in a while a brew attains legendary status. Beers such as Westvleteren 12, Three Floyds Dark Lord, and Russian River Pliney the Younger are all legends in their own rights. These beers take the art of brewing to unimaginable heights and, when they make their rare appearances, send beer aficionados into absolute spasms of joy.

So, when I received a private Tweet yesterday from my friend, and the owner of the European Street restaurants locally, that he had a special beer tasting coming up on November 13 my ears perked up. Especially since he said he is going to give the brew away free to 65 lucky ticket-holders.  This, my friends, is big.

What beer will be tapped and served to those lucky few on that Tuesday night in November? None other than the devilishly hard to find Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. But that is not the end of the story. Not only will European Street on Park be pouring tis legendary brew, they will be pouring it through a Randall full of hops!

Perhaps a bit of back story is needed here. Dogfish Head founder Sam Calgione, set out to create the world’s hoppiest beer and succeeded with 120 Minute IPA.  The brew is boiled for two full hours while being continuously hopped to bring out the bitterness and then dry-hopped daily for a month. Finally, the brew is aged for another month on whole-leaf hops to provide a staggering 120 IBUs. The additional step of running the beer through a Randall (essentially a device that allows the finished beer to run through even more hops) will amp the IBUs up even more to unknown levels. By comparison, the popular macro lagers or the world clock in at about 7 IBUs.

This is a tasting you do not want to miss.

In order to learn more about how you can get one of the 65 available tickets, simply log in to Twitter and follow European Street’s feed at @estreetcafe. More information will be released – a little bit at a time – over the next few weeks.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Beer, Beer Styles, Beer Tasting


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