Archive | December, 2013

Why My Christmas Sucked…

Why My Christmas Sucked... - http://thecraftbeergirl.comSanta came early this year when I received a package on Christmas Eve from Petaluma, CA with not one, but two(!) 320z. bottles of Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute, a previously seasonal, now year round offering from Lagunitas Brewing Company.

I was working on Christmas Eve, a regular Bob Cratchit, and I couldn’t make it to the grocery store before it closed. Unfortunately, that meant that Christmas dinner would consist of whatever we already had at home… which, turns out, was a frozen pizza…and now beer!

Sucks is described as an American Strong Ale, as well as an American Double and an Imperial IPA… whatever you call it, Lagunitas describes this beer as a ‘cereal medley’ of barley, rye, wheat, and oats. At 8% ABV, it’s full of ‘complexishness’ from the grains, then dry-hopped for big aroma and resinous flavor. All you really need to know, is that it’s a damn good beer.

The beer was first brewed in 2011 as a substitute to Lagunitas’ seasonal release, Brown Shugga’. In the midst of rapid growth, the brewery was hitting full capacity, brewing around the clock. They were brewing 80 barrels of their core brands, every 3 hours, but could only brew 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours… which meant for every case of Shugga’ brewed, they’d be short 3 cases of their regular lineup. Instead, they brewed a beer that would fit better into the brew schedule, calling it “Lagunitas Sucks” to play on their mistake.

Read More About Why My Christmas Sucked…

Hoppy Holidays from The Craft Beer Girl!

 

Malty Christmas and Hoppy New Year

Channeling The Beeroness: Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

I have a confession to make; I’m not a good cook. My husband will be the first to tell you, if it weren’t for him, we would starve… or at the very least, live on a diet that consists mainly of charcuterie, aged cheese, and the occasional burrito. So when a request for Christmas cookies came, I knew I needed to reach out to my old friend, The Internet, for guidance… Chocolate crinkle cookies have been a holiday favorite of mine since I was a kid. My mom would make them every year and I was always intrigued by the way the sugared top would crack, revealing the dark chocolate cookie inside… and they taste freaking awesome. So when I came across Jackie Dodd’s recipe for Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies on her site, The Beeroness, I knew I had found something special.

If you’re ready to make these for yourself, head to Jackie’s site for the recipe. But if you’re an insecure baker like me (is that what it’s supposed to look like?), here are some tips to let you know you’re doing things right… or at least to make you feel better about your own abilities in the kitchen!

espresso powderFirst things first, gather your ingredients. If you’re like me, that means at the grocery store… so here’s your shopping list.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Now that you’re back from your second trip to the store (because you thought you had eggs but you didn’t), you’re ready to make cookies! Get a bowl and throw in your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso, and granulated sugar), mix it up and set it aside for later.

Next, chop up your chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl, along with your eggs and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. You’re gonna melt this in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, so the smaller your chop your chocolate, the quicker the melting will happen. But don’t take it to extremesI see you over there mincing your chocolate into tiny crumbs… no one like a smart ass.

Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

When your chocolate’s all melted and looking good, add the beer. Now, you’re probably noticing about now that the recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of delicious velvety smooth chocolate stout, which means you’re left with 2/3 of a 12 oz. beer or, in my case, a solid 14.5 ounces of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout… Well done, my friend. I trust that you’ll find a suitable use for that leftover beer. (Cheers!)

Read More About my Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies…

Slow Motion – Ithaca Beer Flower Power IPA [Video]

I decided to play around with some slow motion video at the bar last night… What do you guys think?