Category Archives: Beers

Sunday Scramble

I started Sunday off a little foggy from a long Saturday. I knew I needed to be productive, so simply tossing back one of the usual suspects wouldn’t due. Part of Saturday night involved a trip to Taste to see Ted, Travis, and Mark. I noticed someone was drinking club soda and Angostura. This peaked my interest then and the next morning I thought that might do the trick. It was a smashing success. Normally I don’t keep club soda, but the wife had purchased a large bottle of Voss sparkling water for me a couple days earlier, I’d asked for regular Voss. Anyway, I quickly dumped a half ounce or so of Angostura in the bottle, and there I had it, the perfect eye opener for a busy day.

I probably could have had a heavier hand on the bitters, but didn’t want to over do it. It was only 10 AM and I was going to be walking through Home Depot with my libation. Hang over, or fogginess, lifted, I started about my day.

Saturday we’d purchased a few herb starters at Loca Harvest after having a delightful brunch at their cafe location just down Morganford from the grocer. Planting them was my first duty after getting some much needed supplies at the aforementioned HD. What to pair with gardening?

Friday I picked up my number one weekend need, some Bell’s Oberon, from the Rock Hill Wine and Cheese Place.

Oberon is the beer for a warm days work. No disrespect to Schlafly Helles or Boulevard Wheat, it’s just Oberon is the Plato’s form for warm weather beers.

I fired up the grill mid afternoon to do a bit of flank steak I picked up at Baumann’s Fine Meats. The day before I’d tossed the steak into a modified version of my Grandad’s marinade.

Grandad’s Marinade
1.0 Lemon juiced
.50 cup Soy Sauce
.25 cup dry red wine
3.0 tbs oil
2.0 tbs Worcester
1.0 large clove of garlic
1.0 bundle chopped scallions
1.0 tsp dry dill weed

I changed things up by substituting rice wine vinegar for the wine, no dill weed, but added red pepper flake, some fish sauce, a shot of bourbon, some housin sauce and a spot of hirin. I was going for an Asian marinade, and I was successful.

I grilled the steak a bit past medium and then sliced it against the grain. It was quite tender. I served the meat on top of some saut├ęd onions over rice and peas.

Rice and Peas
1.0 cup water
.50 cup chicken stock
.50 cup coconut milk
.50 tsp ginger
1.0 cup rice

I toasted the rice in some butter and then add the other ingredients and brought it all to a boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes then place a tea towel under the lid and let stand for 35 minutes. Or, follow your rice package’s instructions.

After the rice finished I added a quarter teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Both freshly grated.

I topped the dish with Sriracha garlic chili paste and some, or a, chiffonade of cinnamon basil that I’d purchased at Local Harvest.

I washed it down with a 50/50 Pernod and water over ice, perfectly refreshing. It was such a great night we even ate outside, something I generally loath. If you want to have a picnic, just invite a bunch of flies into your home and eat your meal on the floor. That being said, Sunday was the exception to the rule.

For dessert, a walk to Mr. Wizard’s Custard was in order, not bad. I had the turtle, the wife went with caramel and pecans. We were both sad to see they didn’t have butterscotch or pralines. But a walk to Ted Drew’s or Bobby’s wasn’t possible, so Mr. Wizard’s it was, and though it wasn’t the same as our favorites, we’ll be back.

Next time we may walk to the Kakao in Maplewood for ice-cream, but they close at 7 PM everyday but Sunday, when they close up at 5 PM. That doesn’t leave much of a chance for a walk over for dessert. Unfortunate.

So, now that the weather is warm, grab some warm weather beers, fire up the grill, and then treat yourself with a walk for some ice-cream. Take advantage of this weather, it’s the first “Spring” we’ve had in a decade, god bless you global warming.

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Double Jack!

I saw some tweets about Firestone’s Union Jack, so while I sat out and enjoyed this weather, I thought I’d treat myself to a bomber of the Double Jack on the porch.

To steal a line from The Urge, Damn this shit is goooooooood…

It’s better than Bell’s Hopslam, better than Founder’s Devil Dancer, better than damn near any hoppy beer I’ve consumed. Its tops for Imperial or double IPAs. Just the right amount of grapefruit and pine, with a good, creamy head, and plenty of body to carry the day.

With that in mind, while it’s still a bit cool at night, get your behind to the Wine Merchant and score a bottle. Then, next time we get a cool breeze with some night time spring showers, get your behind on your porch or deck and enjoy 22 ounces of some of the tastiest beer this douche has ever put lips to.

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A Goodbye to My Winter Browns

I think the saying goes something like, “think globally, eat locally,” and I try to. Eating locally often creates a situation where you’re eating seasonally as well, and that’s a good thing.

A summer meal:

A winter meal:

During the spring and summer months we often eat lighter, and along with that, we drink lighter. Guinness and Cabernet go well with nearly everything, especially beefy winter dishes, but when eating lighter fair, I tend to go with a crisp white wine or a refreshing lager or pilsner, or better yet, Bell’s Oberon. The same goes for my cocktails. The bourbon and Amaro driven drinks take the warmer months off and are replaced by gin drinks with a smattering of Rum and Tequila, most likely in the form of the El Diablo or Dark and Stormy, especially when day drinking is involved. Being the dork that I am, I even switch my bitters out.

Gin is my favorite summer, and possibly, all year base spirit. Rye and Rum are close, but Gin seems to be my number two gal, and for this reason, I can’t wait to start stirring up pitchers of Aviation Gin Aviations to enjoy on the porch.

As readers, you will see my menus and ingredients start originating from my Wednesday afternoon strolls to the Maplewood Farmer’s Market held at the Schlafly Bottleworks. It may be called the Schlafly Farmer’s Market now.

I feel Schlafly/Maplewood is the best local farmer’s market as Tower Grove’s is over priced and Soulard’s doesn’t seem to have the local producers like Yellow Tree Farms or Missouri Grass Fed Beef. Goshen Farmer’s Market is by far the best for selection and price. They have some annoying craft venders, but I just ignore them. A trip to Edwardsville to the Goshen version on Saturday mornings is a must if I’m doing any canning. Maplewood’s works for individual dinners, but if I need veggies and peppers to can, in bulk, I’ll drive over, even with gas at the price it’s at, it’s worth it. In addition I get to enjoy some Goshen coffee at 222 along with one of their amazing salami an cheddar croissants.

Its nice to know exactly where your food comes from. For instance, the jalepenos I buy and process are grown on a sunny hill a couple miles from my in-laws and can be had for a song compared to the pricing at the west side of the river markets. Its the small local guys that generally have the best prices. They’ll often be quite a bit lower than Biver Farms on your regular market fair, but places like Yellow Tree and Biver are great for unique items.

Chad Rensing holds court at the Goshen market and sells some damn good meat, check his web page here, I usually meat up with him around Christmas to buy my parents gifts in the form of his 2 plus inch thick pork chops. Fond, which was across the street from where the market took place, used his products. Mill’s is a great vendor as well, they also sell baked treats in case the 222 Bakery item didn’t fill me up. Wether you go to Goshen or Maplewood you’ll likely see some of the area’s best chefs checking out what’s fresh. I’ve seen Gerard Craft or the Niche empire in Maplewood on several occasions, even during the sporadic winter markets. If guys like Gerard are shopping there, why shouldn’t you.

That being said, and the weather being what it is, I thought I’d treat myself to one last wintery mix/meal before I start switching up my proteins and put the stouts, porters, and brown ales away.


So, I cooked a steak, from Baumann’s, as always, on the cast iron, roasted some potatoes, and had a nice salad,

and dessert.

The salad was dressed with a cider vinegar, honey, and mustard vinaigrette. Washed everything down with a Manhattan 2:1 and a heavy IPA. Dessert, in the form of Dad’s Scotch Cookies, was paired with Laird’s 7.5 year Apple Brandy, something I would usually reserve for a fireplace chat. It was a damn fine meal to say goodbye to Old Man Winter.

That was a great meal, but now that it’s gin time, as seen by all the green bellow,

let’s start enjoying more of the best base there is.

I’ll likely be drinking a few more Martinezes before it gets to be Aviation hot, but gin is in wants it hits 70 degrees, kind of like how sear sucker is in wants the Cardinals start playing games that count, you have to embrace the opportunity to make you’re own rules in this world whenever you can. So as a rule, I’m going to make a new gin drink each week as long as it hits 70 degrees.

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Noble Rot Run

20120227-191026.jpg With Missouri’s ridiculous liquor laws limiting what I can pick up at my local liquor store, I’m forced to use other means to acquire these brews, which are unjustly kept from me by regulations created by big government bought and paid for by big beer.

I so love skirting the law.

In order to get my beers, like Big and Little Enos Burdette, I have to have the stuff ran in from a few states over. Fortunately, I’ve got a gal, and she does it, for the money, for the glory, and for the fun. Mostly for the money.

Whenever she’s back in town, she brings me a sampling of Dogfish Head. The brewery is known for doing some avant guard stuff. They say they do off-centered ales for off-centered people, which is just my style. Their owner, Sam Calagione, had a television show called “Brew Masters,” you may have seen it on Discovery Channel. They’re 60 Minute IPA is probably the best IPA I’ve had. Some of their other beers have been off putting, but others have been quite nice, it’s hit or miss.

I keep one of each in the fridge, just in case.

Bandit brought me something very interesting this time. Noble Rot by Dogfish Head. For a video about the beer, click here.

This beer is advertised as a saison like brew infected with viognier grape must. I’m looking forward to trying this beer on some chilly fall evening, until then, it’ll have to cellar, but don’t fret, when I do pop the top on this beast, I’ll be sure to post.

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I scored my annual allotment of Bells Hopslam yesterday. About a million IBUs, 10% alcohol, brewed with honey, amazing stuff.

Popped the top on my first one tonight. Damn good, hoppy, but smooth.

If you can find it, buy what you can. Mine was packaged on 2/09/12, I’d suggest checking the dates, especially if it’s been sitting out. This stuff is unpasturized and belongs in a cellar or fridge.

Hopslam is one of the annual releases that beer geeks truly geek out on, and I dabble in beer geekery. The only reason I scored any is that I follow the major craft beer retailers on Twitter, and saw that The Wine and Cheese Place had some available. If you like this sort of thing, I suggest you check A-D’s twitter followee list @AmuseDouche11. Come by and try one here if you like.

Otherwise, if you don’t want to work, or deal with me, for your beers, stop by 33 Wine and sip a bottle, unless you’re fortunate enough to find it there on draft, that would be choice. I saw the owner the other day at Kaldi’s and he said they still had a barrel untapped in the cellar.

You heard it here first! Hopslam!

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