NC Brewers Cup

This past weekend was the North Carolina Brewers Cup. It is an amazing sight seeing a number of NC breweries post the results of their beers that were entered into the competition. It was also very nice to taste a good number of them; some for the first time ever. Drinking these beers blind gave a real nice perspective of the work being done to further brewing in one of the fastest growing states. View All The Winners Here.

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The first day of the competition was all of the homebrew entries. The NC Brewers Guild hosted this competition in conjunction/for? The NC State Fair which is taking place in Raleigh really soon. I was hoping to get off easy, but I opened the day judging IPA’s. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and the homebrewers did a really great job with them but I believe my judging partner and I went through approximately 13 IPA’s before I moved on to do the Mini-Best Of Show with the other group helping out with this category… which was a total of 6 beers competing for the top 3 spots. I guess I was rewarded for my efforts, though. The next flight I did, which was relatively small, was Light Lagers. What some would call the complete opposite of an IPA.

During the afternoon session of, Belgian and French Ales. Another relatively large flight but another great showing. The category was mostly Saisons but there was also a Biere de Garde. You just don’t see that often and it got me really excited. When it was all said and done, the winner went on to sit at the Best Of Show table, where I would soon be reunited with it.

As one would expect, when it came down to judging Best Of Show, it was relatively hard. There were a few that had to be knocked out over the most trivial things. Only the best beers made it this far and homebrewers have gotten far better over the past few years so you couldn’t just kick out something that had a major flaw but happened to be best in the category. When it was all said and done, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, a Schwarz Bier, and an American Pale Ale were the best to style, top brewed beers at the table. Though all of the entrants who made it to that table should be proud of the beer they produced.

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After day 1 came to a close, we all left to get ourselves in the right mindset to judge the entries of the commercial contest the next day. I met up with Bryan and we decided to stop into FullSteam to check out their anniversary shenanigans.

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The next morning I crawled out of bed not knowing which way is up. I guess checking out Miley Cyrus on SNL when I had to be up around 7am may not have been the best choice… oh, and the stout to keep me up during her performance. I grabbed a quick breakfast with MUCH COFFEE INCLUDED and headed back to Mystery Brewing, who was our host both days of the competition. I was really excited when I saw the morning table assignments; Pilsners. Which sadly, I do not remember very many NC brewed Pilsners I have had before this day.

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While judging through the entries, I realized how big of a mistake this was. There were many great Pilsners that after it was all said and done, I realized were available year round from some of the best breweries in the state. I guess I have some catching up to do. The quality and accuracy to style some of these beers had was indescribable. A very eye opening experience. What was next to follow, though… I thought I was already free from this pleasure.

The afternoon session was IPA’s… just like the start of my day hardly just 24 hours ago. And there were 48 entries from breweries around the state. The homebrew numbers were barely half of that. There were a few extra sets of judges, but that didn’t help much at all coming down to the Mini-Best Of Show.

Looking at the 9 beers in front of us, they all seemed identical in appearance. Several of the beers seemed to use nearly identical recipes. I mean, I don’t know what was in them but the flavor and aroma were so similar that I thought my palate and nose were just broken. The top 3, again, were very difficult to come across. They were the best of the best… and again… we go into Best Of Show.

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I thought judging Best Of Show for homebrew was difficult. I’ve done it a few times since I received my BJCP rank. But nothing could have prepared me for this. This was not only my very first time judging commercial beer in a competition. But my first time doing Best Of Show in one as well…  Talk about trying to find the best diamond in a sea of them… It came down to the smallest details about each beer. 23 set down in front of us and 3 selected as the best in NC. The pressure was really on.

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The results are linked above but these 3 beers, from 3rd to 1st, are the ones who went above and beyond this year. Also, that Pilsner that I was really embarrassed I never drank… and is available year round, from one of my favorite NC breweries… umm… yeah… I should probably head to the store. Take a look at the list and drink some of the greatest beers NC has to offer.

EDIT: Information from the press release.
We had a record number of entries in both homebrewer (191) and commercial (362) categories. We couldn’t have done it without your hard work and support!
You can find all the results here: www.ncbeer.org/brewerscup/ and a press release is attached. The top winners will be on display October 15-25 at the State Fair in the Education Building.

Cheers!

NC Brewers Cup

The Session: The Landscape Of Beer

A few weeks ago I asked a question to the followers of The Session. A question that I could not fully answer myself; not because I didn’t know the answer or because the TheSessionanswer was as simple as the question implied, but because the question left many possible inferences and I was not sure where I would take it.

So what does The Landscape Of Beer look like? If you ask me, I’ll tell you to just take a look around. We are both the face and the landscape of beer.

While the beer world is huge, there are only a small percentage of consumers actually using social media, blogs, applications, and similar avenues to appreciate and share the love of the craft and their hobby. The faces we see online, at festivals, or just hanging out in breweries are what the landscape of beer is all about.

Writers make the news and break the stories, pub goers experience ounces of love one glass at a time and share it with their compatriots. Social media connects individuals that are worlds apart around a similar interest. Without that connection, what would the industry be?

Take a look to the past; before it seemed like only a few breweries owned the marketplace, back when there were only a few brands obtainable far and wide, most neighborhoods supplied their patrons with their beverage of choice. Each neighborhood or region had beer that was uniquely their own. This is far from the case now where familiar styles are readily available, but local consumption is undoubtedly on the rise with craft brewers popping up in many local communities.

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This growth would not be possible without people like you and I. We are shaping The Landscape of Beer. The world of Macro and Micro beer is quickly vanishing. While there are breweries that focus only on their immediate area, a good number of them are looking into international distribution, expanding into new states, and further reaching in their current areas. This expansion is only possible because we are demanding their products. When we share them with our friends or talk and write about the love we have for any producer, our voices are being heard and echoed across the world. Everyone wants to savor a mouthful of the beer that makes our hearts sing.

What does this mean for the future? We are currently in a world of expansion and “predicted” buyouts. Will we return to a time that was similar to the pre-prohibition era, with a few minor changes? Will greater things be in store? Will we see no real change to the growth and quality of beer that is available now?

One vision of the future holds a handful of national breweries. This could be a possibility within the next 5 years. If the number of smaller, local brewpubs and breweries continues to keep pace, many neighborhoods will be able to have a constant supply of beer available to them without travel or worrying about breweries from outside the area, much like before prohibition.

I have been on the scene for about 6 years now and have learned a substantial amount. When I dove into the world of beer, I knew nothing. My eyes were open to an endless abyss of flavor and new friends. Some were fresh faced and over enthusiastic, just like myself. Others were slightly more experienced, and beyond that I even ran into a multitude of enthusiasts who knew what beer was even before I was born. I looked to them for guidance and I am now at a point where others are looking to me and my peers.

We can create educated, well informed consumers, or monsters who take after the likes of those INSATIABLE ANIMALS! While both are needed to keep the industry afloat, the quality of beer that flows depends upon the ones who pay attention and filter flaws from the system.

Take a look around and consider where you want beer to go. The shape of the landscape is up to us. When it is time to hand over the reins, let’s do it in a manner that shows we welcome the change; and not like an old curmudgeon who wants the kids to GET OFF OUR LAWN!

Cheers!

The Session: The Landscape Of Beer

Caloric Breakdown Of Beer

Not too long ago Julia, of CraftBeer.com and the Brewers Association, posted an article pointing out the FACT that The Beer Belly Is a Myth. She gave a lot of good information and even pointed out that you need to have a balance in your life, along with some moderation when it comes to drinking. So, while the Active in Active Brewer once meant something else, it is kind of a shift to another aspect of my life and reading the “Beer Belly” article made me want to add onto it.

Apparently I am not the only one thinking about health when it comes to craft beer. I do not work in the industry now, but am hoping to make the move in a few short years. There are many things to think about in order to have a healthy life while still enjoying your favorite beverages. I would give this article by Oliver of Literature and Libation, a read that focuses on Consumer Health if you would like a different insight into this topic.

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When it all comes down to it, nutrition labels on food products are a lie. A whole lot of useless information that doesn’t always add up. While there are a few things you should pay attention to, there are only three that really matter, The Macronutrients; Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.

Fat

Julia pointed out that beer has no fat. So when it comes to beer, you can throw that information out the window. The only concern I would look for here is with adjuncts. Looking at the way they interact with the beer and what moves into the finished product. When it comes to calorie counts, 1 gram of fat will equate to 9 calories. This will be important later… or when looking at nutrition labels at home.

Protein

There is a small amount of protein in you beer. It comes along from the raw material in the malting and mashing process. Depending on the filtration and clarification process, the majority of it may be removed, so it may not be of a concern here, either. 1 gram of protein will come out to 4 calories in this case.

Carbohydrates

So this is where some say the real issue is with beer and the caloric intake… but this is not entirely true. While there is a considerable amount of sugar in unfermented beer-wort, when the yeast get through with their job, it converts the majority of carbohydrates into alcohol and CO2. A typical carbohydrate will come out to 4 calories per 1 gram, as the case is with protein. But alcohol, is in a class of it’s own.

Alcohol

Alcohol is often considered the 4th Macronutrient and the final piece of the puzzle to coming up with full calorie counts. For 1 gram of alcohol, you will get 7 calories.

What it comes down to is the ability of your body to process the alcohol. When you are drinking your body wants to burn up the alcohol and use it as it’s first source of fuel. It also processes it and begins the elimination process from your body, in real short order. While your body is burning through the alcohol, it will not use other energy sources, as it would normally do while you are not drinking; burning fats or carbohydrate sources.

As Julia mentioned in her article, not having a balance from input to output is a major culprit of the beer belly. Many people eat while they are drinking, to counter balance the effects of the alcohol. This leads to the ingestion of extra calories; it is not uncommon to have a mini-binge eating session while drinking, and not even notice.

So, how can you figure out the calorie count of your favorite beer? Start with the grams of alcohol in your beer and go from there. In order to determine the grams of alcohol in a beer, you can use a simple equation. While there are a few out there, this one has led me to the most consistent results compared to what is posted by breweries or other sources online.

density of ethanol x volume in ml x ABV

As an example we will use New Belgium Fat Tire. With the known information plugged in, it looks like this.

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0.789 x 355ml (approximately 12oz) x .052 (Fat Tire is 5.2% ABV)

With these numbers in the equation, it comes out to 14.56 grams of alcohol in 12oz of Fat Tire. When you multiply that by the 7 calories per gram of alcohol, you come up to 101.92 calories. But that is only part of the story.

You still need to account for the residual carbohydrates in your beer. Though, that gets a bit difficult without knowing the intimate details of the beer.

For the ease of estimation, it is safe to say that you would attain half of the total number of calories of alcohol from carbohydrates. So, in our situation 101.92/2+101.92=152.88 calories in a single bottle of Fat Tire. According to the website, Fat Tire has 160 calories per serving. Not that far off.

Here is another example of the calculation at work, New Belgium Ranger IPA which clocks in at 6.5% ABV.

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.789 x 355ml x .065

This comes out to 18.21 grams of alcohol. We then multiply this by 7 to account for the calories contributed from the alcohol, and that comes to 127.47 calories. Divide that in half and add the calories from alcohol and we get 127.47/2+127.47=191.21 calories. According to the website, New Belgium Ranger IPA is 187 calories per serving.

Remember, these are just estimates and you would need a lot more information to get a more accurate count. Also, don’t forget to adjust accordingly for your serving size. Google can fill in any blanks in conversion of ounces to milliliters or figuring out the ABV of a beer if it is not posted, but the density of ethanol will not change.

Other factors to consider would be how sweet vs how dry the beer is. Though, you should be in the ballpark with these estimates. Give it a try for a few known calorie beers and see what you notice.

Cheers

Caloric Breakdown Of Beer

The Session 102 Announcement: The Landscape Of Beer

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. You can find more information on The Session on Brookston Beer Bulletin.

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SURPRISE, SURPRISE! The Landscape of Beer in America is changing. It has even begun influencing beer in countries all around the world. Everyone has their opinion on Local vs Global, Craft vs Macro, and Love vs Business. Those who were at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference in Asheville this past weekend had a brief talk about how “Small and Independent Matters”. Something that quite a few people say matters to them, but where is the upper limit? Does a purchase of another brewery still allow a brewery to fall into the Small and Independent camp?

Our topic this month is, “The Landscape of Beer“. How do you see that landscape now? What about in 5, 10, or even 20 years? A current goal in the American Craft Beer Industry is 20% market share by the year 2020. How can we get there? Can we get there?

Whether your view is realistic or whimsical, what do you see in our future? Is it something you want or something that is happening? Let us know and maybe we can help paint the future together.

Please post your response here on or before August 7th with the round-up to follow.

Cheers!

The Session 102 Announcement: The Landscape Of Beer

20 Percent by 2020

It is no secret that Craft Beer has been making major headway the past 5 years, while overall beer sales have been falling, even with a slight improvement in the past year. But for the better part of the last year, many have been getting on the train that chugged along, by way of the Brewers Association, to see Craft Beer raise it’s market share from the unseen 11% to 20% in the next 5 years. Continuous hurdles are popping up at every glance and other unforeseen obstacles are rearing their head before Craft Beer has had a chance to answer up in the initial issues. So how is this supposed to happen?

Getting to 20/20

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A number of discussions over the past few weeks have put this all into perspective. And my personal biases are only there to support the arguments. While everyone goes into hype about “The Craft Beer Bubble“, which is honestly a discussion I wish people would get over, I feel for craft brewers to get the world where they foresee, a bubble would need to be blown. Maybe the beginning is partially what we are seeing with the current buyouts and expansions of major breweries. The current rate of growth for breweries cannot continue in order to get to the 20% market share goal, but what will is the expansion of the major breweries… as we are already seeing.

The recent announcement of Lagunitas opening a third location only helps to bring focus what actually needs to happen to fulfill this goal, not to mention the major slap in the face to the Macro brewers based on the announced location. It would be interesting to see the way distribution companies move down the line as craft climbs the ladder. Independent companies exist, but they do not have the access or even the interest to see their beers in various locations. While only a small percentage of consumers go above and beyond in finding out where their beer is coming from, I feel a smaller percentage knows who distributes the beer they go out to enjoy. It makes one wonder what arguments people would use to defend their purchases if they knew their favorite beer was distributed in the area by the Miller house. As craft grows, will BMC distribution companies take the hit on money brought in by craft breweries, or will the lines be further blurred? Granted, we are decades away from where that would be an issue but it is a matter of business, just like the Craft Beer industry.

This is news to no one, but if you look at the number 9 craft brewery as of 2014, Stone Brewing Company, the opening of 2 new breweries projected for 2016 and not to mention all of the company stores and the currently on hiatus Stone Hotel, there seems to be a major power play in the works. And, again, news to no one who follows the happening of this industry and their favorite breweries, many Craft Breweries in the top 50, by sales volume, and a ton of local breweries no matter where you are and their size, are opening multiple locations and even shifting their focus to ship beer internationally. Some feel this is an odd move but with the beer that is being produced in America, expanding their reach is what will make the difference in the end.

To accomplish the 20×20 goal, there has to be a big shift in the beer world… but how would that happen? Listen to Sam from Against The Grain Talk briefly on what would need to happen.

The Next Generation of Big Brewers. Posturing. These actions seem to be the necessary evil in the industry to push the Macro brands deeper into obscurity. Will this force the Craft brands into the world of Macro? Quite possibly, but I am not too keen on the phrase “Craft Beer” as it is. Hipster Brewfus said it best.

And this is fact. The small percentage of us are ready to break free from the tag, but the industry is not. It needs “Craft” in this time of growth and investment. When the next generation comes, maybe it will be past the time that a label is needed. Maybe it will go back to just being beer.

Cheers!

20 Percent by 2020

Beth’s Cafe

Let me start off by saying that I am crazy and I have eaten the 12 Egg Ham & Cheese Omelette 4 times, and succeeded 3 times… The 4th, I finished everything but the Hash Browns and toast. One night I was watching a Man vs Food Marathon and he gave me good ideas about places that I want to eat as well as grossed me out a few times with his “accomplishments”.

Speaking of which, Chunkys Four Horseman Burger is exactly what I will be eating once I get some privileges in San Antonio… Look it up, they don’t really have a website, at least I cannot find one. But imagine an insanely hot burger with Ghost Chili Peppers among others… I want! Apparently only 3 People have succeeded in this challenge. I plan to suffer through it 😀

So, the thing that annoyed me about one particular episode is that he was in my back yard and failed at something I have done time and time again. I had to step up and beat him at his own game.

Another side note, I noticed that the host of the show was getting fatter and fatter as the show progressed. In the marathon, the earlier episodes, he was a pretty clean cut guy. Not big, but not small and had this pretty kick ass leather jacket. As the show went on, his jacket got smaller on him and he seemed to stop taking care of himself… and turned into a fat man HAH!

So here it is. The Southwestern Exposure. 12 delicious eggs, filled with chili, steak, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, hashbrowns, on top of a bed of hashbrowns, and topped with toast… Sounds like an orgasm #INMYMOUTH

I started off pretty strong and it reminded me of the times I have done this before. This one was way bigger than before but I was pretty confident I could do it. Bite after bite went down and I was powering my way through it. My strategy was to eat fast, otherwise I would get full.

After being about halfway through, I knew I was screwed… I felt like I did after finishing 9 eggs of the other omelette. I then pulled out a full 6oz chunk that one would normally order alone at any other restaurant. That pretty much sucked. I haven’t touched my toast yet at this point but I was just about finished. I ate that steak and kept attacking the eggs. It was sooooooooo gooooooood, but so painful hahah! Everyone there told me that since I made it this far I had to keep going but it was hard. I powered through just over half of what I had left and then pulled out another steak chunk…

It was at this time that I was done. Out for the count. After seeing that I almost puked in my mouth a little bit… I didn’t though, I just accepted defeat and asked for my box… not that I really wanted to take it home either though. Nikkee drew this awesome picture of my failure and added the final words to it that showed the world how much I sucked :p

There seems to have only been like 3 eggs left… and 2 pounds of all the stuffing… I can’t believe that I wanted a beer after this. One of my old college friends wanted to go next door to this Australian bar and I wanted to drink so Australian beer so this worked out perfectly. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea though… not that it ended well but it took me over an hour to finish the ONLY Australian beer that they had in the whole bar… and it was not even on tap… I think they should revoke the license on this place…

It was just a BMC bar that had some good beer, i.e. Full Sail, but I came there to drink Australian beer. I only had one and left. Oh, well. I do not think my body could have held anything else. Coopers Sparkling Ale was not that good… 2/5 at best. I just went home and lounged out since I was stuffed as hell after this. YAY ME!

Beth’s Cafe

Lucky Buddha

Yup… Lucky(Buddha). This is a beer that I only bought for the bottle. It is actually pretty cool. I was out on one of my, “Lets find some new beer” trips, and this is not one that made it into my cart by my choice.

Anyway, I cracked this open and was a little surprised but mostly thrown off. My first taste seemed to be a little sour and very creamy. That is not what I was expecting at all. As I went back for another taste, those same initial observations were still there but then I noticed a slight honey flavor and it moved toward the way of toffee.

I expected this beer to be a lot thinner. Maybe that creamyness that I was getting was messing with the beers mouthfeel. Another thing that I thought was a bit weird… It may have just been a bad taste in my mouth, but it seemed to have a slightly bitter finish… I don’t have an explanation for that.

I would probably give this one a 2.5 out of 5. It was not bad… Well, there are others that I find worse. I would not buy this one again but I figured what is the worst that could happen from drinking it?… Exactly.

Cheers!

Lucky Buddha

Brewing With A New Brewer

So today, Nikkee, Kyle, and I got together with Rachel. Kyle met her at a local homebrew club meeting and she was just about to do her first batch, so we figured we would catch up with her and help her out.



Rachel stiring her wort

It ended up being a good thing that we came. Not that she could not have done this first batch herself, but she was sold a ridiculous starter kit that would have caused her more pain than pleasure. She did not end up brewing with all of her own equipment but she is now on her way to nailing down her process.

The issue with me helping at the brew is I know nothing… NOTHING about brewing extract or partial mash. Call me crazy but besides the Mr. Beer kit that got me started all 26 of the batches I have done after that were All Grain. I figured if I was going to brew, I would not do it half assed… did I mention I live in a <500 sq ft 1 br apt?

Helping out on this brew was kind of a learning experience for me as well. I’ve assisted on a couple of these before but it is totally not my thing. ALL GRAIN ALL THE WAY!



Adding LME

The brew day was pretty much event free, which is a really good thing considering stories of others first times and even my first time but it was so amazing seeing Rachel right after her first hop addition. First EVER! Remember, this is her first brew. Shes never even brewed with another. We caught it on video!

Listen to me in the background acting like I know what I am talking about… I had a few already. YAY BREWDAY!

(I kind of sound like an idiot while all of this is going on… I honestly did not know what I was talking about. I used electric before moving into the new apt and then used gas but I was boiling 7+ gallon volumes… not if that really matters… I have a propane burner now)

The only issue of the night was that the wort chiller Kyle brought over was not able to be used in the kitchen. Since we did not boil a full 5 gallons we just figured it would be best to top up with cold water to drop the temp… That did not work out so well. By the time we left the wort was still at 140 degrees or so. I wonder how long it too the wort to get to pitching temp.

Sorry Kyle, But I had to throw this one up too. You guys should have seen the rest… We found out his spoon is about 2 gallons off HAH!

After we left, we drove out to City Tavern in Culver City to meet up with a buddy, Kip. I found out some amazing new from him today and I really hope that it helps to get LA Aleworks off the ground. Two of their beers won Gold Medals at the California State Fair and they just got the notice!

I had just a few tasters while we were there, (and I heard they tapped something I really wanted right after we left), and I ate their grilled cheese sandwich… I don’t know why I like them so much but I have always ordered the grilled cheese at the last few bars we went to.

I guess sometime earlier Kip brought the head chef some hops from his plant that he had been growing and is in its second year now. She pickled them and created a shrimp appetizer with them. Kind of wish I got a picture of it but it was pretty awesome. Tasting pickled hops was quite an experience.

I drank a Hefe from Taps, a Reserve Wheat from Telegraph, Blueberry from Marin, Renegade Blonde Kolsch from Iron Fist, and an Oyster Stout from Craftsman.

None of these brews really stood out to me. The Blueberry had a strong blue taste… not like blue berries, but a strong taste. The reserve wheat was interesting as well as the Kolsch. The Hefe was pretty good but yeah.

I was really looking forward/not wanting to drink the Oyster Stout. I wish I had more information about this beer. It was a very interesting one. It was not bad, but it did not seem like the typical stout to me. It was far more mellow. There was a bit of dark malt toastyness but it was overall very light. I really wish I knew more, or could find more information about this beer. I’ve heard of people drinking it before but and I didn’t want it but I figured why not try it…

Brewing With A New Brewer

Hot Tamales!

Tonight marks my first venture into cooking with beer. Going through the cabinets while packing I found a whole mess of things that I purchased in order to do something with and then it never happened. So tonight for dinner is Chicken Tamales. I do not know if this was such a great idea being I’ve never even made regular Tamales but Oh, well.

I homebrewed a Nut Brown Ale a while back and I thought that sounded like a good candidate to mix with the rice and I have some Bootlegger Black Phoenix, a Chipotle Stout, that I thought would go well with the chicken being this is a Mexican dish.

I started cooking the rice first. Since I am going to be putting it inside of the tamale, I did not want it to be extremely hot while I was trying to handle it. I threw it in the rice cooker because I figured it would give me the same results as if I did it in a pot… Not just because I am lazy.

1 Cup Brown & Wild rice
1 Cup L’s Nut Brown Ale

I then put the chicken breast in with the rest of my bomber of the But brown in order to marinate it for an hour. I intend on cooking it with a Chipotle stout so I hope this does not throw the flavors off too much. I assume it would help, but we will find out.

To make the Tamale outters (technical term) I used 1 pint of Black Phoenix, and 1 Pint of Chicken broth. I just threw everything together in a bowl, minus the baking powder and oil, and mixed it well. After it was all mixed I added the oil and the baking powder… Lets just say this smelled bad as all hell.

4 cups of Maseca
1 pint Black Phoenix
1 pint Chicken Broth
Dash of salt
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of onion powder
1 cup of oil
1 tbsp of baking powder

After pulling the chicken out of the marinade, I threw it in a pan and just cooked it as one normally would. I began cutting into smaller pieces once it would finally give and poured 8oz of Black Phoenix over that and let it sit over heat for about 10 minutes just higher than a simmer.

Once I pulled it off of the heat, I shreded up the chicken and tossed it with the Nut Brown Rice.

I took a sample of the mixture at this point and thought it was ok, just a little bland so I added some taco seasoning that we mixed up a while back. It added a bit of spice and I quite liked it at this point.

Now since all of this was a pretty last minute decision, I did not have corn husk… not that when I was even looking for them though I could find them. So I used Aluminum foil for this next step. I spreaded the outters on the foil and added the chicken and rice mixture.

Then you fold it, etc, etc, I’ve had tamales before so I knew what they looked like which made things easier.

The only thing left to do after this was to steam them. So, I got a pot of boiling water and steamed them for 75 minutes. YAY! Bored! So I decided to make something else. This had no beer in it.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup masa harina
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions
1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.
2. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8×8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9×13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

It was an overly complicated process and I found the recipe at allrecipes dot com or something or another. It is damn good, but… well, I won’t get into that.

Here is the final outcome.

I thought it looked really good, but there was only one way to tell…

I was not impressed. HAH! The inside was the best part. I’ve had tamales before so I know I like them. These ones just seemed to have a strange flavor. It could have been the beer or it could have been my base recipe. I mean, they were edible but I ended up removing a lot of the outters and only eating the chicken and rice. Maybe, I made them too thick as well. They were kind of bready and not enough stuffing. O well, I wanted to do it and I ate it. Case closed. That corn stuff was really good though.

Hot Tamales!

A Growler Hunting I Will Go…

I just want to start off by saying, “Happy Anniversary To Me!!!!!!!!!!!”

Anyway, Now that that is over with, Since I guess this anniversay is about me. I want to go get a few Growlers. One from Stone, The Lost Abbey, Bootleggers, and The Bruery. There are others I want but I guess that will have to come another day. Actually thinking about it, trying to get to all of those locations in one day is pretty ambitious… So, why not turn this weekend into a BEER WEEKEND!

I kind of have this Bucket list of things I want to do/places I want to go before I ship off to BCT and since I got all dorky into beer this past year they all pretty much revolve around that.

1. Go To Eagle Rock Brewing Co.
2. Go To LadyFace Ale & Brassier
3. Go To Stone Brewing Co.
4. Watch Ghost Busters.
5. Eat A 12 Egg Omlette
6. Go to Sierra Nevada (hopefully for beer camp)
7. Go to Deschutes… etc, etc.

There are several other breweries and events on there that I want to go to but that list can go on forever. I only have a couple of months left so I have to pick and choose… though, I am doing some that didn’t even make the original cut.

Details later.

A Growler Hunting I Will Go…