Collaboration Fest Breakout Sessions Announced!

It’s almost here! Collaboration Fest is just a few days away and the creators just announced the breakout sessions. Which one are you most excited for? I will definitely be heading over to the Sour Beers with Lauren Salazar. See you there!

-1

Sour Beers with Lauren Salazar
Time: 5:00 pm
Guests will learn about the art of blending from grain to glass focusing on techniques Lauren Salazar uses in New Belgium’s cellar. Lauren is the Wood Cellar Manager, Blender and the Specialty Brand Manager at New Belgium Brewing Company. She held the title of Sensory Staff Specialist from 1998-2012. Lauren focused primarily on sensory science, where she developed the sensory program from a basic production check to its present world-class program.

The Flavor of Colorado Craft
Time: 5:45 p.m.
You have a long history with flavor, and Colorado has a long relationship with beer. Take your knowledge of both to the next level with Dr. Nicole Garneau, curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Dive into the science of experiencing a craft beer the way you were meant to. Along the way take home a few historical gems that will make you Colorado proud, even if you don’t call the “Napa of Craft Beer” home.

Comedy by The Fine Gentleman’s Club
Time: Varies
The Fine Gentleman’s Club started when Chris Charpentier, Nathan Lund, Sam Tallent, and Bobby Crane got into a bidding war at the yacht store. When none of the men backed down, ever, it was mutually agreed that each one was a Finer Gentleman than the next.

General admissions tickets are still available for $50 at CollaborationFest.com. Colorado Fest will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (1701 Bryant St. Denver CO 80204).

303 Day – Things to do Around Town

Happy 303 day Denverites! Living in this city is absolutely amazing and I love it soooo much. In honor of this glorious holiday, a lot of venues around town are giving out free stuff or running deals for those who show support for Colorado. I’ll be compiling a list and updating it as I find out more – go enjoy yourself, you deserve it 🙂

Continue reading 303 Day – Things to do Around Town

Side Project Cellar

Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the newly opened Side Project Cellar in Maplewood, MO. Since I’ve been dying to get my hands on some of Side Project’s beers, this was quite the exciting day for me. To make it even better, I brought my mom along to convince her just how great craft beer really is (I think it worked).

Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar

When we first walked in, we were amazed by all of the reclaimed wood decorating the walls of the bar. It was a Pinterest-lover’s dream. The next thing that caught my eye was the plentiful tap and bottle list, featuring beers from all over the world. The accompanying 24 taps left me with a smile I just couldn’t wipe off  of my face. The service we received after we sat down at the bar was exactly the kind of service I expected from this kind of place – attentive and informative. We learned a lot about the operations of the cellar as well as the few SP beer available. You may be asking, why only a few? Since Side Project is so delicious, they have a hard time keeping their own beer in stock. The ladies behind the bar informed us that they usually try to keep 2 of their brews on tap and 2-4 bottles available for on-premise consumption at all times. So pretty much, if you’re looking to try out some Side Project, your best bet is to head right to the cellar.

Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar

To start off our tasty expedition, we ordered the two Side Project brews available on tap that day: Grisette and Saison du Ble.  Strong notes of lemon and grapefruit drifted from the glass of Grisette and  into my nose. My lips were greeted by a snappy flavor that engulfed my mouth soon after. To me, it started off a bit tart but then mellowed into a grapefruit dream. A++. The Saison du Ble was easily just as good. The head was a bigger than with the Grisette and the Saison smelled a lot funkier; like a farm that also grows apples. I noticed a slight bitterness with this brew and lots of apple-licious flavors hanging around as well but when it warmed in my glass, it developed into a sweeter drink with a bit of zip. At this point, I pretty much died of happiness.

For all of you living in or visiting the St. Louis/Maplewood area, I highly recommend taking a trip over to the Side Project Cellar. It is absolutely the place you want to be if you’re interested in drinking some of the best beers in the country. Cheers!

Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar Drink and Spoon Side Project Cellar

Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate at Epic Brewing Denver

So so SO excited to head over to the Epic Brewing – Denver Taproom tomorrow for some cheese and beer pairings! If you’re headed out on the town for Valentine’s Day, you better make this one of your stops. Plates with tasters are $20 a couple and who knows…maybe you can hang out with me 😉

Epic Beer and Cheese Pairing
Photo Credit: Epic Brewing Denver Taproom

Here’s a sneak peak to give you a little taste of what’s being served: 

Fromage a Trois Toraa from Capriole: pasteurized goat’s milk, chocolate, bourbon, raisins, pecans

paired with Lil’ Brainless Raspberries

Cabra-Blanca from Avalanche: semi-soft goat cheese, slightly chewy with a natural rind. Mild, buttery a light almond notes

paired with Element 29 Pale Ale

O’Banon from Capriole: fresh goat cheese wrapped in bourbon-soaked chestnut leaves. Creamy and dense with a kick

paired with Escape to Colorado IPA

Buttermilk Blue Affinee from Roth Kase. aged 6 months. Creamy, rich, earthy, piquant

paired with Barley wine

Plate is accompanied by chocolate and 34 Degree Crisps

Beautiful Booze

This awesome chick Natalie writes with me on PorchDrinking.com and creates BEER COCKTAILS! They are so so awesome and you should definitely try them out. Her website is called BeautifulBooze.com. On there, she makes all kinds of drinks, not just ones with beer. Just looking at them is making me thirsty right now…

Winter Tattoo Cocktale featuring Golden Ale from Bad Tattoo Brewing

Beautiful Booze

Whiskey and Gingerbread Porter Sour featuring Russell’s Black Death Porter

Beautiful Booze

Vanilla Vodka and Winter Ale Sour featuring Vertical Medium –Bodied Winter Ale

Beautiful Booze

Jax Molten Chocolate Cake

Sometimes it is really nice to take a break from thinking up new recipes. It is also really nice when other people send you theirs. This time around, I was asked to recreate this beautiful Molten Chocolate Cake (with a truffle center) from Chef Ricky Myers of Jax Fish House in Fort Collins and pair a few beers with it. Normally when I think of Jax Fish House, I’m craving their amazing oyster happy hour. As it turns out, they are great at cooking things other than fish, too. If you need proof, this recipe is it. Though I did manage to sneak a little beer into it, I also found that it pairs perfectly with quite a few different brews. For my dessert, I decided to go with the Imperial Java Stout by Santa Fe Brewing Company and even poured a 1/4 cup into the truffle center. This beer is named after coffee but I think it gives off more smooth chocolatey vibes rather than a bitter bite. Since the cake recipe has dark chocolate – which is on the bitter side – the beer paired with it like a match made in heaven. Other great pairings include: Dragon’s Milk by New Holland Brewing (if you want to double down on the richness), Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat by Tallgrass Brewing (if you want to keep things on the lighter side), and Shake Chocolate Porter  by Boulder Beer Company (if you’re addicted to chocolate).

What are you waiting for? It is almost Valentine’s Day which means you better get your butt to the grocery store so you can whip this chocolate goodness up for someone you love.

Continue reading Jax Molten Chocolate Cake

Top 5 Recipes for the Super Bowl (Originally posted on PorchDrinking.com)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! This article was originally posted on PorchDrinking.com and contains my Top 5 for Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve pulled some of my best recipes from both sites to bring you this yummy list:

Since the Super Bowl is really just a holiday of food disguised as a football game, I’m bringing you five recipes instead of one. As you travel through this list of good eats, you’ll see that I have laid out a step-by-step guide on how to properly prepare all of these dishes throughout Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy and may the best appetizer win!

Rauchbier Baked Beans

Start your Sunday by loading up the Crock Pot with a few simple ingredients that will lead to one bad ass batch of baked beans. What better way to add smokey flavors to beans than with a rauchbier? Fort Collins Brewery’s Out of the Ashes is a campfire in a bottle and it will smoothly impart it’s essence into the beans as you prepare for the football smack down of the year.

Rauchbier Baked Beans

Bacon and Chive Deviled Eggs made with Baba Black Lager Mustard

Relieve your grandma of her appetizer duty and volunteer to make the deviled eggs this year, except make yours ten times better. How? By adding beer-infused mustard, bacon, and chives. Make the mustard now – use it for deviled eggs later.

Baba Black Lager Mustard Bacon and Chive Deviled Eggs

Pineapple Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños

If game day grilling is your jam, get on these ASAP. The pineapple and Anniversary Ale cream cheese stuffed jalapeños don’t require too much work so throw them on the grill 10 minutes before the game starts and enjoy during the coin toss. I know the saying goes, “The more, the merrier,” but honestly, the less friends you have coming over, the more food you get to yourself.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

Fried Beer Battered Avocados

These crispy and creamy avocado bites are one of my most famous recipes and definitely one of my most delicious. If you can take your eyes off of Katy Perry’s ta-tas for a few minutes, cook these at half time as they will need to be served right after they pop out of the fryer.

beer battered avocados

Apricot Sweet Chili Hot Wings

They’re sweet, they’re spicy, and they’re finger-licking good. These wings are coated in a sweet chili sauce with an apricot-laced twist sprouting from Dry Dock Brewing’s Apricot Blonde. If you make the sauce early on, you can have a continuous flow of wings throughout the game.

Cooking with Beer Apricot Sweet Chili Wings