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!

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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

Apricot Sweet Chili Sauce : Dry Dock Brewing Collaboration

My lovely friends over at Dry Dock Brewing are preparing for the Super Bowl and they wanted to cook with beer. Luckily for me, they make so many amazing brews so it was easy to find one to incorporate into food: I went with the gold medal winning Apricot Blonde. To come up with a recipe, I figured out what a Dry Dock brewer craves for football munchies and this is what Doug Hyndman had to say:

“I certainly am a football watching fool. Wings and pizza are always a good fit with football. I’m also a big fan of bacon-wrapped jalapeños, and fried cheese curds would be sweet. Bison chile with habaneros…”

Doug, I’m sorry I won’t be cooking everything you want, but you will see some Doug-inspired recipes in the future. For now, I hope this recipe for Apricot Sweet Chili Sauce will suffice.

As for the Super Bowl, I don’t care who wins as long as its not the Patriots.

Continue reading Apricot Sweet Chili Sauce : Dry Dock Brewing Collaboration

Birthday Macarons

Today the blog is one year old and as a (somewhat) gift to myself, I made macarons. This was a great gift because I love these amazing little French cookies but this gift was also a terror. After a year of cooking with beer, I’ve gained quite a bit of confidence in the kitchen although at times, it may be better labeled as hubris. For example, I told myself that I would be able to execute making macarons successfully on my first try. Ohhh no no no. I should’ve known these tiny devils were going to give me a hard time and totally mess up my kitchen. Nevertheless, I refused to give up and finally made perfect macarons on the third attempt (let’s not talk about what happened on the fourth). The end result was a chocolate filled dream.

Clearly there is a moral here and the moral is don’t give up. I want to say thank you to all my followers for not giving up on me during this year with Drink and Spoon. Like the first rounds of macarons, my first blog posts were messy and weird. The pictures were not good and half the time the recipes didn’t even include beer. Now, I can’t even belief some of the stuff I have been able to create. While there are still quite a few screw ups in the kitchen, Drink and Spoon has become something really great. Cheers to that.

Continue reading Birthday Macarons

The Fast Fix: Beer Mac and Cheese Pie

This is the least homemade recipe I’ve every thrown together and I’m not ashamed. Sometimes I just don’t want to put in a ton of work, deal with it. At first, I was worried about sharing the recipe with you all but the more I thought about it, I realized that many of my followers would appreciate this easily made hunger fix. For those nights when you get home from work and just want to pig out on some comfort food, I present to you…drum roll, please….Beer Mac and Cheese Pie.

Continue reading The Fast Fix: Beer Mac and Cheese Pie

Events | Denver Bacon and Beer Festival

So. Much. Bacon. My mind is still whirling with pork filled thoughts and dreams of never ending beer. Once again, Denver Bacon and Beer Festival, hosted by EatBoston and Denver Off the Wagon, was an extreme success. This year it was held at the Curtis Hotel and the fun atmosphere provided a great way to escape from the frigid outdoors. Over the past three years, the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival has donated the proceeds from the event to Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing. Although festival goers left feeling glutinous, they could also give themselves a pat on the back for being charitable. Drinking/eating for a good cause is the only way to do it.

It would be hard to describe all of my favorite dishes because I’m obviously going to love anything that includes bacon. I will however tell you about the two that stand out most in my mind. The first was the Pale Ale and Goat Cheddar Soup along with a BLT Pesto, Pork Belly Bread Pudding, and Bacon Espuma by Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group. Every part of this dish was divine. First off, the BLT Pesto – how does someone come up with that? The taste remained true to the name in that it gave off smokey bacon flavors, tang from the tomatoes, and the herbal goodness from the basil. Then, there’s the goat cheese. This is my second favorite food next to bacon and because this dish included both wonderful ingredients, it is still haunting my dreams in the best way possible. The other dish I thoroughly enjoyed was probably the most simple creation at the party: Jalapeño Honey Bacon at The Corner Office. It was cooked to a crispy crunch, just the way I like it. This bacon was spicy, smokey, and sweet. It reminded me of frying up thick cut bacon and dipping it in maple syrup, only 10x better. I’m pretty sure I never want to eat another type of bacon ever again.

If you didn’t attend this year’s Bacon and Beer Festival, you seriously missed out. Here are the pictures to prove it to you..

Continue reading Events | Denver Bacon and Beer Festival

Chocolate Pretzel Pie | PorchDrinking.com

“As the days grow shorter and we get closer to Thanksgiving, the need for pie recipes becomes vitally important. During this glorious time of year, it becomes socially acceptable to eat pie at all times of day and as many times a day as you damn well please. So to keep with the spirit of things and kick off your pie binge early, I have brought you a Cappuccino Stout Chocolate Pie with a Pretzel Shortbread Crust. To keep it short, let’s call it the Chocolate Pretzel Pie….”

To read the rest of this article and get the recipe, head over to PorchDrinking.com 

 

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