I held on to this one for a while, feeling blah on writing and creating in general. Finding myself caught up in other minutiae. Justifying procrastination with a nagging awareness that people tend to enjoy my food recipe posts much more than reading about my exploits around town. Today I finally decided to get some words down, and wouldn’t you know, it’s American Craft Beer week!
Some of you may remember that last year I attended a brunch featuring beer cocktails with the Charlotte Beer Babes. We did it again a couple of months ago at one of my favorite Charlotte restaurants, The Liberty. (Side note: I wrote about The Liberty along with some other local favorites on Chrissie’s blog).
This year, we enjoyed a second-round of cocktails from our friends at Sierra Nevada and Bell’s and were happy to see local Birdsong Brewing in on the action. Birdsong brews my favorite beer in town, the Doin’ Thyme Witbier.
Our first beer cocktail featured nearly everyone else’s favorite Birdsong beer, the Jalapeno Pale Ale. Mixed with a small portion of Bloody Mary mix, the beer was transformed into a Bloody Mess cocktail with “garnishes fit for a queen.”
That phrase was actually printed on the menu, and can you argue? The cocktail was served with an angus slider, a devil on horseback (bacon-wrapped date), soft pretzel bite, celery stalk, and crisp dill pickle. All it was missing was a crown.
Next up was Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez gose-style ale mixed with a splash of ruby red grapefruit juice. This course was paired with a pork belly bao bun stuffed full of scallions, cilantro, pickled jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.
Like respectable diners, we ended our meal with coffee and dessert. A coffee stout cocktail counts as coffee, right? Bell’s treated us to their Kalamazoo Stout chilled with iced Vietnamese Coffee cubes. Served alongside a pecan pie bread pudding with Chantilly cream and salted caramel, dessert could not have been better.
While I can not offer you recipes for the delicious food we enjoyed, I can tell you how to craft your own beer cocktails. Depending on where you live, the beers I mentioned may not be available in your area. I have tried to accommodate that reality by calling for a general jalapeno pale ale or coffee stout for the Bloody Mess and Iced Coffee Stout. A jalapeno beer might be hard to find, but a chili-infused brew will likely bring the right amount of heat. Just stick with the pale ales or even the IPAs; I don’t imagine a dark stout or porter will work all that well in a Bloody Mary beer cocktail.
The exception is the Citrus Gose, where I left the specific beer in place. I am not sure the best substitution for the Otra Vez – the goses I have tried vary on the salty-sour scale – and the cocktail we tried was created to compliment the prickly pear cactus and grapefruit used to brew the Otra Vez. Because Sierra Nevada beers are distributed in every state and in DC, I am hoping you have luck finding it near you if you are eager to give the cocktail a try. Oh, and when you ask for it, gose is pronounced like go-zuh, not like the word go with an “s” on the end. Cheers!
- Bloody Mess
- 1 ounce Bloody Mary mix
- jalapeno pale ale
- Citrus Gose
- 2 ounces ruby red grapefruit mix
- Sierra Nevada Otra Vez gose-style ale
- Iced Coffee Stout
- 3 cups hot brewed coffee (bold roast preferred)
- 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- coffee stout
- To make the Bloody Mess, pour the bloody Mary mix into a pint glass filled 2/3 of the way with ice.
- Fill the rest of the glass with the jalapeno beer and give it a quick stir to mix.
- To make the Citrus Gose, pour the grapefruit juice into a chilled glass.
- Fill the rest of the glass with the gose.
- To make the Iced Coffee Stout, stir together the coffee and the condensed milk.
- Transfer the mixture to ice cube trays and freeze at until set.
- Place three frozen coffee cubes into a pint glass and top with a coffee stout.