Cooking with Beer: Chocolate Stout Cake

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Craft Beer Beer (Arts &) Crafts... and a saison update.

My girlfriend and I had off yesterday and since we're a pair of craft beer devotees and (almost) foodies, that meant beer and food related activities all day long. We visited Blue Point Brewing Co, which is probably the most popular Long Island brewery, for a quick tour and some tasting. Later on, we drank a bottle of 2011 Sexual Chocolate. If you would like to read my review on BeerAdvocate, here's the link.

But first, we did some arts n' crafts. If you're an avid beer drinker, you might have developed a habit like ours... we save almost every bottle (they are too cool to throw away/recycle/reuse for homebrew) and save all the intact bottle caps you can. We thought it would be cool to do some bottle cap magnets for the beer fridge:

Yeah, that's a Heineken case. No, I don't drink it. I had a bunch o' bombers packed into it at the distributor.

My girlfriend also made the Blue Point bottle cap flower, since one of her favorite Blue Point brews, Spring Fling, is coming out now. She made it out of Sculpey and hot glue. The magnet in the middle between the Ben and Jerry's sticker and the Fat Tire sticker is a magnet she made for me Christmas and says "Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy" and the picture is me enjoying a Stone Imperial Russian Stout aged in bourbon barrels at Rattle N Hum for the Total Tap Tower Takeout Tour 2010 event.

We also had a 4 oz (or so) sample of my saison, that has been fermenting for a week at this point. Some notes:
  • the color isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be based on the way the mash/boil looked. Bright golden body with a bit of a wheat haze. Might be a bit light for the style, but that's okay.
  • The hops are still pretty forward, which will ease a bit as the beer ages.
  • The malt is still there but that should get fermented out.
  • The familiar saison spiciness isn't really there yet.
  • I stuck a heating pad under the fermentor so hopefully the increased temperature will help bring out some saison familiar tastes.
So maybe the saison brewday wasn't a total loss.

I also got some reading material and I'm currently reading through Phil Markowski's Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition. Markowski is the brewmaster at Southampton Publick House, probably the best Long Island brewery. So far, its about the history of biere de Garde and saison and not so much about actually brewing it but its pretty interesting so far.


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