Southern Brew News Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010 : Page 1

Dec/Jan 2009/10 Vol. 5 No. 6 A Celebration of Collaboration with Terrapin and Left Hand By Kerri Allen The Southhe South Will Rise Again Will Rise Again (with beer and cheese) TOUR DE FORCE. L-R: Dustin, Chris, Cameron (local distributor rep for both beers), and Dab “the Man” Conway (Left Hand rep for Pennsylvania) at the Terrapin / Left Hand dinner at Monk’s Cafe. PHOTO BY OWEN OGLETREE By Sally Shelton Before the Tour The story begins at a bar with a couple of beer marketing guys drinking a plethora of beer and exchanging ideas. Sometime after midnight the idea is born to make a beer together. Being the charmers that they are, Dustin Watts, VP of Sales and Marketing for Terrapin Brewing Company, and Chris Lennert, VP of Operations at Left Hand Brewing Company, had no See Tour p.3 State by State News Style Section ..........................................5 Tasting Notes ........................................ 6 Homebrew News Alpha King Challenge Crowns Winner .. 9 Beer Wench's Kitchen ......................... 10 .............................. 8 Alabama/Mississippi ....17 Georgia ..........18 The Carolinas .......20 Florida ...........22 Tennessee ........16 being passed and more experimental, excit- ing brews coming from small, expanding breweries. Shortly behind this movement making its own headway is Southern arti- sanal cheese. Indeed, craft beer and artisanal cheese have a coincided history in this country: both began in the 1970’s, mostly in people’s kitchens out west and in the Northeast, and grew so rapidly and garnered so many accolades that now everyone, including Europe, is looking to us to see what crazy thing we’ll come up with next. T Of course, beer and cheese have been linked well before we got to it. Trappist monks brought the two together because both were he South, in a sense, is on the rise. Southern craft beer is making headway each day, with “pop the cap” laws SAY CHEESE. "Gentleman" Jesse Smith and Sally Shelton serving up beer and cheese at The Brick Store. PHOTO BY PATTI DAVIS agricultural products (harvesting grain and yeast for beer, harvesting fields for cattle to graze on to make milk). Both utilize similar methods of production: the requirement of bacteria, an involved fermentation process, and an elongated aging period. And it’s now no longer a secret how much better cheese goes with beer, rather than with wine. The See Rise p. 4

Before The Tour

The story begins at a bar with a couple of beer marketing guys drinking a plethora of beer and exchanging ideas. Sometime after midnight the idea is born to make a beer together. Being the charmers that they are, Dustin Watts, VP of Sales and Marketing for Terrapin Brewing Company, and Chris Lennert, VP of Operations at Left Hand Brewing Company, had no Trouble convincing their brewers, Brian “Spike” Buckowski and Ro Guenzel, to try to pull this off. Thus the Midnight Brewing Project was born.

The current beer collaboration between these two breweries was brewed at Terrapin’s brewery in Athens, Georgia. Depth Charge is a bold, sweet milk stout brewed with a special blend off coffee from Athen’s own local coffee roaster, Jittery Joe’s.

Forever trying to come up with new ideas to both market their beers and educate consumers in craft beer, Dustin and Chris put their brilliantly twisted minds together and decided that it would be great to do a series of four beer dinners in a whirlwind, four day tour to share the story behind the collaboration. The tour began in Atlanta, Georgia at Taco Mac Lindberg, moved to Tyler’s in Durham, North Carolina, progressed to Mekong’s in Richmond, Virginia, and ended at Monk’s Café in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Taco Mac After the reception where a smoked duck pate was served on country bread topped with grainy mustard and cornichons was paired with Golden Ale (Terrapin) and Polestar Pilsner (Left Hand), Dustin and Chris introduce themselves and their beers. Chris teaches the uninitiated at the dinner the proper “German” way to toast which is to look the other person directly in the eye as you clink glasses. He warns, with a twinkle in his eye, that to not make eye contact will result in “seven years of bad sex.” Needless to say, much eye locking took place at that dinner and every one that followed.

Chef Matt Deckard served an eclectic menu which paired beautifully with each beer from the pate appetizer to the dessert, a homemade peanut butter cup made by their pastry chef. Left Hand’s Haystack Wheat served with a Hawaiian Tuna Poke was followed by Left Hand’s Chocolate Star Fish and a cabbage and chorizo stew. Terrapin’s PumpkinFest paired heavenly with a sweet onion and goat cheese stuffed meatloaf.

Tyler’s The next day was overcast and rainy. A normal five hour drive took nearly ten. At Tyler’s, Jason Ingram, the Southeast Rep for Left Hand, entertained the crowd, and the staff kept the patrons in reception beer and food.

The dinner featured Left Hand’s Juju Ginger and Terrapin’s Sunray Wheat as reception beers.

They were paired with lemongrass scallops and forks of sesame noodles with chili oil. Also enjoyed were Terrapin’s RoggenRauchbier and PumpkinFest along with Left Hand’s Blackjack Porter and Oak Aged Imperial Stout. Each dinner ended with the collaboration beer, Depth Charge.

Mekong Mekong's owner An is mad about craft beer - from American varieties to Belgians.

He served five courses, each containing multiple dishes. Instead of small, easy to sample portions, dishes came out in the manner of Vietnamese family-style dining, platters brimming with food starting with the spring rolls, rocket shrimp, and fried squid to a huge bowl of seafood soup, a tofu dish, chicken, quail, and dessert. An moved around the room with a huge grin on his face and loving every minute of it. He truly enjoyed his first foray into the world of beer dinners.

Monk’s Café Arriving in Philadelphia on the same day that the Philly’s were taking on the Yankees in New York for the second game, the air was charged with expectation. We were told that this dinner would be very efficient as Monk’s has no televisions, and the locals needed to be able to catch the end of the game. As both the dinner and game commenced, owner Tom Peters gave us game updates from his Blackberry. The dinner was able to hold its own, even against baseball, with pairings like baby octopus and Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and shrimp with orange gastrique paired with Left Hand’s St. Vrain.

Cool Down The next morning, we part ways. Dustin and Chris fly back to their respective homes and other beer events. The event proved that craft beer is a community and lovers of craft beer get that. The chefs on the trip showcased their art with the art of the brewers, and it brought people together with a common interest and goal.

“Cheers to collaboration and the craft beer nation.”

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Before+The+Tour/287180/28767/article.html.

The South Will Rise Again

Sally Shelton

(with beer and cheese)

The South, in a sense, is on the rise. Southern craft beer is making headway each day, with “pop the cap” laws being passed and more experimental, exciting brews coming from small, expanding breweries. Shortly behind this movement making its own headway is Southern artisanal cheese. Indeed, craft beer and artisanal cheese have a coincided history in this country: both began in the 1970’s, mostly in people’s kitchens out west and in the Northeast, and grew so rapidly and garnered so many accolades that now everyone, including Europe, is looking to us to see what crazy thing we’ll come up with next.

Of course, beer and cheese have been linked well before we got to it. Trappist monks brought the two together because both were Agricultural products (harvesting grain and yeast for beer, harvesting fields for cattle to graze on to make milk). Both utilize similar methods of production: the requirement of bacteria, an involved fermentation process, and an elongated aging period. And it’s now no longer a secret how much better cheese goes with beer, rather than with wine. The Flavors of beer and cheese have more complementary qualities and can play off one another, whereas wine and cheese pairings are built around their differences.

For the South, though, cheese can be tough. It gets hot, almost too hot to keep cows, goats, and sheep happy. But then again, the milder climate allows many farmers to have their livestock graze on fields year-round, as opposed to some northerners who have to feed their coopedup cows hay during the winter months.

And between the rocky mountainous regions of Tennessee and North Carolina and the rolling pastures of South Georgia and Alabama, the South has all the terrain it needs to make distinctive, well-crafted, even award-winning artisanal cheeses.

What follows is a state-by-state guide for a Southern beer and cheese pairing.

Located in Elkmont, Alabama, in mineral- rich Limestone County just outside of Huntsville, is Belle Chevre, an all-woman operated goat cheese making facility headed by Tasia Malakasis. Though they have very whimsical offerings, like a mint julepinspired chevre rolled in crushed bourbonsoaked pecans, sugar, and mint, I think their plain fresh chevre is beautiful. This young soft goat cheese has a subtle tang and clean, fresh flavors along with a luxurious, coating mouthfeel. The crispness of Olde Towne’s Hefeweizen should help balance that out and bounce around some clove, banana, and citrus notes. Olde Towne is also in Huntsville, making this a truly regional pairing.

A pastoral family-owned farm situated in Climax, North Carolina, Goat Lady Dairy remains soulfully dedicated to sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and handcrafting cheese. And despite its name, they do make a cow’s milk cheese from time to time. Old Liberty, which should be available at the time of reading, is a relatively young cow’s milk, gouda-like cheese that offers a firm but supple texture, a mellow butteriness and a notable fruitiness. Highland Gaelic, the Asheville brewery’s flagship, has a worthy malt backbone and hop presence, as well as a pronounced carbonation, to help round out the cheese.

In Knoxville, Tennessee there’s Locust Grove, a small farm specializing in raw sheep’s milk cheeses. Heavily influenced by Old World styles, and having traveled to Europe to learn them, the makers at Locust Grove produce a homegrown version of Manchego, the traditional sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain.

Named La Mancha, it’s slightly sweeter, softly tangy, and has a well-rounded nuttiness that should pair splendidly with something like Ghost River’s Brown Ale, a brew from Memphis that’s equally easy-going, nutty, and with a balanced sweetness.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any artisanal cheesemakers to represent Florida, so here is where the state lines had to be blurred a bit. Technically, the town of Elberta is in Alabama, but it’s also roughly twenty miles from Pensacola, and the base of the small but noble Sweet Home Farm.

Chalet, an aged alpagestyle cheese with a bold sharpness and mild pungency, set against Saint Somewhere’s Lectio Divina’s dark fruit sweetness, complex spiciness, and subtle funkiness should make for a lively, dynamic pairing. P.S. to you Floridians peeved about having to travel for your cheese: everyone does. This farm is drive-up only, and sometimes the cars line down the dirt road!

Sweetgrass Dairy, located in Thomasville, Georgia, is quickly becoming one of the South’s most celebrated cheesemakers.

Since 2002, husband and wife team Jeremy and Jessica Little have been making cheeses that have won awards from the country’s biggest artisanal cheese competition (think GABF, for cheese). Clayburne, their raw milk, cloth-bound cheddar, should be available at this time of year. Such a dry, sharp, and grassy cheese deserves a dry and sharp beer, say, Terrapin’s newly released Hopsecutioner. Sharp cheddars and hoppy beers are a classic pairing, so if you can’t get your hands on the Clayburne during its limited availability, you’ll know what to look for.

As part of its agricultural program, Clemson University has a cheesemaking course, offering students the chance to study molds and witness food science first hand.

From this, we get Clemson Blue, a densely creamy, remarkably balanced, and highly nuanced blue that makes you want to enroll in Clemson’s agricultural program just so you can be around the cheese all the time. A lighter bodied stout like Coast’s Blackbeerd Imperial Stout should mellow out the big body of the cheese while offering new layers of complexity with its roasty notes and perceptible smokiness.

All this really shouldn’t come as a surprise—the availability of well crafted, handmade, artisanal beers and cheeses in the South, and the fact that they go together.

I guess the South has other reputations to uphold, and though considered new even by our American counterparts, we are on the rise. Not just for our quality and sustainability methods, but for our ingenuity and embracing our unique climate and heritage.

We may not be reinventing the wheel, but we’re certainly making some delicious ones!

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/The+South+Will+Rise+Again/287181/28767/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here