by Hop Nation USA Steve
It's only been over a year since something other than new podcast episodes were posted to the website. I think I've found something to write about on a semi-irregular basis, though. I introduce The Blending Chalice.
What is it?
A big ass chalice I found in a thrift shop I'm going to blend two beers of what I think will be complimentary flavors.
I grew up in the 90's mixing Cherry Coke and root beer at Rax. Plus cuvées are a thing and plenty of breweries like Firestone Walker offer blended barrel offerings.
Hitchhiker Clouded Distraction x Grist House Hops of Darkness: How Does it Taste?
On Episode 130 of the Podcast, we talked with author Brandon Getz about his new novel Lars Breaxface Werewolf in Space.
With his guidance, we were able to devise three recipes representing the three main characters of the book. There's the eponymous Lars with his hard drinking and bitter disposition. The ninja princess capable of wielding blood magic is Jay and also Lars' employer. Rounding out the team is Frank the many-eyed living tree is also Jay's bodyguard. Each recipe draws elements from their characteristics. Try brewing them yourself. Crack open a bottle and a book.
Long Haul Through the Black IPA
10 lb - Pale 2 Row
5 lb - Pale 2 Row Toasted
1 lb - Carafa III
1 oz Magnum pellet - 60 min
1 oz Chinook pellet - 10 min
0.5 oz Royal Cup coffee grounds - 5 min
White Labs American Ale - WLP060
1 oz Galaxy dry hop - 7 days
0.5 oz Royal Cup coffee brewed into 8 oz water
Pale Ninja Space Princess
5 lb American Pale 2-Row
3 Flaked Wheat
1.5 White Wheat
0.5 oz Citra - 60 minute
0.25 oz Citra - 30 minute
4 oz Blood Orange
0.5 oz Strata - 10 minute
12 oz Red Raspberries (Thawed and mashed)
White Labs California Ale - WLP001
12 oz Red Raspberries (Thawed and mashed)
Sahti Grain Bill:
5 lb American Crystal 60L
5 lb Belgian Pale
5 lb American Rye
4 oz Rooibos Tea
20 oz Spruce Tips - 30 minutes
4 oz dried Juniper Berries for 14 days
Dandelion Mead ( 5 Gal yield)
15 lbs Dandelion Honey fermented with Sweet Mead yeast
51/49 blend of Dandelion Mead to Sahti aged for 6 months in a gin barrel
In Episode 99 of the podcast, we workshopped the recipe for the perfect beach vacation beer. We tried our best to take ingredients from where the best beaches are and elements signaling vacation time and combine them into a refreshing and drinkable wheat ale. Foolishly, we included sea oats which is a protected plant, because of its dune fortifying properties which stem the tide of beach erosion. In order to fill your grain bill, you're going to have to buy up every seaside greenhouse or grow your own from online seeds. Trust us when we tell you, though, if you invest the time and money we have no idea if it's worth it. Just use Quaker Oats you took to the beach.
Full Recipe after the jump
In Episode 85, we offered up some recipes using craft beer for your Thanksgiving meal. Dennis pointed to the Homebrewers Association's offerings of 8 recipes including a White Rascal Turkey Stuffing.
You can find those recipes here - https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/cooking-beer-thanksgiving/
I also modified a turkey gravy recipe to go along with Popeye's Cajun Turkeys. Spiced in a cajun style with an added touch of smoke, you can find the recipe below.
3 tbsp. butter
turkey pan drippings
1 ½ c.
chicken or turkey broth
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen (or other smoked beer)
freshly minced thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Melt butter in a saucepan, and then mix in the flour to create a roux. After a minute, whisk in turkey drippings collected from the cooking turkey.
2) Boil and then simmer to reduce to a thick sauce
3) Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix
4) Mix in half cup of beer and half cup of broth
5) Simmer 10 minutes adding the rest of the broth the achieve desired consistency.
by Hop Nation USA's Steve
If you listened to Episode 77 of the podcast, you heard Adam and I conceptualize a recipe for the fictional beer from the Canadian indie film, Another Wolfcop. While there aren't any reptilian shapeshifter embryos in the recipe, we did get a little nuts in the use of actual fried chicken. But it's no crazier than what The Veil Brewing company already did with their Fried Fried Chicken Chicken IPA. Feel free to just omit it anyway. Now although the film is from Canada, I'm American and so the recipe won't be in metric and you'll have to convert it yourself. Sorry.
11 lb Pale 2-Row
4 lb Smoked Barely
0.5 lb Black Patent
Optional 5 lbs Fried Chicken
Mash Water: 5.15 gal / 6.80 gal (with chicken)
Strike Temp: 168
Sparge: 4.25 gal / 3.2 gal
Boil: 60 minutes
1 oz Hallertau hops @ 40 Minutes
2 lb Lactose Sugar @ 10 Minutes
1 oz Cayenne pepper, 2 oz cracked peppercorn, 1 oz Fuggle hops @ 5 minutes
Wyeast American Ale
16 oz Maple Syrup
Yield: 5 Gals Estimated OG: 1.096 FG: 1.034 ABV: 8.13% IBUs: 12
UPDATE: If you scroll down to the comments section, you'll see one of the creative producers on the Wolfcop films actually reached out to us and gave us some more insight into the naming behind Chicken Milk Stout. Essentially translating Egg Nog to French and then back to English gives you Chicken Milk, so the intention behind the film's beer is to be an Egg Nog Stout. With this mind, I now present a TRVE recipe for fans of Wolfcop and accuracy. We still stand behind our original recipe, though, and encourage you to try brewing both.
9 lb Pale 2-Row
6 lb Flaked Oats
1 lb Midnight Wheat
Mash Water: 5.3 gal
Strike Temp: 164
Sparge: 4.1 gal
Boil: 60 minutes
1 oz Galena hops, 1 oz Cluster hops @ 30 Minutes
4 lb Lactose Sugar, 2 oz East Kent Golding hops @ 10 Minutes
2 oz Willamette Hops @ 5 minutes
Wyeast Oatmeal Stout
Cut two vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the inside paste. Add beans and paste to secondary fermenter before beer if doing a full transfer. (Can substitute beans for vanilla extract cause that shit is expensive right now. Just add extract to taste before bottling)
Spice Extract - in 4 oz of spiced rum, soak 3 crushed up cinnamon sticks for about a week.
Add tincture and 0.5 oz of ground nutmeg before bottling.
Yield: 5 Gals Estimated OG: 1.077 FG: 1.019 ABV: 7.5% IBUs: 31
Last year we did a fantasy draft similar to a Fantasy Football Draft. This year we're back with all new positions to draft in the fridge, and here they are:
Founder's Sumatra Mountain Brown - A great beer to have in the cold of winter, and one that will keep you going for quite some time.
Cococino by Hitchhiker - With the rise of pumpkin beers in the last decade, flavorful beers are a bit of an expectation during the fall season. The Cococino fills that role nicely with the flavors of chocolate, coconut and coffee. This combination eases you from the bright flavors of summer to the hearty flavors of fall and winter with aplomb. And not a pumpkin in site.
Any hazy IPA by Dancing Gnome - It's simple, people. Just take your hazy crazy and put it in a pineapple juice bottle before you head out. No one will know the difference.
THE LAZY SPORTSMAN
Summer Kolsch by Alaskan Brewing - The Summer Kolsch is a very versatile beer that works in several situations, including the recreation sports of the lazy. With an easy drinking feel, and a the approach-ability to have a few during the game, the Summer Kolsch is the utility play that we all need.
Abjuration Vanilla Oak Belgian Ale V1.0 - This pick is not a knock on Abjuration Brewing, or the Vanilla Oak Belgian Ale. The pretentiousness comes from those that seek it out, the ones that yearn for exclusivity, and having what others can't. With Abjuration's policy of only making any version of their recipe's only once, the exclusivity for this beer is unmatched. And it's really really good.
Trappist Rochefort 10 - You want Tom Brady? You've got Tom Brady. The Belgian brute is tough to beat, so you've got to have this Belgian Quad on your team if you have any hops of winning.
Lakefront Brandy Barrel-Aged Spiced Winter Lager will definitely warm your insides on a snowy December. Really boozy which is especially helpful if you're a Buffalo or Cleveland fan. Once you get inside the stadium you can taper off with the sobering reminder of $16 for macro horse piss.
O'Fallon Hemp Hop Rye Amber is a drinkable red amber, so it's good as just a fall beer. But as pumpkin is just a gimmick, this maintains the gimmick aspect of including hemp in the recipe without being as harsh as The Hemperor. Try it out.
Left Hand Good Juju because not only is it a good ginger beer on its own, but I would totally try to make some Moscow mules, whiskey bucks and Jamesons and gingers with it in the theater or at a dry wedding.
THE LAZY SPORTSMAN
Sierra Nevada Otra Vez keeps you hydrated and competitive. The 4.5% ABV means you can keep going longer than the competition. It's like Gatorade but not as sweet.
Hitachino Nest New Year Commemorative Ale 2014 from Kiuchi Brewery. If you listened to the podcast episode, you heard Adam and I had picked the same beer. So I felt the need to pick something else. This beer hits a lot of those same pretentiousness notes we talked about. Snobs love to argue verticals and I picked the 2014 version simply because I had this year and actually liked it. Also it's an import. Snobs and pseudo-intellects love imports, but we don't get a lot of Japanese imports on the East Coast outside of Kirin and Sapporo.
Epic Brewing's Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist; you can call me a pastryboi if you want. I'll die before I refuse this 13% barrel aged coconut stout. And considering the amount of sugars and calories, it shouldn't be too long.
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Penn Brewery Oktoberfest
Odell Brewing Oktoberfest
DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus
Founders All Day IPA
Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren XII
Spoonwood Cold Drip City
WINTERGATER: Dark Gose
- Pittsburgh Local: Hitchhiker - Frequency Pattern
- National: Lagunitas - Dark Swan
ANTI-PUMPKIN: Nut or Caramel Brown Ale
- Local: East End - Fat Gary's Nut Brown Ale
- National: Duclaw - Dirty Little Freak
THE SNEAKER: Lager (so if I get caught and have to dispose of it or chug it, I won't be too upset)
- Local: Pizza Boy - Swinglebeer - Pineapple Lager
- National: Kona - Longboard Lager
THE LAZY SPORTSMAN: Session IPA's (can't get too drunk for sports)
- Local: Fat Heads - Sunshine Daydream
- National: Founder's All Day IPA
MR. PRETENTIOUS: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beers
- Local: Spoonwood Brewing - Beard of Bees
- National: KBS or CBS
- Local: Grist House - KABOOM CANDY (any variety would be fine)
- National: The Alchemist - Heady Topper
Saranac Carmel Porter by Saranac Brewery. As the last leaves fall and the days turn from chilly to bitter cold, it's time to break out the winter beers. The Steelers playoff picture is shaping up with a few key games left and I start reaching for these sweet malty brews. An excellent beer to start drinking early for the 1 o'clock games or for the prime time match ups. At 5.4% ABV slurping down a handful of these puppies won't endanger you forgetting the game too much.
Reaper's Harvest Rye by Helltown Brewing. Honestly, I like this rye IPA a decent amount but it only made this list because I can not think of another fall beer I have had that isn't a pumpkin beer.
Endeavour by Saint Arnold Brewing. An excellent DIPA by one of Houston's most prominent craft breweries. The Endeavour is available in cans which makes sneaking it in a bit easier than a bottled beer. A high ABV of 8.9% makes it so you only need to sneak a couple to get you where you need to go.
THE LAZY SPORTSMAN
Hop Knife by Troegs Independent Brewing. This delicious citrusy IPA offers a refreshing finish while flexing your beer muscles through all the lazy activities.
Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head Brewery. At a boastful 17.5% ABV and roughly priced at about $11 per 12oz bottle (woah like a dollar per ounce) this is one pretentious "my wort don't stank" beer. This bold and beautiful brew is a beer snob's wet dream while a casual beer drinkers socks would stand no chance.
Railbender Ale by Erie Brewing Company. I have yet to meet someone who does not enjoy a Railbender and I refuse to associate with anyone who would bring around that kind of negativity. This flagship beer of Erie Brewing is fantastic and fits all kinds of occasions. This is a great gateway for people just discovering craft beer while being good enough to keep the veterans coming back time and time again.
by Hop Nation USA's Steve
In Episode 59, we paired beers with the summer movies Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Mission: Impossible:: Fallout. I don’t think movies have enough colons. Here’s a few more pairings with movies, including Bonus audio cut from the show when Adam surprised Steve and Dennis with a challenge to pair beers with Incredibles 2.
Deadpool 2 - Plain and simple, original formula Four Loko. The first film was off the walls comedic mayhem like Bugs Bunny played Rambo. It’s safe to assume the sequel will be more guns, more explosions, more 4th wall renovations, and more mutants making it even crazier. You need to be able to wild out more than Nick Cannon in ‘05. O.G. Loko will get you there. Save the riot punch and coke for Deadpool 3 or X-Force.
by Hop Nation USA's Steve
On Episode 49(listen here) of the podcast, we had guest Jason Cercone pair some of the most popular WWE superstars with beers best representing them. Now on the precipice of Wrestlemania 34, I'm adding five of my own pairings.
Finn Balor is Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
Wrestling smarks and craft beer snobs are a lot alike. They love gatekeeping their favorite wrestlers and turning on them once they get popular. “X was way better before.” Despite Finn and the BCBS both working for the corporate overlords reviled by trve fans (WWE and AB-InBev respectively), they’re both undeniable. The most toxic smarks will line up to meet Finn the same as toxic snobs would for BCBS. Even if they have to shit talk and not admit it to their friends afterwards. Finn and BCBS also have even more rare alter egos (Demon King/Proprietor’s)
By Hop Nation USA's Steve
The naming conventions of the craft beer world are rife with puns, allusions, and pop culture references. So I think it’s only fair, anytime a brewer decides to name their latest libation in honor of their favorite movie or television show it should be paired and compared. These beers need to be put to the test of their namesake.
With that in mind, Søle Artisan Ales doesn’t even play around for their imperial cocoa stout. It’s simply titled Atmospheric Black Metal. Pretty bold for the Easton, PA brewery to call their shot like that, invoking ideas of devil worship and Scandinavians. The 10% stout is visually as black as the T-shirts in my closet, but can it really compare to the screaming buzzsaw, nightmare Satan summons of black metal?