Beer Wednesday – Allagash Curieax

•November 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

As I mentioned on Monday, I know I’ve been gone for quite some time from the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve missed you all and I’m happy to be back.

I’ve had some amazing beers lately, and while I haven’t been blogging, I have been drinking, and some of the beers I’ve had have been amazing.

This tasty vegan brew, I’m happy to say, was one of the amazing ones.

Curieux, Allagash, bourbon barrel ale, ale, malty ale

Allagash Curieax is aged in bourbon barrels, so there’s a lot of bourbon taste, with little of the alcohol burn. It’s rich, sweet, and malty, with a little too much alcohol taste until it warms up and opens.

The nose is mostly malt and bourbon, with very little in the way of hops, but the flavor is still rich and delicious.

I’m really happy to return to blogging about vegan beer with Allagash Curieax, which earns a 5/6 on my six-pack scale. Let me know if you’ve had this limited edition vegan ale, and like I said on Monday, thanks for coming back!

5 out of 6, 5/6 sixpack, opened six pack

I’ve missed you!

•November 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged. I haven’t given up on blogging, nor have I gone off the wagon and started eating meat, or gotten on the wagon and stopped drinking beer (God forbid!).

No, instead, I’ve just been really, really, busy.

I most recently blogged before going away on a service trip to Boston. I go on this trip every year, and, I even got celebrities to guest-post for me last year. This year, I didn’t really ask for any help, thinking that I could manage to keep posing, and get my page loaded up with enough posts that I could keep posing and never miss a beat.

How’d that work out for me?

So, when I returned from Boston, I was already out of the habit of blogging, so. . . I stayed out of the habit. Well, now that I’ve started teaching at a new school, had a birthday, seen Halloween, and planned to blog about a million times, it seems like it’s about time that I actually did some blogging.

I figured I could return with a beer (I mean, it’s not like I stopped drinking recently) or I could return by talking about all of the things I did this summer (service trip, home-brewer camping trip, working at summer school, taking classes), or I could post my first recipe in a million years.

Well, since posting should be something pretty immediate (which leaves out most of what I did over the summer) and I feel like all I blogged about for the six months before I vanished off of the face of the Earth was beer, maybe I should post a recipe that I enjoy for the nights when it’s getting cooler and cooler, and that has sufficient flair to serve to your significant other: eggplant parmigiana.

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This recipe is modified from Mario Batali’s recipe on food.com, so all credit should go to an amazing chef, not to me.

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup world’s best pasta sauce
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella
1/8 cup breadcrumbs
Vegan parmesean
Salt
Pepper
Italian spices (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.)

First, slice the eggplant into 1″ rounds and lay them out on a cooling rack. Using kosher salt, heavily salt the eggplant on both sides, and leave out for 1-2 hours. You’ll want to put a cookie sheet under the cooling rack to catch the salt add you spread it and the water as it drips off of the eggplant.

(I know there’s some disagreement on whether or not to salt eggplant, but I feel like it makes a huge difference in the tatte and texture on the eggplant. It firms it up for cooking and gives it a little bit more umami flavor. But don’t take my word for it. Look it up.)

Pre-heat the oven to 450°.

Rinse the eggplant really well to get all of the salt off it, and squeeze it well. You want to ensure that the eggplant has as little moisture in it as possible.

Lay the eggplant down on a cookie sheet and spray it with spray oil. Bake it for 15 minutes.

When the eggplant is done, take it out and turn the oven down to 405°. Lay the largest eggplant rounds in a baking dish and spoon on about 1 Tbsp of pasta sauce. Shake some seasonings onto the sauce, and then sprinkle a scant Tbsp of the Daiya on top. Repeat this with the next two rounds. You should end up with three towers of eggplant, about three or four rings high.

After the third round, top it with the sauce and cheese, and then sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and vegan parmesean.

Bake the eggplant at 405° for about 20 minutes. (Remember that Daiya melts at 400° and above) Once the breadcrumbs are browned, the eggplant is done.

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This recipe looks way more time and work intensive than it really is and scales up really easily. Make it for an evening when you have someone to impress and let me know how it goes.

And thanks for coming back!

Beer Wednesday: Hop Heaven Week 2 – Green Flash Palate Wrecker

•July 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday! Or should I say “Hoppy” Beer Wednesday?

This week I’m continuing my visit to hop heaven with a trip to Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker Imperial IPA, or, as they refer to it, “Hamilton’s Ale.”

Green Flash, Palate Wrecker, Imperial IPA, IPA, Double IPA, Hamilton's ale, vegan beer, vegan ale, vegan imperial IPA, vegan double IPA, vegan ale, pale ale, vegan pale ale,

As you might expect, this ale was super hoppy. I mean, at 149 IBUs, it was mouth puckeringly bitter. Interestingly enough, though, there was a really strong malt and a rich citrus nose. At 9.5% ABV, I expected it to taste stronger, but the mouthfeel was thick and that, plus the incredible hoppiness, hid the alcohol.

I can’t claim that there wasn’t truth in advertising there, as this did indeed annihilate my palate for anything else. . . until the Blonde took out some dried dates. The sweetness of the dates managed to hold up with the bitterness of the beer, and they ended up pairing perfectly.

Don’t assume that you could drink this beer with dinner, but maybe as a dessert beer paired with something really sweet.

Either way, I’m hopped up to give this vegan double IPA a 3 out of 6 on my six-pack scale, and of the hoppy beers I’ve had, this one ranks a 1-hop, not because it’s bad, but just because of the ones I’ve had, it was my least favorite.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,

 

 

Hops, bines, hop, beer, hoppy beer, ale, single hop, one hop, hops

If you’ve had this vegan beer, let me know if you agree with my opinion, or if my head is in the clouds!

Beer Wednesday – Birra Moretti

•June 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week I’m drinking an Italian beer that I first stumbled across at an Italian festival in Baltimore a few years ago. At least I think it was this beer. My father-in-law and I grabbed a couple and neither of us can fully recall what the beer was. We both believe that it was Birra Moretti, but I remember really liking it on the street.

Birra Moretti, Italian beer, vegan beer, vegan lager, italian lager, lager, beer,

This vegan beer was, in a word, unimpressive. It was a light lager, without the warning of it being labeled light. The flavor was kind of generically beery and disappointing. Despite the 4.6% ABV, it was still kind of thin and boring.

While this might be better from an ice-cold bottle on the street, with a slice of vegan pizza in my other hand, as it was poured in my glass, I have to give it a 2/6 on my six-pack scale. All told, I’d rather drink Yuengling.

wpid-six-pack-two.jpg

Have you got any beers that you expected to be better than they were? Or any good memories tied to a mediocre beer that make it seem better than it really is? Let me know.

Beer Wednesday – Blue Moon Belgian White Ale

•June 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

Today I’m bringing you a review of a shockingly vegan beer, Blue Moon’s flagship Belgian White Ale.

This beer is a standard white ale, and, in fact, is, on a state by state level, the best selling beer in the country.

Now, if this is indeed the case, well, it’s better than most of the beers on that map, but let’s be honest, nothing brewed by MillerCoors could possible be that good. It just isn’t in their nature.

Blue Moon, Belgian White Ale, Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, popular beer

That having been said, this isn’t terrible beer. Calling it good might be a little strong, but it’s. . . fine. The fact that it is 5.4% ABV helps make it more palatable, but the sort of wheaty, and still bland nose, coupled with a thin, somewhat filmy taste make it over all, not very good.

Now, don’t misunderstand, Blue Moon is better than any other beer brewed by MillerCoors, but with just 9 IBUs and the claim that it has “zesty orange fruitiness,” well, it just doesn’t have sufficient balance to satisfy a decent beer drinker. If you’re looking for something to swill at a similar price point, I would go with Yuengling lager, or Magic Hat #9.

This beer, while the best of a bad bunch, earns a 2 out of 6 on my six-pack scale. I’d avoid it, but I’d love to hear if you disagree.

Two Beers, Six Pack, Open Six Pack, Broken Six pack, white six pack

Tofurkey breakfast sausage

•June 9, 2014 • 2 Comments

Not too long ago, the Blonde and I had a craving: sausage. Not just any sausage, but breakfast sausage. Enter Tofurkey! We saw the package, and we immediately agreed that it would be half of breakfast.

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The links fired up decently, with minimal sticking to the pan, and they smelled good, almost like traditional sausage. They looked a little bit like “fake meat” but I’ve gotten a little used to that when it comes to Tofurkey brand.

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The texture was sort of traditional Tofurkey, soft, with small bits of a firmer texture. It was a little salty, a little sweet, and very traditionally “Tofurkey.”

Don’t get me wrong, without Tofurkey, there would be fewer vegans, and we wouldn’t have nearly the seitan choices that we do today, but overall, I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the Tofurkey breakfast sausage. It could use a little bit more sweetness, and maybe a little more flavor, and a tad less salt.

Maybe next time I’ll just make my own breakfast sausage.

 

 

Beer Wednesday – Ruthless Rye IPA

•June 4, 2014 • 4 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’m pretty happy to have another West Coast IPA, Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye IPA.

This non-traditional IPA has amazing color, a rich, deep amber, and a nose that is a blend of hops and malt, without too much bitterness.

Ruthless, Rye IPA, Ruthless Rye, Sierra Nevada, California beer, Sierrra Nevada Brewing

The taste is rich and malty, with a ton of sweetness up front. The hops are light, without a whole lot of hoppy bitterness or citrus. The malt is almost more of a Belgian than a West Coast IPA, which changes how I feel about it.

I want a West Coast IPA to be really big and hoppy, and this vegan beer just isn’t. If this beer were presented as a Belgian style IPA, I might be raving. The malt is rich and smooth, and the hops aren’t overpowering, but let’s be honest, when you get an IPA, you want that vegan beer to be super hoppy. Or at least I do. The malt had a really interesting flavor to it, which I assume comes from the rye, but it still wasn’t quite right.

If this were a Belgian IPA, I would be happy to give it a higher rating, but as it is, while good, I can’t give it more than a 3 out of 6 on my six-pack scale.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,Now, I may be off, but let me know if you disagree in the comments.

 
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