The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2011

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ries—enough that I hope to have cocktail cherries for the entire year. Currently on my menu I am utilizing both Rainier cherries and strawberries. For our house sangria I just go to the walk-in and grab whatever fruit is on hand that particular day: gooseberries, fresh red currants, apriums, etc. I never know what I am going to find in there. Fresh Bergamot is a very new addition to my cocktail menu—something I had never even heard of until very recently. It was one of our purveyors who approached Chef Will about all these amazing herbs they were growing. BA: Chef Will, what are some fun ways to incorporate beer on a food menu? Chef Will: I try to incorporate the flavors of beer into my menu, more than just using a beer outright, by thinking about malt, barley and hops more like flavoring agents or spices in my food. I have used malted barley powder in desserts to add a more savory element to them; on our current menu we take a malted-chocolate bonbon and coat it in malted barley powder to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. I have a big passion for vinegars, and working with malt vinegar is always a favorite. In the past, we have emptied the last couple of quarts of a keg and incubated with a vinegar mother. We use the malt vinegars for pickles and vinaigrettes, as well as for adding acid to a dish. BA: Adam, what spirits go naturally with beer? Adam: With darker beers such as stouts and porters, barrel- aged spirits like rum and bourbon work well together. With a lighter style beer such as a pilsner or lager, gin and other white spirits meld very nicely. Fruit liqueurs can also make a very basic, but also delicious and very approachable beer cocktail. BA: If each of you could create your own beer, what style would it be, what would you name it and why? Adam: Two of my favorite styles of beer are black and smoked beers, either of which can be co-opted with a traditional beer style; there are black lagers and black IPAs. The same goes for smoked beers. I have had smoked porters, weissen, märzens and dunkels, not to mention many one-off brews from microbrewers. For my beer, I would combine the two to make a smoked black IPA. I would call it Dark 'n Smoky, both because that is what it is, but also a nod to the Dark 'n Stormy. I would also run a Boilermaker special and serve it with a shot of Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Chef Will: A Belgian-style ale with a fruit called the medlar, a hard, apple-like fruit that's picked when firm and then allowed to ripen at room temperature for several weeks. The aroma is really powerful—kind of malty and sweet, similar to a date. I would name it Bletted, which refers to bletting, the process of letting the fruit get beyond ripe, just to the point of decay and fermentation. BA: Do you prefer working with and drinking domestic, imported or micro beers? Adam: I prefer to both work with and drink micro beers. The sheer number of great breweries we have here in the Pacific Northwest is astounding. Although I do mainly drink micro beers, I also branch out from time to time. I occasion- ally get a craving for some imported beer, usually it's a German Weissbier, or if the mood strikes me, I really like a good smoked beer. Aecht Schlenkerla makes some really tasty but also some extremely smoky beers; they can be bit overpowering if you are not accustomed to them. When I am looking for that flavor but maybe not that intensity, both Stone and Alaskan Brewing make very good lightly smoked beers. october 201 1 / the tasting panel / 95 THE DISH: Marinated Mussels with Beer Crème Fraîche and Hop-Pickled Apples ■ ■ 5 lbs. mussels 16 oz. Upright Brewing Four* Steam cleaned mussels in beer over high heat until they open. Place in refrigerator to cool, reserving cooking liquid. Shell cooled mussels, reserving shells for presentation. Place mussels into a tall container and add marinade; marinate 6 hours to 2 days. Marinade ■ ■ ■ ■ 16 oz. Upright Brewing Four* 4 oz. malt vinegar 1 oz. whole-grain mustard 4 oz. canola oil Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk loosely to incorporate. NOTE: See for recipe for beer and mussel crème fraîche and hop-pickled apples. To serve: Squeeze a dime-sized dollop of beer and mussel crème fraîche in a mussel half-shell and add marinated mussel. Top with pickled apples and crispy bacon. THE DRINK: Bent Beer Cocktail Bent Beer Cocktail ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 1½ oz. Wild Turkey 101 bourbon ¾ oz. Snap ginger liqueur ½ oz. sweet vermouth 2 dashes Angostura bitters 3 oz. Upright Brewing Four* Combine all ingredients except the beer in a mixing glass, add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Top with 3 oz. Upright Brewing Four. Garnish with a lemon twist. *Upright Brewing Four is a farmhouse wheat beer brewed in Portland. Any good Belgian-style farmhouse ale can be substituted with similar effect.

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