Beer may be in the spotlight this weekend, but for most of the year, it plays second fiddle to wine, especially when discussed in the context of dining. (How come the term is always "wine and food" and never "beer and food"?) Beer doesn't just make a fantastic pairing with virtually every food, it's also an ideal cohort for putting in any meal. Here are 10 recipes you should prepare with (and while drinking) beer.
Whether you're in the mood for a mellow witbier, a bitter IPA, or even a sour ale, one of these six brews is bound to quench your thirst. Take a look at the tasting notes for our favorite beers that we tried this week.
While we certainly don't eschew a bottle of sudsy brew any time of year, something about March weather and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebration has left us with an intense desire to crack open bottles with increasing frequency. Click through for our favorite picks we tried (and loved) this week — we hope you'll enjoy them as much as we did!
In America, we'd probably call it an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich, but across the Atlantic in the British Isles, it's known as Welsh rarebit (also called Welsh rabbit). The dish consists of a beer and cheese sauce that is poured over a slice of toast. Dating back to 300 years ago, rarebit first made its appearance in taverns across Ireland and England. Who wouldn't want to pair their ale with a cheese toasty?
While there are various renditions of rarebit, this particular recipe features Guinness and Irish cheddar to make it St. Patrick's Day-appropriate. The cheesy spread doesn't look very appetizing after a whirl in the food processor, but after a trip to the broiler, it emerges bubbling, gooey, and impossible to resist. Comforting like the American classic but with bolder flavors from the beer, mustard, and cayenne, it's like a grilled cheese, all grown up.
In New Orleans, revelers celebrate one last hurrah before the Lenten season during debaucherous Mardi Gras, but in Munich, there's less of a need to blow off steam thanks to Starkbierzeit, or "strong beer season." Each March, breweries in the region churn out doppelbock, a high-alcohol, intensely rich and malty brew, in celebration of the 17th century monks who created it. Characterized as Oktoberfest minus the tourists, Starkbierzeit isn't highly publicized, but the beer it honors has quite a following in Germany and in many other parts of the world. Ready to drink in some strong beer fun facts? Just read on.
You might be aware that beer glasses come in varying shapes and sizes, but perhaps you haven't been briefed on the specifics. Like wine goblets, different beer vessels are designed to enhance aroma, retain foam and texture, and trap flavor compounds. Can you guess which beer style is designed to go into each one of these vessels? (Here's a tip: don't let the color of the beer in the glass throw you off!) Find out if the glass you're raising is the right one when you take our quiz.Take the Quiz
We may start our morning off with a fermented kombucha drink, but back in the Middle Ages, the main source of hydration was ale. That's right: beer! Originating from the Old English world ealu, ale has been around for centuries and was a necessity during the Middle Ages, since the risks for contaminated water were great and the fermented beverage likely killed any harmful bacteria. While our consumption of ale has diminished greatly since then (as lagers seem to reign supreme in the beer industry), you may find yourself ordering a stout or a Belgian white and wonder, "Hmm, is this a lager or an ale?"
Here's the first and most noticeable way to recognize the difference: the taste and appearance. Compared to lagers, which tend to be crisp, clean-tasting, light-bodied, and served really cold, ale is bitter, fruity, full-bodied, and served only slightly cooler than room temperature. But to make things taste the way they do, it's all in the method of fermentation.
What do certain recipes for nacho dip, ice cream, and white beans have in common? Why, none other than good ole beer. You'd be surprised that booze is a key ingredient in some unique and ingenious dishes. Click through to see what we're talking about and try them yourself.
This isn't your grandma's soup recipe, that's for sure — and we mean that in the best way possible. Beer, bacon, and cheese come together for a rich, hearty meal that's simple to make and even better when presented in a bread bowl. We have a feeling you'll be reaching for this dish day after day. Don't believe us? Check out the video, take down the recipe, and see for yourself!
While few kitchen endeavors instill a greater sense of accomplishment than baking up a loaf of yeasted bread from scratch, quick breads (like beer bread) are often more practical and fill the doughy void with panache. Take for example this tender, craggy, and all-around delectable loaf. Unlike its twice-risen brethren, it can be yours in just under an hour from start to finish — a boon for the instant gratification set. Even better, its yeasty aroma will perfume your home in an intoxicating manner as it bakes; it's a true twofer if there ever was one.
I prefer mine toasted and slathered in butter, but it's also an excellent accompaniment to soups of all stripes — especially this cheddar-beer showstopper.
Don't think you'll be able to finish up the whole loaf within a day or two? Slice up the remainder of the loaf and freeze it tightly sealed; the next time you're yearning for a slice just toast it up per usual (it may need an extra minute cook time); the freezer staves off staling exceptionally well. (This tip also translates well to near-all manner of bread, muffins, and unfrosted cake, though with cake, simply allow it to thaw at room temperature before frosting or devouring plain.)