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Posts Tagged ‘farmhouse ale’

So, I recently devoted about three hours to making making a zillion (read: 200) of these:

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And good ‘nuther (<–that should really just be a word now, and I shouldn’t have to look like a hillbilly to write out my natural way of speaking) 4-4.5 hours stuffing them into goody bags like this one:

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along with chocolate candies and matchboxes with our name + date on it (of which we now have a ton leftover, because you can only order them in sets of 50!):

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about a zillion times over:

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This was actually a really cool craft, which I found here. We collected bottle caps for a few months, before filling a gallon-sized ziploc bag and decided we had enough. It was also cool to look through all the candles while stuffing them into the bags and reminiscing about all the different beers we drank over that time, or pondering the mysteries of ambiguous bottle caps and wondering what the heck beer it went to.

That said, I don’t know how people manage to get so crafty with their weddings, let alone enjoy being crafty with their weddings. This was my one wedding craft, and the amount of labor involved in making sure everyone has a couple candles, some Dove chocolates and Hershey kisses, and a matchbox to show from our wedding, made me realize about half a wax block in that I was done-ski with wedding crafts after this.

Advantage to getting married + having your reception outdoors?

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No need to decorate! Mother nature is your decoration!

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Actual pictures of where we’re getting married…not taken by me.

Here’s one of us there in April though, when it was still snowy and barren, and slightly less lush and picturesque:

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Dan looks so weird to me now without the goatee.

We were left with one odd candle (Not sure how that happened! I definitely bought 200 wicks and 200 wick clips, in bags of 50 each, and used them all. So unless a few were dropped on the floor or the count on the bags was inaccurate, or the count on the plastic bags + twisty ties that I packaged them with–also supposed to be exactly 100, for 2 candles per bag–I’m not sure how we ended up with an odd number of candles), and I decided to snag the Hofbrauhaus one for ourselves, since we’ll be seeing the Hofbrauhaus live and in person in a couple weeks!

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So speaking of the family I’m marrying into + stuff that eases the pain of wedding crafting, the in-laws recently went on a trip to Kansas City, MO and came back raving about a beer they had at the Boulevard Brewing Company called Tank 7. And of course, brought us back a couple to sample!

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I don’t know why, but I was less crazy about this on the first bottle than the second. Not that I disliked it; I just think for some reason the circumstances of my second tasting led me to appreciate it more. It’s a farmhouse-style ale, at 8.0% ABV. It’s almost got a Belgian IPA-esque quality, with a very prominent citrusy-hop taste and aroma (lemons + oranges are leading the charge of the flavor-brigade), and that smooth quality of Belgian yeast. Maybe also resembles a rustic French style, like biere de garde? Anyway, I highly recommend if you’re in Kansas City (or feel like seeking out an out-of-state beer online, if you’re not in Kansas City, since I don’t think these are widely distributed beyond their locale of production).

And lastly, and with no smooth transition, I’m sure all of your heard about a little thing called Hurricane Irene that graced us with her presence mere days after Earthquakepocalypse 2011 (aka, get-out-of-work-free day). Luckily we were spared most serious damage here in our part of Virginia, and even kept our power. I was happy about that, but actually a little disappointed we didn’t get to use our awesome GorillaTorches.

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We had one clamped to the guitar stand here, and one clamped to the exercise bike on the other side of the room. I gotta say, with an 80 hour battery life and some sort of awesome lighting technology I don’t understand, these things can light up a fuckin’ room + do it for a long time. A great power outage investment, for any situation in which you lose power.

Anyway, I went for a walk all around Rosslyn + into DC the next morning, to survey the damage. Turned out there wasn’t much, but the atmosphere (literally and figuratively) early in the morning after the storm was surreal. The streets were nearly empty, except for a few people walking around like me, and though it wasn’t raining anymore, we still had pretty extreme wind gusts (upward of 30 mph, which is unusual for this area…not so unusual for where I used to live in Harrisonburg!). The air was cool and light, maybe hovering in the upper 60s or low 70s, almost as if the air had breathed a sigh of relief, exhaling the nearly constant soupiness of a swampy DC summer, and a huge weight was lifted off the land’s shoulders. The wind gusted through without making it cold or unpleasant, just matching the temperature around it, and it was actually quite calm, in a weird way, and pleasant to walk through.

Anyway, like I said, there wasn’t too much major damage. But I did have my camera with me, and I did get some photos of the construction site on 17th St. (or 16th St? I can’t remember which it was now), which was pretty badly flooded. And this guy that was looking onto the scene a few yards down from me, who wandered down into the flooded pit. I’m not exactly sure why, or who he was.

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And that’s all she wrote! For now at least. I’ll probably be MIA (but that’s no new thing to I+A readers) for the next few weeks, since there’s the getting married thing next weekend, then from the 16th-24th we’ll be bopping our way by train + foot through Germany and Austria. Rest assured though, there will be an epic beer-centric honeymoon recap once we return!

Cheers!

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Oh yes. It’s that time of year again. It’s brisk. Downright cold, even (compared to the brutal, recently-passed summer). People go into hibernation mode. They crave warm, hearty foods. Enter: chili!

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Now, I’ll tell you how I got there in a second. First, let me tell you about Dan and my history with chili. It’s pretty much our specialty dish. We would cook it almost much every time we met up at my family’s cabin in Lebanon Church (the halfway point between Harrisonburg and Arlington) when we were doing the long-distance thing while I was still in college. It warmed us many a cold night up there, ladled into bowls and topped with sour cream, and many a cool morning after, piled onto eggs. We perfected a recipe all our own, that involved ground beef, diced tomatoes, dark kidney beans, peppers (both bell and habanero), onions, a secret blend of southwestern spices, and our key ingredient: a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. We’d let that thing simmer for hours and it only got better the next day.

However, one thing we had never made was white chicken chili. So, for the sake of doing something new last night, I decided to make this. I loosely based it on this recipe, with some changes. I used corn instead of zucchini, completely disregarded the measurements for the spices because it seemed WAY too under-seasoned, added in a few extra seasonings like paprika and garlic powder (in addition to the fresh garlic already in there), didn’t rinse my beans (that stuff that coats them = starch + sodium. ┬áStarch + sodium = delicious), and replaced one of the three cups of chicken stock with a cup of this guy:

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Now now, that’s a pretty pose, but we can’t see your branding. Look up a little bit.

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There we go. Now the whole world can see you are the Heinnieweisse Weissebier Farmhouse Ale from Butternuts Beer and Ale in Garrattsville, NY (well, they can’t see the brewery info, but I looked it up). I chose this beer for two reasons: a) it was a flavorful but light-colored/bodied beer that seemed to fit the white-chicken-chili ethos, and b) you could buy individual cans of it from the Euro Mart on Wilson Blvd. that I stopped in at on my walk, so I wouldn’t have to carry a whole six-pack home.

Of course, I bought two cans: one to cook with, and one to sample while I was cooking. And I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed! This is the first beer I’ve ever had from a can that actually tasted as good as beer from bottles. I know canned beers are making a comeback nowadays, and with advances in canning technology and materials, there is supposed to be no difference in quality between cans and bottles, save for those that arise out of our own prejudices. But I have to say, either my prejudices must be awful strong or that claim is just not the truth. I’d previously tried another beer from this brewery, the Porkslap Pale Ale, which I ordered at GalaxyHut purely because of the funny name. Meh. I didn’t think it was very flavorful. My next experience with a canned craft brew was Old Chub, a Scotch ale from Oskar Blues. It was good, because come on, you can’t make a Scotch ale without it having flavor. But I just didn’t think it had the body or the heft of a bottled Scotch ale.

But this beer actually tasted comparable to a hefeweizen or farmhouse ale that comes from a bottle. It’s actually kind of an interesting taste: both hefeweizen AND farmhouse ale? Wheaty, yeasty, AND wild-saison-y tasting? Yes, please. I’d like another. And I’d like one for my chili too!

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Oh. And of course. I forgot one other modification I made to the recipe. Dan’s aviator glasses are a requirement for chopping that onion that goes in there, as they cover a large proportion of my face and provide the best tear-guard I’ve found to date.

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I have to say, this was a pretty good recipe. I let it simmer longer than usual, in an attempt to get it to boil down more, but then conceded to the fact that it’s not a thick, tomato-ey chili like we’re used to having. It’s more a soupy chili. And that’s OK. I also stirred a good amount of sour cream into my bowl, and topped it with crushed tortilla chips.

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Blue corn all the way! Times these chips by about five (I’d already eaten some of it, and kept adding more as I went along).

Click here if you want a more printer-friendly version of the recipe. A warning: this will make A LOT of chili. We both had hearty portions, and the leftovers just barely fit into a very large container. But I’m betting this is easily freezable, and can be pulled out at a moment’s notice to warm your soul (and stomach) on a cold night and be enjoyed with a nice farmhouse ale.

Cheers!

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