Monthly Archives: September 2014

Glass is Life

This post brought to you by Glass Is Life. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Bites ‘n Brews.

Glass and beer go hand in hand together.
aa0 Growlers are my standard, especially working in a brewery as of late. There’s nothing better than going to the local brewery and getting 64 ounces of the freshest craft around. The dark glass that encases the precious liquid naturally protects the taste and integrity of the brew from skunking immediately in the sun and also seals in the carbonation, while looking cool and hefty.  I know brewers are passionate about their beer, and glass ensures that their brew is delivered to me with the same flavor and quality that they intend. While it’s simple to run into the local liquor store and pick up a six pack with those same protective brown bottles, I prefer to go straight to the source, and growlers are a great deal both financially as well as economically.
sus1 No matter how the beer finds its way to my home, however, it’s always decanted into a glass.

My favorite style is the tulip or globe – The bulbous base of the tulip allows for the necessary swirling to release the aromatics of the precious brew while the narrowing to the top of the glass forces the head of the beer together and supports it, creating not just a beautiful clarity to the beer, but a lasting and effervescent head.
am23 This year, O-I is a participating sponsor of the Great American Beer Festival which takes place in Denver from October 2-4, 2014. You can Follow Glass is Life on Facebook as well as Follow Glass is Life on Twitter. I’ll be attending GABF and can’t wait to connect with this company as well as see all of my old friends from California breweries, and my new Colorado craft beer cohorts for another amazing festival.

#ChooseGlass

The Glass Is Life community is a group of people committed to getting more glass back into our lives. We believe glass is pure, healthy and natural, the kind of packaging that’s better for food and drink, better for us and better for the environment.
Glass Is Life is brought to you by O-I, the century old leader in glass packaging. That’s one hundred years of making what we believe is the most beautiful, sustainable and innovative packaging on earth. So when you reach for the lightest weight wine bottle in the world, you’ll know we’re behind it. We’re behind the brands that shine in glass and the partnerships around the world that deliver delicious products in unique experiences of glass.

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Colorado Mary

All of the days have been blending together. The only way I’m able to figure out the difference between a weekday and a weekend is whether or not there’s a food truck outside the brewery.
aab3 A delicious Arepa Verde – a Colombian-style corn cake topped with avocado mayo, crispy pork, cilantro and lime juice from SoBe Fort Collins.
am Nomad Street Cuisine came on Saturday and I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever consumed. I don’t give out those labels lightly, my friends.
aabb Creamy Camobozola cheese, spicy arugula and sweet ‘n savory bacon jam on a juicy patty, served in a tender brioche bun. This was on par with my favorite burger of all time – The LAB burger. Seriously, it’s that good.
pump2 I could tell is was Sunday because the brewery was in use. We brewed our first guest beer – pumpkin ale!
pump1 Caramelized with a blow torch. Just because we can.
a 100lbs of torch-caramelized pumpkin went into the brew. I’m beyond excited to finally taste it!
mary2 My recipe development for Snowbank Brewing has been going slowly, but surely. After the Chimichurri and Pale Ale Infused Artichoke I ran out of time to cook for a while. This latest recipe was inspired by our traditional brunch we attend every Sunday.
am19 Bloody Mary Sundays at Gravity 1020, redux.
mary5

I’d like to start by saying that I do not like Bloody Mary’s. I’d only had two in my life and they just were not for me. Until this.

Colorado Mary

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Meal type Beverage
A spicy twist on the traditional Bloody Mary using Snowbank Brewing's Colorado Red ale.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup Colorado Red ale
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used the vinegar that came in the banana pepper jar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Small pinch of ghost pepper powder
  • 1 Large celery stalk
  • 1 dill pickle
  • 1 Large piece of bacon

Directions

Step 1
In a pitcher combine the tomato juice, Colorado Red ale, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, vinegar, freshly ground black pepper and ghost pepper and stir well.
Step 2
Using a lime, rim a shaker pint with salt, add ice cubes and Colorado Mary mixture and garnish as desired. Bacon is highly recommended.

This spicy twist on the traditional Bloody Mary with the addition of beer makes all the difference. The sweet malts and tomato juice are balanced out by the tangy vinegar and fiery ghost pepper. Add bacon. You just have to.
bank

And now I must head back to the brewery for yet another day of work. We have a special tasting with Tasty Harmony this evening for an exciting upcoming project. It’s no food truck, but I’m sure not complaining!

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Food Trucks and Fancy Brews

Snowbank Brewing has been open for 19 days today! I’m on 21 days of work straight and I couldn’t be happier!
aa0 In addition to managing the taproom an social media, I also get to be the brewery photographer – something that I’ve always loved doing since I began working with Enegren Brewing.
a1 Every morning I post our specials/pairings/events of the day on the brewery Facebook. When this includes food trucks, I need to have samples to ensure that the food and beer I’ve chosen pair well together.
a2 Umami rolled out a new special for us to pair with our Colorado Red – sweet chili pulled pork sliders topped with sweet chili slaw and Sriracha raita. Drool. I’d just had a huge brunch but I ate this anyway. It’s a difficult job, but I’m willing to sacrifice my waistline to do it.
aa1 We had the Silver Seed vegan truck set up outside this past weekend and got to enjoy some of the most flavorful and delicious vegan food I’ve ever had. Definitely the most adorable food truck I’ve ever seen in my life!
aa2 I could be vegan if everything tasted as good as this. No joke. And if someone were to make it for me. That too.
aad1 The Good Life – portobello and cremini mushrooms, arugula, fresh tomato, red onions and some kind of tangy, magical vegan aioli wrapped in ridiculously pillowy focaccia bread, paired with Moon Arete Wheat.
aa5 Barbecue squash tacos with fresh avocado and red cabbage paired with our Silent Snow White IPA. Heaven.
aa3 We also had Chaulkboard Gourmet Express up from Loveland for Friday night. Billy brought out these beef and chicken tacos for us to sample and I ended up getting an order of them. AFTER I ordered and ate an entire green chili Philly cheesesteak.
b6 Not the prettiest, but definitely the most delicious.
sus1 If there aren’t food trucks available, I normally bring in something from the grocery store. California rolls and Bike Trail Pale Ale.
am When I’m not gorging myself silly, I actually do end up getting work done around the taproom. Weekdays are relatively quiet here so I can get all of my office work, spreadsheets and emails done.
am3 I’ve got custody of this kid for a few weeks. I don’t think he’s quite comfortable being the brewery dog yet…
am8 He much prefers a soft couch and fluffy blanket to the cold floor of the taproom.
am6 On Sundays and Mondays we close at 6pm, so for the next month I’ll be able to enjoy the last rays of sun before the season shifts and it starts getting dark early.
am7
Nothing pairs with a fiery sunset like a Colorado Red.
am I initiated The SnowBANK – our buy a friend a beer board! I did one of these for Enegren Brewing in California and it was a hit (John from the Chive ended up buying 40 people pints through that one!), so I was dying to finally start this. Pay it forward!
am2
We’ve had tons of industry folk swing through our little brewery, and they always bring presents. Hop Zealot IPA from Justin at Twisted Pine Brewing.
am1
AND Twisted Wit from Twisted Pine. Ridiculously generous. After a long day at the brewery, our team of four heads over to someone’s house to sample the wares and make a family style dinner.
crooked
One of my blog readers-turned-friend, Aaron C., brought this Blackberry Dark Origins on one of our first days. Soooo delicious! I had dreams about this beer that very night.
am9
Eric H. came from California and brought this gem. Thank you so much, Eric! “Contains alcohol”. That’s an understatement. At 19.2%ABV, this delectable beauty packs a wallop. All four of us were in bliss. And I was very grateful to everyone in my group for being willing to share it with me. So selfless.
am4 And now I need to go on a full body cleanse thanks to all of the delicious food trucks that have been stopping by.

Do you have a favorite food truck in your town?

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Chimichurri and Pale Ale Infused Artichoke

Working at the brewery every single day makes it pretty difficult to find the time to actually cook something. Luckily, I’ve got the pressure cooker to combat that issue. Photographing is another story since I get home after dark every day. For this artichoke recipe, I started cooking at 9am so I could get my good lighting, wrap it up and be at the brewery by 10am. Nothing like garlicky artichokes and beer for breakfast!
art1 This is a recipe that has been on my brain ever since that first fateful day of Becki vs. artichoke. If you cannot beat the artichoke, you must become the artichoke. Lourdes Gourmet sent me another care package in the mail so I could actually make that dream of a recipe become a reality. First, you hack off the top inch of the artichoke and trim the leaves with kitchen shears.
art2 Smother the top with chimichurri sauce, being sure to work the sauce into the leaves with the spoon.
art4 Place in a pressure cooker with a cup of pale ale (preferably Snowbank Brewing’s Bike Trail Pale) and cook for 10-12 minutes.
art5 Serve and pair with a pint of the same pale ale you cooked with.

Chimichurri and Pale Ale Infused Artichoke

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 17 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Serve Hot
This artichoke is infused with lemony, garlicky Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce and pressure-cooked to the tenderest perfection with the use of Snowbank Brewing's Bike Trail Pale ale in place of water.

Ingredients

  • 1 artichoke
  • 4 + 1 tablespoons Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 cup Snowbank Brewing Bike Trail Pale Ale (or other pale ale)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions

Step 1
Slice off the top inch of the artichoke and trim each leaf with kitchen shears.
Step 2
Spoon the Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce over the top and work into each leaf with the spoon.
Step 3
Place the cup of pale ale in the bottom of the pressure cooker and add the artichoke, stem down so the sauced end is facing upwards.
Step 4
Bring to pressure and cook for 11-12 minutes. Remove the pressure cooker from the hot area of the stove and allow to naturally depressurize.
Step 5
In a small cup, melt the butter and mix in one tablespoon of chimichurri sauce.
Step 6
Remove the artichoke from the pressure cooker and drizzle the butter/chimichurri sauce over the top.
Step 7
Devour the best artichoke you have ever had.

art3 The butter sauce for dipping afterwards is completely unnecessary. The Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce melts in the pressure cooker and falls inside the leaves of the artichoke while the pale ale infuses its flavor into each piece. This is, hands down, the BEST and most tender artichoke I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. I ate it for breakfast and I would eat it again with every meal if I had the means to make it.

Now go invest in a pressure cooker and order some of this sauce online. You can thank me later.

I was supplied with free product from Lourdes Gourmet with which to create recipes. All reviews/opinions/obsessions are my own.

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Nine Days In

We survived our first week!
AM2 It’s been a crazy one full of massive numbers of taster flights and pints served to happy people.
brew1 Dave (Snowbank’s owner and brewer) ended up having to do a double brew over this past weekend to refill all of the Colorado Red that everyone has been downing.
br1 The fermentors are fat and happy, giving off little gassy burps of CO2 as the yeast inside converts the sugary wort into beer.
game2 There have been plenty of rainy days when we were afraid no one would come in, but the game shelf has been in full use during those hail storms.
Rainbow It’s always nice to remember that at the end of every rough day, there’s a pint of beer awaiting us.
SnowCover And we have quite a rainbow of styles to choose from.
Friday Social media has been in full swing and it’s been nice to hear some of the feedback from people who only knew we were here because of our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. (We really need to get some bigger signs outside.)
oohmaamee Umami celebrated Labor Day with us and served up absolutely incredible dishes to pair with each of our beers.
am3 Teriyaki pulled pork sliders…
am5 Ninja bowls with spicy chicken and udon noodles…
am4 And my personal favorite of the day – chicken bahn mi with black rice pilaf. This is, hands down, the best sammich I have ever consumed. And I’ve consumed a lot of sammiches in my day.
am So as our second weekend and first holiday as a brewery wraps up, I look forward to many more days in a row with no break in sight.
bank And I couldn’t be happier with how this blessed life has turned out.

What was the highlight of your long Labor Day weekend?

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