Tag Archives: food and beer pairing

Citrus Classic Balloon Festival

I hosted yet another beer dinner on Saturday – this time at the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival in Santa Paula.
am Skywriters greeting the thousand of attendees!
am2 My company sponsored the festival and I got to set up the pairings, host and eat!
am3 Blue Moon was the welcome beer.
am4 Pork belly sliders paired with Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
am5 Rosemary chicken flatbread with Karl Strauss Red Trolley.
am6 Short ribs with risotto cake and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale.
am8 Flourless chocolate cake with Rodenbach Grand Cru.
am7 This is Samantha Harvey of Sam ‘n Ash! If you recall, she was playing EVERYTHING at the Banjo and Fiddle Fest! I had to get a picture to send to Brew Chief Joe for proof.
am9 As the sun began to set, the balloons began to rise.
am13 A delicious and magical evening! I love my job.

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Boys in Short Shorts

It’s been a busy week – that seems to be a new tradition. On Wednesday I had a beer and food pairing event at Sagebrush Cantina in Calabases that I designed and had to get there early to set up. I happened to get there just a tad too early and used the extra time as an excuse to go visit Pedaler’s Fork across the street.
AM I was a tad too late for breakfast…
am1 And just hungry enough that I might be able to finish a piece or two of flatbread.
am5 Smoked chicken and shishito peppers! Smokey and sweet.

The crew from Lagunitas happened to show up as I was enjoying my first bite. They ordered some fancy whiskey for themselves…
am7 …and a shot of Lagunitas Sucks for me. I had a speech to give so I was behaving.
am2 Behaving is very difficult with Pedaler’s selection of 32 taps, but I stood my ground.
am6 Except for a small sip of the fizz that mixologist Thor was trying out. Thor (his actual name is Tor, but I can’t not call him Thor) also happens to be a Chiver!
am4 In exchange for letting me call him Thor, I gave him a Bill F***ing Murray shirt. Good trade, in my opinion.
am3 I enjoyed the last of the sunlight in the rustic restaurant before going back across the street to set up.
am8 Beer. Check.
am9 Other beer. Check.
am11 More beer. Check.
am12 am13 am14 am15 am16 You get the idea. Check.
am10 All in all we had about eighteen different breweries attend with about thirty two beers. I’d spent the past week putting together and finalizing all of the food pairings. Unfortunately for you guys, I got too busy hosting and giving speeches (aka a single two-minute speech about how to taste the beer before I ran to Lagunitas and told them to “beer me” whilst holding out my four ounce glass for a fill) and was unable to take pictures of the actual prepared food. The event and pairing was well-received by all, and brewery tours were promised by reps. It was a good evening for me!

In other news, I’m slowly adding to my beer/brewery photography portfolio. I apologize in advance if these explicit photographs offend anybody.
am17 Behind the scenes for Enegren Brewing’s new beer Shorts Day.
am18 The official pic.
am19 The boys decided to try out the entire brew in their short shorts.
am20 The official beer picture for Shorts Day Spring IPA…
am21 And the background model in all of his white-legged glory.

Again, I’m so sorry.

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Beer Pairing: Bite Me Chicken Stew

Good afternoon! I’ve decided to start a little series about pairing different styles of beer with food –  partially in preparation for the Cicerone test, and partially because every single type of meal can be brought to another level when combined with the right style of beer. I’ll try to post a new pairing every week and if you have any questions, recommendations or requests, feel free to write them down in the comments!

Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather and was craving something warm with a spicy “bite”, so I threw a bunch of random foodstuffs from my cupboards into a pot and came up with:

Bite Me Chicken and Brown Rice Stew

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Serves 6-8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time
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50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Wonderfully hearty stew with a spicy bite on the end, balanced by creamy avocado and tangy lime juice.


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced green chiles (4 ounces)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 box Rice-A-Roni Spanish Brown Rice (Plus half of the spice packet)
  • 2/3 cups frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 avocado (cubed)
  • The juice of one lime


Step 1
Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
Step 2
Add the green chiles, tomatoes, Rice-A-Roni and 1/2 the spice packet and reduce to a simmer.
Step 3
Let it simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally then add the corn.
Step 4
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Step 5
Remove from heat, garnish with avocado and sprinkle with lime juice to taste.

If you’d like, you can even make your own chicken stock for this recipe, which is what I did.

Homemade Chicken Stock

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Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time
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3 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Soup
Simple chicken stock to add to any soup.


  • Remnants of a baked chicken, bones and all
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 4 carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-3 teaspoon flaked red pepper (depending on desire of spice)


Step 1
Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
Step 2
In a pan, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent (about 7 minutes).
Step 3
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes to the pot and let simmer for 1 to 3 hours.
Step 4
Remove the chicken bones, keeping as much meat in as possible and bring stock to a boil.

Continue with the Bite Me Chicken and Brown Rice Stew recipe above.
I decided to pair this wonderfully spicy stew with Uinta’s Cutthroat Pale Ale (I’d recommend either a pale ale or an IPA for this soup). The pale ale has just a hint of a bitter backend to enhance the spicy bite that rounds out the edges of the stew, but enough of a light graininess so as to not compete with the flavors. The caramel malts that grace your palate at the end of the sip brings out the sweetness of the corn and tender chicken. If you want to really suffer (in a good way), pair this with a seriously hoppy IPA like Dogfish Head 90 Minute or another dry pale ale. The hops will make the spice even more pronounced and clear your head of any congestion, guaranteed.

Other pale ale pairing recommendations:
– Fish ‘n chips – crisp hops help to cut through the grease
– Grilled/broiled halibut – dry pale ale doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavors of white fish
– Gumbo – hops bring out the spices while chilling the afterburn at the same time
– Sushi – light flavors in pale ale add a sweet complexity that pairs well with the vinegar-graced sushi rice
– Anything fried, spicy, or seafood of any kind
– Pale ales with higher IBUs are good for dishes like roast beef or pork roasts to bring out the sweetness of the meats

Any other food pairings you’ve tried with pale ale that you’d like to recommend?


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