Espacio by Ecliptic [Beer Review]

Espacio Cookies!

Recently, I attended Ecliptic Brewing’s release party of their Espacio Mexican-Style Lager.  The beer was amazing.  Like a fancied up Corona, the amount of lime was pretty good.  Just enough to be noticeable.  It went really well with the tacos that were offered at the release party.  Espacio is a classic light lager, I would definitely appreciate a cold can of it on a good, hot day.  However, sometimes, Portland’s grey weather is not fashionably appropriate for a Mexican lager.

Since I’m a baker, I draw inspiration from almost anything around me.  The Espacio was no different.  After the release party, I went home and created a custom cookie that would go great with a can of Espacio on a good, hot day.  The recipe is below for you to try yourself.  The hint of chili adds to the lime already in the Espacio.

Espacio Cookies:

  • 3/4 C butter (room temp) if butter is salted omit 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temp)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  1. Sift flour, salt, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder together.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and egg to butter mixture, scrape bowl and mix until combined
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Dough should pull off the sides of the bowl and stick to itself. If the dough sticks to sides it may be too wet, add some flour (little at a time). If the dough is crumbly it is too dry, add little bits of milk or egg white to moisten it.
  5. Press into large flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 min.
  6. Roll out to 1/4” thickness between two pieces of parchment or wax paper (using more flour can overwork the dough) cut out desired shapes and bake on parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. Make sure cutouts are at least a half inch apart.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes and let cool completely before decorating.

What is a beer you love that you would like to see a custom cookie for?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

 

Raspberry Wheat 2.0

I’m getting back on the brewing bicycle.  My new brew buddy, Alyssa and I decided to spend an icy Friday together while the city was shut down.  We did a re-make of my previously brewed 4th of July Red Raspberry Wheat Beer.  We made a few little changes to the recipe – some intentionally, some not.  Still excited for the beer.  Shout out to Base Camp Brewing Company‘s 2nd Anniversary Biere De Garde for providing the drinking beer for today’s adventure.

Base Camp’s 2nd Anniversary Biere De Garde

Ingredients:

  • 3.3 lb Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
  • 1 lb Light Dry Malt Extract
  • 1 lb Malted Wheat
  • 1 lb German Pilsner Malt
  • 1 lb Flaked Wheat
  • 1 oz German Huell Melon Hops
  • 1 oz Mt. Hood Hops
  • American Yeast
  • 6 bags of Trader Joe’s organic raspberries.  Downside of brewing during an ice storm.  No fresh raspberries.  I need to stock up for the summer!
  • 1/4 tsp of Irish Moss

Instructions:

  1. Heat 3 galloons of water to 160F.
  2. Steep grains for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove grains and bring water to boil.
  4. Add malts and bring to boil again.
  5. Start hop schedule.  Add Mt. Hood Hops (60 minutes).
  6. At 30 minutes add German Hallertau Hops.
  7. At 15 minutes add Irish Moss.
  8. Add raspberries to carboy.
  9. Add chilled wort.
  10. Top off to 5 gallons.
  11. Pitch yeast.

Homebrewing in the bathtub.

Have you started brewing again?  What inspired you to get going again?

Spent Grain Beer Bread

Spent grain beer bread.

Spent grain beer bread.

Please refrain from making kitchen jokes!  But I finally found the perfect spent grain beer bread recipe!  I’ve tried two different spent grain beer bread recipes before and still have a great recipe for beer bread.  But since production of BiteSize Brewery has been picking up, the amount of spent grains has as well.  It was finally time to find the perfect spent grain beer bread recipe. Jasmine’s Spent Grain Bread You can freeze it until you are ready to use it–can also freeze dough or baked loaves.  I freeze grains all the time and then make loaves while beer brewing.  I also freeze the finished loaves so we always have bread on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. yeast (or a yeast packet – should be noted that this is bread yeast, NOT beer yeast)
  • 3 cups spent grain
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of milk

Mix together dry, then wet ingredients until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and all ingredients are incorporated. I use a Kitchen Aide with a dough hook–if you are mixing by hand you may want to make half the recipe the first time you make it to get a single large loaf as this large amount can be exhausting. Knead for 10 min by hand or 5 min by mixer. Shape into ball and let rise in bowl.  I let mine rise for 24 hours.  Punch down and divide. I got two average sized loaves out of this.  I did an egg wash over some of my loaves, others, I just left alone.  Score top of loaves. Preheat oven. Bake at 350F for 40 min, until deep golden brown.  Let cool for 30 min on baking rack before slicing, or you’ll smush your bread before it finishes baking inside This is definitely a fall favorite.  It’s that kind of full-flavored rustic bread that is great with honey for a breakfast.  Or a great addition to a fall dinner.  Enjoy!

What do you use spent grain for?  Have a good recipe to share?

Guest Post: Sydney travel and beer guide

I’ve never been to Australia, but it is definitely on my bucket list.  Recently, another blogger, Nicole, reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in a guest blog post.  Of course I said yes.  So here is a little about Nicole and what she has to say about Sydney Travel and Beer.

When thinking about Australia, the first place which comes to your mind is probably Sydney, unique centrepiece of exotic coastal nooks, amazing cultural-historical heritage and greatest cosmopolitan pleasures that one city can offer. But, while you’re rushing to face with precious sites that make Harbour city special place on the planet, why wouldn’t you reveal its other side and visit some of the greatest “Amber fluid” hideouts. If this sounds tempting, stick to my travel & beer guide and make yourself unforgettable Sydney walkabout:

Darling Harbour

As one of the most vibrant touristic oasis in Sydney, Darling Harbour is regular stop station for visitors and Aussies, mostly due to its attractive beside the water position and entertaining scene. If you head for this lovely Sydney’s area (and I’m sure you will), spend relaxing moments in Chinese Garden of Friendship, serene space hosting lush willows and picturesque koi ponds or admire breathless sceneries of Australian underwater treasures at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

harbor

This area’s beer kingdom is Pamphouse Bar whose greatest “specialty”, Thunderbolt Strong Ale, remain to delight beer lovers since 80’s. Here you can also enjoy in popular Aussies’ craft beers, such as Tooheys New and Hahn Premium Light and feel impressive local brewing art.

The Rocks

Sydney’s historical superstar, The Rocks offer comprehensive past-time story, what you’ll realize by visiting Rocks Discovery Museum and make a journey through historical evolvement of this firstly colonized part of Australian land.

rocks

Visit to this area is not a true experience without going to Lord Nelson brewery, the oldest Australian pub brewery, established in 1841. Its impressive beer list includes natural, award-winning ales, where I recommend trying citrusy Australian Pale Ale, Three sheets and reddish Old Admiral featuring powerful bitter taste. To expand your experience of The Rocks beer scene, go to Harts Pub and ask for original Rocks brewing legend, Boxer Red Ale.

Randwick City

Randwick City is area which definitely proves that opulent Victorian era greatly touched Sydney, and you’ll best feel that energy by experiencing authentic Victorian villa in Avonmore on the Park. This suburb also hides extraordinary beery spirit, so you can go to The Coast Restaurant at The Coast Golf Club and enjoy in terrific views and pretty affordable beers.

radwick

Another beer nook I found worth visiting in Randwick City is Bat Country Pub, excellent for trying Young Henry’s on tap and Boag’s Premium Lager and enjoying in 60s-70s music hits.

Sydney’s Beaches

As popular coastal paradise among Aussies, Manly beach is also real tourist marine Mecca, especially attractive for waves riding lovers.

sufer

Australian sun will make you thirsty, but don’t worry, just come by to 4 Pines Brewing Company and fuel your body with original Aussies’ Pale Ale, stout and other tasteful beery liquids.

4 pines

More serene, but nothing less enjoying is leisure Coogee beach, which I found great for casual-style swimming, snorkelling and, of course, beer drinking in its recognizable Beer Garden.

Surry Hills

Sydney’s bohemian vibe exudes from city’s true artistic kingdom, Surry Hills. Apart from dozens of authentic restaurants and boutiques situated in fabulous Crown Street, Surry Hills abounds with craft beer tasting spots, such as Royal Albert Hotel, unavoidable place for drinking Moo Brew stout and Black Dog Brewery old ale.

For full beer & snacks moments, I suggest going to Black Penny which serves craft beers from best local breweries. Vegetarians are encouraged to visit laid-back Yulli’s bar& restaurant, where along with yummy veggie meals you can try best local hand-crafted beers, preferably strong Mad Abbot Tripel and exotic Viking IPA (Indian Pale Ale).

The magic of merging your touristy Sydney journey with discovering its best beer spots can be best explained with K. Friedman’s sentence: “The beauty is in the eye of beer holder”.

Nicole is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures and she loves to share her experiences. She’s an architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes and jewellery. Also, she loves preparing and eating delicious food with her friends.

Have you ever been to Australia?  What beers would you recommend?

Gin Fizzes [Merry Christmas!]

Merry Christmas!

In celebration of this great holiday I’m sharing a family tradition.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a beer one, but it is delicious!

Merry Christmas from Santa and I

Merry Christmas from Santa and I

On Christmas morning, my mom makes Gin Fizzes!

Here’s the recipe:

Into a blender:

  • 6 TBsp. Rich Cream
  • 4 TBsp. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Jigger Lime Juice
  • 1 Jigger Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 tsp, Orange Flower Water
  • 6 Jiggers Gin
  • 3 Egg Whites (Can add whole eggs if desired)
  • 3/4 Cup Soda Water
  • 10 ice cubes

Blend.  Then add more ice to fill the blender.  Blend till ice is very small.  Makes six drinks.

Enjoy!