Southwest Brewing News August/September 2014 : Page 1

Stop and Taste Texas Hill Country By Bev Blackwood II or more than half a century, Johnson City has been famous for pretty much one thing -Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States of America. Apart from that, the idyllic Texas town, sitting at the crossroads of US Highways 290 and 281 is often regarded as a place you drive through on the way to someplace ng, just else. The folks at Pecan Street Brewing, one block north of bustling 290, are looking to change that. “It’s on See Pecan Street p. 5 Top to Bottom-Pecan Street Brewing sits on the town square in Johnson City, Texas, Pecan Street brewer Sean Elliott, brewery colors fl ying. PHOTOS BY BEV BLACKWOOD II By Mary M. Thompson ot too soon after I had my first beer, I had my first beer with cheese. It was long enough ago that I won't even tell l you what the beer was, but the cheese e came in a huge block in a box and was kind of squishy. Gratefully, my tastes in both beer and cheese have matured. Now there are so many options of what kinds of beers go with which cheeses. So, if you haven't tried pairing the two yet, here are some suggestions. The Basics Before we start, you need to know the basics of cheese making. You've probably made a crude cheese yourself. Have you ever been dying for a nice, cold glass of milk to go with your warm brownie and when you poured the milk, slippery solids come out of the bottle? Just how old was that milk? Your soured milk has turned into curds and whey. When a cheese heese is purposely made, the milk is soured with rennet. If you are a vegetarian, close your eyes for the next paragraph. Rennet, a substance derived from rennin, an enzyme found und in the fourth stomach of a milk-fed calf is used to coagulate (curdle) milk. . Since I'm thinking that ns might want to check the calf doesn't give up the rennin voluntarily, you vegetarians s to rennet – they do exist. for "rennet-free cheese." Or check for vegetarian alternatives I’ve even read about vegetarian rennet. eese eaters who think Okay, open your eyes. That bit is a shock to a lot of cheese their heavily cheesy diet is vegetarian. Texas pickers at the brewery. PHOTO COURTESY OF PECAN ST. From the Editor .................................. 2 Event Calendar ....................................4 Homebrew Beer Stylist .........................6 Directories & Maps .........................12-15 New Mexico ...................8 Nevada ........................ 10 Oklahoma .................... 10 Arkansas ......................11 S/C/E Texas ................. 16 Austin ......................... 18 N/W Texas ................... 19 Northern Arizona ........ 20 Southern Arizona ........ 20 Central Arizona ........... 21 Southern California .....22 San Diego ....................23 See Cheese p. 3

Beer Loves Cheese

Mary M. Thompson

Not too soon after I had my first beer, I had my first beer with cheese. It was long enough ago that I won't even tell you what the beer was, but the cheese came in a huge block in a box and was kind of squishy. Gratefully, my tastes in both beer and cheese have matured. Now there are so many options of what kinds of beers go with which cheeses. So, if you haven't tried pairing the two yet, here are some suggestions.

The Basics

Before we start, you need to know the basics of cheese making. You've probably made a crude cheese yourself.Have you ever been dying for a nice, cold glass of milk to go with your warm brownie and when you poured the milk, slippery solids come out of the bottle? Just how old was that milk? Your soured milk has turned into curds and whey. When a cheese is purposely made, the milk is soured with rennet. If you are a vegetarian, close your eyes for the next paragraph.

Rennet, a substance derived from rennin, an enzyme found in the fourth stomach of a milk-fed calf is used to coagulate (curdle) milk. Since I'm thinking that the calf doesn't give up the rennin voluntarily, you vegetarians for "rennet-free cheese." Or check for vegetarian alternatives I’ve even read about vegetarian rennet.

Okay, open your eyes. That bit is a shock to a lot of cheese their heavily cheesy diet is vegetarian.

Start Light

The easiest way to start pairing cheese and beer is to pick beers starting with the lightest in flavor to the mid-weights and on.For your first choice, pick a non-national brand light beer. This should be something without much body and little hop character.I have chosen cheeses that are available nationally and should be easy to find. For this beer, try something like an English Cotswold. This is a delightful Double Gloucester cheese with chives and onions. I know that sounds redundant, but it's one of the most popular cheeses served with beer in English pubs for a reason.

The next beer I would suggest is some form of lightly hopped amber beer.With this, I would suggest a Sage Derby (pronounced darby). This is another English cheese that you can identify by its green color. Green cheese doesn't sound too appetizing, but give it a try.

Now, we can up the hop rate. Pick your favorite pale ale. As the hoppier beers seem to overwhelm a lot of cheeses, you might choose a cheese that is strong enough to stand up to the beer. The three cheeses I've found that pair nicely with a hoppy pale ale are Spanish Don Juan Manchego, Keen’s Cheddar (Neal’s Yard Dairy) from England and a good Parmigiano Reggiano. Keen’s Cheddar is the cheese version of a small microbrewery’s beer and can be hard to find, but is definitely worth the search.

Now for a black ale, not in the stout end of black ales, but a bit lighter. When I first discovered this pairing, I had the cheese aficionados scoff at me, but it is really excellent. Drink your black ale with Pepper Boursin. François Boursin first developed Boursin cheeses in 1963 in Normandy, France. After a series of licensing agreements and sales, it's now made in Illinois. Another tasty pairing that got scoffed at is Gourmandise. It is a kirsch-infused (cherry flavored) soft cream cheese from France. If you want a delicious dessert treat, try a bit of Gourmandise on a wheat meal biscuit like McVities. That with a delicious black ale will make your taste buds dance with joy.

The hardest beers to find a good cheese pairing were hefeweizens and wits.Hours of tasting and drinking, drinking and tasting, and then hazaa! A wonderful match - Chèvre, a delicious, mild goat cheese paired perfectly with the clove taste in the beers. If you can get the Pure Luck Chèvre made near Austin, it is delicious. If not, try MontChevrè® out of California. It is also excellent.

Supposedly, your taste buds are exhausted after three beers alone, much less beers and cheeses, but the pairings that you've just learned about are distinctive enough to push through. You've all heard of wine and cheese pairings, but beer is actually a better choice to pair with cheese.The effervescence of beer helps to cleanse the palate.

Go Dark

If you're feeling like continuing on, then it's time to turn to the dark side. What is best with porters and stouts? These suggestions go well with either one, so it will be up to you to decide which you like the best. A very interesting Irish cheese is called Cahill's Porter, which is made with Guinness. Cahill's Porter Cheese looks like a slab of chocolate marbled with splotches of cream. You've never seen or tasted anything quite like it. Try it with a stout first, and I think you'll find it stands up quite nicely.

There are many cheeses that go well with beers, which are "scoffable" by cheese mongers; here's one more. With your stout, try a German Cambozola. This cheese was invented in 1900 and some think the name is a combination of Camembert and Gorgonzola cheese. The same mold is added to what is used to make Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton. Extra cream is Added to the milk to give it a consistency closer to a triple cream Brie. The result is a much less aggressive blue than Gorgonzola and it is a great starter for those who don't like the strength of most blue cheeses.

Of course there are quite a few beers yet to find cheese pairings for, but these that you've just learned about will be a good primer for you to decide which cheeses go with which beers. You will probably be happy to switch a lot of these around and find preferences of your own. Try some local cheeses with local brews. As in learning about beer preferences, you only learn by tasting.

Mary Thompson, SWBN’s own smart, sophisticated and beer-savvy Queen of Quaff, is the Director of Brewing Education at North by Northwest brewpub in Austin, Texas. Mary and her husband Donald started the first microbrewery in the Southwest; Reinheitsgebot Brewing Company was the sixth in the U.S. Mary graduated from the U.S. Brewers Academy at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. She was the first woman district president in the 100-year history of the international organization, the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. She currently teaches Beer School, Beer & Chocolate and Beer & Cheese at NXNW.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Beer+Loves+Cheese/1783280/220957/article.html.

Stop And Taste New Mexico

Bev Blackwood

For more than half a century, Johnson City has been famous for pretty much one thing - Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States of America.Apart from that, the idyllic Texas town, sitting at the crossroads of US Highways 290 and 281 is often regarded as a place you drive through on the way to someplace else. The folks at Pecan Street Brewing, one block north of bustling 290, are looking to change that. “It’s on The way to everywhere,” notes brewer Sean Getting There Elliot, who recently took up residence in the quiet Hill Country community. “We’re hoping we become a place to stop.” They’ve been working to make that a reality since opening their doors in June of 2011.

Family Affair

The brewpub had its origins, like many do, over a few beers. Elliott’s parents had been living in Johnson City for a while and Elliott, then living in Fort Collins, Colorado, wanted to get into brewing. While enjoying some beers at a brewpub in Breckenridge, they came up with the ideas that became Pecan Street. “The next day, they were still into it,” smiles Elliott, “so, we moved forward with it.” The following three years saw the acquisition of the property, the brewhouse and build-out of the space. Then, as now, it’s truly a family business, with everyone pitching in when needed.

Located across from the picturesque Blanco County Courthouse, and next door to the historic county jail, the building is a 1950’s era Quonset Hut, which was formerly Blanco County Supply, a hardware and feed store that shut down some six or seven years before Pecan Street moved in. The building provides a lot of room, which they have put to a wide variety of uses. “The hardware store itself is pretty much the restaurant area,” Elliott remarks. His seven-barrel brewhouse occupies some of what used to be warehouse space, as does their dance hall.Upstairs, you find a game room and more of Elliott’s brewing equipment, while out back is a small beer garden. The division of space lets them host groups and music events in addition to the regular brewpub trade. “Everything’s pretty much working; it’s definitely been more successful than we expected,” he states.

That success keeps Elliott’s brewhouse busy, often brewing twice a week to try And keep up with demand. “I can’t keep up at the moment; that’s a good problem to have,” he smiles. “I have three recipes I try to keep on [tap] all the time: the Screw Loose Blonde, Ten Penny Nail and County Jail Pale Ale.” Those beers reflect Elliott’s commitment to his local Johnson City clientele. “I try to have four or five that rotate, seasonals, one-offs” to appeal to beer drinkers that are simply passing through.“My priority is definitely the locals,” he reaffirms.The local community has responded to his efforts by trying new things. “You can see the progression.” Elliott observes, “You’ll see them drinking the Screw Loose and then a couple of months later you’ll see them drinking the Stout and they’re like: ‘This isn’t so bad!’”

Tasty Destination

Elliott’s brewing philosophy leans to the basics, predominately ales with a strong emphasis on balance and drinkability. He leaves the sours and barrel aging to his Hill Country neighbors like Jester King and Real Ale. He would really like to do a few lagers, but given the volume of business he’s already doing, he can’t afford the tank time.There’s talk about adding a bright tank, but space demands within the building make that a challenge.

Despite Johnson City’s laid back ambience, its proximity to Austin makes it an easy destination for beer lovers and at Christmas the city’s Lights Spectacular event has the staff at Pecan Street jumping and Elliott working overtime to keep the serving tanks full. “It’s chaos here for six weeks, the entire restaurant is full,” he relates. “I brew as much as I can [during the slower summer and fall months] and fill every [cold box] spot and that sort of gets me through.”

Elliott recalls that when they first opened, there was a sort of “wait and see” attitude from the local community. However, their brick oven pizza and handmade beer has been winning converts since they opened.“When the jail next door was still operating, this guy came in who said he’d been in there for about a week and said he could hear the shenanigans next door and had to come in to have a beer,” Elliott laughs.The jail may have moved, but the people of Johnson City kept coming to see what the excitement was about. While the beaten path of 290 is only a block away, the tranquility of the courthouse square and the promise of cold handcrafted beer make Pecan Street worth a stop.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Stop+And+Taste+New+Mexico+/1783286/220957/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here