Southwest Brewing News February/March 2012 : Page 1

Beer Chocolate GOOGLE IMAGES By Lucy Saunders hough Mayan karma may kick in during 2012, there’s still time to celebrate another Mayan contribution to modern culture -chocolate. Xocolatl served by Mayans consisted of crushed cocoa beans steeped in water and spices. Although they may not make xocolatl, craft brewers have appreciated chocolate flavors for decades, beginning with Belgians who serve fruited lambics with dark See Chocolate p. 4 (Top) Middleton Brewing’s Taproom sits in this small building off Ranch Road 12 outside Wimberley, Texas. (Bottom-R) Dennis and Kim Middleton run Middleton Brewing’s taproom and homebrew shop. (Bottom-L) If you can read the Middleton Brewing motto (here in an old Flemish dialect) you get extra points for your beer knowledge! PHOTOS BY BEV BLACKWOOD II By Bev Blackwood II Event Calendar ...........................3 From the Editor ..........................3 Homebrewing ..............................6 Business of Beer ........................11 Directories & maps ................12-15 Arkansas .......................8 Oklahoma ......................9 N Mexico/SW TX .......... 10 S California ................. 16 San Diego .................... 17 S/C Texas .................... 19 INSIDE State by State News Nevada ........................20 N Texas ....................... 21 C Arizona ....................22 S Arizona .....................23 N Arizona ....................23 A little bit of Belgium -with a dash of San Diego thrown in for good measure -has appeared in Texas Hill Country near Wimberley. Middleton Brewing is a brewpub that is long on the brew and fairly short on the pub. “We pretty much just have a cheese plate,” laughs Kim Middleton. But wait! There’s more… It’s also a homebrew shop and home to a new homebrew club, the Hill Country Wort Hogs. Their Story Dennis and Kim Middleton retired in Texas Hill Country after many years in San Diego, Calif., a hotbed of both homebrewing and commercial brewing innovation. Opening a brewery/homebrew shop well beyond the suburbs of Austin or San Antonio might seem a recipe for disaster, but Dennis Middleton is bullish on Texas, and Texans’ adoption of craft beers. “I feel that Texas is just full of potential beer lovers and I feel that this is just a real sleeping giant with regard to beer, he states. See Feeling the Love p. 18

Beer Chocolate

Lucy Saunders

Though Mayan karma may kick in during 2012, there’s still time to celebrate another Mayan contribution to modern culture - chocolate. Xocolatl served by Mayans consisted of crushed cocoa beans steeped in water and spices.

Although they may not make xocolatl, craft brewers have appreciated chocolate flavors for decades, beginning with Belgians who serve fruited lambics with dark Ganache. During 2011’s Beer Week in San Diego, Calif., the Eclipse Chocolat kitchen featured chocolate-glazed bacon-wrapped dates paired with Ommegang Three Philosophers Ale as part of a three-course craft beer and chocolate pairing.

Think Outside the Dark

Sumptuous strong ales may appear to be the easiest combination – as the chocolate malts in stouts and porters make an effortless match with cocoa’s roasty notes. But Austin food blogger and scientist Jennie Chen, who conducts hormone and behavior research, takes a different approach. “Beer (or any alcohol, rather)In small amounts can facilitate the release of oxytocin,” says Chen. “Oxytocin is a bonding hormone that induces a soothing, stress-reduced state, and it is critical for social interaction and bonding.” Adding chocolate just enhances the experience.

“But what I really, really like are spicy flavors and a strong stout. I think I got addicted to the combination of "tear-jerking spicy" with stouts when I had jalapeño pizza with the Legend of the Liquid Brain imperial stout [Bull & Bush Pub, Denver Colo.],” adds Chen.

She suggests, “There are some citrus-y chocolates that would be great with a pale or amber ale. A creamy milk chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne would pair well with the Real Ale Lost Gold IPA.”

As in any pairing, don’t be afraid to celebrate differences. Chen says, “I think one of the pitfalls of pairing is piling on the same flavor profiles. Don’t make things sickening [sic] sweet by adding ice cream, syrups, whipped cream, and powdered sugar to pastries and then pairing with a super malty beer.” A little contrast can be refreshing.

As an example of contrast, I served Ghirardelli white chocolate with St. Arnold Brewing Company’s Elissa IPA, at a beer and chocolate tasting at Central Market in Houston, Texas. The net effect recreated the flavors of a coco-key lime pie, with caramel malt standing in for pie crust.

Chen shares her recipe below for (512) Pecan Porter Chocolate Mousse, which I tweaked with a bit of cayenne (original recipe at misohungrynow.com).

Lucy Saunders is the author of numerous beer/food books, including “The Best of American Beer & Food,” and thinks of beer as food. She also has two delicious Web sites: www.beercook.com and grillingwithbeer.com.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Beer+Chocolate/966788/99230/article.html.

Feeling The Love And Beer At Middleton Brewing

Bev Blackwood

(Top) Middleton Brewing’s Taproom sits in this small building off Ranch Road 12 outside Wimberley, Texas. (Bottom-R) Dennis and Kim Middleton run Middleton Brewing’s taproom and homebrew shop. (Bottom-L) If you can read the Middleton Brewing motto (here in an old Flemish dialect) you get extra points for your beer knowledge!

BEV BLACKWOOD

A little bit of Belgium - with a dash of San Diego thrown in for good measure - has appeared in Texas Hill Country near Wimberley. Middleton Brewing is a brewpub that is long on the brew and fairly short on the pub. “We pretty much just have a cheese plate,” laughs Kim Middleton. But wait! There’s more… It’s also a homebrew shop and home to a new homebrew club, the Hill Country Wort Hogs.

Their Story

Dennis and Kim Middleton retired in Texas Hill Country after many years in San Diego, Calif., a hotbed of both homebrewing and commercial brewing innovation. Opening a brewery/homebrew shop well beyond the suburbs of Austin or San Antonio might seem a recipe for disaster, but Dennis Middleton is bullish on Texas, and Texans’ adoption of craft beers. “I feel that Texas is just full of potential beer lovers and I feel that this is just a real sleeping giant with regard to beer, he states.

“I blame the fact that it hasn't happened, on the Texas Legislature and these silly laws that we all have to live under,” he observes, echoing a common complaint among Texas brewers.

Dennis Middleton comes by his love of beer through a rather unusual path - motocross racing. “I raced motocross for a long time. Europe shuts down in the wintertime, because the weather’s so severe they can’t practice.
So they have to go somewhere sunny,” he observes. Naturally, his place in sunny San Diego drew more than a few interested European riders. One Belgian rider stayed for a month or so about 15 years ago and they’ve been friends ever since.“[Now] when I go [to Belgium], they take me to places tourists don’t go to,” grins Dennis Middleton. “Belgium is insidious with regards to brewing because everybody’s got some family member or somebody they know in the industry. So it was just natural that I got into the beers, which were great.”

That Belgian influence is evident in the dubbels, tripels and golden strong ales that are regularly on tap at Middleton. There’s also a saison with a “house” yeast that’s a closely guarded secret, and numerous barrel aging projects lining the ground floor taproom. “It’s just fun to make special beers. I want to do a Hill Country lambic and see what happens,” Dennis Middleton informs.

Their Neighbors

Some of the beers are bottled for aging while others go on tap in the pub area. Getting their bottles proved to be somewhat more difficult than expected though. “It was funny about our bottles,” recalls Kim Middleton. “We tagged on with Jester King who got a whole 18-wheeler full of bottles, so we just got a pallet.” The shipping company dropped off Jester King’s bottles first and then arrived at Middleton. “We were the only pallet on this huge truck and it’s like seven feet high; they’re not in boxes, they’re all bottle upon bottle upon bottle,” Kim Middleton states, stacking the layers with her hands as she speaks. “It weighed nearly a ton,” chimes in Dennis Middleton. The problem was how they were going to get it off the truck. Unlike Jester King, they lacked a loading dock or forklift to unload it. Worse still, the pub was busy and a thunderstorm was approaching. “Everybody went out there and gave an opinion,” chortles Dennis Middleton. Thankfully the neighborly folks of Wimberley came to the rescue as a customer phoned up a local feed store that let them offload the pallet into their parking lot using their forklift. Even so, they still had a pallet of bottles sitting out in the rain. “I grew up in a small town,” states Dennis Middleton. “And people just step up. We have a good relationship with Wimberley Valley Winery and they like us and he likes my beers, so he comes by every now and then and we sell his wine. He drove over, loaded the bottles on his trailer and we drove it out to his winery,” he smiles. “Such a nice guy.”

Indeed, one thing that the couple remarks upon is the neighborliness of their adopted community. “People are very genuine here,” remarks Kim Middleton, “People are so friendly or courteous here you end up talking to them.” That sociability isn’t new to the California transplants, as they were well connected to the San Diego brewing community as well, living a short distance from iconic breweries like Stone, Green Flash, and Lost Abbey, and on a first name basis with many of the brewers. At their grand opening last August, many San Diego friends came out to celebrate with them. “We put them to work,” smiles Dennis Middleton. That California connection also explains the IPA and pale ale on their taps, right next to the Belgians.

They’re Like Family

Middleton Brewing is rapidly becoming a tie that binds the Hill Country brewing community together. They’ve had visits from a number of the local professional brewers, including those from Real Ale, Faust and Fredericksburg. The new homebrewing club, the Hill Country Wort Hogs, is uniting the local homebrewing community as well. The club had its genesis in the taproom customers. “We had a bunch of them drifting in and out and they liked the beer, so they hung around a lot,” smiles Dennis Middleton. “So I said, “Why don't you guys start a club?”” The club was an instant success, with over 20 people attending the first meeting. The benefit to the local homebrewing community was immediately evident. “Some of them lived down the street from one another and didn't know it,” comments Kim Middleton.

On the wall of the taproom, there’s a saying in old Flemish that (roughly translated) states: “Where beer is brewed anger is not.” When you walk in the Middleton taproom door, you are greeted by a couple of friendly pugs and a black Lab mix named Porter, as well as the friendly people of Wimberley who’ve stopped by to sample Dennis Middleton’s latest brews. Clearly the saying holds true, even in central Texas.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Feeling+The+Love+And+Beer+At+Middleton+Brewing/966796/99230/article.html.

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