Tag: guinness

Black, Light

My high school drama teacher loved Goethe (whose didn’t?) and so I avoided both of them. I didn’t know Young Werter was a beer snob. He got sick in law school and recovered, the story goes, with Schwarzbier. Tipsy and atrophied, he became a writer instead. Some bottles of Köstritzer have a picture of him on the label, pensive, opulently hatted, sudsy glass Photoshopped into his hand.

Follow his example: Drink black lager. I picked the best in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal.

Jelly Man

My editor at Bon Appetit asked me to write about cooking with beer. I decided to make a day of it, starting with beer jelly on beer bread. The bread, an Irish soda bread with stout instead of buttermilk, was OK, kind of greenish, but toasted beautifully. The jelly was bitter and too lemony, but people seemed really interested in how I made it. You don’t hear about beer jelly every day, I guess. I read somewhere that it’s popular in the Czech Republic, though. Anyway, the secret is: I made beer Jell-O.

Boil some beer with, say, ginger and a little sugar, mix in gelatin, and pour into jars. Since I used gelatin instead of pectin, the jelly liquifies when it gets warm—so eat fast, especially if you spread it on toast. I’ve tried beer (and bourbon) in more traditional jellies with little luck so far. The water content screws things up.

Beer in breakfast wasn’t a total success, but I have higher hopes for my next experiment, for the WSJ: beer for breakfast.

…But Is It Green?

In honor of St. Patrick, some Guinness rumors we uncovered in our research:

It’s brewed with beef bouillon. It used to be brewed with rats (these have been replaced by beef bouillon). It’s mixed with old, stale beer. Guinness brewers were some of the first to practice sparging, or rinsing their grains to extract more fermentable sugars. Guinness brewers used to power parts of the brewery with a steam engine that ran on old beer. Guinness tastes better in Ireland. (This last rumor was “confirmed” by “researchers” in the Journal of Food Science this month.)

Break free of your shamrocked chains! Today, drink American: rat-free, and obviously more delicious here.

See my picks of the best American dry(ish) stouts in the Wall Street Journal: North Coast Old No. 38, Avery Out of Bounds, Anderson Valley Barney Flats.