Tag: rauchbier

BBQ Beers

I’ve been known to fire up the grill on Christmas, so for me, outdoor cooking knows no seasonal bounds. Still, summertime grilling, and drinking, are institutions, at least in newspaper food sections. And so I wrote about them.

First, for Bon Appetit, I subjected a friend’s dinner party to the spectacle of beer-can chicken. When I say use indirect heat, I mean it. Beer will bubble out of the bird, and all over the coals. One trip to the fridge, and your chicken’s on fire. It’s a spectacle, like I said.

But what to drink while aimlessly poking the grill? I stocked the Wall Street Journal‘s ice bucket with lighter fare (a Dortmunder, a pale, a saison), the all-rounder Brooklyn Brown, and, for those whose burger is naked without bacon, a smoky rauchbier. I even got to drink some Hennepin on camera while Skyping into the Journal‘s afternoon news show. When you’re serving beer-can chicken, lingcod, steak, sea urchin, and roasted prince mushrooms, it’s good to stock a versatile bar.

Big Beers, Small Barrels

Texan homebrewers don’t mess around. While we were there we heard about a homebrew made with bacon-infused Scotch, and tried a smoky barleywine that tasted like meat and leather and was so delicious we licked off our fingers when we accidentally spilled a drop. Fort Worth’s Cap and Hare homebrewing club is hosting the biggest homebrew competition in the country this month — Bluebonnet Brew-Off — and we’d be going, and entering, (and probably losing), if we didn’t have to run the Craft Brewers Conference gauntlet that same week.

Even Rahr shares the homebrew spirit. They host Cap and Hare meetings sometimes, and a homebrew contest called Iron Mash. We saw some little, 2- or 3-gallon barrels in their barrel room — just like the ones we have from Tuthilltown. One of Rahr’s brewers, Jason Lyon, told us the little barrels are good for experimenting because they have a better ratio of volume to surface area (less beer touching more wood), so they age beer faster than regular, 53-gallon barrels. Not everything’s bigger in Texas.