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Archive for the ‘Shift’ Category

Breaking it down: blonde ales vs. pale lagers

 

 

 

 

Welcome back to class, Pint Jockeys! Before we begin, we want to know if you did last week’s homework. If you DID do the homework, then you know that last week we learned the difference between ales and lagers, so be sure to tell us in the comments which type of beer you prefer, and why. Brownie points if you tell us where you sampled your brews.

Last week’s lesson was easy enough, right? Well this week we’re getting down to the nitty gritty and focusing on the similarities and differences between pale lagers and blonde ales. Grab some paper, a pen and a pint glass and let’s get started.

First, the pale lager. According to Tastings.com, this beer is “generally light to medium-bodied with a light to medium hop impression and a clean, crisp malt character.” Pale lagers are often brewed with rice or corn instead of malt (some say this substitution compromises flavor), so, when it comes to pale lagers, the higher the ABV, the better the taste and mouthfeel. Interestingly, the pale lager is the best selling beer made in America; macro and microbreweries crank out millions of barrels of this type of beer a year. Shift Pale Ale and Kona’s Longboard Island Lager are a few of our favorite craft brews because they’re crisp, citrusy and hoppy. Another reason we love a good pale lager? It’s perfect for cooking and grilling. (You know we can’t resist a good beer-infused recipe!)

Blonde ales (a type of pale ale) are similar in color to pale lagers, although the blonde ale is slightly hoppier and “usually an all-malt brew, well attenuated with a lightly malty palate,” according to BeerAdvocate.com. The American Blonde Ale has a “subdued fruitiness” and a “hop character of the noble variety or similar, leaving a light to medium bitterness.” We like it because it’s easy to drink, no muss no fuss. One of our favorite pale ales is also Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s most popular beer, called, fittingly enough, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde and Widmer Brothers’ Citra Blonder are also favorites. And, not to be outdone by the pale lager, the blonde ale is also suitable for grilling!

So what do you think? Do blondes have more fun or is the pale lager already a staple in your refrigerator? Guess you’ll have to sip and decide!

Your homework this week is as follows: With good company and at your leisure, sample two blonde ales and two pale lagers. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page letting us know which type of beer and which brand you prefer. Extra credit goes to anyone who tweets or Facebooks us a picture of you doing your homework (make friends with the bartender and ask him to snap a shot).

Until next week, cheers to you, Pint Jockeys!

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Green Olive Chili Beer Dip!

What’s better than a Friday? TWO Fridays! And because Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year, that’s exactly what most of us had! Since you probably spent your holiday chowing down on something delicious from the grill, and you’ve only had two days to recover from your patriotic food coma, we thought we’d change it up today and offer you an unexpected, refreshing grill-free recipe. Worry not, Pint Jockeys, this will be just as (if not even more so) satisfying, as it contains our favorite ingredient – BEER!

So buy yourself a few cases and invite a few friends over; today we’re making a delicious Green Olive Chili Beer Dip!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) pale Lager Beer (we suggest  New Belgium Shift Pale Lager)
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper
  • 3 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz) large pitted stuffed olives, drained
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1½ TBLS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 2 TBLS unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

What You’ll Do:

  • Make slit in one side of Serrano chili; place in small saucepan over medium heat. Add Shift’s Pale Lager; bring to boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep 1 hour to make Chili Beer.
  • In large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil; add onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes; add olives and sauté 2 minutes longer. Add Chili Beer (and chili pepper); boil 10 minutes, until most of the beer has cooked away. Cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer olive mixture to food processor; add tahini, lemon juice, honey, coriander, cumin and pepper. Process mixture until dip is smooth, with some pieces of olive still visible. Stir in cilantro. Spread mixture on plate or in shallow soup bowl, cover and refrigerate 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

For an impressive presentation, place the dip on a platter and garnish with tomatoes and pistachios. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Serve with warm, sliced bread or pita chips.

Since you prepared the dip, ask your buds to bring the main dish. For an all-out Greek affair, might we suggest making gyros or maybe some roasted lamb ? (That’s right, give them the tough job!)

No matter what you serve with the dip, it goes without saying (though we’ve said it twice) that the best part of this meal can be found sitting in that 16 ounce can next to you. And, since the recipe only calls for 12 ounces of beer, you’ll have three full brews and four precious ounces leftover to enjoy at your leisure.

Raise your glass and cheers to the weekend, Pint Jockeys!

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It’s time for our favorite monthly happy hour – the Pint Jockeys tasting events in Beaumont, Victoria and NOW Texas City. If you didn’t catch last week’s blog, we’re moving the Galveston tasting event to Del Papa’s new Coastal Distribution Center on the mainland. The building is in the final stages of construction, so this month’s event will take place patio-side, adjacent to the Hospitality Room.

To help us celebrate the move, Islander by Choice will be on site all evening selling tickets to the upcoming Galveston Beach Revue! Make sure to stop by and grab tickets to the “Bands & Bombshells” event on May 18 featuring live music from the Gourds and John Evans band and brews from Southern Star Brewery happening!

As always, all of our free tasting events are open to those ages 21 and up and will take place from 5-7p.m.

New location, same great variety!  Here’s a taste of what you can expect this month:

  • Shock Top Lemon Shandy – Shock Top Lemon Shandy is a unique blend of refreshing and smooth wheat beer perfectly complemented by spices and natural lemonade flavor.  This recently released seasonal brew by Shock Top is available through the end of July.
  • Saint Arnold Summer Pils – Saint Arnold’s bohemian-style pilsner is crisp and refreshing with a delicate, sweet German malt taste complemented by an abundant hop aroma and flavor. The seasonal brew is available May through August and is perfect for a hot summer day.
  • Rahr & Sons Bucking Bock – The Pint Jockeys’ April Beer of the Month (BOTM) is the golden-colored Bucking Bock, a traditional German spring bock beer. The award-winning bock has a smooth malty character and is available through April.
  • Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – This whole-cone imperial IPA is aggressively hopped and carries layers of a bold aroma featuring notes of grapefruit rind, rose, lilac, cedar, and tropical fruit culminating in a dry and lasting finish.
  • Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique artisan creation of various smoked malts contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.

In addition to the above selections, visitors to our Beaumont tasting will have the opportunity to enjoy Sierra Nevada Summerfest:

  • Sierra Nevada Summerfest – Summerfest is a refreshing, pilsner-style and is incredibly smooth.  The crisp, light ale will quench your thirst with its big aroma and tangy hob bite and is a perfect summertime treat.

And Victoria and Texas City event-goers can sample:

  • New Belgium Shift – The lightly-hopped pale lager is dedicated to the New Belgium employee-owners who work in shifts to brew world-class beers.  Enjoy this brew crafted from Target, Nelson Sauvin, Liberty and Cascade hops after a long day of work or play.

All of the spring and summer brews are sure to be delicious, but we have to give a special shout out to the April BOTM. Be sure to try the Rahr & Sons Bucking Bock and let us know what you think!

For exact locations, visit the event page on Facebook and don’t forget to RSVP while you’re there.

See you tomorrow!

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