Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Perfect Pour

Beer is perfect when skilfully poured

Having the proper glassware to best accentuate the flavors, aromas and appearance of a particular beer is only the first step in serving the ideal Belgian beer. For the full experience, it must be properly poured from the tap, Sir Marc Stroobandt from Stella Artois advises.

The Belgians have mastered the art of the perfect pour, which not only ensures the utmost enjoyment of the beer, but also showcases the pouring process itself.

This art, known as The Belgian Pouring Ritual, is a nine-step, time-honored tradition that contributes to the country's legendary gold standard of beer service. Each of the nine steps serves a specific purpose, optimizing serving consistency, drinking enjoyment and the romance of the beer itself.

The bartender selects the signature glass for the beer being poured. The glass is scrubbed in a cool-water bath, preferably with a mild detergent. It's then rinsed with cold water to chill the glass.

The tap is opened in one swift motion to let the first burst of foam flow away. It must never enter the glass, thus ensuring every drop of beer is fresh.

The glass is held at a 45-degree angle to create the perfect balance of liquid to foam.

Step Four: THE HEAD
The head is created by straightening and lowering the glass. The foam is visually appealing and releases the beer's aroma.

The bartender closes the tap in one quick action and moves the glass away from the faucet to ensure no drops spoil the perfect head.

While the beer is flowing over the edge of the glass, the bartender cuts the head gently with a head cutter at a 45-degree angle. This eliminates the larger bubbles that burst easily and accelerate the dissipation of the head.

The bartender now stands in judgment. The beer's head should be two fingers thick.

The bartender then rinses the bottom and sides of the glass. This keeps the glass clean and cool and makes it comfortable to hold.

A perfectly poured pint of Belgian beer is presented with the logos of the coaster and glass facing the customer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saint Arnold - Patron Saint of Brewers

Saint Arnold, a bishop born in 580, is considered the patron saint of beer.

He encouraged people to drink beer instead of water during the Plague. Indeed, the Plague suddenly disappeared once his word spread (though some suggest because beer was boiled in the brewing process, it would have been safer than water, which had previously spread the infection.)

He is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." It goes without saying that the people loved and revered Arnold.

When Saint Arnold died in 640, the citizens of his hometown carried his body from Remiremont to Metz (France) for reburial in their church. On this journey, another miracle occurred - when the weary porters stopped to share their only mug of beer, they discovered the mug never ran dry.

Each July, Belgium's brewers pay homage to Saint Arnold at a church service. On this 'Day of Beer,' brewers march through the streets dressed as the 'Chevalrie du Fourquet' (or 'King of the Mashing Fork').

Saint Arnold was canonized and is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers.

A reprint form the Belgian Shop Newsletter

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Erik's Award Winning Halloween Party Pizza Dough recipe
Pizza recipe, makes enough for 2-3 9" pizzas depending on how thick the crust is made.

1 envelope active dry yeast

12oz bottle of beer warmed up slightly

pinch of sugar

2 teaspons of kosher or sea salt

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

olive oil

Crushed spent grains 5-10 oz*


In large bowl mix the yeast with the beer and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in salt, whole wheat flour and 1 tablespoon of oil. Gradually add all purpose flour, stirring with wooden spoon until dough is fairly stiff. Turn dough out onto well floured work surface and knead, gradually adding as much extra flour as necessary until smooth, elsatic and no longer tacky, about 5-6 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and brush the surface with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in bulk, 1.5 to 2 hours. If you don't have a warm spot in kitchen, try turning  oven to 300 degrees, put bowl on oven top.
Punch down the dough and knead it lightly, then return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough agaln and use or refrigerate.

The pizza dough can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. Let the dough return to room temperature before uslng.
Top with pizza sauce, cheese whatever ingredients preferred. Pizzas from 2012 Halloween party were a Margherita Pizza with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil; Sausage Pizza with italian sausage, shredded italian cheese mix, monterey jack.
Cooking time varies depending on toppings, anywhere from 8-15 minutes at 400-450 degrees depending on oven.
 If a crispier crust is desired put crust in oven for 5-10 minutes before topping with ingredients.

*Best spent grains seem to be those from a pale/ipa/brown ale. Light  pilsners and lagers don't seem to have enough flavor to really add much to dough. Darker grains might burn. To prepare the spent grains get 6-10oz of grains, lay on cookie sheet in thin layer. Put in oven on low heat about 100 degrees and dry grains. The slower and lower the heat , the less the grains will change color. Once dry use food processor to crush grains into a flour. More grains can be substituted for the flour, which will result in a rougher texture. 

Warm Beer, Cold Women

Beer Is Good