Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have a Jolly Holiday & a Denogginizing New Year!

Hey Drake's fans,

Some of you may have seen the Twitter post... we finally started whipping up some Hop Salad! Simcoe and German Magnum hops, Caramalt, Two-row barley... just to name a few enticing ingredients that will create a hefty beer around 8% ABV. Sounds like lunch to me... I'll keep you updated on when this beer will be out and ready for a lunch date.

A little beer knowledge, in case you were wondering:

* Simcoe hops are mostly for bittering, but have a clean, light pine-like aroma, and a slight citrusy flavor. Alpha acids 12-14%
* German Magnum hops don't have much of a distinct aroma character, and are therefore often used as bittering hops. Alpha acids 12-14%
* Alpha Acids- huh? Alpha acids are found in the flowers of hop plants and are the source of hop bitterness. The alpha acid rating on hops indicates the amount of alpha acids as a percentage of total weight of the hop.


Anyone in need of a fun, beer infused recipe for an upcoming holiday party? I found this recipe for Lager Steamed Thai Turkey and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings with Pale Ale Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce on The recipe was originally published in Lucy Saunders' The Best of American Beer & Food, a great book that teaches you all about beer and food pairings (another great holiday gift idea...).

While I didn't use a lager to steam the dumplings (I used an ale), they still tasted delicious. So for my attempt at the recipe, maybe it's better to call it Ale Steamed Thai Turkey and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings...

You can find the recipe by following the link above to

For the cooking beer, I used several different Drake's brews. For the dipping sauce, you'll need 12 oz of a pale ale. While Drake's does have the 1500, a dry-hopped pale ale, this beer would be too overpowering to cook this dish with, especially since you boil down the beer for a bit. This results in even more intensified hop flavor (i.e. bitterness), so you have to be careful about cooking with hopped up beers. Hoppy beers in cooking should be used like spices- a little goes a long way. So, even though it's not the same style as a pale, I used Drake's Blonde Ale- light, crisp, slight hop notes.

Moving on to the dumplings, you'll need 36 ounces of a Pilsener or amber lager- Again, I diverged from the suggested lager and went with Drake's Amber ale instead.

I paired the dumplings with Drake's IPA. When it comes to pairing food with beer (as opposed to cooking food with beer), hoppy beers can balance lighter, sweeter dishes like these dumplings (instead of overpowering them, as is often the case in cooking with IPAs). However, unique in that they're seemingly light dishes, dumplings pack a flavor punch that can keep up with the strong flavors of an IPA. Bottoms up!

Still looking for holiday gift ideas?

Don't forget your Drake's Holiday Gift Bag!
These gift bags make perfect for gifts for party hosts, as well as family & friend craft beer lovers.
* Deluxe- $30- Includes a bottle each of Jolly Rodger 2010 and Denogginizer, Drake's t-shirt, Drake's pint glass, Drake's coasters & a Drake's sticker patch.
* Basic-$12- Includes a bottle of Jolly Rodger 2010 or Denogginizer, Drake's pint glass, Drake's coasters & Drake's sticker patch.

Please order at least 48 hours in advance- order by 12/23 for pick-up by 12/29

Upcoming Events
& Other News
* Just in: twenty-four Drake's & Triple Rock brews will be on tap in Seal Beach on December 23. If you find yourself near Los Angeles this week, check 'em out!
Check out and for more information on this event and other upcoming events.
* Drake's Taproom is closing early on December 24- please call before stopping by!

Hope you all have a Jolly Holiday and a Denogginizing New Year!

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