Monthly Archives: October 2013

BEER HAIKU #60 Mikeller Spontanframboos

A decent turnout for Mikeller’s sour lambic at Hashigo Zake Cult Beer Bar, including a rare sighting of OtherMatt, who was already in mid-season form. Usual team; usual venue.

Mikeller Spontanframboos (6.7% ABV)

Makes the spine wiggle
After the gale, tongues shrivel
Sour with this sour beer

Food match: Melon and pecorino, honey smoked salmon quiche

It’s the kind of beer you drink when: The air is heavy, the bees are humming, and someone’s made a really awful quiche.

Pecorino romano (www.chefkelso.com)

hai·ku (hk)

n. pl. haiku also hai·kus

1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

2. A poem written in this form.

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My Year of Beer (+ free bonus cake recipe)

Text: The Lady Pie Maker

October marks the first anniversary of the foundation of the Thirstyboys’ Ladies Auxiliary, which means I have  been heading down the stairs to Hashigo Zake most Tuesday evenings for the past 12 months. As such, the Thirsties asked me to reflect on my first year of beer.

While I happily sipped shandies made by my uncle when I was 10, the taste of beer never appealed as I moved into my teens, student years and beyond. Kegs, yard glasses, six packs, pints and halves were all foreign concepts. I grew to look down on beer, and beer drinkers to boot. Tui naturally had a lot to answer for. I thought beer was beer, and I didn’t like it or the culture that surrounded it –  that was until I was lured into Hashigo’s basement one evening by a Thirsty Boy. While I stubbornly clung to my chardonnay at first, eventually I began to brave each week’s new release – a sip here and there, and eventually a half of my very own.

A Singaporean Jungle Beer jolted me to my senses. How surprisingly delicious. I could like beer. I had found my beer, except that it was a one off special keg, so within an hour of being found I was lost again.  A few weeks later a porter by the Garage Project, famously described by the Draughtsman as like ‘drinking a whole f&#%$ Christmas cake’, made me realise I well and truly preferred the dark side to the light.  2013 became the year of the great imperial porter.

On a succession of amiable Tuesday’s, when the topic of conversation is always and often only about beer, I have learned the following:

Beer is not just beer. Beer comes in an amazing array of styles and flavours, and is made from all sorts of weird things from chillies to avocado leaves and weasel poo. Who would have thought?

civet-cat-coffee

Weasel poo, or more correctly civet cat poo featuring highly desirable excreted coffee beans.

Despite expanding my drinking horizons considerably, I still don’t like drinking across the spectrum (unlike Malice). I like imperial porters on the whole, and the occasional Saison – which is just a nice word to say as well as tasting a little like chardonnay.

'The Luggage Porter'. Post war tin toy.

‘The Luggage Porter’. Post war tin toy.

On a cautionary note, however, three imperial porters in a row is simply one porter too many. It can only lead to trouble. I am yet to find my sessionable beer.

Beer doesn’t only go with rugby and racing. Beer goes with poetry and great conversation, and best of all – with cheese.

Cover of Rod Derrett’s classic 1965 record, Rugby, racing and beer.

Cover of Rod Derrett’s classic 1965 record, Rugby, racing and beer.

Craft brewers are an inventive, irreverent and interesting breed, culturally engaged and culturally playful. I like it.

blanket man

Wellington in a Pint winners, 2012.

Beer bars no longer have sticky floors, and are pretty convivial places just to be. Some even have flowers.

Mikkeller's Bar in Copenhagen - a fist-banging free space designed by Femme Regionales

Mikkeller’s Bar sans punters – a fist-banging free space designed by Femme Regionales

Beer and style can go together (see Beervana 2013).

Beervana 063

Stephen dressed for a Sherlock adventure at Beervana 2013.

Wine might have legs, but beer has Belgian lace.

Beer makes a mighty fine baking ingredient.

The MightyThirsty Cake, otherwise known as a porter chocolate cake best served with porter syrup and 'clouds' of cream.

The MightyThirsty Cake, otherwise known as a porter chocolate cake best served with porter syrup and ‘clouds’ of cream.

In thanks to my year of beer, here is the recipe for the truly magnificent MIGHTYTHIRSTY CAKE

FRUITY BIT

100 grams each of raisons and dried pitted dates and prunes

250 mls porter beer (I used Three Boys – get a 500ml bottle as you’ll need more later)

2 Tbl brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

CAKEY BIT

6 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

175 grams caster sugar

200 gram ground almonds

30 grams cocoa, sifted in theory

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 tsp baking powder

YUMMY PORTER SYRUP

250 ml Porter beer

160 grams brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

HOW TO MAKE

FRUITY BIT: Chop fruit, pop in a medium sauce pan with other fruity ingrediants. Bring the porter to boil, and simmer for 10 mins, stirring every now and again. Cool for 5 mins and then wizz in a blender. Cool some more.

CAKEY BIT: Whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar in a big bowl and add wizzed fruity mixture. Combine almonds, cocoa, 5 spice, baking powder, and then add to egg/fruit mixture.

Pour into a 22cm spring form tin that has been lined with baking paper. Bake for 40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean, at 170 degrees. Cool in the tin. Pop on a plate.

SYRUPY BIT: Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil, and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Simmer vigorously for about 10 mins or until reduced and thick and syrupy (this took me more than 10 mins).

HOW TO EAT: Dust the MightyThirsty Cake with icing sugar, and serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a generous splash of syrup. Serves 10 to 12 in theory.

BEER MATCH: Sam from Hashigo Zake, after conducting a professional tasting, recommends pairing your MightyThirsty Cake with a glass of Left Coast Voodoo Stout.

A CAKE YOU EAT WHEN: feeling mighty.

A glass of Voodoo – the perfect MightyThirsty Cake match.

WITH GRATEFUL THANKS TO DISH MAGAZINE FOR SHARING SUCH A MARVELLOUS RECIPE!

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BEER HAIKU #58 & #59 Lobethal Pale Al [sic] plus the Mighty Thirstycake

As one Thirsty celebrated his forty somethingth birthday, another prepared to succumb to the duties of paternity, entailing a prolonged sabbatical. Fortunately, the Lady Pie Maker saw fit to mark the occasion with a stonking Porter cake with clouds of cream and Porter syrup.

Props to the management and staff of Hashigo Zake Cult Beer Bar for indulging our Thirsty impulses and providing plates and forks. Awesome work all round.

The new release was an Australian pale ale, albeit in a Classic English mode.

Lobethal Pale Al [sic] (5.9% ABV)

Lacy and creamy
Drinking across the spectrum
Malt, Spring, conifer

Also, the sense of the meeting was that the cake deserved its own haiku:

The Mighty Thirstycake

Prunes of mystery
Moist, bitter, tart confection
Voodoo stout awaits

Stay Thirsty, GBM!

The Mighty Thirstycake!

The Mighty Thirstycake!

hai·ku (hk)

n. pl. haiku also hai·kus

1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

2. A poem written in this form.

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BEER HAIKU #56 & 57 EGYPT BEER AND FLANDERS RED from GARAGE PROJECT

Whilst the more domesticated Thirsties were confined to barracks as a result of school holiday programmes and ante-natal tomfoolery, a dedicated few (well two actually) took advantage of the first genuinely spring-like weather to descend into the dark recesses of Hashigo Zake Cult Beer to sample two new releases from Garage Project.

The first, Egypt Beer, purports to be based on a recipe of ancient provenance and inspired the ensuing doggerel:

Festive fruit crumble,
Garibaldi biscuits or
Fig rolls. Make your choice.

Food match: Baba ganouj, falafel, and things of that nature.

It’s the kind of beer you drink when: picnicking in the green belt, barbecuing at the beach.

Egyptian bread and beer making…back in the day. (Globalegyptianmuseum.org)

On the other hand, the Flanders Red falls comfortably into the emerging and increasingly popular class of sour ales.

Adult cherry coke
A tonic for the trenches
As the poppies bloom

Food match: Tempeh steak, a really nice ragu with fresh pasta

It’s the kind of beer you drink when: missing your comrades.

Flanders, Belgium (rsa.org.nz)

hai·ku (hk)

n. pl. haiku also hai·kus

1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

2. A poem written in this form.

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