Thursday, November 21, 2013

Spinnaker Lounge + Schmohz Beer Pairing Dinner

The Michigan Beer Blog had the privilege of attending a beer and food pairing dinner graciously hosted by the Spinnaker Lounge. It was a tour of the best Spinnaker’s head chef Bill Read and Schmohz Brewing’s Chas Thompson made available! Both Spinnaker and Schmohz have featured events and products at this week's Grand Rapids Wine, Beer, and Food Festival; If you’re on the fence about either of these places, read on.

FIRST COURSE:

Forget dessert for dessert.  We’re eating that now.  A chocolate and cheddar waffle made with Schmohz’ excellent Zingiberene ale sat underneath a mound of sweet, BBQ pulled turkey.  The dish is not your typical appetizer: it eats more like a meal.  The lightness of the waffle played well with the smooth sweetness of the BBQ turkey, all of which can only be balanced by the sharp and playful ginger beer for which Schmohz is famous. 

all images courtesy Katy Batdorff 

SECOND COURSE:

Continuing the idea of meat on a carbohydrate base, the chef presented walleye ravioli sitting on top of an absurdly complex cauliflower cream sauce.  Seriously I’m making you stop skimming to focus on how great this smooth/salty cauliflower cream sauce was, and how well it played with the al dente ravioli filled with locally caught fish.  All this was topped with sweet sweet potato chutney (that double word was not a typo, this chutney was made with sweet potatoes and was also sweet), decorated with a pleasing display of thinly julienned fall vegetables. All this paired with Schmohz' seasonal Octoberfest, a truly local take on the style which brings the essence of Michigan's fall leaves to the fore.

all images courtesy Katy Batdorff 



MAIN COURSE:

This is where we get real, folks.  Beans, beef, and Brussels sprouts?  Please.  

This was a piece of delicate -- almost shy -- Michigan farm raised beef tenderloin cooked medium rare sitting next to a jumbled celebration of cattle beans and pork belly mingling in a cherry soda reduction. Their sidekick stole the show: buttered Brussels sprouts with more personality than your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving.  I’m not lying: a bite of these Brussels sprouts and a swig of the intoxicating Hopnocker Double IPA will make you strong enough to fight your dad.

all images courtesy Katy Batdorff 


DESSERT:

At first look, it’s a house made waffle bowl.  Impressive enough, but wait: there’s some controversy in that bowl.  The waffle bowl itself is made of white chocolate and pride, and it holds a flourless chocolate torte cooked with hazelnuts.  The torte is embraced by Bonecrusher Stout sorbet, melting together under a protective umbrella of Honeycrisp apple compote.  Wash that bite down with some paired Bonecrusher stout, and everyone wins -- the dry coffee and chocolate notes in the stout pull some of the sweetness out of the compote, creating an exciting mix.

all images courtesy Katy Batdorff .  Yes, this one too.



Overall, the dishes trended a little sweet but that merged well with the Schmohz beer with which they were paired.  Each of the beers brought a specific spice or dryness that helped to balance the dish.  Incidentally, the Spinnaker sources as many things locally as they can – everything they CAN get locally, they DO get locally,  so the next time you’re wading through traffic on 28th street, don’t ignore this place just because it’s tucked inside a hotel; you might be surprised!


Beer Engineer Chas, Executive Chef Bill Read, Sous Chef Joe Frizzell.  Image courtesy Katy Batdorff. 



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guest Post: Craft Beer Infographic!

Today, we highlight the hard work of our friends at the Kendall College Hospitality School!  They designed this infographic.  Text by Matthew Zajechowski.



The craft beer industry has seen a lot of growth in the last decade in the great beer state, the Midwest and beyond.  Recent craft beer expansion can be seen all over Michigan, from the Kuhnhenns expansions to the growth of Greenbush.  New breweries are popping up throughout the state and the brewers build festivals continue to see growth each year.  The growth of craft beer can be felt not only throughout the Midwest but also throughout the entire country. Over the past thirteen years the number of food and beverage jobs has jumped over 25%. The number is impressive on itself, but when you compare it to the growth of jobs overall in that time period at only 4%, that number looks a lot more impressive.  These growth numbers caught the eye of the students and professors at Kendall College.  Assistant professors John Laloganes and Phil Mott along with students in the Kendall Hospitality program provided insight and knowledge into this infographic. They both agreed this was a subject they were both interested in researching and learning more about.  They looked into several aspects of the craft beer industry including: overall growth numbers, job and employment growth within the industry, food and beer pairings, taste preferences and also surveyed different demographics to see how their views compared on craft beer.  These findings are presented in the craft beer infographic by Kendall College.  I’ve highlighted some of the more interesting points below:


  • Consumers were asked if they enjoyed the taste of craft beer.  36% of people surveyed said that they did indeed enjoy the taste of craft beer.


  • Sales of craft beer has seen a steady increase within the last 5 years and is expected to grow even more within the next 5 years. In 2007 craft beer sales equaled roughly 5.7 billion.  Within 5 years that number doubled to just over 12 billion in 2012.  Industry experts are projecting that number to triple by 2017 to nearly 50 billion.  That is a large amount of growth in a short period of time.


  • Craft brewers provide a good deal of jobs both in the U.S. and abroad.  An estimated 103,585 jobs are provided by craft brewers in the U.S. alone.  This number also includes serving staff in brewpubs.


  • There are 2,403 open and operating breweries as of 2012.  That is the highest number since the late 1880’s.  This shows an enormous growth in the amount of small breweries opening up.


  • Food and beer go great together.  Different beers are more appropriate to enjoy with different types of foods than others.  If you like drinking an Irish Red, try pairing it with a juicy burger.  If you like lighter less filling beers, opt for a salad or sushi with your beer.


  • 45% of consumers would be interested in trying more craft beers if they knew more about them.  This shows the responsibility of craft breweries to educate their consumers on their product offerings.


  • Younger people are more apt to trying craft beer.  Only 32% of baby boomers say they prefer the taste of craft beer.  If you look at the millenials' demographic, you see a rise to 43% that say they prefer the taste of beer.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Detroit Fall Beer Festival


It’s a chilly, crisp day on the east side of the state; the type of day where the sun has yet to lose its battle against the clouds, and insists on sending welcoming rays of light through the bleak sky.  The landscape is a stark contrast to our last adventure, with barely tamed natural wonders giving way to miles of asphalt, a horizon of sparkling blue water replaced by tall storefronts advertising meat and fish and appliances and other downtown items.  It’s the Michigan Fall Beer Fest, definitely; but six weeks after Marquette and a 450 mile trip south.  Welcome to the Detroit Fall Beer Fest!


The Fall Beer Fest housed at Detroit’s Eastern Market has a feel to it that’s just as unique as any of the other Guild sponsored festivals. Taking place only a few days before Halloween, right as the colors in southern Michigan begin to peak, the festival channels that “end of the harvest” energy into an exciting event.  Yes, it’s an event heavy on pumpkin beers, harvest ales, and barrel-aged-everything, but if you weren’t expecting that then you don’t read stuff about beer very often.

Nestled among the vast selection of 450 beers (one for every mile separating Detroit from Marquette…coincidence?) we found, as always, a few big standouts:

Kuhnhenn Brewing, a stalwart mainstay at these events and no stranger to high quality, experimental ales, made a sweet and spicy sour pumpkin beer that was so strikingly delicious that someone literally ran up to us to have us try it…which in turn caused us to run up to other people.  Kuhnhenn has always made fantastic sour beers, and this careful combination of bold pumpkin, balanced spices, and rich, natural sweetness all cut with careful souring made for a truly unforgettable experience.



 Short’s Brewing seems to have achieved the semi-impossible.  Their American IPA, ControversiALE (previously known as Hanging Frank), has been my favorite American IPA brewed in Michigan since I first tried it.  Finally, they outdid themselves.  If you ignore the fact that the name sounds like a bizarro version an IHOP breakfast, Sticky Icky Icky is a beer that’s so good, it reminds you why you began loving IPAs in the first place.



Right Brain Brewing has always done well with vegetable beers.  I’ve written before about their surprisingly refreshing asparagus beer, but this year they brought two fantastic saisons that showcase new flavors.  For watchers of The Office, it should come as no surprise that Schrute Farms is a saison highlithing earthy and colorful beets.  This beer retained much of its refreshing nature, with a striking color and an unmistakable fresh beet flavor.  If you like beets, you’ll like this beer.  If you don’t like beets, grow up.  Right Brain also offered the delightful pun Cool Hand Cuke – a cucumber basil saison that I want to drink forever.  The sweet cucumber and assertive basil combine for a beer that is delicious on its own, yet practically begs to be used in a gin cocktail.


Odd Side Ales knows its way around the Citra hop.  Their Citra Pale is known statewide, and the brewer has taken this versatile beer to new heights with Bourbon Citra as well as Black Bourbon Citra.  Both of these options blend the citrus and tropical fruit characteristics of the hop with a light kiss of oak and bourbon, resulting in two similar yet wholly unique examples of a bourbon aged beer showcasing the Citra.  These beers are not thick, sweet, nor heavy; instead they use the bourbon flavor sparingly, an accent to the already great beer vs a distraction. It’s a perfect use of the flavor and a rare feat for many breweries.


When we first visited Brewery Ferment in April, I mentioned that some of their beers could use some polish.  I’m elated to find that the polish has occurred in spades, and Dustin and crew brought forth some of my favorite beers at the festival, including the 45th parallale Pale Ale and a superbly spiced Ghost Pepper Stout called Captain Scorch.   


With the fall colors tuned perfectly, the setting serene and a little surreal, you owe it to yourself to make a venture to Michigan's east side to sample the products here.  The environment is spectacular, the beers are perfect, and the mood is phenomenal.  Take a look around you, because the Detroit of 2013, for better or worse, won't exist for that much longer. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kalamazoo Announces Extensive Tap Wall Line-Up


Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is excited to announce the opening tap list at its new Kalamazoo, MI location that will be opening in November at 180 Portage Street in downtown Kalamazoo. The Alamo is committed to highlighting local and regional beer in every market. The list in Kalamazoo features a wide selection of beer from Michigan producers, including selections from Bell’s Brewery, Founders Brewing Company, and Short’s Brewing Company.

In creating this menu, George Yarbenet, General Manager of Alamo Kalamazoo, tried to balance classic beers with other beer selections that may be new to Kalamazoo residents. The Alamo Cinema Drafthouse Kalamazoo will feature 32 taps, in addition to a wide selection of bottled and canned beer. “I think our beverage offerings will catch a lot of our guests by surprise,” Mr. Yarbenet says, “The wide selection of beers both regional and national will keep beer enthusiasts very happy.”

In addition to the beers listed on the menu, four rotating taps will be reserved to feature seasonal and special beers from national and Michigan craft breweries curated by the Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo.

Guests at the Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo can order beer from a team of stealthy servers before and during each film, and draft beer offerings are available by the pint and the pitcher. Our tap wall includes Draft Root Beer. The Alamo also offers gluten-free beer options for patrons.



Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo Draft Beer List
Local Drafts
Arbor Buzzsaw IPA
Arcadia IPA
Arcadia Sky High Rye
Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
Bell’s Amber
Bell’s Two Hearted IPA
Brewery Vivant Farmhand
Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale
Founders All Day IPA
Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale
Greenbush Anger Black IPA
Keweenaw Pick Axe Blonde
Latitude 42 Red Beard’s Imperial Red
New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout
Paw Paw St. James English Ale
Saugatuck Bonfire Brown
Short’s Pontius Road Pilsner
Short’s Soft Parade Rye Fruit Ale
Tapistry Beatnik Belgian Blonde

Other Drafts
Ace Pear Cider
Avery White Rascal
Breckenridge Agave Wheat
Dogfish Head Indian Brown
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Left Hand Milk Stout (Nitro)
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Samuel Adams Boston Lager

For developments on the Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo, follow them on Facebook & Twitter.


MORE ABOUT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE: Alamo Drafthouse is an entertainment brand comprised of the acclaimed cinema-eatery chain, the largest genre film festival in the United States and a collectible art gallery. Named "the best theater ever" by Time Magazine, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including the launch of Drafthouse Films, a new film distribution label and plans to extend its theaters and unique programming philosophy to additional markets across the United States. More information about Alamo Drafthouse franchise opportunities are available on the official website www.drafthouse.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tahquamenon Falls Brewing Company



Michigan’s Upper Peninsula sports many state parks.  These areas showcase swaths of virgin forest, unsullied wildlife, and majestic waterfalls.  One of these state parks, the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, also hosts the third most voluminous waterfall east of the Mississippi; rust brown torrents of water scream down at 50,000 gallons per second.

Near the middle of the park – a few miles from either campground (there’s camping areas near both the lower falls and upper falls) – one finds a kitschy area that sports what looks like eight different gift shops stocked full of the type of souvenirs one expects from Upper Peninsula gift shops – shirts with Yooper slang on them, moose/bear/wolf themed clothing, and various hand crafted goods.

Oh!  There’s also a brewery here.


To my knowledge, the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery is the only brewery that’s actually inside a Michigan State Park.  It’s decorated exactly like how you would expect a restaurant in a state park in the Upper Peninsula to be decorated – lots of wood, lots of wood accents, lots of stuffed animals (literally stuffed fabric made to look like fuzzy versions of animals…there was no taxidermy level stuff that I could see), and a very attractive all-glass wall behind the bar, showing off the brewing equipment.

The people were exactly how one might expect people in a Michigan State Park – friendly, polite, lovers of Michigan who all smelled pleasantly of campfire.  Laura and I split nachos and a whitefish sandwich.  The nachos used liquid cheese like a baseball stadium vs sticking only to shredded cheese melted in an oven, while the whitefish sandwich was more bread than fish.  Coincidentally, they use the same type of French fries that Hopcat uses, albeit without the crack fry seasoning.




The beer brewed on premises at a state park was probably what I should have expected at a tourist destination.  There was nothing flashy or exciting or original at Tahquamenon Falls; the four drafts included a nitro stout that was literally advertised as “Guinness style,” along with a frightfully cloying cherry wheat beer that could suppress a cough.  The red ale – cleverly named Falls Tannin after what gives the water its deep red hue – was the best option, giving a slightly metallic burn to an otherwise malty red ale.



If you’re a Yooper, or if you’re visiting Michigan’s untamed beauty above the bridge, there are dozens of places you can go for excellent, carefully crafted Michigan beer.  That said, there’s only one place you can camp within earshot of Tahquamenon Falls.  If you've forgotten your growler from somewhere else, there’s always the state park brewery.

Check out more photos at our Facebook Page!


Friday, October 11, 2013

BRU Fest Grand Rapids Ticket Giveaway!


One of our favorite craft beer events is heading to Grand Rapids with beers from Bell's Brewery, burgers from Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern, wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, live music, and more on November 9th at the Delta Plex!  


Admission to BRU Fest includes tokens for beer & food, live music, a gift bag & more, including:
 
  • Access to Bell’s Brewery premium craft beers, including everyday favorites, rare out-of-season brews, exclusive specialty brews not offered to the public
  • 10 beer tokens
  • 4 food tickets for burgers and wings
  • Souvenir BRU Fest 2013 mug and tons of free giveaways for every guest
  • Live entertainment and games

But we have your chance to win a pair of tickets right here!

So how do you win? Just comment below on this post with your favorite Bell's beer, OR on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Only one comment per person will be counted. Comments will then be numbered and we'll choose the winner via the random number generator at http://random.org.

You MUST comment to be entered. Clicking "I'm In" or "Sounds Cool" will not count as a submission.

****Contest ends Wednesday 11/6/13 at 5pm so be sure to enter ASAP!****

Don't want to chance it and just want to get tickets? You can pick them up here.

BRU Fest benefits Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, which provides information and support to Michigan families affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and blood-related disorders.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rockford Brewing Company Harvest Beer Festival


Rockford Brewing Company has just announced their fall beer tent, which will take place Saturday, September 28, from 1-11pm, during Rockford’s first Harvest Festival weekend. This is also the same day as their group bike event with Brewery Vivant (Coq to the Fly) for those looking to have a day full of activities! Bikers are expected to arrive at RBC starting around 2pm, just in time to enjoy the beer tent and free live music!

The beer tent will also mark the release of Rockford Brewing’s Harvest Ale Series – Three different Harvest Ales (Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook). On this day all three Harvest Ales will be available (two inside the brewery, one in the beer tent)!


Free live music will be held in the tent throughout the day and is slated to begin at 2pm. While all performing artists are still TBA, Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys have been confirmed as the nighttime headliner and are scheduled to hit the stage around 8pm.


View the official event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/523009301101226/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

5th Annual Fall Upper Peninsula Beer Fest




The Michigan Brewer’s Guild hosts four official events a year. The winter and summer beer fests, in Grand Rapids and Ypsilanti, respectively, receive by far the most media buzz and attendance.  Part of this stems from their attachments to large urban areas, and part of it comes from their relative ease to attend; both are just short drives from major Interstate highways, making them easy destinations from Chicago or Detroit. The Upper Peninsula Fall Beer Fest, however, does not have that option.  Marquette, MI does not have a population or a media presence the size of Grand rapids or Ypsi/Ann Arbor, and it certainly doesn’t have a major Interstate highway connecting it to within a few hours of two major metropolitan centers.  Despite being the largest city in the Upper Peninsula, Marquette boasts about 10% the population of Grand Rapids.

And yet I say that the Upper Peninsula Fall Beer Fest may be the best of the festivals.

Who is driving? Oh no Unicorn is driving!
The first week of September in the Upper Peninsula marks the faintest beginning of the colors changing up north.  Trees – which cover 84% of the U.P. – are in their full summer glory and are just beginning to show the faintest twinges of yellow and orange in some spots.  The air still smells of summer, but has taken on a crisp edge that southern Michigan won’t feel until closer to October.  On the day of the event, a gentle cool misting dampened the sweatshirts but not the spirits of the attendees who got to sample over 340 beers from 53 breweries.  Many of these breweries, being in the most remote areas of the state (Brickside brewery is located in a town noted as being the farthest away from an Interstate highway in the lower 48 states), often do not make it to the larger events in the south.

The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and people were genuine and familiar and kind, and the beer was delicious:



At this point you may all think I’m just a shill for Greenbush, but I’m really not, and their beer really is that good.  The raspberry porter stood out as an exemplary model for a complex, thought provoking beer that still begs to be drunk by the pint, not the sample.  Plus they might win the award for longest distance traveled!

Hereford and Hops, the popular Escanaba brewpub, showcased a smoked jalapeno beer.  Spice and pepper beers are becoming more popular, and this place really balances the fresh-sweet-spice of the jalapeƱo with the natural characteristics of a light blond ale.  They also brought a Blueberry Lemongrass ale, which at 4% abv exhibited fantastic flavors.  It was so good we had previously purchased a growler of the stuff to bring up to the Lake of the Clouds.




Through either voodoo or sorcery or something more mundane, Griffin Claw is now brewing the original Screaming Pumpkin beer from the Michigan Brewing Company, which closed its doors in 2012.  Does the beer taste identical?  It’s been a year since I had it so I can’t speak with authority on that, but it’s close enough.  This remains one of our favorite pumpkin beers.



Pike 51 really impressed us: they had a spiced rum coffee milk stout that drank like everything you love about alcohol – sweet yet bitter, thick and dark, and very smooth.  They also brought the first dry hopped Belgian tripel I have ever tasted, and the cross-genre beer really worked! 




Everybody understands that the barriers to entry for attending the U.P. Fall Beer Fest can get cumbersome. That’s why a successful Fall Beer Fest has less people than a Summer or Winter Fest. But that’s what endears it to so many craft beer fans; the people who go to the UP Beer fest really want to go there, they want it enough to make the trip from below the bridge or from the mountains to represent Michigan Yooper culture.  The pristine views over Lake Superior, the miles of lush forest, and the crisp fall weather don’t hurt at all.  When 2014 rolls around next year, and you've got a vacation day or two that your boss doesn't want you to use, take them then.  Experience the raw splendor of the Upper Peninsula, with a perfect party.





Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grilled Flank Steak with Liberty Street Steamy Windows Chimichurri

 

Have you ever made a chimichurri sauce? It’s an Argentinean sauce or condiment, similar to pesto, that is popular throughout South America. A basic version uses fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil, vinegar, and a little bit of chili pepper, though the variations on this theme are endless (the addition of beer, for example). What I love about this version (inspired by Special Fork) is that it makes use of the parsley and cilantro that are growing like crazy in our garden, and everything else we are either growing or have in our pantry. In Argentina it is used both as a marinade and a sauce for grilled steak, but you could also use it with fish, chicken, or even pasta.

For this recipe, you will need:


1 bottle (12 oz) Liberty Street Brewing's Steamy Windows
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 cups cilantro
1 cup Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot (about 2 carrots)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

In deep 3-quart saucepan, combine beer and cumin seeds; bring to a boil. Cook until beer is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.

About how much beer you should have left after reduction.
 
In bowl of food processor, combine cilantro, parsley leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and sugar. Pulse together until mixture resembles a coarse paste.


Scrape mixture into beer sauce; add oil, vinegar, shredded carrot and salt. Stir well until sauce comes together. Let stand at room temperature one hour to allow flavors to develop. Can be refrigerated up to one week. 


Place steak on a plate and brush both sides, using ¼ cup of the chimichurri sauce. Let marinate at least two hours and up to six hours.


Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-hot fire, or preheat a stove-top grill pan. Grill steak 7 to 9 minutes per side for medium rare doneness. Remove steak, place on a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, and serve with the additional chimichurri sauce and guacamole.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Preview: 2013 WGRD Summer Craft Beer Fest


The Michigan summer festival scene is nothing if not expansive.  Summer only gives Michigan 12 weekends (cue jokes about how it's more like 6 weekends) a year, and local communities do a fantastic job filling them with a plethora of choices to slake one's thirst on Michigan and craft beer.

One such option is coming up on August 17th; for the past few years now, local Grand Rapids radio station WGRD (97.9, home of Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show) has hosted a beer festival on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids at the John Ball Zoo.  While this is not a guild sponsored event (remember: there's only four official guild sponsored festivals annually), the WGRD Summer Craft Beer Festival offers offers access to some of the best breweries in the state, and mixes in a few local cideries and national breweries for extra variety:



Given the success of previous years, the impressive selection of breweries and cideries from around the state and nation, keep this option available for consideration!  Information and ticket sales are available here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

CEO Stout Beeramisu


What’s better than tiramisu? Beeramisu! Also known as a beer-lover’s take on a classic tiramisu. You’re welcome.


This version, inspired by A Table For Two, strays pretty far from the traditional. It calls for beer and Amaretto instead of Marsala or cognac, but the requisite creamy, soft layers will surely please anyone crazy for this Italian dessert. The stout adds a hint of bitterness to balance the sweetness, and its malty, chocolatey, coffee notes are the perfect pair with sweet Amaretto and smooth mascarpone.

The amounts in this recipe allow a lot of flexibility for your serving vessel. so get creative! I used standard drinking glasses, but you could use a deep bowl or trifle dish, ramekins..even a coffee mug would do with any extra ingredients you have left over.

 For this recipe, which serves 6-8, you will need:

12 Savoiardi Biscuits (or any lady fingers you prefer)
1 cup strong espresso coffee
1/4 cup of Amaretto
2 eggs (separated)
3 tbsp caster sugar
8-9 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup stout Right Brain CEO Stout
8 ounces heavy cream, whipped
Chocolate shavings for garnish
A handful of Raspberries

Combine stout, coffee and Amaretto in a bowl.


Add egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add mascarpone and beat until just combined. Add 3 tablespoon of Amaretto and mix well.


Fold in the whipped cream into the mixture. Beat egg white until soft peak, gently fold it into the cream, trying not to lose the volume.


Dunk the biscuits, one at a time, into the liquid. Layer the biscuit into serving glasses.

Spoon Mascarpone mixture over the top until the biscuit is fully covered.

Repeat step 4 - 5 until the serving glasses are filled to the top.

Top with chocolate shavings and raspberries and wrap each glasses with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.

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