Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale) – Torchlight Brewing

From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale)”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of lots of different spices and a sweetness but I can not really differentiate what is what.  The flavour is of a mixture of spices, sweet caramel, some sourness and lots of fruit notes.  The alcohol content comes in at 8%.  I will admit the first time I had this beer when it was still fresh I was not a huge fan but this bottle has really mellowed out and I quite enjoyed it.  I will also admit I enjoy very few Gruits as I am not a big fan of most of spice combinations they use.

Commercial Description:  Definitely not for everyone this ancient ale is sour and less carbonated than anything we drink today. The recipe is from the Middle Ages and the herbs used to make it were used before hops were discovered. Flavoured with things like mugwort, yarrow, meadowsweet, heather tips, and fermented with some brettanomyces this is definitely a strange taste experience and not for the wary. It’s bottle conditioning and best when aged so putting it away to cellar will vastly improve its taste and carbonation.


Black Butte XXIII – Deschutes Brewery (Aged 3+ Years)

I was very lucky to find a bottle of Deschutes Brewery’s 23rd Birthday brew “Black Butte XXIII” an Imperial Porter released on June 27th, 2011.  The brewery is located in Bend Oregon.  I consumed this brew on November 4th, 2013.  The porter pours an almost opaque black with a tan head.  The aroma consists of rich roasted malts, orange, chocolate and an overall sweetness.  The flavour was big with roasted malts, smoke, bitterness, chocolate, oranges, caramel, a building chilli burn finished by a mild alcohol burn.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.8% with an IBU of 55.  This beer that was listed as better after June 15th, 2012 was amazing!  What a crazy mix of flavours that worked so well!

Commercial Description:  XXIII. So where to next? What’s 2011’s rich, imperial take on Black Butte Porter? Just for kicks, you dream. Orange zest perhaps? From Spanish Oranges. Seville, to be exact. And Chocolate nibs. Pampered nibs from the artisanal alchemists at Theo. Maybe some chilies? Pasilla Negra only, please. That would be crazy wouldn’t it? Welcome to crazy. Get it while you can.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Rogue Creamery Blue cheese dip with lardons and toasted hazelnuts, Dry aged ribeye with roasted mushroom and veal jus, fingerling potatoes and sautéed green beans , Espresso rubbed beef brisket with Black Butte Porter BBQ sauce and fresh jicama slaw, Crème brûlée with almond praline and fresh raspberries.


Weiss Cream – Pyramid Brewing Company

Limited Release

From Pyramid Brewing Company out of Seattle Washington comes their “Weiss Cream” a spiced wheat ale.  The aroma is very mild with some hints of orange and vanilla.  The flavour consists of wheat, malts, vanilla, orange peal and some mild hops.  This beer is poured on nitrogenated taps to give this wheat ale creamier mouthfeel.  The alcohol content of this beer is 5.2%.  This is one amazing wheat ale and I wish I could get a pint back here at home!

Commercial Description:  Brewed with orange peel and vanilla, then nitrogenated to provide an extra smooth mouthfeel, Weiss Cream serves up a creamsicle like flavor worth sharing with friends.

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St Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter – Fort Garry Brewing Co

Winter Seasonal

From Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Fort Garry Brewing Co (Owned by Russell Brewing Co in Surrey BC) comes their “St Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter” a Winter Seasonal.  This beer pours a deep brown almost opaque with a tan head.  The aroma is of roasted malts, vanilla and nutmeg.  The flavour consists of roasted malts, nutmeg, vanilla, spices, coffee and some oak.  The alcohol content of this beer is 6.5% and the IBU is 30.  In BC good luck finding this beer but if you find a bottle somewhere pick it up you will not be disappointed.

St Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter is the latest single-batch beer from the Fort Garry Brewmaster Series. This beer boasts delicious seasonal flavours and is sure to warm you up the frostiest of winter nights. Spiked with select spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice. Aged on oak chips that provide a subtle vanilla flavor and aroma. It’s a SPICEtastic OAKstravaganza!


Hermannator’s Famous Chili (The Terminator) – (Hermannator Ice Bock – Vancouver Island Brewery)

Hermannator’s Famous Chili (The Terminator)

This recipe is taken right from Vancouver Island Brewery’s website in Victoria BC.  Thank you Van Island Brewery for this great recipe to try out!

I do not know that many Ice Bock’s out there so I would say this has to be made with Hermannator Ice Bock locally.

This recipe serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients list:

2 teaspoons oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1lb lean ground beef
3/4lb beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bottle Hermannator Ice Bock (341ml) or equivalent beer
1 Cup Strong Coffee (I substituted for decaf as my girlfriend can not have caffeine)
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 Can beef broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans (I used 2 cans white and 2 cans red kidney beans)
4 chili peppers, chopped
(I added mushrooms as a personal preference)

Getting down to business!

Prepare vegetables including onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Cut the beer sirloin into cubes

Heat oil.  Fry onions, garlic, mushrooms and meat until meat is browned and vegetables are partially caramelized.  (Cooks faster covered but you will have to drain liquids before transferring)
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Transfer browned meat and caramelized vegetables to a large pot.

Now it is time for the bulk of the work.  Pour yourself a glass of Hermannator to help the cooking go better.
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Once that is done add a the diced tomatoes, Hermannator Ice Bock, cup of strong coffee, tomato paste and the beef broth to the pot.
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Next add brown sugar, chili sauce, cumin, cocoa, oregano, cayenne, coriander, salt, 2 cans of kidney beans and chili peppers.
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Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
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Next add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.
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Once done it is ready to serve.  I recommend serving it with a piece of bread and butter.
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Like my first cooking with beer endeavor this dish went over very well!  This is probably my favorite chili I have personally had and my friend seemed to agree.  My girlfriend and my friends husband on the other hand found it a bit to spicy but tasty.  This dish is named well as it will Terminate the weak.  For the strong ones out there though like Sarah Conner this is a dish you should try!  Go out and Buy some Hermannator before it is gone for the Spring and Summer!