January 17, 2013

proof whisky, The Beer Academy, Vol. 116

Last week, we played host to a Canadian outdoor winter party. This time round, we are warming things up with a more comfortable indoor gathering. Our flavour of the week is – are you sitting? – Wheat Beer.

the hefeweisky 1oz proof whisky • 2oz freshly squeezed orange juice • 6oz Hefeweisen beer • 3 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit bitters (or plain orange bitters if you cannot find the grapefruit)
Make sure that your ingredients are cold. Pour all cold ingredients into a large glass. Garnish with orange slice. (we prefer no ice in this one)

If you are drinking the Hefeweizen on its own pale straw in colour with a hazy translucence from the unfiltered yeast and a stark white foam cap; tart and sour on the nose with hints of banana, apricot and clove. Down the hatch, the tartness washes over your tongue with an acidic effervescence that completely strips your palate of any thirst. A quick finish leaves you feeling quenched and refreshed.

food pairings the bright acidic tartness of the Hefeweizen is well suited for lighter fare. Salads will benefit from the citric acidity in the Hefe as the beer will double as your dressing, highlighting the fresh leafy greens and vegetal sweetness while not overpowering any subtle protein additions like shrimp or chicken. When considering cheese, this Hefe will harmonize with bright, tangy, fruity cheeses; Herb coated goat cheese is a must try.

We purchased our Hefeweizen at the Beer Academy, but you can find it at www.lcbo.com. (Granville Island Robson Street Hefeweizen #289215) The Academy is Canada’s first multi-functioning space dedicated to sharing the knowledge, passion and diversity of beer. Nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Beer Academy features a small-batch craft brewery, a tasting room and beer shop, and an inviting beer cafĂ© where guests can relax with their favourite pint. The venue also features an experiential event space that includes a sensory tasting bar, a beer-lover’s library, and a tribute to the history of the world’s greatest beverage.
Through the tasting room and beer shop, all of the beers brewed on-site are available to sample and take home in quart-size bottles and growlers. Unique to Toronto, the growlers are filled to order at an innovative counter-pressure growler station that ensures the beer tastes fresh – right from the brewery. Guided tours of the brewery are also available upon request. (http://www.beeracademy.com)

The Beer Academy also sells its own line of specialty glassware. Check out the website for styles and info.

Here are a couple of beer-inspired recipes to go along with your hefeweisky.
Fondue has a fun retro appeal that is perfect for winter party atmosphere. Dust off your fondue set and try this great recipe.

beer fondue 4 tbsps butter • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour • 12 oz beer • 12 tsp worcestershire sauce • 14 tsp dry mustard • 14 tsp cayenne pepper • 4 cups shredded cheddar • bread, chunks for dipping

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring constantly to make a roux. Add beer and bring to slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Add Worcestershire, mustard and cayenne, stirring thoroughly. Add cheese 1 cup at a time, melting cheese after each addition. Stir fondue until it is smooth. Turn into fondue pot and serve with cubed Cracked Wheat Beer Bread.

beer bread (yields 1 loaf) 3 cups bread flour (all-purpose will also work) • 1 tbsp baking powder  • 1 1/2 tsps salt • 1/4 cup granulated sugar • 12 oz can or bottle of beer • 1/4 cup (4 tbsps) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in beer and mix until just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan. Pour melted butter over the top of the dough. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is browned. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before serving. (photos and recipe http://www.pastryaffair.com)

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Wet snow and a high of 3 degrees
Sunday: Variable cloudiness and a high of - 3 degrees

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