A gimlet is an easy cocktail to make at home by adding lime juice to gin. The history of the gimlet dates back to 1780′s when Sir Thomas Gimlet, of the British navy, intelligently schemed a way to help prevent scurvy. Gimlets were created to get Vitamin C to sailors. Sailors mixed their gin with lime juice and the gimlet was born.
Today the gimlet is still alive and kicking on cocktail lists all across the country. It’s been modified many times over the years as lime juice has led to lime syrup (roses) and led back to its more original and health conscious form of fresh squeezed. The style of gin in gimlets has also changed with time. It has become apparent to mixologists that London dry gins, more citrus heavy, seemed to make more sense in a gimlet as opposed to the more juniper heavy gins favored by the navy. Our spirited gimlet embraces the past, yet adds a modern twist with homemade sage simple syrup and cucumbers.
The Old Bay Spirited Gimlet
- Hendricks gin 2oz
- St Germaine 1/4 oz
- Fresh squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz
- Sage simple syrup 1/2 oz
- Cucumber slice (2)
Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a cucumber slice and spanked fresh sage. After all, most of what you taste is what you smell!
Why sage? One night on the streets of New Orleans I burned sage with two gentleman ridding the streets of spirits. I thought it’d be appropriate.
In early October, the chef community lost one of its pioneers with the passing of Chef Paul Prudhomme. Some of you may know the name from his spice blends that you see all over your local market. To me, I lost the biggest influence on my culinary career.
Chef Prudhomme is credited with having popularized Cajun cuisine, in specific Blackened Redfish. It is because of this dish that blackening in general is as popular as it is. It didn’t start out this way though. Chef Prudhomme opened his first restaurant in 1957 in his home town of Opelousas, LA. Big Daddy O’s Patio was a hamburger restaurant that only lasted for 9 months. Chef Prudhomme left the restaurant business for awhile but he soon found himself bouncing around the country working in kitchens. Eventually he landed back in New Orleans and worked his away around town before landing the job of Executive Chef at Commanders Palace. Chef Paul was the first American born chef to be Chef at Commanders Palace. Paul would eventually leave Commanders Palace to dedicate more time at his own restaurant, K Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans. Chef Paul made sure to leave Commanders Palace in the good hands of Chef Emeril Lagasse.
Cajun and Creole cuisines would still be local to Louisiana if it were not for Chef Paul Prudhomme. To say that Chef Prudhomme did not have an influence on my career and the style of food that I cook would be lie. The influence that this man had on my style is significant to say the least. The common misconception is that the food that we cook is hot and spicy. For the most part it isn’t, it is on the other hand well seasoned. This is due to the tradition of Cajun and Creole cuisine as well as the influence of Chef Paul Prudhomme. The man sold his spice blends all over the world, which opened the door for Chef’s like me to be open to use more seasoning.
Since we are starting to head to the holiday season, it is my duty to mention one of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s greatest introductions, The Tur-Duck-In! Yes, Chef Paul Prudhomme is credited with introducing the Tur-Duck-In to the United States. If you do not know what it is, you my friends are missing out. A Tur-Duck-In is a Chicken stuffed into Duck stuffed into a Turkey and roasted. If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and make one for your holiday celebration.
Since Chef Prudhomme popularized blackening fish with his Blackened Red Fish, I am including his recipe from his 1984 cookbook, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen (Morrow Cookbooks, 1984).
This recipe is based on one in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen (Morrow Cookbooks, 1984). Redfish (also known as red drum) is often farm-raised these days. It tends to be fatter and smaller than the wild-caught variety. Black drum makes a great substitute.
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
- 2 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 3⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3⁄4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
- 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
- 12 oz. butter, melted
- 6 oz. (8-oz.) 1⁄2-inch–thick filets skinless, boneless red drum, black drum, or red snapper
Combine paprika, salt, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, black and white pepper, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl and set aside. Put 2 tbsp. of the butter into each of six small ramekins; set aside and keep warm. Put remaining butter into a wide, shallow dish. Dip each filet in butter and place on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Dust each filet generously on both sides with spice mixture, pressing spices and herbs into fish with your hands. Pour remaining butter into a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 200°. Turn on ventilation system and open windows. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until white and ashy, 8-10 minutes. Carefully place 2-3 filets in pan. Stand back to avoid smoke and pour 1 tsp. of the remaining butter over each filet. Cook until bottom of each filet appears charred, about 2 minutes. Turn filets over and pour 1 tsp. butter over each. Continue cooking until fish is cooked through (time will vary according to heat of pan). Transfer to a sheet tray on a rack and keep warm in oven. Repeat cooking process with remaining fish and butter. Serve with reserved warm melted butter.
Hello fellow Beerthusiasts and welcome back. So for a few months now I’ve mentioned some of our favorite New Jersey Breweries along with some other spatterings of knowledge. As I sit down today to plan my next beer event I realize that I haven’t even scratched the surface, and in all honesty, it would probably take me over 3 years to touch on every single Jersey pop up brewery. We here at The Old Bay love our local breweries, not because they all put out some really great stuff, but because they’re Jersey guys…and gals. Don’t wanna get trampled on for that.
So this month I wanted to take some time and also self promote our New Jersey Tap Takeover. If you came last year you know it was an awesome event. Everyone whose tap handle was on our tower came to hang out and talk shop, make fun of one another, and drink some really great beer the state of New Jersey has to offer. So without further ado… the line up. Drum roll please…
Kane Brewing Co. (Ocean)
- Head High IPA – This is a no brainer. This IPA is our favorite here.
- Apiary – Their Farmhouse Saison.
- Morning Bell – Coffee Porter…if you haven’t heard of this beer…well I just feel sorry for you.
Carton Brewing (Atlantic Highlands)
- Boat – This session style IPA is their year round winner
- Squashenator – A Doppel bock brewed with acorn squash, chili flakes, and molasses
- Irish Coffee – Their regular coffee finished on Irish wood and peppermint
Bolero Snort (Ridgefield Park)
- Cracked Peppercorn – An imperial peppercorn brown ale.
- “What’s in the CASK?!?” – Something extra special on gravity pour for the event.
Forgotten Boardwalk (Cherry Hill)
- Funnel Cake (Nitro) – Vanilla Cream Ale with a smooth nitro pour.
- Morro Castle – Their robust smoked porter.
- Anniversary Ale – They were here for the first event so this only seems fitting. An Imperial IPA.
Rinn Duin (Toms River)
- Ichabod’s Return – If there were a fall beer to fall in love with; this is it.
Magnify Brewing (Fairfield)
- 30 Hours – An Imperial Peach IPA.
River Horse (Ewing)
- Tripel Horse – Their Abbey Tripel which is a nice switch on tap.
Flying Fish (Somerdale)
- Exit 15 – An amazing coffee IPA.
So that’s not a bad start. I’m still ironing out some more of the details, so I’m sure we’ll have some more, maybe from a brewery we’ve never featured before. Stay tuned, and I hope to see all you Jersey beer lovers here on Nov. 22nd.
Until Then…Cheers to great beer…in Jersey!
Moscow Mules are found everywhere these days. Bartenders are featuring them in cocktail lists, looking for ways to put an interesting spin on them. Fun twists include using tequila, bourbon, Irish whiskey and using various fruits and bitters.
The Moscow Mule was created in 1941 in a popular cocktail bar called Chatham Hotel in Manhattan. It happened when three friends were having a binge and decided to combine the ingredients they were selling to make a cocktail. Now these weren’t just your average bar patrons…they were a salesman, the president of Smirnoff vodka, and a Los Angeles bar owner who was out to market his ginger beer.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Why can’t MY drunk binges end in such genius!?”
Answer: You’re important. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Some may also ask: “Wasn’t the Mule made in Russia?”
Answer: No. Not at all. In fact, classic Russians don’t even chill their vodka, never mind mix it. The Mule was created right here in the U.S. It was created in order to market Smirnoff vodka. Copper mugs were a great way to serve the Mule across the country. The salesman went to bars, took two Polaroids of bartenders holding the copper mule glass. Salesman would use one picture to give the bartender and the second he’d give to the next bar to showcase his cocktail. This is how the Mule became so popular! Door to door from bar to bar coast to coast.
Let’s make one!
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
- 5 oz. ginger beer
Combine all ingredients with some crushed ice in a copper cup. Garnish with a lime.
This month at The Old Bay we’re going to feature a seasonal pumpkin mule made with crop organic pumpkin vodka, goslings ginger beer and fresh squeezed lime juice. Just ask you bartender for a Pumpkin Mule!
And if that’s not your cup of tea…ask about our Pasquale Mule!
As the weather starts to cool and the days start to get shorter, I am reminded why this is my favorite time of year. No it’s not because of the leaves or everything pumpkin spice. (I do like my pumpkin spice latte though). It is because it is Oktoberfest. I know you are saying to yourself, “Oktoberfest, Really?” Yes, Really! Think about it, there is all of that wonderful traditional German food as well as AMAZING beer. Food and beer are the perfect combination. If any of you have met me, (all of you should by the way), you know I have a body made by food and beer.
How many people know what Wurst means? It is pretty simple to figure out, it simply means sausage. German cuisine is rich with Wurst. The reason for this is very simple. Making sausage is a way to preserve the meat and also use all of the parts of the animal.
Meat in German Cuisine: Sausage and More
Meat is one of the primary elements of Germany’s cuisine, and has been for much of the country’s history. Pork is arguably the most commonly used meat in German cuisine. Roasted meat, called “braten,” fried boneless pieces of meat called schnitzel and sausages are some of the more common meat dishes in Germany.
Sausage, in particular, is a major German food. More than 1,000 different and distinct varieties of sausage can be found throughout the country, and include common German cuisine ingredients like sauerkraut and spices such as coriander, paprika, nutmeg and ginger.
The three primary types of sausage commonly produced and consumed in Germany are as follows:
- Bruhwurst (scalded sausage): Hot water or steam is used to scald this sausage, a unique cooking method that gives the Bruhwurst its name. Perhaps the best known sausage of this variety is the frankfurter, the basis for standard hot dogs.
- Kochwurst (cooked sausage): Originally eaten only at special occasions, Kochwurst sausages are usually boiled. Blood and liver sausages are considered Kochwurst.
- Rohwurst (fresh sausage): Perhaps the most popular sausage, Rohwurst is made from the leanest beef or pork, combined with bacon, salt and various spices. An overview of common staples of German Cuisine (2013,September 18)
If you ever look at a menu and see something “Braten”, That simply means that it is roasted. The most popular “Braten” dish in Germany is Sauerbraten. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is when you take a cut of meat, usually a tougher cut and let it marinate in vinegar or wine for several days to let it tenderize. We are going to go to our old friend the interwebs again and get a little history of Sauerbraten for you.
Sauerbraten was originally made from horse meat, but today is most often made from beef. Particularly in the Rhineland, however, there are still many restaurants offering traditional Sauerbraten from horse meat.
Several sources believe sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne in the ninth century AD as a means of using leftover roasted meat. Saint Albertus Magnus, also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is also credited with popularizing the dish in the thirteenth century.
Sauerbraten is a dish that is influenced by regional variations on the recipe. Many of these variations are in the ingredients used for the marinade in which the cut of meat is immersed for several days before cooking.
Generally, the marinade’s base is either red wine, vinegar or a combination of both. While Germany largely produces white wines (like Riesling and Gewürtztraminer), regions of Germany that are closer to France often encounter red wines being used as the base for the marinade. Wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and other varieties can be used as a base. Recipes from eastern regions of Germany closer to Poland and the Czech Republic tend to use vinegar as the base more frequently. In many regions, wine and vinegar are used together. (2013, June 13)
Enough with the history lesson already, when it comes to German food for me, I like the Sausage! It could Bratwurst, Knackwurst, or Weisswurst just to name a few. It really doesn’t matter, they are equally tasty. We are not just stopping with the sausages, don’t forget about the Sauerbraten, Sauerkraut, Spatula and Schnitzel. If you read that last line fast, do you feel like you are singing a sound of Music song? That’s what it felt like to write it.
Now that you have read a little history and I have put it into your head how great the food of Oktoberfest is. I think you all should come say Hi to me at The Old Bay on Sunday October 11, 2015 at 1:00pm for our Oktoberfest celebration. There will be Great food, Great Beer, and Great Music. If you can’t make it October 11, we will be starting the celebration on October 5, 2015 with our Oktoberfest Sampler Platter. How can you go wrong, Grilled Sausages, Sauerbraten, Spaetzle and Sauerkraut? You Can’t. See you all here.
For those of you that are feeling sassy and think you are up to the challenge of making your own Sauerbraten. I am giving you a recipe for it. Its not my recipe for it, if I gave that to you then why would you come and get at The Old Bay. It is a classic recipe from 1952 that I have as the basis for the recipe that I have developed over the years.
- Selection of the Roast
Sauerbraten can be made with many different kinds of roasting meat. Tougher, less expensive cuts of meat are used—typically a rump roast or bottom round of beef.Venison or other game are often prepared as sauerbraten as the spices and vinegar take away the gamey taste of the meat.
- Marinating the Roast
A solid cut from the bottom round or rump is marinated for three or four days, or as many as 10, before cooking.
Red wine vinegar and wine typically form the basis of the marinade, which also includes earthy aromatic spices such as peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, and bay leaves and less commonly coriander, mustard seed, cinnamon, mace, ginger, and thyme. The marinade may also include vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots. The acidic marinade helps tenderize the meat (which is typically a tougher cut) before it cooks. Buttermilk is also used as a marinade in certain regional varieties.
It is frequently advised to marinate the meat in an earthenware, glass, plastic, or enamel container rather than one made of metal, so the acidic marinade does not react with the vessel during the extended marinating process.
- Cooking the Roast
After the meat is removed from the marinade and dried, it is first browned in oil or lard and then braised with the strained marinade in a covered dish in a medium oven or on the stovetop. After simmering for four hours or more, depending on the size of the roast, the marinade will continue to flavor the roast, and as the meat cooks, its juices will also be released resulting in a very tender roast.
- Preparing the Gravy
After the roast is cooked, the marinade is strained and returned to a saucepan where it is thickened (often with crushed gingerbread, lebkuchen, or gingersnaps, flour, sour cream, brown sugar, and/or roux) which brings both body and flavor to the sauce. Before it closed its doors in 1982, Luchow’s famous German restaurant in New York City used crushed gingersnap cookies to season and thicken the gravy of its sauerbraten, one of the favored dishes. This style was made popular in the U.S. after the publication of “Luchow’s German Cookbook: The Story and the Favorite Dishes of America’s Most Famous German Restaurant” by Jan Mitchell in 1952.
Cheers everyone! It’s that time of the season, a time where the weather gets a little cooler, the leaves start to change, and the beer gets a little richer. I’m talking about a little thing called Oktoberfest! Of course you already know about our Annual Oktoberfest here at The Old Bay; but what about the actual Oktoberfest?
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s fields”) in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.
Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
In 1811 an added feature to the horse races was the first Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse races, which were the oldest and – at one time – the most popular event of the festival are no longer held today. But the Agricultural Show is still held every three years during the Oktoberfest on the southern part of the festival grounds.
In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse. The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.
The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.
Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, with an international flavor characteristic of the 21th century: some 6 million visitors from all around the world converge on the Oktoberfest each year.
And since the Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienwiese, the locals still refer to the event simply as the “Wies’n”. So “welcome to the Wies’n” means nothing other than “welcome to the Oktoberfest”!
Another fun fact that you may not know is that the party goers at Oktoberfest consume 7.7 MILLION LITERS OF BEER!!!! 7.7 MILLION! That’s insane. Also we’re not talking about your generic light beer here people! We’re talking beer rich in tradition and history. Dunkels, Weissens, Helles, and Bocks just to name a few; these are some pretty hearty beers.
So what’s on tap for our Oktobefest Celebration? I’m so glad you asked. We’re showcasing three different styles from Hofbrau, Kotstritzer, Reisdorf, Bitburger, Spaten, and some really great craft beers as well such as Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest which is fantastic. If you haven’t had it yet, make your way down to visit us.
So, this Oktoberfest, whether you’re celebrating with us here at The Old Bay or traveling afar. Raise your glass to King Ludwig for creating the longest, biggest, beer celebration around.
Also, below I’ve dug up some info about a majority of styles of German Beer for your reading pleasure from my friends over at Wikipedia.
Cheers to great beers!
Pale lager was developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took some British pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany, and started to modernise continental brewing methods. In 1842 Josef Groll of Pilsen, a city in western Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic, used some of these methods to produce Pilsner Urquell, the first known example of a golden lager. This beer proved so successful that other breweries followed the trend, using the name Pilsner. Breweries now use the terms “lager” and “Pilsner” interchangeably, though pale lagers from Germany and the Czech Republic with the name Pilsner tend to have more evident noble hop aroma and dry finish than other pale lagers.
In 1894, the Spaten Brewery in Munich noticed the commercial success of the pale lagers Pilsner and Dortmunder Export; Spaten utilised the methods that Sedlmayr had brought home over 50 years earlier to produce their own pale lager they named helles, which is German for “light coloured”, in order to distinguish it from the darker, sweeter beers from that region: dunkelbier or dunkles Bier (“dark beer”). Initially other Munich breweries were reluctant to brew pale coloured beer, though as the popularity of pale beers grew, so gradually other breweries in Munich and Bavaria began brewing pale lager either using the name hell or pils. Today, in Munich and Bavaria pale lagers termed helles, hell, pils or gold remain popular, with a local inclination to use low levels of hops, and an abv in the range 4.7% to 5.4% abv; Munich breweries which produce such pale lagers include Löwenbräu, Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München, Augustiner Bräu, and Hacker-Pschorr; with Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu producing a 5.2% abv pale lager called Spaten Munchner Hell.
Traditional bock is a sweet, relatively strong (6.3%–7.2% by volume), lightly hopped (20-27 IBUs) lager. The beer should be clear, and colour can range from light copper to brown, with a bountiful and persistent off-white head. The aroma should be malty and toasty, possibly with hints of alcohol, but no detectable hops or fruitiness. The mouthfeel is smooth, with low to moderate carbonation and no astringency. The taste is rich and toasty, sometimes with a bit of caramel. Again, hop presence is low to undetectable, providing just enough bitterness so that the sweetness is not cloying and the aftertaste is muted. The following commercial products are indicative of the style: Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel, Pennsylvania Brewing St. Nick Bock, Aass Bock, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock, Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock.
The maibock style, also known as helles bock or heller bock, is a helles lager brewed to bock strength; therefore, still as strong as traditional bock, but lighter in colour and with more hop presence. It is a fairly recent development compared to other styles of bock beers, frequently associated with springtime and the month of May. Colour can range from deep gold to light amber with a large, creamy, persistent white head, and moderate to moderately high carbonation, while alcohol content ranges from 6.3% to 7.4% by volume. The flavour is typically less malty than a traditional bock, and may be drier, hoppier, and more bitter, but still with a relatively low hop flavour, with a mild spicy or peppery quality from the hops, increased carbonation and alcohol content. The following commercial products are indicative of the style: Ayinger Maibock, Mahr’s Bock, Hacker-Pschorr Hubertus Bock, Capital Maibock, Einbecker Mai-Urbock, Hofbräu Maibock, Victory St. Boisterous, Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock, Smuttynose Maibock, Old Dominion Brewing Company Big Thaw Bock, Brewery 85′s Quittin’ Time, Rogue Dead GuyAle, Franconia Brewing Company Maibock Ale, and Church Street maibock.
Doppelbock or double bock is a stronger version of traditional bock that was first brewed in Munich by the Paulaner Friars, a Franciscan order founded by St. Francis of Paula. Historically, doppelbock was high in alcohol and sweet, thus serving as “liquid bread” for the Friars during times of fasting, when solid food was not permitted. Today, doppelbock is still strong—ranging from 7%–12% or more by volume. It is clear, with colour ranging from dark gold, for the paler version, to dark brown with ruby highlights for darker version. It has a large, creamy, persistent head (although head retention may be impaired by alcohol in the stronger versions). The aroma is intensely malty, with some toasty notes, and possibly some alcohol presence as well; darker versions may have a chocolate-like or fruity aroma. The flavour is very rich and malty, with toasty notes and noticeable alcoholic strength, and little or no detectable hops (16–26 IBUs). Paler versions may have a drier finish. The monks who originally brewed doppelbock named their beer “Salvator” (“Savior”), which today is trademarked by Paulaner. Brewers of modern doppelbocks often add “-ator” to their beer’s name as a signpost of the style; there are 200 “-ator” doppelbock names registered with the German patent office. The following are representative examples of the style: Paulaner Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Weihenstephaner Korbinian, Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock, Capital Autumnal Fire, EKU 28, Eggenberg Urbock 23º, Bell’sConsecrator, Moretti La Rossa, Samuel Adams Double Bock, Troegs Troegenator Double Bock, Wasatch Brewery Devastator, Great Lakes Doppelrock, Abita Andygator.
Eisbock is a traditional specialty beer of the Kulmbach district of Germany that is made by partially freezing a doppelbock and removing the water ice to concentrate the flavour and alcohol content, which ranges from 9% to 13% by volume. It is clear, with a colour ranging from deep copper to dark brown in colour, often with ruby highlights. Although it can pour with a thin off-white head, head retention is frequently impaired by the higher alcohol content. The aroma is intense, with no hop presence, but frequently can contain fruity notes, especially of prunes, raisins, and plums. Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with significant alcohol, although this should not be hot or sharp. The flavour is rich and sweet, often with toasty notes, and sometimes hints of chocolate, always balanced by a significant alcohol presence. The following are representative examples of the style: Kulmbacher Reichelbräu Eisbock, Eggenberg, Schneider AventinusEisbock, Urbock Dunkel Eisbock, Franconia Brewing Company Ice Bock 17%.
Oktoberfestbier / Märzen
Oktoberfest is a German festival dating from 1810, and Oktoberfestbiers are the beers that have been served at the festival since 1818, and are supplied by six breweries: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner-Bräu, Hofbräu-München,Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. Traditionally Oktoberfestbiers were the lagers of around 5.5 to 6 abv called Märzen – brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months. Originally these would have beendark lagers, but from 1872 a strong March brewed version of an amber-red Vienna lager made by Josef Sedlmayr became the favourite Oktoberfestbier. The colour of Märzen and so Oktoberfestbier has become even lighter since the late 20th century, with all Oktoberfest beers brewed in Munich since 1990 being golden in colour; though some Munich brewers still produce darker versions, mostly for export to the USA.
Oktoberfestbier is a registered trademark of the big six Munich breweries, who call themselves the Club of Munich Brewers. Oktoberfestbier is also known as Munich Beer, and – along with Bavarian beer – Munich beer is protected by the European Union as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
Weizenbier or Hefeweizen, in the southern parts of Bavaria usually called Weißbier (literally “white beer”, but the name is believed to come from Weizenbier (“wheat beer”), which is how it is still called in some regions), is a Bavarian beer in which a significant proportion of malted barley is replaced with malted wheat. By German law, Weißbiers brewed in Germany must be top-fermented. Specialized strains of yeast are used which produce overtones of banana and clove as by-products of fermentation. Weißbier is so called because it was, at the time of its inception, paler in color than Munich brown beer. It is well known throughout Germany, though better known as weizen (“wheat”) outside Bavaria. The terms Hefeweizen (“yeast wheat”) or Hefeweißbier refer to wheat beer in its traditional, unfiltered form. The term Kristallweizen (crystal wheat), or kristall Weiß (crystal white beer), refers to a wheat beer that is filtered to remove the yeast from suspension. Additionally, the filtration process removes wheat proteins present in the beer which contribute to its cloudy appearance.
The Hefeweizen style is particularly noted for its low hop bitterness (about 15 IBUs) and relatively high carbonation (approaching four volumes), considered important to balance the beer’s relatively malty sweetness. Another balancing flavor note unique to Hefeweizen beer is its phenolic character; its signature phenol is 4-vinyl guaiacol, a metabolite of ferulic acid, the result of fermentation by top-fermenting yeast appropriate for the style. Hefeweizen’s phenolic character has been described as “clove” and “medicinal” (“Band-aid”) but also smoky. Other more typical but less assertive flavour notes produced by Weißbier yeast include “banana” (amyl acetate), “bubble gum”, and sometimes “vanilla” (vanillin).
Weißbier is available in a number of other forms including Dunkelweizen (dark wheat) and Weizenstarkbier (strong wheat beer), commonly referred to as Weizenbock. The dark wheat varieties are made with darker, more highly kilned malts (both wheat and barley). The Weizenbocks typically have a much higher alcohol content than their lighter cousins.
The three major brands in Germany are Erdinger, Paulaner and Franziskaner. Other renowned brands are Weihenstephaner, Schneider, Maisel and Andechser. Regional brands in Bavaria are Hopf, Unertl, Ayinger, Schweiger and Plank. Aventinus is an example of Weizen Doppelbock, stronger and darker version of Weizenbock, made by the G. Schneider & Sohn brewery in Kelheim.
British wheat beer tends to be a hybrid of the continental style with an English bitter, rather than an exact emulation. Brewers producing cask-conditioned varieties include Oakleaf Eichenblatt Bitte, Hoskins White Dolphin, FyfeWeiss Squad and Oakham White Dwarf.
Witbier, white beer, bière blanche, or simply witte is a barley/wheat, top-fermented beer brewed mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands. It gets its name due to suspended yeast and wheat proteins which cause the beer to look hazy, or white, when cold. It is a descendant from those medieval beers which were flavored and preserved with a blend of spices and other plants such as coriander, orange, and bitter orange referred to as “gruit” instead of using hops.
The style was revived by Pierre Celis at the Hoegaarden Brewery in Belgium and the Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas, and may also be made with raw wheat in addition to wheat malt. The beers have a somewhat sour taste due to the presence of lactic acid, much more pronounced in the past than today. Also, the suspended yeast in the beer causes some continuing fermentation in the bottle.
Ancient French regulation (part of Belgium was French in the 14th century) excluded the use of hops in gruit.
The term Kölsch was first officially used in 1918 to describe the beer that had been brewed by the Sünner brewery since 1906. It was developed from the similar but cloudier variantWieß (for “white” in the Kölsch dialect). It never became particularly popular in the first half of the twentieth century, when bottom-fermented beers prevailed as in the rest of Germany. Prior to World War II Cologne had over forty breweries, reduced to two in the devastation and its aftermath.
In 1946, many of the breweries managed to re-establish themselves. In the 1940s and 1950s, Kölsch still could not match the sales of bottom-fermented beer, but in the 1960s it began to rise in popularity in the Cologne beer market. From a production of merely 50 million liters in 1960, Cologne’s beer production peaked at 370 million liters in 1980. Recent price increases and changing drinking habits have caused economic hardship for many of the traditional corner bars (Kölschkneipen) and smaller breweries. By 2005 output had declined to 240 million litres.
Thirteen breweries produce Kölsch in and around Cologne, anchored by Früh, Gaffel, Reissdorf and Kölner Verbund (de). There are also smaller brewers, such as Mühlen-Kölsch orBischoff-Kölsch (de). In adherence to the Kölsch Konvention of 1986 Kölsch may not be brewed outside the Cologne region. A few outlying breweries were grandfathered. About ten other breweries in Germany produce beer in Kölsch style, but do not call it Kölsch because they are not members of the convention.
In 1997, Kölsch became a product with protected geographical indication (PGI), expanding protection to the entire EU and several countries beyond it. Exports of Kölsch to the United States, Russia, China and Brazil are increasing. Exported Kölsch does not need to strictly comply with the Provisional German Beer Law, the current implementation of the Reinheitsgebot.
Hey beer drinkers let’s get into it. So a few month’s back we started on this venture together talking about a New Jersey Brewery, and I think it’s time to talk about the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. If you’re going to talk about NJ Breweries, one name always comes up. Kane. I can honestly say, they can do no wrong. If they do, I’m sure it’s buried somewhere next to Jimmy Hoffa. Head High, Over Head, Morning Bell, A Night to End All Dawns, Single Fin, the list goes on and on like a Billboard Top 100. Located in Ocean Township, the Brewery turns into a tasting room from Thursday to Sunday. Most of you have probably taken the trip. I have on a few occasions. There you’ll get a sample of some of the aforementioned beers or some crazy barrel aged goodies they are always playing around with.
“The path to Kane Brewing Company started after a summer trip to Europe following Michael Kane’s sophomore year in college. Through his travels across the European continent he was exposed to full-bodied English ales, crisp authentic German lagers, tart and refreshing Weiss beers and an array of unique Belgian ales. Following his return he looked to some of the small, recently opened craft breweries of New England as a way to explore new styles and flavors in beer. It was during one of these visits to a small Vermont brewery where he learned about homebrewing. Michael brewed his first batch, a German Wheat Beer, during his senior year in college and decided before it was finished fermenting that he was going to some day open a brewery.
Of course with no money and no concept of what it would take to even do that, he used his finance degree from Fairfield University to land a position as a litigation consultant in New York City. After four years of traveling, spreadsheets and countless batches of beer brewed in his tiny east village apartment, he left the city to pursue a MBA at the University Of Notre Dame in Indiana to continue his study of finance. This conveniently allowed him to explore the Midwest craft beer scene, but more importantly he learned more about funding, starting and managing a small business. During his time there he was also fortunate enough to intern in The Netherlands during the summer of 2004 and continue his exploration of Belgian beers.
Following graduation he moved back to New York City and got a job on Wall Street as an investment banker to gain some practical experience in finance and to help fund his project. Michael spent the next four years writing a business plan, researching the industry, visiting other brewers and brewery owners and occasionally actually during some work as an investment banker, so he could turn the brewery into a reality. He also continued to brew and develop his recipes winning a gold and silver medal at the 2009 National Homebrew Competition.
In 2010, he left Wall Street and signed a lease on a 7,500 square foot building formerly used to manufacture caskets in Ocean Township, New Jersey and began the process of building a craft brewery from the ground up. His goal was to bring his interpretation of American-style and Belgian influenced craft beers to the place where he grew up and to raise the level of craft beer awareness across the state. He chose this location because of his ties to New Jersey and his love of the small beach communities on the coast. After a year of construction, licensing and headaches, Kane Brewing Company opened to the public in August of 2011.”
So, that’s the story of how it all started for Kane. Come to think about it, looking back, I find it a little eerie that it used to be a casket factory. For those of you who have been there, maybe that explains the doctor’s like waiting room at the entrance of the brewery.
Now, most of you who have been coming to The Old Bay for years have met Pasquale “Pat” Pipi. After 15 years of dedicated service here at The Old Bay, Pat moved on to work for Kane in what seems like a no brainer for someone who loves beer as much as he does. I couldn’t in my right mind, mention Kane in a post and not bring up Pipi. As much as he is missed around these haunts, we all know he landed his dream job. I for one am glad he’s gone, because I got to take over the beer here at The Old Bay and couldn’t be happier in my position in life.
So, if you can’t make it to Kane Brewing to taste some goodies and say hi to an old friend, you can always be sure that we will have one of their goodies on tap. From Head High to the “Hey we’re working on something awesome down here, keep an eye out” – beer, we’ll always keep you up to date on what’s going on tap and why it’s so awesome. Because when it comes to Kane, they just exude excellence.
Until next time, cheers to great beer!
Warm weather, locally farmed ingredients and creativity bring me to this month cocktail feature. I’m really big into focusing our cocktail list on fresh ingredients by supporting local farms. I believe the fresher the cocktail the better!
The Barr Hill distillery is located in Hardwick, Vermont. Their focus is rooted on the freshness of their crop and how their local crop is preserved and transported locally. They’ve been around for over a hundred years by having a long relationship with the land, honey bees, corn, barley and rye.
At The Old Bay restaurant we feature Barr Hill’s gin because it adds that extra honey that most are looking for in a Bee’s Knees cocktail. The Bee’s Knees is a cocktail traditionally featuring gin, honey and lemon juice.
The Local Bee’s Knee’s
- Barr Hill gin
- Lemon juice
- Honey syrup
- St. Germaine
Add 2 oz of Barr Hill gin to a shaker filled with ice. Add 1/2 oz of lemon juice, 1/2 oz of honey syrup, and a splash of St. Germaine Elderflower liquor. Shake. Shake again! Strain into a glass filled with ice and add a lemon garnish! (or if your really trying to impress get some honeycomb from Wegman’s or Whole Foods)
Or come sit at our bar and let us do it for you!
As you can tell, I’m proud to be a part of supporting American local farms and distilleries!
Sometimes I find it very difficult to take the time to just sit down and write about what is going through my head. This is not one of those times. I have been noticing more places jumping on board the oyster boat. It seems everywhere you go you can find some type of oyster dish. If not a dish you will find oyster shooters. (Personally I don’t get the whole oyster shooter thing). What’s with this new found love? The answer is simple; oysters are getting to be more easily available.
They are more easily accessible because bays, inlets and tidal basins are being detoxed…so farmers are reseeding old oyster beds and discovering new ones.
Not a few here and there, but dozens around the country. Chips and pretzels are disappearing as happy hours on the coasts keep booze flowing with dollar-a-piece oysters … sometimes happy hour lasts all day. Mixologists and sommeliers scramble for steely white wines and new cocktails to match the bivalves. Locavores and farm-to-tableniks love the notion of plucking these critters from nearby waters … while sophisticates guess by brine, acidity and shape where an oyster’s from, giving rise to the term “merroir” as a parallel to wine-related “terroir.” (There’s even a shellfish place in Virginia called Merroir, which must be hell to pronounce down there.) At Waterbar in San Fran, oyster descriptors include: tropical fruit finish; clean lettuce finish; touch of bitter herb; honeydew melon, and sweet grass. Traditionalists stick to cocktails sauces … but for modernizing upstarts the world is their oyster and they’re provoking palates of the young and moneyed. We’ve seen oysters with lemongrass cocktail sauce or yuzu koshu dressing; The Girl & The Goat in Chicago has a muscatel mignonette with tarragon. Eventide in Portland ME assaults it oysters with kimchee or horseradish granita. Marshall Store & Oyster Bar in Marshall CA cooks its oysters with chorizo butter. For five bucks, Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston lets you add fried oysters and horseradish mayonnaise to burgers, steaks and roast chicken. Need numbers? Chesapeake Bay’s harvest grew eightfold between 2006 and 2012; in Connecticut the harvest about doubled between 2007 and 2010 and is still growing.
- Baum and Whiteman International food and Restaurant Consultants; 2015
After reading some of the information about this new group of “Merroir” it makes me think about all of the self described “Foodies” and “Amateur Chefs” that have sprouted up everywhere. You all know the type, they are the people that always know way more about the menu then the chef does and can tell you every detail of what the chef did wrong and why they are better then said chef. Does anyone ever think that the reason that some things are done differently is to throw off the people that think they know more then the chef. (End Rant)
Let’s get back to talking about the delicious oyster. No matter how you choose to prepare your oysters, it is going to be delicious. Here at The Old Bay we like to top our oysters with fresh spinach, smoked Gouda cheese and a bit of jumbo lump crab meat. We then bake them until the cheese is melted and top them with our silky house made lobster sauce. Next time that you come in to visit us, do your self a favor and order the Oysters Old Bay. You will not be disappointed.
Hot enough for ya? This time around I want to delve into the “Sour Craze” that is sweeping the nation. First and foremost, I’m going to throw this out there, I’m not a huge fan of sours. I’m sure eventually my palate will change with each sour I try just as it did getting used to IPAs. So let’s take a moment with our good friend Wikipedia for the breakdown and we’ll all learn something.
While any type of beer may be soured, most follow traditional or standardized guidelines.
American Wild Ale
Main article: American Wild Ale
Beers brewed in America utilizing yeast and bacteria strains instead of or in addition to standard brewers yeasts tend to fall under the catch-all term American wild ale. These microflora may be cultured or acquired spontaneously, and the beer may be fermented in a number of different types of brewing vessels. American wild ales tend not to have a specific parameters or guidelines stylistically, but instead simply refer to the use of unusual yeasts.
Main article: Berliner Weisse
At one time the most popular alcoholic beverage in Berlin, this is a somewhat weaker (usually around 3% abv) beer made sour by use of Lactobacillus bacteria. This type of beer is usually served with flavored syrups to balance the tart flavor.
Flanders Red Ale
Main article: Flanders Red Ale
Descendent from English porters of the 17th century, Flanders red ales are first fermented with usual brewers yeast, then placed in to oak barrels to age and mature. Usually, the mature beer is blended with younger beer to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales.
Main article: Gose
Gose (pronounced “go-suh”) is a top-fermenting beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. This style is characterized by the use of coriander and salt and is made sour by inoculating the wort with lactic acid bacteria before primary alcoholic fermentation.
Main article: Lambic
Lambic beer is spontaneously fermented beer made in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and Brussels. Wort is left to cool overnight in the koelschip where it is exposed to the open air during the winter and spring, and then placed into barrels to ferment and mature. Most lambics are blends of several season’s batches, such as gueuze, or are secondarily fermented with fruits, such as Kriek and Framboise. As such, pure unblended lambic is quite rare, and few bottled examples exists.
Main article: Oud Bruin
Originating from the Flemish region of Belgium, oud bruins are differentiated from the Flanders red ale in that they are darker in color and not aged on wood. As such this style tends to use cultured yeasts to impart its sour notes.”
Now me personally, when it comes to stomaching these mouth puckering monsters I tend to lean towards Lambics. They’re just tart enough and the fruit really comes through giving it a refreshing taste. We haven’t really toyed with the idea of adding syrups to a Berliner Weisse, but that could be something we try in the very near future as I’m already hoarding kegs for our Summer of Sours event coming up this month… I know, that was a shameless plug, but for me to get some really rocking sours in, I figured I should sit down and try to wrap my head around them and each of their personalities. So why not share that with you? So, my beer drinking friends, love ‘em or hate ‘em, Sours have been around for quite some time and I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon. So pull up a stool, and get ready to pucker up. Be sure to check out our beer list online for when these sours hit the lines.
Until then, cheers to great beer.