Someone once said that the best beers are the ones shared with friends. And this last year has been filled with some of the best beers in raised glasses, toasts, and shared pints.
If you are struggling with what to buy your craft beer fan this holiday season, we can help. Craft Beer Lovers are usually the easiest people to buy for. They are pretty happy with a six pack of a new beer, but if you really want to find that extra special craft beer gift, keep reading. We have identified 9 different craft beer personas to help give you some ideas and lots of local Ohio shopping suggestions.
1. The Sweet and Salty Craft Beer Fan will appreciate an assortment of fine chocolates and snacks to pair with a variety of beers. Consider filling their basket with coffee beers, stouts, and a variety of items from your local chocolate shop. A must include item from the Squirrel's Den would be their chocolate covered pretzels, caramel popcorn and dark chocolate coffee squares.
2. The Craft Beer Chef will not only cook with beer, they will use it in their recipes too. Select a cook book or two with recipes based on beers or filled with suggested pairings along with bottles IPA's or other flavorful beers. Add a Phoenix gift pack with a set of pint glasses, a growler filled with their favorite beer and koozies to keep their beer cold while they are cooking.
3. The Craft Beer Connoisseur is someone who really knows beer. What they are really looking for are beers they enjoy or are what are often referred to as whales..Kind of like the Moby Dick's of beer. Elusive, strange, small batch creations or highly coveted beers can easily be found at your local bottle shops. Ask your local tap room technicians for upcoming specialty releases. And while the Connoisseur already knows a ton about craft beer, they would appreciate a reservation in a class like CRAFT BEER 103: Stouts, Porters, and more in January at the Phoenix.
7. The Craft Beer Bibliophile. enjoys drinking beer and reading about beer. So, pick a great title like 50 Must-Try Ohio Craft Beers written by Rick Armon or one of many other selections from Main Street Books or your favorite book store. Add a brewery gift card as a bookmark or maybe fill a growler with their favorite beer to imbibe with while they read.
8. The Brewer, homebrew or professional, would love a basket loaded up with growlers, howlers, glassware and carrying cases. Sweatshirts or zip ups from local breweries as well are also appreciated to combat brewing in colder temperatures. They also would be pretty happy with a variety of beers to sample, gift cards to any place beer related and of course feedback on their own hand crafted creations.
4. The Coffee and Beer connoisseur enjoys coffee and beer, and coffee beer. Why not try an AM/PM gift basket filled with a mug from Relax, It's just Coffee or your local coffee shop, some bottles of cold brewed coffee and then add a few bottles of deep dark local stouts.
5. The Bearded Craft Beer Fan might enjoy a basket filled with high gravity beer selections, a brewery baseball tee and beard maintenance items like beard oils and balms. Locally sourced beard oils from Lionheart Medicinal Gardens, The Bearded Pup, or Ohio Valley Beard Supply are always a treat.
6. The Craft Beer Girl loves her beers and enjoys getting to try new and exciting brews. Fill a basket up with local brewery favorites, add a ladies tee, and a gift card. Consider a magazine subscription to a brewing publication or even a membership to the Pink Boots Society.
9. The Craft beer Couple enjoys going to local taprooms together and sharing a pint or two. They may even vacation based on breweries. Chances are they also have a core group of other brewery friends that they love to share their beer finds with. We suggest specialty bottles, growler fills of the newest beer on tap from their favorite local tap room. Gift cards to your favorite tap room, apparel and possibly board games that can be stashed in the car are also great to fill up their gift bag too. If a craft beer couple is hosting an event,this holiday season, consider a host/hostess gift basket filled with a variety of beers, snacks, and a board game we love called Beer Nerd.
Football season is here along with chilly weather, favorite sweatshirts and tailgating. If you are looking for the perfect recipe for your next tailgate, try the Ferryman's Favorite Sandwich; A coffee crusted and slow roasted shredded pork sandwich. The dry spice rub made with coffee from Relax, It's Just Coffee! combined with the Ferryman Oatmeal Milk Stout creates a rich earthy and smoky flavor perfect to share or enjoy on these cooler fall nights!
1/2 Cup of your favorite Grounds from Relax, It's Just Coffee
1/2 t salt
1 t pepper
2 T Moroccan Ras el Hanout Seasoning
FOR THE ROAST:
3-4 lb Pork tenderloin or Pork Butt roast
1-2 pints of the Ferryman (More if you are drinking it too)
2 T Olive Oil
1 T Moroccan Ras el Hanout Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a clean bowl, mix all of the dry rub ingredients together.
2. Dry rub all sides of the pork with the dry rub coffee mixture.
3.Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and sear both sides of the pork for 3-5 minutes.
4. Put the roast into your slow cooker and fill the roaster with Ferryman up to 3/4 of the roast. Stir in the rest of the Moroccan seasoning.
5. Cover and cook on low in the Ferryman Oatmeal Milk Stout for the next 6-8 hours or until tender.
6. If you have any Ferryman left, enjoy it while you wait.
7. Remove the roast, allow to slightly cool and shred the pork. and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce and cheese.
8. Suggested sides: Kettle chips and Cole Slaw, Ferryman Oatmeal Milk Stout and 5 Guinea ESB
Wet hopping a beer means to use a hop directly from the bine without any processing. Wet hopped beers are fragrant, more aromatic. and the flavor seems a little grassier or greener to the tongue. They scream summer and freshness. And even though summer isn't even close to it's end, the hop harvest is here with a very short window to use hops at their peak before processing.
For 2017, our Barb Doe Rhubarb wheat will be brewed with all Ohio ingredients. We wanted to learn a little more about where the hops were coming for this special beer. So about 10 of us from the Phoenix took a field trip to the For the Love of Hops hop farm in West Salem, Ohio. Patty and Mike Roberts, owners and farmers were gracious hosts and full of hop knowledge.
Upon driving up to the hop yard, we were first met with row upon row of towering hop bines supported by re-purposed telephone poles. Each different hop variety was marked on a tilted pole identifying the row. It was impressive to walk through the long rows of hop bines, almost like tall outdoor corridors. The hops are watered with a gravity fed irrigation system sourced from collected rain water. The ten of us spread out and wandered through the hop yard comparing the hops and their aroma, shape and size. Some were longer, some were more pungent, but all were perfect to pick a few and try out in a pint. After exploring, we returned to the barn to pour some Redemption IPA and infuse it with fresh Cascade hops. We continued our hop education by sampling the differences in the Pale Ale 419 and Garuda Gose with fresh hops. Field trips like this provide an opportunity for a fun and educational experience.
If you missed your shot this year at trying some of the fresh hops dropped directly into your beer, you can still try our All-Ohio brewed Barb Doe which releases on August 30th. With locally sourced rhubarb, hops from For the Love of Hops, and barley recently malted from Haus Malts in Cleveland, it is one of the freshest drafts in town. Slightly tart and definitely a treat.
Nobody really likes Monday mornings, but this past Monday at the brewery wasn’t so bad. Amid the masses of emails to be caught up on, one stood out. It was from the World Beer Awards.
Months before, in May, careful hands packaged enough bottles of one style for a panel of judges to sample and sent them on their way to the World Beer Awards judging location. The tasting wouldn’t occur until August and the hope was the beers would be safe over the upcoming months. By August, the competition had escaped everyone’s mind, until the email arrived. The tasting had finally occurred and the results were in. Attached was the list of winners. And there it was, receiving a gold medal award for the United States; Our Toe Tag Belgian Tripel.
What happened next was a lot of smiling, yelling, some tears and a sigh of relief. It is a bit of a surreal feeling to see your beer assigned a gold medal and a huge honor. The 11th Annual World Beer Awards used an international judging panel to blind-taste over 1900 beers from 36 countries to identify the best beers in each of the 72 styles.
Brewed to be a part of the high gravity Phoenix Mortuary Series of beers, the Toe Tag Belgian Tripel pours a bright gold with a thick, creamy head. Complex flavors with spicy phenolic notes, fruity esters and a sweetness from the malts combine to hide the higher ABV of 9% and mask the bitterness of the 30 IBUs. According to head brewer Duncan Macfarlane, “while this beer is delicious from the tap, it continues to improve with a little age in the bottle.” It is scheduled to be released on tap in mid-October and as a limited bottle release in November.
If all Mondays were like this, they wouldn’t be so bad.