Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers + Collaborator

The only way to accurately describe the burgers we made at home on Friday night is “over the top”; though “epic” and “freaking amazing” would also do nicely. Matched with the Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator was nothing short of fantastic!

The only way to accurately describe the burgers we made at home on Friday night is “over the top”; however “epic” and “freaking amazing” would also do nicely.

I had done some random internet clicking and ended up looking at the Food Republic; a website for guys about food and drink and although it may not sound revolutionary, it’s really quite good. Great recipes and articles, all done with a bit of humour, and sound advice – all well presented. I will be visiting this site again I am sure, despite my gender not being the specific target market! The recipe that caught my attention was for a “Bacon Blue Cheese Burger” simply because it sounds amazing and really, anything with blue cheese has to be good!

My boyfriend and I didn’t follow the recipe, instead just grasping the title words and putting it together in a way that made sense to us; it seemed more fun this way! The patties were made with beef mince, garlic, breadcrumbs and egg. We topped them (and yes, we made double decker burgers for no good reason other than we could) with a slab of blue cheese, egg and a gravy mix of mushrooms, bacon, spanish onion and garlic. Built into three layers of toasted turkish bread, the end result was by far the messiest and tastiest of our home made burger efforts to date.

Deciding what beer to go with it was more of a challenge. I avoided pale ales because that’s what we have done most times with burgers and even though it’s been a wonderful match in the past I wanted to try something different. Hello Collaborator!

Our second and final bottle of the 5.5% abv Feral/2 Brothers Collaborator beer, an Australian Brown Ale, turned out to be a fantastic match to our artery-clogging burgers. Bold enough to stand up to the many competing flavours happening in the burger, the beer itself had a contrasting bitter hop flavour, sweet caramel malt and tropical fruit. Rather than trying to pick out individual flavours in both beer and burger I think my best description of the match is just that it was really, really good with both contrasting and complimenting elements. Most importantly, however, it was all damn good fun making the burgers, trying to eat them and washing it all down with a sensational Australian beer.

Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers … girl+beer style!

Burger Patty

  • Beef Mince
  • Garlic, finely diced
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Chilli

Mushroom & Bacon Mix

  • Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • Garlic
  • Red Capsicum, diced
  • Bacon, diced
  • Chicken Gravy Mix
  • Brown Onion, diced
Build It and They Will Come (starting from the base)…
  1. Turkish Bread
  2. Burger Patty
  3. Mushroom & Bacon Mix
  4. Fried Egg
  5. Turkish Bread
  6. Burger Patty
  7. Mushroom & Bacon Mix
  8. Blue Cheese
  9. Cheddar Cheese (yup, two different kinds of cheese)
  10. Turkish Bread top
Stab with a steak knife to hold it all in place and serve with Rosemary & Garlic Potato Wedges
The first layer ….
Don’t forget the egg!
and hold into place …
and have FUN!

girl + the big 3-oh

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions …

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions:

Friday 

Coopers Pale Ale

An Australian classic, consistently good, very tasty and a great starting point for delving into craft beers and very beery weekends!

Coopers Pale Ale
4.5% abv | 375ml bottles
Australian Pale Ale
Coopers Brewing | South Australia

Temple Midnight IPA

Soft, dark and down right lovely; a black IPA with great fresh hop characteristics and rich bitter roasty notes. It’s made from roasted “midnight” (hence the name) American wheat and Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe hops.

I picked it from the fridge to go with dinner which was Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce & Garlic Prawn & Chorizo Pizza. I must admit I picked it without registering it was Black IPA so it wasn’t a food match win but it was still damn enjoyable!

It is the first Temple beer I have ever had, having heard nothing but rave reviews so when it came back into stock at The International Beer Shop I just had to have some.

Temple Midnight IPA
7% abv | 500ml
Black IPA
Temple Brewing Company | Melbourne, Australia
Friday Dinner
Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce
Garlic Prawn and Chorizo Pizza

Saturday 

White Rabbit Dark Ale

As I was working at Little Creatures during the time White Rabbit was coming to life I was lucky enough to get a glimpse into the brewery before opening day and watch both the White Rabbit Dark Ale and White Ale hit the shelves. Like it’s sister brewery, Little Creatures, it’s making craft beer accessible in both price and taste.

The sun was out on Saturday but it has still been a chilly few days lately so I was looking for something dark but not heavy and White Rabbit Dark Ale fitted nicely. A good amount of hops in some subtle dark malts and not too much bitterness. It went very nicely with a couple of games of giant dominoes too!

Giant Dominoes + Beer

Colonial Keutebier – Limited Edition

An angry 5.6 % abv wheat beer; but angry in a really good way … feisty banana tones, spicy and and refreshing. A cloudy rich honeyed colour, it just begs to be consumed! I can’t wait to check out the next limited edition, a Baltic Porter, that is due for release in the coming weeks – luckily for me I got to  see the first batch being brewed!

Colonial Keutebier
5.6% abv | on tap at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough
Keutebier (wheat ale)

Sunday

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator – Special Release

I’ve not had that much experience with brown ales but there’s plenty of time for me to fix that however the Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator may have set my standards rather high. Beautifully hoppy with rich caramel sweetness, hints of stone fruit and spice and since it was made to celebrate 20 years of AIBA (Australian International Beer Awards) it seemed a fitting beer to celebrate my own little milestone – a mention of girl+beer in The Sunday Times STM!

The Collaborator takes its hat off to the AIBAs and the Australian brewing industry as a whole by using nothing but all Australian ingredients. Galaxy, Stella and Summer hops are used along with Pale, Crystal and Australian Oats. Read more about the Collaborator at Australian Brew News. Only 16 hectolitres were brewed for the AIBA awards and Melbourne’s self proclaimed beer-obsessed venue, Beer Deluxe, so getting my hands on two bottles from The International Beer Shop was quite the feat! I wonder how long until we open the second bottle!?

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator
5.5% abv | 330ml bottle
Feral Brewing (WA) + 2 Brothers Brewery (VIC)
Australian Brown Ale

Two Birds Sunset Ale

The two birds themselves, Jayne and Danielle, brew their beer at Southern Bay in Victoria and grew up right here in Perth. Sunset Ale is their second beer, following the summery fruity Golden Ale, and I thought it was going to be best enjoyed on the beach. We opened two bottles and sat down in the sun, on the sand and enjoyed the beach that was almost completely absent of people. It was an oh-so-lovely way to end a weekend!

Great rich stone fruit and biscuit characteristics, the Sunset Ale is brewed with US Citra and Australian Cascade hops with Pale, Wheat and crystal malts. This was another find from The International Beer Shop though you can find the Two Birds Golden Ale on tap at The Queens, Mt Lawley.

Two Birds Sunset Ale | Best Enjoyed on the Beach
4.6% abv | 330ml bottle
American Style Red Ale
Two Birds Brewing (VIC)
Loving Life with Two Birds Sunset Ales

So that was my great beery 30th birthday weekend – what more could a beer-loving girl ask for than her amazing boyfriend, beautiful craft beers, a nice pub and way too much food?! Brilliant!