When sitting down to watch the big 50th Doctor Who anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor I was keen to find a beer match for my Doctor-ing adventures.
I really like Doctor Who; I like it a little less when there are weeping angels involved but generally speaking it makes me almost as happy as beer does. When sitting down to watch the big 50th Doctor Who anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor I was keen to find a beer match for my Doctor-ing adventures.
Initially I was going to open Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude on the grounds that the beer was going to be full of big, unapologetic flavours, exhibiting a TARDIS like ‘bigger on the inside’ sort of vibe.
Instead I went for a Moon Dog/Nogne Selvmordstokt – a wheat porter with cherry sour wine. So what makes the beer and The Day of the Doctor go together so well?
The beer is a collaboration brew … the episode features three Doctors working together, does it get more collaborative than 3 Time Lords? I doubt it.
The beer combines three elements – wheat, porter and cherry sour wine .. remember, three Doctors.
One of the breweries involved is Moon Dog … moon = space, dog = K9 … it was meant to be!
Even the name of the beer “Selvormordstokt”sounds like a far away planet, doesn’t it?!?
As for the beer itself, it’s fantastic (said in my best Christopher Eccleston voice) with an aroma of cherries in brandy and flavours of black cherry, chocolate, a little coconut and a soft sour kiss on the end. An ideal sipping beer to have whilst pretending Time Lords are real and many things are be bigger and more interesting on the inside.
Chilli con carne is more than just a tasty meal, it’s the total delight at having a kitchen bench full of spices and colour and the aroma filling the entire house. It’s about slouching on the couch afterwards in your favourite trackies and being full and happy. And yes, it’s totally made better with beer.
I love chilli con carne; it’s warming, inviting and bursting with flavour. It’s a dish that falls into my “home food” category, i.e. I’m very unlikely to order it at restaurant because my love for it is greater than just the dish itself; it’s about my total delight at having a kitchen bench full of spices and colour and the aroma filling the entire house so much so that our dog is practically drooling. It’s about slouching on the couch afterwards in your favourite trackies and being full and happy.
Granted I could say this about a lot of dishes if I really thought about it but it is particularly true with chilli con carne.
Last week I had a go at making Paul Mercurio’s version from his Cooking with Beer book. I’m surprised that I’ve owned this book for a year and only just tried this recipe. Shame on my beery heart.
Weizenbock – a strong wheat beer, ‘bock’ indicating strong and ‘weizen’ German for wheat.
The recipe calls for a 330ml bottle of Weizenbock and I immediately wished I hadn’t drunk my last bottle of Mountain Goat / Brooklyn Brewery collaboration beer, the Hopfweizenbock – a hopped up weizenbock. With such strong wheat beer characters like banana and spice, coupled with biscuit, stone fruit and a good punchy finish, well it would have been pretty damn good.
Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel … a little barnyard, dried pineapple, stone fruit, spicy, crisp citrus and a little red fruit. Sensational!
However, having enjoyed all the Hopfweizenbock I had to find a suitable substitute in our fridge. I decided on Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and a splash of Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel, hoping my beer mathematics would work – Kellerweis + Tiger Tripel = Weizenbock.
The end result was an amazing chilli con carne, seriously one of the best I’ve made. I think this will be the chilli con carne recipe, the go-to recipe. My partner and I matched it with the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, the wheat beer qualities like spice and coriander complemented the dish perfectly. The beers uber-refreshment also made for a fantastic palate cleanser for the heat in the dish.
I spent my Friday working / day dreaming about cooking a lamb roast for dinner. Yup, I know, I’m so rock n’ roll.
I spent my Friday working / day dreaming about cooking a lamb roast for dinner. Yup, I know, I’m so rock n’ roll. Oh and I posted it on Facebook …
Most of the suggestions screamed Porter, including this great idea. Thanks Chris!
I was now a woman with a plan, it was time to go shopping. Well, after work anyway.
Nine long, mouth drying hours later I was finally at the bottle shop. Fifteen minutes later I was out the door with a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a six pack of Sierra Nevada Porter and a bottle of Nøgne Ø Porter. Not a bad haul for a Friday afternoon from my local bottle shop.
I got home, opened a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and started in the kitchen.
With a title such as “Best Roast Leg of Lamb” it was hard to go past Jamie Oliver’s recipe and I love idea of a big whack of lemon rind in the marinade.
I found this great little recipe for homemade gravy here which was simple and tasty though perhaps a little salty. I threw in a dash of white wine vinegar which seemed to ease the saltiness a fraction. The Porter also proved an excellent rich and bitter feature in the gravy.
And here is the end result … Roast leg of lamb with roast onion, pumpkin, garlic, potato and carrot with Yorkshire Puddings.
Porter versus Porter
Both the Nøgne Ø Porter and Sierra Nevada Porter matched nicely to dinner, both having soft roasty characters that didn’t overwhelm the beer and food.
The Nøgne Ø Porter boasted brown sugar, red fruit and raisin flavours all wrapped up in a decent bit of booziness. Its predominately sweet-ish flavours went so nicely with the roasted veg.
Sierra Nevada’s Porter provided more floral and stone fruit flavours that acted as a refreshing cut through the oils from the lamb and Yorkshire pud.
International Beer Shop + Kjetil Jikiun, Head Brewer of Nøgne Ø + 4 great Nøgne Ø beers = a happy beer girl
Nøgne ø … the brewery from Norway that refuses to compromise, committed to taste, committed to craft beer
This is the first sentence you see on the Nøgne Ø website. I like it’s simplicity and directness. There’s no messing around here – it’s not sunshine and lollipops it’s just damn fine beer. Their beers, from the ones I have experienced so far, certainly seem to reflect these elements too. If you have time, read through the story behind Nøgne Ø. It is an interesting read because it feels like a real story from a human being instead of a marketing spiel, edited and changed to a more romantic version of events. You could almost be sitting beside Kjetil Jikiun (Founder, Head Brewer, Owner and All Round Nice Guy) enjoying a beer and listening to the history of the brewery unfold on the bar table. As a side note, he is described in the website as “the bearded giant”. Since it was pretty close to the first thing I thought when I met him, I thought that was worth mentioning.
The International Beer Shop played hosted to Kjetil Jikiun on Monday night for a Nøgne Ø Tasting and Tap Takeover, an hour of beer talk and sampling of four of their beers. With almost 20 beers in year round production and countless other special, seasonal and collaboration brews it was a delight to taste a nice cross section of their different offerings.
#500 Imperial IPA
I wanted to take photos but it proved rather tricky. I had tasting notes in one hand and beer in the other and I didn’t fancy drawing attention to myself as I tried juggling them. For those who know me, hand/eye coordination doesn’t spring to mind as one of my strong points. You’ll just have to head down to The International Beer Shop (or even shop online!) and grab them to see and try for yourselves. In the mean time, perhaps I can tempt you further with a brief run down on how beautiful these beers are.
I first had this a few months ago and recycled the bottle for flowers I was given. Trying it the second time around I was struck by how spicy it was, I didn’t remember that from the first time! It is balanced out very nicely with tropical notes from fresh Australian hops and cheekily weighs in at 7.5% ABV.
Brown Ale – one of their regulars
The carbonation was bigger than I had expected and was a pleasant surprise, giving a delightfully light and playful mouth feel. Putting my nose in the glass reminded me of opening a fresh bag of coffee beans. Spicy and malty and delicious.
#500 Imperial IPA – another of their regulars
Imperial IPA. There’s something great about this style, taking a IPA – a bigger version of Pale Ales – and then just making it bigger again which is great for my already beaten up taste buds. As the name suggests, it’s a celebratory brew, made to signify the 500th batch of ale. It’s nothing short of slap-you-in-the-face big, heaving with hops and bitterness. With the recent explosion of New Zealand hops around, other hops heads might recognise the Nelson Sauvin hop notes in there with very unsubtle fruit thanks to the dry hopping.
Nogne O Kollaborator – in collaboration with Ægir, a fellow Norwegian craft brewer.
It’s a DoppelBock, doppel = strong and bock = lager so the style becomes simple math. Rich, boozy with lots of dark fruits. It’s got great thick texture and just begs to be sipped on whilst reading a good book in winter. Or, in the case of my boyfriend and I last night, devoured in gulps with rich blue cheese and exclaiming how great the two go together!
The International Beer Shop aka That Magical Beery Wonderful Place will be hosting a Meet the Brewer & Tap Takeover on May 21st with Nøgne Ø head brewer, Kjetil Jikiun – mark it in your diaries folks!
The International Beer Shop, otherwise known to me as ‘that magical beery wonderful place’ will be playing host to Nøgne Ø head brewer, Kjetil Jikiun on Monday 21st May from 5.30-6.30pm. He will be pouring 4 of his beers fresh from the taps in this Tap Takeover and Meet the Brewer event.
And what’s better, this is a completely free event, all you need to do is rock up, bring your enthusiasm for beer and try not to drive (as there is no parking on the verge near the store). Free tastings will be on offer and of course your chance to chat with Kjetil Jikiu. You may want to bring your wallet too as growlers will be available and I’m sure you’ll find some beer that is in need a good home.