Monday, April 7, 2014

Local Libations at the Philly Farm & Food Fest

The 3rd Annual Philly Farm & Food Fest is this Sunday, April 13th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This event is put on by your friends at Fair Food and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculure) and while I've never been, seems like it should be a great time. The fest is a showcase for local, sustainable foods and businesses including some of my favorite breweries.

If you plan on attending, be sure to check out the Local Libations Lounge where you'll be treated to guided tastings from Dock Street, Sly Fox, Victory and Weyerbacher. There will also be some other liquids (yes, they exist) from Dad's Hat Whiskey, Frecon Farm's Cidery, Paradocx Vineyard, Stonekeep Meadery and Philadelphia DIstilling, makers of Bluecoat American Dry Gin - a favorite of mine. This is one of those great opportunities to celebrate just how spoiled we are when it comes to local beer.

A seemingly exciting addition to the 2014 Fest is the Shellfish Salon where Sam Mink, owner of Oyster House, will lead a guided tasting of delicious East Coast oysters and clams. The Heritage Shellfish Cooperative will be shucking some briny beauties from Cape May Salts and Choptank Oyster Company and freshly cooked clams.

If you're reading this, it's safe to assume that local food and local beer is of some importance to you. If you're anything like me then throwing shellfish into the mix only sweetens the deal. General Admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door on Sunday. A limited number of tickets are still available for the timed and guided tastings in the Local Libations Lounge and Shellfish Salon for $15 per person. More details and tickets are available at

Maybe I'll see ya there on Sunday, cheers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cooking With Beer: Pale Ale Grilled Cheese

Ever since the wife and I (oh yeah, I got married - there was a lot of beer involved) bought a house last June, I've been doing a lot of cooking. Luckily, I also happen to have a lot of beer around the house so it has been making its way into many of the recipes. The latest attempt at culinary prowess was last night's Brown Butter Grilled Beer Cheese, a recipe a nabbed from The Beeroness. Her site has a vast collection of beer-infused recipes which include some fantastic photography as well. I've tried my hand at a few of her recipes and they've all been delicious so make sure you bookmark that site. This grilled cheese was such a success that I thought I'd try to get back into the habit of writing here and share the recipe. I swapped out the mozzarella for a heaping of pepper jack instead and used some of Lagunitas' New DogTown Pale Ale for the spread. The cheese is a bit runny but it all came together quite gloriously with a bowl of homemade tomato soup. Check out the recipe below and thank me later.

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Pale Ale
  • 4 oz cheddar
  • 8 slices bread
  • 4 tbs butter
  • In a blender or food processor add the cream cheese, mozzarella, cornstarch and beer. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Spread the beer cheese generously onto 4 slices of bread. Top with about 2 tbs of cheddar and then top with a clean slice of bread.
  • In a skillet with a lid melt the butter over medium heat (don't allow the butter to get too hot or it will burn) until just starting to turn a golden brown. Carefully add the sandwiches, and replace the lid allowing the sandwiches to steam in the pan until the underside is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches, replace the lid and allow to cook until the other side is a light golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 additional minutes.