Originally posted @ A Pig’s Ear
I had really hoped to get to Jack’s Abby Brewery this weekend to have a look at the craft brewery in my own town. When I had found out about a month ago that there existed such magical place in Framingham, I felt like a kid again trying to see how I could get to the North Pole.
But alas, a trip across town can often be like planning a trip to the Arctic Circle when you live in Framingham, MA. I got all tangled up in life and was not able to drag the family to the brewery for their Saturday Taste and Tour.
I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying some of the goodness of the Abby though. I ended up picking up a pack of their Smoke and Dagger Black Lager. I could not have picked a better beer with which ring in October. With strong hints of coffee and a smoky smooth finish, a glass of Smoke and Dagger felt more like a warm cozy blanket on a cold, rainy Fall night.
Smoke and Dagger is my go-to beer for the changing season. I mix it with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead to make my own version of their Smashed pumpkin (which is much better than what you buy in stores).
And I didn’t just stop with drinking it! I got in the Autumn mood so badly that I cooked a fantastic pork loin in the slow cooker with apples. My house smelled so good.
I am definitely a new convert to the Abby. I will make the pilgrimage their one of these days. So excited to see craft brewing happening in town.
Below is the concoction I came up with for dinner which my entire family devoured including my 14-month-old and my 4-year-old:
Smoke and Cider Pork
|4-5 lb boneless shoulder roast
Salt & Pepper
4 T Butter
2 Apples, peeled, halved & cored
1 bottle of Jack’s Abby Smoke and Dagger Black Lager
1/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
|Trim away any fat on roast. Roll meat up and tie securely at intervals with kitchen twine. Sprinkle generously with salt & pepper. In large frying pan, heat oil. Add pork and brown on each side, about 10 min. Add onions and apples until lightly browned, about 5 min. Remove roast from pan, and drain fat. Then add beer to pan to deglaze, scrapping up bits. Cook until beer liquid starts to thicken, about 10 min. Add cider vinegar. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Place pork in bottom of slow cooker. Place apples and onions all around and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour beer & cider mixture over top. Cover and cook until meat is tender, about 8-10 hours on the low heat setting.|
A Public Service Announcement from Cooking With Jack’s Abby: Beer Brats
We’re filing this one under “public service announcements” rather than “recipes” because we can’t really claim this recipe as our own—bratwurst in its many forms have existed for the better part of a millennium and the tradition of preparing brats using German-style lager began in Wisconsin during the early part of the 20th century. As an all-lager brewery, Jack’s Abby gives you a number of different options when making beer brats. Jabby Brau, Red Tape Lager, and Copper Legend (Octoberfest Lager) are all perfect beers to use while cooking beer brats. We cooked up some beer brats with the first batch of this year’s Copper Legend and the results were delicious!
Copper Legend Beer Brats
- ½ dozen (or more!) bratwurst
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 liter (2 bottles) Jack’s Abby Copper Legend*
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pour beer into a large pot and add onions and pepper. Bring to a simmer (don’t let it boil!) and add the brats.
- Cook at least 15 minutes. The longer the better, but avoid leaving them in for over a half hour—you’re poaching the brats in beer for flavor, not cooking them.
- Throw brats on grill over medium heat, turning every 3-4 minutes until cooked all the way through (depending on the heat, this should take a little over 10 minutes).
- Strain the beer onion mixture and serve onions as a topping.
* We would hate to think of you “wasting” beer, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, using the same beer to cook 2-3 batches of brats is fine.
Jimi Michiel lives in Framingham and is a member of the Jack’s Abby Dart Team. He has previously written about classical and jazz music but is excited to be writing about cooking and beer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally Posted at savorlifesflavors.com
I have a great new recipe to share this evening! Last night Nolan got to work on tonight’s dinner.
- 1 pack Hot Italian sausages (about 6)
- 1 12 oz. beer
- Worcestershire sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Hot sauce
(Now I apologize for the lack of measurement in these recipes. Nolan doesn’t believe in measuring ingredients. He just throws it all together until it “looks right.’” But It always tastes great so I’m not complaining! )
1. In a skillet, he seared the sausages for about 3 minutes so the casing would tighten up and they would be easier to cut into pieces without falling apart. (Pro move suggested by myself)
2. He then chopped the sausages up into about 1 inch thick pieces.
3. He threw them into the crock pot with the remaining ingredients to sit over night and soak.
4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
In the past we have made other sausage recipes with beer and had great results. For tonight’s recipe we chose to use Maibock Hurt Like Helles.
Maibock Hurts Like Helles
True Story! Running a brewery can be “bock” breaking. It’s all worthwhile when you have the opportunity to share beer like this. Our Maibock/Helles Bock is deep golden in color with an intense malty almost grape like aroma and flavor. A light noble hop character balances the smooth sweet finish. A long lagering time makes this beer exceptionally drinkable for its strength. Don’t be fooled by its light color.
OG 16.2 Plato / IBU’s 25 / ABV 6.5%
This beer was a perfect match for our spicy sausage. It is certainly rich, but it really complemented the meat without overpowering the overall taste. By allowing this to sit overnight, the meat absorbed so many of the sweet and malty flavors of the Maibock and was so delicious and tender! Plus, the whole apartment smelled amazing when I got home.
There was still a lot of liquid in the pot so I added about a cup and a half of dry rice. The rice soaked up all the flavors and remaining liquid and really brought the whole meal together. Nolan ate it as is, but I added some stir fry veggies!
This is definitely going in our cookbook!
This weekend we used Peanut Butter Smoke & Dagger to create a delicious Beer-B-Q sauce that we used to marinate chicken breasts for our BBQ. We’ve also made this recipe using the regular Smoke & Dagger, which is equally delicious. See recipe below and enjoy!
* 1 cup of warm J&A beer
* 1 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup white vinegar
* 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (optional)
1. Mix all but the chopped onions in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add the onion and lemon zest. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Blend using a mixer if you like yours chunky or a blender to puree it making it smooth.
A few of us here at barismo fashion ourselves to be amateur craft beer geeks and spend our days off trying to discover exciting new beers. After drinking copious amounts of coffee during an average day here at the roastery, it is almost necessary to drink a few pints of some good, local beer to get back to normal. The beer scene in Massachusetts is burgeoning and we have been interested in finding a brewer to collaborate with to come up with some interesting coffee beers. Our green coffee buyer Silas and I took a trip out to Framingham to check out the Jack’s Abby brewery in the early fall and were blown away by the beers we sampled. We had no idea that lagers could be so complex and nuanced, and well, flavorful. Jack’s Abby quickly became our favorite local brewery and it has been great having more bars and restaurants around Cambridge adding some tasty lagers to their usual lineup.
It made a lot of sense to us to try developing a coffee lager, rather than a traditional coffee porter or stout. None of us have had a coffee beer in which we found the coffee actually well represented, previous to what Jack’s Abby has produced. In every other coffee beer I’ve tried, the purpose of adding the coffee is often a gimmicky way to market a beer that already has an inherent smoky, roasty flavor. Generally the coffee imparts very little to these already big, bold beers. To us, the flavor of roast is the least interesting aspect of coffee and for that reason we try to develop roast profiles that highlight the inherent flavor characteristics of the particular beans. Roasting a coffee darkly homogenizes flavors and muddles the varietal uniqueness that a particular coffee has to offer. We travel extensively in Central and South America to source some of the best coffee in the world directly from the farmers and producers. By roasting the coffee lightly, we are able to extenuate the delicate flavors of each coffee, rather than burying them under layer of roastiness.
The coffees that we have chosen to be brewed in the Jacks Abby beer have been very unconventional, as compared to what is often brewed with beer. The first coffee that I sent over was our Kenya Ruthangati. This coffee is extremely bright and sweet with a wonderful gr apefruit acidity. Kenya produces some of the most uniquely floral and aromatic coffee in the world. Brewed in the Smoke and Dagger, the Ruthangati brought an intense aroma that I’ve never encountered in a coffee beer before. The nose of the coffee Smoke and Dagger was wildly perfume-like and smelled of flower and tropical fruit. Much to my surprise, none of the acidity came through in the pint and it tasted more like melted coffee ice cream than beer. Unlike the overly intense coffee stouts I’ve tried in the past, I actually felt compelled to drink more than one of the coffee Smoke and Daggers.
We also sent over the Yellow Bourbon Microlot of El Bosque from Guatemala. This varietal offers extreme pear and tropical fruit sweetness, which shone through brilliantly in a batch of the Smoke and Dagger brewed with a very high dose of the Bosque. In the future, we’re looking forward to experimenting with differing methods of brewing or steeping the coffee in the beer. In particular, we’re excited to try doing a cold-brew coffee beer. Cold brew is a version of iced coffee made by steeping a high throw weight of coffee in cold water for eighteen to twenty four hours. The result is a thick, syrupy cold coffee that is about as smooth and clean as it gets. Adding cold brew to beer seems to be a given and we can’t wait to try what it tastes like in one of the delicious lagers coming out of Jack’s Abby.
Former Head Roaster, Barismo Inc.
I’m pretty sure I learned to love beer before I learned to cook, and certainly before I learned to cook with beer! My first adventures in cooking with beer were mostly marinades, but I quickly found that the right beer can bring almost any dish to life. The beers of Jack’s Abby are perfect for cooking—from the Jabby to the Framinghammer, they all feature distinct, confident flavors that are perfect for cooking.
Smoke & Dagger Dirty Rice puts a Framingham twist on a traditional Cuban dish. Many recipes for dirty rice call for the onion, pepper, and cilantro to be puréed into sofrito, but I think just dicing them adds texture and gives the beer a little more room to have a flavor presence in the final dish. It’s a simple recipe and, if you’re in a more carnivorous mood, a healthy dose of braised pork would be a natural addition. I paired it with a pint of Hoponius Union to balance the earthy flavor of the Smoke & Dagger, but I think it would also go great with a glass of Jabby Brau. Enjoy, and stay tuned for Cooking with Jack’s Abby #2!
Smoke & Dagger Dirty Rice and Beans
1 can of black beans (15 oz.)
2½ cups cooked white rice
1 cup (total) minced onion, green bell pepper, and cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ pint Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil, apple cider vinegar
Extra cilantro to garnish
1) Before you begin, make sure your rice is done. If you’re using the rice cooker, the best thing to do is leave it on ‘Keep Warm’ while doing the rest of the cooking.
2) In a large pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil on high heat. After about 20 seconds, turn the heat down to medium and add the onion/pepper/cilantro mix. Stir slowly while adding the cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3) After another minute, add the tomato sauce, beans, and finally the beer. Stir continuously, but don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the smell.
4) After five minutes, add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar. Continue cooking for another minute.
5) In a large separate mixing bowl, mix the contents from the pan with the white rice. Stir until dirty.
6) Let it sit for 5 minutes, then serve with a liberal garnish of cilantro.
Jimi Michiel lives in Framingham and is a member of the Jack’s Abby Dart Team. He has previously written about classical and jazz music, but is excited at the opportunity to write about cooking with beer. He can be reached at email@example.com
Originally Posted at The Beer Nut
We are finally approaching the point where we will be ready to start brewing. The last piece of equipment has shipped and should be here soon. While we wait on that, there are still many things to finish so that we can devote our full attention to brewing. This week we are working on finishing the design for our coasters.
The basic design is more or less set. However, we want to put a slogan of some sort on the back of the coaster. We have come up with a few ideas, but we need you and your creativity. We want to hear some thoughts and ideas from the Jack’s Abby community to see if we can come up with something really great.
One idea we are considering is… “A family tradition of cold storage in the liquid art.”
We like this because “lager” roughly translates to “cold storage”. When we were growing up, our family owned a packaged ice business, so the slogan fits in both senses. It also pokes a little fun at all those serious claims of excellence and pompousness on other coasters. Although we like it, we are concerned no one else will get it.
For fun, here are some of our other ideas:
1) Lager of Love
2) Lager Out Loud
3) Be a Jack’s Abby Lagerhead
4) DRINK LAGER (the direct approach!)
5) Family Innovation, Local Inspiration
We want to know what you think of our “family tradition of cold storage in the liquid art” slogan or any of our other ideas. If you have any other suggestions, serious or silly, post them on our facebook page or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also interested in any slogans from other beers that you like a lot, so send them our way too.
Originally Posted at The Beer Nut
Just because Jack’s Abby isn’t brewing at the brewery yet doesn’t mean we aren’t making beer. We recently made a homebrew test batch of Leisure Timer Lager, our summer seasonal. Our goal was to create a refreshing golden lager with wheat and spice character. We envisioned a lager that would be perfect for the hot weather with an alcohol content of roughly 4.8%
The basic recipe for the homebrew test was ⅓ wheat malt with the remaining ⅔ consisting of pilsner malt. No bittering hops were added as our Leisure Time Lager will only have whirl and dry hops. This combination results in a beer with a strong hop taste and aroma but without bitterness. To spice it up, we used grains of paradise and lemon grass, and Glacier hops for the whirl and dry additions.
Obviously, since we were homebrewing, we could not get an exact feel for what will be possible in the brewery. The process helped us get a feel for the brew, and of course we had some fun experimenting with different flavors. We added grated ginger and Pacific Jade hops from New Zealand, for example, which gave us a great result.
We fermented our batch in a temperature-controlled refrigerator that allowed us to monitor the temperature in a homebrewing environment. When it is brewed at the brewery, we will have use of our glycol chiller that is powered by dual 7 seven horsepower compressors. We will be able to achieve a cooler and more consistent temperature that is ideal for lager fermentation.
We are entering this batch in a homebrew contest this Saturday. While it will not be a perfect match for what we plan to brew here, we hope to get a good idea of what is working so that when we start brewing in a couple of weeks we can brew Leisure Time Lager right away. Look forward to a sunny weekend this summer where you can sit back and relax with a Leisure Time Lager.
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