Brewing Up Forbidden Ingredients in Loveland

Verboten Brewery opened their doors to the public this year and is now the 5th brewery to open in Loveland, Colorado; what is rapidly becoming a great beer town. Verboten is the German word for forbidden.  This brewery plans to grow their beer repertoire by focusing on ingredients that were once considered “verboten” to be brewed with in Germany because of the beer purity law called Reinheitsgebot  (don’t ask me to pronounce it!).  Reinheitsgebot says that for a beer to be legitimate, it only can be made from water, barley and hops. 

What ingredients does Verboten plan to brew with?  So far the brewery has started with a few different styles of beers ranging from a caramel porter to a lemongrass wit.  Strange flavors are on the way.  Soon you will be able to try dill pickle pale ale, Irish parsnip beer and strawberry rhubarb wheat.  Don’t let these flavors scare you away from trying them, Verboten is not a novelty beer company.  Verboten wants the flavors to come out in the beer and compliment its natural flavor but never be overpowering.

The brewery has been decorated beautifully, centering around their antique cooler from the early 1900s where the kegs of beer are stored.  They call the décor “industrial farmhouse” with Edison bulbs and warm reclaimed wood.  Have Kids?  Bring them along, one of Verboten’s priorities is to make their brewery family friendly and plan to host plenty of family friendly events.

The idea of stretching the limits of beer ingredients has become increasingly popular in Northern Colorado.  My wife and I love “brewery hoping” from brewery to brewery tasting unique flavors because these days none of the beers we try are at all similar.  Verboten has made a potential one stop shop trying different things.  I am really excited to see what beers they come up with.  I am excited that Loveland is adding to the area of excellent beer.  I am excited they are family friendly.  Don’t be afraid to be venturous with trying different beer in Northern Colorado, we are among the some of the most skilled brewers in the world, Verboten is no exception.

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--Tagged under: Beer--

--Tagged under: Colorado--

Whisky Distiller coming to Northern Colorado

Many micro-distilled spirits have been produced right here in Colorado but now whisky is soon to be added to wide array of spirits made in the region.  I had the opportunity to meet with John Wood, the owner of the new K J Wood distillery.  Since the distillery is not yet open, it was a unique perspective to hear a person with a well tailored vision and is truly looking make a quality spirits.

The K J Wood Distillers opening in Berthoud Colorado this year plans to focus their efforts on making whisky and gin in the initial phase of operations, with plans of expanding to future unique recipes ranging from Rye Whiskey to moonshine.  What makes them unique is they will be making a whisky that has smoke characteristics of a scotch whisky by using smoked malted barley.  They anticipate making all of their products from 100% Colorado grown ingredients, including their smoked malted barley.  Stranahan’s from Denver gained great national notoriety for their unique tasting straight whiskey recipe where they also used smoked malted barley.  Their popularity became so famous that it was acquired by Proximo Beverage with aspiration to make their product available globally. 

John started out his passion for making alcohol in college while at CU.  While in school John became an avid brewer and wine maker, but what really caught his eye was the art of distilling.  John tells a story of a popular fraternity at CU where during their parties they would use a homemade distilling apparatus that would distill alcohol for patrons.  After tinkering with making alcohol and going so far as to make all the alcohol for his wedding, he decided that this was an dream that he needed to pursue.

When asked of his biggest hurdle in the opening process, John replied that patience has been the hardest part of opening the distillery.  They hope to sell their first bottle of Gin by June but this is assuming there will be no snags on the journey to opening the distillery.  The town of Berthoud, the local distilling community and friends have made the start-up process very enjoyable.  John is looking forward to teaming up with these local businesses to create community events where people can try a wide array of locally made wine, beer, coffee, deserts and of course craft distilled spirits.

With 4 years of success from converting Pepsi restaurants to Coke as a Coke sales rep, John is looking forward to the undertaking of selling his alcohol to the community.  Without tasting his spirits, I know John will be making some of the best spirits that Colorado has to offer. Look for them in your local liquor store in as early as this July.

WhiskeyPro’s Infamous Eggnog Recipe

A guest article from WhiskeyPro’s Wife!

A few years ago during a routine grocery store visit, my husband aspiring to become WhiskeyPro, asked if I could make him eggnog.  Lucky for him I busted out my smart phone and googled eggnog recipes.  In no time I had a recipe and all the ingredients, which wasn’t at all my normal weight watcher friendly low- cal option.  Once home the process of a new family tradition started to take form, as I work in the kitchen with a full speed kitchen aid… Yikes!  Continuing our tradition my husband enjoys a cold glass while reciting “joy to the world” with Christmas Vacation.

The recipe, like I said is NOT diet friendly and it still isn’t really.  After following the recipe a few times and WhiskeyPro cutting it with non-fat milk and adding more bourbon, it was time to change it up.  

I decided to add my special touch to the recipe.  My secret ingredient was decided after experimenting with peppermint schnapps, peppermint extract, Tabasco,  brown sugar, but we hit gold with Molasses.  It gives the bourbon flavor a boost of richness. 

Whenever we see people buying carton-grocery store eggnog we feel bad for them, because we know they haven’t yet experienced the home-made raw egg version.  According to my husband non-alcoholic store bought eggnog can’t replicate flavors that come from bourbon being aged in a barrel for many years. Never, I repeat, never offer WhiskeyPro carton eggnog.  He also thinks it’s blasphemy to use top shelf bourbon for this, so we like to typically use Old Crow or W.L. Weller.    

This is surely a crowd-pleaser, even for those who don’t drink whiskey, or really at all.  During Christmas one pitcher full lasts three people for the night, so consider doubling or tripling for guests.  Oh and if you’re feeling adventurous, you should go ahead and skip the Tabasco ;)


WhiskeyPro’s Infamous Holiday Eggnog

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar, plus an extra 1 Tbsp

2 cups milk (use what makes you happy, I use non-fat)

1 cup Heavy Cream

9 oz Bourbon (I use Old Crow or W.L. Weller)

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/3 cup Molasses

4 egg whites

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk egg yolks and dissolve the sugar in the egg. Add milk, cream, bourbon, nutmeg, and molasses.  Mix well.

Beat the heck out of the whites in a stand mixer till stiff peaks form, then slowly add the left over 1 Tbsp of sugar.

Combine both mixtures into a pitcher and whisk until the egg whites are thoroughly incorporated.  Refrigerate.  Mix again when ready to serve.

The Best Drink I Ever Had

Off Bourbon Street and outside of the French Quarter it laid.  My unforeseen destiny to have the best drink I have ever had.    

 

According to our Fromer’s guide The Sazerac Bar was the best place to have a Sazerac in the city.   The book took us all over the French Quarter; Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s, Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House, Vieux Carre at the Carousel Bar.  A Sazerac from the “Sazerac Bar” was the best cocktail in New Orleans and the best cocktail I have ever had.  Found inside the luxurious Roosevelt Hotel just outside the French Quarter in New Orleans.  As the official New Orleans Cocktail, the Sazerac Bar has the best in the city. 

The drink was not too sweet, not too strong, yet complex and didn’t hide the taste of the wonderful Rye Whiskey.  I have not been able to find a Sazerac since then that comes close to the Sazerac Bar’s version.  So I had to go to extreme measures to make my own.  Here is the Sazerac Bar’s recipe to their iconic Sazerac.


The Sazerac

 

Dash of Simple Syrup
3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
1 1/2 ounces of Sazerac Rye Whiskey
1/4 ounce of Absinthe (They use Herbsaint)
Lemon peel


Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.

In a second Old-Fashioned glass add a dash of simple syrup and add 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters to it.  Mix together

Add the 1 1/2 ounces of Sazerac Rye Whiskey to the Peychaud’s Bitters and simple syrup.

Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass (they use a spray bottle) with 1/4 ounce of Absinthe, then discard the remaining Absinthe.

Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and wipe the rim of the drink with the lemon peel and garnish.

The Nightcap

The idea of a nightcap before bed is an old tradition that dates back to the late eighteenth century.  The term “nightcap” is suggested to come from when people would go to bed with an actual night cap to keep their head warm in the cold winter months.  Some people before going to bed would drink a little alcohol to help warm them up to fall asleep.  The night was considered “capped” when you finished your drink and went to bed.

Most studies argue that indulging in a nightcap causes you to go the bathroom more often and causes breathing irregularities that make your sleep not as valuable.  But, this is blog about Bourbon.  You didn’t just think that I would tell the reasons that a nightcap interrupts your sleep patterns did you?  Studies have proven that a little bit of alcohol before bed will help you fall asleep faster and sleep harder in the first stages of your sleep pattern.  Also, drinking alcohol releases endorphins into your body.  By increasing the good chemicals in your brain, it creates a better slate for your night time dreams to be pleasant ones.

A good rule of thumb for selecting your nightcap is to go with a hard alcohol that has been aged in a barrel that has released wood sugars into the spirit.  A good Bourbon, Scotch or Brandy neat (not with ice) is a great option for your nightcap.  All of these spirits leave a warm sensation in your body, help clear up your sinuses and warms and soothes the back of your throat.  The key to helping you sleep better is to keep it to one; otherwise it’s off the bathroom you go.

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¿Que es Fernet con Cola?

A recent trip to Buenos Aires Argentina allowed me to try all of the Argentinian unique flavors.  As beefaholics, my family ate steak just about every night.  While the huge portions of Argentinean beef were very good and fresh, the consensus was that American corn fed beef was much more tender and juicy.  It left me searching for an after dinner drink to help calm my beefed up stomach.  The wine was great  but only during dinner, Yerba Mate was “interesting”, and their take on cowboy whiskey was awful.   After help from my brother I found Fernet with Cola to be a fun and different drink that was great after a big late night Argentinian dinner.
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Fernet is a common bitter spirit popular in Argentina made with a slew of over 40 herbs and spices ranging from rhubarb to saffron.  Fernet is most commonly mixed with cola but can also be mixed with soda water, ginger ale or straight with ice.   The Fernet Branca Distillery in Italy were the founders of Fernet and have not changed the recipe since its invention in 1845.  Fernet, a famous Swedish doctor, was added to the name Branca to aid credit towards the drinks health properties.  Fernet was believed to prevent cholera, sooth your stomach and even cure menstrual cramps.

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Fernet’s taste has been explained as Jagermeister with all the sugar taken out.  The finish is long and leaves your entire mouth dry and bitter.  At first the taste was very off-putting  and you don’t doubt all of the health properties, anything this bitter has to be good for you.  But after a while all of the unique herbs and spices leave you guessing what flavor you can pick out next.  This is one of the most interesting and different alcohols that I have ever tasted.   I recommend venturing into this liquor, don’t give up on Fernet; the bitter taste will keep you coming back for more.

--Tagged under: Fernet--

5 Great Bourbons for Christmas Gifts under $30

If you are planning on getting a lucky someone a bottle of bourbon for Christmas you don’t have to break the bank to get a great gift.  I ask that for the love of god, please don’t ask a liquor store employee for help.  Their ideas are usually very unoriginal and are based off of marketing tactics or current fads.  Thank you for researching for that special someone a great bourbon to buy, you have come to the right place.

You can hit real home runs with these on the “middle shelf”.  The ones that you might not have heard of will have a much better value.  It is always safer to go with a bourbon that you haven’t heard of, their price point hasn’t been pumped up by marketing and all whiskeys that are called bourbon are legally required to abide by government standards to make a quality spirit for consumers.

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