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Archive for June, 2009

Anyone who has ever remotely interacted with me knows that I possess (what we will call) the “gift of gab.” I talk a lot … and I mean a lot. This is partly because I think a lot … and partly because I think that I have a lot to say (whether or not what I have to say is important, however … is an entirely different story).

gab

Two topics in which I seem to possess a seemingly endless ability to talk about are beer and social media (specifically Twitter). I constantly find myself engaging others (often strangers) in conversations about both. And usually, these conversations result in me looking like the biggest geek on the planet. Which is fine by me.

Super_Geek

My love, passion and affinity for social media has introduced me to some pretty damn amazing people as well as has brought me opportunities that I would never have found otherwise. One such opportunity is a charity beer dinner with Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company) at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, SC on July 14th.

culinary of charleston

Little (well I’m not so little) old (technically I’m not old either) me got invited to attend THE ULTIMATE BEER AND FOOD EXPERIENCE. The event is being co-hosted by The Boston Beer Company and The Culinary Institute of Charleston with Special Guest, Bob Cannon — Head Brewer for Samuel Adams.

samuel_adams

And the best part? It is ALL EXPENSE PAID.

Now how does one get such an honorable invitation? This is where all of my time and energy on social media platforms has successfully paid off (hey Mom & Dad … look at me now).

twitter

Combine a passion for writing with a passion for beer and a passion for all things Internet … add in a community of equally passionate food, wine & beer bloggers … create interactions and develop relationships with this community … and you have one big OPEN DOOR to the (food & beverage) world. The connections and opportunities are endless on the internet — and especially on Twitter. And there is no greater proof than this latest opportunity that just “fell” oh so gracefully into my lap.

beer dinner

The image right above is the menu for the beer dinner. Select chefs from The Culinary Institute of Charleston have incorporated the beers of Samuel Adams into a tasting menu to be envied. In addition to containing beer as a major ingredient, each dish will also be paired with a Samuel Adams beer.

This dinner excites me for several reasons. Not only will it be the “ultimate beer & food experience“, but it will also give me an opportunity to taste some of Samual Adam’s more rare and less mainstream, specialty beers. One such beer is UTOPIA — arguably the boldest, most alcoholic beer in the world. Rumor has it that Utopia will be paired with one of the desserts. (I am praying that both my stomach and my liver will hold up until dessert — and by the sound of things, this may prove to be quite a challenge).

utopia

Naturally, every great event has an equally exciting & exhilirating after-party. Lucky for me, I have also been invited to attend the special “VIP” after-party with special guest and head Samuel Adams brewer, Bob Cannon.

Now I know what you are thinking — what is the catch? After all, there is no such thing as “free” in a capitalist society. Well folks, I have agreed to do somethings in exchange for a free flight to Charleston, a free night’s stay in one of Charleston’s premier hotels, a free ticket to the beer dinner and free pass to the VIP after-party. For all this, I will blog … and tweet … and talk about the event. And while at the event, I will also blog, tweet, talk — and even live ustream the event.

Beer Will Change The World

Life, my friends, does not get better than this. I get to do some of the things I love to do most in life (traveling, eating good food & drinking good beer with good people) in exchange for two other things that I love to do most (writing my blog & engaging with others).

Stay tuned for more information regarding the event! CHEERS!

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Light, crisp, refreshing and easy to drink — both the Pinot Gris wine varietal and the Pilsner style of beer are perfect beverages for warding off the sweltering heat of summer.

hot

This linear pairing is unique in that both beverages are almost identical in color. Both are very light & clear, ranging from pale to golden yellow in color. In addition to similarities in color, both beverages are also light-bodied with relatively low alcohol content. They are both known for having herby, crisp, lightly acidic — and sometimes slightly sweet — flavor and aroma characteristics.

pilsner

As a result of universal “drinkability” and world-wide popularity, both of these beverages tend to be mass-produced (think boxed/jug wine and corporate/adjunct beer). Despite the unfortunate “bastardization” of these styles by the bigger corporate beverage producers of the world — both the Pinot Gris varietal and the Pilsner style can be artisanally crafted into rather complex and dynamic beverages.

grape stomp

These two styles are easy to drink by themselves, but also pair very well with food. Since both are very light in texture, body and mouthfeel – they typically pair well with lighter fare such as fresh seafood, cheese, chicken, shellfish and citrus. In addition, both beverages are a “slam dunk” for MUSSELS and compliment spicy food extremely well.

mussels

And as per usual, I am going to go a little deeper into each …

THE VARIETAL: Pinot Gris

PinotGris

This whole time I’ve been referring to this grape varietal as Pinot Gris — however, it is more commonly known as “Pinot Grigio.” Poh-TATE-To … Poh-TAUGHT-To, my friends.

The Pinot Gris grape is a “white” clone of the Pinot Noir (researchers at the University of California-Davis have determined that Pinot Gris has a remarkably similar DNA profile to Pinot Noir). The most signifcant difference between the two is color — most likely the result of a genetic mutation that occurred centuries ago. Pinot Gris grapes are typically bluish-grey to light pinkish-brown in color and produce very light-colored wines that range from pale to golden yellow.

pinot-grigio

The name “Pinot Gris” is French and its roots are assumed to originate in Burgundy, France. “Pinot” translates to “pinecone” — this aspect of the name seems logical since the grapes grow in small pinecone-shaped clusters. “Gris” translates to “gray” — which also makes sense because the grapes are often bluish-gray in color.

pinot_gris

This varietal grows best in cool climates and matures relatively early with high sugar levels. As with every other varietal, wines made from the Pinot Gris vary greatly and are extremely dependent on both region of production and wine making style. Most Pinot Gris is meant to be consumed early, however some can age quite nicely.

Food and PG

Wines made from the Pinot Gris varietal pair exceptionally well with cheese (especially goat, sheep’s milk & smoked), chicken (especially fried, grilled & roasted), clams, fish (especially white), ham, MUSSELS, pasta (seafood pasta!!!), pork, proscuitto, salad, salmon, scallops, seafood dishes, shellfish and vegetables.

THE STYLE: Pilsner

pilsnerThe Pilsner style was originally developed in the city of Pilsen (hence the name) in what was formerly known as Bohemia — a German-speaking province in the old Austrian Empire.  Today, Bohemia comprises most of the Czech Republic.

bohemia

Until the mid-1840s, most Bohemian beers were top-fermented (ales). They were typically dark, cloudy & less than satisfactory. In 1839, the citizens of Pilsen decided to found and build a brewery of their own, which they called Bürger Brauerei (Citizens’ Brewery). The citizens decided to brew beer according to the Bavarian style of brewing — which required bottom-fermentation.

Bürger Brauerei

In addition to adapting the Bavarian style of brewing, Bürger Brauerei decided to use newly available paler malts. The Bavarian method of lagering using the new paler malts in combination with Pilsen’s remarkably soft water and Saaz noble hops resulted in a clear, golden beer that has been ridiculously popular since its onset.

pilsener

A modern Pilsner has a very light, clear color that ranges from pale to golden yellow.  They posses a distinct “Saaz” hop aroma and flavor. Czech Pilsners tend to be lighter in flavor while the German style can be more bitter or even “earthy” in flavor. Pilsners pair remarkably well with cheese, chicken, fish (especially fried), hamburgers, MUSSELS, pizza, pork, sausage, shellfish & spicy dishes.

Fish and Chips

So there you have it. Another pairing in the adventure through No Man’s Land – Pinot Gris & Pilsner. Both are very light in color, body and texture — possessing unique and characteristic flavors and aromas. These beverages are best when served ice cold, both are super refreshing and both compliment the same foods.

Cheers!

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Thus far, the response to Project NO MAN’S LAND has been extremely positive.

Which means, we have a green light to continue forward.

There is no real method in my madness when it comes to the order in which I am presenting my linear pairings. Ultimately, it all depends on my mood and what varietal and style I feel most inclined to write about at that particular moment.

pad_thai

My recent preoccupation with Asian and Thai foods has put me on a mission to find their perfect beverage counterparts. Gewürztraminer is often hailed as one of the few wines suitable for drinking with Asian cuisine. After some brainstorming, research and help from a friend — I decided that the Belgian Witbier was a sufficient linear pairing for the Gewürztraminer.

And this is why …

THE VARIETAL: Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer

The name Gewürztraminer originated in Alsace, France and literally translates to “Perfumed Traminer.” The varietal belongs to the “Traminer” family, which is often referred to as a family of clones. This is where half of its name comes from. The other half of its name – “GEWURTZ” – refers to its aromatic & spicy nature.

The history of the Gewürztraminer is complicated and rather confusing (if I do say so myself). Although its name is German, its roots are Italian. It is a mutation and distant relative of the ancient Traminer varietal, a green-skinned grape that originated in the northeastern region of Alto Adige, Italy.

tramin italy

At some point, the Traminer varietal mutated into dark pinkish-brown, spotted berries. It most likely under went a musqué (‘muscat-like’) mutation, which ultimately led to the extra-aromatic Gewürztraminer varietal. Like the Pinot Noir grape, the Gewürztraminer is a very fussy and obnoxious varietal. In order to produce great wine, it demands a very particular soil and climate.

Gew_botr

Depending on the fruit ripeness, the dark pink color of the Gewürztraminer grape produces wines that are light to dark golden-yellow in color with a slightly copper tone. For a white wine, Gewürztraminer is as full-bodied as they come (but not necessarily as full-bodied as most reds). It is infamous for its strong, heady and perfumed aroma and its exotic lychee-nut flavor.

lychee

In Europe the grape is grown in Italy, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Moravia in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the New World, the grape is perhaps most successful in New Zealand and in the far south of Chile but is also produced in several regions throughout the United States.

The best wines produced from this varietal are, by far, from the Alsace region of France. “Classic renditions of this grape have the aroma of banana when young and only develop a real pungency of spice in bottle, eventually achieving a rich gingerbread character when mature.” -Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.

AlsaceMap

Because of its overly potent and spicy nature, the Gewürztraminer varietal is one of the only wines commonly paired with Asian food (especially spicy). It is also an excellent match for cheese (both soft and strong/aged), Chinese food, cinnamon, curry, duck, fruit (definitely tropical), ginger, ham, Indian food, sausage, smoked food, spicy food & Thai food.

ABPL1-00010188-001

Enough about the wine … let’s talk about the beer now, eh?

THE STYLE: Witbier

witbier

Witbier, called “Biere Blanche” in French, is the Flemish word for wheat beer. It was once the dominant style in the area east of Brussels. Specifically, it originated in the village of Hoegarten in the city of Louvain.

louvain

As a result of its relatively high protein content, this style of beer is typically extremely hazy. Although the name suggests that the beer is made solely from wheat, it is actually produced with at least 50% malted barley. As with most styles of beer, the Witbier recipe varies with brewer preference. Traditional recipes use around 54% malted barley, 41% unmalted wheat and 5% unmalted oats.

wheat

The Witbier style is always spiced, typically with coriander and the peels of both sweet and bitter oranges. Brewers frequently use at least one additional “secret spice” — known only to the brewer and the brewer’s “herb merchant”.  The element of spice in Witbiers is the main factor that differentiates it from most other styles of wheat beers as well as one of the primary reasons why I think that the Witbier style of beer makes an ideal linear pairing for the Gewürztraminer varietal of wine.

coriander seeds

Witbiers are traditionally produced with two entirely different types of orange — sweet & bitter. The sweet orange, available as dried peelings, is no different from the standard grocery store orange. The bitter, or Curacao orange, is very accessible  in Europe — yet difficult to find in North America.

orange peel

In addition to being “spicy”, Witbiers tend to be slightly sour due to the presence of lactic acid. They are very VERY lightly hopped (usually less than 20 IBUs – International Bittering Units). Other typical, yet less noted, descriptors include banana and clove (the typical aromas yielded by Belgian yeast).

Asian Food

The Belgian Witbier is very similar to the Gewürztraminer in that it also pairs exceptionally well with Asian food as well as Indian food, Thai food, curry, pork and many cheeses. Both are notorious for being “spicy” beverages and both are commonly paired with spicy dishes. In addition to sharing “spicy” qualities, both are similar in body, texture and mouthfeel (and at times, even color).

As with the previous pairing, I would love to hear feedback on this post. Hit … or miss?

Cheers!

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The marks my first “official” post in Project No Man’s Land. The project will consist of a series of posts illustrating linear pairings between wine varietals and beer styles. Naturally, this project is entirely subjective and has absolutely no scientific foundation. Nonetheless, I have a lot of confidence in its purpose and I am tremendously excited about starting this venture – regardless of the results.

Perhaps after this project I will no longer be known as The Beer Wench, but as The Beer & Wine Yenta … (matchmaker matchmaker, make me a match … find me a find … catch me a catch). But I digress, let us move on to the first pairing.

SAUVIGNON BLANC & INDIA PALE ALE

Now there is some method in my madness in picking this as the first pairing. First off, the Sauvignon Blanc varietal is nostalgic for me. When I was 16 years old, I went to France. (Quand j’avais seize anees, je suis allee au France.) My first winery tour and wine tasting experience was in the Loire Valley, France. And consequently, my first “real” sip of wine was a Sauvignon Blanc.

loire

And this brings me to the India Pale Ale. Anyone who has ever interacted with me at some point, whether it be in real life or through the internet, knows that The Wench is an ale girl. Whereas I do experiment from time to time with different styles of lager, I prefer to stay where I am familiar –  in the land of ales. It is only natural for me to begin my project with an ale . But not just any ale, folks. We are skipping the foreplay and diving right into the “king of hops” – the IPA. And you will see why, soon enough.

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty.

THE VARIETAL: Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon_blanc

First, let us try to pronounce it: SOH-vihn-yohn BLAHNSOH-vee-nyawn BLAHNGK. Good job.

The Sauvignon Blanc varietal first originated in the Bordeaux region of France, but it is now grown in just about every major wine making region in the world. Wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc are typically fermented in stainless steel and almost never touch oak. Because of this factor, it was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screwcap in commercial quantities.

screw cap

Although its aroma and flavor profiles change with region and climate, the Sauvignon Blanc varietal is most commonly described as being dry, crisp, herbacious and acidic. Most Sauvignon Blancs are categorized as being either “herbaceous” (grassy) or “tropical” (citrusy). Other flavor and aroma descriptors include green & red peppers, flint, asparagus, gooseberry and even cat piss. These wines are typically light to medium in body, with moderate alcohol content.

citrus

Since it does not particularly benefit from aging, wine made from Sauvignon Blanc is usually consumed young. As with most things in life, though, there are “exceptions to the rule”. Oak-aged Sauvignon Blancs from the Pessac-Leognan and Graves regions in Bordeaux can be aged up to fifteen years.

Sauvignon Blancs pair very well with fresh seafood/shellfish/white fish/salmon (esp poached or lightly grilled), sushi, chevre (goat cheese), tart & herbacious cheeses, chicken (fried/roasted/sauteed), pork, curry, Thai food, Tex-mex food, salsa and vegetables (especially green and grilled).

THE STYLE: India Pale Ale

HoppyBeer!

The origin of the IPA is greatly debated. But I am a story-teller by nature and, regardless of what the truth may be, the “creation myth” of the IPA is one of my favorite tales to tell.

IndiaBeer

Once upon a time, the crazy Brits decided that colonizing the country of India was an awesome idea. However, this was before planes, trains & automobiles. The fastest and most efficient way to get from England to India was to sail around the continent of Africa.

africa-map

Obviously, this was not a short trip. Africa is a pretty damn big continent. Many consumable goods (including beer) could not survive the long voyage. In order to prevent the beer from spoiling during the trip, the traditional Pale Ale recipe needed to be tweaked. Beer already naturally contains 2 different preservation agents – hops & alcohol. Increase these elements and you get a recipe for success.

BeerHop

As legend goes, Hogdson was the most popular brewer during this time and has been credited as the creator of the original IPA. In order to ensure his ale weathered the journey to India, Hogdson made three crucial changes in his brewing methods. Hogdson increased the hopping rate, exaggerated the level of alcohol and used an abundant dry hopping process.

hodgson

So I know what you are thinking – great story Wenchie, but what the heck does this have to do with the Sauvignon Blanc. And the answer is … absolutely nothing. I don’t even know if the story is accurate.  I just like to tell stories.

Time to get down to business. In my opinion, Sauvignon Blanc’s beer equivalent is the IPA. Why? Both are medium-bodied, dry, crisp, herbacious and acidic. As with Sauvignon Blanc, the IPA style changes based on where it is produced. English IPAs are like Old World Sauvignon Blancs – softer and more balanced. American IPAs are like New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs – sharp and grassy with heavy notes of citrus.

Just as the Sauvignon Blanc varietal has exceptions, so does the IPA. There are a few interpretations of the IPA style with a higher malt content, which makes them similar to the oaked versions of the Sauvignon Blanc (I hope this makes sense). BUT – for the most part, the Sauvignon Blanc varietal and the India Pale Ale style are BOTH primarily known for dominant grass and citrus characteristics.

green grass wallpapers

In addition to possesing very similar aroma and flavor profiles, India Pale Ales and Sauvignon Blancs pair well with many of the same foods. These include cheese, chicken, pork, salmon, seafood, curry, Thai food, Tex-Mex food, and salsa.

Since they can be sharp and astringent on the palate, both of these beverages tend be an “aquired taste”. I have an affinity for acidity, astringency and bitterness. As a result, the Sauvy B varietal and the IPA style happen to be two of my favorite beverages to drink. In my eyes, they possess similar qualities which make them almost interchangeable. I could easily drink an IPA under the same conditions as I would a Sauvignon Blanc. Hence my choice to make them a linear pairing.

whitewine

And what do you think?

Is this a hit or miss?

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It is official. I have decided to journey into territory that only a few have entered — and even fewer have survived.

NoMansLand

I am trespassing into NO MAN’S LAND. And instead of wearing camouflage and hiding in the bushes, I will be parading myself in bright neon colors and flashy sequins.

mamma-mia-1

Now. I know you must have some questions for me like … 1. Where is no man’s land 2. Why am I going there & 3. Why I am drawing so much attention to myself for doing so (the bright colors and flashy sequins thing)?

Depending on how long you have been following my blog and whether or not you know me as a person (in real life or on Twitter), you might be aware that in addition to being a beer connoisseur — I am also a wine geek. In fact, I am a professional of both. (Essentially, I am a slave of the restaurant industry — and my source of income greatly depends on my ability to sell wine, beer & food. Luckily, I am ridiculously passionate and very well educated about these topics.)

wine food

The truth is, my love for beer stemmed from my love for wine. And my love for wine stemmed from my love for food. Naturally, most people love food. Food is one of the most important things in life. Without food, life would cease to exist. Some people eat to sustain themselves and find virtually no passion in food. I pity these people. Food not only provides my body with the nourishment it needs, it feeds my mind, body and soul.

food pyramid

I have been a nerd since birth. And I have always been driven to self-educate. My parents can attest to this fact. It has always been my personal goal to become an “expert” in anything and everything that interests me. True, this goal can be very daunting. Nonetheless, I suffer from what I call “Peter Pan” syndrome and truly believe that I can do anything I put my mind to (I can fly! I can fly! I can fly!) …

Peter Pan

After I graduated college, I became lost and confused. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my life. I loved studying psychologoy and criminology, but I had no desire to go into professions in either field. Like most college graduates, I went through a BIG period of “soul-searching” and experimentation.

I also started cooking.

cooking

But not the type of cooking I had been doing since I was a kid … I started really cooking. And that’s when I started studying wine. I decided rather quickly that I wanted to receive Sommelier certification and the first book I picked up was “Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.” My new found passion for food & wine led to a series of jobs in both wine retail and the restaurant industry.

sotheby's

The biggest break through for me was becoming a “Managing Partner” at a restaurant called The Northstar Cafe in Columbus, OH.

northstar

Although I had no prior restaurant management experience, the owners of the restaurant saw something in me that made them overlook this factor and take the gamble and hire me. I am forever indebted to them for this. (One of the owners, Kevin Malhame, is featured in the picture below).

kevin

After I completed management training (which included working every single position in the restaurant – from dishwasher to line cook to front of the house), I was given responsibility and control over all things beverage. This included beer – and not just any beer. The Northstar Cafe only sells craft beer. I knew very little about craft beer when I start, but like a good student I did my homework. And the rest is history. Well, sort of.

drink with the wench

I won’t go any further into the choices that I’ve made since then that have brought me to where I am today (we will save that for my book, eh?). The point of this blog is to illustrate my love and passion for as well as my knowledge and experience with both beer and wine. This way my audience will better understand what I am about to do with both.

Which brings us back to NO MAN’S LAND.

do-not-enter

My newest project is absolutely brilliant (in my opinion). The idea was inspired by a request I received from a friend in the wine industry to write an article for his blog recommending beers to wine drinkers. This got my thinking about the linear relationship between wine and beer. There are several commonalities between beer and wine — they are both described in terms of aroma, mouth-feel, body, taste, finish, etc.

he said beer

Whereas wine is most commonly classified by varietal (in the U.S.), beer is categorized by style. There are many similar parallels between both classification systems. The characteristics of a single varietal of grape can changed based upon the region and area in the world in which it is grown. Similarly, there are multiple interpretations of each style of beer depending on where its produced and the ingredients being used.

wine_and_beer

My goal is to use my knowledge and experience to connect these two types of alcoholic beverages. I want to create linear pairings between styles of beer and varietals of wine. (This is either pure brilliance or pure madness). Yes, I know that I am trekking into dangerous territory by taking on such a challenge. However, I have reached a stage in my studies that has alluded me into thinking that this goal is in fact achievable and that I am in fact the man (the wench) for the job.

Beer-Wench-Painting-400

There will be haters, naturally. But this does not scare me.

And so … project enter NO MAN’S LAND begins. There is no turning back now!

Cheers!!!

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This recipe is short of brilliant. Promise me.

At first, I had no intention of cooking with beer tonight. But a series of “unplanned” events resulted in a culinary creation unlike anything I have ever heard of or seen of before!

salmon_fillet

The recipe was inspired by my cravings for salmon. Lucky for me, I found some “wild caught” Alaskan salmon on sale. Consequently, peaches were also on mega sale and I picked up a bunch to have around as snacks.

peaches

My pairing choices depended on the method in which I cooked the salmon. I heavily favored grilling it, until the skies completely opened up and unleashed a furious thunderstorm upon Tampa. And so I was forced to take the operation in house. I found some brown basmati rice and decided that it would suffice as a side dish.

rice

But then the wheels started turning. I looked at the ingredients for the rice: rice + water. “Hmmm,” I said to myself, “Self. What if we used beer instead of water?” Many people substitute stock or broth for cooking water … so why not beer?

Festina Peche Rice 014

I looked in the fridge to see what I had. And there it was – Dogfish Head Festina Peche. She smiled coyly at me and I swear the Dogfish winked at me.

And the idea was born.

I decided that I was going to boil the rice in Festina Peche beer. But that was not enough. So then I thought … what else could I add? Mmmm sauteed peaches! But what else? My mother used to make an amazing peach and blueberry cobbler. And as luck would have it, I also had dried blueberries on hand. Throw in some toasted almonds for texture … and the recipe was ready for experimentation.

The Wench’s Peachy Summer Ale Rice

Festina Peche Rice 037

(featuring Dogfish Head Festina Peche)

Ingredients
1 c. brown basmati rice
3 bottles of Dogfish Head Festina Peche Ale
2 firm peaches (not too ripe)
1/4 c. dried blueberries
1/4 c. toasted almonds (sliced are easiest but any type will work)
1 clove of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Brown sugar to taste
Cinnamon – optional

Festina Peche Rice 005

Directions

1. The first step is always the same. Open up one bottle of beer, pour into a glass, take a big sip & take in life. Ahhhh life is always better through looking through a beer glass!

festina peche
2. Add cup of rice + 2 bottles of beer to a 3 quart pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer for 45 minutes (or as long as the standard recipe on the box recommends).

3. Prep additional ingredients: Toast the almonds until golden brown. DO NOT BURN. Dice the peaches and mince the garlic. Heat a small saute pan on the stove. Add olive oil. Briefly saute garlic on medium heat. Then add the peaches and the blueberries. Saute for 30 seconds to one minute – just enough to heat the peaches and the blueberries. Remove from heat immediately. If the rice is NOT ready, remove the mixture from the pan so it does not cook any further.

4. Mix the toasted almonds and Festine Peche rice with the peach and blueberry mix. Taste. Then add brown sugar till desired sweetness is reached. (Festina Peche does have a moderately hoppy bite. I like this bite and prefer not to kill it with too much sugar. This is why I encourage everyone to taste the rice mixture PRIOR to sweetening it.) If you are adventurous, add a pinch of cinnamon and even a few cracks of black pepper.

5. Serve with your choice of protein and beer. In my opinion, this is an excellent side dish to a simple piece of salmon. Naturally, my beer of choice is Dogfish Head Festina Peche.

Festina Peche Rice 030

Cheers!

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