#apples – PorchDrinking.com
Autumn is the season of pies. Whether it’s pumpkin, sweet potato or pecan, we all know the colder months bring forth a nostalgic desire for those traditionally warming, sweet sensations. So when the wave of pumpkin-spiced everything (including beer) takes over, how do you stand out? Brothers Craft Brewery cuts to the core of this dilemma by releasing a specially brewed apple ale, Blonde Betty.
There is no beer scene in the Shenandoah Valley without the influence of Brothers Craft Brewery, formerly known as Three Brothers. These guys have been providing wonderful beers in the Appalachian Mountains since the Virginia beer boom in 2012 by catering to both sides of the craft beer spectrum. They recently won Best in Show at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup for their flagship Lil Hellion; their barrel-aged beers like Resolute and Drunken Mornings are loved by rare beer collectors.
Here at PorchDrinking, while beer will always be our first love, we also enjoy occasionally dabbling in other forms of imbibing such as bourbon, rum, mead and cider. And there is one Colorado cidery that has risen to prominence in recent years, it’s Stem Ciders in Denver’s River North Art District. Lucky enough for me, one of my closest friends is the assistant cider maker over at Stem Ciders and she was willing to talk to me about the cidery’s newest offering.
Just a few years ago if you wanted a hard cider your options were limited. Today artisanal cider is a rapidly growing industry with a wide variety of ciders to sample. Now in it’s 5th year, the Cider Summit Chicago opens up the world of artisanal cider to the general public with over 150 different ciders to try.
Back in the 1990s Greg Hall was seen as a pioneer in craft beer. At a time when the industry was beginning to grow, Hall helped Goose Island become a national leader in craft beer. In 2011 Hall left the brewery to enter a space that was on the verge of experiencing large growth just like the craft beer industry years ago – cider.
I haven’t cooked with beer in a while which is why all of my built up creativity exploded into this one recipe. Luckily, I didn’t spend my night slaving away in the kitchen for nothing – this meal turned out to be delightful. The Passionfruit Sour Ale by Breakside Brewing imparted a tangy flavor into the grains that integrated beautifully with the apples and goat cheese. The addition of blackberries and green onions took this dish to the next level. If you didn’t pick up on it from the name, this ‘Passionate Risotto’ is anything but boring.