We here at Odell Brewing Co. love sharing our special creations with our friends and for the inaugural release of Mountain Standard Reserve ’09 I wanted to share this beer in “Mountain Standard style.” The idea for this style came about while spending a weekend during the ’09 hop harvest camping with fellow Brewers in a hop field along the western slope of Colorado.
To Celebrate this release I wanted to do something new and unique to help share our passion with all of you. I have decided to create and host an “at home beer dinner” and provide all of you with the “how to” so you can do the same. This dinner is a different way to enjoy our newest release, spend some time with friends and learn a little bit about pairing beer with food, all the while saving a bit of money over going out to eat.
This dinner pairs three courses with our Mountain Standard Reserve ’09, two of which use Mountain Standard Reserve ’09 in the cooking process. I have provided the recipes, preparation notes and brief explanations for the pairings my partner Krystal Angelo and I have developed for this Dinner.
We were able to share our Dinner with fellow Odell Brewer, Chad Yakobson, and our friend and active Fort Collins community member, as well as a food, wine, and bluegrass aficionado, Art Dirlam. So, invite your friends and loved ones over and host a night-in while sharing a couple great beers with some home cooked food.
Mountain Standard Reserve ’09
Fifty percent of the hops used in Mountain Standard Reserve ’09 were organic Chinook and Cascade hops harvested from the western slope of Colorado. The unique hop taste and aroma, an earthy, peppery, herbal blend of citrus and mild mint, is achieved from generous hopback and dry hopping additions to Mountain Standard Reserve ’09. A rich malt body, deep mahogany in color, leaves an ever so slight residual malt sweetness that proves to pair well with a variety foods, ranging from bittersweet chocolate to tart apples.
The Anti-Apres-A Mountain Standard style Antipasto starter
3.5 oz olives (half a jar bistro blend).
small jar of marinated artichoke hearts.
four oz Scottish Porter Cheddar.
4 oz Prosciutto.
1 Tart Apple.
4 oz of Pecorino rustically chunked.
4 oz Pancetta
1 cup Mountain Standard Candied Almonds.
Preperation notes for candied almonds-bring 1/2 cup of Mountain Standard and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, add almonds, stir until liquid evaporates, spread almonds on wax paper and let cool.
Tasting notes: The salty Italian meats and cheeses pair perfectly with the slight residual sweetness and rich malty body in Mountain Standard Reserve ’09. The candied almonds are pretty excessive, but very fun and all of us agreed that hints of malt and hops came through in the almonds, producing an interesting flavor that kept all of our fingers in the candy dish. The best pairing, and most surprising, was the tart apple. They paired absolutely perfectly with the beer. The tartness of the apple dried the beer slightly and brought the complex hop profile to the forefront of the beer.
I was very happy with the Anti-Apres. It allowed time for us to enjoy popping a cork on the first bottle of the night while nibbling on various meats and cheeses. Although Antipasto may seem light when looking at it, it does provide a rich and filling start to the evening and allows plenty of time to sip on and enjoy your first bottle of Mountain Standard Reserve.
Mountain Standard Steamed Mussels over Linguini Pecorino
4 oz of mountain standard
1 stalk of celery
1/4 teaspoon of garlic
1.5 table spoons of butter
1 pound of linguini
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
4 oz of Pecorino
1.5 teaspoons ground pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped Arugala.
Preperation notes for mussels-Heat a small pot over medium heat, add olive oil and butter, heat until the butter is melted. Add mussels to the pot and cover. Let mussels steam over medium heat until shells are open (about 4-5 mins). At 4 mins add beer, and recover. Wait one minute and turn off heat. Let Mussels steep covered.
Preperation notes for Linguini-Bring water to a boil in a large pot, cook until desired firmness. Spoon out linguini with a pasta spoon into a large bowl, add butter and stir until butter is incorporated. Slowly add in finely grated cheese, adding small amounts of hot water to keep the pasta from becoming overly sticky if needed. Grind pepper over the dish and add argula. Thoroughly mix. Place mussels (do not transfer the Mussel sauce) around the edge of the dish and serve family style.
Tasting Notes: Seemingly light for a main course this dish when following a rich antipasto provides a deliciously light and spicy Italian fair. Many people become caught up pairing hoppy or bitter beers with the spice often found in Indian or Thai cooking, however the beautiful spice from fresh organic Arugala, mixed with fresh pepper and the salty Pecorino create a quick clearing spice.Without the spice lingering on the tongue Mountain Standard Reserve’s delicate spicy and herbal hop profile can shine through. The few Mussels provide the palate and ones appetite with just enough richness to satiate.
I love the simplicity of traditional Italian cooking. Even more so then any other style of cooking the quality of each ingredient matters and dramatically affects a dish’s delicate balance. In cooking, much like brewing, I believe each ingredient should be apparent but no ingredient should overpower, and this dish maintains this wonderful balance. When paired with Mountain Standard Reserve, a beer that sets itself apart because of the quality and uniqueness of the ingredients, it not only creates a delicious pairing but also a consistency in culinary and brewing philosophies.
Just Shy of Mile High (5003 ft.) Chocolate Cake*
5 ounces fine-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 ounces fine-quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 sticks (1 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Equipment: 2 (8- by 2-inch) round cake pans
Preparation notes-Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle. Butter cake pans, then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment. Flour pans, knocking out excess.
Melt chocolate with butter, then cool.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Beat eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. At low speed, mix in melted chocolate until incorporated, then add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until each addition is just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in pans and rap pans several times on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans and a wooden pick inserted in center of each comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edges of pans. Invert onto racks and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.
Make frosting and assemble cake: Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add milk and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is smooth and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature, covering surface with parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming.
Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy, then add cooled chocolate mixture a little at a time, beating until frosting is fluffy and spreadable.
Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers with a long serrated knife. Put 1 layer on a cake stand or large plate and spread top with 1 1/4 cups frosting. Repeat with 2 more layers, then add remaining layer and spread top and side of cake with remaining frosting.
I recommend making this cake the night before and loosely covering it in the refridgerator over night. This will make the night of the dinner much easier.
Tasting Notes: Most people seem to only ever pair stouts and porters with chocolate, which I find leaves out so many great beers to have for dessert. There may be no better combination then a hop-forward beer and bittersweet chocolate. Deep rich chocolate allows the clean bitterness of Mountain Standard Reserve to really come through. What surprised me about this beer from the beginning was the subtle bitterness for a beer with 50+ IBUs, but when paired with Rich bittersweet chocolate the wonderful bitterness that makes the mouths of us lovers of the Humulus Lupulin makes it appearance.
When looking for a dessert I kept coming back to doing something over the top and full of chocolate. I came across Ruth Cousineau’s recipe for Mile High Chocolate Cake in the January 2008 issue of Gourmet and thought it would be perfect. It is just a lot of fun making a big chocolate cake when and having a beer with it!
Mountain Standard Reserve is a delicious beer, and being able to pair it with a three-course meal shared with friends made for a great evening. The great part about having a beer dinner at home is how affordable it is. Each person can purchase a bottle of Mountain Standard Reserve (one for each course and about half of one to cook with), split up the ingredients and each will have spent less than $30! And if the weather is good where you are I would recommend hosting it outside, in true Mountain Standard Style.