Written By: Danno Landon
Craft Beer…what can I say other than right now it is EN FUEGO. I also think that it fits a certain personality type. You must really be willing to try or go out of your way to break from the norm. I feel as though I must tell you my beer preference to get a better idea of where I am coming from. First off, the greatest beer in the world to me is a Guinness poured from the tap. And yes, I will be decently picky on where I get one. The best Guinness you will ever have is from a pub that has a lot of day drinkers because they are constantly changing the kegs and keeping lines clean. But I digress.
I do quite enjoy the variety of beer flavors and styles that are now available in both retail and bars. I love that there are more choices than the same 6 beers at every bar, and that they are finally at a decent price. Plus, some of these craft brewers are really pushing the envelope with some of their flavor combinations and it is amazing what they are coming up with.
I don’t like the one-off batch. You fall in love with the beer but then it’s the belle who leaves you at the ball. You chase that feeling you got from that beer. Also, I hate the notion that craft beer is somehow always better than the bigger brews. In my mind that 8-dollar double IPA that you are raving over is complete garbage compared to my 1-dollar Miller lite that I got because it was a bar special and I’m a poor just out of college kid. People should drink what tastes good. That notion that craft automatically means better and those who drink craft have better taste seems to be the culture behind the craft brewing trend in some ways.
Moving on. Who doesn’t love good food paired with a good beer? It is like a match made in heaven. When I think of the best food to pair with beer the one thing that comes to mind is an extremely juicy burger and the cocktail to go with it. I don’t think craft hard ciders get enough love and because not everyone is a beer drinker.
Brisket Burger paired with a Smoking Apple Cocktail
- 1 lb. ground brisket
- 2 slices sharp cheddar
- 2 red onion slices
- ½ stick butter, melted
- 2 sesame seed buns
- salt & pepper to season
Go to your local butcher and ask them to grind up the point of the brisket. 1 lb is for 2 burgers, but get more if you want, I’m not the police. Place a cast iron pan or your best conducting pan on high heat and let it get as hot as you can. Take half of the meat and form it into a loose ball, put it in the pan and then immediately smash it down with your spatula. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the other half of the meat and sear about 2-3 minutes until the bottom is thoroughly browned and a nice crust is formed. Flip and lay a slice of cheese on the burger. Cook for the same amount of time on this side for medium rare. The patty should be about ¼ to ½ inch thick and cooking times will vary according to preferred doneness. Toast your buns with butter in the pan afterwards. Add the patty and a good slice of red onion and serve.
Smoking Apple Cocktail
- 1.5 oz Scotch (Preferably one with more peat notes)
- .5 oz sweet vermouth
- .5 oz limoncello
- 4 oz hard cider (crisp for dry, sweet for balanced)
- 2 dashes of bitters
Combine the scotch, sweet vermouth, limoncello and bitters in a large glass, add ice and stir until cold. Strain into rocks glass over a massive ice cube to keep the drink from watering down as much and finish with the hard cider. Serve and enjoy.