Old Dominion

Pairing Beer with Chocolate

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Breweries, Food, Goose Island, Old Dominion, Rogue, Troegs, Victory

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Chocolate, much like beer, is a treat to be savored. It has a reputation of being paired with strong emotions like love and sympathy, and for good reason. It releases feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, creating a feeling of well-being that can be shared between lovers or help bring you out of a slump. Good beer can have a similar effect, relaxing and bringing cheer to the drinker. So it makes good sense to combine the two. If you aren’t sure on where to start, or what chocolate might pair well with your favorite brew, look no further than this guide on how to pair the two.

Stouts and Porters are the simplest way to start your foray into chocolate and beer pairing, because many of them include the roasty flavors that are in chocolate. Your first instinct might be to go with a dark chocolate for these dark beers, but milk chocolates actually complement the bitterness better by adding sweetness to the palate and allowing the strong flavors of the drink to play on the subtler notes of the chocolate. The milk in the chocolate will also play on the creaminess of milk stouts. Try DAGOBA’s milk chocolate with Old Dominion’s Morning Glory Espresso Stout to round out the flavors of both.

Brown ales can be paired with nutty chocolates, either those that actually contain nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, or those that simply carry nut-like characteristics. This will bring out the earthy tones in the beer that can sometimes be lost under its sweetness. Ghiradelli’s Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven Bar will pair perfectly with Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

Sometimes you need something to sweeten your bitter, dark chocolate, and in that case, it’s best to pair it with a Belgian-style Dubbel or Tripel. Chocolove’s Strong Dark Chocolate has enough bite for Troegs’ Jovial.

Wheat beer can be great in combination with a citrus-accented chocolate. Darker chocolates will bring out more contrast in the two flavors for a great complement. Lindt’s Lemon EXCELLENCE Bar would go well with Hoegaarden’s Original.

It may not seem intuitive to pair something hoppy like a Pale Ale or IPA with chocolate, but there is a whole range of flavors that can work with the complexity in these beers. Chocolates containing citrus rinds like orange or lemon can bring out these flavors in the hops, and the same goes for floral notes. Alternatively, dark chocolates with chiles can be a wonderful combination with an IPA. DAGOBA Organic Xocolatl Dark chocolate is a good spicy chocolate to go with Goose Island’s IPA.

The highly alcoholic and quite varied Barley Wine can be the perfect partner with a strong chocolate that can compete with its flavor. This includes both sweet and bitter chocolates, depending on the profile you are looking for. Try Chocolove’s Ginger Crystalized in Dark Chocolate with Victory’s Old Horizontal as a good nightcap.

Floral Brews

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Ithaca, Old Dominion, Rogue, Victory

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As we begin May and the scenery changes to one more colorful, we can reflect on mid-spring with beverages that high-light the growth of new flowers. When reading about different flavor profiles, oftentimes one will come across the word floral in the description, and it is what it sounds like; a flavor that tastes like flowers smell. A soft and fresh nectary sweetness that is often found in hops, but can also be aided by malts or even come from actual flowers. These flavors don’t tend to be as powerful–or as prevalent–as fruit or pine notes, but they can be found in some of the most delicious beers out there.

Ithaca Flower Power – As it was named for, this IPA is packed with a big floral flavor with fruity notes to back it up.

Victory DirtWolf – This hoppy nectar has a bit of honey sweetness to add to its flowery taste while still retaining a nice bitterness.

Rogue MoM Hefeweizen – This lightly spicy wheat beer is brewed with rose petals to give it a perfumed bitterness.

Old Dominion Cherry Blossom Lager – This springtime favorite has some floral flavors under its big cherry taste.

Old Dominion Sunseeker Wheat

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Old Dominion

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A wheat beer with a taste that’s just about bursting out of the bottle. Banana and clove carry from the nose into the flavor of this full-bodied unfiltered brew. It will definitely become one of your go-to brews this summer as it goes great with a clear sky and bright sun. Then again, it’s great after dark, too. 5% ABV

Crafty Recipes

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Carlow, Food, Keegan Ales, Kona, Leffe, Old Dominion, Rogue, Starr Hill Brewery, Troegs, Victory

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A beverage can be a great complement to a meal, or may be enjoyed on its own in partnership with only a great moment. But when simply drinking your favorite beers isn’t enough, there is another step to take in your appreciation for good craft brews. Eating them.

Just like wine is often used in culinary creations, beer can add wonderful flavors to all sorts of food, particularly since there is such a wide variety in flavors between all the styles of beer. Dips, sauces, glazes, desserts, breads, even pickled vegetables can all be made with a little help from your go-to beverage.

Googling recipes that call for beer can yield an overwhelming number of results. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at this list of recipes, and try making a few with our suggested beers.

IPA Beer Cheese DipStarr Hill Northern Lights

Beer-Battered FishKona Longboard Island Lager

Cream Cheese Beer Pancakes with Strawberry Saison SyrupHoegaarden and Anchor Saison

Beer-Soaked Grilled CheeseLeffe Brune

Craft Beer Can ChickenKeegan Ales Bine Climber or Troegs Cultivator

Dry Stout Beef StewO’Hara’s Irish Stout

Coconut Curry Beer Chicken SoupRogue MoM Hefeweizen

Slow Cooker Beer Brisket SandwichesDominion Morning Glory Espresso Stout

Belgian Tripel & Honey Black Pepper Chicken WingsVictory Golden Monkey

And if you’d like to try your hand at coming up with your own recipe, here is a brief and general guide on flavors to get you started.

Porters and Stouts – These dark beers are for adding intense flavors to a dish. Chocolate and coffee-flavored beers can be used in either rich desserts like chocolate cake or marinated meat dishes like ribs or pulled pork. Stews and soups can gain a bitterness from a dry stout or porter, while milk stouts can add a roasty sweetness to a glaze or sauce.

Wheat Beers – Fruity flavors are what hefeweizens and witbiers complement best. They’re a great addition to cakes, breads or tarts with fruit accents, and round out the flavors of sweet glazes and BBQ sauces. Honey, citrus, apricot, peach and berries are all flavors to add wheat beers to. Once you’ve tried those combinations, be adventurous and try it in combination with savory dishes like pasta and cheese sauces.

Fruity Beers, Barleywine and Saisons – These are flavors that can be a little more difficult to endow food with. It’s usually good to pair fruity beers and saisons with like flavors–candied fruits, ginger and other sweet-and-spicy notes–but barleywines need bold flavors to compete with. Roasted meats and heavy desserts like pumpkin dishes and dark chocolates can benefit from just a few tablespoons.

IPAs, Pale Ales and Pilsners – IPAs generally go with spicy dishes, but don’t limit yourself to that. Cheese sauces, breads, lemony dishes, seafood, and chicken can all benefit from the hops in the right conditions. Pale ales and pilsners can replace IPAs in many dishes, especially when looking for a milder flavor, and are more easily added to desserts.

Brown/Amber Ales – These sweet and mild brews are great for roasted chicken, pork, sticky-sweet desserts and sweet breads. Sometimes it can be added to beef-centric recipes, but it is the perfect level of flavor to be eaten with white meats.

If you’re just beginning to cook with beer, try adding it to sauces, glazes, and marinades, or try your hand at a beer bread, and before long, you’ll be looking for ways to add it into dinner every night.

Great American Beer Festival 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014 | Old Dominion, Sierra Nevada, Troegs, Uinta, Victory, Widmer

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It’s time for our roundup of notable Great American Beer Festival competition winners for 2014. If you aren’t familiar with the festival, it’s one of the largest beer fest in the states, started in 1982 by nuclear engineer Charlie Papazian in Boulder, CO, though now it takes place in Denver. It also hosts one of the most prolific beer competitions, with over 2000 brews entered annually, seeking to be named one of three brews that best exemplifies its style.

Gold

Victory Golden Monkey – Belgian-Style Tripel

Troegs Troegentaor – Bock

Silver

Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen – American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast

Old Dominion Spiced Harvest – Pumpkin Beer

Uinta Cutthroat – Ordinary or Special Bitter

Be sure to raise a glass to these winners, and try any of the brews you haven’t gotten a chance to yet. And if you want a chance to try the gold-winning brews by Troegs and Victory, this is the perfect excuse to make the way to their breweries to try the beers right at the source. They’re both a great spot to grab a bite if you’re out holiday shopping, too.

Troegs Tasting Room & Snack Bar: Located in Hershey, Troeg’s tasting room offers visitors the chance to try their various brewed offerings while taking a self-guided tour through the brewing process. And just adjacent to the tasting room is the snack bar, where Troegs partners with different local farms, meat-providers and creameries to bring you delicious foods inspired by their beers.

Victory Brewpubs: Victory has two brewpub locations, one at the original brewery in Downtingtown, one in Kennet Square. Their menu includes regular pub fare with their own twist, sandwiches, soups, and daily menu additions that their chefs come up with. Not to mention, all their brews on tap.

Oktoberfest

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Goose Island, Old Dominion, Susquhanna, Victory

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Can’t make it over to Munich? Want to try your hand at hosting your very own Oktoberfest this year? Well, we’ve got the tips to help you make that happen. This is our official Oktoberfest Party Guide.’

Beverages

Victory Festbier – A favorite local marzen, it’s perfect for this event with its pleasant German malts. 5.6% ABV

Susquehanna Oktoberfest – Another local marzen with caramel and toffee notes, and Bavarian hops to balance the flavor. 6.2% ABV

Goose Island Oktoberfest - Sweet dried fruits, burnt sugar and earthy hops make up the flavor profile of this lager. 6.4% ABV

Dominion Octoberfest Maerzen – Smooth caramel, honey and bready flavors are followed by crisp hops, creating a warm yet refreshing beverage. 5.7% ABV

For the little ones or anyone else who doesn’t drink, you could always serve hot or chilled apple cider, seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for a perfectly autumnal flavor.

Food

Apart from beer, food is the most important thing about Oktoberfest. Pretzels are a must, the salt and breadiness coupling perfectly with malty beers. This pairs well with mustard, obatzda and weisswurst, a mild, pale sausage made of veal and pork. Of course, you can always use your favorite sort of wurst. For appetizer or buffet-style servings, make or purchase small pretzels, cut one-inch lengths of sausage, and arrange with a dish of mustard and/or obatzda and toothpicks on a fall leaf-colored platter.

For a heartier meal, you could make Bavarian style burgers, using traditional Leberkäse or ground beef with German-style fixings like sauerkraut, pretzel or kaiser rolls, tasty cheeses and of course mustard. Goes great with potato salad.

The natural dessert option here is Lebkuchen hearts, a style of gingerbread cookie decorated with icing, but you could also go with the fall-appropriate apple strudel if you’d rather.

Decorations

Blue and white are the traditional colors of Oktoberfest, typically seen in a lozengy pattern as they are in a variant of the Bavarian flag. This can come in the form of tablecloths, flags, paper plates, hats, etc., all readily available at many party stores and online. For splashes of color that won’t overload the senses, fill beer steins with blue and white flowers, or tie blue and white ribbons around silverware or mug handles.

Speaking of mugs, it’s important that you aren’t drinking out of bottles or plastic cups, since that just isn’t in the spirit of Oktoberfest. Beer steins in glass, ceramic or plastic are perfect for this event, adding to an authentic atmosphere.

The backyard is the perfect spot for your Oktoberfest, and the addition of a pop-up tent or canopy can make it feel less like a yard and more like the fest itself. Using smaller tents, you can designate a biergarten, buffet and dining areas with festive signs.

Activities

Stein Race: Fill a stein with beer (or any liquid), and have contestants race from one side of a field to the other, spilling as little of their beverage as possible. Whoever can fill a most of a bucket at the end of the line in the allotted time wins.

Chicken Dance: Great for kids and adults alike, this silly dance actually started as a German tradition, originally called the Duck Dance.

Barrel Roll: Another traditional Oktoberfest event. Use an empty barrel or keg, and have participants roll it through an obstacle course. The fastest time wins, and points are deducted for losing control of the barrel and crashing into spectators.

Beer Tasting: Set up a table with a variety of the beers you’ve purchased for the occasion and small tasting glasses, allowing party-goers to try a few beers before they pick what they’d like a full glass of. For the full tasting experience, include pretzels and cheeses that pair well with the different brews.

World Beer Cup 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 5 Rabbit, Contests, Old Dominion, Redhook, Starr Hill Brewery, Uinta, Widmer

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Last week was the World Beer Cup in Boulder, CO, with judgements over 96 different styles on a global level, with only three top beers named in each category and often dozens of entries into each. Starting in 1996, hundreds of brewers have entered their creations every two years, with more breweries entering with each competition. However, only a few come out on top, named best in their styles. This competition is considered the most prestigious beer competition in the world, and is not to be taken lightly.

Here’s a list of some of the brews that won that are available in our area.

Widmer Hefeweizen – Won Gold in the American Style Wheat Beer with Yeast category.

Starr Hill Whiter Shade of Pale – Won Gold in the American Belgo Style Ale category.

Redhook Audible Ale – Won Gold in the Classic English Style Pale Ale category.

Dominion Candy Belgian Tripel – Won Gold in the Belgian Style Tripel category.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel – Won Silver in the German Style Dark Wheat Ale category.

Uinta Bristlecone Brown - Won Bronze in the English Style Mild category.

For more information on the World Beer Cup, visit their website.

Dominion Cherry Blossom Lager

Thursday, March 20, 2014 | Featured Beer, Old Dominion, Spring

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This golden lager supports a light, fluffy head and a pit-fruity aroma that speaks to its name. Cherry, plum and yeasty flavors make up most of the slightly sour palate of this medium-textured brew, and subtle hops offer just enough balance to perfect the taste. Nicely effervescent and bright, this beer will easily take you from spring to summer. 5.2% ABV

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beer Lover

Thursday, December 19, 2013 | Anchor, Evolution, Finch's, Goose Island, Ithaca, Lancaster Brewing, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Old Dominion, Prism, Redhook, Rogue, Starr Hill Brewery, Troegs, Uncategorized, Victory, Widmer, Winter

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It’s getting down the grind of holiday gift-buying, so we’re here to help you find the perfect gifts for your drinking buddy, beer-loving partner, or the craft beer enthusiast that’s hard to buy for. This is the Official Greatest Beers of the World 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

For the someone who always goes on the beer run in the cold:

Magic Hat/#9 Reversible Beanie – Two hats in one!

Resist Prohibition Victory Brewing Hoodie – Classic, fashionable and warm.

Lancaster Brewing Beanie – Knitted fun, for warm ears.

Redhook Shimmer Me Timbers Jacket – To show you really appreciate them.

Starr Hill Hoodie – Double-lined and zippered, with a cool Starr Hill logo.

For those who like a little art with their beer:

Any of the Old Dominion Posters – At the bottom of their store, Old Dominion has a selection of posters featuring the beautiful ladies that decorate their labels.

Anchor Brewing Books and Posters – Great for the history buff who has a taste for great beer, these posters and books feature historical drawings, paintings and maps of the San Francisco area.

Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale Poster – Beautiful poster for a beautiful beer.

For someone building the perfect bar:

Tap Handles for Rogue, Anchor Brewing, Lancaster Brewing, Ithaca, Redhook, Widmer Bros.

Glassware from Victory, Rogue, Magic Hat, Anchor Brewing, Lancaster Brewing, Finch’s, Redhook,  Starr Hill, Prism, Widmer Bros., Long Trail

For the Holiday Party, or that really good friend who can’t get enough of their seasonal favorites:

Magic Hat Winterland Variety Pak – #9, Encore IPA, G-Thing, Heart of Darkness

Victory Winter Cheers – Fruity and warm wheat ale, with a spicy hint of clove and banana. 6.7% ABV

Anchor Christmas Ale – A winter warmer with strong ginger flavor in the front, backed up by piney bitterness. 5.5% ABV

Evolution Secret Spot Winter Ale – A complex and well-balanced altbier. 6.3%

Goose Island Sixth Day – An American Brown Ale that’s recipe changes slightly year-to-year for a new surprise every holiday season. 8.3% ABV

Ithaca Cold Front – A Belgian Dark Ale with spicy maltiness and dark fruits. 7.2% ABV

Lancaster Brewing Winter Warmer – Winter spices dominate the flavor of this beer, with an alcoholic finish, sure to warm the coldest of drinkers. 8.9% ABV

Long Trail Hibernator – This Scottish Ale is slightly hoppier than much of the style, and sure to warm you on these cold nights. 6% ABV

Starr Hill Snow Blind – Full description here.

Troegs Mad Elf - Cherry and vanilla flavors sweeten this highly alcoholic Belgian ale that’s made just to give you needed heat. 11% ABV

Stocking Stuffers and Various Gifts:

Widmer Bros. Bottle Opener

Taste Victory iPhone Cover

Ithaca Stainless Steel Growler

Have a happy and safe holiday season, folks!

R2Hop2 Ticket Giveaway

Monday, April 22, 2013 | Events, Old Dominion, Uncategorized

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We told you about the R2Hop2 Music and Beer Festival at Fordham and Dominion last week. Now’s your chance to win tickets to the event!

Entering to win is simple. First, go like the R2Hop2 Facebook page. Then comment on this post with your name, age, favorite Dominion/Fordham brew, and a link to your Facebook profile. Comments on this post may not show up publicly, but rest-assured, we will see them.

Click here for the details of the event and here to like the Facebook page.

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