I wasn’t expecting to see a segment on Fox & Friends about craft beer but when it’s National Beer Day and New York has a certified cicerone then, well, I guess that’s a cool deal.
Anne Becerra is a cicerone, the first one certified in New York, and she contributes to Serious Eats. You may remember that name from this recent post. Becerra is similar to a wine sommelier, but for beer. She knows about how beer is created, the ingredients and how to suggest pairings with food.
The crew of Fox & Friends didn’t have anything to nosh on or steamin’ venison — they needed Ted Nugent there with this backstrap recipe — but Becerra had a nice (albeit short) segment about how craft beer flavors span the gamut today. You can find just about anything in a craft beer today from a specialized flavor component to a high “alcohol by volume” content. A few of the High ABV beers and you may fall off the barstool. Some can be potent.
The cool thing, though, is the different flavors being incorporated in beer today. Becerra talked about how a Belgian trippel might be something for someone who enjoys white wine or Champagne. For someone who enjoys red wine, something like a Russian River Brewery Consecration with flavors of black currants, truffles, spice and tobacco, and it’s aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
Personally, I enjoy something heavier like a stout now and then. Guinness is good with me as is the Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout, but that’s a seasonal brew. Becerra suggested a Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout flavored with coffee beans, which I’m going to have to try. And for whisky lovers she recommended the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale aged in bourbon barrels. My brother has tried this one and said it’s pretty tasty.
Becerra suggested using a glass instead of drinking from the bottle or can, in order to get the full aroma of the beer and its flavors. Sure, we might enjoy a cold High Life from a bottle. But don’t automatically pass up a glass. It doesn’t mean you’re snooty or too big for your britches. It’s just another way to enjoy a cold one.
“You want aromas,” Becerra said on Fox & Friends. “You want to see it and experience every facet.”
A cold brew is tasty with good burgers and this is one of my favorite venison burgers. I’ve posted it before but it’s pretty doggone good, and easy, and you could even jack it up a bit with some strips of jalapeno pepper. Give it a try and, if you imbibe, enjoy a cold brew, too.
Scott Leysath’s Venison Bleu Cheese Burger
One of our favorites from noted wild game chef Scott Leysath, author of “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook”
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
4 burger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in mushrooms and sauté until soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool.
Add ground venison, blue cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands to blend. Form into 4 large patties. Grill, pan-fry or broil patties until browned. Add to bun with lettuce, tomato and your choice of other condiments.
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