3 Weeks Til GABF 2012! Today: Using Food in Beer

That’s right, folks. Only three short weeks until this year’s GABF!!! Last week I posted some recipes for cooking with beer and hops, and today I’m thinking about all the great beers out there that are made with some sort of food. I had an interesting one yesterday: Stone’s Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. It was really good. And upon reflecting on my favorites from GABF 2011, I realized I really enjoy many beers that contain food.

I previously mentioned peanut butter beers, and others that made my list are ones made with pumpkin, chocolate, banana, guava, and pecan. Last winter I tried Stephanie’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie by Crabtree (Greeley, Colorado), a barrel-aged strong ale. I remember the liquor store owner suggesting adding a dash–just a dash–of cinnamon to it, which I did of course. And that was one excellent beer. Another that comes to mind was a Habanero-infused IPA from Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver that I happened to catch on firkin one day last fall. That was the hottest, spiciest beer I’ve ever had. I love spicy things, but this was way too hot to drink much of. Which was a shame, as the flavor was delicious. But it literally burned going down. It was memorable to say the least. And I can’t forget about Denver Beer Company’s Graham Cracker Porter, one of the tastiest brews in the city (and a bronze medal winner at GABF 2011). I was there one night for a tapping and they provided everyone with graham crackers to go along with the beer…mmm.

I haven’t tried Mamma Mia’s Pizza Beer, though I’d love to considering pizza is pretty much my favorite thing in the entire world (after beer, of course). But I looked into getting my hands on some and can’t quite figure out how to do it. Brewers never cease to amaze me with their creativity. I feel lucky to be around right now when there is so much going on in the world of craft beer. I’m on the edge of my seat for this year’s GABF lineup: food beers, I’ll be looking for you.

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