Beer Family’s First Potluck

There is a small group of Columbus-ites who are discussing, drinking, and sharing well made craft beer.

The Beer Family.

Right now our numbers are small but there are constantly new additions announced and much rejoicing occurs.

I initially “met” James, The Beer Family Godfather (you totally are James!), via Twitter and we’ve been chatting for months about whatevers and also beer.  Sadly I’ve missed some of the Tweet-ups but I was able to finally meet him and other family members on Sunday when we attended Beercamp.

Even before meeting on Sunday, we had recently been talking about a Beer and Food pairing and how fun that would be!  It was decided that it would happen and take place the Monday after Beercamp.  The Family was currently celebrating Beer Weekend and decided to conclude it on Monday with the potluck.

We were unable to attend one of the Beer Weekend events but I was assured that it was a rockin’ good time.

This was Scott and I’s first official Beer Family function and it didn’t disappoint.

The goal was to make a dish and pair it with a beer that would compliment or enhance the dish, or the beer, or both!  I was very nervous because all these Beer Heads knew what they were doing and had experience with different obscure beers.

I do not.

But I do know food!  I decided to make Chipotle Cheddar Puffs and paired that with Rogue’s Chipotle Ale.  My little puffs can be seen on the bottom right of the picture.  I did not get pictures of all the food sadly because I was too busy talking and eating and being a bad food blogger.

There will be an official review of the Chipotle Ale to come but I’ll give a brief description to set you up.  Chipotles are spicy. Well, at least to me they are super spicy! I was curious how this would go in a beer.  Yes the beer is spicy but not hot like you might imagine.  Instead, the beer is warm and leaves you with a deep warm taste as it finishes.  By warm, I mean that there are some spices that are hot (chilies) and some that are just warm (cinnamon).  This is a warm beer.

The puffs went really well with the Chipotle Ale and actually made the ale a bit spicier on the finish.  The puffs also got a bit spicier!   I was happy with my combo!  I hope everyone else thought the same!Next up was this German smoked ale brought out by Ryan.  He said it smelled like bacon and he wasn’t kidding.  This ale was paired with a BBQ chicken pizza that he made and included the beer in the sauce.

This ale was intense and if you don’t care for smoked things in general you might have to pass this one up.  I loved it and immediately thought it would be great to brine with and then grill whatever got brined.  I would not be able to handle a full glass of this beer though.  Just a small amount takes me a long way.

Nice choice!

Next we have James’s pairing.  He picked a Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA and paired that with a spicy chili.  I am not an IPA girl, I will tell you that right up front.  IPAs are just way too hoppy for me and remind me of drinking a grapefruit.  I do not like grapefruit (this is also why I stay away from Savignon Blancs, too grapefruity tasting).

But the whole point of this get-together is to try beers and try the pairings.  Keep an open mind and taste!

Drinking the beer straight up, I didn’t like it.  Wow but the hops were really overpowering.  Tasting after a bite of chili and things changed dramatically.  This beer cut through the spiciness quickly and the heat from the chili toned down the hoppy beer a great deal.  I could drink this beer if I had it with spicy foods.  I think it would be great paired with some buffalo wings!

Now desserts!

Katie made some cream cheese chocolate chip cupcakes and paired that with Lancaster’s (PA not OH) Milk Stout.  If you know anything about me, you know that me and stouts are a match made in heaven! I was very excited to try out this pairing!  This was my first time having a milk stout so I asked what made it a “milk” stout.

There is no milk in this stout (although making a chocolate shake with this would probably be a fabbo idea.  You’re welcome.)

Milk Stout via Wikipedia:

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer.

Interesting!  This stout is creamy and delish!  It’s very smooth, and while I realize that most stouts are very smooth, this is like silk.  It went great with the cupcakes!

Next to the stout is Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF for those who are wondering).  This was brought along for the ride for an extra tasting.  It was alright but my milk stout memories override it!

The last pairing of the evening was PJ’s Kahula cake and Southern Tier Jahva Stout.  He also brought along an extra Choklat stout just for shits and giggles and I’m glad that he did!

I did not try the Jah-va stout but from everyone’s mutterings it was a good one!  No, this lady went straight for the Choklat stout!

Whoa baby did this pack a punch!  Easily the thickest and chocolatiest stout I’ve had to date.  It was glorious!  It was also really heavy so I would suggest not drinking it on a super full tum or you’ll find yourself stuffed and quick!  It was a nice pairing with the Kahlua cake that I had a wee bite of.  I definitely will look for this stout in the future!

Other random beers:

21st Amendement’s Monk’s Blood and it sort of reminded me of a deeper kind of Irish or Scottish ale.  It was really good!  And I also got a lesson from James in why canned beer isn’t always a bad thing.

Good to learn!

I also learned from Ryan that the Beer Family consumed over 3 gallons of beer that night! Crazy!  I had just a sample of each, so in total probably had about a glass of beer. Maybe slightly more.  I wanted to try everything so I stuck to small portions.

Soon we hit the Mad Scientist Portion of the evening where folks started mixing beers.  One of the popular pairings was mixing the smoked ale with the Chipotle ale.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that!

We chatted the rest of evening and before long it was time for us to head home and crawl into bed.  The night turned out fantastic and there’s talks of another one to come along soon!

Bonus of the evening?  Ryan home brews and I got to leave with a bottle of his stout!  SCORE!

The Beer Family in attendance for the evening were:

Yours truly and Scott

James and PJ

Ryan and his wife, Chrissy


The Beer Family is always interested in meeting new people who enjoy a good beer and we will welcome you with open arms!  All of us are on twitter so just give a follow.  Or if you are on Facebook search for Columbus Beer Guys, which has all the official tweet-ups and meet-ups!  The only rule is that you can’t show up with a Bud or whatever-cheap-beer but I’m sure you knew that already.

2 thoughts on “Beer Family’s First Potluck

  1. I am loving this post! And am now super thirsty!! I went to the Rogue Brewery in Newport, OR last week and had my fair share of ALL the tasty beers. I was excited to read that you used the Chipotle. It really is spicy! I may have to give a few others of those you recommended a try.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.