Showing posts with label beer cellar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beer cellar. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I've not really been thinking too much about beer of late.

Sure I have been brewing various bits and pieces, and am planning to brew again this weekend, a new recipe for an English Strong Ale, hopped with First Gold and East Kent Goldings and then fermented with Whitbread yeast, hoping for a 6% brew which will be known as Winter Gold. Most of it will be going to Mrs Velkyal's uncle for his Christmas baskets for his clients, as will more of my Chocolate Foreign Extra Stout called Machair Mor.

I haven't bought a single bottle of beer for the cellar in over a month as I decided that it was time to trawl through the various gathered bottles already there. I have set myself the task of not buying any more bottled beer until the cellar is at least 50% less than it was when I did an inventory. I hope I am not the only person who keeps an inventory of what I have knocking about! Naturally the "beer for special occasions" sub-cellar will remain largely untouched, waiting for that undefined "special occasion", or some random Friday when I am feeling grumpy and fancy something a bit, well, fancy.

Some of my beers in the "not so special" section of the cellar have been knocking about for quite some time, so hopefully they aren't entirely awful. I have enough Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill to do plenty of baking and cooking with it, just in case.

Another reason for not buying as much bottled beer at the moment is that Mrs V and I are planning to go to France for Christmas, and I would rather put that money to one side for France. I love going to my parents' place, about an hour from Limoges, in a tiny hamlet with bugger all there. A couple of weeks of quiet, mum's cooking and hopefully plenty of local beer to indulge in sounds like a pretty good antidote to life at the moment. It will be the first time we have headed back across the Atlantic since we moved here, and there is a 3 year old bottle of Orval waiting for me.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Cooking?

This weekend was relatively booze free. Sure I polished off my last growler of the Morana Dark Lager on Friday night, whilst watching Hamish MacBeth, and having to explain shinty to Mrs V, and yesterday I met up with a friend for a few pints of (easy drinking and quite nice actually) and a couple of Buffalo Sweat, again a nice beer. Saturday was drier than the Sahara in summer, though I took the time to organise my beer cellar.

Perhaps I am a completely sad wally here, but on the spur of the moment on Saturday morning I grabbed a pen, some paper and got to cataloguing the cellar. It turned out that I had 117 bottles of commercial beer, now 116 as I used a bottle of Dark Starr Stout in my venison goulash last night. Those 116 bottles represented 68 different beer brands, for what of a better term, from 26 beer styles. Unsuprisingly, at least for those who know me well, was that the dominant family of styles was stouts and porters.

Unfortunately quite a few of the bottles have been sitting around for quite some time, in the case of some seasonals, about 18 months. Obviously there are plenty of beers for which that length of time sitting around is not a problem, but I need to use up a load of other odds and sods that might be beyond their peak, so the inevitable cooking projects will be rearing their heads in weeks to come. One such project is another batch of roasted onion and garlic jam (bizarrely one of the most common search terms that leads to this site, according to my Google Analytics). The first time round I used Chodovar Skální le?ák in the recipe, but this time I am considering either Starr Hill Amber Ale or .

One of my favourite culinary projects when I lived in Prague was my doppelbock chilli chutney, based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. For this I am thinking about switching out doppelbock for or Zywiec Porter. Something to balance out the heat of the chillis with some big flavours of its own, I wonder then if a super hoppy beer would do the trick as well, perhaps Sierra Nevada Torpedo?

Cakes are always a good way to use up beer, as is marinading great chunks of meat in it - I still want to try making a beery marinade for jerky. If I ate more ice cream that might be an interesting project, but I need to be in a very specific mood for ice cream. Any ideas or suggestions then people?

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...