Last Friday we made another beer dinner, this time for our mom’s birthday! The theme was, “Excuse me, please, one more drink,” a lyric from her favorite Dave Matthews Band song, “Grace is Gone.”
Our mom is quite the cider fan, so we started off with J.K.’s Scrumpy Hard Cider. Although it has kind of a stupid name, this cider is refreshing and tasty. Its mild carbonation and sweetness make it very palate friendly, and it paired perfectly with the apple, chèvre, and honey crostini that we served for the first course. We read that chèvre goes well with sweet ciders, and after Friday we fully endorse this combo! In addition to being delicious, this crostini is ridiculously easy and quick to make. If you need a simple appetizer for a low-key dinner party, look no further. Just don’t forget the salt and pepper!
The second course was a partial fail. We tried to imitate Chipotle’s famous lime tortilla chips, but they came out hard and without much flavor. Maddy has successfully made them with flour tortillas in the past, but this time we used corn, as this recipe calls for. The recipe also recommends brushing the tortillas with bacon fat before the salt/lime mixture, which we obviously couldn’t do in a mostly vegetarian household. Maybe that was the problem! Luckily, our two dips salvaged this course.
We made a pineapple salsa that was fresh and delicious, and paired it with Starr Hill’s Love, garnished with a pineapple wedge. The Love is one of our mom’s favorite beers, and its citrusy, slightly sweet flavor meshed nicely with the fruitiness of the salsa. We didn’t make the guacamole (we’re not superheroes, okay??), but instead chose Wholly Guacamole’s spicy variety to go with Lagunitas DayTime IPA. IPAs pair well with spicy food, and we chose the DayTime in particular because, as a session, it’s lighter and less bitter than a traditional IPA. We’re slowly turning you into an IPA lover, Mom!
Our family has been super into tacos this summer, so we decided to serve shrimp tacos for the main course. Maddy mixed up a quick marinade of balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, and lime, and we marinated the shrimp for a few hours before grilling them. We topped the tacos with cabbage slaw and paired them with the AleWerks White Ale. The White Ale is simple, refreshing, and has strong lemon and coriander flavors. I wish I’d discovered this brew earlier in the summer! It tastes like a warm July evening.
Our final course was as delicious as the first. It would have been difficult to go wrong in this department because our mom LOVES dessert, but it didn’t hurt that we incorporated two of her favorite sweet treats: coconut and mocha. We topped coconut gelato with whipped cream, boozy chocolate sauce, a coconut cookie, and coconut flakes, and then served the sundaes with Mokah, an imperial stout by Southern Tier.
The best part of this course was the chocolate sauce, which we made by following this simple recipe that calls for only butter, heavy cream, chocolate chips, and 1/3 cup of the Mokah! It was absolutely delectable. Maddy had the brilliant idea to dip the cookies in the sauce and then freeze them for a few minutes before putting them into the gelato, which kicked the sundaes up yet another notch. Seriously, I don’t care what you’re doing tonight, making this chocolate sauce is more important. Cancel your plans and treat yo self.
Happy Birthday, Mom! Here’s hopin’ we look half as good as you at 55!