A Spent Grain Moment: Banana Bread

Hey Boos! Maddy here! Lately, I have been lucky enough to join my friends Matt and Amanda (honorary BB) in their home brewing adventures. While I mostly just sit around and occasionally stir a pot, the process is supa fun and has introduced me to my new favorite baking ingredient: Spent Grain. My love for this nutty, rich grain mixture all began when Amanda and Matt brewed a stout. As soon as the grains were pulled from the kettle, and we got a whiff of the delectable scent, our wheels started turning. Could we use this for bread? Or granola? What about Spent Grain Pretzels? Or cookies? From there, we took to the internet to find some recipes. And recipes we found (lots and lots). If you are interested in using spent grain to cook, I recommend heading over to Brooklyn Brew Shop  and checking out their ‘Spent Grain Chef’ section!

Wet Grain.jpg

We BBs are excited to announce a new series of posts about cooking with these yummy grains: A Spent Grain Moment. Named after the many spent grain moments Amanda and I have shared in the past few months. My first venture in cooking with spent grain started with a Vegan Banana Bread Recipe from Feed Your Skull. Amanda is vegan so I try to bake/cook things that we can eat together. If you want a non-vegan recipe, check out Brooklyn Brew Shop’s recipe. Now then…the main event:


Vegan Spent Grain Banana Bread


1 cup Spent Grain Flour 

3/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

4 tbsp. Unsweet Applesauce

3/4 cup Cane Sugar

2 Ripe Ass Bananas

2 Flaxseed Eggs 

1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts*

1/2 cup Chocolate Chips*

*Optional, but highly encouraged


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F + rub bread pan with coconut oil
  2. Mix Flaxseed egg + set aside
  3. Medium Bowl: Sift together both flours, Baking Powder, and Salt
  4. Large Bowl: Whisk together coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar
  5. Add flax eggs and bananas to oil mixture + whisk till combined
  6. Add flour mixture to oil mixture in 3 parts
  7. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips
  8. Bake 55-60 minutes



This recipe creates a super dense, chewy, and deeeelish bread. If you want something a little lighter, I think adding in more whole wheat flour would achieve that. I hope you enjoyed our first Spent Grain Moment, and maybe even bake some bread of your own! Next spent grain stop for me: Veggie Burgers.

Let’s talk again soon, yes?






Wet Hops

Kat brought back three crowlers of fresh Woodstock Brewhouse beer from her visit home last weekend. On Tuesday we opened North Mountain, a 7%, 100+ IBU wet hop pale ale. North Mountain is full bodied and bitter with a sweet malt finish. It smells amazing–so much fresh pine I felt like I was out shopping for a Christmas tree.

We might have covered wet hops in passing, but I don’t think we’ve ever devoted a whole post to defining this term. Wet hops are hops that are fresh off the bine, have not been dried or processed, and are typically used within 24 hours of harvesting. They aren’t physically wet, just full of moisture!  Wet hopped beers showcase green flavors (think grass and pine). They are bright and juicy, yet soft and mellow because wet hops aren’t as concentrated as dried varieties.

A beer-themed Halloween card from the more talented Barley Babe

Tune in next time for a post from the coast that started the hop craze! I’m flying out this evening to spend a long weekend in Huntington Beach with Nikki and Paul. Something tells me we’re bound to get into a little beer while I’m there…


p.s. Did you read our other posts on Woodstock Brewhouse? I’m continually impressed by how well-executed and delicious all of their beers are.

Barley Babe Reunion

I’m writing to you from the J train, on my way to pick Maddy up from the airport! She’s visiting Brooklyn for a whole week, and I sprang out of bed this morning like a kid on Christmas. I’ve been stockpiling special beers since Maddy booked her flight a couple months ago. My tiny book shelf is now home to the biggest collection of beers I’ve ever had! This hoard of liquid treasures includes the two latest Grimm sours, some tasting-room-only releases from local breweries, a collab between Maine and the Bruery, and a can from the infamous Tree House!   We’re also planning to hit up some local breweries while Mad is in town. Finback and LIC Beer Project are at the top of my list because I think she’ll enjoy their menus the most, but I’m sure we’ll have time for a couple more. Can’t wait to be reunited with my Barley Babe!!! We’ll try to deliver at least one co-post while she’s in town. After all, it can’t be all play and no work..


Friday Food Pairing: Sour Monkey + Gnocchi

Greetings! Do you remember me? Maddy? Ring any bells? I’m the lazy brown-headed barley babe for those of you still scratching your heads! Enough about me, though; let’s get to the reason we’re all here!

Victory’s Sour Monkey + Gnocchi in Tomato Basil Sauce

Full show

We based our meal around Smitten Kitchen’s Gnocchi recipe, in which the gnocchi is served in tomato broth instead of sauce. Basically, we got to the portion of the recipe that said to strain out all the veggies from the liquid and thought “What! No! They look so tasty in there!” So we used an immersion blender and created a chunky, marinara-like tomato basil sauce.

veggies Broth

As for the making of the actual gnocchi, it was way easier than imagined! You bake a couple potatoes until they’re tender, remove the skin, use a cheese grater to shred the potatoes, add some flour and an egg, and BOOM you have some tasty ass potato dough. From there, we just shaped the dough and cut it into small, bite sized pieces.



Gnocchi cooks for about 3 minutes in boiling water, so this is honestly a pretty fast recipe besides the baking of the potatoes. But you can use that time to shower or something, you filthy animals 😉


We decided to pair Victory’s Sour Monkey with this dish for a couple reasons

1) Mac and I both love the base beer, Golden Monkey

2) I hoped the fresh basil in the sauce and garnish would pair well with the beer’s tart/crisp flavors

3) We wanted this to be a light dinner, so a light beer was the logical choice

bowla shit

The Sour Monkey did NOT disappoint. We sipped the deliciously sour, sharply fruity beer with dinner and thought, “damn, this is good.” Then we took a look at the bottle…9.5%…and thought, “DAMN, THIS IS REALLY GOOD.” As previously mentioned, I love the Golden Monkey, but it tends to have a heavy spice/clove profile, which makes me drink it slower and in lesser quantities. Sour Monkey, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of that heaviness. Its flavors are bright, somewhat lemony, and JUST sour enough. We both loved this scary drinkable wild ale with our dish. The light basil flavor went well with the tangy beer, almost adding a little sweetness.


I highly recommend the gnocchi recipe and the Sour Monkey to all of you! I think the next batch of gnocchi we make I want to incorporate herbs into the dough. I was thinking basil gnocchi obviously, but rosemary gnocchi or sage gnocchi could be next. I’ll catch you bitty babies later! Hopefully not months from now….

Dreaming of Potato Dough,



Jade IPA, at long last

Greetings, Beer Folks! I’m Richmond bound, barreling down 81! No I’m not typing and driving—I’m riding shotty for Denny’s sake! But back to what we’re all here for: Foothills’ Jade IPA.


I had my first brush with this beer last year at Rocktown Beer Festival in Harrisonburg. It was my first pour of the festival and a DAMN good way to start the day! After that, I was only able to find this brew on tap at The Rivermill in Blacksburg. Not a bottle to be found anywhere…sigh….

UNTIL MONDAY! I’m minding my own business, just looking for a beer to go with dinner, and there, staring me in the face…JADE IPA. Needless to say I was over joyed by the thought of cracking this puppy open over dinner with my best gal, Cooke. We whipped up some pesto mayo BLT’s (keep your tomato season comments to yourself, I DON’T CARE) and got to drankin!


As mentioned before, I have only had Jade IPA on tap, so I was excited to see how it tasted from a bottle. Glorious, is how it tastes. This brew gets its name from the use of Jade hops, which give a tropical fruit flavor with a peppery finish. Allison and I both picked up on some pepper, and thought it went perfectly with the salty bacon fat and garlic-y bite of the pesto mayo. Foothills also used Citra hops when dry hopping the Jade, giving it a deliciously pungent and sticky, citrus aroma and flavor. Who knew citrus + pepper could be such a winning combo! Allison and I legitimately had to force ourselves to slow down, we only had one bottle after all.


At 86 IBUs this brew is intensely flavorful and definitely bitter, but is still easy to drink at 7.4%. Maybe I’ve already planned to buy another bottle…and maybe I plan to drink all 22 oz by myself….and maybe I’m okay with that. Seriously IPA fans, find this beer and try it. You won’t be disappointed.


Away laughing on a fast Camel,


For Lovers Only

Howdy, friends! Maddy here…the lazy other half of Barley Babes…you remember me, don’t you? ANYWHO, with Rach keeping you peeps up to date with all the fun stuff happening in New York, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you about Parkway’s latest offering: For Lovers Only Imperial Stout.


I’m a dark beer kind of gal, so when I first heard whispers around the brewery of an Imperial Stout, I was immediately excited. Then I tasted the beer. AND DAMN GUYS!! I’m still excited about it a week later. Hell, I’m gonna be excited about this beer until the last drop is poured. 60+ days cellaring, 6 weeks aging on French oak, and 3 weeks aging on Vanilla Bean have made for one dangerously drinkable brew.


Reasons I’m obsessed with this beer:

1) It smells like a frickin s’more! The use of French oak during aging allows For Lovers Only to take on a sugary, toasty marshmallow profile, while the chocolate malt adds…well…chocolate, creating one yummy smelling brew.

2) It’s so balanced it’s scary. Ryan, Parkway’s Brewmaster, has a knack for creating some of the most balanced beers I’ve ever tried. A lot of the time with stouts, I feel like there’s a harsh/bitter/puckering aftertaste. The For Lovers Only is different though– so smooth, so creamy, so damn drinkable. I have to watch how fast I drink this baby.

3) The flavor is out of this world; I get sweet chocolate balanced with a touch of roasty coffee. Honorary beer babe, Allison, picks up on notes of coconut, which we think is due to the oak. Either way, it’s delicious. Go buy some…RIGHT NOW.

4) Last but not least: THE ARTWORK. Southern Culture on the Skids, a band near and dear to Parkway’s heart, inspired the name and artwork for For Lovers Only. Keno, my wonderful boss and owner of Parkway, had SCOTC play at his wedding, for Denny’s sake! Here, have a listen to the beer’s namesake!

Give it a try it! Let us know what you think!

Cheers, Betches!


Beer + Brooklyn


Hey, peeps! Long time no chat. We had to take some time off after the very taxing 12 Days of Christmas. 😉 Surely you understand. My dad and I are in New York this week visiting my brother, Ed. We’ve had some incredible NY beers that I want to tell you about.


On Tuesday night we went to a cute little Italian spot in Downtown Brooklyn called Forno Rosso. The service was a bit spotty, and there was some confusion about what they had on draft, but I ended up with a decent IPA from Chelsea Brewing Company. It was light on the hops for my taste, but it paired well with my roasted vegetable pizza, and hit the spot after a long day of traveling. Dad started with a truly awful lager by Coney Island Brewing. It was totally flat and flavorless, but in Coney Island’s defense we think there was something wrong with the keg. There’s just no way a brewery would produce a beer that awful. Ed had Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, and while it’s not from New York, it deserves a mention for being so damn good.

Later that night Ed and I ventured back out to the Brazen Head, a cozy bar with an impressive draft list. We both tried the Bronx Rye Pale Ale, and I was surprised by how much I liked it! It definitely drinks more like an IPA, and while the rye is noticeable, it’s not overwhelming. I’ll have this one again.


Wednesday we had dinner at a no frills burger joint called two8two. The boys both tried Victory’s Pale Ale and enjoyed it a lot. I went with an old standby: Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace. I can’t say enough about this beer! The lemon/lemongrass flavors make it one of my favorite saisons, and it was a great compliment to my grilled cheese (yes, I’m a child…who drinks a lot of beer).


Thursday, after a looooong day of walking, we got thai at a hip, cozy, restaurant down the street from our AirBnB– Sage. Again, they had a great draft list, full of local options. I tried the Ithaca Flower Power IPA, Ed had Empire Brewing’s Amber Ale, and Dad went with The Crisp, Sixpoint’s lager. All were quality beers, but the food really stole the show. We split veggie dumplings with broccoli and sweet potato, served with sweet chili soy sauce (um, YUM!). Dad and I both got stir frys filled with fresh, perfectly cooked veggies, and Ed got a spicy, delicious-looking curry. I was really missing my fellow Barley Babe at this dinner! Maddy would have loved the food and the beer selection. The spice fiend that she is, I have a feeling she would have tried the Finback El Verano, a witbier with lemon and jalapeño.


After dinner Ed and I went to a couple of cute bars in the neighborhood. At Huckleberry Bar Ed had Singlecut’s rich, chocolately, milk stout nitro. I tried an interesting brew from Upstate Brewing, their India Pale Wheat. It featured the hoppiness you expect from an IPA, but also some wheat beer yeastiness. The can was my favorite part.


At The Drink Ed took a break from beer and had their warm, spicy Hot Toddy with bourbon. I tried Newburgh Brewing’s Smoked Gose, and it was one of the most interesting beers I’ve ever had. The smokiness was very present, but it still had the tart, refreshing flavor you expect from a gose.


We had  PACKED day yesterday, and went to several places we’ve blogged about before. Ed and I built Maddy an epic six pack at Top Hops Beer Shop and then we had a delicious dinner at Radegast. Today we’re off to Coney Island! Have a great weekend!

We Have a Winner!

Thanks so much for reading our guacamole pairing post and leaving such kind, carefully thought-out comments. We wish that all of you could win the Wholly Guacamole giveaway, but alas, there can only be one. So, without further ado, our randomly selected winner is…

[drumroll please]

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Amanda Stromecki!!

Maddy and Amanda met while working together at the Vintage Cellar, and they immdiately bonded over a shared love of beer and food. Amanda and her boyfriend Matt recently moved from Blacksburg to Salt Lake City, and we miss them terribly. Here’s some more interesting beer-related information about the lovely Amanda:

Favorite beer style: Sour
Favorite beer:
Yikes! I don’t think I’ve had it yet, but I’ll go with Weyerbacher Riserva
Least favorite beer: Bud Light!
Beer of the moment: Uinta Detour DIPA
Favorite brewery: Evil Twin
Favorite place to drink beer: The Cellar, Blacksburg
Best beer-related memory: I have so many! And somehow, they’re all a little hazy… I’m going to cheat and say sitting outside at the Cellar, sharing pitchers with my best friends
Most crucial guac ingredient (besides av): Lime
Best food/beer pairing: Imperial stout + an espresso brownie

Congratulations, Amanda! We know that you’ll take this guac to the next level by using it in your delicious cooking and serving it with just the right brews. Let us know if you discover a must-try pairing!

Boulevard Hibiscus Gose: My New Breakfast Beer

Hello, and a happy Monday to ya, beer peeps! I was just enjoying Boulevard’s Hibiscus Gose when I thought, “Damn, this is great. People need to know about this!” Some of you may be wondering, “What even is a gose?” A gose (pronounced go-zuh) is an unfiltered, German style wheat beer that uses a malted wheat and the addition of salt to create a crisp brew with a tangy, slightly sour aftertaste. And, guess what? It’s delicious.

I’ve been waiting for the Hibiscus Gose to come into Vintage Cellar for weeks, and when it finally arrived on Friday I snatched up a 6-pack and counted down the minutes until the end of my work day. It’s now Monday and I’m polishing off my last bottle. Needless to say, I LOVE THIS BEER.

hib and bot
Reasons why I love it:
1) It’s way too easy to drink at 4.2% ABV (hello, breakfast)
2) The slightly floral aftertaste balances the sour perfectly
3) It’s light and refreshing, perfect for these fleeting summer nights
4) The coral-pink color makes me feel fancy and happy

One note: this beer does have a slight smell of vinegar
…and I probably won’t drink it for breakfast…probably.


Reader’s Choice: Carolyn’s Picks



We love when readers recommend beers for us to try, and it’s even better when new brews are given to us as gifts! Our mom’s BFF Carolyn brought back two beers from her recent trip to New York: the Tweason’ale by Dogfish Head and the Freshchester Pale Ale by Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. My mom and I split these vastly different brews with dinner one night last week.

The Tweason’ale is unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted. It was created specifically for those who suffer from Celiac disease, so it has a sorghum base (a gluten-free grain) instead of the classic barley foundation. The description mentions “vibrant strawberry notes,” which made me a little nervous. I enjoy a wheat beer with a wedge of citrus fruit, but fruity beers aren’t typically my thing. However, we found that the Tweason’ale tasted like a dry, minimally-carbonated cider with just a hint of strawberry flavor. I probably wouldn’t buy this beer again, but I think it’s a great option for those who are gluten-free, or prefer cider to beer.

The Captain Lawrence Freshchester Pale Ale was more to my liking. It’s notably bitter and has a strong citrus presence, which makes it more flavorful than many beers of this style. Captain Lawrence is located in Elmsford, NY, just 40 minutes north of Manhattan. Ed, next time we visit I think a road trip is in order? I’m dying to try their imperial IPA, the Captain’s Reserve. It has a score of 93 on Beer Advocate!


Thanks again for bringing these back, Carolyn! We may make a beer drinker out of you yet. 😉 Hope everyone is having a relaxing, beer-filled Labor Day!