Archive for April, 2009

The Easter Beer Ham

I’m doing a crossover post with my personal blog since it suits both places. This is the Easter Beer Ham that Lushie and I worked on this year. Its been a couple of weeks since we’ve made it and the taste of deliciousness is still present.

It was difficult to decide on the right beer that would compliment the ham. That was until I opened a Coney Island Lager ( ) from Shmaltz brewing ( ) while prepping the side dishes. The beer has a mild malt flavor and some bite from hops which will balance the sweetness of the brown sugar we’re going to use.

Go see the beer ham goodness over at Flickr and follow the steps below in making this beer food porn gem.

What we used:

What to do:

  1. Place ham in center of casserrole dish
  2. 1 inch deep cuts made around the top so the beer bath will be able to soak in
  3. Put 1 cup of packed brown sugar into a large bowl
  4. Add 2 cups of Coney Island Lager to the brown sugar and whisk together
  5. Pour  the mix over the ham where you made the cuts so it runs down covering the ham
  6. Let the ham sit for a few minutes while you prep your side dishes
  7. Bake 15 minutes per pound. Since ours was 7lbs we baked for 105minutes or 1hr 45minutes
  8. Baste your ham with the beer bath every 15 minutes. For smaller hams than 4lbs I’d suggest every 10. Judgment call really, just don’t let it burn
  9. The beer bath that you were basting it in will put a sweetness to the outside that you’re going to be temped to lick. Err I mean wait to enjoy at dinner
  10. Let the ham sit for 5-10 minutes. It will finish cooking itself while resting and locking in the juice
  11. Slice to size you prefer. I like it .5 – 1 inch
  12. Use the leftover bath as a gravy. Plate, serve and enjoy!

We weren’t worried about presentation at this point. The aroma of beer and ham was intoxicating (no pun intended).

Let me know how it works out for you!



43 – Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils


I wasn’t aware that this was available in PA until I stopped by 3 Sons today with Teaspoon. Oskar Blues is the only craft beer company that, in my opinion, have been able to master the can. Time to see if this lives up to the name.

Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Oskar Blues –
serving size:
glass used:
price: $2.75

Our new canned good is a delicious, small-batch version of the beer that made Pilsen, Czechoslovakia famous. Mama’s is made with hearty amounts of pale malt, German specialty malts, and traditional (Saaz) and 21st century Bavarian hops. It’s the perfect antidote for the watered-down, cornfed versions of pilsner clogging America’s shelves. Our first canned lager, it’s also fermented at cool temperatures with a German yeast. While it’s rich with Czeched-out flavor, Mama’s gentle hopping (about 35 IBUs) and low ABV (just 5.3%) makes it a luxurious but low-dose beer. Look for our Gold Metal Winner on US shelves in March. Sadly, the Feds rejected our “Take Two and Call Us in the Morning” line on the can.

What I think

First thought that came to mind was Miller Lite’s more experienced brother. The aroma and initial taste was that of ML (which if I’m going macro, I drink) which is grassy/hay-like but the flavor is much more mature.  The pour was bubbly white head and the body was the color of gold we think of as kids and in cartoons. Crayola needs to work on this. If you’re staring out on pilsners this is the way to go. The taste was sharp, malty and like the aroma, slight hay, but in a good way. The finish is a tad bitter and hoppy.

I think I found my new summer session beer while watching some baseball or sitting on my back porch.

Spoon’s rating: B


42 – Arcadia Shipwreck Porter


When I started drinking craft beers on a regular basis for our show Shipwreck Porter was my first ever “WOW” beer. In fact their owner Tim Suprise was the first major brewery owner I had ever met back in 06.  This is the 2007 vintage that was aged when I picked it up at Fat Heads. Rumors of Arcadia’s demise in the Pittsburgh area has been great exaggerated.

Arcadia Brewing Shipwreck Porter
Arcadia Brewing Company –
Baltic Porter
serving size:
glass used:
Sam Adams Perfect Beer glass
awards: 2007 Winner, 1st Place, Chicago Beer Society
price: $10

Nothing like a 10-year-old Bourbon to add dimension to a beer!  This Baltic-style Porter has a robust, roasted malt emphasis that is nicely balanced by a slightly herbal hop bitterness.  Aged for 6 months in 10-year-old Kentucky Bourbon barrels, Shipwreck Porter is a tasty and tasteful combination of  brilliant flavors.  Bourbon adds notes of earth, vanilla, brown sugar and spice, while the barrels contribute mild, oaky tones.  Cocoa and coffee notes co-mingle with toasty, malty flavors and a lingering alcohol warmth.

This is a BIG beer.  Lots of alcohol and lots of flavor mean this brew can cellar for years.  Our Shipwreck Porter is delicious on its own or with a nice cigar, but also brilliant with many foods or as a digestif.

Recommended Foods:  Earthy Cheese such as Camembert, BBQ, Chocolate-Bourbon Cake

What I think
Aging a beer in my house is a rare thing and I only started recently. Mostly due to the fact beer never lasts that long in my house but with Teaspoon my beverage time is next to none. When I stopped at Fat Head’s and found a bottle of 07 I knew I was in for a treat.

My main concern was that the already present bourbon would be strong enough to take lead paint off my 1970’s Matchbox cars and probably run a truck. I’m glad to report I was wrong. In fact it mellowed enough over the 18 months that I was taken to a new land of craft beer bliss.  The head still poured a caramel tone and hung around for a few minutes. The aroma was bourbon, oak and malty. Shipwreck carried a medium body and finished with a malty bourbon slide. Unfortunately Fat Heads had the bottles in the cooler only so I’m hesitant to pick one up and store it in the beer cellar. Anyone have advice on this?

Spoon’s rating: A


“Beer Wars” The Movie – TONIGHT ONLY!


Live from Los Angeles, an evening dedicated to celebrating the world of craft beer and the American entrepreneurial spirit.

With over 95 million beer drinkers, beer is an American icon and is interwoven into our culture, yet the real story of these independent brewers has never been told. Beer Wars introduces the who’s who in beer while following the journey of small, independent brewers who are challenging the corporate behemoths. The evening will feature the world premiere of the groundbreaking documentary Beer Wars, followed by a spirited LIVE discussion with brewers and experts from the film. Using clips and never before seen footage to spice things up, this inspirational event will cap a movement 25 years in the making at a time when everyone is looking for proof that the American Dream is alive and well.

Panelists include:

  • Sam Calagione – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery founder
  • Rhonda Kallman – Founder of New Century Brewing Company and co-founder of Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)
  • Greg Koch – Stone Brewing Company founder
  • Charlie Papazian – Brewers Association president
  • Maureen Ogle – Beer historian and author of “Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer”
  • Todd Alstrom – Beer Advocate founder

Playing in 440 movie theaters nationwide on Thursday, April 16th, Beer Wars LIVE will begin a conversation about the future of beer in America.

Purchase tickets for the LIVE event on April 16th at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/8pm PT (tape delayed) at

For more information, visit

Beer Wars will be showing at 2 local theaters.

Showcase Cinemas Pittsburgh West
301 Park Manor Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Cinemark Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills
425 Pittsburgh Mills Circle
Tarentum, PA 15084

The SIDT crew will be at the Pittsburgh Mills showing. Stop out and join us!



41 – Left Coast Brewing Black Magic Stout


I picked up this bottle also at D’s 6pk Shop in Regent Square. Unfortunately there was no price on the bottle or shelf (that’s common in the beer cave) and was part of a special on mixed 6packs.

Never heard of it but they carried the full series so I figured why not.

Left Coast Brewing Black Magic Stout
Left Coast Brewing Company –
American Stout
serving size:
glass used:
awards: Silver Medal Winner 2007 San Diego County Fair | Gold medal Winner 2007 LA County Fair | Gold Medal Winner 2007 California State Fair.
price: no idea, price tags are apparently tough to come by these days

Simply a stronger version of a traditional Dry Irish Stout. It is a full bodied, dark brew that is rich and malty with plenty of roasted barley character. This hearty stout is layered with flavors of roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee.

What I think
I don’t normally go for non-imperial bottles that have collected dust but something spoke to me about this bottle. Basically I was thirsty and needed something to complete the 6pk.

The pour was average and the head was a light tan but astonishingly the nose was that of stale chocolate or old coffee beans. To my surprise this would be a  palatable adventure. Malty in the front and coffee in the back but yet for a thin bodied stout this was resting quite peacefully on my palate. I started to pick up notes of dark roasted beans and a Hershey’s syrup favored chocolate. I really want to give this beer an “A” but the aroma was a huge turnoff for me.

Spoon’s rating: B+


40 – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout


I missed posting last week since Teaspoon is officially home with us now and as you can expect things have been hectic. I picked up this bottle at D’s 6pk Shop in Regent Square. Unfortunately there was no price on the bottle or shelf (that’s common in the beer cave) and was part of a special on mixed 6packs.

Founders have finally arrived in Pennsylvania and have made a huge splash as one of the most sought after brewers of the year now available in the commonwealth.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Founders Brewing Company –
Imperial American Stout
serving size:
glass used:
pint (snifter ran away. please come home)
price: $6.00

A bit of backwoods pleasure without the banjo. This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels. Our process ensures that strong bourbon undertones come through in the finish in every batch we brew. We recommend decanting at room temperature and best enjoyed in a brandy snifter.

What I think
I can say that since the start of this blog I’ve now reached beervana twice. KBS is in my top 5 of best beers ever. I was able to get KBS to appropriate room temp but my snifter is missing so I had to settle on a pint glass. Even with different glassware this was a fantastic experience. There was about a medium sized head on the pour but that was my fault. Instantly I was picking up strong coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I love the smell. The pour wasn’t as thick and dark as motor oil but a coffeehouse dark blend.

Now the taste. Oh sweet Jesus the taste. Someone new to craft beers would never believe this is a beer. A delightful balance of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and malt that took me back to my coffeehouse days of the early-mid 90’s while sporting my grunge swag. The mouth feel smooth and creamy but not overpowering. Each savor you pick up something new. It’s like the chewing gum from Willy Wonka without the need for de-juicing. Started with coffee, picked up some vanilla, then a bit chocolate and finished with malty goodness. Have I mentioned this is aged in bourbon barrels?  Oh yeah. the final treat is the grand finale of bourbon wood.

If you’re going to win over the beer downers in your circle of friends this is what you want to serve them. Although, you give them the best off the bat and they’ll expect it from every brewery. Give them a sample and taunt them forever.

Spoon’s rating: A+

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