Friday, October 12, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.
Craft beer: It's not just for drinking anymore
With our local beer scene booming and more people catching the home-brewing bug every day, it makes sense that just about every decent Twin Cities restaurant seems to understand the importance of curating a respectable beer list. But we've also seen a wonderful growing trend of restaurants showcasing those local beers in a unique way. They're using them as the base or inspiration for everything from pot pies to puddings.
We introduced you to some of our favorite sweet beer-based dishes in part 1
. Here's a roundup of some of the best savory offerings that local restaurants are serving up, using local and regional beers.
Muddy's kitchen team slow cooks pot roast in the coffee-tinged brown ale for hours, infusing it with flavor and giving a caramel-like flavor to the meat. They serve it with beans, bacon, and ridiculously delicious white cheddar grits.
They often park outside Fulton brewery on taproom days, so it makes sense that the great minds behind Gastrotruck food truck would be inspired to create a dish that uses Fulton beer. Their hearty and warming, biscuit-topped potpie isn't available all the time, but if they have it on the menu it's worth ordering. The thick, veggie-laden gravy is made with Fulton's uber-popular Sweet Child of Vine.
It's a very obvious use for beer, but something about the Hope and King Scotch ale Town Hall uses to cook its brats really does it for us. The meat takes on the raisiny, complex flavors and makes that first snappy bite all the more satisfying. Town Hall makes several varieties of brat, including a Jamaican-inspired version with jerk spices, but our favorite is the traditional currywurst.
These melt-in-your-mouth potato creations deserve to be heralded as more than just French fries. B & B's kitchen team makes them by first soaking the potatoes in milk before dousing them in a batter made with Fulton's soapy, hoppy Sweet Child of Vine. The result is a puffy plank of potato with a super-soft inside and a bubbly-crisp exterior.
It's been an institution for 35 years, just like the restaurant itself, and for the last several years Muffuletta has been making its classic beer cheese soup with Summit Extra Pale Ale. The hop-forward brew gives a tinge of sourness that offsets the salty cheddar base. Finished off with a handful of popcorn, it's a fall lunchtime staple.
That uncannily light batter, beautiful color, and slightly sweet finish on George and the Dragon's classic English pub fish and chips comes from using Fulton's Lonely Blonde in the mix. We recommend getting it with mushy peas and another Lonely Blonde to wash it all down.
What are your savory favorites?