Friday, January 27, 2006

News: Cooking with Beer

Was directed to a very informative article in the Chicago Tribune today about cooking with beer. The article includes a chart that suggests recipes that might go well with each beer style. There is also an Ale-Brined Chicken Wings recipe at the end. (Note that you may have to register to read the article.)

And speaking of recipes, the article also references two websites that might be worth checking out: and Haven't tried either, but plan to add them to my repertoire.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Review: South of the Border Beer Hunter

Recently spent a week in Mexico (Sayulita, just north of Puerto Vallarta). Amazing town--small and not terribly touristy. Great weather, but I'm burned out on the Mexican beer. Not surprisingly, not a lot of craft beer! There were 3 beers that we drank a lot of, all brewed by Grupo Modelo (and it's interesting to note that the links to the beers below seem to focus more on sales of the beer than on the taste or other characteristics).
Pacifico--Probably the better of the three. Typical American Macro Lager. Pale, not much flavor, some malt, zero hops. More flavor than some typical rice/barley lagers. Not great, but good on a hot day.
Corona--Yep, even at the source, it's still skunky. Bleah. What do they insist on those clear bottles? When not skunky, it's okay with a lime and still better than most American Macros, but just barely.
Modelo Especial--I was excited to try this one because I really like Negra Modelo and the Especial isn't readily available in the States (at least not in the Midwest). Boy, was I disappointed. This stuff sucks. Think Bud Light. I should have know when I realized that it only came in cans.

There were, however, three other beers that I did try (two of which I enjoyed). The first was Sol. Pretty much the same as above. Somewhere between Corona and Pacifico. The second, Negra Modelo, is always good. The final beer, which I stumbled upon, and which, to the best of my knowledge, isn't available locally, was Noche Buena. It's a dark Christmas beer and was excellent (at least, given the competition). I picked up a bottle every day we went into town. If only every Mexican beer had been this good.

One beer I didn't have a lot of was Bohemia, the Mexican Vienna lager. It's great stuff, but it was a little hard to find, and when I did find it, it was a choice between Bohemia and Noche Buena.

All things considered, I was disappointed, but not surprised, by the Mexican beers I sampled. In the end, I drank a lot of tequila instead.