Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

Cooking with the Best in Beer

These three recipes feature a few of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®’s Beers of the Year, for a different way of enjoying their distinctiv­e quality and flavors. By Justin Kruger and Justin Wright


Mac and Wayfinder Relapse IPA Cheese with Andouille Sausage

Serves: 4

1 box cavatappi pasta

1 lb (454 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 8 oz (227 g) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

12 oz (355 ml) Wayfinder Relapse IPA

(or similar) 1 Tbs granulated garlic

1 lb (454 g) andouille sausage links Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste 1 cup panko breadcrumb­s

Prepare the pasta according to package instructio­ns and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). In a large bowl, mix the cheeses and flour together then add the mustard, beer, and garlic. Mix thoroughly until everything is fully incorporat­ed.

In a medium skillet or on your grill, cook the sausages until fully cooked. While the sausages are cooling, place the cheese mixture into a large pot and bring it to medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat when the mixture is fully melted.

Cut the sausages into ½" (13 mm) rounds and add to the sauce. Mix the pasta with the sauce, season with salt and pepper, then pour the mixture into an 8" × 11" (20 × 28 cm) baking dish and cover with panko breadcrumb­s. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly along the edges, then serve warm.

Beer Tasting Notes: Candy orange slices and catty dankness intertwine in the aroma of this “Cold IPA”—A bright, crisp hybrid of lager and Northweste­rn IPA. It pours a beautiful golden-straw with ample white foam. Moderately sweet but firmly bitter on the sip, with deep-woods pine and grapefruit-peel notes. Easy to drink for its strength, without any rough-resin astringenc­y lingering afterward. Takes the best of the lean West Coast style and makes it leaner, without leaving out the classic PNW hop aroma and flavor. What the Beer Does for the Dish: Cooking with bitter-tasting beers is generally difficult, because the bitterness concentrat­es when you cook down the liquid. In this case, the cheese’s fat helps to soften the bitterness, while the spicy element of the sausage helps to restore a bit of definition to that bitterness without becoming unpleasant. Since the andouille and cheese are such big components, expect a more subtle expression of fruit and pine. Try taking a bite of andouille alone while drinking a sip of beer, then mac and cheese alone while sipping, and then mac and cheese with the andouille with another sip—the flavor profile should change with each different bite.

pfriem Czech Dark Lager–steamed Halibut, in Parchment

Serves: 4 1 sweet onion, julienne cut

3–4 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into

thin slices

2–3 medium parsnips, scrubbed and cut

into thin slices, tough core removed Parchment paper cut into four 12" × 12"

(30 × 30 cm) squares

20 oz (567 g) halibut filet, portioned into

four 5 oz (142 g) pieces


4 Tbs butter, divided into 1 Tbs pieces

4 sprigs fresh thyme

12 oz (355 ml) pfriem Czech Dark Lager,

divided into 3 oz (89 ml) portions 2 lemons, halved

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Prep the vegetables and separate them into four equal portions.

Lay out one square of parchment and place one piece of halibut in the center of the square. Season the fish with salt and place one portion of the vegetables, one pat of butter, and one sprig of thyme on top of each filet. Fold the parchment closed on the diagonal and crimp 90 percent shut. Pour 3 oz (89 ml) of beer into the parchment packet and finish closing, making sure the packet is well sealed. Repeat for the other three filets, vegetables, butter, thyme, and beer.

Carefully place the packets onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the parchment is golden brown and puffy. While the fish is cooking, char the lemon halves pulp side down in a sauté pan (medium high) or on a grill.

Remove the fish from the oven and place each square on a plate. Cut open the packet and serve with charred lemon drizzled over the top.

Beer Tasting Notes: This Czech-style tmavé is everything that’s captivatin­g about the style, from the bright floral Noble-hop aroma to the toasted bready and lightly chocolatey malt body, finishing clean and (mostly) dry. You could think of this beer as the cousin to schwarzbie­r and dunkel— complex and malt-forward, with a low level of IBUS but higher perceived bitterness because of the combinatio­n of the chocolate malt and Saaz hops.

What the Beer Does for the Dish: In this pairing, it might seem like the light, delicate fish would clash with the dark, mildly roasted beer, but the herbal notes in the beer pull it all together. The lightly bitter roast character adds a grill-like depth to the light and flaky fish without subjecting it to an actual grill. The earthy character from the vegetables blends well with the roasted malt, giving the vegetables a touch of roast bitterness. The fish itself is light and flaky, but still high in omega-3s, so the light malt and hop bitterness will balance out the fatty character.

Reuben’s Three Ryes Men Apple Pie à la Mode

Makes: 1 pie


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

10 oz (283 g) butter, grated and kept in the freezer

until needed

4 oz (118 ml) Reuben’s Three Ryes Men ryewine, cold 9" (23 cm) pie pan

In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt three times, then add the cold butter to the processor and pulse 10 times, or until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the beer and pulse in small intervals until the dough starts to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with plastic film and knead with hands until it’s smooth. Divide the dough into two equal balls, wrap with film, and smash into disks. Rest for 30 minutes.


8 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored, and sliced ¼" (6 mm) thick

1 tsp salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbs lemon juice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp fresh grated nutmeg

4 oz (118 ml) Reuben’s Three Ryes Men ryewine

2 Tbs cornstarch

Mix the apples, salt, sugar, lemon juice, and spices and place in a colander over a bowl, then allow to sit for 30 minutes. Transfer the drained apple mixture to another bowl.

To the liquid that has collected in the bowl under the colander, add the beer. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and start to simmer. Whisk 2 Tbs of water with the cornstarch and pour into simmering liquid, then set the burner to low. Cook for 2 minutes, allow the mixture to cool to room temperatur­e, then mix with the apple mixture.

While the liquid is cooling, unwrap the dough disks and roll them into two rounds that are larger than your pie pan. Place one crust into the pie pan, center it, and make sure that there are no air gaps between the crust and the pan. Spread the apples evenly in the crust and roll the second crust over the apples. Trim and crimp the edge of the pie, cut three 1" (25 mm) slits into the top crust and place the pie in the refrigerat­or for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C) and place the pie on a baking sheet on the middle rack. Bake until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling in the slits. Allow to cool for 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle beer caramel sauce (see below) over both the pie and ice cream while serving.

Barrel-aged Ryewine Caramel Sauce

8 oz (237 ml) Reuben’s Three Ryes Men ryewine 2 cups dark brown sugar

2 Tbs heavy cream

8 Tbs unsalted butter

In a 2-quart (1.9 l) saucepan, bring the beer and brown sugar to a low simmer. Avoid stirring, but remove from the heat if it begins to rise toward the top of the pot to avoid a boil-over. Reduce by one-third.

Remove from the heat and add the cream and butter, swirling the pan. Return to the heat, bring back to a simmer, and cook until the butter is melted and incorporat­ed.

Pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool or pour over the pie and ice cream immediatel­y.

You can store this sauce tightly covered in the refrigerat­or for up to a month. To reheat, spoon some of the sauce into a microwave-proof bowl and pulse on high heat at 5-second intervals until hot.

Beer Tasting Notes: This big, rich beer features strong and characterf­ul flavors of vanilla, oak, coconut, caramel, and dark fruits, balanced with just enough herbal-hop spice. Some similar beers rely on sugar to balance the alcohol and intensity, but Reuben’s keeps the body reasonably tight and well-structured.

What the Beer Does for the Dish: Normally, apple pie is made with classic tart apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, a dash of lemon for some acid, and a toasted crust. The rich beer with layers of savory spice and sweet vanilla and coconut flavors adds a curious but familiar depth to both the crust and the apple filling. In the crust, the beer focuses those toast-like flavors and adds just a bit of rich toffee. In the filling, the dark-fruit notes highlight the cinnamon and nutmeg. The tart apples are slightly muted because of the general sweetness of the beer, but the herbal spice in the beer stands in for some of that tart brightness.

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