Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beer, Bread, Bacon

Yesterday (I guess you could just look at the date of the post to find out when it was, although just putting in May 26 would probably save a lot of useless words; but I'm verbose, so whatchagonnadoaboutit?) we had a Memorial Day gathering at the house. We invited a bunch of people, and even rescheduled it so that the gathering would be at a better time/day for more people to come by and have some good beers. I forgot that, I shouldn't bother.

In attendance were, XG, nEighbour, big brad and donna, meat jennifer and the girls, hippy, and nate also showed up. Originally I had hoped to just be sitting around under the shade tree, sipping on good beer; but it was a little wet from some rain, so we spent most of the time in the garage, sitting around, sipping on good beer.

One of the things in life that everyone needs, is a good friend, who is a chef. I can not emphasize enough, how awesome it is to have a friend who, not only can cook, but can put together some AWESOME dishes. XG is that person for me. Several years ago she made the best cheesecake I've ever had, for me to take up to my dad's for thanksgiving. When I asked her to come down for the gathering, she asked if she could bring anything; so I thought, what would go better with beer, than it's brother (or is it a cousin?), BREAD.

Beer is usually 4 ingredients, Barley, Water, Yeast and Hops. If you take away the hops and use a different grain like wheat, you've pretty much got bread. So XG brought down some great bread, (there was even the possibility of us making some beer bread with leftover beer from the Mama Mia Pizza Beer, but it was too hot inside to run the oven for any time). She made an OUTSTANDING focaccia, a loaf of french (I think) and a loaf of something similar (I can't remember exactly). She also made some pretzels along with a cheese dip. Everythign was awesome!

Heck, I was dipping the bread into one of the beers, loosening up the bread and thickening up the beer. It was great. Beer as gravy!

I started sampling beers around noon, and finally finished around 10 or so (I think). There was a wide range of beer from all over the U.S. and the world, covering a lot of styles too.

Brad brought an Avery Collaboration (batch 002), and some little kings. Meat was going to bring beers, but didn't' need to as we didn't even finish up all the beer I put into the fridge. We had: Stone Imperial Russian Stout (I later sold a bottle to brad, cuz he really liked it); Mikkeller Blackhole; Mikkeller Bad Worse barleywine; Hoogstraten Poorter; Terrapin Side Project #1 Hop Shortage; BBC Russian Imperial Porter (good for dipping bread into); 3 Monts Flanders Golden; Lefthand Double IPA; Mama Mia Pizza Beer; and Grumpy Troll Brandy Spetznaz.

Brad conned me into putting a DL 2k8 into the cooler, so we also had one of those. Ah, now I see why I feel a little funny today, I drank half a bottle of Dark Lord. nEighbour brought over a bottle from his fridge, that was my and hippy's stout, that beer has definitely improved with time. Brad really seemed to enjoy it, and I liked it a lot more too. Also in the fridge was my Welcome Back Pat, in the newly acquired Tap a Draft System. That one came out pretty good too.

Those were the main beers that were drank, additinoally there was a Great Lakes Blackout Stout that someone had, and probably some other things. (I had a couple of Old Styles, to hydrate).

Other than the bread that XG brought, everyone brought some food. Brad and donna brought these ribeye griller things that had cheese. Kriddy made some little smokies. Jennifer made some jalapeƱo stuffed things. Oh, and oddly enough everything was wrapped in bacon. (Hence the title; beer, bread, bacon.) All the food was awesome and I couldn't stop eating. Brad's griller things were outstanding. He didn't like cooking them on the charcoal grill, but they came out great. Jennifers Jalapeno things were damn good. Kriddys smokies were a hit too. After everyone left, I started eating the bread dipped in the bottom of the crock pot that had the smokies. Bread dipped in bacon grease is one of my new favorite foods. I guess it's probably not very healthy.

I'm sitting here today, oozing hops. Also, I'm a little queasy. I don't have a headache, as I don't get headaches, but this is about as close as I come to a hangover.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, which was nice. Another good part was that nobody died on my deck. I keep thinking I'm going to have one of those Chicago style "kill all your friends" parties, but my deck somehow stands up. I'd guess if everyone was on it the whole time, it may not survive, but who knows.

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