Some beers are just made for experimenting with in the kitchen. The Bruery’s Autumn Maple is one of these beers with a description that reads:
“Brewed with 17 lbs. of yams per barrel (in other words, a lot of yams!), this autumn seasonal is a different take on the “pumpkin” beer style. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, and fermented with our traditional Belgian yeast strain, this bold and spicy beer is perfect on a cold autumn evening.”
More like perfect for turning into delicious meals to eat on cold autumn evenings (or mornings) if you ask me! The brown ale is a spicy beer with hints of sweetness from the yams and maple syrup and low bitterness (25 IBUs), and is super versatile in the kitchen. You could go sweet or savory, soup or casserole, meat or vegetable. The possibilities are endless, so when The Bruery offered to mail me some bottles to cook with, I couldn’t wait to get to work.
The hardest part of this task was narrowing down the options for what I wanted to make. Given the flavors in the beer, I knew I wanted to focus on dishes that screamed fall. I also knew I wanted to do something with an Autumn Maple Braised pulled pork, some kind of baked good, and a vegetarian dish. After a lot of hard decision making, I ended up with a line-up of meals that will allow you to get your Autumn Maple fix at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Could it get any better than that? Here is a brief description of each dish that I came up with (click on the picture for full details and recipe).
This fine example of a scone is made with oats, raisins, and beer then topped with more beer in the form of an Autumn Maple glaze. They have just a hint of sweetness and faint notes of the Autumn Maple. Simply split open, top with butter, and serve alongside fruit and coffee for a fantastic start to any day. Plus, who doesn’t want beer in their breakfast? Move over Starbucks’ blueberry scone, the beer scone has arrived!
This is a hearty grilled sandwich on sourdough composed of Autumn Maple braised pulled pork, Gruyere cheese, and Autumn Maple cranberry relish. It’s a fall inspired, beer soaked beauty of a sandwich. Serve with a bowl of soup or simple salad and you have one awesome lunch that will put your ham sandwich to shame.
This flavorful, but light meatless gratin is the perfect meal for a cool autumn evening. Thin slices of butternut squash are layered with spinach and an Autumn Maple sauce then topped off with a generous layer of cheese. It gets baked in the oven until golden brown and bubbly. The flavors in the beer shine in this dish and add great richness to the squash and spinach. To round out the meal, serve with a warm salad such as a roasted mushroom, arugula and red onion salad.