I can’t believe it’s the 9th annual OC Brew Ha Ha event tomorrow! I have been going since the 2nd annual event, and it’s crazy to think it’s been that long. It’s no secret it’s one of my favorite events of the year in Orange County, so I’m really excited to attend. Last year was the perfect weather for once, it’s normally sweltering hot. Here’s to hoping for another super fun event!
This year, the general tickets include:
* Unlimited tastings
* 100+ Craft & Import Beers
* Commemorative Festival Glass
* Live Entertainment
* Craft Beer Seminars by renowned industry experts
* Golden State Cigar Lounge
* Fun and Hilarious Games and Exhibitors
When: Tomorrow, Sept. 15th 2018
5305 E. Santiago Canyon Rd
Silverado, CA 92676
GENERAL ADMISSION – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
$45 – $55
Unlimited Beer Tastes
Commemorative Festival Glass
VIP ADMISSION – 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
$60 – $70
Unlimited Beer Tastes
Commemorative Festival Glass
One Hour Early Entry
Access to all the OC Brew Ha Ha has to offer
My good friend Derek Bougie, former brewmaster of Newport Beach Brew Co and Brewcaipa, is now the lead brewer at Angry Horse in Montebello and invited me to attend the first of many dinners at the brewery. I was excited to visit Angry Horse as it was a first time there, and it’s always nice to see my long-time friend.
We were there for the dinner with Chef Jose Vazquez of East Side Eats LA catering company paired with Angry Horse beers. It was an ambitious menu considering there was no kitchen in the back of the brew house, but they somehow was able to pull things off! Some dishes were plated and others were family style, and everything was executed quickly and with professionalism.
Course 1: Lettuce and Lager
Market Lettuce, Cherry, “Lager” crema, Golden Beet, Queso Fresco, Crouton. Paired with San G Lager 6.2% ABV. It was a refreshing salad eventhough beets aren’t my favorite thing in the world. It was fresh and crisp and light, and I noted there was a hint of garlic or something umami-ish in the crutons that was really tasty.
Course 2: Some-Fin to Talk About
Hamachi Crudo, Tomatillo Vinegar, Chayote Slaw with Red AF – a tart cherry saison, 6% ABV. The fish was fresh and light in flavor and the vinegar slaw was crunchy and tasty. It had lots of nice mouthfeel, and I admit I ate it pretty quickly.
Course 3: All The Good Stuff
Stone Fruit Granita, Lemon & Mint Vinegar paired with Lil’ Peach Kettle Sour 7.4% ABV. This was a nice enough granita, I just wish it was a little bit less vinegar-forward. I think I am sensitive to vinegar as a flavor profile, because my husband said he loved his. I did love the stone fruit flavors in this.
Course 4: Pretty In Pork
Pork Tender, Piloncillo, Serrano, Charred Market Sugar Snap Peas paired with Hey Z NE Style IPA 7.1% ABV. This was my favorite dish of the night. I’ve never had such tender pork, it melted in your mouth! The snap peas were a great addition, it added the little bit of texture the soft pork needed, and there was a slight garlic undertone that fit in nicely with the theme of the meal. The family-style dish was a nice touch, I made a nice portion for myself and poured some of the drippings over it.
Course 5: Peaches n’ Cream
Market White Peach Tart, Cherry Cream paired with Imperial Cherry Porter 10% ABV. The tart was delicious, rich but not heavy, and the crust was hearty and had some interesting sweetness. I thought it was almond but was later told it was graham cracker. It reminded me a bit of a cake my grandma used to make called a mazariner, which is a Swedish almond tart. It had that mix of nostalgia that makes baking so special. I would also like to note it wasn’t too sweet, it had a balance to it that most people don’t understand how to do well. There’s nothing like a cloyingly sweet dessert from people who just don’t get it to appreciate a deft hand’s skillful dish.
Phew, it’s been awhile you guys. I’ll admit, I took a break from blogging for a few reasons, namely not balancing my work/life properly. I love my job, and since working there I started doing more and more, especially with photography and social media. It made doing things for my blog feel like work instead of fun, and I desperately needed a break to strip everything away and get back to the reason I started this blog to begin with. I realized baking and making cool stuff with beer had become so minimal on here, so with renewed motivation I am glad to be back!
With that being said, I have a few cool recipes I will be sharing with you, along with a bunch of back-logged posts I just didn’t have the motivation to write. I am like a hoarder of edited photos, so be ready to – I’ve got a bunch of awesome stuff to share!
Without further ado, I present to you – Beer Caramel Corn made with Ninkasi’s Vanilla Oatis! I am a huge fan of Ninkasi, as you may know, so I wanted to do something cool with their vanilla stout that was a bit unexpected. I made this caramel corn recipe for a work event (see what I mean) last year and never got around to blogging about it, but I remember people raved about it being so delicious and addicting. It was a match made in heaven!
8 quarts of popped popcorn (I have an air pop because I am obsessed with popcorn, but you can just buy the unflavored bags of microwaved popcorn or use your stove top to make it too… I like the big kernels for this)
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark, don’t matter)
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of Vanilla Oatis Beer
Heat your oven to 250 degrees F. Spray large roasting tray with cooking spray. It needs to be really large, like the one you would use for a turkey, or two of those tin disposable trays would do. Place your popped popcorn in the roasting tray and let it sit in the oven while you prepare your caramel. This helps dry out the popcorn of any leftover moisture, and heat it so the caramel doesn’t seize when you pour it on.
I don’t know if many of you get all your ingredients measured first, then make your recipe, but I typically don’t – with one exemption…. when making candy. You should never turn your back on candy, because it can burn in the blink of an eye. Always prep everything first. Put your brown sugar and corn syrup and salt and butter in a medium to large sauce pan. The butter will splash a bit so have some room to mix it. Pre-measure your baking soda and beer (in separate bowls) and set aside. Cook the sugar mixture over medium heat, whisking continuiously, until it starts to boil. Once it’s boiling, let it boil for 5 minutes without touching it. After five minutes, take your popcorn out of the oven, take the sugar mixture off the heat, and mix in the baking soda and beer with a whisk into the sugar mixture. It should react to the baking soda and foam up a bit. That’s good!
Pour the sugar caramel mixture over the popcorn as quckly and evenly as possible. Mix it around with two spatulas as best as you can to get it evenly distributed. Put it back in the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes, take it out every 15 minutes or so to mix around to ensure even coating, and maximum crunchiness.
Prepare a space to spread out the candy on a flat surface (I put a towel down, then a large sheet of tin foil I sprayed with cooking spray and folded the edges up so it wouldn’t go everywhere). Put the finished popcorn on the flat surface and spread it out with a spatula so it’s an even layer. Sprinkle with some extra sea salt as desired. I prefer salty & sweet so I added sea salt when it was right out of the oven so it would stick to the popcorn.
Let cool & enjoy! It should keep for about a week in airtight containers. It made enough for three gallon ziploc bags.
Needless to say, this was a huge hit! I think the beer added a subtle vanilla malty note to the sugar and butter flavors of this popcorn. I thought I was in trouble for having made so much of it. Luckily my co-workers couldn’t keep their hands off of it, and my husband gave a bag away to our friends work and they devoured it as well. I highly recommend making this, it keeps well, and it’s universally loved. It’s a great deviation from the typical baked item!