Sahara’s Blog #8: Cooking With Beer

Your Recipes, Our Beers!

For this installment of my WhichCraft blog, I asked you to submit your own home recipes involving beer, and I got some really wonderful submissions. These six were my personal favorites.

All of these recipes utilize beers that you can purchase at the store individually, or buy the 6 pack that corresponds with the blog.

I’ll start with a delightful dessert recipe from my friend Anastacia Kelly, part of The Beerists Podcast, and beer buyer for The Whip In.

Berry Berliner Weiss Cupcakes


1 cup Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weiss

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup beer and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add beer and butter mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

For the frosting:

1 cup berries

4 oz cream cheese

4 oz soft goat cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Muddle berries of your choice with a squeeze of lemon juice and a tablespoon of sugar.

With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese with goat cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar.

Slowly add heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl.

Add your muddled berries and chill until cool and stiff.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


Will’s Beer Stew

This recipe comes from my cousin Will Urban in Oklahoma City.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large dived onion

4 crushed garlic cloves

2 lbs ground turkey

28 oz crushed tomatoes

10 oz corn

15 oz rinsed kidney beans

1/3 cup honey

2 diced poblano peppers

3 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons pepper sauce

3 beef bouillon cubes

1-2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 bottle Left Hand Milk Stout


Sautee onion in oil. Add Garlic. Brown slightly. Add turkey to skillet and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat. Put all ingredients into a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

Sounds yummy! Thanks cuz!

Potato & Leek Soup with Adelbert’s Dancin’ Monks

This recipe comes from Sarah Haney, who works for Adelbert’s, and is a member of the Pink Boots Society, an organization for women in the beer industry.

*can make vegetarian or meaty! You pick!


2 leeks – white part only

3-5 small potatoes, diced

1 small red onion or half a large one

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

1/2-1 jalapeño (half or no seeds)

1/3 cup Dancin’ Monks Dubbel Ale

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter or ghee

Pinch salt & pepper to taste


Slice leek white stalk in half and cut into slices. Break apart and rinse in a strainer to remove dirt. Add oil and ghee to a medium heat skillet. Add onion and leek. Stir and sauté until soft (2-3 min). Add broth and potatoes; bring to a boil for a few min then take down to a simmer and add herbs. Simmer for 20 min. Turn off heat and allow to cool for a few min. Use and immersion blender or ladle into a blender. Blend until smooth. Eat as is or top with turkey sausage or a slice of crust bread!

Lambic Sorbet

This recipe was sent in by Sandra Trucksis. Sandra writes:

This summer I wanted a fun but interesting dessert option for my vegan friends, and ended up making sour cherry lambic sorbet. The recipe is originally from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams out of Ohio, but you can adapt the fruits and the lambic for all sorts of combinations.


18 oz or 3 cups pitted stone fruit, like sour cherries (sour is better in my opinion), peaches, nectarines…

3/4 cup simple syrup (I make my own by boiling down equal parts white sugar and water to a syrup consistency)

1 cup lambic beer (you can do cherry with cherry, or mix it up)*


In a blender, puree the fruit until smooth – very smooth as it will affect the consistency of the sorbet. If you want chunks you can add them separately later!), the simple syrup and the beer. Pour the sorbet base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can do what I used to, and chuck it in a tupperware, make sure it’s airtight with something like duct tape, and then place that tupperware into a larger tupperware filled with ice and salt, tape that shut and shake it like a polaroid picture for 25 minutes or so before putting it in the freezer. I do not recommend this as it is a pain in the butt, but desperate times). Pack the partially-frozen sorbet into the container you’ll be storing it in in the freezer. Freeze until completely firm, 4 hours.

Bonus: Since it’s a frozen recipe you are technically also imbibing alcohol by eating dessert.

*For this 6 pack, I’ve selected Petrus Aged Red

Awesome! Thanks, Sandra!

Stout Chili

Joel Lunsford submitted this recipe for beer chili. He says he prefers to make it with a stout. I like to cook with oatmeal or milk stouts, because they don’t become overly bitter when they reduce. In this case, I’ve opted for Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout.


1.5 lbs ground beef (can substitute ground turkey)

1 bottle of Convict Hill

1  can black beans

1  can kidney beans

1  can pinto beans

2  cans diced tomato

2  cans diced tomato with chilies

2  packets chili seasoning (I do 1 hot and 1 mild)


Brown the beef or turkey in a frying pan. Start a crock-pot on high heat and add the browned meat. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the crock-pot. Add the tomatoes and chili seasoning. Add the beer last and stir ingredients together. If necessary, add water so that liquid covers all ingredients. Let cook on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over biscuits and enjoy. This recipe usually makes enough to serve 8 regular people or 3-4 very hungry people.

Hans’ Dogs

This recipe comes from Rob Lee, my coworker at WhichCraft. He uses Hans’ Pils three ways in this German sausage recipe. The following makes three franks.


3 pounds uncooked sausages, such as sweet or hot Italian sausages, bratwurst, chorizo, linguica, or any other sausages you prefer

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons sugar

3 can Hans’ Pils

3 links of your favorite sausage

3 crusty buns (pretzel buns are excellent)


Add onions and garlic to a hot skillet with a pinch of salt and brown slightly. Add sugar and deglaze the pan with Hans’. Continue to add Hans’ when the beer in the skillet evaporates. Cook until the onions are very tender and well-caramelized, and remove them to another container.

Prick each sausage a half-dozen times with a needle or pin stuck in a cork. Place the sausages on top and add beer and water to cover (the ratio should be about 3 parts beer to 1 part water). Place the pan over medium heat and gradually bring the liquid to a simmer, not a rapid boil. Poach the sausages until half-cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a rack on a baking sheet to drain or drain in a colander. Separate the sausages into links. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Lightly brush the sausages on all sides with oil and place on the hot grate. Grill until the casings are crisp and nicely browned and the sausages are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer the sausages to plates or a platter and let rest for 3 minutes.

For the beer mustard:

1/2 cup black mustard seeds

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 cups malt vinegar

2 cups Hans’

5 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground allspice

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup dry ground mustard

In a medium bowl, combine the black and yellow mustard seeds with the vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of the beer. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of the beer with the honey, brown sugar, salt, allspice and turmeric and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender and let cool. Add the ground mustard and the mustard seeds with their soaking liquid to the blender and puree. Transfer the mustard to a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

For the beer cheese:


12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 (12 ounce) can of Hans’

5 ounces evaporated milk

1 tablespoon beer mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Kosher salt, to taste


Toss cheese with cornstarch in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together beer, milk, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until gently steaming, whisking frequently to prevent scorching. When beer mixture is warm, add cheese, stirring until completely melted, bubbling slightly, and thickened. Stir in hot sauce and season with salt to taste; serve immediately.

To assemble dogs, put them in the bun, pile high with caramelized onions, mustard, and beer cheese, and enjoy your Hans’ four ways!

Blood and Honey Bread

This last recipe is for a quick and easy beer bread, and it was submitted by Austin musician Maurice Chammah.


 3 cups of self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 bottle of Blood and Honey


Preheat oven to 350F. Knead dough until it maintains a level of elasticity when stretched. Pile batter into bread pan, or shape into  pretzels on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with beer mustard or beer cheese.

Beer Salad

And from Nathan Scott Holman… Our runner-up:


One can beer

One medium-rare steak




Sahara’s Blog Post #7: Craft Beer Cocktails

For this month’s blog, I thought we could have a little fun! Below are 5 recipes for craft beer cocktails, to help you ride out the August heat in style.

The following recipes will make two drinks, or one super awesomely huge drink:

The Crabbie Mule

A traditional Moscow Mule with an extra kick from Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

1 bottle Crabbie’s Ginger Beer

3 oz vodka

Juice of 1 lime

Stir together over ice and serve in a highball glass or copper mug. Garnish with a lime wedge


The Salty Stiegl

The Salty Dog is one of my favorite summer cocktails. If you’re not a fan of gin, you can substitute vodka.

1 can Stiegl Radler

3 oz gin

3 oz grapefruit juice

Stir together over ice and serve in a Tom Collins glass with a salted rim


The Goserita

I was at a wedding last year with a tequila bar, and a cask of Real Ale Gose. That night, the Goserita was born, and history was made!

I can Real Ale Gose

3 oz tequila

½ oz Cointreau

Juice of 1 lime

In a shaker, mix lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau. Pour over ice into margarita glasses with salted rims. Top with Real Ale Gose.



One of the most popular beer-based cocktails out there. A fun twist on a Bloody Mary.

1 can Peacemaker

Juice from 2 limes

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp tabasco

1 tsp soy sauce

Combine all ingredients except Peacemaker in shaker. Pour over ice into salted pint glasses. Top with Peacemaker. Garnish with a celery stalk, or your favorite Bloody Mary toppers.


The Love Struck Sunrise

If a Tequila Sunrise and a Beermosa had a baby…

1 bottle of Love Struck Heffe

4 oz Lindeman’s Kriek

Orange juice

Pour Love Struck Heffe evenly between two pint glasses. Top with orange juice and float Lindeman’s Kriek on top. Omit the Kriek for another classic, the Beermosa!


Next month’s blog will be Cooking with Beer! Submit your recipes to The top 6 recipes will be featured in next month’s blog, along with your name, and any fun story you have about this recipe. Winners will also receive a free WhichCraft keychain on their next visit!



Sahara’s Blog Post #6: Nice to Wheat You!

Nice to Wheat You!

Around 12,000 years ago, as the earth emerged from its last great ice age, humans began to abandon their nomadic way of living, and establish permanent settlements in plentiful regions—along the Nile River Valley, between the Tigris and Euphrates, around the Mediterranean Sea, etc.

The impetus for this massive transition toward civilization was, primarily, the cultivation of wheat.

Upon learning how to process and harvest this life-giving grain, farmers quickly discovered that wheat could also be used to brew a sweet, alcoholic beverage. Hence, the first primitive beers were born.

The word “wheat” comes from an ancient root word meaning “that which is white”. Witbier (Belgian) and Weissbier (German) both mean “white beer”.

Although barley eventually became the brewer’s grain of choice, wheat remained in use as a secondary grain in many brewing traditions, perhaps most notably in Bavaria, where wheat beers have been brewed since the Bronze Age.

In the Middle Ages, Bavaria suffered from multiple failures of its wheat crop. It was therefore restricted, on multiple occasions, for exclusive use in bread-making. In Munich, in 1447, authorities went so far as to completely outlaw brewing with wheat. In 1487, the Duke of Bavaria introduced the Reinheitsgebot as the law-of-the-land—a purity law that would restrict the ingredients of beer to water, malted barley, pure water, and hops (yeast had not yet been discovered). In 1516, this law was extended throughout Bavaria, and remained in effect for centuries. In 1988, the law was lifted, but only as it applied to imported beer. Beer brewed in Germany was still heavily restricted. In 1993, the stipulations of the law were expanded. German-brewed lagers—bottom fermenting beers—are still required to obey the strict regulations of the Reinheitsgebot, but now ales—top fermenting beers—are allowed to utilize a broader range of malted grain.


For this six-pack, we will start off with a classic representation of a Bavarian wheat beer.



Munich, Germany


The Paulaner brewery began as the Neudeck ob der Au Monastery. 16th century monks were brewing a thick, hearty beer to sustain them during months of fasting—Salvator, the original Doppelbock.

By the end of the 18th Century, Paulaner brewers were producing four times the amount of beer of anyone else in Bavaria.

In 1799, the brewery was transferred to the state, and was secularized. From there, it grew exponentially. With the Industrial Revolution came the invention of ice machines and refrigeration methods. Paulaner was one of the first breweries to utilize this new technology to produce a consistent, year-round product. Below is a photograph of the Paulaner ice machine, which remains at the brewery to this day.


The Paulaner Hefe-Weizen is a classic example of the style. Hefeweizen means, literally, “yeast wheat”. It is traditionally unfiltered, leaving yeast suspended in the beer and giving the style its token golden haze. High amounts of protein in wheat beers give them spectacular head-retention, hence those dense, white clouds that topple over the edges of the glass when freshly poured. Most wheat beers—and certainly Hefeweizens—are traditionally served in a weizen glass, which helps to accentuate this quality.

Lefebvre Brewery

Blanche de Bruxelles

Belgian Witbier

Quenast, Belgium


The Lefebvre Brewery, located in the Walloon region of Belgium, famous for its Saisons, has been in operation since 1876, and is currently in its 6th generation of Lefebvre family brewers.

Blanche de Bruxelle—literally, Brussels White—was introduced in 1989. Its label features a depiction of the iconic “Mannneken Pis” statue in Brussels.

Blanche de Bruxelle is brewed using 40% wheat, and in the Witbier tradition, coriander and orange peel are added to the boil to enhance the natural spiciness of the yeast.

Once the most popular beer style east of Brussels, after WWII, the brewing of Witbiers trickled to a dwindling handful of breweries, until only one brewery remained that still produced them.

Pierre Celis, a milkman and homebrewer, is essentially single-handedly responsible for revitalizing the style. He opened the Celis Brewery in Belgium in 1966, and brewed Wits in the tradition of Hoegarten, once the second-most-popular brewery in Belgium.

In 1980, his brewery burned down, and he re-located to Texas, starting Celis Brewery in Hill Country with his daughter Christine, and the two brought the wheat beer brewing tradition to the United States, where it rapidly gained popularity.

blancheblanche baby

G. Schneider & Sohn



Kelheim, Germany


In the 1800s, the right to brew wheat beer was a luxury only afforded the breweries of the Bavarian royal family. In 1872, King Ludwig II discontinued the brewing of wheat beer in his breweries, and sold the exclusive right to brew them to Georg I Schneider. The Schneider brewery is now in its seventh generation of family brewmasters, and today it is the oldest wheat beer brewery in Bavaria.

Aventinus, called a “Wheat Doppelbock” by the brewery, is a strong, dark wheat beer. One might also call it an Imperial Weizenbock. When Gorg Schneider III passed away at the age of 35, his wife Mathilde assumed ownership of the brewery. In 1907, Mathilde crafted the Aventinus, and her original recipe remains unaltered to this day. Its malt base is 50% wheat, with Hallertauer and Magnum hops. It is the oldest commercial Bavarian Weizenbock.

Schneider Aventinus Tap 6

Professor Fritz Briem 1809

Berliner Weisse

Freising, Germany


Berliner Weisse beers were first brewed, you guessed it, in Berlin. Though its precise origins are unclear, this tart wheat beer has been brewed since at least the 1600s. It is commonly thought to be an adaptation of a brown Bohemian Wheat Beer. In modern examples, wheat comprises 20-30% of the grain bill, though in more ancient times, it is thought to have been much higher.

In addition to yeast, Berliner Weisse beers use lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus to create their token refreshing tartness. Traditionally, they were enjoyed “mit Schuss”—with a splash of woodruff or raspberry syrup—to mitigate the sourness.

Once the most popular beverage in Berlin, Berliner Weisse beers are protected by the appellation d’origine contrôllée, meaning that, to call itself a true Berliner Weisse, it must be brewed in Berlin. Dr. Fritz has a PhD from Weihenstephan, and specializes in brewing old styles according to tradition. It is difficult to find a better example of the style in the US. It is named 1809 after the year in which Napoleon famously dubbed this style “the champagne of the North”.


Bayerischer Banhof


Leipzig, Germany


The centuries-old tradition of brewing Gose beers began in the town of Goslar, 100 miles west of Leipzig, which gets its name from the River Gose that runs through it. The river was famous for its large salt crystals, and it is believed that this tart and salty wheat beer was originally brewed from this naturally briny water. In modern Gose beers, salt is added to achieve this same quality.

Traditional Goses are often composed of up to 50% wheat. Lactobacillus is also used in brewing for tartness. Coriander is usually added as well.

In the old days, Goses underwent secondary fermentation in squat bottles with long, cylindrical necks, stopped with a plug of yeast, which rose to the top as the beer carbonated.

Leipzig became the largest market for Gose beers in the 18th Century, at the height of their popularity, but by the 20thCentury, the style was all-but-extinct.

Recently, the tradition of Gose brewing has been revived. The Bayerischer Gose is brewed in Leipzig itself, with the addition of coriander.



Blood & Honey

American Wheat Beer


Granbury, TX

When the Celis Brewery introduced wheat beers to America, they caught on like wildfire. Like most styles brought from Europe to the States, American Wheat Beers tend to be slightly hoppier and more effervescent than their European counterparts, with a less pronounced yeast character, and they often contain non-traditional adjuncts.

In the case of Blood & Honey, the addition of blood orange zest and locally sourced Fall Creek Farms honey, combined with more traditional spices like coriander, give this beer its unique spiciness. Instead of imparting sweetness, the honey ferments out of the beer, leaving behind a soft floral character, a fairly high alcohol content for the style, and increased carbonation.

Revolver is a family-owned brewery, founded by father-and-son team Rhett and Ron Keisler. Their head brewer is Certified Cicerone Grant Wood.