Recently I was chatting with a friend of mine from Germany and as usual I began asking him about the drinking habits of a native German. He informed me of a drink I could never have imagined, the Bananenweizen. Basically it is banana juice and a hefeweizen, strange perhaps but I was intrigued. I decided to stay true to the country of origin and use two German weisse beers for my experiment.
The recipe involves filling the glass 1/6-1/4 with banana nectar and then you pour in your beer. I used a weizen glass, though this isn’t required. First I tried a Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weisse, a tried and true classic, which is smooth and not quite as heavy as many wheat beers. After my first taste I was unsure, after the second I was hooked. Often wheat beers are served with a slice of lemon or orange adding a splash of citrus, banana nectar adds a bit more texture and provides just the right amount of sweetness.
Next up was the Franziskaner Hefeweisse, another traditional German beer, which contains a bit more sediment and is a little heavier. I would recommend this combination for someone with a taste for more intense beers, not to say that it wasn’t still delicious. Though what I discovered with Franziskaner was due to the thickness of both ingredients the beer sat on top of the nectar, so I stirred them together, my suggestion would be to pour them into the glass at the same time. I am looking forward to forcing less adventurous beer drinkers to try a bananenweizen. If you have any beer cocktails you enjoy or have invented please leave them in the comments, help me in my quest to discover new and interesting things to do with beer!
To whet your appetite for summer sour cherry season, we recommend Kasteel Rouge Sour Cherry Beer, a great spring/summer ale. Brewed by adding sour cherries to a base of brown ale, it is barrel-aged for six months. If you’ve had kriek beers before, you’ll be surprised at the deep, dark red color and prominent cherry flavor of this beer. Kriek beers are made with a sour lambic beer base, which makes them more tart. Kasteel’s brown ale base gives it a richer, sweeter flavor – almost more like a sour cherry cocktail than a beer.
Of course if you’re looking for a true sour cherry cocktail to tide you over until July, we’ve got jarred sour cherries and Cherry Heering, an all-natural sour cherry liqueur. Try the Heering in a Cherry Blossom or Gilroy cocktail. And hang in there, summer’s closer than you think!
While abstaining from alcohol during three pregnancies we craved the certain bitterness and bite that alcohol provides to a drink. All of the non-alcoholic beers we tried seemed too sweet and bloody mary mix undiluted by vodka was too thick and rich. One day genius struck. Looking at our half-finished non-nonalcoholic beer and the dregs of a virgin bloody, we decided to combine the two. Voilà! You needn’t now convince us of the compatibility of savory and hot spices and beer.
A michelada is basically spiced beer with fresh lime. So if you’re looking for something new (and less labor-intensive from a lime-juicing perspective than a margarita), try a michelada today. Oh and if you’re looking for alcohol-free alternatives and can’t stand the sweetness of nonalcoholic beer, try spicing it up using this recipe!
12 oz beer
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 dashes hot sauce (try Greene’s Gourmet of Vermont’s Atomic Habanero, pictured but only use one dash!!)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Pour beer over ice, add lime juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir.
In an article in this morning’s New York Times, Eric Asimov decried the lack of good beer at the new Yankee stadium and ran down the best American craft brew pilsners. Batting lead-off at #1 on the list is our Victory Prima Pils, which Asimov describes as “crisp, floral and wonderfully refreshing with a lively, lingering bitterness.” Steve, beerman at Provisions, carries the large format of the Prima Pils in his regular lineup.
Pilsner is a light, thirst-quenching style of beer pioneered in the Czech Republic using bottom-fermenting techniques borrowed from Bavaria, Germany. The use of lightly toasted malts and bottom fermentation makes for a clear, golden beer with distinctive hop flavor. If you’re interested in conducting your own comparative tasting while watching the game at home with friends, Steve also recommends two german counterparts to the Prima Pils in our beer case: Pinkus Ur Pils (organic) and Radeberger.
We just started carrying Hoch Ybrig from Rolf Beeler in Switzerland, which is Jada’s favorite cheese, both to pronounce and to eat. Our cheese whizzes report: “This stunner is bathed in white wine during maturation, adding a pungent fruity zest to this walnutty, Gruyere-style raw cow milk mountain cheese. Notes of dried apricot, fir trees and Amontillado sherry and a big, complex flavor.”
We tried the Hoch Ybrig after dinner with buckwheat honey drizzled over it. The rich, malty honey was an amazing complement to the cheese. We had also picked up a couple beers to try with and were looking for a syrupy, rich taste. Both beers (the Delirium Nocturnum from Belgium and the Brother Theolonius Belgian-style abbey ale from California) were delicious but were just shy of that honeyed note we were looking for. Steve the beer man has recommended a double bock so we’ll try that tonight with the remainder of the cheese and report back.