Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beers Are Peak Winter Vibes

Barrel-aged beers are popular right now: Fans stand outside of some breweries the day before a bottle release for the chance to snag the special, and often limited, liquid. Some collectors may try to buy them online in sales that sell out in seconds. M…

Barrel-aged beers are popular right now: Fans stand outside of some breweries the day before a bottle release for the chance to snag the special, and often limited, liquid. Some collectors may try to buy them online in sales that sell out in seconds. Many breweries require patrons to enter a lottery for a chance to buy releases to make it a little fairer. A majority of these 12- to 25-ounce beers sell for $20 to $100 a bottle, and end up reselling for hundreds or even $1,000 on secondary markets.

But it wasn’t always like this. Back when Chicago’s Goose Island entered one of its first batches of Bourbon County Brand Stout—the beer that kickstarted the barrel-aged stout style—into the Great American Beer Festival in 1995, the competition didn’t even have a category the beer could enter. Since then, it’s grown into a yearly release where everyone is excited to see just what Goose Island does next with its popular series.

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I Thought I Hated Beer Until I Tried Porters

I have never been a beer person. I’ve tried and failed (or, rather, it failed me). I’ve sipped fruity IPAs that are supposed to taste like a dichotomy of bitter sunshine or juicy pineapple mixed with volcanic ash (all I tasted was ash), Oktoberfest bee…

I have never been a beer person. I’ve tried and failed (or, rather, it failed me). I’ve sipped fruity IPAs that are supposed to taste like a dichotomy of bitter sunshine or juicy pineapple mixed with volcanic ash (all I tasted was ash), Oktoberfest beers to get back to my German roots, and light summer ales (or maybe they were lagers…what’s the difference anyway?). I all but swore of the category altogether, opting for hard ciders at breweries and literally anything else at a restaurant or cocktail bar.

That is, until a painfully exhausting day when I helped my sister and her husband move into a new apartment. We were bone tired, hungry, dehydrated, and in desperate need of a cold drink. We grabbed lunch at a nearby brewery where I ordered an 8” cast iron skillet of baked macaroni and cheese and the only hard cider that was on the menu (this is, for the record, my ideal last supper).

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Our 6 Favorite IPAs for Hoppy, Hazy Sips

It’s no secret: craft beer drinkers love IPAs. Since the early days of the pioneering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to the current trends of hazy and milkshake styles, the beer category continues to be popular no matter what form it takes.

As a quick reminde…

It’s no secret: craft beer drinkers love IPAs. Since the early days of the pioneering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to the current trends of hazy and milkshake styles, the beer category continues to be popular no matter what form it takes.

As a quick reminder: IPAs, or India Pale Ales, are "a type of amber-colored ale that gets its flavor from hops, a cone-shaped flower related to cannabis," according to author Brette Warshaw. As the story goes, the brewing style was popularized in the 1800s, when the British East India company would ship it over in droves to trading outposts throughout the Indian subcontinent. The flavor profile of an IPA can vary widely based on the region where it's been brewed, plus the particular variety of hops used during the process and when they're added to the mix. However, "bitter," "citrusy," "spicy," and—yep—"hoppy" are often words you'll hear used to describe the style as a whole.

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This Divisive Beer Style Could Be Coming Back into Fashion

Alaskan Brewing Company’s most award-winning beer is also their most polarizing. Those who enjoy the Smoked Porter say the peatiness reminds them of campfires and fine scotch. However, multiple times in the 23 years since the beer’s debut, customers ha…

Alaskan Brewing Company’s most award-winning beer is also their most polarizing. Those who enjoy the Smoked Porter say the peatiness reminds them of campfires and fine scotch. However, multiple times in the 23 years since the beer's debut, customers have asked brewmaster and founder Geoff Larson whether he used smoked salmon in the brew.

“It’s definitely divisive; people either love it or hate it,” Larson said.

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The 8 Best Non-Alcoholic Beers We Know

There’s often a stigma about non-alcoholic beer: It just doesn’t taste like beer. Ask people who’ve had beer stripped of its alcohol, and you’ll hear that it is cloying. The mouthfeel just isn’t right. Or, quite simply, it doesn’t provide the full hopp…

There’s often a stigma about non-alcoholic beer: It just doesn’t taste like beer. Ask people who’ve had beer stripped of its alcohol, and you’ll hear that it is cloying. The mouthfeel just isn’t right. Or, quite simply, it doesn't provide the full hoppy, fruity, complex-flavor experience present in alcoholic beer. The combination of malt, hops, yeast, water, and adjuncts like coffee and fruit creates a multitude of flavors in today’s beer that just hasn’t been possible in non-alcoholic beer.

Until now! According to the Brewers Association, non-alcoholic beer sales are trending upward, and more people than ever are participating in "dry January," a month where drinkers abstain from alcohol. And to keep up, several breweries across the country are investing in new technology to create better non-alcoholic beers, in styles ranging from pilsners and hazy IPAs to fruit beers and chocolate stouts. With so many brews to choose from in this fast-growing category, it can be hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite non-alcoholic beers below.

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5 New Beer Trends That Are Here to Stay

From the west coast pale ale, fruity and sweet hazy IPAs, and heavily fruited sour beers, the beer industry is used to change and chasing trends. With nearly 9,000 breweries across America, it’s just about impossible to keep up with what’s going on wit…

From the west coast pale ale, fruity and sweet hazy IPAs, and heavily fruited sour beers, the beer industry is used to change and chasing trends. With nearly 9,000 breweries across America, it's just about impossible to keep up with what's going on with beer these days—unless you're committed to continually tasting a seemingly unending number of styles and flavors.

Luckily, we are committed. So if you're looking to stay on top of what's all the rage in the industry right now, or just want to try something you usually wouldn't, we've assembled a list of what's been trendy in the beer world and what recent styles are here to stay.

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Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos

When the nacho craving hits, nothing satisfies quite like a mountain of hot and melty nachos. Our version is topped with savory smoked chicken and a creamy cheese sauce so flavorful you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. Way beyond your basic ballpark nachos, these loaded smoked chicken nachos are topped with all […]

The post Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

When the nacho craving hits, nothing satisfies quite like a mountain of hot and melty nachos. Our version is topped with savory smoked chicken and a creamy cheese sauce so flavorful you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful.

Way beyond your basic ballpark nachos, these loaded smoked chicken nachos are topped with all the good stuff including pickled jalapeños and pickled red onions (pickles are the secret to next-level nachos), plus olives, fresh radishes and micro cilantro.

Overhead, sheet pan of Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos with radishes, micro cilantro on a turquoise background

Ready for a little nacho history?

What we think of as nachos here in the US, a heaping mound of crispy tortilla chips drenched in globs of plasticky orange cheese sauce, looks nothing like the original nacho which originated in Northern Mexico in the 1940s. Invented by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya as a simple and satisfying snack, the original nacho featured simple triangles of fried corn tortillas topped with melted shredded cheese and pickled jalapeño.

Heck, if I created such a brilliant snack I’d name it after myself too.

The “Nacho Special” eventually made it across the border to Texas in the 1970s, where it started to evolve into the ballpark snack we know today.

Closeup, Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos topped with sour cream, cilantro, radishes and pickled onions

This recipe takes that original idea of chip, cheese, and pickled jalapeño (a perfect combination if there ever was one) and loads it up with even more goodness, including smokey shredded chicken, pickled red onions, black olives, sour cream and cilantro.

I mean, I’d argue that these nachos are less snack and more meal (and indeed, we thoroughly enjoyed a pan of them between the two of us for dinner).

The inspiration for this particular iteration of nachos comes from a Nashville bar called Bastion. Let me just say, their nachos are phenomenal, and I’ve driven across town more than once just to fulfill a craving.

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Guinness Cupcakes

Rich, chocolatey cupcakes are made even better with Guinness! Top these Guinness Cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for a decadent St. Patrick’s Day dessert. Last week I decided that I don’t make nearly enough cupcakes these days. Back in the early days of my blog, I feel like I made every flavor combination possible and if …

The post Guinness Cupcakes appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

Rich, chocolatey cupcakes are made even better with Guinness! Top these Guinness Cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for a decadent St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

Guinness cupcake on a white plate with a bottle of Guinness in the background

Last week I decided that I don’t make nearly enough cupcakes these days.

Back in the early days of my blog, I feel like I made every flavor combination possible and if you ever flip through cupcake archives here on My Baking Addiction, you’ll see that I am sooo not kidding.

There’s pretty much something for everyone. From Doctored Cake Mix Cupcakes and Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes to adorable Bunny Butt Cupcakes that are the cutest for Easter.

Since I have so many cupcake recipes already on the blog, I thought I’d start giving some of them a little refresh starting with these Guinness Cupcakes that I posted many years ago.

They’re simple, rich, delicious and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Guinness stout being poured into a mixing bowl for guinness cupcakes

COOKING WITH GUINNESS STOUT

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m not a beer fan. 

Honestly, I’m not really an alcohol fan in general. I’ll occasionally mix up a drink with pineapple vodka or have a sip of tiramisu martini, but I particularly loathe beer.

Although I do not like to drink beer, I do like to cook with it, especially when it’s Guinness. There is something about this dark, thick stout beer that enhances some dishes and really imparts a fabulous flavor.

Dry ingredients for guinness cupcakes arranged on a marble counter

I mostly use Guinness in savory recipes, such as Guinness Stew, Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew or Irish Beer Cheese. But some time ago I learned about using Guinness in chocolate cupcakes and was all over it!

I mean, how could we go wrong with rich, chocolatey cupcakes? 

Whisk stirring together the dry ingredients for guinness cupcakes in a large glass mixing bowl

DO THESE CUPCAKES TASTE LIKE GUINNESS?

If you are like me and don’t like to drink beer: don’t worry, these cupcakes don’t actually taste like beer!

Don’t panic as you’re making them though. The batter smells very strongly of Guinness, but the finished product is a moist, light cupcake full of chocolatey goodness that is enhanced by the stout. 

Batter for guinness cupcakes in a metal mixing bowl

Topped with a crown of Homemade Buttercream Frosting, these cupcakes are downright perfect. 

In fact, I might have to think about how to add Guinness to other chocolate recipes now. 

Batter for guinness cupcakes in a cupcake tin, ready to be baked

HOW TO MAKE GUINNESS CUPCAKES

If you’re like me and like to keep a few bottles of Guinness handy just for cooking, then you may just already have everything you need to make these cupcakes:

  • 1 bottle Guinness 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Baked guinness cupcakes ready to be frosted

These cupcakes use oil instead of butter, which gives them a beautiful crumb and helps keep them super moist. It also means they’re quick and easy to whip up because you don’t have to cream any butter and sugar together.

In a large bowl, mix together the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Overhead shot of several guiness cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting arranged on a white platter

Portion the batter into 24 muffin tins lined with paper cups and bake for about 25 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Let the cupcakes cool in their tins before whipping together the vanilla buttercream frosting and piping it onto the cupcakes.

Frosted Guinness cupcake on a white plate with a platter of cupcakes in the background

(If you really want to go above and beyond with the St. Patrick’s Day theme, you could use Baileys instead of milk in the buttercream!)

I like to finish these Guinness Cupcakes with a sprinkling of chocolate jimmies. 

Bake up a batch of these rich cupcakes to share with your neighbors this St. Paddy’s Day and see if they can guess the secret ingredient that makes them so decadent! 

Plated Guinness Cupcake with a bite taken out of it
Guinness cupcake on a white plate with a bottle of Guinness in the background

Guinness Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Rich, chocolatey cupcakes are made even better with Guinness! Top these Guinness Cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for a decadent St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
  4. Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
  5. Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Notes

adapted from Dave Lieberman on Chow.com

Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving Calories 202Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 29mgSodium 94mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

Close up of a cupcake with homemade buttercream frosting

Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Yield: Enough frosting for 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch layer cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Homemade Buttercream Frosting is one of the best basic recipes to have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • Tiny pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 6-7 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the salt and powdered sugar, and continue beating until the sugar is fully incorporated.
  3. Add in vanilla and cream or milk and mix on low speed until incorporated.
  4. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for an additional 6-7 minutes.
  5. If the buttercream is too thick, add in a bit of milk, one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Notes

  • This recipe will make enough frosting to generously frost 24 cupcakes or one 9 inch layer cake.
  • You can easily adjust the consistency of this recipe by simply adding in more heavy cream or milk.
  • If you are a fan of shortening in your buttercream, simply omit one stick of butter and replace with 1/2 cup shortening.
  • Clear vanilla extract is used in this recipe to keep the frosting nice and white. If you don’t mind a slight color change, feel free to use pure vanilla extract, but decrease the amount to 2 teaspoons.
  • Covered and refrigerated frosting can be stored for up to three days. Simply bring it to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of heavy cream or milk to revive the consistency.
  • If you choose to dye your frosting, go easy with the dye. Remember, you can always add more color, but you can’t remove it.
  • If you garnish with sprinkles, make sure you do this immediately after you frost your baked goods. Once the top layer of the buttercream crusts, nothing will stick

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Nutrition Information
Yield 24
Amount Per Serving Calories 225Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 33mgSodium 13mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 0gSugar 28gProtein 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

The post Guinness Cupcakes appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

Byrrh Cassis Aperitif

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more…

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more often than not, you might be brought a glass of bière, unless your ear for French is pretty good as it’s pronunciation is close to ‘beer.’ (I once had to point it out on the menu at a wine bar in Paris, as the waiter had no idea what I was talking about.) There’s no beer in Byrrh, but there’s plenty of flavor in this iconic French apéritif.

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