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Not Green Beer

The Table Set 42

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It’s no secret. The Table Set loves beer.
Often replacing wine paired with a meal, mixed in a cocktail (Campari & IPA, anyone?), or baked into a cake, beer always has a place at this table. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, what better time to indulge in a full-blown beer fest.

Andy recently traveled home to Michigan in the dead of winter, naturally ice cream & taco pairings resulted. Corona sorbet? It happened. Behold ¡Taco Tuesday!:

With a rapidly growing rate of craft breweries and pubs in the United States, heading straight to the source for top quality brew is easier than ever. No matter where you live, a short car ride should lead you to delightfully hoppy results. And it just so happens one of the boys’ favorite beer makers is only a short car trip from LA in Redlands, CA – Hangar 24 Brewery. Who better to bring along on the trek? Why Jackie “the Beeroness“, of course!

Housed in an actual repurposed airplane hangar on the edge of the Redlands airstrip, the Hangar 24 brewery and tasting room look out to sweeping runway vistas, parked prop planes, and snow-capped mountains. Not too shabby digs.

grain-to-glass

Hangar 24 has quite the arsenal of diverse brews, lead by their flagship beer Orange Wheat, made with fresh produce from the orange groves surrounding the airport. Coming up on its five year anniversary, the brewery has big plans for expansion (“micro” no more), already with impressive achievements under its belt. This past year Hangar 24 became the first Southern California craft brewery to release an eco-friendly alternative to bottles of its Helles Lager and Orange Wheat beer with new 12-ounce cans. The brewery is also working on designs to protect the agricultural and historical treasure trove of orange groves in Redlands from bulldozing housing developments.

tasting-flight

But how does the beer taste? Well, as Jackie and the boys sampled ALL of the brews on tap… Aces! Nathan loved how the Orange Wheat was like sipping a fresh [beer] mimosa in the sun; Andy prefers the tropical pop of the oddly refreshing Double IPA; Greg enjoyed the crisp California Spring Beer seasonal offering; And Jackie is a Chocolate Porter kind of gal, all the way.
But don’t just take this gang’s word for it – With growing distribution, keep your eyes peeled. Hangar 24′s beers may just pop up in your hometown before you know it.

ceviche-and-float

A flight of good beer in the sun sure can make one hungry. Back at the table, Jackie spilled about writing her very first cooking with beer cookbook. As she has proven with her blog, beer is a versatile player in the kitchen. Warm beer tortillas? OK! IPA Ceviche?? Hell yeah! “The Dirty Girlscout” chocolate mint stout ice cream beer float??? You go, girl!
And if you’re wondering what to cook up to drown with Guinness this St. Patty’s Day, try these Beer Brined Corned Beef Sliders with Pickled Cabbage Slaw or a Mushroom Stout and Goat Cheese Pot Pie. Wowza.

homebrew

Andy is no novice to beer production, already having made three spirited home brews – Labyrinth Porter, Fraggle Bock, and Fleetwood Blac!

beers

Other Table Set beer picks? On the heels of our Winter Warmer and Raclette episodes, Nathan’s been drinking Hangar 24′s seasonal release coincidentally called Winter Warmer, a subtle ale brewed with local spruce tips, cinnamon and maple syrup. Andy is into Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour, but can’t help but mention his love not only for Maui Brewing Company‘s Mana Wheat and Coconut Porter, but for their blessed union in the form of a Maui Black and Tan! One of Jackie’s favorite stouts of late is Beachwood Brewery‘s System of a Stout, an Imperial Armenian Coffee Stout dosed with traditional Armenian coffee, cardamom, molasses, and brandy. For an easy drinking low-ABV LA local beer, Jackie suggests Eagle Rock Brewery’s Solidarity. Which reminds Andy of Solitude, an Abbey Style Ale from Brewery Vivant – A brewery housed in a turn of the century funeral home in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a pub in the old chapel. Sold!

Brewery Vivant

What’s next?! Nathan is ready to get back into the car and head to the Bruery in Orange County. But Greg would rather order in for a fun old fashioned family KEGGER. Could it be? Stayed tuned to find out!

Fondue!

We got mail! Thanks Kate for the inspiring read. Our Hot Pot appreciates the fodder.
“Because it’s not just food, it’s a happening!”

 

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