Not Just for Beer: Cooking with Hops
As we’ve said many times before, “hops are to beer what grapes are to wine.” Their variety, origin, and nuances of flavor create the soul of the beer. For most beers, hops lend bitterness and not a lot more. That bitterness comes from the alpha acids of the hop. However, we select hops for the aromatic flavor qualities over their bittering value. Aroma hops, with their lower alpha acids, produce an array of complex flavors and aromas in our beers from citrus and fruit to pine and eucalyptus. If you love beer but don’t know much about hops, we recommend this great hop round-up from Draft Magazine.
With the thought of hops running through your head, we wanted to take this moment to let you know that our brewing team have come together with our friend Chef David Burke to develop an awesome hops-infused brunch inspired by our Alpine Spring seasonal brew. For those who have tasted this bright and citrusy unfiltered lager, you have experienced the Tettnang Tettnanger hops which are cultivated on 100-year-old vines in hop gardens at the foothills of the Alps.
After conversations back and forth and sampling food & beer pairings (tough job, we know), Chef David Burke came to us with this gem: Samuel Adams Alpine Spring Lobster Benedict with Hopped “Beer-naise” Sauce. The citrus notes and malty sweetness from Alpine Spring provided a perfect contrast to the rich buttery taste of the lobster and sauce. We also enjoyed how the Tettnang hops left a lingering citrus note on the palate and a clean, dry finish that cleansed our palate after each bite.
Hungry yet? Here’s the recipe to help get you started!
Samuel Adams® Alpine Spring Lobster Benedict with Hopped “Beer-naise”
Recipe by Chef David BurkeRecipe makes 4 servings
- 1 bottle Samuel Adams® Alpine Spring
- 1 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 4 sprigs tarragon
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ oz. Tettnang Tettnanger hop flowers (can substitute U.S. Tettnang hops)
- 4 sticks melted butter
- 4 English muffins
- 4 lobsters (1lb. each) cooked and meat removed
- 8 eggs
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- In a stainless steel pot, reduce Alpine Spring, champagne vinegar, shallot, and 3 sprigs tarragon to ¼ of original volume, add hops and chill. This could be done one day in advance.
- Once cold, add reduction to egg yolks. Whisk yolks over double boiler until eggs become thick, add lemon juice. Slowly whisk in melted butter until all is incorporated. Strain through fine strainer. Pick last sprig of tarragon and chop. Add tarragon to sauce, cover and keep warm.
- Bring 4 qtrs. water to simmer with white vinegar and salt. Slowly crack eggs into water and poach to desired doneness. Toast English muffins and warm lobster meat while eggs are cooking.
- To assemble, put split muffin on plate topped with half a lobster tail and egg on each half. Cover with sauce and serve.
However if you prefer to leave the cooking to a chef, you can head to a local David Burke restaurant during Saturday or Sunday brunch throughout the month of February to enjoy this great dish. David Burke restaurants can be found as followed: