Taco Tuesday featuring Wee Heavy!

After a month apart, we’ve come together again with a local Boston food truck, Pennypackers Food Truck, to create a taco using one of our beers. Check out some of the great recipes they’ve created in the past.

While the temperature continues to drop here in New England, this month we gave the guys our Wee Heavy, a big beer inspired by both traditional Scotch ales and Scotch whiskies. Pennypackers decided to match the distinct deep roasted flavor and earthy smoke character with braised short ribs to create a delicious contrast.

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is a complex beer with huge maltiness and peaty smoke from specially smoked Scottish malt. Using the Wee Heavy as a base for a sauce based on a traditional Mole was a bold move but one that paid off. The peat smoke and malt sweetness were a great canvas for all of the complex spice and chile flavors used in braising the short rib; with an earthy finish from the chocolate that perfectly matched the beef. Cooked all day until fork tender, these short ribs showed off all of these complexities while keeping their big beefy flavor. Wrapped in a warm tortilla with earthy Cojita cheese and the snap of fresh cilantro and pickled onions; these were perfect for today’s cold and rainy weather.

Given that not all Sam fans can get to Boston to enjoy these in person, Pennypackers once again was kind enough to pass along the recipe and simple cooking instructions for you to experiment and create your own.

Cheers and enjoy!


Samuel Adams Wee Heavy Chocolate and Chili Braised Short Rib Tacos


  • Samuel Adams Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (Find it here)
  • 4 to 5 pounds boneless beef short ribs
  • 10 dried guajillo chili peppers
  • 1 habanero
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

    To create our own unique style of Wee Heavy, we added peat smoked malt to bring the unique flavor of Scotland to this complex and satisfying brew.

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 quart red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cotija
  • cilantro
  • taco shells



For the short ribs

1)     Start by stemming and seeding the guajillos. Then soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes.

2)     Clean any excess fat off of the short ribs, and season with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, sear each side of the short ribs. After they’re seared, transfer them to a deep casserole dish with the sprigs of thyme.

3)     After 30 minutes, put the guajillos in a blender with the habanero (whole, with seeds), cumin, chili powder and cider vinegar. Add two cups of the water the chilis were soaking in, and purée. Put this in a pot and warm on the stove. Add the chocolate and allow melting. Whisk together and pour this mixture over the short ribs.

4)     Cover the short ribs with Samuel Adams Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, until fully submerged.  Cover with aluminum foil, and cook in a 300 degree oven for 3-4 hours, until very tender.

5)     When they’re done, pull the short ribs out of the liquid, and shred. Strain the cooking liquid into a pot, skim the fat off the top, and reduce by half (or more). Mix back in with the short ribs, and re-season with salt and pepper. Hold warm until ready to serve.

For the pickled onions

1)     In a pot, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil on the stove.

2)     Julienne the yellow onion, and put in the boiling vinegar. After adding the onions, allow the liquid to come back up to a boil, and immediately turn off and cool.

To serve

Grill or warm tortillas, add some short rib, crumble a little cotija over it, put on some if the pickled onions, and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro.

  • Jim Koch

    I am a long time Sam Adams fan and have enjoyed many of your beers, especially the winter lager!

    I purchased a 12 pack of your holiday variety the other day and was very disappointed. Half of the beers in the case were expired in May or April of 2012! They not only tasted bad, they made me sick to my stomach. I am estimating that these bottles were left over from last years 2011 holiday batches and snuck into these current cases to get rid of them. I will be very leery of buying your beers from now on and will closely check expirations on the bottles.

    Signed: Dissappointed but still a Sam Adams beer lover

  • dan

    I dont know when the merry mischief is coming out but I have looked in all the store you said it would be in and I can’t find it can you help Windham Maine

  • Charlie

    MAn them tacos from Pennypackers were AWESOME!

  • scole

    the guy who sings all your songs sounds like a goat. just sayin’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.kleinkamp Joe Kleinkamp

    Why the hell do you need my email and phone number to send me your so-called free glasses? Because my information has a hundred times the value as a marketing tool. Keep your fucking free glasses and I’ll keep my privacy.