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The first time I ever had this ale was with my poor aunt. They were living in San Fransico at the time and I had gone for a visit. I asked/begged to get to go on an Anchor Steam tour. She agreed, which is nice because my aunt is sooo a wine drinking and sooo not a beer drinker.
We signed up for a private tour, which was free (don’t know if it is anymore…this is like 13 years ago). We toured the brewery and at the end we went to the tasting room. Now, I had been on many a beer tour, and when you go to these tasting rooms, they give you just that…a taste. But oh no, this being the private tour, we got FULL pints. Full pints of beer at 9:30 in the morning. Hmmm. And not just one pint, six. Starting with the lightest and making their way up to what they called Old Foghorn. Which is a beer but like no beer I had ever tasted, it was a based on barely wine.
Oh and did I mention that it’s 8.8% alcohol.
Now even though it was early, I felt some sort of obligation to drink all of the beer. I mean we signed up for this tour and the guy pouring the beer kept watching us for reaction. My poor aunt seemed to feel this obligation as well. She was a trouper and tried all of the beers but really only took a few sips of each. I for some reason not only drink all of mine but some of hers. Oh my. Did I mention I didn’t eat anything before we went on the tour. Poor choice.
Needless to say we went to eat right after that. I think I ate my weight in sourdough bread just to counteract the beer. Which it eventually did.
Now, this beer is not for your Bud Light drinkers of the world. It will put some hair on your chest. But I really like the flavor and if you have never tried it, and you are into a variety of beers, you might want to give it a go. Only draw back is that it’s pretty pricey.
Part of why I started this blog is that I really don’t know my area. If a city gets mentioned on the news, it seems like 50% of the time I have no idea where it is they are talking about. Case in point was my recent trip to the market.
I walked in and saw my fish dude. I said, “I need mussels.”
He joked back and told me I was at the wrong place, I needed to be at the gym if I wanted mussels(muscles). Ha, ha.
No really, I wanted mussels. I saw that they had Penn Cove mussels. I asked if that was around these parts. “You haven’t lived here long, have you?”
I hung my head in shame, for I have lived here almost 4 years now. Though it doesn’t really feel that long.
When I told him how long I have lived in the state of Washington, he went in the back and pulled out a map. I got a nice little lesson about where Penn Cove is located and how their pride and joy are these mussels.
So off I went with mussels in hand to make something with them.
Since I am wanting to showcase regional beer, I chose local brewery Pyramid to start off. They make and excellent Hefe Weizen and I use it in both the steaming of the mussels as well as the aioli to accompany the mussels. If you are not a fan of chilled mussels, I guess you could serve these warm, though I have never had them that way.
Don’t forget to wash down those mussels with the leftover Hefe….you wouldn’t want it to go to waste, now would you?
Steamed and Chilled Wheat Beer Mussels
1 ½ pounds Penn Cove mussels(or whatever you’ve got where you are)
1 ½ TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP minced onion
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups Pyramid Hefe Weizen(or any wheat beer you prefer)
chopped parsley for garnish
Place oil, garlic and onions in a saute pan(one that has a lid). Cook until garlic and onion start to sweat. Add the mussels and cover with lid to steam.
After about a minute or two check to see if they started to open. Once they start to open, add the beer and cook until mussels are fully open.
Remove mussels and put into a bowl to chill. Keep some of the beer as well.
Once chilled, serve with Wheat Beer Aioli(recipe follows) and parsley scattered on top.
Wheat Beer Aioli
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
1 TBSP chopped parsley
1 TBSP TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 cup wheat beer(again, I used the Pyramid)
Mix all the ingredients well( I used my Cuisinart mini prep to make sure everything blended). Chill and place on top of the chilled mussels.