By: Jaime Schier - QA/QC Manager Published:
Awhile ago we announced that we have purchased our own canning line, and will be canning Harpoon beer at our Boston facility. Many people expressed their concern about their favorite Harpoon beer being packaged in a can versus the brown bottle that they have come to know and love. We brought in Harpoon's QA/QC Manager Jaime Schier to debunk some of the myths about craft beer in cans.
Myth: If a beer is in a can it means it is of lesser quality
Not so! Back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s that may have been true in some cases, but the technology involved in making & filling cans has come a long way since then. It’s like comparing 8 tracks to mp3’s.
Myth: Aluminum cans make beer taste bad
Nuh-uh! One of beer’s mortal enemies is oxygen, which causes staling reactions that make beer taste like wet newspaper. A properly seamed can lid creates an air-impenetrable barrier, delaying the onset of oxidation and stale beer.
Myth: Last time I had a canned beer, I could taste the metal
Well then I bet the last time you had a canned beer was in the ‘70’s. Aluminum beverage cans these days have super-high tech polymer liners that protect beer flavor & aroma from metallic off flavors. Our can manufacturer, Ball Corp., has even taken the technology so far as to have different liners for different types of beers based on their pH. That’s science, kids!
Myth: Beer in cans always tastes “skunked”
Pepe LePew finds your species-ist bias insensitive and offensive. Skunking in the technical sense is a chemical reaction involving the hop component of beer; the reaction is driven by exposure to light in the blue wavelength of the light spectrum (bonus science reference: “blue” is the light wavelength from 450 to about 500 nm). Since cans allow no light to pass they are the perfect protection against skunking.
Myth: Only light beers should be in cans
Sure, if the only beer you’d ever want to drink while boating, golfing, camping or mountain biking is light beer. But if you want to go fishing and crack into a delicious pale ale, or enjoy a fantastic Octoberfest while sitting around the campfire, or a crisp refreshing hefeweizen while golfing you might need to reconsider your opinion of canned beer…
By: Tiffani Faison, Chef-Owner Sweet Cheeks Published:
We recently teamed up with Chef Tiffani Faison to produce a series of Winter Warmer Nights at her restaurant Sweet Cheeks in Boston. Aimed at curing the winter blues, the Tuesday night series pairs Harpoon Winter Warmer with some of Tiffani's favorite hearty meals.
We invited Tiffani to share her thoughts about the Winter Warmer season, including a recipe for a cold weather classic. Take it away, Tiffani!
Around this time every year, we all face a similar question; fight or flight. Our collective skin becomes itchy, ashy and grey with demeanor to match. For those of us without wings taking us to warmer lands, we settle into our frozen fates, finding the simple beauty in opportunities to create our own warmth. For me, this is cooking and feeding those I love, adding Harpoon’s Winter Warmer to the mix reminded me that winter, beyond the holidays can still be special.
Among the recipes we have developed with Winter Warmer, our version of Chicken Pot Pie has been a favorite of ours and our guests. When it often feels like the next new thing reigns supreme, nourishment of the familiar (in the form of chicken pot pie) can be a perfect panacea. We made a “restaurant style” version, but a less complicated approach with the same flavors can be easily achieved. Take your time making this, enjoy the process, forgive and embrace the quirks that come with creating something from scratch. It always helps to have a little music and a Harpoon Winter Warmer while you’re cooking.
Winter Warmer Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup flour
1 bottle Harpoon Winter Warmer
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
½ cup sliced leeks
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced carrots
1 cup button mushrooms
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. rosemary, chopped
1 package puff pastry or similar for the topping
Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt ½ cup butter, add flour and whisk until smooth. Add chicken stock and Harpoon Winter Warmer, whisk until mixture is smooth bubbly and starting to thicken, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Melt remainder of the butter; add all veggies and herbs, except garlic. Cook veggies and herbs in butter until they start to become soft. Add the garlic and cook until all veggies become translucent and softer.
- In a separate bowl, add veggies and chicken into the sauce. Season to taste.
- Butter the bottom of a baking dish and season liberally with pepper. Add all ingredients to the baking dish, placing puff pastry with small slits on top.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until pie filling is hot and pastry top is golden brown.
About Tiffani Faison: Tiffani is the Chef-Owner of Sweet Cheeks in Boston and a former finalist on Bravo's hit show, Top Chef. Her complete bio can be viewed here.
Photo Credit: Mike Diskin