By: Jordan McMillan, Digital Marketing Published:
Whatever blast of cold is invading your space we promise this Shepherd’s pie will warm you up. When you get it at a restaurant it always seems so fancy and unattainable! But after doing our due diligence (aka Pinterest surfing) we decided to give it a shot with Harpoon IPA in the mix and were pleasantly surprised at how simple it was! Combine that with a cold IPA and you’ve got yourself an easy and delicious, savory meal!
Harpoon IPA Shepherd’s Pie
Loosely adapted from The Rebel Chick
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup chopped (or frozen) carrots
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 5 large russet potatoes
- 4 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional but come on!)
- 1 can of Harpoon IPA
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel and quarter potatoes, boil for about 20 minutes until tender.
- While your potatoes are cooking, add onion, peas, corn and carrots to a frying pan with the olive oil and ¼ cup of Harpoon IPA and sauté until the onions are clear.
- Add the ground beef and garlic and sauté until cooked through. Add the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and another ¼ cup of Harpoon IPA and stir to mix. Let the beer soak into the meat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare mashed potatoes according to your liking. I use 1/2 a stick of butter, 1/4 cup milk and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Pour your beef mixture into baking dish and strain out some of the liquid.
- Add heaping spoonfuls of mashed potatoes on top of the meat & vegetables. Make sure that the mashed potatoes are distributed as evenly as possible. Cover mashed potatoes with shredded cheese.
- Cook in the 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
Best enjoyed with a cold Harpoon IPA!
By: Charlie Cummings, Quality Control Supervisor Published:
Each year, Harpoon takes its utmost respected, hard-working, and flat-out indispensable employees, who happen to be celebrating their 5th anniversary, (and for some, their 8, 12, and 17th…) to Europe. After the trip, we brew a beer inspired by the culture for our 100 Barrel Series. This year, the group went to Italy to learn more about their craft beer culture. Quality Control Supervisor and brewer of this year’s European inspired 100 Barrel Series beer, Charlie Cummings, provides an inside look at Italy, and the collaboration that led to 100 Barrel Series #52 - Tuscan Pool Party!
I had heard about the exploding craft beer scene in Italy for a few years, so I felt very lucky and excited when Italy was the chosen destination for our 2014 trip. Going into the trip, Al Marzi and I both were kicking around the idea of brewing a red wine grape-themed beer based on our experiences in Italy, but we kept an open mind because we knew there’d be a lot of original brews there.
During our trip, we visited the Trastevere district of Rome which had some great bars serving all styles of beer. Some were very nice crisp pilsners and IPAs but there were also some much more "out there" beer styles. We tried one beer where a full 50% of the volume was from wine grapes. It was highly carbonated, tart and complex, and it piqued our interest.
A few stunning 70 degree days were spent in Tuscany where we bought several bottles from a winery we visited. The unbelievable landscape and our hang outs by the pool at night, were complemented by plenty of bottles of wine and Harpoon IPA cans we brought along to give out to new friends (full disclosure, most of them were consumed by us!) At one point I topped off a half can of Summer Beer with Chianti. Right then, I knew we could have a pretty great flavor combination by brewing something like that.
Our last adventure of the trip was a visit to Birricio L’Olmaia in Montepulciano, Italy. When we arrived, renowned Italian craft brewer Moreno Ercolani, explained his love for rock music right off the bat . He really was a good host, popping open bottle after bottle to serve to our large group, explaining each beer as he went. We all kind of identified with him and his brewing philosophy - beers with lots of bold flavors, but nothing out of balance. And you could tell he really cared deeply about all his beers. We asked him if he'd like to work on a beer with us and come out to Boston some time to hang out and try the beers we make for our loyal Harpoon fans. I'm not sure he understood we were serious at that moment, but we were. I couldn't wait to get back and start brewing pilots for a L’Olmaia collaboration beer.
In the weeks and months following our return, Moreno, Al and I tossed back and forth ideas by email on various techniques for brewing a wine grape beer. We tasted a handful of American-made wine grape beers and they were delicious but all very different from each other. During the process, I made three different pilot batches on our 20 gallon homebrew system, using a Chianti kit from the winemaking supply store and various combinations of malt, hops and even yeast (we tried fermenting one carboy with Belgian yeast but it was decided that was too confusing on top of an already hard-to-explain beer).
It’s hard to explain because it is not a style. You can't look up the style specs for this beer online and decide whether it fits it or not. It is a beer that gets the best aroma and flavor aspects out of high-quality Sangiovese and Merlot juice (a blend similar to what goes into Chianti - the main red wine of Tuscany.) It layers on top of that the familiar fruity, resiny character of Amarillo dry hops. We're aging it on oak spirals to accentuate the wine aspect of it. Just like the beers of L'Olmaia though, we don't want any particular ingredient to dominate. This is going to taste totally new to people, but at the same time it should be familiar and smooth. At 7.6% ABV it will not be a session beer by any stretch, but still something you really want another sip of. The long, tart finish makes sure of that. It couldn't have hurt that we hung a portable CD player on the tank, cranking Zeppelin as it fermented, either.
I hope a bottle or draft of this finds its way to you. Consider it a glass of beer made for the fun of it, and in respect for the traditions of brewing and wine making, but especially the growing craft beer movement of Italy. Thanks to Moreno and also my co-workers (now co-owners!) for helping to make this beer a reality!
Check back soon for more information about Tuscan Pool Party and where you can find it!