John Holl, journalist and author of “The American Craft Beer Cookbook,” is joining The Bookworm of Edwards and Crazy Mountain Brewery to explore his love of beer and food. His multi-year interest in craft beers has led him on a nationwide search for the best breweries. This exploration has culminated in three books, which recount the ever-evolving world of microbrews.
“The American Craft Beer Cookbook,” published in August 2013, features recipes made both with and without beer. However, each selection is expertly paired with delicious beers to enhance the food’s flavors. Beer enthusiasts will rejoice with recipes like duck chile rellenos with Belgan endive and gruyere, fondue and beermosas.
Crazy Mountain Brewery, co-host for this event, contributed its recipe for “Patatas Braveas” (brave potatoes) to Holl’s book. Claire Plunkett, the director of events and sponsorship at Crazy Mountain Brewery, gushed about the dish.
“With a plethora of spices, this flavorful side dish livens many meals. No courage required,” Plunkett said. “Crazy Mountain Brewery uses its hop-forward Amber Ale in this recipe, and we suggest that you pour some into a glass for yourself as well.”
Holl will discuss his book and favorite pairings this evening at Crazy Mountain Brewery. His presentation will include a discussion of his book, followed by a book signing. The Crazy Wagon Food Truck will also be at the event.
Books provided by The Bookworm of Edwards will be available for purchase at the event for $19.95. A plate of Patatas Bravas and a pint of beer will be provided, and is included in the price for the event.
Beer’s ‘vast superiority’
Holl’s book is a celebration of original brews and the foods they can be used to create. Garrett Oliver, introduction author for “The American Craft Beer Cookbook,” states that the versatility found in craft beer “gives beer vast superiority over other beverages when it comes to compatibility at the table.” Microbrews are creations of the brewers’ imagination and “can taste like sea air, like bananas, like ginger, like chocolate or coffee, like cherries, like rum, like virtually anything at all,” Oliver continues.
This versatility comes with challenges. A few book reviewers discovered that some of the recipes required beers that were difficult to find in their local liquor stores since most of the beers were brewery specific. Despite this difficulty, more than one critic is packing bags for a brewery-inspired vacation. This enthusiasm is inspired by Holl’s excitement for beer, a characteristic evident in his writing, which makes beer-lovers and beer-skeptics alike want to expand their horizons.
In his introduction to his latest book, he states that he believes “that beer pairs better than wine with food.” He supports this bold statement by discussing the difference between certain beers and the wide range of craft-beers he loves. He continues by saying “it is no longer valid for someone to say he or she just doesn’t like beer. With more than 100 style variations and just about every possible ingredient … there is a taste than can please anyone.” Essentially, he drinker must be open-minded about the beer in question.
Leigh Horton is the journalism intern at The Bookworm of Edwards and a student at the Colorado School of Mines.