Beer, BBQs and Growlers
I have a confession to make: I do not like the winter. I’ve tried. Despite giving snowboarding, speed skating, and polar bear dipping honest attempts, when the snow falls, I can’t help but daydream about warmer days – hopping on my road bike and cruising around the province, or firing up the BBQ with a nice cold beer.
So, this past weekend, when the temperature shot up to a balmy 9 degrees in Halifax, it was time to embrace the arrival of spring by firing up the grill. I decided to make my way to Propeller Brewery store, affectionately known as the “Prop Shop” to purchase necessary weekend supplies. My mission: to find the perfect marinade ingredient.
Located on Gottingen St., Propeller is a microbrewery that specializes in craft ales, and is known around the city for The Growler (more on this later). Upon entering the Prop Shop, I was greeted by two friendly staff, both eager to help me achieve my quest for marinating perfection. As well as the friendly customer service staff, the Shop features a variety of Propeller products (craft ales and sodas) and merchandise (from hats to hoodies) and, perhaps most importantly, a sample station that offers the opportunity to try the array of many available beers.
Beer is a multi-functional beverage that transcends the plains of functionality; it is equally equipped to serve as key ingredient in a recipe as it is to serve as the perfect compliment to a meal. As any diligent BBQer would, it was my duty to seek out the ultimate beverage/seasoning combo. I decided to start my taste testing with the Honey Wheat Ale, the chief ingredient in Honey Wheat BBQ Chicken, one of six recipes available on Propeller’s website.
Honey Wheat Ale
Honey Wheat was very smooth, a refreshing taste with a delicious hint of honey sweetness. The decision to make the Honey Wheat BBQ chicken turned out to be a delicious one, and received rave reviews from all who tried it. The tangy taste of Propeller Honey Wheat hops perfectly complimented the sweet taste of molasses, resulting in tender chicken with a full suite of flavour. I also tried the marinade on shrimp and can personally vouch that its deliciousness can be applied to surf or turf.
Writer Richard Bach once said that: “True love stories never have endings”. I hope that my newly formed relationship with this beer never comes to a close. The Pilsener was love at first pour, emitting a crisp flavor, complete with a complex finish, combining both bitter and sweet. If my tastebuds could sing, the moment this beer touched my tongue, they would have started belting out Lionel Ritchie’s Endless Love. The Pilsener will definitely be making an appearance at many a summer BBQ.
The London Style Porter, a Gold Medal winner at the 2007 and 2008 World Beer Championships, is also worthy of mention. Full-bodied, with hints of coffee, this dark beer made for the perfect St. Paddy’s day celebration drink. My next culinary adventure will involve using it as a marinade for prime rib… stay tuned!
The word Growler is a noun, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means:
1) a person or thing that growls
2) a small iceberg
3) a four-wheeled hansom cab
4) a pail or other container used for carrying drink, especially draft beer
Propeller’s version of the Growler combines definitions #’s 4 and 1 (and, it’s a stretch, but possibly # 3), in that it is a two-litre refillable jug of local beer that the thought of any empty Growler may invoke growls from patrons and lead to a return trip to the Prop Shop (potentially via four-wheeled hansom cab, whatever that is). The Growler is an economical way to buy beer (and can be exchanged for a freshly brewed jug at $9.00/2L with the return of your empty).
The Prop Shop is a great first stop on any BBQ preparation journey.