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The Lois Beer Club

Viewing life through the bottom of a Pilsner Glass

Category : Cooking and Recipies

Sam Adams Winter Lager Cookies

Baking cookies around the holidays is a Samuel Adams favorite among our brewers. And like all our favorite things, we take to it the only way we know how – by adding beer!While we know a thing or two about brewing, we tapped some real baking professionals for ideas on how to create this year’s batch of Samuel Adams Winter Lager cookies.

We’re excited to collaborate with LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe of Boston and Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices of Cincinnati – both proud participants in our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program – to create our Winter Lager cookie recipe. While the recipe comes courtesy of Sandy Russo at LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe, Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices provided the spices we needed to add the holiday flavor.

Samuel Adams® Winter Lager Cookie

Recipe by Sandy Russo of Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe


  • ½ cup Samuel Adams Winter Lager
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange powder
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Winter Lager & Cookes #2Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes, add molasses, beat for 1 minute.  Add the egg & beer, beat 30 seconds.

Combine flour, salt, spices and baking soda.  On lowest speed of mixer, beat in half of the flour mixture.  Using a spoon, stir in remaining dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2-3 portions; press each into a round, flattened disk and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll dough to ¼” thickness and cut into perfect pint shapes. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet & bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Royal Icing (optional):

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract or pure vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in bowl and beat on medium high for 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and glossy. Spread over cookies immediately and enjoy!


Aroma: A wide range of aromatics is possible, although many examples are reminiscent of Christmas cookies, gingerbread, Englishtype Christmas pudding, spruce trees, or mulling spices. Any combination of aromatics that suggests the holiday season is welcome. The base beer style often has a malty profile that supports the balanced presentation of the aromatics from spices and possibly other special ingredients. Additional fermentables (e.g., honey, molasses, maple syrup, etc.) may lend their own unique aromatics. Hop aromatics are often absent, subdued, or slightly spicy. Some fruit character (often of dried citrus peel, or dried fruit such as raisins or plums) is optional but acceptable. Alcohol aromatics may be found in some examples, but this character should be restrained. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious, and is often fairly complex and inviting.

Appearance: Generally medium amber to very dark brown (darker versions are more common). Usually clear, although darker versions may be virtually opaque. Some chill haze is acceptable. Generally has a well-formed head that is often off-white to tan.

Flavor: Many interpretations are possible; allow for brewer creativity as long as the resulting product is balanced and provides some spice presentation. Spices associated with the holiday season are typical (as mentioned in the Aroma section). The spices and optional fermentables should be supportive and blend well with the base beer style. Rich, malty and/or sweet malt-based flavors are common, and may include caramel, toast, nutty, or chocolate flavors. May include some dried fruit or dried fruit peel flavors such as raisin, plum, fig, orange peel or lemon peel. May include distinctive flavors from specific fermentables (molasses, honey, brown sugar, etc.), although these elements are not required. A light spruce or other evergreen tree character is optional but found in some examples. The wide range of special ingredients should be supportive and balanced, not so prominent as to overshadow the base beer. Bitterness and hop flavor are generally restrained so as to not interfere with the spices and special ingredients. Generally finishes rather full and satisfying, and often has some alcohol flavor. Roasted malt characteristics are rare, and not usually stronger than chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A wide range of interpretations is possible. Body is generally medium to full, and a certain malty chewiness is often present. Moderately low to moderately high carbonation is typical. Many examples will show some well-aged, warming alcohol content, but without being overly hot. The beers do not have to be overly strong to show some warming effects. Overall Impression: A stronger, darker, spiced beer that often has a rich body and warming finish suggesting a good accompaniment for the cold winter season. History: Throughout history, beer of a somewhat higher alcohol content and richness has been enjoyed during the winter holidays, when old friends get together to enjoy the season. Many breweries produce unique seasonal offerings that may be darker, stronger, spiced, or otherwise more characterful than their normal beers. Spiced versions are an American or Belgian tradition, since English or German breweries traditionally do not use spices in their beer.

Ingredients: Generally ales, although some dark strong lagers exist. Spices are required, and often include those evocative of the Christmas season (e.g., allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger) but any combination is possible and creativity is encouraged. Fruit peel (e.g., oranges, lemon) may be used, as may subtle additions of other fruits. May use a wide range of crystal-type malts, particularly those that add dark fruit or caramel flavors. Flavorful adjuncts are often used (e.g., molasses, treacle, invert sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.).

Comments: Overall balance is the key to presenting a well-made Christmas beer. The special ingredients should complement the base beer and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and special ingredients work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. THE ENTRANT MAY DECLARE AN UNDERLYING BEER STYLE AS WELL AS THE SPECIAL INGREDIENTS USED. THE BASE STYLE, SPICES OR OTHER INGREDIENTS NEED NOT BE IDENTIFIED. THE BEER MUST INCLUDE SPICES AND MAY INCLUDE OTHER FERMENTABLES (SUGARS, HONEY, MAPLE SYRUP, MOLASSES, TREACLE, ETC.) OR FRUIT. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. Whenever spices, herbs or additional fermentables are declared, each should be noticeable and distinctive in its own way (although not necessarily individually identifiable; balanced with the other ingredients is still critical). English-style Winter Warmers (some of which may be labeled Christmas Ales) are generally not spiced, and should be entered as Old Ales. Clones of specific Belgian-style Christmas ales should be entered as Belgian Specialty Beers.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, IBUs, SRM and ABV will vary depending on the underlying base beer. ABV is generally above 6%, and most examples are somewhat dark in color.

Commercial Examples: Anchor Our Special Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Weyerbacher Winter Ale, Goose Island Christmas Ale, North Coast Wintertime Ale, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Drinksgiving… A Liquid Feast

Taken from Popsci.com

A Feast In A Bottle You could have (almost) all of this fine food in beer form!Wikipedia

Ah, Thanksgiving. That gluttonous annual tribute to post-colonial greed. To celebrate, many of us are going to be drinking beer — a lot of it — before, during and after the main event. This helps one tolerate one’s insane relatives and of course there are games to be watched — NFL and NCAA football and, for those of a more international bent, the second Australia-South Africa Test will be in its second day. (Yes, Team BeerSci likes Test cricket. Don’t judge.)

But when discussing beers appropriate for Thanksgiving with the PopSci.com editorial team, we hit upon a better idea. Drink Your Turkey-Day Dinner. It sounds implausible — and it’s certainly not advisable — but it is possible to have a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner in beer form. Pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce are two very obvious dishes that have clear beer counterparts: google “pumpkin ale” or “cranberry beer” and you’ll find a large array of commercially available beers such as Southern Tier’s Pumking and Sam Adams’ Cranberry Lambic.

But what about the poultry? Or stuffing? Or green-bean casserole? Well, for those you’ll have to be creative.


(sort of) To get the obvious question out of the way: Yes, there is an extant recipe for “cock ale.” It has shown up in different homebrew books, was mentioned in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and was included in the first cookbook published in the then-colonies,The Compleat Housewife from 1727.

Take 10 gallons of ale and a large cock, the older the better; parboil the cock, flay him, and stamp him in a stone mortar until his bones are broken (you must gut him when you flay him). Then, put the cock into two quarts of sack, and put to it five pounds of raisins of the sun – stoned; some blades of mace, and a few cloves. Put all these into a canvas bag, and a little before you find the ale has been working, put the bag and ale together in vessel. In a week or nine days bottle it up, fill the bottle just above the neck and give it the same time to ripen as other ale.

Basically, you’re dry-hopping your beer with a gutted, flayed, boiled smashed capon that has been soaked in sherry, and then adding some raisins and spices. Yum! The entire recipe is on the next page.

Commercial examples of poultry beer: Hahahahaha.


Beer is, as the saying goes, “liquid bread,” so making a stuffing beer means putting the herbs into beer. Digging around the internet, I found recipes for garlic beer and I found at least one brewery, The Maui Brewing Company, who makes an Onion Mild for the annual Maui Onion Festival. Reading more into the onion beer, it looks like the brewers take sweet Maui onions and caramelize them (or otherwise bring on the Maillard reaction), then add those to the boil and at flameout. Be sure to add some fresh thyme and oregano at flameout as well to get an herby character in there. You can use the recipe for the Marathon Mild as your base.

Creamed onions

In New England, having creamed pearl onion side dish is customary, so we came up with an Onion Cream Ale recipe. Cream ales are an indigenous American style of beer: light, typically brewed with American six-row barley and a corn adjunct. Cream ales are fermented cool or cold, using a neutral ale yeast strain (you don’t want too many esters). The most well-known example of this style is probably Genesee Cream Ale from upstate New York.

Commercial examples of allium beers: Maui Brewing Company Onion Mild Yates Brewery Garlic Beer

Fakin’ it: Drink Genny Cream Ale. It’s cheap and cheery.

Cranberry Sauce

Awhile ago, I had an excellent cherry stout made by Bell’s Brewery. It had enough roast character to offset the cloying sweetness that most non-lambic fruit beers (and especially most American fruit beers) suffer from, but one could still catch a definite cherry character to the brew. Because of this, I think that a Cranberry Stout would be an excellent way to get cranberries in. I found an interesting recipe for a cranberry stout, but really all you need to do is brew a stout and throw some sanitized cranberries into the secondary.

Commercial examples of cranberry beer: Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic Odells Cranberry Oatmeal Porter Cascade Brewing Cranberry Sour Harpoon Brewery Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale

Sweet Potatoes

Recipes I’ve seen use pureed canned sweet potato and a period of caramelization in the oven before putting it in the mash tun with your grains. Really, as long as you convert the starches in the tuber into fermentable sugars, you’ll be fine. Or steam ‘em (this pasteurizes the sweet potato) and put them in the secondary.

Commercial examples of sweet potato beer: Bell’s Sweet Potato Stout Bent River Brewing Company Sweet Potato Ale

Pumpkin Pie

Some pumpkin ales are just a regular ale with pumpkin pie spices. Others use pureed pumpkin at various points of the brewing process (usually in the mash or boil). There are many, many recipes out there for this style of beer. For those who love lagers, I’ve found a few examples of pumpkin lager out there as well.

Commercial examples of pumpkin beer: Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager Southern Tier Pumking About one zillion others.

Green Bean Casserole

Sorry folks. You are on your own.

If you have suggestions for any of the beer varieties listed — especially commercial varieties, but also brewing tips — add them in the comments. Team BeerSci will be posting increasingly surly updates to the Twitter feed on Thanksgiving, so if you’re bored, hit us up there @BeerSci!

If you want to see sample recipes for the above beers, click on through to page two!

Top American Beers for Thanksgiving

While the rest of the panicked holiday preppers fret over which wine pairs  best the Thanksgiving turkey, we have an alternate suggestion for the  peripatetic pilgrims bound for your table this year: Serve beer.

“It’s not like wine, which can get confusing. Beer provides bold,  distinguishing flavors and expressions,” says Josh Bernstein, author of Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and  Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Beer Revolution.  Jimmy Carbone, owner of New York City’s craft beer haunt Jimmy’s No. 43  agrees: “I feel many beers go with many foods, and are more flexible than  wines.”

Take that, Beaujolais Nouveau.

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales in the U.S. showed a  nice 15 percent increase in 2011, and early reports for 2012 show 250 new craft  brewery openings, with more expected. What that means for you? Great craft beer  evermore available at a brewpub or store near you.

Another bonus, you’re less likely to embarrass yourself in front of the  guests. Even those with a high alcohol content, at 10 percent or slightly more,  don’t pack a punch like wine, which can hit 16 percent or even 17 percent in a  Zinfandel, for example.

So how do you pair, exactly?

“Typically, when I’m looking at doing beer pairing, I’m looking at the whole  composition of plate,” says beer-and-food pairing expert Ben Lord of Kittery,  Maine’s beer-happy restaurant, The Black Birch.

We asked our three experts — Bernstein (whose just released the App version  of his book last week), Carbone, and Lord — to throw down their favorite  suggestions for everything from turkey to pie, and all sides in between: Here’s  what they came up with:

Appetizers: For the mixed bag of pre-dinner nosh, Bernstein smartly  recommends a clean, crisp Pilsner like Victory Brewing’s Prima Pilsner. “Pilsners won’t knock you over but still have lots of flavor and character. For  appetizers, my classic go-to awesome beer is Victory Brewing Prima Pilsner. It’s  beautiful, brisk, and easy to drink. It’s great on its own but also goes so well  with wide variety of appetizers, like cheeses. It cuts through a nice, rich brie  but also makes a great complement to sharp cheddar.”

Turkey with gravy: “Oftentimes, I think a really good  farmhouse-style Belgian works here,” says Bernstein. “It’s an earthy and  intriguing style, that started back in the day when it was given to Belgian  farmhand workers since there was no potable water. It’s a style that’s been  picked up by a lot of American brewers, and can run the gamut from dry and  hoppy, to sweet and spicy, to peppery and lively. His pick for this holiday:   Colorado’s Funkwerks Saison Belgian-Style Ale, at 6.8 percent ABV, it’s  got notes of citrus, black pepper, and a slight, pleasant lingering bitterness. “It’s classic! The pepper and citrus cut through the richness of gravy and won’t  overpower everything else.”

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/11/20/suds-and-spuds-best-american-beers-for-your-thanksgiving-table/#ixzz2CoTaCvn1

Beer Can Turkey.. Happy Thanksgiving

Cooking Channel tv.com


  • 1 whole 8lb turkey – thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry, gibletsand neck discarded
  • 1/3 cup freshly ground coriander
  • 2tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (32 oz) can, lager beer (a squat can like Foster’s Lagerworks well)
  • 1 (1.5oz) jar, pickling spice

1.Light a charcoal chimney starter filled charcoal briquettes, allowing them to “ash over” fully aka turn white. Meanwhile, prepare the spice rub; in a medium bowl combine coriander and pepper. Note: If you don’t have a chimney, cut the ends off a metal coffee can and use that. **See Chef’s Note below.2.In a separate bowl combine softened butter and 3 tablespoons of the spice rub.

3.Prepare the turkey. Carefully slide your fingers under the skin to loosen it, starting from the breast end. Liberally coat turkey, both inside and out, with kosher salt. Rub spice butter under the skin and all over the turkey (reserving some butterfor basting). Note: Avoid tearing the skin or you’ll lose delicious juices.

4.Thoroughly the coat turkey on all sides with remaining dry rub, patting it in place. Fold wing tips behind turkey so they don’t burn.

5.In a large bowl, mix the beer with the pickling spice. Using sharp kitchen shears, carefully remove the top 1 – 2” of the beer can. Add the beer mixture back to the can.

6.Carefully balance the turkey cavity over the beer can, lowering the turkey slowly until it sits snugly on the can.

7.Spread the hot coals into a ring in the bottom of the grill to achieve a grilling temperature of 350 degrees F. Place the turkey (still on the beer can) in the center of the cooking grate.

8.Cook covered for about 2 hours until the thigh reaches 180 degrees F, basting twice with the remaining spice butter. (The ring of coals may need to be replenished to keep grill at 350 degrees F.) Remove the hot turkey from the grill with a towel or oven mitts. One person can carefully extractthe hot beer can from the cavity of the bird with tongs as the other holds the bird steady with oven mitts.

9.Let the bird rest 15 – 20 minutes before carving to retain the juices.

**Chef’s Note: You can also cook this inside in your oven. Set it at 350 degrees F and roast it for the same length of time, and when the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Put the rack in the lowest position and check to make sure your bird fits before you begin the process.