The Brewmaster: An Introduction

The Brewmaster

Mixologists who choose the route of the brewmaster are joining a long line of ancient practitioners. Beer has been a part of civilization from the beginning, sometimes building it up and sometimes leading to its destruction. There are many types of beer and many uses, but an brewmaster does not need to brew their own to make good use of it. Some brewmasters, the hedge-wizards of the fermenting arts, prefer to use their beers as parts of other recipes. Beer added to almost any dish will grab the attention of your targets and invoke a feeling of novelty even from this ancient craft.
Those brewmasters who prefer to gather rather than create their materials should keep the following items in stock to present the full breadth of their medium’s range.

The Brewmaster’s Cabinet

Pilsner– Simple, familiar, and perfect for cooking with.
Witbier– Also called wheat beer, white beer, or (when unfiltered) hefeweizen, this beer is light and easy.
Pale Ale– Dominated by hops which gives it a citrus flavor. If you like this, try the stronger IPA (India Pale Ale) or the extreme APA (American Pale Ale).
Stout– Dark and strong-tasting, this style is full of malt which means it’s thicker and more alcoholic. To go all out, try the Imperial Stout which is usually two to three times stronger than a Budweiser or Coors.

The Brewmaster’s Toolbox

Beer Glassware– A simple pint glass might be alright for most mixologists, but for those dabbling in the art of beer steins, pilsner glasses, tulip glasses, and stanges are each designed to bring out the best in a certain style of beer.
Bottle Opener– In a pinch, a drawer handle, the edge of a table, or (for half-orc rednecks) one’s teeth will do, but having a sleek bottle-opener goes a long way towards building image.
Orange Slices– Hops, a major ingredient in most beers, has a strong citrus taste. It’s not recommended to actually drop the fruit in but as a garnish they work well.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

A fantastic addition to a St. Patrick’s Day party or just a delicious dessert. It may not be an actual glass of beer but when decorated right it sure looks like a frothy pint o’ the black stuff!

Ingredients for Cake
1 cup Guinness stout (don’t you dare waste the rest of the can)
10 Tb unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Ingredients for Frosting
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-3 Tb confectioners’ sugar (according to taste)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (according to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Best to get these ahead of time from your baker friend.
3. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and sugar, then whisk until blended together.
4. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix well. Stir into Guinness mixture along with flour and baking soda and whisk again until smooth.
5. Pour into buttered pan  and bake until risen and firm (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Enjoy the rest of your Guinness while you wait.
6. When cake is ready, let it cool on a wire rack or the stovetop while still in the springform pan. Whip the heavy cream until it looks like your favorite whipped cream consistency and then add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract.
7. Spread on top of the cake for the look of a pint of stout, complete with white head!

For optimal effect, serve this along with the other Guinnesses in your six-pack in pint glasses right alongside the dessert. As they say at the local microbrew here in St. Louis, beer’s not just for breakfast anymore. Go ahead and show your adventuring party the power of the pint!