Pumpkin and Stout Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels, pumpkin spice, oatmeal stout

We know, we know…everyone is overdosing on pumpkin spice, it’s a fall cliche, it’s just too hip. But . . . so? We’re not ashamed to admit we love pumpkin spice! In fact, we’re downright happy to ride the pumpkin-spice tidal wave until it crests sometime next week, following the palate-resetting mini-candy-bar blowout that is Halloween.

Stout is very complementary to pumpkin; the flavors work really well together, especially with the addition of warm fall spices, yeast, and a touch of brown sugar.

You can use whatever stout makes your heart sing. (I used our own homebrewed oatmeal stout, which is a damn fine specimen, if I do say so myself.) Canned pumpkin works a treat–but be sure to use plain pureed pumpkin and not pie filling.

Don’t skip the boiling process–it takes only a few seconds and is super simple to accomplish. Make sure to let the pretzels cool before buttering and sugaring them. And this is one case where less is more, as far as the butter basting goes. Too much butter (hard to believe there is such a thing), and your spiced sugar will just clump up and fall off. Restrain yourself.

Click HERE to visit Growlers and Lace for the recipe for these fun-to-make-and-eat soft pretzels.

George Washington: Beer Guy

5 Boozy Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Our First President

George Washington, beer, home brewer, Founding Father, Famous beer drinkers

There’s no shortage of anecdotes about our first president’s honesty, courage, and general uprightness. Lesser known, but no less endearing, is his reputation as a home brewer and enthusiast of quality beer. He frowned on drunkenness (we get it–who has time for a hangover when you’re running a brand-new country AND one of the most profitable whiskey distilleries in the nation?), but he could bend an elbow with the best of them.

Visit Growlers and Lace to read the rest of this article.

MillerCoors to Acquire Majority Interest in Saint Archer Brewing Co.

Saint Archer Pale Ale

MillerCoors announced today that its craft and import division, Tenth and Blake, will acquire a majority interest in San Diego’s Saint Archer Brewing Company.

Saint Archer, founded in 2013, forecasts a sale of 35,000 barrels this year, a 100 percent increase over last year’s sales, making it one of the fastest-growing breweries in California. The good news is that Tenth and Blake intends to keep Josh Landan, Saint Archer cofounder and president, at the helm.


LDW 2015: SoCal Beer Tour


What did you guys do for Labor Day? We drank beer. All weekend long. It’s not as profligate as it sounds; we paced ourselves.

We were in Oceanside for a soccer tournament, so during our time off, we took side trips to as many breweries and brew pubs as we could.Note: if you’re looking for a place to vacation and craft beer is your jam, I highly recommend a trip to the San Diego area. According to the West Coaster, there are 115 operational brew houses in the San Diego area (as of September 2015).

The breweries/brew pubs we hit in our 3-day stay:


Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Review)

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer has appeared in the US by way of St. Killian Importing. Popular in the UK (where it is available in flavors such as strawberry and lime and Scottish raspberry), Crabbie’s is the official sponsor of the Grand National Festival, an annual handicap steeplechase held in Liverpool, England. St. Killian’s has been importing Crabbie’s into the US for the past couple of years, and it’s currently available available in 18 US states.
Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer, ginger beer
Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Category: Flavored malt and cider

Style/Type: Malt beverage

Description: Flavored with imported ginger cold-steeped for a period of up to 6 weeks, then combined with “four secret ingredients.”

How to serve: In a tall glass, over ice, with a slice of lemon or lime.

Stats: ABV 4.8%

Tasting notes: Has a lovely spicy ginger flavor that provides the gentle, back-of-the-throat burn that ginger lovers will appreciate. Both the original and the orange versions are dominated by ginger flavor, and as is typical of other malt beverages, the alcohol is almost indiscernible. The sweetness is prominent, as in nonalcoholic ginger ale. Because Crabbie’s isn’t technically a “beer,” I won’t use the ASTMO standards in my review.

Comments: Although I don’t typically choose sweet beverages, I enjoyed this one. It’s sweet but crisp, spicy, and very refreshing. It has a complexity of flavors that, for me, worked well with the sweetness. I can see why the words “alcoholic” and “for grownups only” are used in all the labeling.I’d like to try this in a shandygaff, the British version of the shandy, which mixes ginger beer with ale. (Click for my Lemon Shandy recipe.) It’s not the sort of thing I’d drink with a meal–I prefer straight-up beer–but it’s a nice summery change of pace from hard lemonade or cider for patio sipping. I’ll be stocking this one over the summer for sure.

Disclaimer: I received samples of both the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer and the Spiced Orange for tasting and review. My review is not compensated, and all opinions are mine.

Beer Me

In the interest of not going insane trying to keep track of four different blogs, I’ve decided to integrate posts from my craft beer blog–GrowlersandLace.com–here on Eat Real. Makes sense, right? Real food pairs beautifully with real beer.

Here’s to good meals, good company, and good beer!