Farm to Bottle
So I am a big fan of controlling the end-to-end experience. Disney does this really well. Apple used to do this really well. And in the craft beer community, Rogue does this really well. As a developer, you will sometimes throw your hands in the air and say, “fuck it, I will build it myself!” It seems like Rogue started brewing beer and went, “fuck it, I will build my own farm!” On their farm, they grow pumpkins along with hops, barley, and rye. The ability to control all levels of production really gives them a leg up crafting excellence in a pint glass. Or as Rogue says it, “we grow beer.”
Pumpkin Patch Ale is a murky amber color when poured into a glass. The smell is that of a freshly baked baked pumpkin pie flaunting throughout the household. Upfront, you get that malt and pumpkin with the spice slowly taking up the rear. The malt provides a creaminess that, combined with the pumpkin and spice, reminds me of pumpkin pie. Why didn’t I just do a pumpkin pie recipe?
Growing up, I despised walnuts in most sweets. I picked it out of fudge, chocolates, and especially dessert bread like pumpkin bread. Fast forward to my twenties and walnuts and I have come to a mutual understanding. However, on the side, I got developed a special relationship with pecans. The pecans spoke to me and pondered, “if you love me so much, why don’t you use me in baking?” The pecans were right. I had no excuse, yet I was still mindlessly adding to walnuts to everything.
In this recipe, I boiled out the CO2 and alcohol and reduced the volume from one cup to half a cup. The jury is still out on whether this reducing of liquids provides any value to the recipe. I plan on doing a reduction versus non-reduction test in the near future. Be sure to add the Pumpkin Patch Ale during the creaming process. If you are a seasoned baker, odds are you have any understanding for viscosity of the blended butter and sugar. If you a spatula full of batter falls from gravity, but doesn’t instantly fall back into the bowl (too runny!), then you got a good consistency going. Remember that beer will make you cream more runny. Keep an eye on it and always compensate when needed. More sugar and butter isn’t a bad thing.
When you test Pumpkin Patch Ale, it gives off a creamy flavor that simulates pumpkin pie or a pumpkin latte. When added with wheat, you see similar result. However, it takes a back seat to spice in its bread form. With the help of sugar, the spice is really the star of the show here.
If interested in making a pumpkin bread that has a little bit more spice than your usual bread, then try this out and let me know what you think!
Authors notes: Pecans don’t actually speak, to me or anyone.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease two loaf pans. Cream the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and mix. Mix in the oil and pumpkin. In a small sauce pan, add the pumpkin patch ale to the pan and simmer. Set aside. Reduce until only 1/2 cup of beer is remaining. Set aside.
- Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture a little bit at a time. Finally, mix in the pecans.
- Pour batter into the loaf pans. Bake until you can insert a toothpick into center and comes out dry or approximately 1 hour. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before serving