The Hoppy Bear Comes into Play Finally
I made some mac and cheese a couple of months ago and loved it. The only regret I had was that I didn’t add beer to the mix. I grew up with a great disdain for mac and cheese, mainly because of Easy Mac. I have too much love for cheese to eat it in powdered form. So for most of my adolescence, it was not apart of my life. Until one day, I tried Karl Strauss’ Mac and Cheese recipe. It really was a big deal! Since then, I have been tweaking my own home-made recipe for a few months now.
I have been trying to figure out a way to integrate Bear Republic into the mix as they produce one of my favorite IPAs Racer 5. There hoppy and bitter flavors have been apart of my failures in previous recipes and couldn’t figure out how to integrate it into my bread recipes. However, the savior greasy favors of cheese create a great contrast for the flavors of Bear Republic’s beers. So lets make it happen, but first, some facts about the beer we will be using: Red Rocket Ale, a “bastardized” version of a Scottish style ale.
- Style: American Amber Ale
- ABV: 6.8
- IBU: 67
- Color: Deep Copper Red
The greasy and cheesy flavors are amazing and followed by a slight bitterness, that by no way takes away from the cheesy flavor. This is amazing and a great way to integrate hoppy beers into your meals. Most recipes recommend the use Velveta Cheese, but I hate Velveta so to compensate, add more cream / half and half / etc.
Bear Republic mentions that Gouda pairs well with this beer so next run I will try to integrate Gouda into the mix. If you try this beer mac and cheese, please let me know how it turns up.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt into water to bring to a boil faster. Add oil and pasta for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain water.
- Add butter into drained pasta and mix until completely melted. Add cheeses into macaroni, saving about half a cup for later. Mix in half and half, cream, and Red Rocket Ale. Mix vigorously. Add salt, pepper, and cubed chicken.
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Transfer mac and cheese into the a casserole dish. Add more pepper and sprinkle some cheese. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Take out and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the edges begin to bubble.