Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cooper Kettle Brewing and Voodoo Doughnuts beer and food pairing

Cooper Kettle Brewing and Voodoo Doughnuts came together for a beer and food pairing. You wouldn't think of combining beer with doughnuts but it works. This event was the brainchild of Deborah Cameron, founder of the Barley's Angels Colorado. Deborah likes to mix things up and see how they pair. It was a surprise how the right style of beer pairs well with doughnuts.

Cooper Kettle Brewing has an event room which made this event really nice. We didn't have to contend with the added noise of the taproom. Cooper Kettle Brewing's Office Manager/co-owner Kristen Kozik was on-site to explain the pairings, there wasn't a representative from Voodoo Doughnuts. Kristen explained through an email interview that they do many food pairings with their beers so the pairing of the donuts wasn't very difficult. "It's how the taste of the beer compliments or contrasts the flavor of the food in your mouth and sometimes the pairings will surprise you as it may change the initial flavor of the doughnut once you pair it with a certain beer," Kristen wrote.
Kristin Kozik in their cold room
The brewery is three years old and they have expanded to a 15-barrel system and they have a staff of nine people.

The pairing consisted of one large taster of beer and a quarter piece of doughnut which was just enough to compare flavors.

The first beer was the Summer Ale- Dangerous Dan Pale Ale which is a hybrid that has 60% wheat and the spices that was used in the beer were from a local shop, Savory Spice. This beer is 6.0% ABV has a nice wheat taste with the pale ale hoppiness, it went well with the Tangfastic doughnut. The doughnut was a plain cake doughnut with vanilla frosting, tang, and marshmallows.

Second beer was Charlie's Golden Strong Ale, a 8.0% ABV beer with tropical fruit flavors that were 100% from the yeast. It was paired with Captain My Captain, a cake doughnut with Captain Crunch cereal on top. The doughnut was very sweet so the beer cut through that very well and the fruit flavors complimented each other.

The last pairing was with Cooper Kettle's award winning Mexican Chocolate Stout, a very spicy and hot peppery beer that is 7.0% ABV. The stout is brewed with 100% dark chocolate nibs, the raw bark form of cinnamon, and 3 different chili peppers. It has a very hot spicy feel in your mouth that I don't enjoy. The doughnut was Mexican Hot Chocolate, a chocolate cake doughnut that is dusted with cinnamon sugar and cayenne pepper. Out of the two, I liked the doughnut better. I think the beer should have been paired with a doughnut that was more of a contrast so it would dampen the chili cinnamon hotness of the Mexican Chocolate Stout.

The evening as always was fun and informative with guest speaker, Mark, The Denver Beer Guy. If you twitter then you probably have seen his tweets/re-tweets about beer. That night he was speaking to us about the trends in the beer industry. The popularity of craft beer grew 18% in 2014. There are 2000 breweries slated for opening around the country by the end of 2014. Mark told us that the definition of craft beer changed to allow adjuncts like corn and rice. And even though beer consumption is down 2%, craft beer is up 17%!
Mark, The Denver Beer Guy

He asked us what we thought were the future trends in beer styles and we were all on target. Sour Ales are very popular now and many breweries are now trying their hands to make these. Session beers, those that are 5% ABV and below, is another popular trend in beer. Then there's collaborations between breweries that has become more popular, it's such a trend that Sierra Nevada put their Beer Camp collaborations on tour this year. And The Beer Guy also stated, Native Ales were a new trend, until he explained it, I had no idea what that was. Native Ales are an whole American beer that is brewed with totally American ingredients such as hops, grains, and yeast.

Kristin gave us a tour of the brewing facility.  The brewery has an impressive brew house even though they are relatively small. The space is packed with brewing equipment.

The Brew House

The barrels for aging beer.
Thanks again to Deborah Cameron for this event and to Cooper Kettle Brewing for providing the space for the event and the beer. Thanks also to Voodoo Donuts for creating such outrageous doughnuts.

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