Category Archives: Vegetarian

Pretzels and Hefeweizen

Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks, and hefeweizen is one of my favorite style of beer.  When Hurricane Irene came to town, the best way to combat the rainy, stormy day was staying in, drinking some hefeweizen and baking pretzels.  In Philadelphia, pretzels are everywhere.  You find vendors on street corners, they’re sold at sporting events and community festivals, and there are stores all over town.  It’s not surprising that the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average (via Pretzel Museum).  Making them yourself was a lot of fun.

Here they are prior to baking

To go along with the pretzels, we needed the right beer.  The German style hefeweizen fit the bill perfectly, “Hefe” means yeast and “weizen” means wheat in German, so the hefeweizen style of beer is a wheat beer that gets a lot of its taste and characteristics from the yeast.  My hefeweizen was brewed with German Pilsner and Wheat Malts, lightly hopped with Liberty hops, and fermented with White Labs hefeweizen yeast.  The yeast gives off a lot of banana and clove flavors.  The beer had a full body, and was nice and sweet.

It paired perfectly with pretzels we made using this recipe from  All Recipes.  We had an assortment of mustards with them, classic yellow, spicy brown, and a Sweet & Hot Mustard from Deitz & Watson.  The pretzels hot out of the oven were soft and buttery, and the mustard gave it the perfect amount of zing.  Followed by a swig of the sweet hefeweizen, it was a great was to spend a rainy day.


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Brawler Chili

It has been a rainy few days in Philadelphia, and the transition to fall called for a hearty chili dish.  I visited Yards Brewery this past weekend and was inspired to create dinner using their Brawler Ale.

Banner at Yards Brewery

Yards describes this beer as “Boasting superior taste and champion flavor, the Brawler is crafted in the style of English session ales. This malt-forward, ruby colored ale is great for when you want to go a few rounds.”

The English Dark Mild Ale provided a richness to this vegetarian chili dish, the dark malts and caramel notes complemented the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

When I cook, I like to follow “mise en place” and have everything set up before I start cooking.

Everything in Place

Brawler Veg Chili

Serves 4-6

  • Olive Oil
  • One Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 large can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • Cumin
  • Chili Power
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Salt Pepper
  • Veg Broth
  • 1 bottle Yards Brawler
Start by sweating out the onions in a bit of olive oil in your soup pot over low heat until translucent.  Add chopped garlic and carrots, simmer about 5 minutes.  Add both peppers and season.  I like it spicy, so I use a good 3-4 tablespoons of Cayenne pepper, and 2-3 of both Chili Powder and Cumin to start.  You can always add more later, but don’t be afraid of the spices!
Next, add in your tomatoes, beans, corn, vegetable broth, and the whole bottle of brawler.  Let simmer as long as possible!
I served this over brown rice with a bit of Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar shredded on top.  Perfect on a cool fall day.
Ready to Eat

Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Beer, Chili/Soup, Recipes, Vegetarian, Yards


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I’ve been in Philadelphia since 2004, and discovered beer beyond the big macro largers in 2006.  Since then I have found myself obsessed with the craft beer industry in a thriving beer town.  I love drinking beer, brewing my own beer, cooking with beer, and preparing food to pair with beer.  Follow me as I learn more about brewing science and hop varieties, explore local breweries, and experience the beer scene in search of life, liberty, and the pursuit of hoppiness.


“Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”
-Thomas Jefferson



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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in About, Vegetarian