Guinness, Red Onion and Cheddar Soup

| January 9th, 2012 | No comments


Today we continue with our journey of beer pairing with food. For today’s edition we are making a delicious soup which just screams for attention. Once you have a spoonful, I guarantee you, you will be back for more.

With that in mind, let us begin!


  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 4 ea Large Red Onions, sliced
  • 2 ea Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-3 ea Sage Leaves, torn plus extra for garnish
  • 2 ea Thyme Sprigs, leaves from it
  • 1 c Draught Guinness
  • 4 c Chicken Stock
  • 2 t Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 T Brown Sugar
  • 6 ea Sourdough Bread, slices
  • 1 c Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the Onions, Garlic and Herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 40 minutes until the onions are silky and translucent.
  2. Stir in the Guinness, Stock, Worcestershire sauce, and Sugar. Bring in to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the soup has reduced slightly and developed a rich, deep flavor.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices lightly on both sides under a preheated medium broiler. Cut the bread in desired shape. Pile each one with some cheese, then return to the broiler and cook until the cheese has melted.
  4. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, float the toasted cheese bread on top, and garnish with a few sage leaves.

The finished product will look like this (depending on how you garnish it!):

Types of beers

| January 23rd, 2011 | No comments

Last night at the bar it was mentioned that many people don’t realize how many different types of beer there are. I thought I’d give a brief overview:
To simplify things, there are primarily two different types of beer: Ales and Lagers. At the most basic level, the difference between the two is the type of yeast used to ferment the beer. Lager yeast ferments at colder temperatures and ale yeast ferments at higher temperatures. Lagers and ales break down even further into different types of beers.
This is the most prominent type of beer simply because this is the kind of beer that Budweiser, Miller and Coors are. Other common lagers are the popular Mexican beers: Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico etc. These beers are best served at ice cold temperature and as such have a lighter more “refreshing” taste. Or as I think of it, kind of watered down taste. The predominant lager beers are American lagers and pilsners. Again simply because this is what the big 3 companies make. The good lagers are the kind that Germany makes: marzen, bock and dunkel. These beers are typically darker colored and have a much more complex taste than the common American lager. However these beers are still lighter in flavor and feel than most ales and don’t have a predominant hop taste.
These are the more complex beers with a wider range of style. These range from the wheaty Hefeweizen and white beers (like Pyramid Hefeweizen or Blue Moon) to the dark stouts (like Guinness). Pale ales and India pale ales sit in the middle of the spectrum. IPAs and pale ales are recognized by their hoppy bite. Ales are the predominant type of beer everywhere except North America. I couldn’t begin to try and explain every type of ale because there is just so many kinds!
Ales are by far, my favorite kind of beer just because there are so many different kinds. The few beers that ive blogged about here have all been ales. I’ll try to continue to review different beers and use that opportunity to describe the beer type and it’s common characteristics.