Archive for the 'DIPA' Category

Pliny The Elder and IPA Biscuits and Gravy

Pure Joy and Happiness

Two of my favorite things coming together as one. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Well, a cigar wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not complaining. I’m all about comfort food. Everyone loves it.  If you don’t, you’re a liar. I’m also all about IPA’s. It’s my personal favorite style of beer and can come in many different colors. The bitter citrus, the sweet malt, the hop bite; what’s there not to love? As it turns out, it goes very well with a lot of foods, too. So, I decided to mash the two together and do a pairing with them with the added bonus of instructions on how to make the dish yourself because what fun is it if you can’t eat this yourself?
Now, I was born and raised in New York, so biscuits and gravy is a dish that I didn’t grow up with. I think that’s one of the reasons why I love it so much; all the wasted years not eating it. However, me being me, plain old biscuits and gravy aren’t good enough to do a pairing with. I had to kick it up a bit…..
…. And what better way to do that than to add beer to the recipe?  Better yet, why not add an IPA? Great idea, I know. When people heard about this, they thought I added the beer to the gravy when in actuality, I added it to the biscuit dough. The recipe for that dough is as follows….

4 cups white flour
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter (softened at room temperature)
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 12 ounce can or bottle of IPA of your choosing

Standard biscuit making procedure follows. Sift the dry ingredients together, cut the butter into the dry ingredients, pour the beer into the mixture and form into a dough. The product should look like this…..

… Attractive, I know. Now form into biscuits, whatever size you feel is appropriate, and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, and voila.
Onto the gravy. Now, I’m a carnivore, but my girlfriend is a vegetarian (unfortunately), so I had to make a vegetarian gravy to top the biscuits with, which is okay because it makes the cooking a bit easier. The ingredients for the gravy are…

1 medium to large onion
1 clove of garlic
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
Broth or soup of your choosing
Rosemary, cumin, salt, and cayenne powder to taste

Start by finely dicing the onion and garlic and caramelizing them in a sauce pan. After they’re nice and sweet, add the butter and flour to make a roux. This is where I add my seasonings. I wanted to add just enough cayenne to get a bit of a smoky and spicy flavor on the mid palate, but not enough to make it hot. The rosemary is added just because it goes fantastically with IPAs. Finally, add your broth until it is at the consistency of your liking.

Finished Gravy. Another Attractive, Yet Delicious, Sight.

Now top and enjoy with your favorite IPA.
Finally, onto the pairing.
I chose Pliny the Elder because, well, it’s Pliny the Elder. First bite of the biscuit gives off a very velvety, creamy texture with a nice crust, that is suddenly brought to a halt by a sweet maltiness and hop bitterness, but not like you would find in a beer. It’s very subtle, but enough to give the biscuits a little something they were missing, as they would’ve been kind of “one note” before. Mixing with the gravy brings a whole new level. There’s a creamy, sweetness from the onions, bit of heat and smokiness on the middle of the tongue and a nice earthy, herbal note throughout. Now, the trifecta. The Pliny cuts through the fatty, creaminess from the butter and flour nicely. It melds very well with the heat given off by the cayenne. It doesn’t subdue it’s flavor, just the heat a bit, allowing you to taste the actual flavor of the cayenne and not just the heat. It helps bring forth a nice smoky, earthy, and floral flavor that was hidden before. It plays nicely with the rosemary. The marriage of the two helps bring forth more piney flavors from both the rosemary and the Pliny. It helps add a nice clean finish to a very rich and heavy meal and helps lighten the palate. The hop bitterness, citrus flavors, and malt of the Pliny also add another dimension of flavor to the biscuits and meld very nicely with the sweet onion flavor.
This was verging on perfect. Cheap, easy to make, and an absolutely delicious pairing. I can die happy now.




Yet another very sought after brewery. Three Floyd’s claim to fame is there special Imperial Stout release called Dark Lord, which I have yet to experience. I have one in my cellar but have not found the right occasion to enjoy it. Now, that I’ve finally experienced Three Floyd’s with Dreadnaught Imperial IPA I will be frantically searching for that “right” moment to crack Dark Lord.

Dreadnaught has to be the most unique DIPA I’ve had to date. The flavor profile and introduction of each flavor is so original. The nose is not much different than your run of the mill Imperial IPA, loaded with fresh hop aromas. It’s the flavor that opens your eyes. At first, there is a nice moderate hop bitterness that leads so nicely right into a sweet malty flavor. Dreadnaught seems so well balanced, but it’s at the end of the sip that you get a blast of hops that leaves a bitter, lingering long finish. It is so unique at how each flavor is somewhat spot lighted at separate times.

Great pairings would include some Spicy Thai and Carrot Cake. Dreadnaught lends itself so well to these foods given it’s unique structure of hops and malts. In the Thai’s case, the hops intensify the spice while the malts tame them. It works from both sides at the same time. The carrot cake is the exact opposite. The hop bitterness contrasts nicely with the abundant sweetness of the thick cream cheese icing. While the malts link up beautifully with the body of the cake. This truly is a unique Imperial IPA and a perfect example for pairing. Three Floyd’s has very low distribution which makes it quite hard to come by. By all means, don’t let that hold you back from getting one of these great beers.

beer + food = Barleydine


DIPA | 9.60% ABV

Pairing: Dry-rubbed Mexican grilled Sirloin, Black Refried Beans and Pico de Gallo.


Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

Lately I’ve been on a quest searching for copious amounts of hops. I have tried some seriously heavy hitters lately. Beers such as Pliny the Elder, Gordon, Gubna, Odyssey and so on. Seems the Imperial IPA is the beer fad of the moment and this is one fad I’ll follow. It wasn’t too long ago that Wild beers and Sours seemed to be the highlight in the brewing world. Things change quickly. Anyway, one more beer to add to my list is Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, not a favorite, but still a great beer.

Beer notes:

Hop Stoopid I would say would lean more to the West Coast style of IPA’s. Which if you don’t know, is a difference in malt. East Coast IPA’s have more of a malt backing to stand up with the hops. Left Coast style is a golden beer, hopped beyond comprehension.

Anyway, Hop Stoopid is golden with insane amounts of hops on the nose. This thing is advertised at 102 IBU’s, that’s far higher than most DIPA’s. Hops are the only thing you taste on the tongue. With a unit count that high I challenge anyone to notice event the slightest bit of malt in that beer.

Pairing suggestions:

Beers this hoppy need some seriously heavy foods. I’d say find the biggest, greasiest burger you can find, slathered in mayo, with cheese and bacon. This will definitely cut that sandwich. If your looking for desert, your going to need uber-sweet to stand up to this beer. Carrot cake is always recommended with IPA’s. Your going to need sweeter than that though with this beer. I’m thinking more along the lines of peanut butter pie with a chocolate drizzle. You know, the one you order and a slice an inch wide comes out, but even that amount makes you half sick. That my friends can stand up to Hop Stoopid.

beer + food = Barleydine



American Imperial IPA | 8.70% ABV

Beer notes:

Hands down the best Double IPA I’ve had yet. Loaded with Warrior Hops driving the IBU’s up to a palate slaughtering 120 units. Incredible East Coast IPA. What’s an East Coast IPA you ask? Us East Coasters like malt to back up our incredible love for hop bitterness. Unlike the West Coast where they use barely any malt at all, making golden colored beers with killer bitterness.

Pairing notes:

Anyway, Rooster Fish knows exactly how to do it. Not only do they make killer brews, but the Wildflower Cafe which they are attached to makes some mouth watering fair, such as their baked hot wings. The meat falls off the bone at first touch and is without the grease that most hot wings have puddling at the bottom of the basket. Hop Warrior was fantastic with wings, intensifying the heat of the sauce and cutting all the savory flavor the wings brought to the table. This is a must stop for any hop lover.

beer + food = Barleydine

Beer & food reviewed by Uncle Barley Josh


American Double IPA | 8.00% ABV

Beer notes:

Here it is folks, the acclaimed Pliny the Elder. One of the hardest to get beers in the country. There is a lot of hype surrounding this beer. I can easily see why it gets so much talk, though I don’t quite think it’s the magic juice a lot of people make it out to be. Don’t get me wrong, it is one of the best IPA’s I’ve ever had, though there is just so much hype the escalates the beer to immense proportions. I’m just not sure it lives up to that. I have not had a chance to have Pliny the Younger yet, that beer is actually even harder to acquire than the Elder, though I will continue my quest.

Pliny the Elder pours a light amber color with a quick building white head which decorates the glass nicely with lacing. The nose is nothing but fresh hops which are the highlight of the flavor as well. Elder has a moderate body and a nice long finish as expected with an IPA of this caliber.

Pairing suggestions:

Fatty meats, super sweet teeth rotting deserts.

beer + food = Barleydine

Beer reviewed by LEP Himself


American Double/ Imperial IPA | 9.00% ABV

There’s been a lot of discussion on this new style. Many seem to think that it deserves it’s own category and many, like me, think it should just fall under the hybrid section. Black IPA’s have been spawning a lot of conversation lately. You may remember a post I made awhile back talking about Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous. We won’t take the time to discuss it all again, you can visit that post and formulate your own opinion.

Once again we have a blend of two styles here. Initially we have the appearance of a stout with it’s very dark color and stiff tan head which retains it’s stature very well. There is a slight similarity to a stout in the flavor. A slight malt bitterness pokes through the IPA characteristics which are most abundant in the beer. The body of the beer is medium while the aroma and flavor are loaded with hoppiness. If you would close your eyes while taking a sip, you may have trouble realizing it’s not your standard IPA. Like I mentioned in my Stone post, this is a fantastic style. They are perfect for pairing with so many foods and are such a nice blend of differing beer styles.

Pairing Suggestions:

Grilled beef: steaks, burgers, ribs. Beef tacos and enchiladas.

beer + food = Barleydine

Beer reviewed by Uncle Barley Josh


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