Expert Picks for May 2017

Ahhh, May. The month between Spring and Summer. The month we throw open windows and doors, remember Mom and veterans, and judiciously sample craft brews so that we might prudently select the very best for the beach, the park, and the backyard. Not every May Expert Pick is a suitable refreshment when operating motorized lawn […]

Ahhh, May. The month between Spring and Summer. The month we throw open windows and doors, remember Mom and veterans, and judiciously sample craft brews so that we might prudently select the very best for the beach, the park, and the backyard.

Not every May Expert Pick is a suitable refreshment when operating motorized lawn vehicles, but that’s why Meijer sells lawn chairs.

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Arrogant Brewing believes that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny. And since November 7, 1997 when it was introduced, Arrogant Bastard Ale has been breaking the shackles of poor taste and reveling in an uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many attempts to duplicate Arrogant Bastard, but none have even come close to recreating its Liquid Arrogance.


Arrogant Bastard is an aggressive beer that and makes fast friends with fried chicken, BBQ ribs, bacon cheeseburgers, duck, or chicken Caesar salad. Try it in (and with!) this Arrogant Brisket and Sweet Potato Mash.

Arrogant Brisket with Sweet Potato Mash

Serves 6-8
As featured at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Escondido, CA

Brisket Ingredients:
• 5 lb Beef brisket
• 58 oz (or 7¼ cup) Stone Brewing Co Arrogant Bastard, divided
• 2 bunches Flat-leaf parsley
• 2 Dry bay leaves
• 3 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 head Garlic, peeled and chopped fine
• 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
• 1 cup Olive oil
• 3 cups Onions, peeled and diced small
• 2 cups Carrots, peeled and diced small
• 2½ cups Celery, leaves removed and cut into small pieces
• 6 cups Canned whole pear tomatoes
• 6 cups Chicken broth

Brisket Directions:

  1. In large bowl add 48 oz (6¾ cups) beer, parsley, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon pepper, and garlic to the brisket. Let it marinate in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours
  2. Take the brisket out of the marinade and set the marinade aside. Pat meat dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Put rack in middle position in oven and preheat to 275°F.
  4. In heavy, 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, heat ¼ cup oil just until smoking. Sear the brisket until it is brown on all sides.
  5. Transfer the brisket to a roasting pan and set aside. Do not clean skillet.
  6. Add onions, carrots, and celery to skillet. Over medium heat, sauté until onions are translucent. Deglaze pan with the remaining 10oz of beer.
  7. Transfer vegetables to large sauce pot, making sure to scrape up any brown bits from bottom and sides of skillet. Add reserved marinade and reduce until pan is almost dry, about an hour. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Pour stock mixture over ribs and cover with foil. Transfer to oven and cook until meat is nice and tender, around 4 hours. Let rest then slice against the grain.

Mash Ingredients:
• 6 lb Sweet potatoes
• 1 stick (½ cup) Unsalted butter, melted
• ½ cup Heavy cream, warmed
• 1 tsp Salt
• ½ tsp Black pepper

Mash Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prick each potato twice with a fork and bake in a foil-lined shallow baking pan in lower third of oven until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove and cool slightly.
  3. Halve potatoes lengthwise and scoop out warm flesh into a large bowl. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or, Stir in butter, cream, salt, and pepper.

Onion Fizzles Ingredients:
• 2 Very large onions, cut crosswise into thin slices
• 3½ cups All-purpose flour
• 1 Large egg
• 1 cup Buttermilk
• 2 cups Plain fine dry bread crumbs
• 1 quart Vegetable oil

Onion Fizzles Directions:

  1. Separate onion slices
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk together egg and milk in another bowl. Spread bread crumbs out on a plate.
  3. Dredge onions in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, dredge again in flour mixture. Transfer to sheets of wax paper.
  4. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Fry rings in batches of 4 to 6, without crowding, turning over once or twice, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Cider Syrup Ingredients:
½ gal Fresh apple cider

Cider Syrup Directions:
Reduce apple cider until syrup like consistency, about 45 minutes.

Putting it All Together:
Place a 4 oz portion of potatoes on a dish, add a nice portion of the beef, garnish with the onions, and drizzle some syrup over the plate.


Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange Pale Ale

Pale Ale’s legendary citrus-heavy hop flavors inspired Sierra Nevada to go down a different path than other breweries. Adding tangy orange to the classic style they pioneered didn’t come naturally. Sierra Nevada brewers argued over the perfect blend of bold hops and orange peel to create the best flavor, and crisp, citrus bite. The result is Sidecar – a hoppy pale ale with the perfect blend of bold hops and orange peel.


Sidecar is hoppy with a flavorful orange peel edge that balances and brightens the hop-forward bite. Try serving it with grilled salmon, Indian bhel puri salads, orange glazed chicken, brie, rich cow’s milk cheese, marmalade turnovers, crème brulee, or these delicious fish tacos:

Sidecar® Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Beer-Battered Fish Ingredients:
1 12-oz bottle Sierra Nevada Sidecar® Orange Pale Ale
¾ lb Mild white fish
1 cup + 2 Tbsp Flour, plus more for dredging fish
½ tsp Garlic powder
¼ tsp Salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp Pepper, plus more to taste
1-2 cups Canola oil

Taco Toppings (or your favorite):
½ Small head green cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
½ Small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Orange, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp Tartar sauce or to taste
1-2 Jalapenos, thinly sliced and seeds removed
6 Tortillas


  1. Whisk together flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the beer and whisk until completely combined.
  3. Season fish generously with salt & pepper and cut into small 1-inch wide strips.
  4. Heat ½ an inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  5. Dredge each piece of fish in flour, dip into the beer batter to coat, and place in heated skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain.
  6. Toss cabbage, red onion, orange, jalapeno slices, and tartar sauce together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Lightly char tortillas directly over a medium-low flame, flipping once, or warm each tortilla in a dry pan until just pliable, about one minute on each side.
  8. Fill tortillas with fried fish and top with cabbage slaw.


Smirnoff Sparkling Seltzer Cranberry Lime

Smirnoff Cranberry Lime Sparkling Seltzer is a sophisticated choice indoors or out. Subtly sweet with tart cranberry notes and a hint of lime, it’s a light 90 calories and only 1 gram of carbs per can. Also try Smirnoff Sparkling Seltzer Watermelon, a delicious watermelon profile with sweet juicy red background notes.


Serve with ice in a glass and garnish with your choice of fruit. Smirnoff Seltzer’s crisp, refreshing taste pairs well with a wide variety of foods. Try them with rotisserie chicken and a light salad or as a palate cleanser to an oven baked pizza.

Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin

Ballast Point’s Pineapple Sculpin IPA came from one of many small-batch cask experiments to enhance the flavor of their signature IPA. With so many tropical hop notes in Sculpin, they tried adding some sweet, juicy pineapple. The winning combination of fruity flavors and hop intensity definitely packs a punch.


Pineapple Sculpin makes a wonderful complement to mango sticky rice, buttermilk crumb cake, or blue cheese. But we think this marinade is an outstanding first outing with
Pineapple Sculpin, since it’s both a delicious ingredient and delightful dinner companion:

Grilled Pineapple Sculpin Chicken Marinade

• ½ cup Olive oil
• 2 tsp Onion salt
• 2 tsp Smoked paprika
• 1 tsp Ground cumin
• 1 tsp Cayenne
• 1 tsp Ground black pepper
• 8 cloves Garlic
• 1 Lime juice & zest
• 2 cups Pineapple Sculpin
• ½ cup Pineapple juice
• 1 head Parsley
• ¼ pineapple, chunked and grilled, for garnish


  1. Blend all ingredients and pour over chicken for 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Grill chicken and serve in a sandwich, over a rice,  in a salad, or by itself with grilled chunks of pineapple.