Nov 26, 2014

Holiday Beer Photos!!! Lets see yours!

OK, since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and December and Christmas right around the corner, its time to start thinking about holiday beer, and we want to see your holiday beer pics! Are you drinking beer for Thanksgiving dinner? Or at an ugly Christmas sweater party, or whatever, take a pic, and send it to us!
Besides, I've noticed a real lack of good beer and thanksgiving photos out there, lets change that.

Email your pictures to us at, or post them on our Facebook page.
We will be collecting pic's throughout the holiday season, and will be posting them periodically over the next few weeks, so, get them in while you can!!!

 In the mean time, bottoms up, and enjoy your holiday!! Lets see those pic's!

Only two must be either of you, or taken by you, and must contain beer, that's it, everything else goes!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar 

Nov 10, 2014

Happy Veterans Day, and thank you!

Today is veterans day, and I've been wanting to post this for a while. Its not at all beer related, but I wanted to post it none the less, I think its worthy.

Years ago, I asked my now late Uncle Gary for a little information on my Grandfather's time in the service during WWII. I knew he had seen some combat, and was even injured, but that was about all I knew. I asked Uncle Gary (a veteran of the Navy himself) what he new about it, the following is the information I got from him. So you could say, this is Uncle Gary's (aka the Roving Beer Czar Correspondent) last posting on The Beer Czar. Here is what he told me.....

A "Higgins" Boat, the type of
boat my grandfather piloted
He entered the service shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked, around the first week of January 1942. He enlisted in the Coast Guard. Because of his boating experience and that he was a licensed boats man (I’m not sure of the tonnage) he entered the Coast Guard as a quarter master and operated a Higgins boat. During time of war the Coast Guard fell under the Navy.  My grandfather was only one of 4 Coasties on a navy ship

USS Wm. P. Biddle
 In the spring of 1942 his ship, the USS Wm. P. Biddle (APA – 8) was in the Chesapeake Bay area helping to school soldiers and sailors in the finer points of amphibious warfare. It was during that time my grandfather was assigned to a PT boat and transported officers from other ships in Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore where the officers where engage in the planning of the invasion of North Africa (that took place Nov. 8).
During the invasion of North Africa, he made several (3 or 4 most likely) landings while under (at times heavy) fire in Fadala (Mohammedia), Morocco (just east of Casablanca). The only injury he sustained was a small splinter that lodged in his lip after a shell exploded close to his boat on return to his ship after one landing. During that invasion, another APA called the "Tasker Bliss" was sunk by a German sub just off the Fedala coast and my grandfather’s ship as well as a few others were pulled out of the area. So, for a day, my grandfather was stuck on shore in Casablanca and under the command of the Army (that's tough for a Navy man!).
According to "family legend", a few days, or maybe a week or two later, while back on shore after the hostilities ceased to gather items left on the beach by the invading soldiers to take back to his ship, he happened to walk  up to an area where there was a lot of tanks and soldiers standing around listening to an officer who was, according to my grandfather "ranting and raving” while standing atop  a tank. My grandfather said he tapped a young soldier on the shoulder and asked him “who's the dumb son of a bitch on the tank running his mouth?.” My grandfather said the kid looked back at him as if he had just insulted God himself, and replied “Why that there is General Patton Sir.”
After the invasion his ship returned to Norfolk where it picked up a bunch of Seabees for a quick delivery run to the South Pacific. We know he made that trip, but I understand that while in the South Pacific he sustained a fairly serious injury after unloading a bunch of soldiers, when backing his Higgins boat up, the boat’s rudder hit a submerged boat and caused the helm to turn violently,  injuring him in the stomach (he still bore the scars of that injury up till the day he died). It was that injury that ultimately resulted in his discharge from the service (around August 1943 from what we can determine).
This is the only photo I could find taken during the actual
landing on Fadala.
Years after, when asked what bothered him more than anything else during the war, he would say it was that he dropped off so many young soldiers on the beaches that day at Fadala, and knowing that probably half of them would never survive the landing, or much longer after that.
 My father added some info as well, that is kind of cool. One of the other 3 Coast Guardsmen on the Biddle was from Doylestown PA, the town my mother is from. The daughter of my grandfathers shipmate went to school with my mom. They knew each other well, and even had pictures of each from their time in the war. Small world indeed...
I just want to say thank you, to everyone who has, or is currently serving in the US Armed Forces, be it the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. We can't thank you enough.
Cheers to you all!
The Beer Czar

Released today, Grand Canyon Brewing’s Winter Bourbon Barrel Brown!!!

We don't snow often in Arizona, but when we do, its
Well, we are well into November, and in Arizona that means the weather is cooling off, with temperatures dropping into the high 70's! So break out your long sleeve t-shirts, maybe a pair of socks, and open a bottle Grand Canyon Brewing’s Winter Bourbon Barrel Brown, set to release today!!! In Arizona, we don't get to experience winter like most of the country, but this beer  is just one small way we can at least feel like it cold and snowy outside.
The 2014 batch is packed with the full body flavor of malt, bourbon and maple syrup. Plus, there’s an oak aged flavor bomb packed inside for an added depth of flavor. Winter Bourbon pairs well with beef dishes and rich cream sauces.
“We’re excited to bring Winter Bourbon back a bit earlier this year after successful first year launch in late 2013. This year’s batch has a stronger flavor profile and a smooth finish,” said Alexander Phillips, director of sales and brand ambassador.
Here is some of the "beer geek" info for you.....
Winter Bourbon Barrel Bomber Quick Facts
Style:   English Ale
Malt:   Brown Bairds & Maris Otter malt with maple syrup added at fermentation
Yeast: Blended Ale
ABV:   6%
Color: 18-20 SRM
IBU:      20
Availability: Kegs and bomber bottles, November-January
Winter Bourbon Barrel Bomber will be available at select craft beer bars across Arizona and Nevada including Cruisers 66 in Williams, Brass Tap, Papago Brewing, World of Beer Locations, Taste of Tops, Bourbon Jacks, Boulders on Broadway, The Hungry Monk, Whole Foods Chandler, GCM, City Wine & Spirits, Tap & Bottle, 1702, and more, while supplies last.
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar

Nov 7, 2014

Cooking with Beer : Beer Soaked Grilled Cheese

OK, so, we all know one of my favorite foods is homemade mac and cheese. However, not far behind that, is the ultimate in comfort good sandwiches, the venerable grilled cheese sandwich. A grilled cheese sandwich, made with Velveeta, with a bowl of Campbell's Tomato Soup pretty much defines my lunches as a child, growing up in chilly, snow covered Western Maine.

Well, until recently, I pretty much made grilled cheese sandwiches the same way my mother did for me when I was little (just not with Velveeta), which is perfectly fine, just not overly exciting. Then I realized, there is SO much goodness in a simple grilled cheese and it CAN be so much more exciting, but so much room for improvement. So, I started messing with my recipe a bit, with some success.

Well, the other day, I was asked what beer to drink with a grilled cheese sandwich, and my first thought was not what to drink WITH it, but how to get beer IN my sandwich. I did a lot of surfing, and looking and experimenting, and this is the one recipe I found that was both easy, and delicious. I found this recipe on "The Brooklyn Brew Shop" website (for once I didn't land on a Beeroness recipe!), and I must give them ALL the credit for coming up with such a great, easy way to enjoy two of my favorite things. Plus, now that the weather is cooling off a bit (yes, even here in Arizona) the time for the grilled cheese sandwich is now! So, check out this beer soaked grilled cheese sandwich!! (you can check out their complete write up on this recipe by clicking here....)

"Beer Soaked Grilled Cheese Sandwich"

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Chestnut Brown Ale or other nutty, brown ale
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut into eight 1/2" slices
  • 1 block mild or sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more if needed
  • additional toppings: bacon, sliced ham, prosciutto, avocado (optional)

  • What You Do

    1. In a large shallow bowl, whisk eggs, beer, flour, salt and chili powder. Dunk 1 slice of bread into the batter on both sides, giving it a second to fully absorb the batter, and let the excess batter drain back into the bowl.
    2. Move to another plate, and top with cheese and additional toppings if desired (cooked bacon, sliced ham, etc.).
    3. Repeat with another slice of bread, and complete the sandwich.
    4. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Place the sandwich in the middle, and let cook on each side 3-4 minutes, until it reaches a crispy golden brown and a gooey cheese middle. Repeat for all sandwiches. Plate, add garnishes and enjoy.

    OK, doesn't get much easier then that! Give this a show, and maybe enjoy with a bowl of tomato soup, or a potato beer soup??? Regardless, you can't go wrong when beer and cheese are involved! (Oh, and just a hint, I tried this with a bit of bacon, and it was wonderful!!!)

    So, until next time
    Bottoms up my friends!

    The Beer Czar

    Nov 6, 2014

    Ground Control hosts "Red White and Brew" Festival!

    "No Crap on Tap"
    OK, so when it comes to beer in the valley, a lion's share of the attention always seems to be on the east valley's Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert. In the past, this has mainly been due to the lack of options in the west valley (or at least not as many as the east valley has). Well, things are changing, and changing quickly! It seems every week, more breweries are opening their doors, or announcing their future plans to do so. From Freakin' Brewing, Peoria Artisans Brewing, the soon to be 8-Bit Brewing, just to name a few.
    Well, one of the west valleys first, and still premier locations to gather for a glass of craft beer, has been Ground Control in Litchfield Park.

    Ground Control is more then just a beer stop however. Its a wine bar, gastro pub, coffee shop, and gelateria (that is a shop that gelato, I had to look it up....).

    I am not just writing this just to encouraged you to check out Ground Control though, (although, I strongly recommend that you do!) I am writing this to tell you about a festival that they are hosting next weekend, that will not only serve up some amazing beers, but will go to a more then worthy cause as well.

    The "Red White and Brew" Festival will take place on Nov 15th, from 2 to 6pm. 20+ beers to be had, experts on hand to chat with, and so much more! This is a festival that both the seasoned craft beer nerd, to the novice beer fan, just getting their feet wet can enjoy, its for everyone. The cost is $35 for 15 4oz pours.

    Its not just a great beer festival, like I said, its a fund raiser for a very worthy cause and a great charity. The charity is the "Capt. Jeremy Chandler Scholarship Foundation" (the Chandler family are friends of the owners). They lost their son in the war in Afghanistan in 2005. This foundation raises money for scholarships for active duty military personnel and their families.

     Notable beers that will be on hand: Bells "Hopsolution", Solar Blues "Freedom Tickler", The Perch/Mike Tinker's "My Precious IPA" and SO many more.  I am also told that even Velvet Merkin and 120 Minute may just make an appearance, just maybe......

    Tickets are available by clicking here.....

    For more information, check out Ground Control's Website here 

    Ground Control is located at
    4860 N Litchfield Rd, Litchfield, AZ 85340

    So please, if you are in the west valley, or don't mind driving to it, check out this very worthy fund raising beer festival. Drink great beer, and help a great cause!

    Until next time
    Bottoms up my friends

    The Beer Czar

    Nov 4, 2014

    Stove Top Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese....the Beeroness does it again!

    The Beeroness (she's cute too!)
    OK, if you are looking for great sites on cooking with beer, there is really only one site you need to check out, The Beeroness. She is without a doubt (at least in my opinion) the best beer cooking site/blog that I have seen. Her recipes are wide ranging from the simple, 5 ingredient recipes to the much more complex recipes that require  a decent knowledge of cooking techniques and more exotic ingredients. You can find recipes for apps, desserts, man dishes or sides using all styles of beer. I've posted several of her recipes on this site before, and well, every time I look on her site, I see about a dozen more recipes I want to post here. Sometimes I see one that I just have to post, and this is one such post.

     Beer, bacon and mac and cheese, 3 of my favorite things!! Its not only a delicious recipe, its SUPER easy. If you can bowl water and cook bacon, you can handle this one!

    Check it out!

    • 2 cups elbow macaroni 
    • 4 strips of bacon, cut in half
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 egg
    • 2/3 cup beer (pale ale, blonde, bock, and Hef work well, an IPA will give you a very strong beer flavor)
    • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (fresh grated, pre-shreaded has additives that prevents it from melting properly) 
    • 2 tbs butter
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
    • pinch cayenne pepper
    • salt to taste
    • In a large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook until just before done. Don't over-cook the noodles or this will end up mushy.
    • Drain the pasta, return the pot to the stove and cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pot and allow to cool.
    • Drain off bacon grease and return drained noodles to the pot.
    • In a separate bowl, add the beer, egg and sour cream, beat until well combined.
    • Add the butter and the beer mixture to the noodles and return to medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
    • About 1/4 a cup at a time, add the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted before adding more.
    • Add the spices and chopped bacon, stir.
      Makes 4 entre sized portions.
      For her entire article with this recipe, you can click here....
      OK, it doesn't get much easier, or better then that now does it. Give it a shot and let me know what you thought of it!
      Until next time
      Bottoms up my friends!
      The Beer Czar