Brew U a the CIA

On Saturday, I spent a good chunk of time at the Culinary Institute of America at their Brew U Beer and Food Festival and I was in a bit of a brain fog all day Sunday but it was worth it…

I’ve been to the CIA for a day workshop but this was the first time I went to an event like this.

Warning: this is a photo heavy post because OMG I consumed so many things, so I put a bunch of photos in little galleries for your perusal.  Otherwise you’d be scrolling for days.

We arrived early because we always do so we spent a bit of time wandering around the campus.  This was an impressive sight, for sure. Hi Chef!

The campus is impressive and I’d not been behind the main building before. The Egg (the student commons) is right next to the Hudson River and behind the building they have a small teaching garden. I’m awfully proud of myself because I was able to identify all but two of the things growing in it.

One of the really nice things is that they offered a discounted ticket for a designated driver which was great because LB doesn’t drink (like.. at all) but she still had an amazing time sampling the food and she also had a bottle of Hop Soda which was really nice! (I tried a sip) .

But I’m jumping ahead.  When we arrived, we were given a program and a tiny glass that we would be using to get our beer samples from different Breweries.  Even the DD got one because there were things like the aforementioned soda, but also cranberry lime water, cucumber water, two types of non-alcoholic cider and of course,  and a water fountain (one of them fancy taps .. not a fountain like in elementary school).

I was really excited about the demonstration on how to use spent grains.  Those are the grains that are left over after you basically extract most of the carbohydrates out to make your wort for beer brewing.  I learned some interesting things about how to make flour from the grains, but also that you can’t substitute it for equal parts of regular flour because spent grain flour sucks up moisture like crazy.  Also, when you add wet spent grains, you get some really nifty textures.  Chef Shannon gave us samples (and recipes) for spent grain English Muffins and spent grain and flaxseed pizza dough.

Scroll through for pictures.


Of course, now I have it in my head to get a Kitchenaid Mill Attachment which I do not need… but want desperately now.. for no good reason. I know Ida over at The Enabling Cook has milled flour. I need to ask her more about her experience with it.

Now! On to the beer!  I didn’t get to sample all of them because I would have been on the FLOOR. but I did try  quite a few.

Here is the list of NY Vendors that were there.  I had a beer from Chatham Brewey, Crossroads, Keegan Ales, and Rip Van Winkle.  I know.. that’s all. I’m a lightweight.  But I also sampled three from the CIA Brewery (more on that later.)

I probably ate more food than drank beer but I’m pretty ok with that.  Also, I had my first oyster ever and then I had another because it was AMAZING.  I’m love oysters now… at least cooked ones.  I will eventually get up the nerve for a raw oyster. I’ve eaten snails so, really what is the big deal? (the potential for snotty texture is the big deal.. ::shudder::)

Our favorite thing though was the beer and cheese pairing seminar. It was presented by Professor John Fischer who wrote Cheese Identification, Classification and Utilization and I’m just enough of a curd nerd to buy it.  (by the time I hit “publish” on this post, it will probably be on it’s way to me)


Prof. Fischer was super entertaining and was obviously incredibly knowledgeable and had the best phrase of the day. He said “Brewing is Yeast Husbandry”.  He also introduced us to three of the beers coming out of the CIA Brewery which have the BEST names… The Mise en Place Wit that was paired with a Kunik from Nettle Meadow, the Octoberfest that he paired with I think it was Grand Cru Surchoix (my damn camera did not take pics of the slides like it was supposed to!) and the Cleaver IPA which was AMAZING with my favorite cheddar, the Cabot Clothbound (which you can get at The Cheese Traveler for sure. I’m also 99% sure you can get the Kunik there as well).

It was really interesting to see how the bitterness of the IPA and the sharpness of the cheddar mellowed each other out.   And the Mise en Place Wit was just so delicious with that soft cheese that I wanted to beat up my fellow seminar go-ers for their portions.  I could have taken them… they had way more beer than I did.

No Farms No Beer

We had such a great time, I would totally do this again next year.  We also bought a Brew U Tshirt and a beer stein… and our swag bags from being VIP ticket holders also had beer steins in them so now we have three steins in the house.  I guess one will go on my desk at work.  Why not?

If you get a chance to go next year, I highly recommend it.  It’s not only educational and fun but the food is amazing and we enjoyed checking out what was probably the fanciest and nicest student commons I’ve ever seen.

Bride of FrankenCheese

Remember when I made FrankenCheese? I actually made two kinds of FrankenCheese

This was for the From Scratch Club Swap!

This was for the From Scratch Club Swap!

For as much as I love bacon, I wanted to try something different with that second batch.

Ok, I’m lying.

I burnt the bacon.

I know.. I know..  horrible, horrible crime against the porky goodness, but I just.. well, I wasn’t paying attention, okay?


Well, so anyway, I went digging around in the pantry for things I could do with the basic FrankenCheese Recipe and found this!

I grew these jalapenos and dried them myself! Trufax! Also, they pack a real punch!

I grew these jalapenos and dried them myself! Trufax! Also, they pack a real punch!

and also? This!

I think this speaks for itself, doesn't it?

I think this speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Folks… this combination.. omg.. I just.. woah..

You know that time that you were sitting at a bar with a nice dark beer and you thought, “hey? I could use a snack.. I think I’ll order some jalapeno poppers to go with the beer”.. and you take a bite of your popper and you slug down a glug of beer and the taste explosion in your mouth is totally freaking awesome?

Yeah, that.. that is this cheese.

FrankenCheese - Chilaxin

FrankenCheese – Chilaxin

What makes this a little different is I used a young (orange) cheddar cheese… you know the stuff. I know you do. It’s cheddar but it’s not RESERVE Cheddar.. it’s not AGED cheddar.. it’s cheddar that’s wrapped in plastic and NOT wax. That’s the shit you want.

So here you go peeps, Bride of FrankenCheese. (I actually like this better than the bacon version. HERESY!)

5 from 1 reviews
Bride of FrankenCheese
A home made melty "American Cheese" with Jalapenos and Beer! It's like a jalapeno popper in your mouth!
  • 3 tablespoon dark beer (drink the rest.. go ahead)
  • One pouch of Knox Gelatin (about two teaspoons)
  • 6 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces of young Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons to a ¼ cup of dried jalapeno rings (only you know how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon non-fat powdered milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  1. Line a small 4in x 5 in tupperware container or aluminum loaf pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Put the beer in a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow to bloom while you do the next bits.
  3. Put the shredded cheeses, jalapenos, milk powder, salt and cream of tartar in your food processor.
  4. Pulse a few times until the jalapenos are minced up.
  5. Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl until just boiling.
  6. Pour the milk over the gelatin mixture and whisk slowly until the gelatin is melted (try not to create too many bubbles)
  7. Turn on your food processor and drizzle in the milk while it's running.
  8. The FrankenCheese will form into a goopy blob. This is okay
  9. Smash the FrankenCheese into the plastic lined container, smushing to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
  10. Pop in the fridge and leave it there for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better.
The amount of jalapenos you put in should be based on personal taste as well as how spicy your jalapenos are. Mine are VERY hot because I grew them myself.