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Recipe: Sara and Jacquelynn’s Rosemary Chicken and Broccoli Pizza with Garlic Butter Sauce

The Pizza Compatibility Test

I’m pretty sure there have been many terrible jokes made about how you can never trust someone fully until you know what they put on your pizza. Anchovies? What’s wrong with you? Just cheese? Okay, well I hope you’re… oh, wait, just mozzarella? Well, you do you, but I’m never ordering a pizza with you again.

I fall solidly in the “what’s wrong with you?” camp. Sure, I like traditional pizza every now and then because sometimes you need a greasy, cheesy, pepperoni pizza that will make you feel your arteries clog more and more with every bite. However, the pizza I really love barely resembles anything that comes to mind when someone asks if you want pizza for dinner. So when Jacquelynn visited my hometown back at the start of our relationship and we made plans to go to Joe Bologna’s—Lexington, KY’s most famous pizza joint—with my mom and her then-boyfriend, I was incredibly curious to see how it would go.

The thing about Joe B’s is that it’s not exactly a trendy place. It’s been there forever and the décor hasn’t been touched since I was at least five years old and going there for soccer parties. The most interesting part about the restaurant is that it’s in an old church and they left the stained glass window in when they converted it into a pizza joint. Even with that detail, it still has a hole in the wall vibe. So if you’re looking for a “weird” pizza, it’s kind of the last place you’d expect to be able to get it, but sure enough, their menu features quite a few non-traditional options.

Now, my mom isn’t the most adventurous eater and I’ll eat just about anything. So when we usually went to Joe B’s, we’d end up settling for a pretty standard pizza where the most adventurous topping might be jalapeños on my half. With the addition of my mom’s boyfriend and Jacquelynn, we got to shake things up a bit, but did I dare test Jacquelynn to see if she’d be interested in the same pizza as me? Did I dare hope I might find someone who’d forego tomato sauce, opting instead for a deliciously creamy garlic sauce with nothing but chicken and broccoli to go with it? You’re damn right I did.

Guess what? She had been afraid to mention to me that was the pizza that had caught her eye when we first sat down.

My mother was the first to comment about the pizza being “weird”, but also the first to voice how great it was that I found someone willing to eat it with me. I’d like to say she continued talking to Jacquelynn, telling her embarrassing stories of the times I would come to Joe B’s as a kid or whatever else she could dredge up from memory, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what she was saying—I was too busy eating. Hey, maybe Jacquelynn was too and that’s why the only thing we talk about from that day is the amazing pizza we would eventually try to recreate.

Our desire to recreate the pizza was born largely from the fact that we couldn’t find anything like it up here. For such a simple combo (garlic cream sauce + chicken + broccoli), you’d think someone near Cleveland would have something similar, but no. So, as we do with most things, we endeavored to make it ourselves.

The first attempts were as basic as the pizza we first had and they were delicious enough for us almost not to care that we were hundreds of miles away from the opportunity to see how close to the original our pizza was. The thing is, we wanted to find a way to make what would become our go-to pizza even better. Rosemary entered the picture, various cheeses were tried, dashes of chili powder were added to the sauce, and several attempts later, we were left with the most delicious pizza I have ever tasted in my life. And yes, I am including each and every pizza we ate during our recent trip to Italy.

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Sara and Jacquelynn’s Chicken and Broccoli Pizza with Garlic Butter Sauce

Inspired by Joe Bologna’s Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky

makes enough sauce and toppings for a 12″ pizza plus an additional crust to freeze for later

Ingredients

For the crust:
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (optional)
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, Microplaned
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup milk or half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Generous pinch of black pepper
  • Small pinch of chipotle chili powder
For the toppings:
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast, diced small
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, diced small
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup Trader Joe’s Quattro Formaggio Shredded Cheese Blend
  • Mama Francesca’s Parmesan, Basil, and Oregano

Directions

Combine warm water and yeast and let sit for five minutes. Mix olive oil, salt, rosemary, and yeast mixture with one cup of flour. Add remaining flour until dough leaves the side of the bowl, a total of 2¾ cups. Knead with dough hook in a standing mixer on speed 2 for 10 minutes or until smooth. Let rise 2 hours or until double.

Punch down, divide the dough in half, and let rest until you can roll or pat into a pan shape. I use a pizza stone, but you can also bake your pizza on a baking sheet. Just make sure to oil the bottom of the sheet to help crisp the crust. You only need one half of the dough for this recipe; you can refrigerate or freeze the other half for later. Pre-bake at 375℉ for 20 minutes.

While the crust is pre-baking, make the sauce. Begin by melting the butter, along with the olive oil on medium heat. Once melted, toss in the minced garlic and fresh rosemary. Reduce heat to low and cook until fragrant and garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Mix the broth, wine, milk, and cornstarch together in a liquid measuring cup. Add to the pot. Keep stirring until it comes to a boil. Toss in the salt, pepper, onion powder, and chipotle chili powder, and continue stirring. The sauce will thicken quickly, so continue to stir. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from the burner, and set aside.

Once your sauce is ready, prepare your toppings. Coat raw chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and broccoli and cook until cooked through and broccoli is crisp-tender, 5–7 minutes.

Add sauce, chicken and broccoli, shredded cheese blend, and generously sprinkle with grated parmesan and return to the same temperature oven. Continue to bake for 20 or when cheese is melted. May broil for last 1 minute to brown the cheese.


Sara and I have spent the last three years getting to know each other and falling in love over food. In this series, we share some of those formative moments in our relationship with you and the recipes that still mean a lot to us. She’s sharing our story, I’m cooking—and writing—about the food. As an additional note, Sara also blogs general musings and about her Halvarian Ruin series at http://saragaines.com.

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Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Lamb Burgers with Basil and Fresh Mozzarella

Sara and I have spent the last three years getting to know each other and falling in love over food. In this new series, we’re going to share some of those formative moments in our relationship with you and the recipes that still mean a lot to us. She’s sharing our story, I’m cooking—and writing—about the food. As an additional note, Sara also blogs general musings and about her forthcoming novel at http://saragaines.com.


My first date with Jacquelynn was filled with the same amount of anxiety all first dates are. Actually, no, that’s a lie. There were a lot of reasons why it was different than any other first date either of us had been on. For starters, it was technically her first “first date”. Like many people, she and her previous partners had been friends and then one day they realized there was more to it then that and all of a sudden, relationship!

For me, well, let’s just say I was no stranger to first dates. I was, however, not so used to caring as much as I did on that first date with her. As annoyingly clichéd as it might be, I knew there was something different about her – I had already talked to her enough to know this would be different from a lot of the first dates I had gone on. So when I was getting ready to meet her and take her out, I probably checked the grimy mirror in my college house a thousand times while I waited until it was time for me to leave. You know, just in case I messed up my make up or my clothes suddenly changed in the two seconds that had passed since the last time I looked. Still, I hid my nerves better than she did.

When it was finally time for me to pick her up, we realized that our whole plan for a date night was centered around a movie we had mentioned wanting to see (to be honest, when we first discussed plans, it wasn’t really established that it was going to be a date). So we were sitting there and she starts listing off restaurants within walking distance of the theatre. An Italian place that would certainly pass for a good traditional date, a chain restaurant she mentioned I think mostly to test whether or not I was worthy of taking to dinner, and then hesitantly, Jacquelynn mentioned a place she absolutely loved, B Spot.

Now, for those of you who don’t live in the Cleveland area and who don’t know the name Michael Symon, just know I was in the exact same boat as you at this point. Jacquelynn, on the other hand, knows her food (and has spent the last three years opening my eyes) and knows that if you want a good burger, B Spot is the place to go around here. Her only problem was that a burger isn’t exactly what you’re told to picture when you’re dreaming of an amazing first date. So even though her eyes lit up as she started telling me about the specially blended meat that goes into each burger and the fact that they fry their rosemary shoestring fries in delicious, delicious duck fat, I could practically see her palms start sweating over having mentioned something so “low-brow” as a burger for a first date.

That’s when I reminded her we were seeing a comic book movie.

With her fears eased and my stomach growling (I hoped not too loudly), we made the final decision that we would completely abandon the thought of a “fancy” first date. As Jacquelynn promised, the burger was amazing. Cooked to perfection and greasy enough to require about twenty napkins, it was an easy thing to rave over during our conversation and in the back of my mind, I was hoping even more that our date went well because I immediately wanted another (both a burger and a date, but I knew I wanted the second.. and third… and fourth date long before I left my house that day).

Fast-forward many months and Jacquelynn and I were living together, suddenly having to feed ourselves every night. As we tried to figure out what kinds of meals we would make, both of us immediately remembered that first date and how much we enjoyed something so simple as a burger. So with the idea of making something with some nice emotions attached to it, one of the first things we tried to make was a burger as good as the ones we’d tasted at B Spot. Long story short, trying to make a burger like that when all you have is whatever ground beef you can find at the store is pretty much impossible. Sure, the beef burgers we had weren’t bad, but they sure as hell weren’t what we wanted. So, we decided to get a little more adventurous.

Abandoning beef altogether, Jacquelynn began experimenting with different ground meats. We’ve had turkey, bison, elk, and whatever else we could find, but the one burger that really stood out to us was the lamb burger detailed in Jacquelynn’s recipe. These lamb burgers have become our go-to burger when we’re looking for a date night in or even when we just want something comfortable and delicious. Wrapped in crispy prosciutto, topped with fresh mozzarella and basil with a drizzle of balsamic to finish it off, these burgers can’t even compete with anything else we’ve made at home.

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Lamb Burgers with Basil and Fresh Mozzarella

makes 2 generously-sized burgers

Ingredients

  • 2/3 pound ground lamb
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped, flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • hamburger buns

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Directions

Start by rehydrating the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl with enough white wine just to cover the tomatoes. If necessary, taste the wine to make sure it is (or isn’t) what you want to drink with dinner. If you’re like Sara, she honestly doesn’t know what to do with anything other than a red and likes to taste-test out of sheer curiosity. The tomatoes can sit off to the side while you gather the next ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, egg yolk, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the lamb and sun-dried tomatoes and use your hands to combine just until ingredients are incorporated throughout; do not over mix the meat. Divide the mixture into two burgers and press into patties whose diameters are slightly larger than the buns you’re using. The patties shrink slightly as you’re cooking them and while it might take some practice to get the right proportions so the patties end up the perfect size for their buns, you definitely don’t want your first bite of this burger to be nothing but bread because you made the patty the size of the bun before you cooked it. Once you’ve determined the appropriate size, place one burger in the center of a slice of prosciutto. Wrap the prosciutto around the edges as best you can and then use a second piece when you inevitably can’t reach around the whole patty.

Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and heat for 2 minutes. When the oil is hot, place the lamb burgers in the pan and cook until prosciutto is golden, 6–8 minutes. Flip the burger, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Place a mozzarella slice on each burger and cover with a lid and continue to cook until burger is cooked to your desired doneness and mozzarella is melted. We’ve found that a total of 6 minutes on each side cooks the meat so it’s no longer pink, but leaves the burger perfectly juicy.

While the burgers are cooking, spread butter onto buns and toast until golden brown. I use a toaster oven, but you can also put your buns in a conventional oven, 3 to 4 inches under the broiler. Broil the buns for about 30 seconds, or until they are light golden brown. Watch carefully, as bread goes from lightly toasted to completely burnt quickly.

When the mozzarella is melted and buns are toasted, remove the burgers from the pan and begin to assemble. Top each burger with 2–3 basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Notes

Use a full-flavored extra virgin olive oil for this recipe because you’ll really get a chance to taste it, especially for drizzling over the buns at the end. My favorite—and a great value—is Trader Joe’s Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Mama Francesca’s Parmesan, Basil, and Oregano is a great choice for the grated Parmesan in this recipe because the basil in the cheese echoes the leaves you’ll put on top.

The buns pictured are homemade, based on Ashley Rodriguez’s recipe from her blog, Not Without Salt. The only modifications I made were the use of bread, rather than all-purpose, flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter brushed over the top rather than one.

I cooked my burgers for 6 minutes on each side, which leaves the burgers completely cooked through and not pink, but still remaining moist. That said, cook your burgers to whatever level of doneness you prefer.

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Recipe: (Healthier-But-I-Promise-You-Won’t-Know-It) Chicken Pot Pie

Sometimes you just want a little comfort food. I modified this chicken pot pie recipe from Smells Like Home for last night’s dinner and the girlfriend told me she’d definitely like it if I made this again. I consider that a pretty good review. As always, I’ve reduced the recipe to make a small amount since I don’t often need to serve more than two; increase as you need to.

(Healthier-But-I-Promise-You-Won’t-Know-It) Chicken Pot Pie

serves 3 (or two with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cups half and half
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 large chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley
  • refrigerated biscuits (use reduced fat if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and add half the oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed, sauté the onions, carrot, and green beans until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl with the chicken; set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the same pan. When melted, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half, chicken broth, and thyme. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the wine (if using). Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables and chicken to the pot, stirring until the filling is well-combined. Mix in the peas, corn, and parsley.
  4. Pour the filling into a 9×9-inch baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top the filling with the biscuits. As a note: I couldn’t fit all the biscuits in my 9×9 pan, so I cut a few in half so I could squeeze them in around the edges of the dish. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Review: Bistro83

It’s no secret to people who know me that I’m an unabashed foodie. I love that entire scene of local ingredients, trendy restaurants, and endless flavor combinations beyond what you can find at your neighborhood chain. I also love talking about food and critiquing what I’m eating. Luckily for me, Cleveland has a burgeoning food scene with many excellent restaurants and up-and-coming chefs. One of these is Bistro83, a wine bar in North Ridgeville just south of Avon Commons, which opened just a few months ago. I was thrilled that a restaurant that does wine well was opening near my home and on the west side of Cleveland; so many awesome places require a special trip into the city for me so this was a refreshing change. Unfortunately, my hopes were a little too high for this fledgling new establishment.

Bistro83 is nice, clean, and has a vague Tuscan feel to it with a warm palette in the main dining room as well as on the uniforms of the wait staff. Because it was a nice evening, my girlfriend and I decided to sit on the patio which features a covered section, shielding us from the setting sun, plus a fire pit for late-night dining. It’s really quite charming and a nice space for summer nights out. Yuppie new wine bars downtown traditionally have crowds primarily in their 20s and 30s but it was clear that this very suburban restaurant drew an older clientele. Middle-aged patrons seated near us were attended to much more quickly and spoken to several times by upper management while our table was approached far less. While this may have been explained on a busy evening, there were few other customers in the restaurant. It’s hard to imagine that new restaurant owners would want to alienate the few younger diners who stop by, but ours was not a great first impression.

Wine glasses at Bistro83 come in only one size and shape—indicative that this wine bar doesn't know its wine.

Wine glasses at Bistro83 come in only one size and shape—indicative that this wine bar doesn’t know its wine.

This Bistro83 menu features a large number of small plates, salads, and flatbreads and a reasonable, but not terribly inventive list of entrées. Our waitress informed us that the pretzel burger (“signature prime beef, Red Dragon cheddar, bourbon mushrooms and onions, LTO; $9) was one of her favorite dishes Bistro83 offers.

We decided to start with drinks and a few appetizers given the extensive small plates section of the menu and given that Bistro83 brands itself a wine bar, I was excited to try a wide variety of wines. As soon as the wait staff brought out the first glass, I knew something wasn’t quite right. My red wine was served in a white wine glass. Turns out that no matter what sort of wine you order, white, red, rosé, it gets served in the same glass. While I’m sure this makes things easy for replacing broken glasses and keeping enough of each type clean, it communicates a lack of wine knowledge. The wine menu is quite extensive but very few of the wines are served by the glass and further, only one wine of each type (e.g., pinot noir, chardonnay), are served as such. This makes it difficult to taste and compare wines you’re new to if you don’t have a companion with whom to split entire bottles. Demerit number two for a place calling itself a wine bar.

The most inventive cocktail on the menu, a lavender martini.

The most inventive cocktail on the menu, a lavender martini.

We also ordered a mojito which had good flavor but like the best chain establishments, was light on the alcohol. We’ve found that restaurants will often serve the first drink fairly weak and then increase the strength if a table is ordering more than one drink. That wasn’t the case here; subsequent drinks were just as weak as the first. The most inventive cocktail on the menu was a lavender martini, essentially just vodka with a very slight herbal hint, and was rather disappointing as well.

Over drinks, we decided to choose a meat and cheese board, described on the menu thusly: “A selection of cured and smoked meats served with mustards, horseradish aioli, olives and warm bread, preserves, nuts, olives, honey and crackers.” When I inquired what meats and cheeses were included, our waitress consulted another to get the answer. This may be simply because the restaurant is new and they’re getting their feet under them, but with a small menu, keeping tabs on ingredients is  important. The board itself featured fairly common meats and cheeses, many of which stood up poorly in the heat on the patio. Harder cheeses would have been a better choice than soft gouda and goat which get melty.

A fairly common slate of meats and cheeses, not more inventive than what you can find in a grocery store.

A fairly common slate of meats and cheeses found in any grocery store.

To get a full picture of the menu, we chose the salmon (“a 6-ounce salmon steak, red quinoa, dried cranberries, roasted garlic, honey-pomegranate sauce, micro coriander & roasted cauliflower; $19) and a flatbread (Ohio chicken, pesto, fresh buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, basil; $15), one item each from the entrées section and their pizzas.

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The incredible list of ingredients in this dish would indicate huge taste—not so much.

I was wooed by the menu’s description of this fish, including lots of flavorful ingredients but the dish on the whole was bland and uninspired. The salmon itself was overdone with a thick, oily crust on top, and incredibly salty. The quinoa was also very dry. I’d like to have seen more color in the meal too; the red quinoa and the pureed cauliflower do the already-pink salmon no favors.

A chicken pesto pizza is nothing new but this dish could have had much more flavor.

A chicken pesto pizza is nothing new but this dish could have had been improved tenfold.

This chicken pesto flatbread pizza was nothing terribly inventive, but it also wasn’t very well executed. The sun-dried tomatoes were thrown on top as an afterthought, not heated through with the rest of the toppings and there was hardly enough pesto on the bread to make the crust less dry. Fortunately, the flatbread didn’t have a greasy crust. Still, at $15, this is incredibly overpriced and not worth the investment.

While some of the flaws here, particularly wait staff knowledge, may be resolved as the restaurant gets more established, the critical flavor issues are likely to continue, especially if the restaurant gets busier on weekends. Being set aside for being a younger patron too left a bad taste in my mouth and despite wanting to like Bistro83, I just couldn’t find much to hang onto.

 

Bistro83 Wine and Martini Bar: 36033 Westminister Ave., North Ridgeville; bistro83.com, 440-353-2828. Look for $5 happy hour specials from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday.

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No Boys Allowed

A few weeks ago, Sara and I went to the second meeting of the Burning River Barley’s Angels. For those who are unfamiliar, Barley’s Angels is “a network of local chapters that work with craft beer-focused breweries to advance the female consumer craft beer enthusiast.”  While it was my first time going to an actual beer tasting—an experience which I thoroughly enjoyed despite being much more of a wine devotee myself—it was also one of the first times I can remember going to an event designed exclusively for the meeting of women interested in a topic dominated largely by men. In 2013, it’s easy to make the assumption that we’re “post-sexism,” that men and women are generally equal in most things. After all, I wear pants and go to work every day at a job where I’m paid equal to what my male colleagues are. Why do I need to go to a female-only beer tasting?

In ancient Egypt, beer was drunk by all Egyptians, rich and poor, men and women, and the nation consumed great quantities of it. Linked with mythology, happiness, and living a civilized life in addition to providing valuable nutrients, the brew served as an important social glue. Evidence both in artwork and artifacts tells us that brewers had sophisticated recipes, using dregs of preview brews to start new batches and various numbered levels of alcohol content. These brewers, however, were almost exclusively women and in fact, the well-known goddess Hathor was called “the inventress of brewing,” and the “mistress of intoxication.”¹

Somewhere along the way, however, all that changed. These days it’s rare to find women who will even drink beer and far fewer who are enthusiastic about it. Rarer still are women who are active involved in creating and brewing beer. While this is somewhat of a “her loss” scenario—I think it’s a shame if women are missing out but really it isn’t my problem—it can be difficult to get men in the industry to take you seriously if you’re wandering around alone, wearing heels, on your way back from work in the beer cooler at your local supermarket. (See also: being a woman who knows her geek shit in a Best Buy looking for a specific, niche networking cable but that’s a gripe for another day.)

Barley’s Angels seeks to create a space where women can talk with one another about beer without men assuming they’re only drinking beer in the first place because their boyfriends do. At our recent meeting, we had the exceptional double-pleasure of both meeting with other women as well as being instructed by one. Jennifer Hermann, one of the three brewers at the Market Garden Brewery & Distillery, shared a wealth of knowledge about beer and the brewing process as well as her experiences as one of the few female brewers and cicerones in the country. She artfully explained the different brews we were tasting and explained why they fit so well with the various appetizers and entrees we were enjoying too. For a foodie, this was basically my dream scenario. I never once felt as if I couldn’t ask a question or that because my beer knowledge is still sort of limited, that my opinion on how disgusting a very, very bitter IPA are didn’t matter. Jennifer made a comment that she occasionally gives similar tours and tastings other groups largely composed of men and find that they’re more about talking and less about listening and that she thoroughly enjoys the teaching–learning dynamic she finds with other women.

I’m sure I could have tasted a variety of beers in another situation and probably have met plenty of guys who aren’t complete jerks, but  this “girls’ club” was perfect for my first time out. I know that the things I learned made me more confident to make educated beer-buying choices in the future and I was inspired to do more research about the history behind flavors I do like. Maybe with more get-togethers like these across the country that open up opportunities to ladies to get to know this industry better, the United States will get back to the roots of its Western heritage and reestablish women in roles as top brewmasters.

 

So, am I completely off base here? Do you think I could have had as good a time in a mixed group? Do you think there’s value in getting together with people of your gender, sexuality, race, or other subculture group?

 

1. Ian Spencer Hornsey, The Royal Society of Chemistry, A History of Beer and Brewing (Cambridge: 2003), 64.