In partnership with Great American Beer Festival.
Drumroll, please… the week of the Great American Beer Festival is here! GABF is an annual celebration of everything wonderful in the world of craft brewing, hosted right here in Denver by the Brewer’s Association. It’s a whirlwind three-day festival and this year is bigger & better than ever, with over 4,000 beers from 800+ breweries!
The recipes I’m sharing this week all feature beers from breweries near & dear to my heart, quite literally: they’re all right here in our home of Golden, Colorado! Coors knew this was the best place to brew nearly 150 years ago, and now our little town of 20,000 people has six craft breweries on top of the largest brewing facility in the world. We absolutely adore living here for so many reasons, but an abundance of fabulous beer certainly doesn’t hurt.
We’re kicking the week off with New Terrain Brewing Co., a personal favorite whose Suntrip Belgian wit won GABF silver last year in their very first year! New Terrain is the perfect summary of everything I love about local beer: a team of great people, following their passion, beautifully in tune with their community & their craft. They always have a dozen or so beers on tap ranging from traditional to wonderfully weird, and every single one is exceptional.
Bear-steaming is both the tastiest and the easiest way of cooking mussels. This makes a great date-night dinner: simple ingredients, but something beyond the everyday that feels a little fancy.
Suntrip’s notes of citrus and coriander are carried into the ingredients, and most Belgian witbiers would work well here; Coors’ Blue Moon and Avery’s White Rascal are more widely distributed wits. If you choose another beer, try a different style of Belgian or even a German hefeweizen.
And definitely don’t skip the crusty bread, because that beer broth is downright addictive.
And if you’re lucky enough to visit Golden, you simply must stop by New Terrain! My personal favorite is Against the Currant, their black currant sour – which they’ll be pouring at GABF! – but I swear you can’t go wrong with anything on the board. Their brewers say it best:
Hike, run, ride, two wheels or four, or up on a horse.
No matter how you wander, you’re welcome here.
Beer-Steamed Mussels with Fennel & Shallots
- 2 lb. mussels
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 t. salt
- 2 cups wit beer
- 1/2 orange
- 2 T. butter
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- (optional) crusty bread for dipping
- Place the mussels in a colander and run cool water over them. Scrub and debeard mussels if needed – Serious Eats has a good guide.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel & shallots, saute for 2 minutes, then add garlic & salt and saute for another minute.
- Add mussels to the pan and shake to coat with oil. Pour beer over mussels, stir to coat, then cover tightly.
- Cook mussels for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Keep skillet covered but check every 30 seconds or so to see if mussels have opened. As soon as a mussel opens, remove it with a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after 10 minutes.
- Squeeze juice from orange into broth, then add butter & continue simmering until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and pour broth over mussels.
- Serve hot, with crusty bread for the broth.