Stone Brewing Co. is known for making some pretty big, serious beers, beers so intensely flavored that "aggressive" is a common descriptor. And being more than familiar with some of their over-the-top hoppy selections, we were more than a little curious to see how these hefty brews would fare in the kitchen.
First off on our cooking adventure through The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. is a Garlic, Cheddar, and Stone Ruination IPA Soup. Stone will have you know that Ruination is named for its palate-annihilating hoppy bitterness. We love it. But would we love it in a creamy, garlicky, cheesy soup?
One might assume that a meager cup of Ruination would get lost in a sea of garlic and cheddar, but the IPA packs a wallop and cuts right through the rich soup, with bitterness and hops coming through in every spoonful. Just like extreme IPAs can be polarizing, this soup has the same love-it-or-hate-it hoppiness. Certainly not for the faint of palate, this this soup is best saved for diehard IPA lovers.
Of course, if you're a middle of the road IPA enthusiast, you can always tone it down by using a beer with a lower IBU, but what's the fun in that?
Reprinted with permission from The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner with Randy Clemens. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) Stone Ruination IPA
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 heads Roasted Garlic (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/4 pounds white Cheddar cheese, grated
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
For the Roasted Garlic: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the top 1/4 inch off of three heads exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place it cut side up on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the garlic and season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Gather the foil up around the garlic, folding and twisting the top to seal.
Roast for 1 hour, then let the garlic cool completely. Use a fork to pull the roasted cloves out of their papery skin. Alternatively, you can squeeze the cloves out from the bottom using your hands.
Melt 3/4 cup of the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking briskly to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the flour takes on a light blond color, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and minced garlic and cook just until the garlic is aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock, IPA, and milk. When the liquid begins to simmer, stir in the garlic, paprika, and cumin. Using a handheld immersion blender or in a regular blender, puree until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture. Add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking after each addition, until melted and smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with some of the chives.