Thanks(beer)giving: 3 Ideas for Mixing Craft Beer with Your Celebration

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Cheers!

We’re feeling thankful for hops, malt, water and yeast…and a whole lot more (we love you, Mom!). For the upcoming and delightfully indulgent holiday on the horizon, here are three ideas for incorporating your favorite beverage into the celebrations.

  1. Support your local craft brewery – As if you need a reason to go beer tasting at your favorite local brew house, stop in and try a flight to pick your favorite beer for the big meal. Load up on several growlers to offer your group a selection, or consider a keg to reduce waste and let guests serve themselves on tap. Head over soon if you’re planning to go the keg route, as some breweries fill kegs to order and require advanced notice. A tip for quantities: at 1/6 BBL (5 gallon) keg will give you about 40 pints, so smaller could be a good option for intimate gatherings. And if there’s any leftover, see tip #3.
  1. Invite guests to bring a beer to pair with a specific course – To let your houseguests in on the fun, invite them to bring beer to pair with appetizers, dinner, or dessert. They’ll get to show off their beer-pairing know-how, and it’s a heck of a lot easier than preparing a side dish. Here are some of our pairing suggestions to get started:
  • beer tasting cardRoasted Turkey with Amber Ale
  • Stuffing with Pumpkin Ale
  • Pecan Pie with Imperial Stout

And for an extra activity, consider printing a beer tasting card, like this one from Create. Cook. Survive Law School.

  1. Cook with it (and leave some for yourself) – Mix in beer with your dishes and see if your guests can pick out the variety. Here are some of our top recipes for a beer-centric Thanksgiving spread:

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may your holiday be full of flavor, food, and fun!

Visiting with Ooblies in Downtown Medford

One of the best perks of working downtown has been the lunch selection at all of the area’s food trucks. Within walking distance of the brewery we can find teriyaki chicken, breakfast burritos, artisan sandwiches, and these guys: Ooblies Waffle Sandwiches. We love their tasty and quirky selection so much, and we invited them to join our brewery-preview Permit Party last August.

From the Ooblies creator himself, Tanner, here’s a bit about how Ooblies came to be, what to expect for upcoming waffle sandwich specials, and which beverages pair best with our favorite creations.

DSC_3829_edited-2What motivated you to start a waffle sandwich food truck?

Originally, I never planned on opening up a food truck. It was a spontaneous idea that stemmed from the suggestion of a friend. I came up with the idea for waffle sandwiches in 2012 when I was in Singapore and ate a Belgium waffle that was filled like a jelly doughnut with a sweet meat paste. When I observed the street vendor injecting the waffle with the meat paste, I thought it looked like a lot of work and wondered why they didn’t just spread it over the waffle, fold it up and make a sandwich out of it. From there on the idea of waffle sandwiches stuck in the back of my head, but it wasn’t something I thought about daily or ever really focused on until a few years later when I wanted to start a business my family.

The idea to do a food truck and sell waffle sandwiches came from a conversation with a close friend about starting and running a business, and my friend happened to mention that a food-truck might be fun and maybe I could start one, but they weren’t sure what I could sell. Well, they didn’t know, but as soon as they said it, the idea of waffle sandwiches came rushing back to me and it was waffles from then on.

 

DSC_3838_edited-1What would you say are the best places to take your sandwich and eat downtown?

We always say the best place is right where your eating it, because if your eating a waffle sandwich it can’t get much better than that!  We do have other suggestions though, like right outside our food truck. Sometimes, if your lucky, the magical, secret taste-test waffle appears in that area and you may get to try something new that no one else has ever gotten to try before! When not hunting for the elusive secret taste-test waffle, we suggest enjoying your waffle at the tables outside the Craterian by the water fountains during summer.

 

Tell us about your seasonal recipes, like the Pumpkin Spice Waffle. Are there any new ideas coming up for us to look forward to?

One of the best parts of making waffle sandwiches is that the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s savory or sweet, we always enjoy coming up with new sandwiches, and try to use what is in season or what sounds fun or festive for the time of year, like our Pumpkin Spice Waffle. That was October’s special waffle, made with my own mixture of hand-ground ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon zest and vanilla whipped into a sweet and tiny bit spicy pumpkin cream, topped with house made caramel, crushed walnuts and fresh pears right here from our valley…. though, sometimes I just get crazy and do something really odd for the time of year, like this month’s special: the Frenchy. The Frenchy, is an explosion of summer memories in your mouth and is made with French lavender whipped maple butter on a French Toast Waffle with raspberries and blueberries…a little odd for this time of year, but hey, we are a little odd here at Ooblies anyhow!

We also have a couple other specials this month, such as our Hot Mother Clucker (with a Buttermilk fried chicken breast, cayenne chili maple glaze and half sour pickles) and The Count of Monte Cristo (a lovely sweet and salty waffle made with turkey, swiss, ham and blackberry jam). Coming up in December, we’ll do a pulled pork waffle per customer request, and possibly a peppermint crème brulee waffle sandwich.

 

DSC_3907_edited-2We’d personally pair a coffee stout with your breakfast waffle. What are some other beverage pairings you’d suggest with your waffles?

A coffee stout is an excellent choice for the Breakfast Waffle. A vanilla porter goes quite well with any dessert waffle, except maybe our Berry Delightful. For the Berry, we suggest a sparkling champagne, which is also a killer with….wait for it….our Buttermilk Fried Chicken! An IPA is a good choice for the Hot Pastrami, and if your looking for something non-alcoholic a sparkling IZZE soda will hit the spot every-time

 

How did you come up with the name Ooblies, and what does it mean?

According to Larousse Gastronomique, the ancient Greeks (1100 B.C.E. to 146 B.C.E.) made wafer-like waffles called obleios. The wafers were cooked by pouring a thick batter mixture onto one heated plate and then setting another heated plate on top of that. These wafers were not exactly the waffles you think of today, but they created the foundation for modern day waffles. We derived Ooblies (pronounced oo-blees) from obleios, and since it’s a word we created, we say Ooblies means Waffle Sandwich!

So why did we pick Ooblie’s compared to other possible names such as the illustrious Two Jerks and a Waffle, or Waffletastic? Well, three reasons: first, it was derived from the ancient Greek word, Obleios, that helped create waffles, and our family is part Greek so that’s a big point for family heritage – booyah! Second, it makes the sound “ooo,” like ” Ooo that’s good,” and our waffles tend to leave that impression on everyone who tries them. Loved it! Third…. well, you know that googly eyed looking thing people text to each other? —> 0_o We liked how if you added a little line underneath Ooblie, it looked like a smiling googly eyed dude, and that pretty much sealed the deal.

There you have it!  Thanks, Ooblies, for taking the time to answer all of our questions.  And for making us hungry. 

Common Block’s Second Beer: Blueprint IPA + Homebrew Recipe

You can take the man out of the brewery, but you can’t take the brewer out of the man.  Brewer John has whipped up another pilot beer, one we’re naming the Blueprint IPA.  This may come as a surprise… we love it.

Here’s how the tasting went down: First thing Nick noted was its floral aroma.  Then Rachel noticed its peachy front.  That was the moment when Alex stated the beer’s hoppy finish (he gets ahead of everyone else).  At this time, Nick took another sip, just to make sure he got all the tasting notes right.  The notes were right, but another pint was needed just to be sure.  Turns out the second pint tasted a lot like the first, but would the third…?

The main flavor/aroma ingredient in the beer are the Mosaic hops, a Simcoe Pedigree.  The Mosaic hop gives the beer an incredible peach and dried apricot aroma.  The nose compliments the flavor well, as this IPA has a slight fruity front. The Columbus hops create a hoppy finish that keeps you wanting more.

Since we can’t sell our beer (yet!), we wanted to share the recipe for John’s Blueprint IPA, for all you home brewers out there:

This is sized for a 3x5 inch notecard, so print it off and add it to your recipe book!

This is sized for a 3×5 inch notecard, so print it off and add it to your recipe book!

And since you’ll be making the beer at home, why not pair some food with it, too?  Here are a couple of dishes we fantasized about pairing with this beer:

Bangers and Mash
The hoppy flavor from the IPA cuts through the fat of this hearty dish.  Additionally, the bratwurst and mashed potatoes would help cleanse your pallet of the Blueprint’s hoppy finish.

Spicy Mango Salsa with Salted Corn Chips
If you’re a spice fan, then any beer with hoppy bitterness is the beer for you.  Hops amplify spice, increasing the intensity of heat.  Furthermore, the fruity mango flavor from this salsa goes with the fruit front we tasted in the Blueprint IPA.

If you brew Blueprint IPA, please let us know!  We’d love to hear how it turns out.

Until then, we’ll keep a rigorous schedule when doing R&D; these beers aren’t going to drink themselves.

Meet Common Blocker Andy Schow

As the weather gets colder in southern Oregon,  we warm up by having a one-on-one with our own our own slice of tropical living in Medford. Some call him the Resident Long Haired Hawaiian, or the Yeti, but if you’re asking him to sign his name on a check, it’s Andy.  Raised on the island of Kauai, Andy personifies easy living.  And go figure, he’s a pretty cool dude.  If you’re trying to remember which Common Blocker he is, he’s the one with dark Rapunzel hair.  When he’s not working, he’s testing out new food and cocktail recipes, and our efficient R&D department is always there to try whatever new inspiration he comes up with.

But enough exposition, why don’t we talk to the man himself?

Beer Pour Crew

Andy (center) pouring beer at our Permit Party in August

What is your favorite thing about bartending?

My favorite part about bartending…that’s a tough one. It would have to be a combination of answers. First and foremost, I love the interactions with customers. All the world is a stage, and that’s my stage of choice. I love the creative side of bartending, too – the development of specialty cocktails, the science behind the combinations of flavors, and the fun of experimenting and coming up with new, delicious ideas. Lastly, there is the moment when the customer tastes this beverage that I’ve made for him or her with my heart and hands, and gives it the first taste. This is always best when they really like it, of course.

What has been your go-to lunch spot in downtown Medford?

I lived in Medford before for eight years, so I have several go-tos already, but Medford has a lot more to offer now. So, the old faves are Squeeze-In Sandwich Shop and Organicos Bakery. The new faves have been the tasty chicken bento down the street at Jolie’s Bento Central, and that Ooblies Waffle truck makes a heckuva chicken waffle sandwich!

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We all see you snaking that full beer, Andy.

How long have you been growing that lovely mane of yours?

What, this old thing? I guess it’s been about seven or eight years now. And this here, folks, is 100% free-range, hormone-free, grass fed and finished!

Hypothetically, if a few of us poured some of the Rough Draft Ale into growlers and said we were headed over to your house for dinner, what would you make for us?

Well, hypothetically speaking, if that was going to happen with enough notice, I think John’s Rough Draft pale ale would go splendidly with a Granny Smith apple stuffed with grilled pork, raisins, jalapenos and blue cheese, and a little balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. But, if you were to come over right this second…well, let’s see…looks like I could do peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches, or…canned tuna fish!

But really, if we pour off beer and head over, will you please make something for us?

Heck yes, I will! Peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches for everyone!

Yeti walk

It wouldn’t be a Yeti spotting without a poor-quality photo series.

 

If you liked this bio, keep the fun going by reading about the rest of our stellar team!

 

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Brewer: John

Nick Rachel Danielle

Social Media: Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

Gina and Ashley

Graphic Design: Ashley

A man and his cat.

Cat Expert: Nick