Ever since Christmas I've been on a non-stop hop kick. I've been buying IPAs every chance I get and a few weeks ago tapped the Simcoe IPA I brewed in February. With my current hop streak I'm surprised I still have some left. In my opinion, it's the best batch of homebrew I've ever made. I'm sure the half pound of hops, which yielded an IBU rating of 138, helped.
I'm addicted to hops, which I thankfully learned today, isn't really an addiction. They are just something I like. A lot.
While most brewers have big hoppy beers, Samuel Adams probably has the most fun and variety with theirs. I'm still in love with their Latitude 48 Deconstructed from a few years ago and I'm more than smitten with their latest variety pack: IPA Hopology.
I inadvertently stumbled on this 12 pack a month ago at Meijer. I've already picked it up twice and I'm looking for it again. Hopology brings together a unique mix of hop takes, most notably 12 ounce versions of Grumpy Monk, a Belgian IPA, Tasman Red, a Red IPA, Dark Depths, a Baltic IPA, and Third Voyage, a Double IPA. Finishing out the lineup are year round selections of Whitewater IPA and Latitude 48 IPA.
I really, really love Dark Depths, which merges the IPA with another favorite style of mine, the baltic porter. Baltic porters were brewed at a higher alcohol content to make their way across the north sea in the last 1700s. Matching the big roasted malt bite of the porter with the hop filled taste of the IPA is a great merging of styles. I love it.
So, what better to pair with a hopped up beer, than a burger "hopped" with brie. All of this beer talk has made me hungry.
Adapted from Weber's New Real Grilling
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80/20)
1 red pepper
1 t dried tarragon
1/2 t ground pepper
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 8 wedges
4 hamburger buns
1 tomato, about 8 ounces, cut crosswise into 4 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Roast a red bell pepper over direct high heat. Rotate and grill until all sides are black and blistered. Remove from the grill, transfer to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Remove the blackened skin and de-seed the pepper. Cut into small slices. Set aside.
Although you could buy your own ground chuck, I almost always grind my own. I try to pick a fairly fatty piece of meat, so that I can maintain a good fat to meat ratio. I also like to keep meat from splattering across the kitchen, so I use a paper towel "shield" to keep things in check. It's not pretty, but it works.
In a large bowl, combine the meat, tarragon, salt and pepper. Form four patties of equal size. Be careful not to overwork the meat.
Using your thumb, make a small indentation on one side of the patty. This will prevent the patties from swelling when you grill them. It's great for preventing what I call: "Dad's Hamburgers." Bless his heart, but when we were growing up, this tip would have been immensely helpful. However, fast forward to today and he's grilling prime rib.
I've not had Dad's burgers in years. I imagine they are nothing like the memories of my youth. His skills have improved dramatically.
Gril the patties over direct medium heat. Figure about 10 minutes, flipping once. Just before you plan to take the burgers off the grill, top with two pieces of brie and allow to melt.
Toast the buns until lightly marked. Brush the tomatoes and onion with a little bit of olive oil and grill until tender and marked.
If you are short on grill space, remove the burgers before grilling the onions and tomatoes. However, thanks to the surface area of the Summit, everything, and more, easily fits on.
Remove everything from the grill. Add the burgers, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers to the buns and serve.
I love brie on its own. Add it to a burger and it's even better. Then, add in a pint of an IPA and I'm over the moon.
Note: Samuel Adams provided me with a sample of bottles from their Hopology collection. They bridged the gap between my purchases of this great variety pack. It is now available nationwide.