5 Vulture por 5 Rabbit Cervecería

The Aheiateteo are the 5 Aztec Gods of excess and pleasure. 5 Rabbit, or Macuiltochtli, is the God of drunkeness, and is the God that the founders named this Chicago Cervecería after. An interesting name for a brewery, and one I kind of doubt the “Man” understood when they approved the license for this brewery. The history of the first Latin-themed brewery in the United States is mired in drama, with one of the founding members suing the other one. Maybe some of that famous Latin fire and passion? The beers are still flowing though, with Randy Mosher, the Radical Brewer himself writing the recipes.

5 Vulture, or Macuilcozcacuauhtli, is the God of gluttony. The scavenging nature of the vulture represents the stripping off of deeply rooted lustful and envious impulses from our being. The god is associated with wisdom and longevity.

This beer is a uniquely North American creation. An Amber Ale, one of the only true American Styles of beer, that has a small amount of roasted Ancho Chiles, a new world fruit. It smells like an earthy chili. I love chili. I probably end up eating chili in some form every single day of my life. This smell is very inviting to someone like me.

One of the founders of this brewery is from Costa Rica. When I was there, there was this light American-style lager brewed locally in  San José called Imperial everywhere. Now someone is bringing a little Costa Rican flair to the booming craft beer scene in the states, and with this brewery, you end up with some pretty descent beers.

It has a dark brown color, with an off-white head. The head is small, and does not last long. I think that could be because of the oils from the chilies.

Chili beers in my experience are hit and miss. Sometimes they taste like taking a swig from a Tabasco bottle, and sometimes, like this time, they taste delicious. This one kind of tastes like an interesting mole sauce. I love mole sauce. It tastes darker than the description would lead you to expect. It has subtle spices and subtle bitterness, but luckily not much hoppiness.

I was eating it with buffalo flavored tacos, and it kind of clashed. A more traditional flavored taco probably would have tasted better. Maybe a nice flat-iron steak with your favorite mole sauce.

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Bells Best Brown and Shepards Pie

Shepard’s Pie? Are you serious? Are you living in some sort of dickens novel? All of these are valid questions, but no, I’m bringing back meat pies.

Shepard’s Pie, or Cottage Pie is a meat pie with a crush of potatoes on top. Traditionally the meat is mutton. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen mutton in the grocery store lately. I actually used ground turkey (because it’s healthier or something). I also used rutabaga instead of potatoes. In my quest to eat every type of food in the produce section, I purchased a rutabaga with only a vague ideas of what a rutabaga is. It turns out that it cooks and functions a lot like a potato. In fact, the recipe I found for mashed rutabagas could easily be used for mashed potatoes. Before potatoes came to Europe, the rutabaga was a major starch source.  It is solid peasant fare, and should go with solid peasant beer. Like a delicious Bells Best Brown Ale (it even says it’s the best).

The aroma is nice and bready, with no real hops coming through. It tastes like bread , nuts, and  malt, with a bit of caramel coming through. It has a laid back bitterness. It is almost savory, and melds with the savory homeliness of the Shepard’s Pie. The onion and rutabaga – rutabaga being a descendant of turnips and cabbage – add a nice earthy flavor to the pie that melds magnificently with the beer. It has a reddish-brown hue. The mouthfeel and carbonation level are both medium, nothing fancy here.

After this meal you’ll be ready to toil for hours in the field and then, when called upon, go defend your Feudal Lord.