I am a newcomer to beer. After realizing that in order to play beer pong you actually have to *gasp* drink beer, I only recently started bona fide drinking it. Maybe the initial hesitance is because when I was four, my dad gave me a small swig of his Miller Lite at my insistence, and I remember it being really, really gross. I’m pretty sure I spit it up. (Don’t call the cops on my dad, please.)
But 22 years later, I’ve found out that beer isn’t really that bad–and cheaper than girly drinks and wine, to boot. So when I saw this beer bread mix on the New Items shelf at Trader Joe’s, I was intrigued. Perhaps this would be the final stretch to my Bridge to Beer.
The supposed appeal of this beer bread mix is the many permutations you can make. As it says on the label, you can use pilsners, ales, dark beers, light beers, and ciders to alter the taste. And because the bread base tastes somewhere in between sweet and savory, you can throw in nuts, cheese, dried fruits, whatever. Maybe not chocolate.
For my first try, I used Magic Hat. I also decided to make mini-muffins instead of the full loaf, for time and maximum dissemination’s sake.
For starters, this bread is super easy to make. It is literally just mix + beer. And it’s fun to hear the fizzing when they combine. Then all you got to do is pop it in the oven. A thick, warm beer aroma fills the air. My kitchen smelled like a fraternity house on a Saturday night. Minus the marijuana smoke and cheap perfume.
After you drizzle the muffins (or bread slices) with melted butter, per the instructions, it’s done. I had about 15 people try out my Magic Hat beer mini-muffins, and the general consensus was that they were dense, yeasty, interesting, and “hoppy.” I don’t know enough beerspeak to understand what “hoppy” means, but to me it definitely tastes like solid beer, with a slight bitter aftertaste. It is dense and chewy, and much yummier when warm right out of the oven. Next time I should serve them in red Solo cups.
The concept of a beer bread is a little cannabilistic, or ontologically perverse– since beer is made out of wheat, it’s like liquid wheat being cooked with refined wheat (flour). Its carb-on-carb action. Like a giant SCREW YOU to Dr. Atkins. Or… it also reminds me of that Biblical directive to not cook a kid (young goat) in its mother’s milk, because there is something wrong with blending two of the same thing together in a destructive manner. It is posthumously cruel.
Along those lines, the mini-muffins I made today were the size of ping pong balls (see photo). So if I played beer pong with them, that’s wheat-on-wheat-on-wheat. Truly heinous, no?
Beer Bread Mix: 3.5/5 pelts.