Holiday Beers

Irish Style Ale With Twice Baked Potatoes!

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and if you have ever lived in the US, that means wearing plenty of green to avoid getting pinched along with eating and drinking all things Irish related. So why not celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day with Twice Baked Potatoes with green onions and orange cheddar cheese? Add in the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Conway’s Irish Ale (“An Irish Style Ale”) and you’re ready to celebrate this holiday.

The Beer:

This week’s beer is from one of my favorite brewing companies, Great Lakes Brewing Co. The bottle suggests that the Conway’s Irish Ale was named after the co-founders great grandfather. It’s described as having caramel malt flavors that are “just the ticket”.

The Style: It’s an Irish Style Ale with 6.5% alcohol by volume.

Taste and Body: Smooth with plenty of malt and caramel flavors. I didn’t have any

aftertaste (which I liked). It might have just been me, but I also noticed a slight oak and whiskey flavor.

13 March 2016 005

Color: Amber

Aroma: Vaguely of whiskey and plenty of malts.

Level of Recommendation: A great drink for St. Patrick’s day! This beer feels like the right combination of Irish and American for America’s version of the holiday.

The Food:

Though I had a lot of Irish dishes (as well as Irish inspired dishes), I decided to go with the Twice Baked Potato. I remember loving this recipe as a child and was always excited when my mom would make it. It’s simple, but takes a while. A few websites that helped inspire the Twice Baked Potatoes recipe below can be found here and here.

What you’ll need (Based on 1 Potato being made):13 March 2016 002

  • A large russet potato
  • Canola oil (not too much)
  • 2 Tbs Whole Milk
  • A scoop of Sour Cream
  • 1 clove of grated Garlic
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Green Onion
  • A couple of dashes of salt and pepper (option – I didn’t include this in my recipe, but I’m weird like that)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

While the oven is heating up, clean the potato. Before putting the potato in the oven, coat it in canola oil. Allow the potato to cook until tender. It should take about an hour depending on the size of the potato.

When the potato is cooked, take it out of the oven and set it aside. Lower the temperature on the oven to 350°F.

Cut the potato in half and scoop out the inside of the potato. Don’t take so much that the potato starts to collapse. You want a nice stable boat shape.

13 March 2016 004Mix the inside of the potato with the milk, sour cream, cheese, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back into the potato skin boats. Place on a baking sheet, put back into the oven, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (or until a nice crust forms on the potato mixture).

It will smell awesome!

The Pairing:

13 March 2016 009This is a fantastic pairing, especially if you choose to add the garlic to the potatoes. The beer is able to smooth out the garlic taste and isn’t overwhelmed by the flavors. I definitely think the two compliment each other.

Level of Recommendation: I won’t claim it will bring you good luck, but it is a meal I will be enjoying on St. Patrick’s Day for many years to come!




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