Spring Beer · Winter Beer

Brats with a Snap

Yesterday was the first day of spring. If you were in the Northeastern part of the United States, you wouldn’t have known that. So let’s break this cold weather with a nice Cold Snap from Samuel Adam’s Brewing Company? Throw some Bratwursts on the stove and you’ve got the start of a great last taste of winter meal.

The Beer:

This week we have the Samuel Adams Cold Snap Seasonal Brew. It’s a great transition beer between the cold winter months and the cool early spring days. The description on the bottle advertises a “hazy smoothness” with “a hint of sweetness from orange peel and plum” along with a “peppery bite of fresh ground coriander” to give it a “refreshing kick”. Is it everything that it promises?

Mar 20 2016 011The Style: A white ale “brewed with spices and spices added”. Alcohol content of 5.3% so it definitely won’t knock you off your feet.

Taste and Body: Plenty of hops with a peppery aftertaste. There are mild citrus notes as well. It’s smooth with a medium body.

Color: Like fresh wheat

Aroma: Fruity.

Level of Recommendation: Great for the last cool days of winter. This is a prefect beer when you’re craving the start of spring, but can’t quite shake the cold.

The Food:

Bratwursts are one of my favorite dishes from childhood. My mother would often make them in the late fall and early spring on the grill. Unfortunately I don’t have a grill, but that won’t stop me from fulfilling my craving. Brats can easily be made on the stove top cooked in either water or (you guessed it) beer!

If you’re from the Northern New Jersey area, I highly recommending getting your bratwursts from the Southtown Farms. I buy from them at the Ramsey Farmer’s Market (which is June – November and the winter Market December – March). They also have a fantastic selection of meats, milk, yogurt, butter, and eggs.

What you’ll need: Mar 20 2016 003

  • Bratwursts
  • Beer or water – I’m using the Cold Snap
  • Olive oil
  • A medium onion (optional)

Place bratwursts in a large pan so they are touching. Lightly drizzle some olive oil over the brats. Fill the pan with roughly two inches of beer or water or enough of the liquid to half way cover the brats. Bring the liquid to a quick simmer. Please note, you do not want to boil the liquid, this will cause the casings to split apart. Bring the heat down, but make sure the liquid continues to simmer. Add in the onions.


Allow the brats and onions to continue to simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated. Then add a little more olive oil to brown the brats.


A quick word about the beer. Honestly there’s quite a bit of debate as to what kind of beer someone should use when cooking brats this way. You can look all over the Internet and find debates on it. My mom usually went for a cheap beer. In this instance I chose to use the Cold Snap. It brings on a whole new meaning to pairing the beer and food.

I added a side of baked beans to my bratwurst and onions. This was more out of nostalgia because growing up baked beans were always served with brats. Buy a can of your favorite baked beans, heat them up and enjoy.

The Pairing:


Mar 20 2016 010Oh yes! A thousand times yes! It’s just like mom’s cooking. Of course it made the apartment smell like beer for a few days, but that’s not important. I would make this again and again. The bratwursts were amazing and the beer went smoothly with them. Adding in the onions was another great addition. The saltiness of the onions, the slight sweetness of the brats, and the spices of the beer all went well with each other.

Level of Recommendation: It might be the last taste of winter, but it has all the freshness of spring. Seconds please!



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