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Chat Leftovers: On the prowl for garlic beer

Greetings, all. Just a few hours left until today's Free Range chat, your chance to ask us questions about all things food. Maybe you've got some kitchen challenges, maybe you need a menu suggestion, or maybe you want to talk about today's cover stories: how two Washingtonians tasted their way across Spain to develop dishes for a new restaurant; how enemy forces combine to make a great salad; and in our series
Washington Cooks, how a District woman raised in Venezuela makes magic happen in her kitchen.

You'll have exactly one hour, and then we close up shop. But not totally. There are always unanswered questions, and we'll always answer one of the leftovers on a future Wednesday morning, like I'm about to do right now:

Is there somewhere in this area where I can buy garlic beer?

Oops, gotta backtrack. When I said I was about to answer a leftover question, that wasn't quite true. I tossed this one to a more knowledgeable expert, Greg Kitsock, our beer columnist. His response:

"This is one of the oddest questions I've ever been asked.

"I don't know of any beer currently on the market that contains garlic. But I've heard of professional breweries making small batches of garlic beer as a stunt.

"There is an annual garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., and a local brewery called Coast Range Brewing Co. actually did a brew a garlic beer. But it couldn't be served at the festival because the local Anheuser-Busch distributor had exclusive beer rights. You can read what the local Gilroy Dispatch wrote about the situation. Unfortunately, Coast Range was reported to be bankrupt and out of business.

"There is also a yearly elephant garlic festival in North Plains, Ore., that has offered a garlic beer.

"Closer to home, I seem to remember that Olde Town Brewing Co. in Gaithersburg (the predecessor to Growlers) made an experimental garlic beer back in the late 1990s. I believe the recipe called for blanching the garlic cloves in milk to mute the flavor a bit.

"I think your best bet would be to contact a home brewer who likes to experiment and see what you can come up with. I'd use an IPA as a base, as it will take a lot of hops to keep the garlic from overwhelming the beer."

Thanks, Greg. Let me add that if you search the Internet you will indeed come up with home-brewing recipes for garlic beer. So we know it's out there. Just follow your nose.

-- Jane Touzalin

By Jane Touzalin  |  June 30, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers  | Tags: Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin  
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Next: What not to eat? One magazine's answer: Tradition.

Comments

I've actually had garlic beer. DC used to have a Garlic Festival in the mid-late 90s at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. They couldn't garner enough sponsors so it stopped around 1999 or 2000. If you loved garlic, though, that was the place to be! The beer was good with just a hint of garlic aftertaste. I also tried chocolate covered garlic cloves (not as great).

Posted by: possumlady1 | June 30, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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