Bloody Beers For Sunday Brunch
Featuring Ghostfish’s Ghostpepper Saison
Has anyone tried Ghostfish’s Ghostpepper Saison before? The Ghostpepper is a limited-release brewed with malted millet, buckwheat, and rice. The first time it hit the taproom was in 2016. It has a 6% ABV and 15 IBU.
When it first hits the palate, it is light and crisp…unitimidating at first. But by the time it makes it to the back of your throat, you’re thinking “Ahhh…yes…there’s the ghost-pepper.” Now, I think it’s important to mention that I love spicy. I am far from the biggest spice fanatic…but I enjoy throwing jalapeños on my tacos, and some amount of hot sauce on most things.
But I had never tried a beer this spicy before. I like the flavor, it’s complex and interesting, and I like the heat level…I’m just not sure I like it in my beers. That is to say, I would be completely content drinking a mere 4 ounces of this Ghostpepper Saison as a treat, but I can’t see myself downing a 22 ounce bottle in one session.
So this bottle sat around in my fridge for awhile. I wasn’t sure when the right time to open it was, because I felt like I needed someone to experience it with me. Because that’s what the beer is…an experience.
And Then I Went To The Ghostfish Taproom…
On my way back from hosting a gluten free yoga retreat in the San Juan Islands, I stopped at Ghostfish for lunch. (I recommend not missing that opportunity if you find yourself in Seattle.) I was enjoying my Fish & Chips when I overheard the patron next to me order a Bloody Beer. I checked out the menu and noticed that they were serving up a spicy twist on a Bloody Mary, featuring the Ghostpepper Saison instead of vodka.
I literally heard a chorus in my head as the topic of this blog came to fruition. I decided in that moment exactly how I would consume this bottle of Saison.
BLOODY BEERS + BRUNCH.
I could not imagine a better way to enjoy this seasonal. Enter…
Sunday Brunch x2
So on a cold, dry Sunday morning in Bend, I gathered with 8-10 friends for a group brunch. You know…one of those brunches where more than half the attendees bring champagne and OJ and relatively little food is consumed.
I brought a gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian frittata–the first I had ever made–and a bottle of Ghostpepper Saison. My friend Deven brought homemade Bloody Mary mix. My friend Dani made delicious sweet potato hash browns. I’ll let you imagine the rest.
Deven and I whipped up some fancy looking Bloody Beers and began passing them around to try. Let me just skip through the chase…the combination was ingenious. They compliment each other so damn well. It tastes quite similar to a Bloody Mary–except instead of that bite from the vodka, you get it from the Ghostpepper, plus this uniquely fizzy characteristic that comes from the carbonation of the Saison. It is just so damn good.
Toss in a couple garnish sticks packed with pickles…olives, onions, pepper, etc. and you have yourself a delicious cocktail that won’t get you sloppy…no matter how many you consume. That is, assuming you are like me, and have an eventual limit to how many spicy tomato beverages you crave in one sitting.
So nice, I did it twice!
The next morning I leaned that my boyfriend’s roommate (who’s a college student) had just returned home from completing a term final. PERFECT. I went to college. I know what to do. CELEBRATE!
What better way to celebrate than (use your boyfriend’s-roommate’s-term finals as an excuse) to make a second round of Bloody Beers with Ghostpepper Saison! Yep. I know, I AM a good influence.
So that’s what we did. But this time I didn’t have Deven around to provide the Bloody Mary mix, so we made our own. Homemade Bloody mix has been a longtime passion of mine. (Really the only option for B.M. mix in my opinion…especially if you’re gluten free. I mean, it’s SO easy.)
We started with a base of organic tomato-veggie juice, added a few tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, a few teaspoons of horseradish and dashes of hot sauce, some salt and pepper…and I believe that’s it. I would typically get a little more creative with the seasonings…celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder, etc…but I just didn’t feel we needed it. The Ghostpepper Saison is already so complex. We chopped up some celery and threw in some of Aine’s (the roommate’s) homemade pickled carrots.
What resulted was a second round of delicious awesomeness. You can see video evidence of this on the Best Gluten Free Beer’s Instagram.
If you found that this blog wet your appetite to any degree…do yourself a favor. Next time summer comes around…grab yourself a couple bottles of this Ghostfish seasonal and WOW your brunch guests with a new twist on an old classic.