Russian River Brewing makes some of my favorite beers. Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA, Pliny the Younger, and others are among the best beers brewed in Northern California.

But, where they have set themselves apart are brewing Belgian Abbey style ales. For this type of beer, Russian River seems to capture more of the funk and freedom than any other producer in North America.

One of their beers in this style is their Redemption Ale. I’ve only recently been turned on to the joys of Belgian “Single” Ales. While I was eating out and about at Flora and Slanted Door, I got to try a delicious “Single” from Witkap Pater. The Redemption is similar in style. A lighter ale, without the complexity, sugar, or funk of Saisons, Doubles, or Tripels. Supposedly, the Abbey monks split a bottle of this type ale between lunch and dinner.

Of course, you should still serve it in the proper glassware!

Redemption has a stronger malt taste than most Belgian Ales and is lighter than many of the other beers in the Russian River portfolio. There is just a touch of European-style hops to keep things interesting. Mostly, it is an undemanding and easy drinking beer.

Beer Club Score!

We belong to the Beer Club at Plump Jack Wines.

It’s usually pretty fun, and it gets us to try beer we wouldn’t normally purchase.

But, obviously, some months are better than others. The fiasco that was the Sam Adams “Brewer Patriot Collection” springs to mind. Today, I was chatting away with the store manager about spirits and such, and didn’t really notice what this month’s beers were.

This is a very, very good month!

Mac And Cheese Friday Night

The usual Mac and Cheese…

1 cup milk, 1 cup chicken stock. I only use two tablespoons each of butter and enough flour to make a stiff roux. Add the milk and stock to the roux. I add a bit of nutmeg and cayenne to my sauce and stir in a bunch of cheese. In this case it was Vintage White Cheddar from Marathon Cheese Company and some garlic cheese curds that were getting a bit old. I sauté mushrooms with 1/2 onion, fresh thyme, deglaze with wine or vermouth, then combine with the cheese sauce, and mix with the pasta. Cover with bread crumbs and bake in a 325 degree oven until browned.

I thought this little pasta porthole was funny looking.

Miss Sweetpea was quite happy for me to get home…