Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cupcakes and Beer

We live a few miles from a local micro brewery that is making big strides as they grow. Hangar 24 has been in Redlands, California since June 2008. They sit right across from Redlands Airport. In their quest to make unique and tasty craft beer they source local produce to make some of their specialty limited release beers and some of their main beers. Their Orange Wheat is made with local oranges and believe it or not you can actually taste the oranges.

In July 2012 Hangar 24 started having Formation Flight Night. During these events they offer their beers paired with food that is handcrafted and from small business'.  My husband and I happen to be apart of their inaugural event on July 23, 2012 where they teamed with 3rd generation sausage makers from Schriner's Fine Sausage with a sausage pairing. Schriner's is located in Glendale, CA. In short the pairings were wonderful and we were very happy to be in the limited group of 50 people who got to enjoy this night. At the end of the night they told us what the next Formation Flight Night would be cupcakes from Suite 106 Cupcakery. When we heard that my husband and I looked at each other, shook our heads and said we have to be there for that one.

That leads us to last night, August 27, 2012, and the weird combination of cupcakes and beer. We had no idea how this was going to play out, but we were game as were 48 other brave souls. The owners of Suite 106 Cupcakery, Rebecca and Christy were there to guide us through their cupcakes and Hangar 24's Head Brewer Kevin Wright discussed the beer and they both told us how each item should pair.

We received 6 mini-cupcakes once we were seated and we had to show self-control and not dig into those tasty treats before the beer came out and we got started. The first beer was Orange Wheat paired with an Almond Orange cupcake. I tasted the beer first then a bite of the cupcake and yet another taste of beer. I sat there stunned how in the world was that so freaking good? So of course another bite and another drink came and it was still so good. If this is how the night started we knew we were in for a great night.

I won't bore you with all the details on each cupcake,  how they tasted and our experiences but here is the beer and the cupcake pairings we enjoyed.

1. Orange Wheat paired with an Almond Orange Cupcake
Almond orange cake filled with hand whipped cream infused with an orange wheat reduction then topped with a fluffy orange frosting.
2. Alt-Bier Ale paired with a Pancakes N' Bacon Cupcake
Buttermilk spice cake with shipped buttercream infused with light gourmet spices and Applewood smoked bacon, topped with more crispy bacon then drizzled with rich buttery maple syrup.
3. Polycot (apricot infused beer) paired with a Spicy Apricot Honey Cupcake
Light cinnamon spice blend and apricot cake topped with vanilla honey buttercream.
4. Chocolate Porter paired with a Hazelnut Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcake
French chocolate cake filled with hazelnut Belgian chocolate cheesecake, topped with Belgian chocolate cream cheese frosting and edged in a hazelnut praline topping.
5. Columbus IPA & Double IPA paired with a Pear Walnut Bleu Cheese Crumble Cupcake
Madagascar vanilla cake stuffed with sliced pears, topped with a whipped buttercream then sprinkled with a walnut bleu cheese crumble.
6. Hammerhead paired with a Chocolate Bourbon Toffee Cupcake
French chocolate cake filled with a bourbon butterscotch panna cotta and topped with a caramel frosting then rolled in Belgian toffee flakes.

I do have to say the last cupcake paired with the Hammerhead was worth the price of admission. There was something about the notes in the Hammerhead that reminded me of a good port and went fantastic with the cupcake. This was my favorite of the night. I don't like bitter beers and the last 3 all are in that category and I loved them paired with the correct item. My husband is not a cupcake person and he loved everything, but he also favored the Hammerhead pairing.

I have to applaud Hangar 24 and Suite 106 for their time and work they put into our evening last night. They did a beautiful job of finding the right beer/cupcake for each pairing. Thank you for all your hard work. The love and care you put in each product really showed.

If you are in the Redlands or Rancho Cucamonga areas please stop by Hangar 24 and Suite 106 Cupcakery and try their specialties. I need to add that Rebecca and Christy were on Food Network's show Cupcake Wars in 2010 and won their episode and were invited back in 2012 for Cupcake Wars Champions and won that competition.

Please visit their web sites:
Hangar 24          Suite 106 Cupcakery

Or follow them on Twitter
@Hangar24Brewery       @ste106cupcakery

1 comment:

  1. Great job Debbie! I look forward to following your future posts....and, hopefully, trying some of your great recipes.