Fifteen Years Ago, Alex and I took a public city bus out of downtown Juneau, hiked up a hill from the bus stop, and found ourselves at the Alaskan Brewing Company. This was before craft beer really came into its own, and it was just getting started as a cultural phenomenon. We walked in, and there were a couple small taps, a friendly face, and a sign that read FREE BEER. We were the only ones there. We’d found a special little place. Two original “Beer Nuts.”
Fast forward 15 years later, and Alex and I returned to that little tasting room. A couple walls have been removed, a couple more taps added, but the friendly faces and free beer remain. This time, however, there were lots more beer nuts around us. We chatted with a couple from the UK (first time in the states), some hikers, and some other cruisers. Common thread: Everyone loved beer and adventure.
How to be Neighborly: It’s OK to be a little nuts.
So here’s to all the Beer Nuts out there! Cheers! Here’s a little snack to munch on while you discuss the hops.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c porter or stout beer
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 c pecans
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combine butter, brown sugar, beer, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Cook over high heat and stir continually until it reaches 300 degrees (the hard crack stage). If you drizzle some of the mixture in a glass of cold water it will harden.
In a larger bowl, place the pecans, and pour the sugar mixture over the nuts and stir to cover the nuts with a silicon spatula. Spread the nuts on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds. Allow to cool.
If they are still too sticky, then you can bake the, in a 425 degree oven for 5-10 minutes (watch it closely!!! Don’t let them burn!) to harden the sugar.
Serve with beer.
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