Australian craft beer: Beer News

Australian craft beer: Beer News

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Thorny Devil wants you to live and learn all about craft beer: so we give you all the craft beer news = globally; hope the following article helps you understand more about craft beer:


Thanks to entrepreneurial bakers, beer cupcakes are popping up at festivals, in storefronts and in wholesale bakeries around the country. Boozy cupcakes are not just delicious but also inventive, like the “Pretzels & Beer” baked with pale ale and Nutella, which has become a best-seller at the Prohibition Bakery in Manhattan.

“It’s the easiest way to share a bite of beer,” says Misty Birchall of San Diego’s PubCakes. “It even has a wrapper so you can hand it out without a napkin or a plate.” That’s just one of the beautiful things about a beer cupcake.

Birchall bakes craft beer cupcakes for festivals and fundraisers, but especially for friends. “I love the expression on people’s faces when I tell them that a cupcake is baked with beer—they look both surprised and happy!”

Birchall approaches baking with a zest for beer. “When I drink a beer for the first time, I write down all the flavors that I taste and then try to match those with ingredients I can put in a cupcake.”

That’s the secret to baking with beer. What looks like a typical cupcake is anything but, once tasted. Combinations such as the Portzilla, baked with Stone Brewing Co.’s Smoked Porter, coffee ganache and caramelized coconut, and Beer for Breakfast, baked with Alesmith Brewing Co.’s Wee Heavy topped with maple cream cheese frosting and crispy bacon sprinkles, set a new standard for sweet tooths.

Even Betty Crocker has more than a dozen beer-infused cupcakes featured on the website, mostly the creations of contributing food and beer bloggers.

But it’s not always easy selling bite-sized pastry infused with beer. To cover food costs, prices range from $2.50 per standard cupcake in budget-conscious Milwaukee, where Angela Figueroa operates Brew Cakes, up to $5 in major markets such as Manhattan.

Figueroa’s custom-baked beer cupcakes are popular at festivals, such as the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival in Glendale, WI, the annual gathering of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild.

In Atlanta, Happy Hour Confections’ founder, Holly Pezzano, has branched out beyond cupcakes into wedding cakes and groom’s cupcakes. A Valentine’s favorite is the Salted Triple Porter, a vanilla porter cupcake filled with porter caramel and topped with chocolate porter frosting and sea salt, baked with the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. “It’s all malt flavors, not bitter, so the beer taste really comes through,” Pezzano says. The challenge for Pezzano has been to “take away the frilly image of cupcakes,” a task made easier by her collaborations with retailer Ale Yeah! at its Roswell and Decatur locations.

Yet margins are tight when selling a perishable food product. Manhattan’s Butch Bakery attempted to develop a chain for its dude cupcakes, but found costs of production too high to sustain. And Beer Cakes Philly, the brainchild of baker and beer lover Lexi Malmros, shut its doors in August 2013.

Some beer bakers, such as Birchall, have switched from retail storefronts to focus on special events and venues such as beer fests and farmers markets, where hand-selling can be profitable. Birchall is also creating a line of packaged beer cake mixes, where all you have to do is add the beer. The cake mixes were the focus of a successful Kickstarter campaign launched by Birchall in 2013. Birchall has also created a Speedway Stout Chocolate Sauce, which she hopes to package and bring to market in 2014.

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