Was it destiny? Amongst the detritus and woe of Reject Shop produce shone a beacon of hope, a tribute from the Gods, a mythical triple-drop from a faulty vending machine: Larry the Cable Guy’s Beer Bread. My double-take was so profound, so aggressive, my body produced an actual WHIPTSCHHHH sound people from miles around swear they heard. “What is this, before mine eyes?” I cried. “Providence? The majesty of life in all its terrible beauty?” My shaking hands clutched at the box, the cardboard yielding to my tightening grip. A deep yearning hollowness began to fill as my eyes drank in the beer bread’s glory, my life becoming whole.
Needless to say, finding ol’ Larry’s Beer Bread was an exciting moment filled with curiosity and trepidation. My love of weird American food tied with my passion for beer made this one a bit of a no-brainer, going on to spark a fairly epic night of chilli and booze. For those who don’t know (who am I kidding, everyone knows!) Larry the Cable Guy is a comedian who wear a trucker hat and presumably hunts squirrels with assault rifles. He’s spawned a line of merch and a whole array of horrifying/awesome packaged food, and also started the Git R’ Done Foundation which raises money for various things.
The concept behind this particular beer bread is simple: put bread mix in bowl, add beer, stir, slather on butter, bake. [Add links here to homemade beer bread recipes]. Aw yiss. The beer chosen was a big-assed can of Budějovický Budvar more out of convenience’s sake than any kind of gastronomical flavour matching. As the only liquid component of the batter I was a little anxious to see how it all combined, but even with the froth it seemed to work well (lumps are encouraged apparently). The butter component of the “recipe” is weird as you’re asked to pour melted butter over the batter before you throw it in the oven. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that before, but that’s America for you I suppose. Going into the oven a some-what unappealing bleached-white colour (covered in somewhat appealing melted-butter yellow) I started having doubts about the whole thing. Oh how wrong I was. The first thing I noticed pulling the loaf out was its golden crust, and the fact it even rose a little. Pouring the butter over top was genius. How Larry the Cable Guy hasn’t won a Nobel Prize is beyond me. The butter worked its way around every edge of the baking loaf and somehow the result wasn’t greasy at all.
Meanwhile, the chilli bubbled away menacingly. It may have even had a few choice words to say about my masculinity. I totally didn’t cry. The chilli itself was slowcooked over approximately 15 weeks and infused with a bottle of oh-so-tasty Boston Brewery Black Chocolate Stout to add further richness to the hellish, meaty goodness.
The Lads arrived and I cracked a growler of Little Creatures new IPA I bought from The International Beer Shop. Damn son, what a tasty brew. Even with his weak-willed palate The Skinny exalted the IPA’s praises. Although it goes against my previous discoveries about beer and chilli matching, the beer went incredibly well with the night’s spicy servings. As the chilli wasn’t so colon shredding as the dreaded Runamuck Dare Devil hot dog, the not overly hoppy flavour of the IPA came through nicely while retaining its complexity. I dare-say it could possibly work well as a session beer.
The beer bread, however, reared it’s crusty head and stole the show. Although a little bit flour-y on top and not particularly easy on the eye, the little beer bread that could blew everyone away. The butterised crust had a slight crunch while the bread itself was dense and tasty. It’s hard to say what effect the Budvar actually had, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Add chilli to that bad boy and you hit a whole new level of ermergerdness. Hashtag poogasm.
So to you, Larry the Cable Guy and the Git R’ Done foundation I raise a glass your dedication to putting beer in everything. Next: beer soufflé!