Perfect pairings: the chef makes the food to highlight the beer and vice versa

Bar port Fogtown Brewing Co, Chef Kat Courant has a recipe featured in a new cookbook, “The Craft Brewery Cookbook: Recipes to Pair with Your Favorite Beer.” Courant designed the menu and oversees cooking in the tap room and kitchen at the micro-brewery in Bar Harbor.

John Hall, an award-winning beer journalist, has collected recipes from independent breweries across the United States, including one from Fogtown. Established in 2017, the microbrewery is located at 25 Pine Street in Bar Harbor.

Courant’s recipe is a roasted garlic and mushroom soup. I used mushrooms grown on Morett Hill Farm in Troy, Waldo County and Scooper’s drink in Fuggtown. The beer is brewed with Maine-grown husk, malted wheat and barley, infused with Gulf of Maine kelp and seaweed, and fermented with a Saison/Brettanomyces yeast blend, said John Stein, owner of Fuggtown. Scooper describes it as “salty, complex, and complex for refrigeration.”

The biscuit recipe is one of what Hall describes as 70 delicious, seasonal recipes from the nation’s top independent breweries—a must-book for craft beer lovers, home cooks, and home brewers.

Stein initially asked Courant to help develop a pizza program at Ellsworth’s original Fogtown location.

“It kind of turned out that we needed a diet program in Bar Harbor,” Courant said. She is now responsible for the menu in the Fogtown booth/kitchen at 33 Cottage St.

“It’s more about letting people sit down and try a beer and try the building and spend their time and enjoy what they’re drinking, whether that’s beer or food or both,” Courant said.

“I make things that go well with beer,” Courant said. This includes simple, thoughtful snack options. The menu offerings highlight local ingredients and beer, too.

The menu includes pretzel sticks consumed with beer cheese.

“We call our cheese beer: 47 cheese beer,” Stein said. “This gets a healthy amount of ’47’, a smoked wheat ale that contains smoked maple malt from Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls as well as organic hulled wheat grown in Maine. We named this beer the MDI Fire in 1947 and donated the proceeds to the departments of local firefighting.

With pretzels and brie cheese, Fogtown offers strong mustard made with the Night Nurse brew.

The bar’s menu also includes sausages, which Colvard & Co. owner Chef Carter Light shared. in Southwest Harbor.

Courant developed sausage recipes, too.

“We will serve sausages with homemade sides or in brioche rolls,” Courant said. Sausages are gluten-free. One is chili chicken sausage with chili flakes that Courant makes herself.

Chef Kat Courant serves light meals and specialties to accompany Fogtown drinks at Bar Harbor. American ELLSWORTH photo by Jennifer Osborne

The chef also tries to put a salad into the offerings when she can and there is usually soup.

If you’re not a fan of alcoholic beverages or don’t drink alcohol, rest assured, Courant has also created dry formulations. The chef recreates an old show called Swichl. In retrospect, the refreshing drink is also known as a haymaker. It was eaten during the hot hay season.

Drinks contain apple cider vinegar, fruit, honey or sugar and water.

“I let everything get married for 24 hours,” Courant said. “It brews like tea.”

“I wanted to find something that wasn’t alcoholic,” she said. “I went down this rabbit hole looking for alternatives. I wanted something fun, so you don’t feel like this stranger is outside when the others are drinking.”

For spring, Courant made a strawberry rhubarb key.

At Bar Harbor, Fogtown’s Taproom and Kitchen is open from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information visit fogtownbrewing.com/bar-harbor-location or call 0845-370 or email [email protected].

Jennifer Osbourne

News reporter Jennifer Osborne covers news and articles on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. Tips and story ideas are welcome. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] Or call 667-2576.

Jennifer Osbourne

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