Artisan Beers & Recipes for Homestead Gardens Beer Festival

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

Although wrapping up summer can be sad for many, fall has lots to offer. Aside from all the fabulous local produce still coming in abundance, we have the fall harvest of pork and specialty beers which bear the names of the season. Even the White House Beer is making artisan waves this fall with local honey from White House beehives. Watch the White House Honey Ale process.

The many festivals keep our schedules filled with exciting events such as the 2nd Annual Beer Festival at Homestead Gardens. Of course for me this means not only drinking, but cooking with some beer. Here is just a snippet of some of the offerings I’ll be showing along with recipes on how to brine pork and beef with that friendly bubbly. Activities also include seminars on the science, art, history plus the great flavor of many beers from around the world. Good times are a given.


The Fall Seasonal Selection:

Fordham makes a Spiced Harvest beer that is spiced with All spice, ginger, cinnamon, and fresh pumpkin at the end of the boil.

Dominion makes an Oktoberfest that is a marzen style, very malt forward.

Starr Hill makes a Pumpkin Porter.  A dark porter with roasted malt tones, subtle coffee flavor with a touch of Pumpkin and cinnamon on the back end.

Did you ever think of using beer to brine meat? Well I did as the ‘notes’ of the beers were impressive. They lend that extra character and spiciness when used first to brine the pork tenderloin and flank steak. Come to the festival and have a taste.

Beer Brined Grilled Pork Tenderloin 

  •  2 cups water
  • 1 large bay leaf, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light molasses
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 cups Dominion Oktoberfest 
  • 1  1/2-2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • Maple Sage Mustard, add fresh chopped sage, maple syrup to Dijon mustard

Bring the 2 cups water to a boil; add bay leaf,  salt, sugar, and molasses and boil for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then stir in ice and beer. Place pork tenderloin in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over pork to cover completely and seal bag. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Heat the grill to medium-high.

Remove pork from beer brine; pat dry. Grill pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 145°F to 150°F, turning as each side becomes golden. Transfer to a platter; cover with foil, and let stand 5 minutes.

Slice and serve with Maple Sage Mustard on the side.

Beer Brined Grilled Flank Steak

Serves 6

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Starr HillPumpkin Porter
  • 2 tablespoons kosher coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pound flank steak

Spice Rub

  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely crushed toasted cumin seeds

Combine 2 cups water, beer, salt and sugar in  a large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in ice. Place the flank steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over beef to cover completely and seal bag. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Mix the spice rub ingredients and reserve until steak is ready for the grill.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove steak from the brine and blot dry. Rub the spice mixture onto the steak, pressing firmly so that it sticks.

Place the steak on the grill over direct heat (about 4-inches from heat source) and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Move the meat to a cooler part of the grill and cook for another 2 minutes per side. Steak should register 125 on a meat thermometer for medium-rare.

Let steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing very thinly across the grain.