Ryan Ranspach

Ryan Ranspach

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Potato Leek Soup made with Brewery Vivant's Farmhand Ale

With harvest season now officially passed, it is time to start either canning or using the last round of potatoes, onions, and other subterranean vegetables from the garden. It is no secret that all these kinds of produce are great in soups and other comfort foods. The short, cold days of late autumn can be taxing on a person's disposition, and nothing warms the belly & soul like a rich pot of soup. The world of soup is virtually infinite but one of my favorites, especially this time of year, is potato leek soup. We all know plenty about potatoes but the leek may remain a bit mysterious to some--Allium ampeloprasum is in the same family as onions and garlic but grows in a long sheath rather than a tight bulb like its cousins. Leeks are an extremely hardy plant preferring sandy soil and can grow rather tall. When harvested for use, the long green stalks must be removed and the white cylinder at the bottom should be sliced lengthwise and cleaned thoroughly, as the way it grows allows for a significant amount of dirt and sand to collect there (here is a short video showing how to clean and prep them).

Recap of Soup Spoon & Vine and Brew Rare Beer Dinner

We were privileged to receive an invite to the first ever collaborative beer dinner put on by The Soup Spoon Cafe in Lansing and Vine and Brew, the specialty wine, beer, and food shop in Okemos. The theme of the dinner was "rare beers", focusing on those pricey, hard to come by limited release beers that have become more and more popular as enthusiasm for craft beer has grown. Typically, these beers have very unique and interesting flavors derived from specific spices, fruits, or aging processes, so they lend the opportunity for some great pairings with food.

How to make a cheesesteak while using New Holland's Four Witches Black Saison

Everyone loves a good cheesesteak, even if they don't even know they do. Originating in the City of Brotherly Love, the cheesesteak sandwich has found its way onto the menu of just about every bar and greasy spoon in the country. There are many different styles of course. The original, as defined on it's wikipedia page, is "meat thinly sliced rib-eye or top round, although other cuts of beef are also used, lightly oiled griddle at medium temperature, the steak slices are quickly browned and then scrambled into smaller pieces with a flat spatula. Slices of cheese are then placed over the meat, letting it melt, and then the roll is placed on top of the cheese. The mixture is then scooped up with a spatula, pressed into the roll, and cut in half."

Tammy's Tastings will be holding a "Know Your Beer" tasting class at 6:30PM on November 7th at The Last Word, a new bar in Ann Arbor. This event will feature local food and beer blogger, Patti Smith, and Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings walking you through the wide and confusing world of modern craft beer. With the ever-expanding availability of different styles & varieties of beer, it is hard not to get mixed up, so this is a nice opportunity to sit and taste some of them with experts. In addition to the tasting, Tammy and Patti will explain how different types of beer are made and the specific ingredients involved that makes them a stout, porter, pale ale, etc. Cousins of beer, cider and mead, will also be tasted and discussed.

Reno's West

Today, October 26th, both Reno's locations will be holding a New Belgium Tap Takeover to celebrate the brewery's new draft beer presence in the Michigan market. If you are unfamiliar with New Belgium, they began brewing European style beers in the early 1990's out of Fort Collins, Colorado and have steadily grown into one of the country's most popular, innovative, environmentally friendly, and people-first micro-breweries in the country. They have built a strong and fierce following in many different markets by sticking to those simple virtues...and by brewing some really damn good beer!

Beer and Cheese Pairing at REO Town Pub featuring Frankenmuth Brewing Company

On Thursday, November 8th at 7PM, we will be holding our next beer event at the REO Town Pub. This time we will be featuring a beer and cheese pairing with beer from Frankenmuth Brewery and cheese from Lansing's own Hills' Homecured Cheeses, which is located within the Lansing City Market.

Reno's West

On Wednesday, October 25th at 7PM, Reno's East & Reno's West will be holding a Founder's Brewery Harvest Party to celebrate the recent tapping of Harvest Ale by Founder's Brewing Company. Harvest Ale is a an extremely fruity, robust, and hop-forward pale ale that was designed to celebrate the rich and diverse harvest season in Michigan. Over the last couple years, it has become on of Founder's most popular seasonal beers and a highly sought after commodity among Michigan beer geeks.

REO Town Pub in Lansing

The REO Town Pub on South Washington Street in Lansing is holding a beer dinner on Thursday, October 18th (this week). Tickets are a very reasonable $20 and include 5 total courses, 3 with a food and beer pairing--the delicious brews of Darkhorse Brewery will be featured.

The Rare Beer Dinner at Soup Spoon Cafe

Soup Spoon Cafe, in conjunction with Okemos' premier specialty wine, beer, & food shop Vine and Brew, will be holding their first collaborative beer dinner on Sunday, October 21st. Tickets to this exclusive event are $50 each and will include 5 food courses, each to be paired with a different rare beer. The pairings are as follows...

Lansing's newest brewing supply store, That's How We Brew, is holding a "Brewing 101" class on Sunday, October 7th from 2-4 PM. In the spirit of the changing seasons and upcoming holiday revelry, they will be walking those in attendance through the basics of brewing a tasty Holiday Ale. Although the class is technically for beginners, those who are already well versed in homebrewing are encouraged to come and share their knowledge & experience as this event will coincide with the shop's first homebrew club meeting.
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