The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 17 - February 8, 2017


Favorite spring pairings

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


Pair Grapefruit IPA with a fresh garden salad topped with mild beer vinaigrette.


Enduring these harsh, 60º Florida winters has the Motorworks Brewing team pining for warmer spring days and the delicious beers and meals that accompany them. As we gear up for the spring, our minds (and stomachs) are inevitably drawn to sweet citrus fields and flowery concoctions. We invite you to try some of our favorite spring pairings.  

Let's start with our Grapefruit IPA, with its bright citrus aroma and zesty flavors, it's truly like biting into breakfast. For lighter fare, try pairing it with a fresh garden salad topped with a mild beer vinaigrette.

Next up is our award-winning and unique Lavender Ale, brewed with a hefty helping of fresh lavender. Pair it with a slider on a brioche bun topped with feta cheese and basil for a veritable flavor explosion, highlighting the sweet and aromatic flavors present in both the beer and slider. 

Up next is our Bizarre Gardening Accident, a deliciously tart Berliner Weisse, paired with a crab cake topped with a citrus marmalade. The Berliner's crisp, tart notes echo and amplify the dish's own citrus flavors, while also scrubbing the palate clean, readying it for the next succulent bite. The beer's low alcohol content (3.8 percent ABV) also makes it the perfect, refreshing reprieve after mowing the lawn. 

Our award-winning brews are available in cans at retailers throughout the state of Florida. Cans and growler fills also are offered seven days a week at the brewery located at 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.

We hope that you enjoy these pairings and use fresh Florida ingredients whenever possible. Until next time, cheers! 

Mild beer vinaigrette

3 oz. of Motorworks Brewing Grapefruit IPA

4 Tbs. EV olive oil

1-2 cracks of freshly ground salt and pepper

1 Tbs. fresh Florida citrus zest

1 Tbs. minced shallots

1 Tbs. honey

1 tsp. mustard  

Whisk ingredients in a small bowl while mixing in the olive oil. Serve over your favorite bed of greens with walnuts or pecans.

Super Bowl kitchens

I grew up in Canada. We were a one sport country.

Hockey, hockey, hockey.

It was easy to get a kid hooked on hockey.

Teach him to skate, and he can go 30 miles an hour.

Then give him a stick and tell him that he is allowed to hit the other kids with it.

Kid heaven.

Understanding sports in this country was an adjustment.

At first blush, baseball seemed courteous and cerebral. The use of the bat was baffling. Guy has a perfectly good stick in his hands, and he is not allowed to hit anybody with it.

Football suffers long periods of inaction. Everyone runs like hell and smashes into each other for a few seconds and then they stand around for a couple of minutes talking about it and thinking what to do next.

Football fans are crazy.

Paint your body and then dance around naked in the freezing cold with cheese on your head. Makes even the wildest Canadian hockey fan look civilized.

Everything is football at this time of year. All talk is about offense and defense and valuable players.

Restaurant kitchens are a lot like football. It is a team sport. Kitchens have quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, and on any given night, you are only as good as the guys on your team.

During play, the head chef in the middle of your line is your quarterback – signaling orders to his grill guys and sauté guys – calling plays according to patron orders charging at him like crazed defensive linesmen.

Sautée guys are the kitchen's receivers. They are all about great reflexes and speed. Sautee chefs work multiple burners with lightning hands and precision timing. Try cooking seafood in 10 pans on 10 flaming burners at one time – then try doing it for five or six hours at a stretch.

Grill guys are running backs – the heavy lifters. Constantly working 20 pounds of the world's best beef and lamb on and off the grill and in and out of 450º ovens to precise timings of doneness. Miss a steak by a minute and it's not medium rare any more.

Plating requires all of the execution of a perfect pass play. Multiple preparations of vegetables and garnishes and sauces and proteins all at varying degrees of doneness and cooking times hitting one plate at precisely the same time – while different plates for the same table are being perfected simultaneously.

And the play is repeated again for another table seconds later.

Special teams are your pantry – salads and desserts that have to be precise and perfect because they open and finish the game for you – first impressions and lasting ones – game changers and memory makers.

The best defense is preparation. To face an onslaught of diners with low blood sugar and high expectations you need a great prep team. Whole fresh fish and shellfish, procured, cleaned and portioned; meats trimmed and cut; bread baked fresh; sauces finished to velvet and luscious desserts nurtured to nirvana.

All of this incredible work is accomplished in an environment as dangerous as any football field.

The chefs are constantly dodging and weaving through hot ovens, flaming burners and flashing knives.

There is one, last, ironic parallel that kitchen teams share with football teams.

At the end of the Super Bowl game they give the trophy to the owner.

I get to watch this fierce and exquisite interplay of talent and athleticism from the owner's box, and at the end of the game, the critics give me most of the credit.

And all I did was find the players.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper