Music in the Mountain’s 15th annual Sierra Brewfest True brew |

Music in the Mountain’s 15th annual Sierra Brewfest True brew

Beer drinkers take note! Here comes Music in the Mountain’s 15th annual Brewfest!

On Aug. 21 from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, you can taste superb brews from more than 38 microbreweries and specialty distributors.

Beer vendors will be serving more than 90 different beers. Try everything from wheat lagers to amber ales to stouts.

The Cold Shot Band will be entertaining beer and music lovers with their lively ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music.

Popular food vendors will be serving sausages, barbecue, roasted corn, ice cream, wine, soft drinks and other treats.

Again this year attractive Sierra Brewfest hats and T-shirts will be for sale, along with raffle tickets to raise money for Music in the Mountains annual Young Musicians Competition. Last year the lucky winner won $500 on the spot!

A map with a matrix of the breweries by brew category (lagers, ales, stouts) will be available, so if you have a favorite type of brew you will know how to find it.

Here are two recipes from the Lake Tahoe Brewing Co., which humbly began making their ale under a porch at Donner Lake. Now housed in an old brew house that dates back to 1927, they are still owned and operated by the same group that designed the original product.

Spice Rubbed Brewery Chops

Spice Rub

6 eight ounce pork chops

Spice Rub

2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoons coarse salt

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and liberally rub pork chops. Let sit for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Boilermaker Glaze

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup red ale

1/2 cup Tennessee whiskey

Combine all ingredients. Grill Pork Chops to medium while basting with glaze. Drizzle any remaining glaze over finished chops.

Lemon & Artichoke Chicken-Weissen

6, eight-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups quartered artichoke hearts

2 cups wheat beer

1/4 cup lemon zest

3 cups cream

Salt & pepper

Sauté chicken breast in olive oil with salt and pepper until just done; remove from pan.

Deglaze pan with wheat beer, reduce to one-quarter original amount, add artichoke hearts, lemon zest and cream, reduce to creamy consistency. Salt and pepper as needed. Pour over chicken; serve with wild rice and asparagus.

And here are two more recipes using beer and ale.

Cheddar Chips with Ale

(Makes about 40)

10 slices firm white bread – each about 4 x 4 inches, toasted, crusts trimmed.

11/2 (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

5 tablespoons beer

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup soft bread crumbs

Arrange toast so that sides touch on large baking sheet. Combine cheese, beer, butter and mustard in medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Stir in breadcrumbs. Spoon over bread slices to cover. Can be made 4 hours in advance. Chill.

Preheat broiler. Broil until topping begins to brown, watching to avoid burning and turning baking sheet around, if necessary, for even broiling, about 2 minutes.

Cool 2 minutes. Cut each slice into 4 strips. Transfer to platter; serve.

Drunken Cake

For cake:

21/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 and 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup stout, flat, room temperature

The night before, open stout so it will be flat for baking. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans.

Sift first 6 ingredients into medium bowl; set aside. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Beat in flour mixture alternately with stout in three additions each (mixture may look curdled).

Beat just until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 – 40 minutes.

Cool cakes in pans on rack, 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks, cool completely. (Can be done 1 day ahead). Wrap in plastic, let stand at room temperature.


8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

13/4 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

Beat all ingredients together until spreading consistency, fill and frost cake.

If you want to attend the Brewfest, tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the gate, and $5 for the designated driver. The tastings are unlimited and everyone gets a free souvenir tasting glass. Group tickets of four or more get one designated driver ticket FREE. Ask about group discounts for 10 or more. For ticket information call (530) 265-6124 or (800) 218-2188 or check the Web site:

Ticket Outlets: Grass Valley Ð Odyssey Books and The Bookseller; Nevada City – Nevada City Postal Co.; Lake Wildwood – Citizens Bank; Auburn – Aero Brewing Co. and Cherry Records


Notes from Jo:


You know, friends, when I put out the call for a “few good cooks,” I was also speaking to the male members of the species. I know you guys are out there doing your thing in the kitchen, and I want to know where you are and what you do! I can always rely on Hank Schriefer from Penn Valley, but he is an old friend with several food pages under his belt, and I want some new faces! Don’t be shy!

And this final jewel from Betty Ashe from Grass Valley. Betty sent me some incredible recipes she collected that were “Everybody’s Favorites.” Tucked in amongst all those goodies was this little jewel which just couldn’t wait to be printed until Fall. And yes, fellow foodies, I KNOW it isn’t stew weather yet!!

Whale Stew

(Serves 3,800)

One whale (large, black, and of legal size)

2 rabbits (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut whale into bite sized pieces. This will take 2 months, so plan your prep time accordingly. Add enough brown gravy to cover. Cook for 4 weeks at 465 F. If more guests are expected, the rabbit may be added but do this only if necessary as most people don’t like to find HARE IN THEIR STEW!!

Oh, Betty, you’re killing me…….

And with those last delicately delicious thoughts on their way to you, I will say in closing. Bon appetit!!


Jo Names is The Union’s food columnist. She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 272-6727.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User