A Spent Grain Moment: Banana Bread

Hey Boos! Maddy here! Lately, I have been lucky enough to join my friends Matt and Amanda (honorary BB) in their home brewing adventures. While I mostly just sit around and occasionally stir a pot, the process is supa fun and has introduced me to my new favorite baking ingredient: Spent Grain. My love for this nutty, rich grain mixture all began when Amanda and Matt brewed a stout. As soon as the grains were pulled from the kettle, and we got a whiff of the delectable scent, our wheels started turning. Could we use this for bread? Or granola? What about Spent Grain Pretzels? Or cookies? From there, we took to the internet to find some recipes. And recipes we found (lots and lots). If you are interested in using spent grain to cook, I recommend heading over to Brooklyn Brew Shop  and checking out their ‘Spent Grain Chef’ section!

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We BBs are excited to announce a new series of posts about cooking with these yummy grains: A Spent Grain Moment. Named after the many spent grain moments Amanda and I have shared in the past few months. My first venture in cooking with spent grain started with a Vegan Banana Bread Recipe from Feed Your Skull. Amanda is vegan so I try to bake/cook things that we can eat together. If you want a non-vegan recipe, check out Brooklyn Brew Shop’s recipe. Now then…the main event:


Vegan Spent Grain Banana Bread


1 cup Spent Grain Flour 

3/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

4 tbsp. Unsweet Applesauce

3/4 cup Cane Sugar

2 Ripe Ass Bananas

2 Flaxseed Eggs 

1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts*

1/2 cup Chocolate Chips*

*Optional, but highly encouraged


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F + rub bread pan with coconut oil
  2. Mix Flaxseed egg + set aside
  3. Medium Bowl: Sift together both flours, Baking Powder, and Salt
  4. Large Bowl: Whisk together coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar
  5. Add flax eggs and bananas to oil mixture + whisk till combined
  6. Add flour mixture to oil mixture in 3 parts
  7. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips
  8. Bake 55-60 minutes



This recipe creates a super dense, chewy, and deeeelish bread. If you want something a little lighter, I think adding in more whole wheat flour would achieve that. I hope you enjoyed our first Spent Grain Moment, and maybe even bake some bread of your own! Next spent grain stop for me: Veggie Burgers.

Let’s talk again soon, yes?





Bottle Logic 

Does anyone even care about beer right now? I’ve been stuck in a “What if? What if? What if?” cycle of doom and gloom for the past 48 hours. I need to think about something else, so I hope you don’t mind reading about something else.
I spent last weekend in Huntington Beach, CA with my best friends Nikki and Paul. On Saturday Nikki planned an afternoon of brewery hopping in Anaheim. We started the day at Bottle Logic, recently named Best Orange County Brewery by the OC Weekly. We arrived right after opening, and were surprised to see an already-long line for beer. My one complaint about Bottle Logic comes now: they were significantly understaffed for a Saturday morning, with only one employee filling growlers,  serving flights, and selling bottles to go. Another employee served those sitting at the bar, but they needed at least two more people to keep things moving on what is probably their busiest day of the week.
The long line did give us plenty of time to plan our flights, necessary considering the plethora of good options! The 20+ draft list included fruit-filled sours, creative pumpkin beers, a handful of IPAs, and a whole series of candy-infused beer for Halloween. I wanted to try everything!
After thanking the remarkably unstressed bartender, we found a table on the patio and dived into our flights. Nikki and I started with Revenge of the Nerds, a blonde ale finished on Nerds candies. Everyone who knows us knows we have a shared love of candy. In college we used to dip lollipops into our cocktails! This fruity, mildly tart beer felt like it was brewed just for us.
Another I enjoyed from the Halloween series was the Jolly Ranger, a West Coast-style IPA brewed with watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Watermelon was big in the beer world this summer, and I’ve found other IPAs with this fruit, (Ballast Point’s Watermelon El Dorado, for ex.) to be too sweet. It was pleasant in this take, with watermelon notes only appearing in the finish.
Moving on to pumpkin brews, Paul ordered Picture if You Will…, a bourbon-barrel aged, 13% knockout. On the other end of the spectrum was my Pumpkin Chai— a nice take on a somewhat tired style. It copied the thin, slick body of chai tea and featured notes of cardamom, ginger and cinnamon, in addition to pumpkin.

Of course I had to try the Double Actuator, their 9% ABV double IPA. It was deceptively light for the alcohol content, and filled with tropical hop flavor. It reminded me of a Northeast IPA! Even though this was one of the more standard offerings on the menu, it ended up being one of my favorites.

I ended with the Cobaltic Porter, an 8% Baltic Porter that won gold at GABF in 2015. By this point Paul and I were definitely tipsy (Nikki was the DD), so my notes aren’t as good.  From what I can remember, dark fruit and roasted malt were the standout flavors. Alcohol was prominent too, but this could partly be from sitting in the sun for a bit.


Uninspired by the food truck options at Bottle Logic, we moved on to our second stop: The Bruery! I’ll save that report for another day, but here’s a preview: huge draft list with every variation of sour/wild imaginable + borderline insane tour guide who pumped us full of beer start to finish.

Stay safe, stay positive, and stay hopeful. If all else fails, stay drunk.
The Barley Babes love you.

Wet Hops

Kat brought back three crowlers of fresh Woodstock Brewhouse beer from her visit home last weekend. On Tuesday we opened North Mountain, a 7%, 100+ IBU wet hop pale ale. North Mountain is full bodied and bitter with a sweet malt finish. It smells amazing–so much fresh pine I felt like I was out shopping for a Christmas tree.

We might have covered wet hops in passing, but I don’t think we’ve ever devoted a whole post to defining this term. Wet hops are hops that are fresh off the bine, have not been dried or processed, and are typically used within 24 hours of harvesting. They aren’t physically wet, just full of moisture!  Wet hopped beers showcase green flavors (think grass and pine). They are bright and juicy, yet soft and mellow because wet hops aren’t as concentrated as dried varieties.

A beer-themed Halloween card from the more talented Barley Babe

Tune in next time for a post from the coast that started the hop craze! I’m flying out this evening to spend a long weekend in Huntington Beach with Nikki and Paul. Something tells me we’re bound to get into a little beer while I’m there…


p.s. Did you read our other posts on Woodstock Brewhouse? I’m continually impressed by how well-executed and delicious all of their beers are.

Boo Who?


Happy Halloween! The gals of 287 Evergreen had quite a festive weekend. Saturday night Allison and I planned a pumpkin beer/cider tasting to have before we went to a Halloween party. The standouts on the list were Downeast’s Pumpkin Blend and the Evil Twin/Two Roads Pachamama. Pachamama is a porter brewed with sweet potatoes, purple mais, and chili peppers. It has a nice sweet potato/coffee aroma, and then the flavor is roasty, chocolatey, and slightly spicy from the peppers. So good!


I was most excited about Flying Dog’s Gourd Standard, which is described as a pumpkin IPA. It isn’t a bad beer, but I didn’t really think it tasted like an IPA. It reminded me a lot of the Pumking actually–pumpkiny, slightly sweet, and boozy on the finish.

Can you tell what we are?
Can you tell what we are?

Sunday we spent the day recuperating and watching Stranger Things! Have you seen it? We were a little late to the game, but once we started we couldn’t stop. Perfect spooky show for Halloween weekend! How are you guys celebrating the holiday? Any pumpkin beers in your fridges? Making yourselves sick on candy corn? 😉 Tell us, tell us!




Greetings from Bellingham! Today, in celebration of Mac getting a job, we opened Everybody’s Brewing’s Sprinkles. Part of their Tiny Tank Series (how cute is that?), this kettle-soured Red Ale is subtle and delicious. Sprinkles was brewed with dried hibiscus flowers, which gives it a gorgey dark-pink hue. Aromas of honey and cherry blend with a tangy, currant flavor to produce a softly sour, slightly musty, almost wine-like, perfect for the afternoon bev. Is that a style of beer yet? Perfect for the afternoon? It should be.



I’m working a few shifts at Hops and Hocks this week to cover for a friend who’s out of town. On Friday night one of my favorite customers came in, and he ended up giving me a really cool beer to try!


Finback Brewery was founded in 2013 by two longtime friends. After home brewing for eight years Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford left their full time jobs to launch Finback in Glendale, Queens. I’ve consistently been impressed with the brewery’s canned IPAs, but didn’t know what to expect from Procrastination–an IPA brewed with coffee.


Procrastination pours hazy, dusty orange–the color of a dirty grapefruit. The nose is mostly tropical fruit, with just a suggestion of coffee beans in the background. At first you think it drinks like your typical North East IPA–creamy mouthfeel, juicy, tropical hop sweetness–but then a wave of coffee swoops in. The bitterness you would expect to taste in a cup of coffee or IPA is there, but but there’s also the roasty, mocha quality characteristic of a dark beer. So cool!

This was only my second or third coffee IPA, and I enjoyed Finback’s execution more than the others I’ve tried. I like how they added coffee but maintained the light/medium body and juiciness I seek in an IPA. Do you have a coffee IPA recommendation? What about another unusual coffee-infused style?


I spent last weekend in Cincinnati visiting my best friend, and loyal BBs reader, Haley! Cincinnati has a booming craft beer scene, and we packed as much Cincy beer as we could into my short trip.
I arrived late on Friday night and we relaxed on Haley’s roof and enjoyed a couple cans of Rhinegeist Crash. Rhinegeist is probably Cincinnati’s most known craft brewery. The barely three-year-old operation has experienced enormous popularity and growth since opening in June 2013, and they just started expanding distribution to the East Coast. I really enjoyed the flavorful, easy drinking Crash pale ale. It has tropical hop notes, mild bitterness and a short, clean finish.
On Saturday morning we went to yoga at the newly renovated Central Parkway YMCA and browsed at The City Flea. Our first beer stop of the day was Taft’s Ale House, named for 27th President, William Howard Taft. Taft’s is housed in a renovated Evangelical church. The enormous three floor space has a bar on each floor, tons of seating, a private events space, and a full food menu. We grabbed flights on the top floor (in the balcony?) and took a seat to discuss the important issues of the day. 😉
Unfortunately they were out of Haley’s favorite beer: Snake in the Grass, a Belgian-style blonde brewed with lemongrass and local basil. I thought all the beers I tried were solid. My favorite was the Nellie’s Key Lime Caribbean Ale, described by Haley’s husband Andrew as “the craft version of a Bud Light Lime.”  It’s a wheat beer brewed with key lime juice and coriander. So refreshing!
From Taft’s we walked to Rhinegeist, just half a mile up Elm Street. Rhinegeist was having their annual mini Oktoberfest inside, but we went straight to the rooftop bar–Haley and Andrew’s favorite in the city. Rhinegeist has a huge selection of beers and ciders on tap. I wish I could report on the rosé cider, but I only had eyes for beer! Andrew recommend Rhinegeist’s flagship IPA, Truth, the brewery’s most solid offering in his opinion. I wasn’t disappointed! Truth is packed with West Coast hops and effortlessly masks the 7.2% ABV. I also enjoyed Haley’s choice,  Chester, a dry saison brewed with sour cherries.
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The people-watching on the Rhinegeist roof is highly entertaining, but we finally tore ourselves away from lederhosen, bachelorettes, and dress-wearing runners to take in the view. Andrew and Haley pointed out all the old buildings being converted to swanky new apartment buildings and businesses. Like Bushwick, the landscape of Cincinnati is constantly changing, and understandably it hasn’t been without controversy.
From Rhinegeist we took Cincy’s new street car back to the apartment for a little r&r. Haley and I made this delicious, extra crunchy, pistachio guacamole, and we had more skyline time on their balcony. The coolest sight on the balcony might be the outhouse Andrew built for their dog, Zoe! Do you recognize the material on the roof?? It’s covered in different varieties of Rhinegeist beer cans! Such a great idea. Reduce, reuse, rep great beer. 🙂
The main event on Saturday evening was a trip to the Cincinnati Oktoberfest, the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany. We hopped back on the street car for a quick one mile trip downtown and emerged in a different world.
Although over half a million people turned out for “Oktoberfest Zinzinnati,” it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded. We easily grabbed beers and found seats next to an Oom-pah band. Andrew got in touch with his German heritage, grooving along to the music, and even convinced Haley to get up and do the chicken dance with him (am I the only one who didn’t know it’s an Oktoberfest song??)
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Deciding that a lap was in order, we moseyed over to another band with a less traditional set list. An Oom-pah take on oldies and classic rock? You know we were into it. Another round of beers and we found ourselves in a Congo line sandwiched between a gaggle of very enthusiastic International students from the University of Cincinnati and a group of friendly middle-aged Midwesterners. It was one of those moments when you think, “How exactly did I get here?” but decide not to care because you’re having so much fun.
We ended the evening on the swings at the Smale Riverfront Park, recapping the day and gazing out at the John Roebling Suspension Bridge. The bridge spans the Ohio river between Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky, and was built 30 years before Roebling started an even bigger project– the Brooklyn Bridge! When worlds collide, it’s a beautiful thing.
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Thank you, Haley and Andrew, for showing me such a good time in Cincinnati! I’m already thinking about my next trip. If you’re a craft beer lover, this growing city needs to be at the top of your vacation wish list!

Bae-Day Beer Tasting

Hey there, folks! It’s your old pal Maddy. You may remember me from less well written posts from like…a year ago…I know, I know…I’m the lazy sister. Anywho, we’re gathered here today to discuss a delish beer tasting held in honor of Rach!Rachie and Flowers

During our vacation in Folly Beach, we were lucky enough to spend Rachel’s birthday together as a family.

There was a lot of this:
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IMG_4313 (1)But it’s not a birthday with the Barley Babes without a beer tasting! Without further ado, here are our thoughts on the Bae-Day Beer Tasting and #Splash Celebration.


First up, Prairie Flare Gose from Prairie Artisan Ales. I was super stoked to find this gem at the Charleston Beer Exchange for two reasons.

1.The gose is my most favorite style of Beer.

2.Prairie can do no wrong in my opinion.


The addition of orange results in a tart, pulpy, orange juice flavor that was both highly drinkable and very enjoyable. My Dad described it as zippy, and I think that’s spot on. It’s bright and slightly salty. Also, look at the little Kanye flare button. Adorbs!


Next, we sampled Evil Twin’s Food & Beer, an all brett pale ale brewed with peaches– Ed’s contribution to the tasting. Evil Twin brewed this beer to celebrate the release of their book, Food & Beer. The book is a shout out to the fact that beer can be the perfect complement to a meal. Probably going to order a copy; that’s my kinda book.


Mom immediately picked up on a bandaidy flavor that at first I didn’t taste. It’s so cool how our palates become accustomed to certain flavors over time! As the beer warmed a bit, I started to notice some of the more complex flavors like creamy peach, funky band aid, and mild, musty grain. Typing those descriptors, I feel like they sound like they would all be really potent, deep flavors, but they were light and balanced one another.

Brand New Eyes1

We moved onto a farmhouse saison called Brand New Eyes from Birds Fly South Ale Project. For me, Brand New Eyes wins the best packaging award. It is just damn dreamy! Do you ever see a gorgeous label and wonder “Who came up with that brilliant packaging?” I know I do, and I was delighted to see that the artist, Chris Koelle, was included on the label.


Brewed with Motueka hops and a house yeast, then bottle conditioned for a month with brett and wine yeast, Brand New Eyes is complex and superbly crafted. The New Zealand hops lend a tropical, sweet aroma that cuts the tartness of the sharp funk. The flavor developed from tangy vinegar, to sticky kumquat, and finished with a soft, champagne like yeastiness. This was a crowd favorite!

American Sour1

We ended the tasting with another Birds Fly South creation, The American Sour, brewed in collaboration with Thomas Creek Brewing Co. This delicious aperitif begins as a golden saison, then is aged and soured on various fruits for over a year. Our bottle had been aged over black currants, but there were also varieties featuring cherry, blackberry, and raspberry. The 6.8% wild ale had a hazy, ruby coloring and tasted like tangy sangria. It was super jammy, nicely complementing the funky backbone. I paired it with the chocolate cake of my cupcake, and it really took it to the next level.

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So there you have it! Straight from the horse’s mouth! If I do say so myself, this was one of our best tastings yet.

Until next time….hopefully not a year from now,


The Charleston Beer Exchange

While waiting for us gals to arrive on Saturday, our dad and Ed did some exploring in downtown Charleston. They stumbled upon a cute beer shop near the battery called Beer Exchange. We returned to Beer Exchange during our Charleston day, and after browsing their exciting selection, quickly decided to buy a few bottles for an impromptu (birthday) beer tasting.
The Beer Exchange was Charleston’s first craft beer store when it opened in the fall of 2008. In addition to 900+ bottles and cans, they have nine rotating draft lines to fill growlers, and will ship any of the beers listed on their website (state laws permitting). One of the coolest services they provide is personalized beer tastings for parties or business events. You can hire the Beer Exchange staff to come to your home and deliver a blind tasting of several different beers of the same style, brewery-specific tastings, or chocolate and cheese pairings– just to name a few of the options.
In contrast to our experience at Westbrook, the Beer Exchange staff couldn’t have been friendlier. After asking where we were visiting from, the cashier pointed out the famous Tørst glasses available for purchase–owners Scott Shor and Rich Carley have a close relationship with Jeppe of Evil Twin. We told her that a visit to Westbrook was on the agenda, and she suggested visiting The Revelry, a new brewery downtown, and Edmund’s Oast, a brewpub also owned by Shor and Carley. She was clearly passionate about beer, but totally unpretentious– a rare thing in the beer world.
Photo credit: The Beer Exchange
For our tasting we decided on two local beers and a couple interesting bottles from old favorites. Prairie’s Flare, a citrus-forward gose, and a black currant sour by SC’s Thomas Creek were the crowd favorites. But that, my friends, is a post for another day. Have a great weekend!

Westbrook Brewing

The Chitwood family just got back from a lovely vacay in Folly Beach, South Carolina! While there we drank a lot of good beer (..and rosé..and prosecco..). The SC beer scene had definitely improved since our last trip. The highlight of the week was finally visiting Westbrook Brewing Company, a longtime favorite of the Barley Babes.

Westbrook only packages a handful of their beers, and we were excited to see a draft list filled with brews we’d never tried, or for that matter, heard of. Maddy ordered a flight of small pours for group, and we got a few pints as well. Two standouts from M’s flight were the Key Lime Pie Gose and Coconut Weisse Weisse Baby. The KLPG is loaded with tangy, sour lime and rounds out with a graham cracker finish. Maddy noted graham cracker on the nose too; Westbrook nailed this one!  The table also enjoyed my pint of juicy Nelson Sauvin IPA. It’s the style of IPA I’ve come to expect from NYC breweries like Grimm and Other Half. Finally, we were excited to try the Mexican Cupcake, a session version of Westbrook’s hyped imperial stout brewed with habanero peppers. The cupcake didn’t quite live up to the cake, but it’s nice that you can experience almost the same flavor profile in a lighter, lower ABV beer. Great for summer!

The small tap room was hopping on Friday evening. Groups of friends gathered for post-work pints and young parents kept a relaxed eye on their kids over flights. Like us, I think everyone was looking for an air conditioned spot to drink beer and escape the oppressive SC heat.
Our only complaint about the visit is that the Westbrook staff wasn’t very friendly. No one that helped us was overtly rude, but they seem to keep lines short by taking an all-business approach to customer service. I didn’t feel comfortable asking to taste before ordering, and when I ordered a beer that had just run out, the bartender walked away instead of recommending something else. We’re often on the other side of the counter, so we understand the stress that comes with a busy weekend night. I guess we just wanted to experience a deeper personal connection with the staff since we’ve loved Westbrook for so long.
We’ll have more highlights from our trip later this week! Another favorite destination: The Charleston Beer Exchange!