Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese Soup

Kris: As you have seen from previous posts, we have a small but productive garden in our backyard. Our broccoli is ready, so I thought I would make some soup to eat with 2 hoppy Amber Ales that I grabbed from the bottle shop; the Baird Red Rose Amber Ale from Japan and the Red Duck Hoppy Amber from Victoria.

Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese Soup

1 fresh leek

2 Tbs olive oil

Fresh parsley

fresh thyme

500g broccoli

1 potato

1 litre beef stock

330ml American style brown ale

150 g Gorgonzola

100ml cream

salt and pepper


Fry off the sliced leek and some fresh thyme in the olive oil

Add a small amount of the beer and cook the leeks until translucent

Add diced potato and chopped broccoli and fry for 5-6 minutes

Add the remaining beer and stock

Bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30minutes

Let it cool a little and blitz using a blender

Put the soup back on a low heat and add the cream and blue cheese and stir until creamy and combined

Season with salt and pepper to taste

(Some blue cheese can be really salty so season to your own taste)

Serve with some fresh parsley and fresh bread

Kris:  Such an easy, tasty lunch on a mild winters day in Hobart. It is even better when the broccoli, thyme and parsley are all from your own garden.

Caroline: Such a hearty, sweet and salty lunch! Perfect with some crusty bread and a beer. A very warming meal for our freezing house..

Kris: I thought American style Amber Ales would be a perfect match to the Broccoli, Beer and Blue Cheese soup. The earthy, malty character compliments the vegetables and the big, hoppy flavours and aromas can stand up to the blue cheese. The Baird Red Rose Amber Ale is produced by an American brewer, who now resides in Japan. It is lighter bodied than most American Ambers, but was still a great match to the soup. The Red Duck Hoppy Amber, from Victoria, was the beer I used in the recipe, but it also worked fantastically as a match with our lunch. Bold, sweet malt and piney, resinous hop character, along with an ABV of 5.6%, this was the perfect beer to enjoy with a hearty bowl of our soup.

Caroline: Delicious lunch, thanks Kris


Kris: We have been waiting in anticipation for our first Tasmanian Beer Fest experience. It was a great weekend to drink some great beers, eat some tasty food and enjoy the company of beer lovers from all over the world.

 It is a gathering that reaffirms the passion and community spirit that exists in the Australian craft beer community. Everyone was in high spirits and there were plenty of old and new favourites to taste from Tasmania, Australia and overseas.My favorite Australian craft beers (non Tasmanian) that I tried on the weekend were Mountain Goat IPA, 4 PinesHefeweizen and Little Creatures Big Dipper IPA.

Kris: It is always difficult to choose your favourite beers/moments at a festival such as this. The tapping (and tasting) of the Lark/ Moo Brew Whisky Barrel Aged Stout at the distillery on Friday afternoon, just before the opening of the festival was a major highlight. This was an awesome collaboration between a Tasmanian brewery and distillery.It was exciting to see the differences in each of the 3 20 litre barrels that we got to try over the weekend. A perfect match for ripe, creamy blue cheese.

 Kris /Caroline : The pick of the Tasmanian beers on show for us were the Van Diemen‘s Two Head IPA, Seven Sheds Smokin Bagpipes Scotch Ale, Iron House Porter and the Moo Brew Seasonal/Imperial Stout. It was also great to see Morrison’s, a new brewery from Launceston ,showing their first batches of some English/Irish style beers.They need to tweak their recipes a bit, but their beers were showing some real promise. Definately a brewery to watch in the future.

There were also so amazing international beers on tasting at the festival too. Floyd’s/Brew Dog Bitch Please was a standout. A barley wine brewed with a selection of malts, including Laphroig peat smoked whisky malt and a mixture of  shortbread, fairy floss and fudge that was thrown into the kettle. We also really enjoyed theMikkeller Santa’s Little Helper, a Belgian brown ale brewed with christmas spices.

 The Ambersandwich business cards also made a debut at the festival.