Category Archives: Sommbeer

How to Make Sommbeer Mustard

When it comes to condiments you could make a strong case that mustard is the only condiment that is actually necessary.  It’s perfect for sausages, hot dogs, sandwiches, pretzels, and countless other delectable morsels that beg for a bit of a tangy savory sweetness to  enhance a meal. Of course when it comes to mustard there are endless varieties, yellow, brown, honey, Dijon, etc. However the best mustard by far will always be beer mustard!  I started making my own mustard a few years back and over time it has developed into a craft. Is it perfect? Probably not, in all honesty I doctor the recipe a little with each batch, still this mustard constantly comes out as a success.  So without further adieu let’s make Sommbeer Mustard!



  • 1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups malt vinegar
  • 2 cups beer, preferably a porter or stout
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

This mustard recipe is pretty easy to complete but there is some prep-time involved.  To start you are going to want to take your all your mustard seeds, and pour them in a jar or bowl with the vinegar and about 1 1/2 cups of beer. These are going to have to chill out in your fridge for at least 12 hours.  This is going to soften up the seeds and of course absorb up some delicious flavor from whichever beer you choose for your Sommbeer Mustard.

When it comes to picking a beer you’re the master of your own mustard destiny.  Personally I like to use a porter or a stout that ranges in the 5-7% ABV range and is more traditional to the style.  If you pick a beer with chocolate or fruit in it those flavors will peak out in your mustard, so if you would like chocolate mustard go nuts but that’s not what I usually go for.  Really any beer that you would enjoy along with food that you put mustard on is a good candidate to make mustard with.  I’ve had good results with Oktoberfests, Red Ales, Scotch Ales, and Vienna Lagers (Sam Adams is actually a really good option for making mustard with).

After your seeds are sufficiently subdued in their beer and vinegar cocktail take the mix out of the fridge and grab yourself a blender and a medium-sized sauce pan. In the sauce pan you basically want to throw in all remaining ingredients and let this mix simmer. This is where you have the option to get creative, if you like a little bit of heat in your mustard maybe add some red pepper flakes or cayenne to the mix for example.  For me it’s not uncommon to add just a little more beer or honey in the mix. I would recommend that you keep the heat low though, with this much sugar in a pan it will bubble up quick and burned sugar and beer smells pretty gnarly.  Let that simmer for a few minutes than remove the mix from heat and put it into the blender.  Add in your jar of seeds and beer from the fridge and blend every thing together until your mustard is your desired consistency.

The end result is a golden brown delicacy fit to adorn your favorite pretzeled bread or tubed meat! Smear it on a sandwich with gusto or include it on a rub as you move some meats into your smoker.  No matter what you like using mustard for this will replace your go to squirt bottle in the fridge and will get the attention of any family and friends that you choose to share with.


Enjoy and cheers!

Beer and Food Pairings for the Craft Beer Football Fan

This article first appeared on Sommbeer and with the Super Bowl just days away this is the perfect time to revisit our recommendations for pairing craft beer with some foods commonly found at homes, bars, tailgates and many other gathering spots where football can be consumed!

It’s mid August and football season is upon us once again.  Football is a great game not only for the sport and the tradition, but for many people like myself it’s an event that provides the opportunity for social gatherings.  With Social gatherings comes serving of great food and of course enjoyment of great beer!  This clearly is an opportunity to make sure that you, and possibly your guests, are getting the most out of your food and beer pairings, so in the spirit of the the upcoming football season here are some of my favorite pairings of more traditional “football foods” and great brews to go with them.

Paring with Nachos:

Game day nachos, a great finger food perfect for munching on during the trench warfare that we affectionately call football.   Nachos give us a little bit of everything, savory, salty, meat and cheese the best way to pair this up for me is with a beer that’s a little on the sweet side and with enough body to counteract all the salt being taken in from the finger food of reckoning.  My choice beer to go with a heaping plate of Nachos is El Rojo Amber Ale by Griffin Claw Brewing company.  El Rojo is a rich and malty amber ale that provides an ABV of 6.5% and has been brewed with just a little bit of caramel making it ideal to hit the desire for both salty and sweet.  Nachos aren’t the most heavy food most times so I can justify that El Rojo is a bit more heavy than most beers brought up in this article but aside from the flavor, which is spectacular, the name begs you to serve this brew with a Mexican dish.


Paring with Chili:

Chili is one of my all around favorite foods, it’s one of two things that I could likely eat every day and never get tired of.  At this time of year my favorite thing to pair with a good bowl of chili is a delicious Oktoberfest brew.  My choice for a Oktoberfest brew is Bloktoberfest by Atwater Brewing.  Oktoberfest beers have the a great malty characteristic with the body of a well done lager and Bloktoberfest is no slouch.  A tasty 6.3% ABV followed by the nice warming feeling of a Marzen brew is one of the best things I can crack open while I enjoy a hearty bowl of chili on a cool fall day.  This might be my favorite pairing that is brought up in this entire article, and as previously stated it’s a pairing that I could likely enjoy every day without all to much argument.

Pairing with Sausage/Hot Dogs/Grilled Food:

I for one don’t like to cook during a game, so normally grilled food is not something that I am going to be preparing for my guests.  That being said I absolutely love hosts that are willing to grill up sausages, burgers, and things of this nature during a game.  For those willing to put the extra effort in to cook on the grill the extra effort to bring the right beer should also be present.  Releasing right at the beginning of football season is Bell’s Best Brown Ale, which is not only a great beer for fall grilling but also one of my all around favorite Brown Ales.  Best Brown packs a 5.8% ABV and like most brown ales is nice and Malty with some nutty flavoring whole delivering some cocoa and caramel notes.  Even though Best Brown can be found all through the winter months it is one of the best fall beers out there and has enough body to make any game and grilling combo a success.

Pairing with Pizza:

Who doesn’t love pizza?  Pizza might be the most all purpose food in the world, it’s practically the Swiss Army Knife of practicality when it comes to food and there’s no doubt that if your a football fan you will find your self enjoying some pizza during a game or two during this season.  There’s so many different beers that go really well with pizza but if I were to pick one as an all around “pizza beer” regardless of the type of pizza I have I would go with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.  Not nearly as intense as it’s bigger brothers 90 and 120 minute IPA; 60 Minute IPA is a very good day to day drinkable beer that isn’t going to mix in the stomach with a few slices of pizza and make it feel like you’re carrying a medicine ball in your stomach.  60 Minute IPA comes in with a respectable 6% ABV and most of that will be soaked up with said pizza so you won’t likely be sloppy by halftime when enjoying this brew with your favorite pizza.

For the Tailgater:

Going to the game? One of the best traditions in football, be it on Saturday or Sunday is the Tailgating.  Tailgate parties can vary quit drastically in terms of both food and weather, both of which can be positively or negatively enhanced by the choice of beer.  When I’m tailgating I like to go with an all around, good for any occasion, pairs well with almost any food beer.  For that I go to Founders Brewing All Day IPA.  To start with All Day IPA is lighter, in more than one way, it doesn’t sit too heavy in the belly and it has a lower ABV (4.7 ABV) and if you’re starting your pre-game festivities at 10 am generally it’s in good taste to still be functioning by kick off time. All Day IPA brings it, packed with crisp yet refreshing and plenty of delicious hop flavor makes All Day IPA a great all around choice as a beer that sets you up for success no matter what weather conditions (cold, hot, rain, etc.) or food rolls up to the pigskin pre-party.  Add to that the availability of 15 pack cans that are significantly easier to travel with than bottles and you  have a winner.

If you have other suggestions we’d love to hear them, please leave them in the comments bellow!


John Fahrner



Thanks John!  I’m a fan of a strong (perhaps Imperial) IPA with pizza.  It’s funny but I find Bell’s Best Brown to be my “comfort beer”, it’s what I pick when I want an old standby.

– SommBeer

John Fahrner Bio:

John resides in Wolverine Lake, MI and is interested in craft beer, the Detroit Red Wings and MSU.

Twitter Bio  @fahrn13

#craftbeer #beer #MSU #redwings #sommbeer #football #ipa

Interested in becoming a SommBeer Contributor?

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Vivant – Can a Brewery have good beer and good food?

From David- Founder of Sommbeer:
I love my daughters.  They just aren’t’ too crazy about brew pubs.  When we announced we were going to Brewery Vivant after we saw the Museum in Grand Rapids, Emm’s response was “you’re going to drink beer while we eat warmed up frozen food”.  I bristled at her harsh response but knew it could be true.  Good breweries do not always measure up when it comes to food.IMG_3759
We walked into Vivant just a few minutes after they opened up for the day (no I wasn’t banging on the door).  We were immediately greeted by a hostess and seated in a booth.  I was already impressed as the interior was a beautifully renovated church.  She handed us all menu’s and I immediately panicked.  Nothing looked familiar. It was all “high end” French food, for the most part.  We coaxed Emm into trying some new stuff and then waited.
Food: The waiter was super friendly and talked to my family as I researched the beer menu.  Along the conversation, he suggested to Emm, that when she grows up and goes to college she should always remember to go back and visit her parents (Dude! I thought to myself, you just earned yourself a nice tip).  We ordered our food, beers and pops.
The appetizer showed up – Duck Confit Nachos (a mountain of chips smothered in sauce and duck meat).  We couldn’t be happier.
My wife and youngest ordered a hamburger and grilled cheese, both outstanding.
Emm ordered a bowl of wild mushroom soup.  Something she never had, trust me. She loved it.
I ordered deer sausage.  Fantastic earthy flavor, I even ate my brussel sprouts.   All the food is super high quality and unique.  In fact it was unique to the point that they took more than a few culinary risks – and succeeded.  Only issue was the cost $$$.  Our bill for two adults and two kids hit around $100.  That said, it was a great meal and we will be going back.
Beer: Our hostess explained later that Vivant is all about the Belgian wild yeast style of beer.
Update 2017: My taste has evolved since I first wrote this article. Belgian style beers have become one of my favorite styles of beer. It’s not uncommon on many a beer night for my belgians to even edge out my previous favorites – stouts and scottish ales.
I ordered a glass of their Egoiste and followed it with one last glass of Dubelicious – I loved them both.  Here’s what I learned about this style of beer, to enjoy it to it’s fullest I have to prepare myself for it.  Belgian wild yeast style is kinda tangy like sour dough bread.  Doesn’t matter the variety they make it still has that tangy flavor.  If beer is like music (a post on this later) then this tanginess is a high pitched trumpet. My wife ordered their Fat Paczk beer that arrived in a tulip glass.  That beer was out of this world good!  It’s been a week since our visit and she still talks about that one beer.
When we walked out, our hostess greeted us again (the service here is unreal).  My family took this opportunity to start shopping at the gift shop.  I grabbed a souvenir glass and the hostess recommended I purchase some Vivant beer (Acidulated Trip) to pair with my glass!  What an up-sell.
Emm and I avoiding Paparazzi
Emm and I avoiding Paparazzi
Brewery Vivant surprised me.  I have been in search of a brewery that has both great beer and food.  What I found was great food, beer and service.  My daughters are the toughest critics believe me and they were happy.  We will be going back.
Sommbeer – John Fahner @fahrn13 also reviewed some beers from Brewery Vivant.
– David
Check out this beer review for Brewery Vivant –> Solitude

Welcome to Sommeats!

My name is John Fahrner, I’m the editor of the site Sommbeer. Over the last few years David (the founder of Sommbeer) and myself have been working to build a  community dedicated to sharing our love for craft beer.  Sommbeer isn’t going anywhere, but as we’ve continued to work on Sommbeer we’ve noticed one reoccurring subject that keeps coming up in our writings, travels, and social interactions.  Simply stated we love food.  Cooking food, smoking meats, ordering take out, or pairing food with a craft beer.  With this in mind we decided it was time to launch a new project, and thus Sommeats was born!

We’re planning to create a community based around food, just like we did with Sommbeer.  Also just like Sommbeer we will always be looking for writers to contribute and express their passion for food.  Recipes, techniques, reviews, recommendations, or even just food wisdom and debate is welcome on Sommeats.  If you’re interested in contributing please check out our writers page on Sommbeer and send us a note at so we can get you set up.

Also just like Sommbeer let’s remember Sommeats is about fun.  Our motto on Sommbeer has always been that we don’t take serious beer too seriously. Like beer, food is meant to be enjoyed, not stressed out over or blown up into something bigger than it is.  Have fun, sit back, grab a beer and a taco and Welcome to Sommeats!

Make sure to check out and like our Facebook page for Sommeats, and if you haven’t already like our Facebook page for Sommbeer too!