Blackberry Galette with Beer Tart Crust
It started as a last minute trip to chase down an assignment for a magazine I write for, and it ended up being more of a revelation.
How is it that Bellingham—one of the countries best beer cities—is less than two hours from my door and I had yet to explore it? How is it that it took an assignment from 1889 Magazine to get me up there?
It started at Chuckanut, a brewery so heavily awarded it’s shocking they haven’t been around longer. Although the owners have brewed since the 1980’s, and done so all over the world.
My recommendations: Kolsch, British Brown Ale
I ended up at WanderBrewing next, of my favorite of all the destinations of the weekend. Maybe because the owner, Chad, was more than gracious and welcoming. Carving out time in his hectic beer-making-business-running-brand-new-tiny-baby-at-home schedule to have a pint with me.
Maybe it was because I’ve been in love with the beer since the first time I had it. Either way, this place is a must when you find yourself anywhere close to Whatcom county.
My recommendations: Global Mutt Baltic Porter, Wanderale Belgian Blonde
From there, I needed food and found myself at the Bellingham location of one of my favorite breweries from my last visit to Wyoming, Melvin Brewing. I was delighted to see that not only was the food fantastic, but they are in the process of brewing beer specifically for the Pacific Northwest.
I love what Melvin is doing with Wyoming ingredients and I can’t wait until I can sample what they do with Washington ingredients. Word on the street is that there will be brand new brews made in Washington, for Washington as early as November. Which means I’ll need another visit in a few months.
My recommendations: Asterisk DIPA, Drunken Master Burger, Shishito Peppers
If you’re like me, and you travel with your dog as often as possible, I can’t recommend Home2 Suites in Bellingham more. Not only was this a gorgeous, brand new hotel with a kitchenette in the room and the best complimentary breakfast I’ve had on the road, but I’m pretty sure they were thrilled to see Chowder Jones check in with me. I often feel like hotels put up with my dog, this place adored him.
Although at this point the beers were starting to kick in, I wasn’t nearly close to being done. There are 12 outstanding breweries in Whatcom County, and I was just getting started.
Aslan Brewing was a gorgeous space with fantastic beer.
My Recommendations: Disco Lemonade, Simcoe Slice
Although not a brewery, nearly everyone I spoke to about beer in Bellingham told me about Elizabeth Station. It’s a tap room, it’s a bottle shop, but it’s more. It’s a meeting place, a craft beer community room, a neutral ground for all things beer. It’s more than worth a stop in for a beer or two.
My recommendation: Sit at a communal table and chat with people, order a flight and let the bartender choose your beers for you
Structure brewing was small in the way you want a tap room to be small. It was friendly and cozy.
My recommendations: No Sleep Stout, Group Think
Boundary Bay is Bellingham’s oldest brewery still in operation. The staff is friendly and the place is huge. Plenty of events in summer on the expansive outdoor patio, it’s both kid and dog-friendly and there is plenty of beer and food.
My recommendations: Galaxy Single Hop, Dry Irish Stout
Clearly I need another trip. Not just because I need more Wander beer, and I need to see what Melvin does, but I also need to spend more time at Kulshan, Gruff brewing and Stones Thrown. One trip isn’t enough.
For now, I’m leaving you with a recipe you need to make before blackberry season ends. It’s also my favorite tart crust ever. It’s a little soft and can be difficult to work with, but once it’s baked it’s the most tender crust I’ve ever made. Worth the hassle.
- 1 ½ cups (180g) All purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
- 2 tablespoons (28g) sugar
- ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup (58g) Belgian ale beer (or pale ale, pilsner, or wheat beer)
- 4 ½ cups (590g) fresh, ripe blackberries
- 2 tablespoons (28g) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
- 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (2g) lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon (12g) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (14g) melted butter
- 375F 35-40 minutes
- Add flour, salt, sugar and softened butter to a food processor, process until combined. Add the cold butter, pulse until just combined, you will still be able to see some larger pieces of butter, this will create flakey layers.
- Pulse in the beer until completely incorporated into the dough. Dough will be very soft.
- Lay a long sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface, add the dough to the center.
- Form into a flat disk. Wrap disk tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 3 hours and up to three days.
- In a large bowl add the blackberries sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice. Toss to coat. Allow to sit while you prepare the dough.
- Knead the dough lightly in hands until dough comes together and warms slightly. Roll out on a lightly floured pieces of parchment paper to form a large circle, about ¼ inch thick. Transfer the dough circle and the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
- Pour off any liquid that has accumulated in the blackberry bowl.
- Add blackberries to the center of the galette.
- Fold the bare edges of the dough up over the filling, using the parchment paper if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer, freeze for 15 minutes. Alternately you can chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes (or overnight). This will help the galette stay together when baking and help the crust to be lighter and flakier.
- Brush the crust with melted butter, sprinkle with remaining sugar.
- Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool prior to serving.