131: A Packed Post: Planks & Pints, Riverwalk IPA, and Cooking with Beer

Last week I: chugged a beer through a straw while working out, visited one of my favorite breweries, and got to utilize the grill. Happy Kristie happy happy Kristie.

Let’s start at the beginning and with one of the reasons Amber Jansen of 2beerguys is an awesome craft beer lady. Together with Newburyport’s Riverwalk Brewing and Engage Your Core Pilates, she organized an engaging event combining two very different life paths, in order to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. I have a lot of admiration for someone who is able to take their passion for beer and promote it through their own unique platform (i.e. fitness), all the while, thinking of ways to help others.

Lisa Hamel Happ of Engage Your Core

Lisa Hamel Happ of Engage Your Core

Led by Lisa at Engage Your Core, we started with a light work-out on the reformer machines; a device similar to a medieval torture rack. It blew my mind learning that people use these things for an hour at a time. I can really only imagine doing that unless I was on a spaceship and had weeks to kill in between inter-planetary travel.

Photo taken by Amber Jansen

Photo taken by Amber Jansen

This lead up to the main event – a planking challenge in which all competitors had to hold a plank position while sucking down a beer (in this case Riverwalk’s ESB) with a straw. To anyone looking to hire me – I can finish a beer, with straw, in about 6 seconds.

Beer Blogging

Exercise

Next stop was Riverwalk Brewing for some snacks and samples. I’m surprised this brewery isn’t getting more recognition. With a blend of Belgian and English influences, they are making unique and earthy brews that are always consistent and incredibly fresh-tasting. We got to sample their farmhouse-style Gnomad, make some shandys with their Sumer, and get a taste of their competition-winning Pilgrim-style beer made with sage and smoked malts; which had a perfect balance of herbal sage and smoky oak to make it extremely palatable.

On Tap

On Tap

I brought home a growler of their IPA –

Riverwalk Brewing IPA6.7%

This beer smells like someone just leveled a forest of pine trees. Plus a bit of citrus. What I love about this beer is the use of lighter malts to really let the hops stand out and showcase all of their awesome flavor. The bitterness is strong but pleasant, and it has a light malty sweetness. Medium-bodied, with a sharp carbonation, this is an earthy and crisp ideal IPA.

Riverwalk IPA

As if achy glutes and a bunch of beer weren’t reward enough, I decided to finish off the day by using the IPA as a marinade and cook up some spicy grilled shrimp. What we have here is a garlic-driven spiciness, with the beer adding a layer of depth, bringing out some citrus, and the avocados, helping to cool everything down.

spicy shrimps

IPA-Marinated Shrimp with Avocado Salad

1 cup IPA
 1 chili (jalapeno, Serrano), minced
1 tsp. hot sauce of your choice (I recommend a jalapeno hot sauce for this recipe)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 lb. raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Mix together the beer, chili, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp, turn to coat, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Get the grill going. Put the shrimp on skewers and grill until just pink, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with avocado salad.

Avocado Salad:

Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
 2 large Hass avocados, sliced
 2 tsps. chives, minced

Combine lemon juice, ginger and salt in a bowl. Add the avocados and chives, toss. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

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