When I received a bottle of Apocalypse Cow beer from dear friend Tom R., I immediately thought of a funny quote from the short-lived The Tick live action series. A character named Batmanuel said with a deadpan Spanish accent, "Apocalypse Cow is fifty feet tall; she shoots fire from her teats."
If you're not familiar with the weird humor of Ben Edlund's nigh-invulnerable superhero*, just ignore the above. Let's talk about the beer. Spoooon!
Brewed in Munster, Indiana by Three Floyds Brewing Co., at 22 oz. and 10% abv, this is nearly equivalent to an entire bottle of wine. But show me a wine that has a rating of 100 IBUs, eh? Those used to superlight lagers need not apply; I think my beard grew a half inch while drinking this. Lovely orange color, with a firm orange peel nose. Other spice flavors develop on the palate, like nutmeg and allspice. This style of beer provides huge bitter flavors, and this particular bottle did not disappoint. Long finish on the flavor. I'm also a bit partial to the weird, cyclopean bovine on the label.
After seeing the recipe in Cook's Illustrated, I decided to make a batch of sloppy joes, despite not having a craving for them in over two decades. I can't remember the last time I had these--Scout camp or a school cafeteria. It's the kind of dish that screams "institutional", but the article seemed like a good guys' night/beer tasting companion dish. I was also curious to try one fresh, as I don't think I'd ever eaten one that had spent less than three hours in a steam tray. I made a few substitutions in the interest of flavor. I used ground buffalo instead of beef, a big shallot instead of an onion, and splashed in a bit of Bourbon with the brown sugar.
The "sloppy buffaloes" were quite good, surprisingly tasty for something generally associated with the worst of 50s American cooking. I can't imagine that we'll start seeing gourmet variations in trendy bars like what's happening with sliders, but you never know. If a Basque-fusion chef comes out with a chorizo/merguez/yellow tomato Sloppy Joseba served on split brioche, drop me a line.
*Sample words of wisdom from the animated series: "You know, though today was the worst day of my life, I learned many things. First, the world looks a lot different when you're six inches tall and covered with feathers. Second, two heads are definitely not better than one. And finally, you can lay eggs and still feel like a man."