With Spring upon us, I am brought back to my favorite time of year when the mornings are crisp and the days grow longer. It reminds me of all the fresh and local produce that will soon be upon us and a great time of year for some new spring brews.
We recently introduced a new addition to our award winning line-up of seasonal beers – BJ’s Oasis Amber. It is a great every day beer that is not too hoppy or bitter like many American-style amber ales. Oasis Amber is full of malty flavor but with the approachable drinkability of a mild pale beer like our BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde.
BJ’s Oasis Amber is such an approachable beer that it pairs well with many different types of food and cooking techniques. With its malty flavor it matches well with a grilled juicy Angus Burger or a spice infused Chicken Jambalaya. Oasis Amber is well-balanced by a dry and mildly hoppy finish, which enhances the flavor of many types of food. The smooth finish actually works to refresh your palate in that it retains the great finishing taste of your favorite foods and gets your taste buds ready for the next bite. To showcase this, we have paired Oasis Amber with two of our signature flatbread pizzas, which are distinctly different: California Club and Grilled Chicken Pesto.
Our California Club Flatbread features grilled chicken breast, crisp applewood smoked bacon and mozzarella cheese, drizzled with a rich roasted garlic aioli, and topped off with fresh, creamy diced avocado. Oasis Amber helps to round out the flatbread by enhancing the smoky, grilled flavors of the chicken and applewood smoked bacon and highlighting the finish of the roasted garlic aioli.
In our second pairing with our Grilled Chicken Pesto Flatbread, the freshness of the basil pesto and parmesan cheese harmonizes with the mild sweet maltiness of the Oasis Amber. Top that with the grilled chicken and sweet sundried tomatoes you have an unforgettable Spring treat. Cheers and Good Eats!
By Raymond Martin, Vice President of Culinary Development, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Ray Martin has 34 years of experience in the foodservice industry. His foodservice experience started young with his chef grandfather who owned a Mexican restaurant. In 1986 he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and was recruited to Orange County, CA. in 1988 to be the Executive Chef for several El Torito owned specialty restaurants. He was honored in 1989 and 1990 as one of the “Great Chefs of Orange County” and in 1993 as one of the “Great Chef’s of North America” by “Chef’s in America”. Martin began a nine year stint with the Cheesecake Factory in 1993 in Newport Beach. In March of ’08 he accepted the “Regional Chain Excellence” award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association ( IFMA) at the Chain Operators Exchange (COEX) in Orlando.
Alex Puchner, Sr. Vice President, Brewing Operations, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Brewery management for BJ’s since starting up their first brewery restaurant in Brea (Orange County, CA) in 1996. Prior to BJ’s, experience includes brewery design and start-up of Laguna Beach Brewing Co., Newport Beach Brewing Co. and Westwood Brewing Co. Professional brewing career began in 1993 as brewer for Huntington Beach Beer Co. Alex is also a homebrewer and BJCP recognized beer judge.