Brewmaster Patrick Rue’s The Bruery is set in an Orange County industrial park. While the setting looks predictable, the beers are anything but. Rue makes a range of Belgium-style craft beers from unconventional ingredients like beets, Thai basil, truffle salt and lavender, none filtered or pasteurized. He’s become a cult favorite of beer aficionados for Black Tuesday, his burly imperial stout; as well as Mischief, a golden pale ale; and beers made from Santa Rita Hills and Santa Ynez wine grapes. In his early 30s, Rue inspires a loyal Southern California following. Currently his innovative mind enjoys experimenting with Japanese-inspired brews made with rice and spices. He shares how he likes to entertain at home with wife Rachel and friends.
“I’m big into both Asian-inspired flavors and BBQ,” Rue explains.
Thai spring rolls
Braised short ribs in Rugbrød and then smoked with oak
Brussels sprouts pan-seared in butter with roasted chestnuts
and Neuske’s bacon
Peach tart with pecan maple bourbon ice cream
Recreate the Region
Guests gather at a casual dining table and couch seating area outside next to the pool, overlooking a giant oak tree and the chaparral. “My wife Rachel would have found an excuse to buy new placemats and have the area well lit with candles,” Rue adds.
Light classical music. “That may sound a little snobby, but Rachel and I enjoy music that serves as background music, something that would calm our guests and so that no one feels the need to actively listen.”
Libations include a keg of Rue’s Humulus Lager and a case of Fess Parker Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah. He also may offer a pre-mixed variation on an Old Fashioned using tangerines from his parent’s back yard, bitters and Eagle Rare Bourbon.
Smoked and Braised Short Ribs
Rue loves smoked meats, and this recipe is unique in that there are two cooking methods. The braising reduces the intensity of the smoke but integrates it very nicely into the meat and onions. There’s a great mix of umami, smoke, sweetness and the meat will be incredibly tender. While it’s time consuming, it’s difficult to screw up this recipe as nothing needs to be actively watched, so it’s wonderful for entertaining.
Smoked Portion Ingredients:
5 pounds of bone-in short ribs, cut into 10-inch-long sections
Rub the short ribs generously with olive oil and salt, then place on a 180°F smoker with oak for 5 hours.
Braised Portion Ingredients:
4 large red onions
Smoked short ribs
2 bottles Rugbrød, The Bruery’s Danish-style brown ale
½ cup olive oil
Dice onions and caramelize on the stove in a large Dutch oven with olive oil. Place short ribs tightly in the Dutch oven so that liquid can cover all of the meat. Pour in the Rugbrød, ensuring all meat is covered with beer. Place lid on the Dutch oven, and put in 325°F oven for 4 hours, or until fork tender. At the 2nd hour, test the salt level of the liquid to ensure it is salted enough. If it isn’t salted well enough, adjust accordingly. Keep in mind evaporation will occur, so salt a little less than what is ideal as salt concentration will increase. Once cooked to desired tenderness, remove meat from bone and excess fat. Serves 10.
6 cups corn (fresh cut preferred, but frozen will do the trick)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup green onions
½tablespoon smoked garlic powder
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon smoked chipotle powder
Combine all ingredients to form a thick batter. In a wide, high-wall frying pan, heat 3 inches of soybean oil to 350°F, and drop in small clumps of batter (no larger than 1-inch thick by 3-inches wide). Fry for 5 minutes or until surface is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt when hot. Serve immediately. Makes about 25 fritters.
Rue likes to dip these corn fritters in a sweet/savory dipping liquid that has a little bit of funkiness from the fish sauce.
1 cup Trade Winds Tripel, The Bruery’s summer golden ale
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
Mix all ingredients, let rest in refrigerator for a few hours prior to serving.