The Hopworks Urban Brewery founder has had a nearly lifelong fascination with beer (“It’s the perfect marriage of art and science—with a little inebriation thrown in”), from disastrous early experiments with malt and hops in his parents’ kitchen to a semester spent in Germany learning about traditional European brewing culture. Over the last 16 years, Ettinger has served as brewer for Eugene City Brewery and Laurelwood Brewing. But since Hopworks’ inception in 2007, he’s also had a hand in devising the pub’s signature comfort food. It’s instinctual, Ettinger says, crediting his German heritage. “Even the food is beer driven.”
Anyone who still carries a torch for bland mass-marketed suds needs to be properly introduced to this lovely lager. Balanced and buoyant, it’s an easy-drinking beer with surprising body and complexity.
Ettinger says that the beer derives its character from the inclusion of Saaz hops. “The lager is crisp and dry, but the spiciness of the hop acts as a flavor hook for the pepper and garlic. And when the sausage begins to caramelize on the grill, the honey and malt characters bring out the delicate flavors,” he says. “These flavors all exist in your palate, so it makes sense for them to play off each other rather than beat each other up.”
BLACK PEPPER GARLIC SAUSAGE
Poach the sausages (from Olympic Provisions if possible) in boiling water and lager (3 parts water to 1 part beer).
Place fully cooked sausages on grill to mark.
Add grilled sausage, sauerkraut, and lager mustard to a fresh hoagie roll.
Mix HUB Organic Lager with Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard, 1 part beer to 3 parts mustard. Whisk briskly.