Chicken chili crisp sausage, topped with Savoy and radish kimchi and kimchi aioli, on a brioche bun. PHOTO COURTESY OF FOGTOWN BAR HARBOR

Perfect pairings: Chef crafts food to highlight beer and vice-versa

BAR HARBORFogtown Brewing Co. chef Kat Courant has a recipe featured in a new cookbook, “The Craft Brewery Cookbook: Recipes to Pair With Your Favorite Beers.” Courant designed the menu and oversees cooking at the microbrewery’s taproom and kitchen in Bar Harbor.

John Holl, an award-winning beer journalist, collected recipes from independent breweries around the United States, including one from Fogtown. Founded in 2017, the microbrewery is based at 25 Pine St. in Bar Harbor.

Courant’s recipe is for a roasted garlic and mushroom bisque. She used mushrooms grown at Moorit Hill Farm in the Waldo County town of Troy and Fogtown’s Scupper brew. The beer is brewed with Maine-grown flaked spelt, wheat and malted barley, infused with Gulf of Maine kelp and dulse seaweed, fermented and aged with Saison/Brettanomyces yeast blend, said Fogtown owner Jon Stein. He describes Scupper as “complexly savory and quenching.”

The bisque recipe is one of what Holl describes as 70 delicious, seasonal recipes from the country’s best independent breweries — a must-have book for craft beer lovers, home cooks and fans of homebrewing.

Stein had initially asked Courant to help develop a pizza program at Fogtown’s original Ellsworth location.

“It just sort of morphed into we need a food program in Bar Harbor,” Courant said. And now she is responsible for the menu at Fogtown’s taproom/kitchen at 33 Cottage St.

“It’s more about letting people sit down, experience the beer, experience the building and take their time and enjoy what they’re having, whether that be beer or food or both,” Courant said.

“I make things that pair well with the beer,” Courant said. That includes “thoughtful, simple snack options.” The menu offerings highlight local ingredients and the beers as well.

The menu includes spent grain pretzel sticks with beer cheese.

“We call our beer cheese: ’47 Beer Cheese,” Stein said. “This gets a healthy pour of our ’47, which is a smoked wheat beer featuring maple-smoked malt from Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls as well as Maine-grown organic flaked wheat. We named this beer after the MDI fire of 1947 and donated proceeds to local fire departments.”

With the pretzels and beer cheese, Fogtown serves a stout mustard made with the Night Nurse brew.

The bar menu also includes sausages, co-packed by chef Carter Light, owner of Colvard & Co. in Southwest Harbor.

Courant developed the sausage recipes as well.

“We’ll offer sausages with house-made sides or in a brioche roll,” Courant said. The sausages are gluten-free. One is a chicken chili crisp sausage with chili crisps that Courant makes herself.

Chef Kat Courant is making snacks and special dishes to accompany Fogtown brews in Bar Harbor. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

The chef also tries to stick a salad into the offerings when she can and there is usually a soup.

If you’re not a beer drinker or you just don’t drink, rest assured, Courant has been creating dry concoctions as well. The chef is re-creating an old-fashioned offering called a switchel. Way back, the refreshing drink also is known as a haymaker. It was consumed during the hot, haying season.

The drinks contain apple cider vinegar, fruit and honey or sugar and water.

“You let everything marry for 24 hours,” said Courant. “It just brews like a tea.”

“I wanted to find something nonalcoholic,” she said. “I went down this rabbit hole of looking for alternatives. I wanted something fun, so you don’t feel like this odd person out when everyone else is drinking.”

For spring, Courant made a strawberry rhubarb switchel.

In Bar Harbor, Fogtown’s Taproom and Kitchen is open from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

For more info, visit, call 370-0845 or email [email protected].

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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