Back in July, I wrote a post about eating a shitload of dog treats to see how they tasted.
Something I’ve never told anyone is why I was at the pet store in the first place. I was mentally in a dark place (actually I’m always in a dark place, which is chained up in your mother’s basement), and I’d heard of a magical new pet beverage. I was there to try and find something called Bowser Beer.
Bowser Beer is marketed as “beer for dogs.” The cool part is, I don’t have a dog. I have a cat named Cricket. As far as I know she is not a dog, but really, after all these years, I still don’t quite understand what a dog really is.
Anyway, now that we’ve confirmed I’ve never actually graduated from kindergarten, I have been incessantly searching for this stuff. I’ve called pet stores repeatedly to the point where I think they point at the phone and whisper, “It’s that guy again.” But, thank the flying spaghetti monster, I finally found it on Amazon last week. I nearly shit my pants. Well, your mother’s pants. I was wearing her bloomers. Yes, she still wears bloomers since she was born in the 1800s. I guess her daily habit of drinking embalming fluid really paid off.
So I happily clicked the purchase button and cried myself to sleep in the bathroom stall of a bar.
The Bowser Beer eventually arrived in the mail, and man, at $30 for a six-pack, it’s not cheap. It’s an even dumber purchase when you don’t have a job and are a loser.
But here’s the rub — dogs aren’t supposed to drink beer. First, there’s the alcohol thing. Alcohol is reserved for when I want to treat my liver like a punching bag, and it can kill canines. Hops, used to flavor beer, are also potentially toxic to man’s best friend. Do not give your dog beer. If you do, you are a dickhole and should not have a dog.
So what the fuck is Bowser Beer then?
Well, it turns out that Bowser Beer is actually meat-based broth, which of course, dogs can have.
So already, this is a ton of horseshit because it’s not technically beer. I purchased the Cock-a-Doodle Brew, which is ideal because it has the word “cock” in it. It’s unseasoned chicken broth with malt extract and glucosamine added. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that helps alleviate osteoarthritis in dogs, which is probably something you will never need to know.
To be fair, an intern at the Chicago Reader previously did a taste test, which you can read here. But you’re not here to read that stuff.
You’re here to watch me drink beer for dogs.
Bowser Beer is really weird, and mostly gross. It has the smell of dry dog food that has been sitting in a bowl of water for a day. The liquid tastes mildly of chicken, with a little bit of sweetness from the malt extract. But its aftertaste really is the strangest part — it’s sour, and it lingers in your mouth for far too long. I ate a few mints afterwards and then crammed one up my ass for that tingly refreshing feeling.
But, as you all know, I can’t leave well enough alone.
I would never be satisfied by only drinking Bowser Beer.
So, as I began to strip in preparation to go streaking down my street, I said, “Dannis Ree, proud defender of all things sad and horrible, many people cook with beer. What classic dish could you experiment with, using the canine culinary disappointment known as Bowser Beer?”
That’s right: Bowser Beer Cheese, bitches.
I finally used the term “bitches” properly for once.
As a base recipe, I used this one from Serious Eats, which is fairly easy and uses a novel method of combining corn starch and evaporated milk to create a silky cheese texture.
Let’s begin this infernally stupid recipe by grating the cheese.
While grating a whole block of cheese seems like a waste of time, it’s important to note that pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, a plant fiber that prevents the shreds from sticking together due to their natural moisture. Hilariously, food-grade cellulose is often made from wood pulp, and this is the reason why shredded cheese doesn’t have a smooth texture straight from the bag. There’s no reason to freak out, however. Cellulose naturally occurs in lots of plant matter that you eat every day, and this is really just the same stuff, even if it comes from wood.
Also, “comes from wood” is something your mother says frequently.
Do not grate your fingertips unless you are a fugitive from the law and do not want your fingerprints to exist any longer.
Blood does not taste good in Bowser Beer Cheese.
Next, coat your cheese shreds in corn starch.
Why not add corn starch directly to the liquid? That is a good question. You should try it sometime. If you put it right into a hot liquid, the starch will immediately clump up, which is not what you want in a smooth dip. If you’re thickening a sauce or soup, you have to create a corn starch slurry with cold water before pouring it in, which helps you avoid lumps. Corn starch hydrates much more uniformly in cold water. But coating the shredded cheese in starch creates a fine enough layer that it won’t clump up when it hits the liquid later.
In a medium-sized saucepan, mix all your liquid ingredients together, including your dog beer, evaporated milk, dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce.
Let this heat on low until it warms up to a moderate temperature, but not quite to boiling. I always test the temperature of liquids by sticking my finger directly into them until I get second-degree burns.
Admire the sediment that Bowser Beer leaves behind in your beer glass.
Mmm, chicken sand.
Once the liquid has become hot, stir in the cheese in small batches until it is all melted. At this point, your kitchen will smell like a dog food factory and you will contemplate jumping off a cliff. That is perfectly normal and part of the recipe.
The Bowser Beer Cheese will eventually thicken up into a cheese sauce, at which point, it is ready to go.
I hung Harvey over the cheese and he got upset. He whispered, “I will stab you in your sleep, asshole.” If I am dead tomorrow, you will know why.
Pour the Bowser Beer Cheese into your favorite pathetic penguin bowl and serve with a rock-hard pretzel roll you found on the floor of the grocery store.
It looks okay, but does it taste okay?
If your definition of sour chicken-ish cheese dip is “okay,” then I’m going to invite you over for dinner every day until you throw up. The Bowser Beer Cheese still somewhat retains the dog food aroma, reminding you that you did something very stupid in the kitchen. But frankly, if you didn’t tell me you used a pet beverage in this recipe, I probably wouldn’t notice. It definitely does not taste like a beer cheese dip since the fermented hoppy flavor is missing. It also still has that off-putting Bowser Beer sourness, but because cheddar cheese is naturally a little tangy, most clowns would eat it, none the wiser.
I recommend you bring Bowser Beer Cheese to your in-law’s house for a football party if you are a dickhole.
I can’t believe I ate more dog food.
It’s like I’m punishing myself for no reason.
While I was at it, I took a portrait of Harvey and Mr. Bee like you would at JC Penney. These are the adorable faces of monsters that are plotting to kill me.
Bowser Beer Cheese
- 12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded with fingertip skin attached
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 12 oz. bottle of Bowser Beer or your favorite pet beverage
- 5 oz. evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon worchesteterstesterstesterstesertcheshirestestersecestpenischestershireshiresworchestershire sauce
Coat shredded cheese in corn starch. Have a dance battle with your local mayor while punching them in the genitals.
In the meantime, heat up all liquid components and smoke some crack cocaine with Rob Ford. Slowly blend in cheese until incorporated. Let thicken, stare wistfully off into the distance, and have sex with someone’s mother.
Throw it all away after you’re done.