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It’s the sort of day that California is famous for; the gentle breeze makes the overhead palms create dancing shadows on the ground. The beats blaring from your phone’s speakers mixes with a familiar “click” and low ripple, as the gas grill’s fire ignites. The condensation that’s accumulated on the outside of the cold glass you’re holding slowly moseys its way down to the side of your hand before hitting the pavement with a satisfying hiss. You close your eyes and take a deep breath, filling your nose with smells of salty air, orange blossoms and charred vegetables. Suddenly your stomach rumbles.

There really isn’t anything on a beautiful California day comparable to a burger and a beer. It’s a symbol of simple comforts, leisure, and freedom. In Ventura County we’re graced with a wonderful abundance of skilled micro-breweries that have seemingly sprung up out of nowhere like a field of Matilija poppies, and while we also can lay claim to dozens of excellent restaurants to grab a burger, there’s something to be said about flipping patties in your own backyard.

So, let’s let the sunshine in and pair some truly unique burger recipes with some all-star brews from a few of our favorite local breweries.

FIRST PAIRING

OJAI VALLEY BREWERY

Sugar Bush Pale Ale

307 Bryant St, Ojai | ojaivalleybrewery.com

Our first beer is from our pals at the Ojai Valley Brewery. Inspired by and created for the Ojai community, the brewers at OVB use indigenous herbs, fruits, and flowers to create memorable brews that have a real knack for connecting people to the ecology of the area and its history. We chose to feature the Sugar Bush, an Ojai Pale Ale with wild foraged Sugar Bush sumac. Used originally by the Chumash and now by the Ojai Valley locals, Sugar Bush sumac berries have a slightly spiced, lemony flavor, which combined with the perfectly balanced floral hops, makes this beer like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

Title

The French Onion Burger

We chose to pair the Sugar Bush with the bold and slightly sweet French Onion Burger. There’s something so comforting and elegant about French Onion Soup. Maybe it’s the sweetness and tanginess coupled with melted cheese and broth saturated bread that feels instantly soothing to a stressful day. This burger helps encapsulate that feeling into a more portable iteration. A simple burger to construct, the magic is made in the French onion spread which is heated on the stove low and slow with yellow onion, brown sugar, beef broth and beer. Paired with the brilliant flavors of the Sugar Bush, the French Onion Burger is an instant favorite for a lovely day.

RECIPE

The French Onion Burger

Yields 6 burgers

INGREDIENTS

French Onion Spread

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb. diced organic yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup pale ale
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Burger Fixings

  • 4 seasoned beef or vegetarian patties
  • horseradish mustard (to taste)
  • mayonnaise (to taste)
  • 6 brioche buns
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • organic red leaf lettuce leaves
DIRECTIONS
  1. Place butter in skillet over medium-low heat until melted. Add onions and cook about 10-15 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add broth, beer, brown sugar, salt, and pepper; stirring occasionally. Cook another 5-10 minutes or until browned and liquid has reduced.
  2. Grill burgers 3-5 minutes per side or until desired done-ness. Melt cheese on top.
  3. Spread French onions on bottom bun. Assemble burger as desired.

SECOND PAIRING

MADEWEST BREWING CO.

The Standard

1744 Donlon St, Ventura | 668 E. Harbor Blvd, Ventura | madewest.com

The founders of MadeWest Brewing Company created The Standard with a very specific mission; to make a beer that is light, crisp, and crushable enough to appeal to the average Ventura beer drinker, but with enough serious depth to tempt the more distinguished of hop-heads. As a result, we’re left with a clean, well-rounded light ale with a modest fruity character due to the European pilsner-influenced hop selection that was chosen for the brewing process. Taking home the Gold in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival for the Blonde or Golden Ale category, The Standard is a flagship blonde ale that continues to be the go-to beer for those that are looking for that perfect balance of clean and complex.

Title

The Sake Burger

What better burger to pair a crisp, light beer with than the savory, Japanese inspired Sake Burger? At first glance, this burger looks pretty straight-forward, almost boring; two buns, some sort of sauce, a patty, and some shredded cabbage. Yawn. However, once you sink your teeth in, your taste buds will snap to attention in a beautifully unusual way. The ground beef is kneaded with red miso, diced leeks, soy sauce, and yes, sake, which gives this deceptively simple burger it’s addictive umami flavor.

RECIPE

The Sake Burger

Yields 6 burgers

INGREDIENTS

Burger Patties

  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef
    (substitute Impossible Burger ground “meat” for a vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced organic leeks
  • 4 tbsp sake
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Okonomiyaki Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp local honey

Burger Fixings

  • Burger Fixings
  • mayonnaise
  • shredded cabbage
  • 6 brioche buns
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large bowl mix ground beef with the leek, breadcrumbs, sake, soy sauce, red miso paste and egg with your hands until well combined.
  2. Grill burgers 3-5 minutes per side or until desired done-ness.
  3. Assemble remainder of burger as desired.

THIRD PAIRING

LEASHLESS BREWING

May Grey Hazy IPA

585 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura | leashlessbrewing.com

Leashless Brewing is Ventura’s first, and only, certified organic brewery. In fact, they’re the only certified organic brewery between San Diego and Santa Cruz. Rooted in the mission to be environmentally conscious and sustainably minded, they source their ingredients from agriculturally responsible farms who implement practices that have a positive impact on the planet. The downtown Ventura taproom offers a full gamut of delicious brews, with even a few gluten- free or gluten-reduced varieties for those seeking the option. Among these tasty suds is the May Grey Hazy IPA, the perfect summertime beer. This double dry- hopped hazy is a juicy grapefruit bomb with a smooth and luscious mouth-feel that puts you immediately into a lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer frame of mind.

Title

The Autumn Burger

Now, why would we pair a summertime beer with an autumn flavored burger? Because in California, our summer transitions into fall with all the effort of throwing on a light sweater. When October rolls around, you’ll notice a general fondness of plaid prints and pumpkin spiced something-or-other accompanied by a deep longing for fall leaves that most of us native Southern Californians have yet to experience. Enter the Autumn Burger, a culinary answer to our SoCal prayers. The ground beef is combined with sweet, grated apples and topped with sharp white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and hickory BBQ sauce, offering a small window into one of our more under-experienced seasons. The fresh citrus from the May Grey pairs beautifully with the sweet and salty burger and honestly, helps knock us back into reality a little bit.

RECIPE

The Sake Burger

Yields 6 burgers

INGREDIENTS

Burger Patties

  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef
    (substitute Impossible Burger ground “meat” for a vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced organic leeks
  • 4 tbsp sake
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Okonomiyaki Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp local honey

Burger Fixings

  • Burger Fixings
  • mayonnaise
  • shredded cabbage
  • 6 brioche buns
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large bowl mix ground beef with the leek, breadcrumbs, sake, soy sauce, red miso paste and egg with your hands until well combined.
  2. Grill burgers 3-5 minutes per side or until desired done-ness.
  3. Assemble remainder of burger as desired.

For more local favorites and recommendations for the 805 or to speak with a local LIV Sotheby’s International Realty real estate expert, visit us at livsothebysrealtyca.com or give us a call at 805.507.0074.