Item: Colonel Pabst All-Malt Amber Lager Worcestershire
Overall Impression: A condiment with hipster cred, the main ingredient in this Worcestershire sauce is — you guessed it — beer! It’s a mellow, rich brew, perfect for adding to meatloaf, Sloppy Joes, burgers, and cocktails.
Worcestershire is one of those great condiments that rounds out the flavor of any dish it goes into. It has a magical trifecta of flavor-boosting attributes: salty, savory, and sweet. It’s often the secret ingredient I reach for to round out a marinade, flavor a batch of burgers or meatballs, or season a vinaigrette, and there is always a bottle of it in my kitchen.
The Quick Facts
Characteristics and specs: An artisanal, small-batch Worcestershire sauce that comes in a pretty, apothecary-style 16-ounce bottle. The first ingredient is an award-winning amber lager from Lakefront Brewery, distinguishing it from grocery store brands.
Favorite details: Viscous and rich, a little goes a long way when flavoring favorite foods and cocktails. Molasses and Demerara sugar give it a sweet finish.
Potential problems: Col Pabst is noticeably saltier than Lee & Perrins, so you may want to pass on this brand (or use sparingly) if you are watching your sodium. Also, it contains wheat and soy.
Splurge-worthy? Sure! Why not? It'd make a great housewarming gift for someone with a penchant for mixing up a Bloody Mary or grill marinade.
This is a Pabst family recipe, and it's noticeably more complex than the Worcestershire sauce I grew up using. It gets a lot of sweetness from ingredients I haven't seen in any other versions, including beer, Demerara sugar, and tomato paste. Tabasco sauce, soy sauce, sea salt, and the traditional anchovy paste are responsible for the extra sodium content and hit of savory umami.
The label lists "spices," which definitely include the traditional cloves that round out the Worcestershire-y flavor profile. There are also hints of curry, ginger, and other aromas I can't quite pin down.
My favorite use for the sauce so far has been in these meatballs, which I whipped up for a weeknight dinner. Two tablespoons of Worcestershire was plenty to flavor a pound of ground beef. It added a savory background note that made me want to go back for just one more meatball, and then just one more after that.
I find that I'm using the sauce much more sparingly than I normally would, which isn't a bad thing! This pint-sized bottle will last me a long time, and I look forward to trying it out in lots of different recipes.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.