Music merchandise has gone way beyond the realm of the humble button badge. Beyonce has her own highly lucrative perfume range. Should any Beliebers feel the urge to see Justin’s image on a shower curtain they need only whip out the credit card. And the rock band Kiss released a customized coffin emblazoned with their imagery all over it.
Putting singer songwriter Frank Turner’s wheat beer into that context doesn’t actually make his product sound too odd. But considering he is an ex graduate of the London School of Economics, is this brew part of his corporate masterplan for world domination? “I learned nothing of economics in college! The Signature Brew Company approached me about the concept of releasing a beer together, what guy in the world would say no to that?” To add to that dream partnership, the flavouring selection for the beer was actually done in a boozer. “The master brewer met me in a pub and presented me with a massive array of beers. We opted for a Belgian style wheat beer that has a big citrus kick off it.” Named after his 2010 single, “I Still Believe” Frank’s Wheat Beer Believe is not just a tasty beverage; he assures me that it can be utilized very well for cooking with too. You just have to make certain that you don’t consume them all before you get any into the food.
PORK SHOULDER COOKED IN FRANK TURNER’S BEER
3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
1 bottle of Frank Turner’s Believe or any other good wheat beer
500 ml of good chicken stock
12 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary cut finely
1 teaspoon of dried sage
2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Heat the olive oil in a pot and set your oven to 120 degrees. Remove any rind off the shoulder and discard it. Cut the pork into fist sized pieces and brown them off in small batches. Remove them with a slotted spoon to keep the fat in the pot. After you’ve browned the pork, peel the shallots and garlic. Slice the shallots into rings and coarsely chop up the garlic. Fry them for 30 seconds before adding in the rosemary, sage, salt and pepper and fry for just a few seconds. Then add in the beer, stock, honey, cranberries, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and sugar and give it a good stir. Raise the heat and when it comes to the boil, throw in the bay leaves, put the lid on the pot and stick it in the oven.
Leave it in for 2 hours, then take it out and give it a stir. Then stick it in for another 1.5 hours. Serve with some buttered baby potatoes and of course, plenty of Frank Turner’s Believe Wheat Beer.
Frank Turner plays The Academy on May 11th
This piece is also available to read in The Irish Times.