Planets Collide Burger/Surly Xtra Citra/Uncle Acid Vol.1

 In Beef, Burgers, Pale Ale, Recipes

Who’s ready for another long-winded edition of “How Did This Burger Get Its Name?” Everyone?! Great! Well, it all started with a peach beer that was included in a sampler box of Shiner beers. Knowing full well that we weren’t going to drink the peach beer but also knowing we wouldn’t just pour it down the drain, we surmised that we would just have to cook with it.   Frankly we’re not sure how a Burger of the Month from years ago at Kumas Corner (named after the band Crowbar) even came up on our Google search, but there it was; grapefruit-soaked peaches, fresh mozz, bacon and jalapeños on one of their infamous burgers.  We had the foundation we were looking for now with just with a few tweaks. Minor ones, but enough to not be able to make this a copycat Crowbar burger.  We love Crowbar though, and wanted to keep the reference; so the Planets Collide burger does just that and also provides an accurate visual as the planets of sweet and salty are on a collision course that collides into this delicious burger of contrasting flavors.   Our version obviously starts by steeping the peaches in peach beer (not grapefruit) and we also opted to use smoked mozzarella (instead of fresh) and grilled jalapeño (instead of raw.)  We left the bacon unchanged because…well, it’s bacon.  A big sweet & spicy can’t be paired with anything else BUT a juicy, hoppy IPA and when said IPA is the Xtra City from Surly you know you’re already in for burger and beer nirvana.  That being the case, not just any album would do on this evening.  It needed to be something huge, preferably from one of our favorite bands and oh, if it also happened to be a highly anticipated new release, that would be just about perfect wouldn’t it?  We’ve just described the re-release of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Vol.1; a previously impossible to find woefully under-produced demo that got the treatment it deserved in this amazing new edition.   Get ready for a classic trio this evening, folks.  Time to light the grill, crack a beer and crank the tunes.

Planets Collide Burger – Let’s get the oddest ingredient out of the way first, these boozy peaches.  We thinly slice a Georgia peach and pour enough peach beer on top to cover.  These just sit there for a few hours to soak up the beer.

As the peaches are doing their thing, we can move on to the burgers.  Again, we’re using the 80/20 local grass-fed beef that we season up with our (Not So) Gentle Butcher’s Rub and toss down on a scorching hot charcoal grill along with a fresh jalapeño.

After we’ve got a dark crust on both sides we move the patties to the cool side.

Next we slice up some smoked mozzarella and drape a few slices over each patty.  Close-up the grill and let the cheese melt which will only take a couple minutes.

All that is left to do is build this thing. The cheesy burger goes down on toasted brioche followed by a couple slices of bacon, a few peach wedges and some sliced grilled jalapeño.  In just those three toppings alone you have the epitome of sweet, salty and spicy respectively. Add in the beefy burger and buttery brioche and you have the best of all worlds going on here.

Surly Xtra Citra – We know we’ve riding the Surly train pretty hard around here lately, but do you blame us.  With more and more options being sent southward we’re quick to jump on each new offering and of course want to share that with you all.  We haven’t been more excited about any of their beers than we have been tonight with their killer pale ale Xtra Citra. One of our favorite hops in the world, we knew a Citra-heavy pale ale would be out of this world and that it was.  The beer pours a dark yellow with a wispy white head.  The tropical hop aroma blasts out of the glass as soon as the beer hits it and just gets stronger and more intense as you draw the glass closer to you.   The flavor is a cross between ad mango/raisin sweetness and bitter pine.  It’s a juicy pale ale to be sure, super easy  drinking and delicious.  At only 4.5% ABV this also qualifies as a sessionable beer too; a good thing for as smooth as these can go down.  We couldn’t have picked a better beer to go with the burger either, enough flavor to tame the heat but light enough to not bog down an already huge burger.

Uncle Acid Vol. 1 –  You’d be hard pressed to find a band that over the last few years strung together better albums than Uncle Acid.  With an intoxicating mix of Sabbath and The Beatles delivered through the heavy, dark and trippy vibe machine complete with doomy riffs and a lot of organ.  Vol.1 goes back to the beginning before the band was a household name (at least amongst the Stoner Rock scene) and when the genius was just starting to come together.  The folklore about this early release is the stuff of rock and roll legendary; harkening back to the day of the underground thrash metal tapes of the early 80s. The CDR, on which the original Vol. 1 was recorded, was limited to only a handful of copies and the search for this holy grail of a “debut” was underway.  Now thanks to the good folks at Rise Above Records, the album has been re-produced and re-released resulting in a still insanely raw recording that sounds great.  “Crystal Spiders” is the jazzy, psychedelic opener which features an off-time drum beat as the backbeat with a raw, yet gritty riff to go along with the signature harmonious vocals.  On “Witches Garden” the band goes a little more heavy handed (literally) on the organ and the riff and groove solidify firmly in sludgy doom territory.  The soaring vocals, while up there in range, still possess an eerie quality making this one of the darker songs on the album.  Possibly the disc’s best song is “Dead Eyes of London” which tables in punk and rockabilly behind an insanely catchy riff.  An appropriately creepy carnival-esque organ starts off “Lonely and Strange” before the song turns into what Wings might sound like on a boatload of acid.  “Vampire Circus” is a fun tune that is a cross between Cheap Trick and the 13th Floor Elevators, catchy and tripped out.  A really cool boot-stomping retro groove is the cornerstone of “Do What Your Love Tells You” sharing some commonalities with fellow psych doom rockers Electric Citizen.  The album closes with “Wind up Toys” a very heavy, dark tune with Beatles-y pop sensibility and it sums up what this band’s sound would become during their rise in popularity.

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