Breaking down the vittles at Cheaha Brewery
by By Madasyn Czebiniak
mczebiniak@annistonstar.com
Aug 28, 2013 | 2737 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star
Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star
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At the Cheaha Brewing Company in downtown Anniston, it’s easy to be mesmerized by the ever-changing selection of draft beer. But a beer list is only as good as its menu of bar food.

The pub serves six appetizers called “vittles,” but owner Rodney Snider said he hopes to expand the menu later this year as it will now be open and serving lunch five days a week.

Snider, who believes strongly in community support, said the brewery uses locally grown, raised and prepared ingredients for their dishes and even lists where its ingredients come from on the menu. And though the beer selections change periodically, all — including a number of local brews handcrafted on site — are brewed in Alabama.

Unless you count the Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Aside from locally brewed beers, the pub also offers “Rattlers,” or beer cocktails, which are light beers combined with lemon-flavored sodas like Sprite or 7UP.

Snider said that since Anniston is trying to become known as the “Bike City,” he wanted to have something for cyclists to enjoy after a long day of cycling.

“‘Rattler’ means cycling in German,” Snider said. Each Rattler is light and summery and is between one-half to two-thirds beer. Two Rattlers the pub offers are Grin and Beir It, made of grenadine, beer and Sprite, and the Lunchbox, made of beer, orange juice and amaretto.

Here, Snider gives his take on Cheaha Brewing’s vittles menu and what to indulge in on an evening out.

Veggies & Hummus Platter — $6
• Owner & customer favorite
• Sold out of 1½ gallons on opening night
• Made from local chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and tahini
• Best paired with a Belgian White beer

Pretzels (paired with beer cheese dip and spicy mustard) — $7
• Originally served as two big pretzels but now broken into pretzel sticks
• Vittle most ideal for sharing
• Best paired with lighter beers

Chips and Salsa — $4
• Chef’s suggestion: Try with beer cheese dip and turn the chips into nachos
• Any beer is an ideal pairing

Loaded Waffle Fries — $9
• Comes with Colby & Monterey Jack cheeses but customers can ask for Stilton blue cheese instead
• Owner’s advice: Pair with the in-house chipotle ranch sauce for a spicy kick
• Owner’s inspiration: When visiting Ashley’s, a restaurant and multi-tap pub in Ann Arbor, Mich., he discovered Stilton blue cheese and wanted to incorporate it into his own menu
• Best paired with a Hefeweizen or English mild beer

Bruschetta — $6
• Made from fresh, local baguette, tomato relish, shaved and broiled Parmesan, basil, roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette
• Best paired with an 80 Shilling Scottish Ale

Meat and Cheese Plate — $14
• Often ordered as an entree
• Best paired with an oatmeal stout

Snider offered to share the recipe for his homemade beer cheese dip so customers can enjoy it at home.

BEER CHEESE DIP
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded Colby cheese
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 chopped chipotle pepper with adobo sauce
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces beer (Cheaha uses a pilsner or other lager)

Melt cream cheese in a double boiler. Add shredded cheeses and stir together until melted. Stir in chopped chipotle pepper, beer and salt and pepper. Cook until hot and melted. Keep in a crockpot or another type of cookware to keep warm until serving.

Pair with pretzels, chips, fries or tortilla chips.

Staff Writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3553. On Twitter: @Mczebiniak_Star
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Breaking down the vittles at Cheaha Brewery by By Madasyn Czebiniak
mczebiniak@annistonstar.com

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