It was an honour to present Luxy’s Beer-cathalon featuring my Wheel of Beer at Beau’s School of Bock at their annual Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill this past weekend. Despite the rain, 17,000 muddy patrons came out to raise money for local charities, eat fantastic German fare, and drink steins of Beau’s brews. Hands-down best Oktoberfest in the country, I was lucky to persuade my sister, Tara Luxmore, to join me.

Below you’ll find some snaps from the weekend (we like to eat, lots).

And, by popular demand, here’s the recipe for the Gingerbread I baked for the Beer School. I lifted the recipe from epicurious, who in turn lifted it from the Gramercy Tavern in New York City. I used Beau’s Matt’s Sleepytime Belgian Imperial Stout for the beer.

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread
with Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Matt’s Sleepytime Stout

I really dig gingerbread, but until now I haven’t found a killer recipe. Pastry chef at the Gramercy Tavern, Claudia Fleming, has nailed it. The secret? Beer! Beer! Beer! The result is a cake that’s super moist with a hot, spicy kick. Yum.


1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Special equipment:

a 10-inch (10- to 12-cup) bundt pan


unsweetened whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream.

Cooks’ Notes:

This recipe was tested with Grandma’s brand green-label molasses.
Gingerbread is better if made a day ahead. It will keep 3 days, covered, at room temperature.