Recipes for Blithering Idiots and Old Numbskulls

Recipes for Blithering Idiots and Old Numbskulls

Blithering Idiot used to be a derogatory term. That was before Weyerbacher Brewing Company gave their English Barleywine the moniker. At 11.1% alcohol by volume, it has the firepower to halt the reflexes on a Ninja Master with blinding speed. Cherries, oranges and dark rum hit the palate, wrapped in English toffee and roasted malt, followed by warmth that soothes the throat and flows outward to the extremities.

Old Numbskull might also have implied stupidity at one time, but AleSmith Brewing of San Diego, California has raised it to center stage as an American Barleywine of superior distinction. Its vermillion brilliance immediately grabs attention as it spills into a bulbous snifter from its sexy ebony bottle. Aromas of caramel malt, honey, orange liqueur, molasses and rum seduce with firm intention; then tantalize the taste buds with all those juicy flavors, pulled back by hoppiness drenched in pine resin and floral notes.

Barleywine, whether English or American, resonates with assertive complexity. It can be aged for years, enjoyed as a night cap, or paired with juicy meats or spicy cakes. You might even like to sprinkle holiday pumpkin bread with its boozy sweetness .

Nothing stimulates the desire for a quenching beer more than peanuts or hot-and-spicy Cajun-style Chex Mix. Why not dress either up with a touch of Barleywine? At the Great American Beer Festival in 2011, Philly Beer Geek 2011 Natalie DeChico and Beer Fox Carolyn Smagalski presented a show, at the Craft Beer and Food Pavilion, focused on a beer bar for the sweet tooth. Blithering Idiot Peanuts were the rage of the day, along with Cajun Style Chex Mix made with barleywine. The recipes are easy and the compliments just keep coming. Best of all, they taste great paired up with the same kick-butt barleywine that inspired the recipes.

Blithering Idiot Peanuts Recipe


2 lbs. shelled peanuts

4 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
4 oz. Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
¼ teaspoon cinnamon


PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

In small saucepan over low/medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly. Add Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barley Wine, salt, Tabasco sauce, and cinnamon. Stir in peanuts to evenly coat.

Spread sugared peanuts in a single layer on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350° F. oven for 15-20 minutes. Watch peanuts carefully. Do not allow mixture to smoke or burn.

Cool in single layer on buttered waxed paper.

Blend with Old Numbskull Cajun Style Chex mix and drink with your favorite brew.

Old Numbskull Cajun Style Chex Mix Recipe


2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups bite-sized pretzel twists
1 cup bagel chips
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon Old Numbskull Barley Wine
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cups Blithering Idiot Peanuts


MIX cereal, pretzel twists, and bagel chips in a large microwavable bowl.

In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter, uncovered, on High about 40 seconds or until melted.

STIR IN Creole seasoning, Old Numbskull Barleywine, and Tabasco sauce. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

MICROWAVE uncovered on High 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Add Blithering Idiot Peanuts. Store in airtight container.


Pulse in food processor until well blended:

2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons dried sweet basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery seed
5 tablespoons sweet paprika


The perfect party tub for beer or snacks for a crowd
Zak Designs Large Party Tub, White

Brandy Snifters for Barleywine: the perfect glass for a big beer
Lenox Tuscany Brandy Glasses, Set of 4

You Should Also Read:
Beer Float Recipes - Sweet Seduction
Beer & Cheese : Do you know this cheese?
Breakfast Beer

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This content was written by Carolyn Smagalski. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carolyn Smagalski for details.