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Crocking Your Ribs

Slow cooked ribs, Mavericks Brewing and Beer Connoisseur

Summer is barbecue season, but sometimes it’s just too hot to move. And if you’re cooking ribs, it means you’re monitoring a hot grill for hours outside in the heat. Doing it indoors doesn’t help – heat  up the oven and you heat up the kitchen.

The good news is that there’s a way to have fall-off-the-bone perfection in the middle of summer without breaking a sweat. It just takes a little prep up front and a slow cooker on low.  

Chef Gaston Alfaro, the Executive Chef of the Mavericks Event Center in Half Moon Bay, California, is all about unique approaches to crafting food. He’s been in the restaurant industry for thirty years and prides himself on concocting new and creative food combinations. He even calls his kitchen his laboratory.

These days, Chef Alfaro puts his experimental approach to use when collaborating with the brewers at Half Moon Bay Brewing ( and Mavericks Brewing ( That’s how he came up with his Tunnel Vision IPA BBQ Sauce recipe, which incorporates Mavericks’ IPA.

Chef Alfaro’s recipe calls for cooking the ribs using a smoker or barbecue instructions, but since the mercury is up and the pool is calling, you can easily make it in a slow cooker instead.

Start with the barbecue sauce. You can do this several weeks in advance. Bottled up and kept in the fridge, it should last several months—unless, of course, you use it all up before then.

The evening before cooking day, follow Chef Alfaro’s directions for seasoning the ribs with the rub. Wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray. Take the ribs out of the fridge and cut them to a size that fits your slow cooker. Layer the pieces one on top of the other inside the bowl.

Measure about a cup and a half of barbecue sauce and pour it over the ribs. Put the lid on and turn the heat to low. Leave it to cook for about six hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.

Serve with whatever sides you like. I prefer coleslaw and corn. The beer of choice for these ribs is Mavericks Tunnel Vision IPA. If you can’t find it in your neck of the woods, try a citrusy IPA that’s local to you.

Mavericks BBQ Sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cups chili sauce

1⁄2 cup Tunnel Vision IPA

1/3 cup yellow mustard

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1-1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger

1-1⁄2 teaspoons black pepper

1-1⁄2 teaspoons onion powder

1-1⁄2 teaspoons Chinese five spice

1-1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder

1-1⁄2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1⁄4 cup achiote paste dissolved in 1⁄4 cup cold water


Blend all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a medium-sized saucepan and simmer on low for 1.5 hours.

Mavericks Smoked Ribs

3 full racks of ribs

1⁄2 cup paprika

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder

Combine ingredients well. Using the back of a knife, remove membrane from ribs by sliding knife underneath. Season ribs all over with rub, concentrating on the meatier portion and rubbing seasoning well into the ribs.

Cook per your smoker or barbecue instructions. Once cooked, baste on both sides well with Mavericks BBQ sauce.