If you're looking for something a little more creative than a Bellini and scrambled eggs, consider a Mother's Day celebration that forgoes the grape in favor of the grain. Invite Mom over for a beer brunch. Here's what to make and which beers to serve alongside each dish.
What better way to woo your sweetest than a multi-course meal paired with beer? Skip the restaurant prix fixe scams and get cozy at home, cooking an aphrodiasical dinner together and sipping some delicious beer parings alongside each dish.
Whether you're hosting a cookie swap party or delivering some gifts by way of reindeer-and-chimney, consider pouring a beer alongside your holiday dessert.
You had the decapitated mannequin in the front yard. The spooky lighting was lit. The creepy sound effects record from the 1960s was blaring from the turntable. You were set to scare the heck out of some unsuspecting trick-or-treaters and then reward their fearlessness with a bounty of sugary treats. The only problem was, not many kids showed up. Now what? You're stuck with buckets and bags full of candy. Might as well throw a party and serve all that candy with beer.
A well-made brown ale is a symphony of toffee, nuts, and toast. It's the ideal partner for fall foods, when meals start to take on a little more heft; not quite the hearty comfort food of winter, but also not the corn salads of summer.
Pumpkin beers are simultaneously the most beloved and most reviled concoctions in the pantheon of seasonal brews. But pumpkin beer can be an ideal pairing for some of our favorite autumn meals. Read on for a few suggestions.
With the release of seasonal beers being pushed ever earlier on the calendar, mid-August usually marks the appearance of Oktoberfest on the shelves. I even saw one in mid-July this year. While some will grouse about this seasonal-creep, I don't mind so much. I would gladly drink Oktoberfest beers all year long. Here are a few dishes I like to cook up when I've got Märzenbier on hand.
It was sometime around midnight at the start of the fifth South Park episode of the night when the hunger began to take hold. Swooping and screeching and diving into cupboards, we searched the kitchen for something to eat. The situation was desperate. We needed junk food. A convenience-store stumble was our only hope.
Riddle me this. What beer style manages stratospheric alcohol content while simultaneously remaining fresh enough for summer sipping? Belgian tripel, that's what. This unique combination of strength and drinkability makes tripels fantastic with food.
It's hot! I don't want to sound like I'm whining, but really, it's hot. Even here in chilly Minnesota this season has been one for the record books. I think I need a beer; something crisp, light, lively and refreshing. Saison is the perfect choice.
Independence Day is the ultimate cookout day; family and friends gathered in the backyard, food, fun, and fireworks. Plus, the day wouldn't be complete without a cold brew (or three) to wash down all that grilled meat. Here are a few pointers to help you make the most of your patriotic pairings.
In my world, Pilsner is the perfect beer. Poured into a tall, tapered glass and capped with a fluffy inch of white foam, its brilliant golden hue has a way of making me seriously thirsty. It's also a great accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.
Wheat beers tend to be a love-'em-or-leave-'em proposition. People either like them or they don't. For some it's the sharp taste of the wheat that turns them either on or off. For others it's the banana and clove flavors of the yeast used in German varieties. But it's these very peculiar properties of wheat beers that make them fantastically food friendly and perfect for lighter summer fare.
With their hopped-up intensity they easily overwhelm most foods and seem harsh and astringent with many dishes that can stand up to them. For my palate they're a bit too bitter and boozy for sweet dishes and add too much fuel to the fire for spicy. But that doesn't mean you should take double IPA out of your pairing toolbox altogether.
These beers turn up the volume on flavor, so they need dishes with similar intensity to stand up. When pairing IPA with food you have three basic flavor hooks at your disposal; bitterness, hop flavor (spicy, grassy, herbal, earthy, and citrus), and caramel. Hop flavors have a great affinity for spices and light fruits. Bitterness has a cooling affect. Paired with spicy dishes, IPA will fan the flames at first, but douse them in the end. Bitterness also amplifies salty and umami flavors. The caramel flavors in the beer will latch onto the sweeter side of a dish, tying into things like caramelized onion or the crispy skins of roast poultry. And the hop acids and carbonation make IPAs great palate cleansers to take on even the fattiest deep-fried delights.
St. Patty's Day is here again. This holiday perhaps more than any other—particularly the religious ones—is associated with drinking beer. It's a suds-fueled release of energies pent-up during Lent's long days of denial. Another important part of this Saint's day celebration is the adoption of certain "traditionally Irish" foods. Sounds to me like the perfect excuse to create some tasty beer and food pairings.
Beer and cheese have a natural affinity. In fact, they are almost the same thing. Both start with grass; barley and wheat in the case of beer, and actual grass in the case of cheese. Putting together a beer and cheese tasting is as easy as assembling an assortment of cheeses of different textures and types and choosing a bevy of beers to go with them. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
As a general rule, when pairing beer with chocolates, you want to go rich and go malty. The toast, roast, caramel, and chocolate flavors of malt-forward beers are a perfect match for the decadent creaminess of truffles or the bitter bite of high-cocoa chocolate. Tart fruit lambics are also fun partners for chocolate treats: they beautiful balance the richness of creamy ganache fillings. But don't ignore the bitter brews completely: roasty beers can work the way the coffee does with sweets, and in combination with the right dessert, a balanced IPA can be just the thing to make your tastebuds swoon.
Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner, and that means all-day parties with friends, food, and most importantly, beer. When picking your Super Bowl suds, remember that you're likely to have a few and you don't want to burn out too early. Session beers are the way to go. Save the high-test super-beers for another day, and choose brews with a high drinkability quotient. Beers that are too heavy or too hoppy will fill you up and fry your palate. Here are a few recommended beers to sip with your favorite Super Bowl snacks.
"I don't feel like cooking tonight. Let's grab some take-out." Who hasn't said that at least once? No matter how much you like to cook, sometimes you just aren't feeling it. In those instances, a delivery pizza or a jog around the corner for Chinese is just the ticket. While you're out, pick up some beer. But what beer to choose? Here are some general pointers to help you find a good match for whatever dishes you're ordering.
In many households it's turkey at Thanksgiving and ham at Christmas. For my family that nearly always means a ham that's succulent and honey-glazed. The sweet/savory combination of salt, smoke, porcine richness, and caramelized honey make for a pretty delicious meal. Of course, I like to make it even better with beer.
The Thanksgiving feast is over. The pile of turkey bones on your plate rivals a specimen drawer at the natural history museum. You've stuffed yourself to the gullet and you've washed it down with a delightful biére de garde or Belgian tripel. You're done. You're satisfied. But wait! There's pie! And how can say no to pie? Especially when there's beer to go with it.
Too many people think that beer is great for everyday dining, but reach for wine when it comes to special occasions. The notion is that grape is a more comely companion to the elegant feast than grain. 50 years of pale yellow swill has so deeply ingrained this delusion into our collective psyche that even some otherwise-avid beer fans forget themselves on Thanksgiving Day. But truth be told, beer's range of flavors makes it a much better match for turkey and trimmings than many would expect.
Whether it's takeout or you've made it yourself, pad thai provides a symphony of flavors. There are fresh, green flavors from scallion, sweetness from sugar and tamarind, and umami from fish sauce, meat, egg, and/or tofu. Peanuts add a nutty inflection, while lime juice brings a bit of balancing acidity. And let's face it, there's some oil to cope with, too. That's a lot to consider when searching for a delicious beverage pairing.
There's a nippy chill in the air, at least here in the Northland where I live. It's time to turn away from the lighter fare of summer in favor of those cozy comfort foods that carry us through the winter. What could be more comforting than macaroni and cheese? Mac and cheese is also the perfect food for the darker, fuller-bodied beers of the season—balanced beers with brown and orange hues that match with the colors of autumn.
perhaps the most distinctive aspect of sahti brewing was its use of juniper. Traditionally made using a hollowed-out log known as a kuurna (in modern brewing parlance, this would equate to a lauter tun, where the grain would be separated out from the liquid wort resulting from the mashing process), the wort would be strained through juniper twigs or boughs, imparting a green, herbal flavor. The addition of hops was usually skipped in favor of this step, although some formulations contained both hops and juniper. Another peculiarity was that baker's yeast was typically used instead of a more common brewer's yeast, often imparting something of a sour flavor.
You've seen this right? Charlie Sheen has his own parody cooking show on Funny or Die: "This is not a spatula. It's a cooking wand — for a warlock. ... This is not a bowl. It is a cauldron — of awesomeness."
Apples and beer have a long intermingled history. In Germany, you'll see Frassbraus, a nonalcoholic beverage made from malt extract, apples, and spices. Belgians include apples in their pomme lambics. The British mix up an apple shandy called the Snakebite. So it's only natural that today's brewers and cidermakers are bringing apples and beer together again. We recently had a chance to sit down and explore a few of these beverage hybrids.