Beer Pairings for the Week of December 7th, 2015
Looking for the perfect brew to go along with your PeachDish meals? We've got you covered. We've partnered with the owners of BeerGirl, a local Atlanta shop, to help you select the perfect beverage. BeerGirl's passionate owners, Alexia Ryan and Erik Lewis opened their shop with the dream of connecting the people of their community with delicious craft beer from the South and beyond. Here are this week's suggested pairings:
Nicole Taylor’s Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberry & Pecan
Brewers love flavoring porters because the darker malts can handle a wide range of flavors. Nuts, in particular, are a good flavor because they can be added directly to the boil. Once boiled they can be filtered, along with the spent grain, out of the wort during the move to fermentation. A pecan flavored beer will bring out the pecan flavors in the dish and avoid overshadowing the tart cranberry.
Suggestion: Clown Shoes Coffee Pecan Pie Porter, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Tagliatelle Pasta, Blue Cheese & Walnuts
Barley wines are an ancient style of beer. Historians attribute them to the Greeks and Romans, both looking for wine substitutes. The style languished until the eighteenth century when British brewers started marketing it to wine drinkers themselves, thinking a higher alcohol beer appealing. Hoppy in character with over the top caramel flavor, it is not a beer that I would think appealed to many wine drinkers beyond the higher alcohol content. The sweet caramel flavor pairs with the salty blue cheese and calms some of the bitterness from the swiss chard.
Suggestion: Victory Old Horizontal, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Georgia Local Recommendation: Red Brick Beard Envy, Atlanta, Georgia
Roasted Salmon Filets with Celery Root, & Pear
When people speak of cider they almost always think of apple cider, however, cider can be made with pears. Perry, the traditional name for pear cider, has existed in one form or another since the Romans invaded England. This dish already possesses a strong pear component which we will pair with a dry perry to avoid detracting from the bitter radicchio or overpowering the salmon.
Suggestion: William’s Sir Perry, Shepton Mallet, England
Orange-Glazed Turkey Meatballs with Ginger Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli
Beer is full of misconceptions such as lager means a light colored beer and dark means a heavy beer. Lager does not mean light colored but rather a beer fermented at a lower temperature using a bottom fermenting yeast. Dark does not mean the beer will be heavy but that it has a darker malt bill making a sweeter beer. A dark lager's sweetness will play well with sweet potatoes without detracting from the turkey.
Suggestion: Session Black, Hood River Oregon
Hanger Steak with Mushroom-Shallot Sauce, Kale & Apple Salad
Bourbon barrel aging grants a stout the opportunity to soak up caramel and charred flavors left in bourbon barrels. Barrel aging is all the rage in many styles of beer, but malty stouts really shine when aged in bourbon barrels. The meaty steak texture and umami from the mushrooms will pair perfectly with the sweetness from a barrel aged stout.
Suggestion: Full Sail Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout Bomber, Hood River, Oregon
Zeb Stevenson's Chicken & Dumplings
"Extra" means a beer brewed for a foreign market. Drier and roastier in character, Dutch Extra Stouts almost disappeared when Heineken bought the last brewery brewing them in 2000 and promptly proceeded to retire the style. Luckily, tales of their demise were greatly exaggerated as other Dutch brewers picked up the torch. For a creamy dish, like Chicken & Dumplings, dry will work because a sweet stout would get lost in the background.
Suggestion: Jopen Extra Stout, Haarlem, Netherlands
Mustard Greens & Tasso Potlikker with Noodles
Typically beer is carbonated with carbon dioxide, but nitrogen can also be used. Nitrogenated beer requires a brewer to employ additional gadgetry to get the beer to form the tiny bubble heads associated with nitrogen. This is because nitrogen does not dissolve as readily in beer as carbon dioxide. The tart mustard greens and salty potlikker should have a beer with a soft mouthfeel so those dominate flavors will shine.
Suggestion: Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, Longmont, Colorado
Sweet Potato & Chard Risotto with Parmesan, Rosemary & Nutmeg
Pumpkin beers are the rage this time of year, but pairing a pumpkin beer can be tricky. You get the flavor of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar so most will think dessert. However, pumpkin and sweet potato are like flavors so they complement each other without diminishing the bitterness of the chard.
Suggestion: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Milton, Delaware