Beer Pairings for the Week of December 14th, 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:
Chicken Pot Pie with Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
Stouts are a beer with a reputation for being big and serious. The term "stout" originally had no relation to color but was given to any strong beer regardless of color- pretty much the way we use "high gravity" to describe high alcohol beers today. With this classic comfort food dish, you want a dark beer that brings some chocolate malt goodness.
Suggestion: Green Flash Double Stout, San Diego, California
Veggie & Eggs Skillet with Brown Rice
Eggs and kegs, right? Seriously, this is a dish that screams for a saison. Like all traditional beer styles there is a great deal of controversy and saisons are no exception. Some beer historians maintain they were brewed with late season malt and whatever else the farmers could find to add to the boil. The goal was to produce a higher alcohol beer and aggressively hop it so that it would be drinkable through the long winter. The veggies in this dish will benefit from the sweet taste of the beer and the hop bitterness will add a little bite.
Suggestion: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Brooklyn, New York
Roasted Cauliflower, Fennel & Wheat Salad
When people think of French farmhouse style beers they tend to think of a beer that is lighter in color. There is, however, no requirement for it to be a light colored beer. Darker malts make darker beers while adding a depth of flavor that proves difficult for a lighter beer to match. The beer we recommend pairing with this dish brings a cherry flavor that should play well with the licorice flavor of the fennel.
Suggestion: Ommegang Upside Brown, Cooperstown, New York
Pork Chops & Spicy Collards Sandwich with Sweet Potato Wedges
Hefeweizens are about as German a beer as you can have. Brewed from wheat instead of barley, you get a sweeter beer. The yeast adds a banana-like aroma to the dish. Breaded pork chops, or as they are called in Deutschland- "schnitzel," are made to be paired with a hefeweizen.
Suggestion: Weihenstephaner Vitus, Freising, Germany
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