Beer Pairings for the Week of February 15th, 2016
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:
Beef Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw, Radish & Lime
So why is Mexico all about lagers? Well, a little history: when you are the younger brother of an Austrian Arch-Duke there is little room in the family business for you, so in a shady deal with Napoleon, you become Emperor of Mexico. What do you do? You bring Vienna with you and hence, lagers arrived in Mexico. A crisp lager will complement these tacos letting them take center stage.
Suggestion: Brooklyn Lager, New York City, New York
Tuscan Cannellini Bean & Kale Stew
Porters were viewed as a workingman's beer. Strong beer for strong fellows doing back breaking work. Traditionally porters tend to be drier than stouts which also made them ideal for blending with beer that was going bad. Less residual sugars from fermentation meant there was not a whole lot of sugar left in a porter to feed a yeast infection. For a hearty dish, a roasted porter always goes well with umami.
Suggestion: Anchor Porter, San Francisco, California
Curry Spiced Chicken with Saffron-Barberry Rice & Creamy Cucumber Salad
Cue up the IPA: it's curry, right? Sure we have gone over the history of IPAs and India, but that isn’t what makes them good for spicy food. Bitterness is a hard contrast to the heat which means spicy food stands out more when paired with a bitter IPA. With this pairing, we will let the beer contrast the spicy curry and leave the cooling to the creamy cucumber salad.
Suggestion: Uinta Hop Nosh, Salt Lake City, Utah
Sautéed Broccolini with Beet Rice, Citrus & Cashews
Why do ales have so many colors? Well, the obvious answer has to do with the color of the malt being used. Brown malts produce brown ales and sometimes amber ales, but that is a discussion for another day. We like brown ales because they bring a nutty flavor to the party which we think will complement the cashews.
Suggestion: Stone Drew & Steve’s Imperial Mutt Brown Ale, Escondido, California
Spicy Puttanesca, Orecchiette, with Olives & Pecorino
The classic answer to this pairing would be to equate the tannins in a chianti to hops and choose an IPA. Kinda boring for a pairing. In this dish we would prefer to complement the fruity tomato with a fruity Belgian yeast. Consider a farmhouse ale. Yes, they have hops, but they also have fruity yeast esters that will complement the fruity tomato.
Suggestion: Ommegang Hennepin, Cooperstown, New York
Beef Hot Pot with Asian Greens, Ginger and Potatoes
Serious beer fans often look down upon the wheat beer. Wheat beers tend to be sweeter with little emphasis on hop bitterness. Beer is about more than one dimension. Why do we like wheat beers? They are wonderful as a conveyance for other flavors. When you are at a bar ask the bartender if he would muddle some mint and add it to a wheat beer. Trust us, you will love it. As for this dish, I think a little lemon grass will make the ginger pop.
Georgia Local Recommendation: Second Self Thai Wheat, Atlanta, Georgia
Suggestion: Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, Kansas City, Missouri (try adding some mint to it)
Virginia Willis' Smothered & Covered Chicken with Herb Grits and Celery Salad
Lactose has many uses in beer. You can take the lactic acid and sour a beer, or use the lactose sugar to sweeten a beer. Wait, wouldn’t the yeast just eat the sugar and make more alcohol? Lactose sugar is un-fermentable which means adding it not only allows the brewer to add the milk monicker but also to sweeten the beer without increasing the alcohol content. Milk stouts are the comfort food of beer and will complement the “smothering.”
Suggestion: Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro, Longmont, Colorado
Got to say this is a tough meal for a beer pairing, however, we are up to the task. Brewers love to experiment which leads us to kombucha beer. Is kombucha beer really a beer or is it just hopped kombucha tea? Well, that question is certainly up for debate, but if you are a fan of sour beers and kombucha it might just be your new go-to drink. With the cornucopia of flavors in this dish, a tart beer with its own superfood might be just the ticket.
Suggestion: Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer, Ypsilanti, Michigan