Beer Pairings for the Week of February 22nd, 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:
Cassarecce Pasta with Oyster Mushrooms, Chevre & Spinach
Sours exist in many forms from the light tangy Berliner Weisse to the dark sour fruity gueuze. We have come to believe the lighter tangy sours such as Berliner Weisse bring an acidic quality which makes pairing them interesting. In this dish, the sour from the beer should complement the tang of the goat cheese and make that lemon shine a little more.
Suggestion: Bells Oarsman, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Georgia Local Recommendation: Creature Comforts Athena, Athens, Georgia
Beef Mushroom Fettuccine with Red Pepper, Arugula & Parmesan
The Paulaner Order of Monks loved their doppelbock so much that rather than give it up for Lent they shipped some to the Pope. Fortunately, for the monks, the beer spoiled on the way and the Pope proclaimed it so disgusting that it must be good for you. Thanks to poor refrigeration it stayed on the monk's table at Lent under the moniker of “liquid bread”. History aside a hearty winter meal will benefit from a strong sweet doppelbock that is Pope-approved.
Suggestion: Duck-Rabbator Doppelbock, Farmville, North Carolina
Tex-Mex Black Bean & Blue Corn Tortilla Soup
The snark in us wants to recommend a macro adjunct lager and point out that you can make beer from corn, but this dish deserves better. For this dish, we are going to recommend a hefeweizen because they pair wonderfully with Tex-Mex flavors. The sweet will play lovely with the lime juice much like a squeezed lime does in a hefeweizen.
Suggestion: Widmer Hefeweizen, Portland, Oregon
Chicken & Collard Gravy with Grits
Obviously, a dish paying homage to the Low Country needs a cold beer. While lagering was rather difficult in the South Carolina heat, we think anyone who has experienced it would tell you about the need for cold beer. For this dish, you want a crisp lager that will cleanse the palate to enjoy each creamy bite.
Suggestion: Anchor California Lager, San Francisco, 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