Beer Pairings for the Week of March 21st, 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:
Thai-Style Beef Salad
The citrus character and delicate mouth feel of a drier wheat beer makes it a great accompaniment to salads made with citrus based dressing. Ayinger Brauweisse is considered a “brut” beer and has a slightly tart palate with almost champagne-like effervescence that will enhance all the Thai flavors in this dish.
Suggestion: Ayinger Brauweisse, Aying, Bavaria, Germany
Roasted Carrots & Broccolini with Brown Rice
Added sugar has a long been a brewing tradition (just ask our friends the Belgians). Adding sugar to beer allows for a relatively high alcohol content from lighter grains. For this dish of sweet carrots, sorghum, and nutty brown rice we suggest a beer that complements the sweet.
Suggestion: Bruery Autumn Maple, Placentia, California
Bulgur Wheat Salad with Arugula & Apricots
The Hop Crisis of 2008. Yes, there was a worldwide hop crisis. In the 1990’s the cost to grow hops was more than a farmer could make selling hops. Lots of hop acreage was converted to more profitable crops. Fast forward to the craft beer craze in the mid 2000’s and you have the perfect storm for not enough hops for craft beer in 2008. Out of those dark days, previously available but overlooked hops such as the Sorachi Ace were discovered. Originally developed by Sapporo brewery this hop is not only a bittering agent but also lends lemon and pepper flavors. We recommend a beer that highlights the peppery aspect of Sorachi Ace as a wonderful complement to a peppery arugula dish.
Suggestion: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Brooklyn New York
Creamy Farfalle Pasta with Chicken, Spinach & Red Peppers
Why are tripels light while dubbels and quads are dark? Well for one tripels are brewed with a combination of lighter malts including wheat. In addition, tripels have no added caramelized sugar which keeps them relatively light in color. Wheat is a natural complement to goat cheese so we suggest a wheaty tripel.
Suggestion: Victory Golden Monkey, Downington, Pennsylvania
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