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Beer Pairings for the Week of February 13th, 2017

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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:

Filet Mignon over Buttery Mashed Potatoes- Date Night Kit

3 Course Date Night Kit: Filet Mignon over Buttery Mashed Potatoes + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, steak, and chocolate cake, we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. We choose the Baltic Porter for this task with the malt bill of a porter but lagered with bottom feeding yeast. This combination produces a beer with chocolate and coffee notes that drinks amazingly clean. That cleanliness will make the cheese stand out while the coffee and chocolate flavors will pair nicely with the steak and chocolate cake proving beer is a versatile meal companion.

Suggestion: Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter, Farmville, North Carolina

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3 Course Date Night Kit: Spicy Wild Alaskan Cod Curry + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, fish, and chocolate cake we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. (Where have I read that before?) For this combination, we suggest a saison. Why saison? Well to me a saison is like the white wine of the beer world-- able to go from a cheese plate where it clears the palate to the fish course where the sweetness enhances the taste of fish. Finally, at the desert course, the saison brings a little bitterness that highlights the bitterness in chocolate, which is why coffee pairs so well with chocolate dessert.

Suggestion: Blackberry Farm Classic Saison, Walland, Tennessee

Date Night Kit- Creamy Egg Noodles with Mushrooms

3 Course Date Night Kit: Creamy Egg Noodles with Mushrooms + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, mushrooms, and chocolate cake we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. (Why do those same four sentences keep appearing?) For this course, I think we need a hefeweizen. Wheat beers have a long history as a cheese accompaniment, just like wheat crackers. They allow the cheese to shine off of the sweetness of the wheat. For the noodles and mushrooms, a wheat beer will provide a contrast to the umami mushrooms. Finally, for the chocolate cake a hefeweizen will bring a complementary banana flavor to each bite.

Suggestion: Weihenstephaner Vitus, Freising, Germany

Root-Veg Stir-Fry

Root-Veg Stir-fry with Brown Basmati Rice & Benne Seed

The India Pale Ale has a reputation for being a pale beer with a high International Bittering Unit (IBU) value. However, IPAs don't have to be pale. There are IPAs brewed with darker malts that are considered hybrids. For this dish of nutty benne seed and brown rice, we suggest a brown IPA that will complement the nuttiness of the ingredients while adding a little bitterness.

Suggestion: Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, Milton, Delaware

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Tangy-Sweet Chicken Sandwich with Fontina Cheese

Lagers are a staple beer because they taste clean and crisp. This is the primary reason they are such a good beer style to pair with food. Bottom-fermenting yeast working in colder temperature produce that clean and crisp lager flavor. For this dish of fontina and chicken, a crisp lager will allow all the flavors to shine.

Suggestion: Okocim Polish Lager, Brzesko, Poland

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Gulf Shrimp Ravioli with Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper

Pairing beer with pasta can be tricky, especially when we are dealing with flavors beyond tomato sauce. Lighter styles of beer help lighter flavors shine and we can think of no better lighter style of beer for a shrimp pasta than the pilsner. Pilsners are a type of lager that feature a lighter malt bill with a distinctive hop bite.

Georgia Local Recommendation: Arches Pilsner, Hapeville, Georgia Suggestion: Victory Prima Pils, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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Miso Soup with Shiitake, Tofu & Chickpeas

The traditional beer to pair with miso soup would be a Japanese pale lager; if we followed that logic we'd all be drinking Budweiser with every classic American dish. Pairing with umami flavors can be challenging, but, in this case, let's go sour. Goses are the wild card of German beers, flying in the face of purity laws by adding coriander and salt as well as being purposefully infected with lactobacillus bacteria. In this case, the slightly sour salty flavor should prove an interesting counterpoint to this broth.

Suggestion: Anderson Valley The Kimmie, The Yink, and the Holy Gose, Booneville, California

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SuperFood Fiesta Bowl

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

Balsamic-Onion Pizza with Arugula

Balsamic-Onion Pizza with Gruyere & Arugula

Pizza and beer; a combination almost as famous as peanut butter and jelly. Normally one would think of a classic American macro adjunct lager-- well not us. This dish with the addition of arugula as a topping reminds us of eating pizza in Berlin. It was the first place we encountered salad on top of a pizza and I remember enjoying it with a hefeweizen. So for this dish, we will recommend pairing it with an actual German hefe.

Suggestion: PInkus Organic Hefe-Weizen, Münster, Germany

Hearty Minestrone

Hearty Minestrone with Beef, Kale, and White Beans

Comfort food evokes good memories and feelings. In the beer world, I can think of nothing more comforting than a classic stout. Something that delivers classic chocolate and coffee flavors in a large malt bill that just makes you feel better. Minestrone soup, a classic stick to your ribs comfort food, deserves a classic stick to your ribs big stout as a complement.

Suggestion: Avery Out of Bounds Stout, Boulder, Colorado Georgia Local Recommendation: Blue Tarp Last Place Stout, Decatur, Georgia

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Chicken Paprikash with Egg Noodles

Smoke in beer has a long tradition, usually related to over-toasting the malt (the polite way of saying burning). The more toasted the malt, the easier it is to mill; however, over-toasted malt suffers from the husk trapping and concentrating the smoke which can have interesting effects on the grains. There are times when a smoky beer will excel: one of them is when there is a smoky complement, in this case, paprika.

Suggestion: Stone Smoked Porter, Escondido, California

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding Dessert Kit

Pairing a beer with dessert? Sure, it’s actually a very common thing to do. Beer often has a sweet component that we like to pair with other sweets. In fact, many beers take the dessert as an inspiration from ice cream to pie and everything in between. For this chocolate bread pudding let us pair it with a little chocolate inspired liquid bread.

Suggestion: Smuttynose Big Beer Series: Rocky Road Stout, Hampton, New Hampshire

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