With one of Colorado’s biggest festivals (Vail’s Big beers, brews and barley wines) about to be upon us it’s time we gave homage to that age old beverage: beer.
The golden age of Craft beers is upon us with new breweries popping up every day, and beers now range the gamut from the pumpkin beers of the fall to heavy spiced Christmas Holiday beers, to the lighter style German lagers so popular in the summer. With all these types of beers out there, it only seems natural that super mario some were meant to go with food. And by food we mean all kinds of food; not just pretzels and chicken wings.
When thinking about beer and food, it is in one sense similar to pairing wine and food: Think lighter beer with lighter foods. Your summery lagers like Kolsch and Hefewiezen are naturally good partners with Shelfish and salads. Your bigger beers; think ambers and porters are perfect companions with roasted meats and stews. What about an IPA? Hoppy beers are certainly all the rage right now. Well think of the intensity of bacon and pork belly, the hoppiness of an IPA can cut right through that fat, and wind up finishing clean. IPA’s are also a natural pair with spicier Indian foods. Think of the spice you get with hops with the spice you get from the beer. It’s a match that has been brewing (no pun intended) for years since the Brits started trading with India hundreds of years ago.
What about dessert? As many beers get higher and higher in alcohol, they tend to have more sugar put into them, which makes them sweeter, and extremely intense. So try a sweeter style barley wine with a bread pudding with caramel sauce. Or imagine (as is becoming more and more popular), a chocolate stout with ice cream, for a beer float. A lighter but fruitier beer like a Belgian lambic would be a perfect pair with a dessert like Cherries Jubilee. Classic apple Pie, and a spiced pumpkin beer will also go hand in hand.
Now these are just the basics: If you want to learn more check out our calendar which will soon go online. Look for a beer and food class to be offered in the not so distant future. Until then, well…happy drinking: bottoms up!