Thankfully, beer pairing dinners are becoming increasingly popular in my area. And lucky for you, you get to hear about it. Now, we can all embrace the fact that beer pairs just as well with food as wine does! Sands Bethlehem and St. James Gate hosted a European Beer Dinner. The dinner paired imported European beers with four courses of fall flavored gourmet style meals. Similar to the wine pairing, representatives introduced each beer to discuss the characteristics of the beer and where it comes form. The chef also circulated during the event and was willing to answer questions.
The pairings were not what I expected for each meal, but each complemented the meal nicely. In speaking with the chef, he explained that he tasted each suggested beer first, then he decided what kind of meal to pair it with. Meanwhile, in our DIY pairing, we were thinking about what the beer would taste like, then finding something to complement the beer. For a true beer pairing, the beer should really complete each meal and bring out the flavors of the meal. We determined our favorite meal, favorite beer, and favorite pairing. Check it out.
You be the judge…
Golden, deep-fried, hot bready rings of goodness.
Okay, maybe it’s not THAT big of a challenge to figure out. They’re onion rings. But they’re the biggest, most ridiculous onion rings ever. ML and I stumbled upon these treasures at Stingrays sports bar in Port Aransas, TX. Obviously when multiple ESers travel together, intense amounts of food will be discovered, ordered, and conquered. I don’t think these photos accurately portray how huge this pile of onion rings was, and how big each individual ring was.The avocado ranch dip on the side didn’t hurt the situation either.
It you’re wondering, of course we ate them all. Duh.
Ommegang famously brings us the Game of Thrones series beers, but also offers other varietals that pack their own punch. Speaking of fame, one of Ommegang’s more well known brews is the Three Philosophers. Weighing in at 9.7% ABV, the Three Philosophers promises to relax if nothing else. Three Philosophers was born when Ommegang asked homebrewers what the “perfect brew” would taste like. The answer was flavors of caramel, chocolate, and cherry. Ommegang messed with various variations until the reached a mixture of 98% ale and 2% kriek (lambic). Here are our tasting notes:
Poured into tulip glass. continue reading…
I made this last week when I was (a) trying to eat extremely healthy to make up for some weekend indulgences and (b) really craving a big bowl of something hot, cozy, and autumn-y. Soup was the obvious answer. I love tomato soup and wanted to make a homemade version of that, but also noticed I had some pumpkin puree leftover in the fridge and didn’t want it to go to waste. Guess what? Pumpkin and tomato are great together. You don’t really taste the pumpkin-ness with all the other flavors going on, at least not overwhelmingly so, but it adds a nice thickness and fall flavor.
Favorite Fall Spiced Tomato-Pumpkin Soup
The tides are shifting in American politics. A new party is in control and our President is willing to work with them to make a better America. Blah blah blah. Yet another cycle has completed and we now have another lame duck president. BUT WAIT. Obama and US Senator Mitch McConnell are going to solve all of our problems with a Bourbon Summit. Now that’s something we can get behind. A little Kentucky booze may be just what our leaders need to get things done. This got us thinking…what would an ES summit look like? Other than the usual gallivanting around, bitching and moaning about irrelevant things, and gorging ourselves with food, we would pick the best beer and booze to offer for the occasion. If it were up to us, here’s what the Obama-McConnell summit would consist of:
10) Flying Dog Raging Bitch
What better to drink while BITCHING and moaning about the great problems of the world (or what to have for dinner)? Raging Bitch is an in your face IPA with a nice sweetness that makes it very drinkable at a high ABV.
9) Arrogant Bastard Ale
Need I say more? Not only does the name sum up just about every one of your very proud “ES’ers, but it also sums up the jerks in Congress. What’s more? The brew is one of the highest ranked in the United States with complex flavors that will also kick your ass.
8) Knob Creek
A little bourbon never hurt nobody. Knob Creek is about that level where you stop drinking whiskey with coke and actually start enjoying the sweet and oak-aged flavors of bourbon.
7) Titos Vodka
What’s more American than an all-American made vodka? We have to be at least a little patriotic, right? Plus, this is some of the smoothest Vodka we’ve ever had! Try it with water and lemon…just be careful – you won’t taste the whiskey.
When we ordered “nachos” at Lavaca Street bar IN AUSTIN, I didn’t realize that meant “a giant metal sheet pan filled to the brim with freshly fried tortilla chips smothered in both queso fresco and hot melted queso, spicy black beans, sour cream, fresh pico, and tons of jalapenos.” Really the giant sheet pan aspect and the combination of fresh cheese plus hot queso made these a shocking success. Plus the SHEER SIZE. This is like ten pounds of nacho.
What’s the best drink to have with cookies? BEER. Why not, people? The holidays are coming; we’re celebrating getting fat and doing it with our families and friends. To support our mission, Flying Dog created The Holiday Collection: Four Otterbein’s Cookie Inspired Craft Beers. While I was hoping that the kit would come with Berger Cookies, the Otterbein’s cookies did not disappoint. But what about having them with beer? Well, luckily I’m here to do the hard work of tasting and drinking each beer and cookie. After our DIY beer pairing, we continued on with dessert, complements of Flying Dog. We judged the beers, the cookies, and then the pairing. Here we go!