Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beer pairings

The craft beer revolution is sweeping across America as my faithful reader(s) are all too aware. Dulcie and Aylwin have been in the van of this seismic cultural shift, as evidenced by our first tentative steps at Dark Lord Day (back in those happy times when it was unnecessary to buy blackmarket tickets at Stubhub at $350 per). Indeed, we even starred as the enthusiastic but hapless nubes in a posting on Beer Advocate by some hard-core but very friendly beer geek. A couple of years on the first of our Big Beer Adventures was undertaken to Beervana (aka Portland). Now we are central figures in the Chicago beer scene - in our own minds of course.

Not to be left behind, it seems that Jewel-Osco wants to cash in on the burgeoning beer scene judging by some beer pairing notes posted in the paper that Dulcie brought to my attention. So, for my foodie followers try and determine what beer is being described in each pairing (answers at bottom).

"With its perfect balance of hops and malt, along with a crisp, dry finish, nothing beats a ____________ teamed with cheddar cheese."

"An ice cold ____________ with full hoppy flavors stands up well with a spicy pepper jack cheese."

"______________ sweet caramel notes, citrus aromas and smooth finish pair perfectly with a slice of smoked gouda."

"Pronounced hops and bitterness, along with a refreshing finish, contrast well with peppered goat cheese on a baguette."

With that sort of hyperbole one would be thinking Dreadnaught, Pliny the Elder, The Abyss, Dark Lord, Surly Furious to name a few. Would that Jewel would be offering such jewels; but alack that will only happen in another life (though I note that Tesco offers a very persuasive Imperial IPA brewed by Brew Dog in Scotland - enlightened indeed).

No, alas, these poetic excesses instead are assigned to the following (in order);
Budweiser (hops?), Rolling Rock (hoppy?), Michelob Ultra Amber (no comment) and Stella Artois (hops?). We can take hope here in that the beer revolution has led the Jewel PR folks to discover the word "hops." Progress is indeed being made.