Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beer Weather

For anyone who hasn’t seen this post by Eric Asimov in The New York Times, it’s worth a look if you’re a beer lover. I can certainly relate to the experience of not finding a great beer selection and great food in the same establishment.

E and I enjoyed some NY style pizza the other night with a couple cold Newcastles – and while I love Newcastle – I would have enjoyed some more inspiring choices. The places that have really great beer selections tend to fall a little flat on the food. Not all, but most.

It’s summertime here in Columbia, S.C. and that means my red wine consumption plummets. I crave chilled beverages: chilly whites and rosés, icy cocktails and a nice cool beer.

As I’ve mentioned before, South Carolina recently took another small step out of the Dark Ages when they eliminated some restrictions on higher alcohol beers. It opened up a whole new world of choices in the beer aisle.

The brutally hot weather also reminds me that I should pair my cooking with beer more often. I’ll admit that I suffer the stereotypical wino’s tendency to think of wine as the beverage of choice for food pairing.

For anyone with the same affliction, I’d recommend picking up a copy of He Said Beer, She Said Wine: Impassioned Food Pairings to Debate and Enjoy -- From Burgers to Brie and Beyond. The authors are Sam Cagalione, the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery and Marnie Old, an experienced sommelier (and a real cutie).

Each author makes their case for pairing a variety of foods with their preferred beverage. While the debate occasionally sounds a little silly, it's a good read with interesting pairings and some recipes as well. It should make anyone who enjoys both beer and wine think twice about trying new pairings.

Lately I've been loving the beers from Smuttynose Brewery. I just picked up a six-pack of their Summer Weizen, which is super tasty: nice lemon and orange notes, light but not thin and judiciously hopped. It's perfect for a hot summer evening. Cheers, y'all.

No comments: