Yesterday we shared our top 25 “Can’t Miss” Beer List for SAVOR 2018, taking place this weekend. Today, we share some of the beer and food pairings that caught our eye. This isn’t a formal “can’t miss” list, but you can bet where we’d be putting our digestive efforts based on the comments below.
- 4 Hands - MADAGASCAR (AMERICAN IMPERIAL STOUT) - churros | vanilla mascarpone - I'm a sucker for churros, so the Imperial Stout/churro combo sounds great.
- Band of Bohemia - INDIAN PALE ALE (SPECIALTY SAISON) pheasant croquette | pear + currant compote - I don't know if i actually like how these pairings sound, but being the first Michelin-starred brewpub leads me to think the Saison/croquette combo will be solid solid.
- Biscayne Bay - DOPPELBOCK (GER DOPPELBOCK) caramelized white chocolate éclair - yup, doppelbock and eclair sounds delicious.
- Central Waters - MUDPUPPY PORTER (ROBUST PORTER) baked clam | corn | chile | breadcrumbs | aioli - They note clam salinity and roasted porter notes. I think the chocolaty notes of the porter will only add to this.
- Rhinegeist - DOUBLE OAKED MASTODON (BELGIAN DARK STRONG ALE) smoked adobo boar shoulder | celery root salad - I suspect the barrel from the Oaked Mastadon will go great with the boar.
- Saltwater Brewery - MARIS THE LOST SEA OTTER (BRITISH BARLEY WINE) beef berbere | injera bread - Do we love the Don’t Drink Beers reference with Maris the Lost Otter and beef berbere? Perhaps.
- Tampa Bay Brewing - REEF DONKEY (AMERICAN PALE ALE) black + blue grilled cheese | chicories - I worry the blue cheese in the sammy may overpower the pale ale, but I'm a sucker for grilled cheese and pale ales so screw it.
- Three Weavers - SEAFARER (KOELSCH) modern pastry interpretations - Koelsh is good. Any sort of "pastry interpretation" sounds good. I love pastries
- Allagash Hoppy Table Beer paired with mushroom risotto could be baller, but if the rice is undercooked or the mushrooms are cold, you'll need an exquisite interplay between coriander, citrus, Comet, and Azacca zestiness, and the yeastiest bestest little pale farmhouse.
- Allagash James & Julie is an intense beer, so it should do well to cut the fat of the rabbit sausage, but how fatty can a rabbit be? Not very and thus pickled apples and figs are both complementary and contrasting to the flavors of the wild Flanders sour brown tribute ale.
- Ardent IPA & chorizo verde pepitas - These should go well even with cool chorizo, a wee bit of verde heat should be taken care of by a good smack of hops and a sprightly carbonation of spicy sausage-scrubbing bubbles.
- Ardent Sauternes Saison & Thai green chile chicken - This likely could be a strong pairing though the complex saison could be dumbed down by the heat. Certainly plan to sip the saison first and let the complexities imparted by French white wine oak be a precursor to the spicy chicken.
Here are the top pairings on my radar in no particular order:
- 4 Hands: MADAGASCAR (AMERICAN IMPERIAL STOUT) - churros | vanilla mascarpone
- Dessert is served.
- Ommegang: BLEND #1 (OTHER BELGIAN SOUR) - baked brie | peach
- Repeat after me: acid cuts fat. Really looking forward to how the beer's esters play with the peach, too.
- Silvaticus: BARON VON SMOKE (BAMBERG MAERZEN RAUCHBIER) - smoked adobo boar shoulder | celery root salad
- Smoke on smoke on smoke on smoke.
- Cloudburst: HAPPY LITTLE CLOUDS (GERMAN PILSENER) - baked clam | corn | chile | breadcrumbs | aioli
- New world hops should add some citrus and tropical notes, too.
- Country Boy: CLIFF JUMPER IPA (AMERICAN IPA) - brandade | salt + vinegar chip | chive
- An American IPA repurposed to pair with the highest high end take on fish n chips.
- Crooked Stave: SOUR ROSÉ (AMERICAN SOUR ALE) - duck rillette | pickled cherry | brioche
- Again, acid cuts fat, and the pickles and sour beer should play well together.
- Earth Rider: PRECIOUS MATERIAL (MUNICH HELLES) - chile relleno | asadero | pine nuts
- German-style beer and Mexican food go together so well that Constellation Brands has built an empire on it. This should work.
- Kohola: LOKAHI PILSNER (GERMAN PILSENER) - asparagus | bonito flake | white miso
- A lot of earthy and vegetal notes from both the beer and the food here. Curious about the umami-bomb of miso and bonito with the grassy, spicy hops.
- Lawsons: FAYSTON MAPLE IMPERIAL STOUT (AMERICAN STOUT) - smoked adobo boar shoulder | celery root salad
- Sweet, smokey, earthy, and maybe a little spicy, with the maple bringing it all
- Marble: DOUBLE WHITE ALE (BELGIAN WIT) - boudin blanc | bahn mi vegetables | cilantro
- You'd drink a witbier while eating a bahn mi, wouldn't you?
- Port City: IDEAAL TRIPEL (BELGIAN TRIPEL) - yellow curry | shrimp | carrot
- Tripels and Southeast Asian cuisine is what I reach for when reisling isn't available. There's no wine at Savor. None.
- Ska: PINK VAPOR STEW (FIELD BEER) - country style pâté | cornichon | mustard
- It's a sour, brewed with beets and carrots; a field beer and a field food.
- The Bruery: YOUNT (EXPERIMENTAL BEER) - beef bourguignon | potato puree
- Per The Bruery website, Yount is "our Black Tuesday imperial stout is blended and fermented on the skins and must of 100% destemmed Napa Cabernet Sauvignon grapes." Recreate this classic French pairing with a beer whose ABV is above that of the wine.
Likewise, and rounding out the list, here’s what’s on my wish list for the big event:
- Arizona Wilderness AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL STOUT (AMERICAN IMPERIAL STOUT) - chile relleno | asadero | pine nuts - stout brewed with smoked jalapenos and cocoa nibs is somehow a perfect pairing for a chile relleno. This is quirky and savory, but creative.
- Bell’s BLACK NOTE STOUT (WOOD-AGED STRONG STOUT) - mushroom risotto (arancini) - doubling down on the “pair stouts with umami” theme. I would not ever expect to see this paired together, but I’ll give it a go for science.
- Ommegang “BLEND #1 (OTHER BELGIAN SOUR) - baked brie | peach - Excited for the first release from Blenderie Ommegang. I’d eat it with nearly anything, but well-balanced sour with soft cheese really ticks a lot of boxes for me in terms of flavor and texture.
- Cape May PHANTOM CREW (BELGIAN FLANDERS OUD BRUINS OR RED) - duck rillette | pickled cherry | brioche - Total sucker for Oud Bruin and duck. It’s a classic combination, and I expect Cape May’s well-aged brew to stand up well here.
- Fate Brewing Company + Red Apron Charcuterie - This is a perennial classic. Just camp out here, chat with the nice folks from Fate, and get all the cured meat your cholesterol level can handle.
- Perennial SAISON DE LIS (SAISON) - mackerel | pickled fennel | lemon | caper - This is going to be a magical pairing. The crisp, peppery, estery yeast from the Saison with the briny mackerel, herbaceous fennel, and tangy capers? So much going on in this pairing.
- Beer/Food Pairing #1: Goodlife Sweet As! Pacific Ale (Australian Pale Ale / 6% ABV) paired with Tuna Poke, Sesame, Seaweed and Scallions.
- Notes/Thoughts: This light pale ale is a nice beer to consider as the festival night gets busier, as it should be refreshing as the temperature in the National Building Museum rises. There is still a good amount of tropical flavor to enjoy as well in this 2017 GABF gold medal winner for American-style Wheat beer. The pairing is a natural fit and should add nicely to the experience.
- Beer/Food Pairing #2: Marble Double White Ale (Herb and Spice Beer / 7% ABV) paired with Boudin Blanc, Bahn Mi vegetables and Cilantro
- Notes/Thoughts: A two-time GABF medal winner, this is a Belgian wit with a little extra oomph. The flavor has a decent amount of citrus and just a touch of tart. The extra body and ABV this beer has over more standard witbeers doesn’t through off the balance at all. The milder sausage should be a good fit, and this pairing could be another nice change of pace from the IPAs and sours throughout the festival.
- Beer/Food Pairing #3: Short’s Anniversary Ale (Wheat wine / 10% ABV) paired with Duck Meatball a l’Orange
- Notes/Thoughts: This wheat wine is brewed with peppercorns, blood oranges and orange zest, and dry-hopped with Simcoe, all of which produce a big citrus and spice counterpoint to the wheat wine’s typical sweetness. The beer could basically serve as additional sauce for the duck meatball, or just enjoyed on its own.
- Beer/Food Pairing #4: Upland Pearpawstrous (Wood Aged Sour / 5.7% ABV) paired with Thai Green Chicken Chile and Sugarcane Skewer
- Notes/Thoughts: A collaboration with Cascade, Pearpawstrous is a blend of sour wheat ales with Oregon grown pears and Indiana grown paw paws (a gooey fruit with flavors that blend banana, citrus and melon), then aged for 12 months in oak barrels. The reviews are solid, and I honestly don't know what to expect from the pairing, but I'm excited to try the beer either way.