SOUTHERN TIER IMPERIAL CHERRY SAISON

FARMHOUSE ALE/SAISON | 10.10% ABV

Loaded with cherry flavors, this Imperial Saison still seems to keep a firm grasp on the rustic flavors of the style. Perfect with roasted chicken or even beef perhaps, not mention some heavy, sweet deserts.

beer + food = Barleydine

RUSSIAN RIVER CONSECRATION

AMERICAN WILD ALE | 10.00%

Hands down one of the top 3 best American Wild Ales I’ve had to date, easily holding it’s own against such classics as De Dolle Oerbier and Duchesse de Bourgogne. In your face wild yeast flavors leading into an abundant fruity finish. Perfect with some of your favorite stinky cheeses.

beer + food = Barleydine

SEBAGO FRYE’S LEAP IPA

AMERICAN IPA | 6.20%

Pairing: Salmon fillet with twice baked potatoe and side salad.

Beer notes: Very well balanced hop aroma and flavor leads to a nice moderate finish.

 

beer + food = Barleydine

21st AMENDMENT BACK IN BLACK IPA

BLACK IPA

21st Amendment Back in Black IPA w/ Buckwheat Pancakes, 100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, bacon and Organic peanut butter.

beer + food = Barleydine

BRUERY COTON

OLD ALE | 14.50% ABV

The Bruery is rather new to the craft beer scene. Having recently celebrated their 2nd anniversary with the release of Coton, Patrick Rue and Crue is seeing a massive increase in the demand for his beers. An example of the demand would be the 250 tickets available for the Black Tuesday release that were being sought after by more than 1200 Bruery lovers. So many requests in fact that the Bruery servers crashed on the day of the release. Most breweries do not experience a demand like Patrick has been in his second year, but most breweries do not make beers like the Bruery.

As mentioned above, Coton is the celebratory beer release for the Bruery’s second year anniversary. [On a side note Papier was the first anniversary release and if your not seeing a trend check out the 50 gifts to be given on wedding anniversaries.] Coton is an Old Ale a cousin to Barleywine making both very similar in body, flavor and aroma. Loaded, I mean loaded with unique malt character which imparts flavors such as sour fruit, fig and caramel which also are present in the nose with the addition of a slight alcohol aroma. That moderate alcohol flavor is hidden so well under layers of malt characteristics, wood undertones and yeasty spice notes. Coton is a big, beautiful beer that many have said needs some aging. Although I agree to a point, I tend to like my beers young before flavors and aromas begin to meld together and balance themselves out.

Coton sparked so many ideas as far as pairings when I took the inaugural sip. First thought was a big gamey meal of Bison or Venison with heavy sauces and fresh roasted vegetables. My mind then went to one of my favorite afternoon snacks, Stilton cheese. It would have been a brilliant pairings, the tangy blue flavors being balanced by the heavy malt flavors and rounded out by the slight taste of alcohol. Given this was my after dinner beer though, I chose to have it with a fairly rustic cigar which was a perfect end to the day.

beer + food = Barleydine

HANSSENS ARTISANALL OUDE GUEUZE

GUEUZE | 6.00% ABV

If you follow Barleydine you will already know my love affair for Gueuze. Hands down my favorite beer style. If I were to pick one style to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Gueuze. There is no other beer that comes even close to the complexity and authenticity of traditional Gueuze. They are loaded with unique flavors and complex layers of wheat, barnyard, sour and lots of funk. Upon first taste, many would wonder what on earth you would pair with a Gueuze given it’s most prevalent flavor is sour. Actually there are lots of foods, but the main flavor that one must lean towards when pairing a Gueuze is sweet if you plan to contrast or earthy as a compliment. Keeping those two flavors in mind and one can arrange a terrific pairing with this ancient beer style.

Notes: Pouring a hazy golden-amber color with loads of barnyard notes and lactic aroma on the nose. That lactic acid follows straight to the palate leaving hints of lemon, vinegar and tart fruity notes. The abundant wheaty body leaves the palate refreshed while the very poignant sour flavor leaves a nice long finish. Once accustomed to the unique and complex flavors of a Gueuze, one would concur that it stands to be one of the best beer styles available worldwide.

Pairings: Contrast – shrimp, sweet sausage, escargot, lobster, crab cakes, light salads. Compliment – Stilton cheese or other varieties in the Bleu family.

beer + food = Barleydine

TROEGS FLYING MOUFLAN

BARLEYWINE | 9.30% ABV

Pairing: Tiramisu

Pairing Notes: Flying Mouflan is a fairly low key Barleywine, it’s flavors meshed well with the Tiramisu while not overpowering. The abundant malts of the beer linked with the sweet creamy flavors of the desert, while the Amaretto flavors of the Triamisu teamed nicely with the bitter malt flavors and alcohol. The big, creamy mouthfeel of Mouflan identified itself well to the creamy filling of the Italian desert. A very nice combination of beer and desert flavors leaves a terrific moderate finish behind, while the alcohol swipes through cleansing your palate.

Fantastic pairing with the proper Barleywine, be sure to choose one that’s well balanced and not too hot.

beer + food = Barleydine

BRUGGE BRASSERIE BAD KITTY

GOSE | ?????ABV

What can I say, for my first ever Gose, it was pretty amazing. Bad Kitty is a brilliant blend of sour flavors with a crisp clean, pilsner-esque body. I’m sure many of you are thinking, that’s Brugge Brasserie White. Well, in part, your right. Bad Kitty was bottled completely by accident in White bottles with a total of 2 or 3 cases. I am one of the fortunate ones who had the pleasure of enjoying this beer from the bottle, as most were kept by the brewer.

As mentioned before, this beer has the characteristics of a snappy Pilsner, compiled with sour flavors. Gose is wild beer of the German tradition, perhaps standing closely to its cousin Berliner Weisse. As Michael Jackson (the one with 2 gloves) has mentioned before, all beers at one point in history were wild.

Food wise I can envision this bad boy standing tall against lots of German traditions. I’m surprised to think that sausages would pair well with Bad Kitty. The wonderful light body and refreshing sour flavors would slice through the heavy umami flavors of any style German sausage. Sauerkraut and it’s traditional sourness would pair well in my opinion, as well as many other cabbage dishes.

I’m quickly realizing how sourness is the hoppiness of past days. With the ability to compliment, contrast and cleanse, sour is a tradition with food.

beer + food = Barleydine

SWEETWATER DANK TANK MAGNUM IP

IMPERIAL PILSNER | 9.00% ABV

Imperial Pilsner, an all new style to break loose here in America. Overloaded with noble hop flavors and aromas with a gorgeous dark, crystal clear golden hue. Lots of pairing ideas come to mind with this big boy, all kinds of grilled options or heavy meaty dishes like stews, pork loin or prime rib. Yet, I think Magnum would still be just delicate enough to stand beside seafoods such as crab, lobster or scallops. On second thought, maybe seafood with heavy umami sauces. None the less, this beer would be a pairing King, probably one of the most food friendly styles we have yet to see.

beer + food = Barleydine

BAR HARBOR TRUE BLUE BLUEBERRY WHEAT

FRUIT ALE | 5.00% ABV

I’ve made many trips to Maine over the past 15 years and recently realized how well known the state is for its blueberries. I’m not sure if my vision in years past was clouded by the rocky coast and over indulging in fresh seafood. Having spent my time hanging from the cliff side while the waves crashed below was how I spent my younger days in land the of lobster. At my older age, I’m content chilling next to the ocean, playing Bocce and sampling local beers. I guess I just lost my nerves.

I recently made my way back from Maine with some fantastic offerings from Bar Harbor Brewing Co. I would say their claim to fame is Cadillac Mountain Stout that found it’s way on the top 100 beers of the world list several years back. That’s quite an accomplishment for such a small brewery with no distribution. There are many other great beers at Bar Harbor Brewing, one being True Blue Blueberry Wheat.

I spent a great deal of time trying to find just the right meal to pair with True Blue. I immediately dismissed any dinner ideas and was moving more towards the desert end of a meal. Finally, the idea came to me one morning as I began prepping to make pancakes for me and my wife. It’s not the first beer I’ve had with breakfast but it was the first fruit style beer for breakfast. I figured the Blueberry flavor would stand in place of the fruit absent in the syrup, which it did just fine. I also thought that the wheat based body wouldn’t be too heavy as to overpower the delicate hot cakes, which worked out perfect. Lastly, there was just enough hop flavor in the beer to balance out the sweetness of the Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Usually, new pairings don’t work out quite this well, they usually need tweaked. Pancakes and True Blue Blueberry Wheat needs nothing changed at all, try it for yourself.

beer + food = Barleydine

 


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