Beer and food pairing is not a science, there are however many aspects that you want to follow. I pair just about every dinner that I eat, some are totally fabulous and others leave me guessing what I could do better. Tonight, was one of those meals where I hit the nail right on the head. For such a simple meal, the outcome was fantastic.
My wife and I eat a lot of salmon. Such a wonderful fantastic fish, just bursting with flavor. Usually it’s salmon steaks, but tonight we tried something totally different, salmon burgers. Man, what a fantastic burger, I’d never had one previously, cause I wouldn’t ever give up the old beef burger for fish. I’m actually sorry that I haven’t tried it much sooner than this. Salmon is quite robust and packs a lot of flavor in each bite. This fish needs a beer that can stand up against it’s mountainous flavors. Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA was the choice for the job. Trust me, it does the job very well. Being an Imperial IPA, it has a considerable amount more on the bitterness scale. Although, this bitterness is so well rounded, it’s not so pungent and over bearing, which was great for this meal. It begins with an assertive malt flavor, that leads very nicely into a mouthful of bitterness and rounds out with some great earthy and fruity aroma notes. The earthy flavors in the beer blended well with the natural flavors of the fish. The bitterness played well against the sweetness of the caramelized meat and the juicy grape tomates, a very nice contrast. The carbonation sliced straight through the oiliness of the fish leaving you palate cleansed for the next round. I’m telling you, this was nirvanva, probably one of the best pairings I’ve done thus far and I’ve had some great meals and great beers. Seek out some Dogfish and Salmon Fish and whip this one up. Read further for cooking notes.

As mentioned above, this was one easy meal. Quickly put together with little cleanup. Once again, we have baed fries, they are pretty much a staple in our house. There are several other posts on how to prepare these baked fries. Get them done and out of the way so you can move on to the fish. The fries take about twice the time of the fish, so you have some downtime.
When it’s time to start the burger, get the grilled fired up, so it’s nice and hot. After the grill has stood for a bit heating up, scrape the rack and coat the rack using Pam or a paper towel with some oilve oil. It’s time to cook the meat. My salmon burgers were preformed at the store, not frozen though. I removed them from the package and gave them a few pats to pack them together tightly. Onto the grill they went, now don’t leave, thinking it’s meat and you have a lot of time. These will only need cooked about 5 minutes per side. Always temp. your meat, it’s the sure way of knowing that your proteins are cooked through. Once you hit your target temp, cut the heat back and put some cheese on to melt. This is also a good time to toast you roll if you’d like. Most of the time I put feta cheese on any burger, tonight was no different. I topped the feta with provolone and alowd it time to melt. Removed my roll from the grill and voila, sandwich is served. Definitely check this one out, you won’t be disapointed.

beer + food = Barleydine



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