Barleydine is committed to finding great beer for pairings. We travel to different towns quite often to seek out the very best that we could possibly find for our loyal readers. Recently, I conducted a trade off with a good friend out of NM. He has actually been positioned throughout the western US for the last 14 years, which is a great resource for Barleydine. One of the beers included in my package from him was Odell Brewing Co. IPA out of Fort Collins Colorado. If this beer is any indication of the rest of their lineup, I certainly must get my hands on many more of their elixirs. The IPA is so incredibly well balanced, perfect harmony between malt, hops and CO2. I almost wonder if you can really call it an IPA, I can’t remember ever having one that didn’t shock the palate. This beer is such a smooth deliverer, a much needed refreshing change from the bitterness competition between craft breweries. First of all, the aroma is so pungent of pine needles, close your eyes and it’s easy to imagine your in pine forest. It’s wonderful. Color is light/medium with an amber hue, very clear with a stark white, fluffy head. The head built so well and retained during the entire glass. Each sip of beer is escorted by a touch of head, giving the beer a creamy mouth feel. Now here’s where the beer gets really good, the beer starts with a nice, low-key malt flavor. Sweet, biscuity and a touch of caramel round out the malt very nicely on the palate. The hops don’t march in on this beer, they don’t overpower at all. Instead, the hops come in and mingle with the malt, creating a wonderful contrast. Finally, a perfect amount of CO2 wipes your palate clean and rounds out a nice long finish. This beer is perfection, truly a well balance, well orchestrated IPA. I can think of lots of meals that this beer would accompany perfectly, but I can only choose one. Tonight I made up a sausage pizza with peppers and onions. Given the harmony of the ingredients for pizza, this beer matched quite well. The spicy tomato sauce was well matched by the hops as the sauteed sausage melded perfectly with the sweetness of the malts. There was just enough carbonation in the beer to wipe the palate clean for round two. What a great beer, with such a simple meal, that’s what Barleydine is all about. Read on for food preparation details.

This is a truly a very simple meal to prepare. To start you need some dough, now if you’d like to make your own, you can find loads of pizza dough recipes online. Me, I buy mine at the store, pre-made by the little dough boy. Simply grease up a cookie sheet and roll the dough out. Now, you can make your dough as thick or thin as you prefer. I use a fairly large sheet, so I press mine out pretty thin. When finished pressing out the dough, spray the top lightly with Pam or a light coating of Olive Oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. The trick to a good homemade pizza is pre-cooking the crust, because we don’t have high temp. pizza ovens, we need to cheat the crust along. Trying to cook the entire pizza long enough to properly bake the crust, the toppings will be burnt. I cook just about everything on 375ºF, so pop the crust in the oven for several minutes. Remove when the crust rises and begins to get just a little golden around the edges. This is when you’ll add your toppings; sauce, cheese, meats, veggies. The sky is the limit here, put whatever you want on the pie. As you know, I chose sausage with peppers and onions. To prepare those, I used a pan on medium-high heat with a touch of olive oil. As the pan heated, I sliced up some red bell pepper and red onions (there is no set amount here, as little or as much as you’d like). Add the veggies to the pan, stirring occasionally. Prepare your meat, here you can add just about anything, I use Italian hot turkey sausage links, that I buy in the meat section at the grocery store. Turkey sausage is much lower in fat than pork and far less greasy, I actually prefer it over the real deal anymore. You’ll want to de-case the links, simply slide a knife down the length of the link to cut the casing. Hold the link over the pan, squeezing the meat out of the casing. As the meat cooks, you’ll want to cut it with your spatula, so that you end up with uniform pieces instead of large chunks. The meat will be cooked in about 5-7 minutes, be sure to stir the pan, so that the food does not burn and stick. Once the meat has caramelized, it’s ready to put on the pizza. You’ll want to add your sauce to your pizza, unless of course, your making a white pie. Then spread the toppings on the pizza and coat with cheese. Be generous with cheese, it makes the pie. I actually use an entire 8 ounce bag for once pizza. Slide the pizza in the oven for about, 5-10 minutes. Depending of course on how dark you like your pizza. Always keep an eye on the food that you are cooking, temps. and ovens vary so much. Once cooked, remove and let stand for a minute or so, this helps firm up the cheese before cutting. Serve with a fresh simple salad and your choice of salad dressing. Also, don’t forget the Odell’s IPA, you won’t be disappointed.
beer + food = Barleydine


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