Monday, November 7, 2011

Beer Pairings – Seasonal Beers and Mexican Cuisine

Tibor, Chris and I gathered at Dennis’s house for the next beer tasting and Gayle picked up some tasty tamales, green chili, queso, tacos, salsa, chips, veggie tray and some cupcakes.  The tamales and green chili were a highlight – they were excellent.  For the beer, we started off with Rockyard’s Plymouth Rock Pumpkin Ale (5.8% ABV) is a pumpkin beer and classified as a Fruit / Vegetable Beer.  It has an aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon and was a tasty beer. 

Milk Stout Nitro (6.0% ABV and 25 IBU).  I reviewed this beer earlier – (last month).  It is just an excellent stout and if you get a chance to try it after it is distributed beyond Colorado, pick it up.  This was everyone’s favorite of the evening.

New Belgium’s Snow Day (6.2% ABV & 55 IBU) is a winter seasonal ale that has a nice malt sweetness on the start and a hop bitter finish.  It reminded me of Deschutes Jubelale and I liked it.

Next up was a big one Twisted Pine’s 16 Anniversary Bough Breaker Barley wine (9.1% ABV and 120 IBU).  I think this is the bitterest beer I have ever had in terms of IBU and it was OK.  No one liked this beer and some just did not like it at all.  The only hop used in this beer is Amarillo and they use a lot of it.

Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale (8% ABV & 38 IBU) is from Boulevard Brewing Co. and it is a Saison / Farmhouse Ale.  This is a style that I really appreciate and it was one of my favorites of the evening.  Very effervescent and was just a pleasant drinking saison that one could easily discern the Belgian yeast influence.

Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout (4.95% ABV and 31 IBU) is an oatmeal stout and a really good one.  This has some coffee-like tastes and paired beautifully with the chocolate cupcakes.  Tibor picked two nice stouts for the evening.

Avery The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest (9.3% ABV and 24 IBU) is one of my favorites from Avery and my wife really enjoys it too.  I think everyone liked this one for it’s clean malt sweetness and light bittering.  The Kaiser is a very nice Oktoberfest and it is brewed once a year in limited quantities.

Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout (15.83% ABV and 107 IBU) is one big stout that is brewed once a year and is only available in 12 oz. bottles.  This was a 2009 vintage and proves you can easily cellar beer given the right style, ABV, and conditions.  This beer was almost 2 years old and I bet you could easily cellar it for 10.  It is as dark as night and had an intense molasses aroma.  It is a sipper and I think everyone enjoyed it.  We split it four ways, so only 3 oz. pours – very nice way to end the evening. 

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