Posts Tagged ‘oskar blues’

By Henry Joseph
Contributing Writer

Editor’s Note: Henry Joseph is The 250 Square Foot View’s resident beer expert. We interviewed him this time last year about The Pony Bar, where he bartends, and talked about the state of the American craft beer industry. Henry knows more than a little bit about beer–he’s a Certified Cicerone. And with Thanksgiving just a week away, we welcome Henry back to the blog to share his suggestions for the best beers to bring to the dinner table this holiday season.

1. Peach Berliner Weiss
Brewery: Perennial (St. Louis, MO)
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.1%
Description: This tart German-style wheat beer is brewed with 750 pounds of Missouri and southern Illinois peaches.

We’ve been seeing a lot of Berliner Weisses this year and this is one of my favorites. The peach plays wonderfully with the bracing tartness. It’s a great aperitif that pairs well with first courses like salads and would be a true delight next to some fresh shellfish, preferably raw. Soft goat cheese would be great as well. This selection’s a little esoteric and not for everyone, but can be a real treat for people who don’t think they like beer. In any case, a great conversation starter.

2. Duvel Rustica
Brewery: Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY)
ABV: 8.5%
Description: Ommegang’s take on the quintessential Belgian Golden Ale; fruity and malty, dry with a hint of sweetness, and utterly drinkable.

I like to think of Duvel as the Platonic ideal of beer. It’s got everything: malt, hops, Belgian yeastiness with a hint of spice, sweet, but dry, and this version brewed by Ommegang is no different. As far as food, this beer pairs well with everything. Literally. And everyone from the well-informed to the inexperienced will love it. If you take anything away from this, it should be that Duvel is always a good idea.

3. Domaine DuPage
Brewery: Two Brothers (Warrenville, IL)
ABV: 5.9%
Description: This French-style country ale is deep amber in color. With a toasty, sweet caramel start, it finishes with just enough hops to clean off the palate.

When you think of France, beer doesn’t usually come to mind, but this oft-neglected style of ale is an excellent companion to all your traditional holiday meals.  The earthy, malty notes are an especially nice match with turkey and stuffing. Plus, these guys just picked up a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for this offering.

4. Old Chub Scotch Ale
Brewery: Oskar Blues (Lyons, CO)
ABV: 8.0%
Description: This jaw-dropping Scottish strong ale features semi-sweet flavors of cocoa and coffee, and a kiss of smoke that will entice even those who think they don’t like dark beer.

We’re getting into some serious stuff here. This guy is all about the MALT and all the wonderful flavors it can bring you. Molasses, caramel, chocolate, with a hint of coffee and smoke. These flavors pair up nicely with similarly heavier foods–meat to be specific, but you’d be surprised how well it matches up with some grilled or roasted vegetables. Especially asparagus. As an added bonus, it makes a GREAT reduction liquid.

5. Black Chocolate Stout
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY)
ABV: 10.0%
Description: An award-winning rendition of the Imperial Stout style, once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. A blend of specially roasted malts bring a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor.

RICH is the word here. Roasty would be another. And chocolate, of course. Coffee, too. A bit of warming alcohol, but this beer WILL sneak up on you as its smoothness belies its strength. It’d be right at home next to a slice of pumpkin pie, or cheesecake if you’re feeling fancy. Or, heck, just drink it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Pour the beer right into the bowl. I dare you. I never get tired of this beer, and neither will you.

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