Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

A Match Made in Heaven: Pizza & Beer

April 22, 2009

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” –Dave Barry

Never have truer words been spoken. Few foods are as frequently paired with a single drink as pizza is with beer.  However, when you are no longer arguing with your frat brother over who paid for the last $5 pizza from Domino’s or whose turn it is to grab another case of Bud Light, it’s time to start pairing nicer pizzas with nicer beers.

The primary consideration when pairing pizza and beer is that the beer you are drinking should not overpower the flavor of the pizza and vice versa, particularly as both pizza and beer have started to include more complex ingredients and flavors.  If you enjoy a spicy pizza, consider drinking an IPA, as this will enhance that spice; or you can enjoy a cold brown ale, in which the sweetness will counter the spicy food.

When pairing beer (or wine) with food, don’t hesitate to contact your local liquor store for some suggestions or refer to some online guides such as this article from Delish.com, which provides recipes for new style pizzas and notes which beers pair best with each.  Of course, you can also check out articles on the subject by experts like Kevin Gray.

But no matter what, with the range of beers and pizzas out there these days, there should be something for everyone.

Top 50 Breweries in America

April 15, 2009

The Brewers Association, which represents the majority of brewing companies in the U.S., announced its annual list of the top 50 brewers and craft brewers based on 2008 sales volume.  As expected, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors came in 1-2.  Boston Beer Co., brewer of Sam Adams, placed 4th overall, and first among craft brewers.

The top ten brewers are as follows:

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev — St Louis, MO
  2. MillerCoors — Chicago, IL
  3. Pabst Brewing — Woodridge, IL
  4. Boston Beer Co. — Boston, MA
  5. D. G. Yuengling and Son — Pottsville, PA
  6. Sierra Nevada Brewing — Chico, CA
  7. Craft Brewers Alliance (Widmer/Redhook) — Portland, OR
  8. New Belgium Brewing — Fort Collins, CO
  9. High Falls Brewing — Rochester, NY
  10. Spoetzl Brewery — Shiner, TX

The top 10 craft brewers:

  1. Boston Beer Co. — Boston, MA
  2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — Chico, CA
  3. New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO
  4. Spoetzel Brewing — Shiner, TX
  5. Pyramid Breweries Inc. — Seattle, WA
  6. Deschutes Brewery — Bend, OR
  7. Matt Brewing Co. — Utica, NY
  8. Boulevard Brewing Co. — Kansas City, MO
  9. Full Sail Brewing Co. — Hood River, OR
  10. Magic Hat Brewing Co. — Burlington, VT

Click here for the full list.

It’s Drinking Season

April 3, 2009

With spring upon us and summer around the corner, drinkers everywhere are salivating at the thought of cracking open their favorite seasonal brew, uncorking their most cherished white wine or mixing up a refreshing cocktail. (Not that we haven’t been drinking all winter, but the changing of the seasons pairs well with some lighter fare.)

Below are a few recommendations that will make wasting away these glorious afternoons and evenings a little more memorable. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.

Beer

Bocks — Originating in Germany and generally regarded as the first “seasonal” beer, bocks were traditionally released in the spring. The rules may have changed some over the years, but have a bock this spring–perhaps from Anchor Brewing or Yuengling–and tip your hat to the Germans.

Sam Adams Summer Ale — A good wheat beer can be quite refreshing, especially on a hot day. This beer is brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise — a rare pepper from Africa. But more importantly, since the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev in 2008, Sam Adams is now the largest domestic beer producer in the United States, so every beer you drink is helping our economy.

Wine

German Rieslings — There are a number of good Rieslings, and this white wine has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, especially as whites have started to rival the popularity of reds. Rieslings have built a reputation of being one of the most varied of white wines, encompassing a range from dry to sweet and pairing well with a variety of foods. For specific inspiration, check out The New York Times Eric Asimov’s list of his 10 favorite Rieslings.

Cocktails

Mojito — Traditionally made with five ingredients — white rum, simple syrup (or sugar), lime, carbonated water, and mint,  this tasty cocktail offers a refreshing beverage in preparation for summer.

Vodka & Soda, with a splash of cranberry juice — A crowd pleaser for the ladies, this is a light, tasty drink that any bartender can make (if not, you might want to reconsider where you take your dates). A nice addition is a slice of lime to add a bit of a citrus to accompany the tartness of the cranberry juice.

While the Economy Suffers, Microbrews Grow

March 25, 2009

Despite, or perhaps because of, the weakened economy, many people are beginning to open microbreweries or brewpubs according to The Wall Street Journal.

Even as recession gripped the country, 114 microbreweries and brewpubs — restaurants that make their own beer — opened in the U.S. last year, according to the Brewers Association.

If you have never enjoyed the atmosphere and unique experience that a brewpub offers, take a quick look online and find one nearby; they frequently will explain each beer in laymen’s terms and will likely have a beer that appeals to even the most finicky palate.   Another great experience is brewing your own beer.  Numerous kits are available online and there are even breweries that allow you to brew your own beer on-site, selecting from a menu  and using ingredients they provide.

As this article indicates, the recession may dim hopes for the future, delay retirement and result in countless layoffs. But what this recession cannot do, however, is abate the thirst of Americans for good beer.

Finally, a Worthy Gift for Mom: Her Own Beer

March 24, 2009

Rogue, one of our favorite beer producers and makers of the delicious Dead Guy Ale has announced a new hefeweizen for moms: Rogue Mom Ale.  Available May 10 for Mother’s Day, this Belgian-style blonde ale  is an unfiltered fusion of wheat and barley malts, spiced with coriander and ginger.

From Rogue’s press release — 

“Mom Hefeweizen has received 13 national and international awards for taste and quality including a Gold medal at the World Beer  Championships, 2 Bronze medals at the Australian International Beer Awards and the title of Pacific Northwest Champion 2 years in a row from the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships.”

This gift is certainly something that moms the world over can enjoy, so show your mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day, and buy her a beer.