November 19, 2010

What Are We Pairing? - Brown Ales and Comfort Food

The weather turned and that puts us in the mood for heartier ales and comfort food. Fall reflection must be the reason why we gravitated to adult versions of childhood favorites. We chose meatloaf and sloppy joes to go with a couple of locally available Brown Ales, each with a slightly different character.

Meatloaf and Moose Drool at Rico's
The first dish is a billed as a Wicked Meatloaf Sandwich from Rico's American Grill at the Squaw Peak Hilton.  It's served open-faced on Texas toast, covered with white cheddar, a haystack of fried onions and tangy house bbq sauce.  We decided on a Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing.

Moose Drool begins with a caramel cocoa flavor but finishes with a roasty bitterness. It's a classic example of an American Brown Ale- more aggressive than an English Brown with medium body and just shy of a porter in terms of robustness.  The malty caramel and slightly sweet flavors in the foretaste are perfect for ground beef dishes like meatloaf, the bitter roasty finish provides a relief to the tangy barbecue sauce.

Rico's American Grill is a fairly new entrant to the local craft beer scene featuring 10 taps of primarily local or regional craft and select bottles.  They feature an house "unfiltered amber" which is shipped in growlers from Widmer of Portland, OR which the beer geek in us says is a fairly pedestrian Dunklweizen.  The people we spoke to there are excited for the beer focus and are eager to listen to anyone with a beer opinion.  We hope that people in the North Central corridor and resort guests support it.

Tots too!
At District Kitchen, we favored the  sweeter, nuttier Oak Creek Brewing Nut Brown to pair with the Buffalo Sloppy Joe on brioche.  The District's Sloppy Joe sauce is not as tangy as some versions and it fully allows you to taste the buffalo meat. The Oak Creek Nut Brown is made in the Northern English Brown style and it's going to give you all of the caramel, toffee and biscuity flavors of that style without the agressive bittering, hop flavors or roastyness of an American Brown.

In terms of body, the Oak Creek skews more toward the medium light side and you might find that a relief after such a generously heaped sandwich.

We're just a few weeks away from Sun Up Brewing's Nut Before Christmas which is in the same style as the Oak Creek. Sun Up also features a red ale infused buffalo sloppy joe on brioche. We hope that someone will come through with some tasting notes on that combo soon.

1 comment:

  1. Nut Before Christmas is on tap at Sun Up, so get busy on that red ale infused buffalo sloppy joe on brioche.