Last month’s Beer Snob was snarkier than usual and generated more emails and free product than any previous column, so let me answer your queries here.
First, some quick replies: Yes, no, no, once in Vancouver, yes, and never in latex.
Thank you for your concern regarding the TSA. Every bit of it was true except I was not the one getting the pat-down. I was the one who made the “happy ending” remark, eliciting grimaces from the TSA and chuckling smirks from uneasy travelers. Thank you to Pyramid Brewing Company, whose PR firm apparently uses Google Alerts and sent me a nice lager glass for critiquing the Pyramid Hefe. Google Alerts scans the internet for words that interest you or your business, such as “Pyramid” (the PR firm tracking mentions of their client), “losers” (Phillies), and “dog recipe” (Obama). You can also “ego alert” by having Google search your name, which can send you disconcerting results if your name is Zimmerman, Suleman or GooeyDeath.
Which brings us to fuggels. Roger and his son, Steve, own Argilla Brewey and Pietro’s Pizza in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s the smallest brewery in the second smallest state in America, churning out 1.5 barrels a week… at most. Roger has been creating awesome pizza for over 30 years. Steve’s been brewing for just a couple of years, starting with his first creation, “Swill is a Compliment,” and now culminating in what would be award-winning brews if he had time to enter contests.
The Argilla Citizen Pale Ale is triple hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Zythos (hop blend), giving it the wonderfully amazing character of great pale ales that don’t leave you with a regrettably bitterly dry finish. It’s currently the favorite American IPA among the Thirsty Thursday hopheads. There’s a near-balance of malt to predominantly cascade hops and pairs really well with Argilla’s sweet & fatty duck confit pizza.
And the food at Argilla is amazing… pulled pork and the most amazing herb burger ever, which they pair brilliantly with a toasted amber ale using only Mt. Hood hops and their own rye stout. The blending of hops is interesting as brewers seek multiple or singularly unique characteristics in each product. Zythos brings floral, pine, grapefruit and tangerine notes to the nose & palate, great for IPA. This is important to know for pairing beer & food.
Personally, I prefer the beer to accentuate the food by presenting an opposing flavor, sweet or bitter character or effervescence. At the risk of repeating from a previous column, one of the all-time great dessert pairings is a chocolate stout paired with an excellent vanilla bean or pumpkin ice cream. IPA is best with fatty foods and with a spicy chicken dish, a Belgian like Golden Monkey by Victory or a mellow, yeasty hefeweisen… (maybe if I type, “Pyramid Hefeweisen,” the PR suits in NY will see it & send me a coaster!)
Oh, yeah, I did type “which brings us to fuggels” awhile back. The editor told me that if I toss in a nonsequitur, there should be a reason and some relevant point to it. I’m sure he’s right about that. Have a nice day.
Don’t stay thirsty, my friends, Slake It!
Today’s column was inspired by a Crown Valley Farmhouse Lager in which the Ste. Genevieve, Missouri brewers keep it mellow with Pilsner Malt, Vienna Malt and Fuggels Hops. (ah-HA!)