Greetings, beer fans! Thanksgiving is right around the corner -- hopefully your work week is wrapping up and you're getting ready for a long, drawn-out holiday weekend. And if you haven't exactly...committed...to a dish to bring to whatever Thanksgiving gathering you're making your way to this week, we have a couple ideas to help you out. Read on for more, plus our hours this week and weekend!
Whether your expertise in the kitchen is limited to grilled cheese or whether you're the type to work on your fraissage method until your hands are numb, we've got some fool-proof, delicious ways to pair beer with easy apps and desserts. The result? Your relatives' minds will. be. blown. Or, at the very least, they'll appreciate the interesting pairings.
First up: cheese. If you're tasked with putting together a cheese or charcuterie board, grab some rich, creamy, bloomy triple creme brie, Saint Angel cheese, or other soft, high-fat cheese. Add a hard cheese, like a good parm reg or aged goat cheese, and, of course, no cheese board is complete without a good sharp cheddar. Pair both the creamy soft cheese AND the sharp cheddar with a good hoppy brew, like our Gulo Cubed Imperial IPL, Gulo Gulo IPL, or Nelson Sauvin Green Thumb Session IPL. The hops work to cut through the richness of the brie so each bite feels like the first time, and pairing the bitterness of hops with tangy sharp cheddar helps develop the flavor of both beer and cheese. A suggestion: serve the cheeses with Gulo Cubed if it's an after-dinner cheese deal; if the cheese board is a starter, go with something slightly lower octane like Nelson Sauvin Green Thumb. It's a session IPL, after all.
Secondly: dessert. We chose Massacre Imperial Dark Lager aged in bourbon barrels and Kurios Black Belgian Stout Lager because they are both so complex, rich, and versatile.
Massacre is full of rich, dark chocolate notes and roastiness. Pairing it with coffee would make those roasty notes sing -- try pouring 3-4 ounces over a scoop of good coffee ice cream. Better yet, Massacre would work perfectly with deep, rich chocolate desserts like chocolate lava cake or chocolate pie. To draw out some rich fruit notes, try pairing Massacre with hot berry preserves over ice cream or serving it alongside raspberry tarts.
Kurios Black is full of complex flavors: tart cherry, roasty malt, delicate bourbon-and-oak character. Any kind of berry pie or tart would bring out those tart cherry notes. Don't neglect cinnamon here, either: spice cake or pumpkin pie brings out the hint of cinnamon in the brew. Chocolate anything pairs really well with Kurios Black's roasty backbone, too, so don't be shy with the hot fudge or chocolate pies.
If you're feeling really creative, make a reduction of either Kurios Black or Massacre to use as a glaze on Brussels sprouts.
All the beers mentioned above are available for purchase in growlers, howlers, or, in the case of Massacre, in wax-sealed bottles.
We are open from 4 pm-midnight on Wednesday, 11/23. The tap room will be closed on Thanksgiving day (11/24), and we will resume regular hours starting Friday at noon. We will open at 11 am on Saturday, 11/26 in advance of the noon start for U of M vs. OSU football.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!