Month: February 2017
Today I’m taking a look at a classic winter combination: stout and potatoes. For this I chose a dry, Irish-style stout with a silky mouthfeel, a decent roasted malt character and moderately low hop bitterness. Stout and potatoes in many incarnations are friends, but I particularly think a creamy mashed potato dish (especially with a touch of buttermilk or sour cream and some rich Irish butter) is a winner. March approaches and, green beer aside, I know some out there are St. Patrick’s Day enthusiasts out there. If not, it’s a great excuse to have some good beer and hearty, fulfilling food. But before you fill your belly, let’s break it down a bit.
Dark ales are no competition to the IPA craze here in the US, but they are of deep-rooted significance in connecting our craft beer revolution to British predecessors and their long-developed styles. While much of large-scale breweries in the US have taken direct cues from Germanic brewing, homebrewers and small craft breweries especially in the 1980s and ‘90’s focused on a wider set of examples, looking to expand away from the ubiquitous American light lager. At that time, much of the grain and hops available for homebrewers and small breweries was from the UK. Why? Although the US produces the majority of the world’s hops and a huge amount of its barley, there wasn’t much of a market for selling small quantities at that time, thus they were not always easy to obtain.
Let’s be truthful: this week’s political events have made me want to drink. A lot. It’s not just me feeling this way–I’ve been making cocktails and pouring beers for many a discouraged face at work too. While I’m no expert on giving political or diplomatic advice, one of my personal mantras is to always put my money where my mouth is. Turns out, my mouth is often near a beer. And thus I sought out some charitable, warm and fuzzy-feeling locations to help direct your money where your mouth is as well. Here are just a few breweries and events that do double duty in this trying time: providing you with a tasty beverage and helping your money go to a good cause.