Month: April 2017
I was lucky enough to get to attend the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) a couple weeks ago, and thought I’d share some details of the conference and trip over the next few posts. Each year CBC is hosted by a different US city–Washington, D.C. this year. I’m an avid traveler, so hardly needed an excuse to come spend most of a week in a city I’d only spent a few days in at age 12. A different type of trip, indeed. The distance and cost to attend another East Coast location (last year CBC was in Philadelphia) meant that West Coast representation and attendees were sparse. A totally different beer landscape than I’m accustomed to here in the PNW, that is to say. But I found some local gems!
Behold the beautiful and delicious oyster in its glory, the cool months of the year. This week I’m featuring some lovely locally harvested oysters from the Hama Hama Company from Lilliwaup, Wash. Undeniably, oysters pair well with a lot of fermented beverages: there are arguments for stouts, dry ciders, sparkling wine, dry white wines and vodka. I’ve tried all these things, and all these things are all fantastic–perhaps, a testament to the rockstar flavors of oysters. A few months ago I happened into pairing oysters with a Brett Pale–a Belgian styled, yeast-focused beer with a light level of sourness and a light funkiness. The aroma of the beer alone pairs amazingly well with oysters. I highly suggest giving this one a try.
Spoiler alert: there is no chocolate involved in this article, nor is there any in chocolate malt. Chocolate malt is, in fact merely a type of malt that shares some flavor characteristics with you guessed it, chocolate. Used at a small percentage (usually 10% or less) and primarily in brown ales, stouts and porters, chocolate malt is a useful specialty malt in the brewer’s toolkit.
A good golden ale may be hard to find, but the perfect, well-balanced, malty and nutty, attenuated brew is incredibly satisfying, especially alongside food. My optimal choice for pairing a golden ale is nuts, and ideally gently toasted hazelnuts. Washington and Oregon have a lot of amazing hazelnut varieties, and terroir isn’t for nothing: places where hazelnuts grow, barley often grows. It should be a classic match. Plus, snack nuts and beer? You can’t go wrong.