Beer Tasting Date Night
Need a fun date night in idea? Whether you're with friends or want to get foodie with your significant other, how about switching up that chic bottle of wine for some gold ol' bottle of beer? Or better yet, multiple bottles of beer. For the husbands birthday (a few months ago) we had a beer tasting night in. After driving to Bev'Mo and having fun reading labels for an hour we settled on 5 different big boy bottles of beer from around the world. To keep thing simple we turned to our local Thai take out place for all the food. Because Thai food has so many flavor profiles from refreshingly light to spicy citrus to earthy richness, it was easy to match beers up with courses.
Here are the pairings:
- Chang Light Lager with Spring Rolls. What a better way to start off a Thai themed night than with a popular Thai beer. Chang was easy and crisp with a little bit of bitter - a perfect match to the refreshing veggie spring rolls. If I had to choose one beer for the night, this beer would be a good blank slate beer choice to allow the whole shebang of bold Thai flavors to stand out.
- Oak Town Brown Ale with Chicken Satay. The malty flavors of brown ale are a classic pairing with the nuttiness of Chicken Satay with peanut sauce. I picked up this beer because it was crafted locally in Oakland--cheers to local drinking! Like the city it was named after Oaktown was B-O-L-D and unapologetic. Dark brown, roasted flavors, and drank more like a stout -- this beer ended up being way too heavy for the Chicken Satay pairing. I felt fuller from the beer than the chicken. Good beer, but not a good food pairing.
- Stone Ruination IPA with Spicy Red Pork Curry. I'm not a fan of IPAs in general, but this combo worked because it was like pitting two heavyweights in a ring. The heavy punch of the IPA perfectly paired with the bold heat of the curry.
- Pilsner with Thai grilled salmon. Ah pilsner, if you've only had one beer in your life chances are it was a pilsner type (think budweiser.) Pilsners are great with fatty fish so we chose a German pilsner just for the sake of going around the world. Our verdict: will skip the german pisner next time.
- Wychcraft Blonde Ale with Pad Thai. Holy crap this was a good pairing. I'm not sure if it's because Pad Thai is one of my favorite foods and probably goes with anything or if it's because I happen to be a huge big blonde ale fan; but this combination was heavenly. I'll definetely buy this beer again.
Beer tasting date night in was the perfect compromise between being fancy and relaxing at home silliness. At the end I was so freaking drunk and happy. On tasting beer. I'll be the first to tell you that I barely know my malts from my hops. I'm not a connoisseur by any means but I would like to be. And hey if I'm going to learn about something new it might as well be beer. In the future, I shall assign myself beer homework. Yes siree.
Want to host your own beer tasting night? Check out this excellent beer tasting guide as a starting point to plan your menu.
Disclaimer. No dogs were intoxicated during the taking of these pictures. =)