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The best cold beer to be drunk with warm stew

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  • PapaT Nov 17, 2006 02:07 PM

While browsing at my local beer establishment I came across a Brooklyn Brewery Winter Ale which says on the label that it is perfect for stews. I picked it up and will try it tomorrow. My question is - What is the best beer to accompany a meat and potato stew which has been simmering 18+ hours?

My current favorites are Pete's Wicked Ale, Heinekin and Saranac Pale Ale.

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  1. Virtually any belgian would do great - the big fruity profiles would mix nicely with the gelatinous meatiness.

    Braising some pork shoulder right now. Pork and great northern beans maybe a little sauerkraut. I've got a Schwelmer Ale (german ale, hmhh) and a Burgerbrau Hell (lager). Should do the trick.

    1. I think a coffee porter or something similar would also go well with a stew.

      1. Yuengling Traditional Lager. Great with anything.

        1. Presuming this is a beef stew, I think you need to go with something dark that has roasty elements to it. I like the idea of a porter or a stout.

          I'm not sure whether that is for you, however, looking at your current favorites. All of those beers are more hoppy than malty and I don't think they would pair well with a stew.

          I have an idea...how about a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale or an Avery Ellie's Brown? Both of those have the roasty tones that would pair well with the stew but would have the bitter elements that might suit your palate.

          1. I'd look on porter as a more natural pairing for a dish like that. Dark ales, made from roasted malt, are a natural match for the caramelized flavors from the browned meat. Porter's earthy flavors are also well-matched with the earthiness of potatoes.

            I agree with brentk about the hoppiness issue. Hoppy beers aren't really a good match with the sweeter flavors. Hops pair well with assertive flavors like those found in spicy Asian, Indian and Mexican dishes.

            My suggestions would be Fuller's London Porter, or Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. Belgian ales can work with a dish like that, provided you avoid the higher alcohol ones. St. Bernardus' Grottenbier would fit the bill nicely.

            1. I agree with the dark beer philosophy, a good Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, or Oatmeal Stout would do the trick. Although you are saying you want it ice cold I would not serve it this way because it may take away some of the delicious flavors of the beer.

              Young's is also a good brand, I lean towards the English Breweries here.

              1. Brewery Ommegang has a burgandian brew (Ommegang) that is a great stew compliment. I had a venison stew with Ommegang and it really rounded it out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: verplanck

                  I tried the Brooklyn Brewery Winter Ale and it wasn't a bad combo. I suspect that the Sam Adams Old Fezziwig might go really well but I only had 1 bottle and tried it for the first time the night before.

                  BTW - If anyone knows any where I can get six (or 12) packs of the Old Fezziwig in the Long Island (or even Queens) area please post it.

                2. You cannot purchase Old Fezziwig unless you buy the 12 pack holiday seasonal, if memory serves me correctly. However, I could be wrong.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: insectrights

                    You are correct insectrights ....

                    Brewed for the holiday season, Old Fezziwig is a seasonal offering from the Boston Beer Company, best known for its flagship product, Samuel Adams Boston Lager. This beer is brewed only a couple of months each year and is sold only as part of a seasonal, 12- pack gift box, which includes 2 bottles each of six different Samuel Adams products. Boston Beer first introduced this product many years ago; discontinued it for a while; then brought it back for the 2002/2003 holiday season.

                    Food Compatibility:

                    This beer is a spiced winter brew, and that means that the best food to consume with it would be desserts, especially those that also include spices. A piece of pumpkin pie would match up nicely with this beer, as would a plate of gingersnap cookies. Certain chocolate desserts would also make good companions. And, of course, it’s also a good beer to consume all by itself

                  2. I would also go with a porter. I like Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.