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Pairing recommendations?

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I'm serving this menu to a certified beer-snob. Any recommends for good beers to match to it?
1. hummus/pita
2. lamb meatballs in tangy tomato sauce over rice (http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/re...
3. roasted curried cauliflower
4. brownies and ice cream

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  1. That's a lot of different (strong) flavors, so picking one beer might be tough. You need beers that are going to stand up to the dishes without wasting your friend's palate. Here are a few beers that I might try:

    1) Dogfish Head Golden Era Pilsner - this is a great beer, but might be hard to find (it is brewed seasonally). Most pilsners would taste like water against your menu, but Golden Era is one of the best beers I've had.

    If you can't find that, I might go dark with something like a Vienna-style lager. A good one will be light bodied and a little nutty. If you are in the Southeast, you can get a beer called Dos Perros, from Yazoo brewing (Nashville).

    2/3) I would want a malty beer for the lamb and cauliflower, like an Alt or Marzen. Bluegrass Brewing has an Altbier that is good, as is the Paulaner Oktoberfest.

    This is assuming that tangy/curry does not mean spicy hot. If we are talking spicy, I would go with an American Pale Ale or IPA...see the Bluegrass Pale Ale, Highlands Brewing Kashmir IPA, or either of Russian River's Pliny the ___ (Elder & Younger).

    4) I love a porter with chocolate anything...one of the best I've had is Cutthroat Porter, from Odell Brewing.

    If you can't get these where you live, check out ratebeer.com to find good alternatives (the site will also let you filter the beers by geography). Sorry for the excessively long answer and good luck with the menu.

    1. You could go with Chimay Grande Reserve through the first 3 courses. It is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale which has some sweetness which should work well against the heat of the curry. It also has the overall size to pair up with the lamb dish and will be serviceable with hummus. As for dessert it is ESSENTIAL that you find a beverage that is sweeter than the dessert, otherwise you won't taste the beverage. Think about how that glass red wine that you drank AFTER dessert tasted. So my choice for brownies and ice cream would be Lindemans Framboise. Raspberry and chocolate go well together and both brownies and ice cream are quite sweet (and so is Lindemans Framboise).

      Thanks and good luck

      1. I'm not sure where you are located as I cannot find your profile, but I would like to recommend some beers that you can obtain locally, so a location would help.

        Also, your link for the meatball recipe was broken. Hopefully, this will work http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/re...

        Having said that, would recommend the following:

        A Belgian Pale Ale to start. Its a great apertif and would go nicely with the hummus.

        The lamb meatballs have a bit of spice to them, so I would pair that with an IPA. WIth the depth of flavor that the lamb will bring, I would like to see an IPA that has a nice malt backbone. A saison might be an interesting twist that would pair with both the meatballs and the cauliflower.

        For the dessert, we are looking at Russian Imperial Stout territory.

        Let me know where you are located and I can provide better guidance.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brentk

          Hey Brent - thanks for your recommendations - I'm in D.C.

          1. re: ziggy5

            Here are some ideas in the styles I suggested:

            Belgian Pale - Val Dieu Blond
            Belgian IPA (which could carry through both the hummus and the entree) - Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel
            American IPA - IPAs from Avery, Stone or Smuttynose would do the trick; the Sierra Nevada Celebration is also nice this time of year
            Russian Imperial Stout - One of the big stouts from Southern Tier - Chocolat, Creme Brulee or Jahva