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Food Pairing with D/Head 120 IPA

abu applesauce Jan 19, 2009 08:01 AM

Any suggestions? .

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  1. JessKidden RE: abu applesauce Jan 19, 2009 08:25 AM

    Pour over pancakes or waffles?

    1. Caralien RE: abu applesauce Jan 19, 2009 08:55 AM

      I haven't had it in awhile, but from the current descriptions:

      I'd pair it with sashimi (the beer is 450cal/bottle and 20% abv) or roasted pork. It might be perfect with suckling pig too.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Caralien
        BeerWeezil RE: Caralien Jan 19, 2009 09:39 AM

        Try it as an aperitif, i.e. as a sipping drink BEFORE you eat; the bitterness and alcohol content will get your appetite going.

        1. re: BeerWeezil
          Chinon00 RE: BeerWeezil Jan 19, 2009 10:15 AM

          I'd have it after dinner myself. I'd think it's strength and "boozy" character would tend to numb your palate.

          1. re: Chinon00
            Jim Dorsch RE: Chinon00 Jan 19, 2009 10:41 AM

            I agree. Better a pilsner, say, as an aperitif.

            1. re: Chinon00
              Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 19, 2009 11:01 AM

              Aperitifs are either sweet, salty, bitter, or a little of all of the above, set to induce one's appetite. Having a strong cocktail prior to a meal is also rather common.

              1. re: Caralien
                Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 19, 2009 11:28 AM

                What isn't an aperitif in your opinion?


                1. re: Chinon00
                  Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 19, 2009 12:44 PM

                  A digestif. :)

                  Seriously, there's a lot of overlapping between the 2 (Ricard being one of my favourites before and after a meal, but not during). I personally don't like beers, tall carbonated cocktails, vodka oj, etc. prior to a meal, as they fill me up too quickly. Cognac, port, dessert & ice wines, Licor 43--better after a meal, accompanied by or instead of a dessert.

                  Back to the OP's question, though some good cheeses would be a great pairing too!

                  1. re: Caralien
                    Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 19, 2009 12:58 PM

                    Thanks for sharpening your point.

                    1. re: Chinon00
                      BeerWeezil RE: Chinon00 Jan 19, 2009 01:08 PM

                      I have to disagree on the palate numbing issue. Campari comes to mind as it is a bitter and higher in alcohol than the 120 Minute I.P.A. and is often drunk as an aperitif either cut or straight, but mostly with soda or water.

                      1. re: BeerWeezil
                        Chinon00 RE: BeerWeezil Jan 19, 2009 01:35 PM

                        I've never heard of Campari straight as an aperitif. Straight Campari would make quite an impression on your palate before your first course wouldn't it?

                        1. re: Chinon00
                          Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 19, 2009 05:55 PM

                          I have never seen anyone drink Campari straight. As a Negroni or with soda and a twist, yes, but never straight up, although I'm sure it has been done.

                        2. re: BeerWeezil
                          Josh RE: BeerWeezil Jan 19, 2009 02:08 PM

                          Campari is barely higher in alcohol. Campari is 20.5%, 120 Minute is 20%. I wouldn't want to drink Campari with food, either.

            2. re: Caralien
              Ralphus RE: Caralien Jan 21, 2009 06:01 AM

              Wow, very few adventurous people on this board! I like Caralien's options of roast pork or suckling pig. A solid roast duck dish may work as well. I think the salty/sweetness of such meats (and their skins) would complement the bitter/sweetness of the 120min. Also, the 120min is boozy enough to cut through the fat of such dishes. I would however recommend getting your hands on a well aged 1 or 2 year old version of 120min. Much more refined and mellow (relatively speaking).

            3. Josh RE: abu applesauce Jan 19, 2009 11:09 AM

              A different beer.

              1. p
                pininex RE: abu applesauce Jan 19, 2009 03:32 PM

                I would hold off until after your meal. This is one beer that really turns harsh as it warms. My suggestion is to pour it into a a few snifter glasses and share the 12 oz bottle with a friend or 2.

                1. Insidious Rex RE: abu applesauce Jan 22, 2009 10:12 AM

                  Who ever said pancakes has got it right... The best you could hope is to make it into a dessert. Maybe drop a couple scoops of french vanilla in there...

                  1. Chinon00 RE: abu applesauce Jan 22, 2009 12:05 PM

                    The idea that all beers can be potentially food friendly I think is far-fetched particularly considering the intended monstrousness of beers such as DFH 120.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00
                      Josh RE: Chinon00 Jan 22, 2009 01:38 PM

                      Couldn't agree more.

                      1. re: Josh
                        BeanBoy RE: Josh Jan 24, 2009 12:57 AM

                        Have you tasted Dogfish 120??

                        The alcohol is not the dominant flavor.

                        1. re: BeanBoy
                          Josh RE: BeanBoy Jan 25, 2009 09:57 PM

                          Yeah, I tasted it. It doesn't matter if the alcohol isn't the dominant flavor. The alcohol on the beer is massive as is the bitterness. I can't think of two flavors more hostile to food pairing.

                    2. c
                      chuckl RE: abu applesauce Jan 22, 2009 01:11 PM

                      Dogfish head 120, and the 90, are really hoppy, and that amount of hops has a tendency to overwhelm anything that doesn't have a flavor strong enough to stand up to it. I''d drink it with say braised lamb shanks or strogonoff, or even good pizza. Certainly nothing delicate.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: chuckl
                        BeanBoy RE: chuckl Jan 24, 2009 01:09 AM

                        I sort of agree.

                        But Dogfish head 120 is a very rounded beer. Almost as sweet as it is bitter. I didn't like it THAT much on its own, but I might try it with a sharp, white cheddar or some nice black olives rather than something as heavy and savory as lamb. I'd probably have a hard time finishing either the lamb or the beer. FLAVOR OVERLOAD!

                        1. re: BeanBoy
                          Chinon00 RE: BeanBoy Jan 24, 2009 05:34 AM

                          I've made this point before but it's worth another mention I think. Many winemakers evaluate their wine with food. That is to say that it is understood that their wine will be consumed in a manner that considers food. And therefore the wine is prepared in a food friendly manner. I wonder how many brewers are doing that?

                          1. re: Chinon00
                            BeanBoy RE: Chinon00 Jan 24, 2009 11:10 AM

                            Don't wonder. Read up on it if you're curious.

                            There are plenty of books and great articles out there. Some vague notion of what is proper doesn't really tell anyone very much.

                            1. re: BeanBoy
                              Chinon00 RE: BeanBoy Jan 24, 2009 12:33 PM

                              What is your understanding of it? How many brewers do you know of that consciously brew in a food friendly manner? Please share.

                              1. re: Chinon00
                                BeanBoy RE: Chinon00 Jan 24, 2009 08:27 PM

                                I would have to say that all craft brewers do this. Beer is food after all.

                                I don't share your supposition that an alcoholic beverage is only suitable to drink with a meal if its maker had that meal in mind when he made it. I also have been known to thoroughly enjoy a wine with a good burger and the right beer with the right piece of cheese.

                                Putting flavors together that please the palate should take a little imagination sometimes. This is not a test. There is no one right answer.

                                I know of plenty of chefs that build meals around a beverage, be it beer, wine or cider. Just google the word "Gastropub"

                                It seems a bit cliché to think that beer is for chest thumping masses and wine for the educated worthy few. The flavors of a good beer can be as delicate and subtle as any decent wine.

                                There are folks that DO put quite a lot of thought into this:

                                1. re: BeanBoy
                                  Chinon00 RE: BeanBoy Jan 25, 2009 07:48 AM

                                  I never said only. I’m a proponent of beer being paired with cheeses in lieu of wine for example because I find that beer often works better texturally with cheese than wine does. However my point was that for some winemakers it is their belief that when evaluating their wines the quality of it cannot be fully realized without food. I’m not aware of any brewers who think this way (i.e. “I’m not sure how good my {fill in the beer style} is until I pair it with X meal”). And not that it must be; it’s just an observation.

                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                    Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 25, 2009 12:38 PM

                                    Chinon, I appreciate the views I've heard from you, but I would guess that most brewers and vinters primarily strive for the best they can make, and afterwards, find good pairings. As the taste is based on the tongue of the individual, it may be based on the foods and tastes of such individual. I like everything, or at least most things, but there are the influences of life and experiences which influence what you want to make, so if you think of that, yes, the vintners and brewers have food involved in what they're creating. And it probably pairs well with what the same such experts are creating in their labs before full production.

                                  2. re: BeanBoy
                                    Josh RE: BeanBoy Jan 25, 2009 10:02 PM

                                    I know a lot of craft brewers, and they are generally pretty well-acquainted with pairing food with their beers. I wish I could say the same for chefs. I've had a lot of supposedly good pairings that were total train wrecks.

                                    That said, I don't think DFH 120 IPA is a beer that was conceived with food pairing as the foremost consideration. While it's true that beer can be delicate and subtle (though I'd disagree that it can be quite as delicate as wine), I sincerely doubt anyone would pick those two adjectives for DFH 120.

                                    1. re: Josh
                                      BeanBoy RE: Josh Jan 26, 2009 11:10 AM

                                      he he he. I TOTALLY agree about DFH 120. Perhaps it gets mellow with age. I am glad that DFH is really going out there and experimenting with just what a beer can be.

                                      There is almost twice as much alcohol in 120 IPA as there is in some wines. I have a couple bottles that I'll crack open in a few more years. Was NOT a huge fan of how the 2008 120 IPA tasted a few weeks ago . . . though the effects were super-mellow and nice for a chilly winter night.

                                      The right beer poured at the right temperature and in the right way can MOST CERTAINLY be as delicate and subtle as wine to me. Especially the higher alcohol tripple fermented Belgian style ales.

                                      But taste is subjective. Maybe its the setting and the fact that I am oo-ed and awed by things like wood paneling, interestingly shaped glasses, or the ritualistic way that Belgian beer is poured. . . but fancy beers seem to taste better at places like The Trappist near where I live.

                                      I feel like I get more bang for my buck with fancy beer vs fancy wine. We seem to devalue drinks like good beer, expertly fermented cider because they don't have the same mystique built up around them.

                                      1. re: BeanBoy
                                        Josh RE: BeanBoy Jan 26, 2009 12:44 PM

                                        Try a 30-40 year old bottle of a well-aged wine and you'll see what I mean about delicacy. I'm more of a beer guy, but I also am a bit of a wine guy, and I think both have the potential to be impressive in different ways.

                                  3. re: Chinon00
                                    BeanBoy RE: Chinon00 Jan 24, 2009 08:42 PM

                                    Forgot your list. Sorry:

                                    1. re: Chinon00
                                      Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 24, 2009 11:27 PM

                                      Beer is paired with so much more than just burgers, look at the cuisines of Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, & India...

                                      Although a burger with beer, particularly a good stout which might have been mixed into the ground meat, is wonderful.

                            2. gatorfoodie RE: abu applesauce Jan 22, 2009 05:27 PM

                              You'll need really big flavors to match with that. Maybe some jerk grilled chicken. The heat and the citrus should match nicely.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gatorfoodie
                                chuckl RE: gatorfoodie Jan 23, 2009 04:13 PM

                                great call, or maybe barbecue

                              2. Chinon00 RE: abu applesauce Jan 26, 2009 06:04 AM

                                I think that there are so many discrete pairing ideas for different beers that it can be difficult to remember any when you’re out at a restaurant. Wine on the other hand has the standby “red wine-meat and white wine-fish”; which is clumsy but is nonetheless part of our basic understanding of dining. What beer needs is a similar established basic pairing idea. The best that I’ve heard is to have sharp, acidic beer with fatty foods and rich round malty beer with lean foods. We need to get there first I think.

                                41 Replies
                                1. re: Chinon00
                                  Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 26, 2009 06:36 AM

                                  these are some of the first links found when I looked up "beer pairings"

                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                    BeanBoy RE: Chinon00 Jan 26, 2009 11:14 AM

                                    Did you look at the chart I linked to before?

                                    If you want detailed suggestions take a look:

                                    beertown.org also lays down interesting ideas of how to pair beer with food.

                                    I tend to like the general advice (the second link) than the specific. Gives me a little wiggle room to make my own mistakes and learn what I like and can't stand. he he.

                                    1. re: BeanBoy
                                      Chinon00 RE: BeanBoy Jan 26, 2009 03:26 PM

                                      Yes I read the chart and appreciate it and your thoughts. To my observation when people go out for a meal and choose to have wine, the vast majority of them will allow their meal to inform their choice in wine. But when it comes to beer I'd say that at least today, the vast majority do not allow their meal to inform their beer selection preferring simply to eat what they want and to drink what they want. To help change this situation for beer I'd suggest that instead of providing detailed charts with a myriad of combinations or even general guidelines for folks to try and follow, to instead create one simple to understand paradigm thus making the idea of beer pairing easier and more accessible. One familiar paradigm would do wonders for beer pairing I think by simply making it a mainstream idea.

                                      1. re: Chinon00
                                        Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 26, 2009 03:43 PM

                                        the basic rules you mentioned pertaining to wine (“red wine-meat and white wine-fish”) have been largely thrown out over the past few years, as it ignores roses, sparkling, and even differences between the different whites and reds. There are reds which are good with poultry and fish, whites which pair well with meats. By adjusting the seasonings (minimally salt and sugar), one can choose a greater variety.

                                        The recommended guidelines which you asked for "What beer needs is a similar established basic pairing idea" both BeanBoy and I provided.

                                        There are dozens of styles of beers, so dividing it into something with 2 choices (ie red with meat and white with fish) is overly simplistic in reality.

                                        1. re: Caralien
                                          Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 26, 2009 04:07 PM

                                          Do you find that "beer geeks" are as interested in pairing as "wine geeks"?

                                          1. re: Chinon00
                                            Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 26, 2009 04:47 PM

                                            Yes. Look up and attend a beer tasting dinner in your area if you have any doubts. Or go to a brewery and do a tasting and ask for recommendations--they'll be happy to share their knowledge.

                                            1. re: Caralien
                                              Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 26, 2009 05:09 PM

                                              We're beating a dead horse here. I frequent beer bars and other restaurants with great tap and bottle lists a lot and I just haven't observed what you have apparently. I'm aware and have attended beer dinners but I haven't seen the interest and excitement shown there translated into the dining room generally yet.
                                              So I can agree that conscious exciting beer pairings exist and there is a community who are really into it. But it just hasn't reached noticeable heights relative to wine to my observation. Maybe it will soon.


                                              1. re: Chinon00
                                                Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 27, 2009 03:10 AM

                                                Do try going to a brewery and meet the beer geeks there. I've been to dozens and the makers know what they're talking about. Bars with 50+ beers on tap are for people to try beer, not necessarily in terms of pairings. Many could care less about food, or food pairings. The same is true at many wine bars.

                                                At the beer dinners I've attended, there was great interest in food pairings; of course there are some people there just for the beer, and if that was the majority of the folks you dined with, it's a shame.

                                                Good luck in finding what you're looking for.

                                                1. re: Caralien
                                                  Josh RE: Caralien Jan 27, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                  Beer geeks are a tiny percentage of the population. The concept of wine as accompaniment to food is so widespread that it's practiced by just about everybody. I'm not necessarily talking about wine geeks either, making precise pairings of earthy pinots with mushroomy cheeses based on the wines and cheeses having similar terroir.

                                                  Not to speak for Chinon00, but I believe his point is that until beer is seen in the way wine is by much larger numbers of people, it's still going to be on the fringes.

                                                  Wine as the de facto accompaniment to serious food is a centuries-old practice, and has a lot to do with things like the Norman conquest of England and the perception of French culture among the English. You're talking about prejudices that run very deep. Overcoming these is going to take more than beer dinners populated with BA and RateBeer fans.

                                                  1. re: Josh
                                                    Caralien RE: Josh Jan 27, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                    I guess I'm just really lucky to have met a lot of friendly beer geeks across the US and abroad!

                                                    I don't get the prejudices either. Those of Scottish, German, Irish, English, Japanese, Mexican, Belgian, and Indian heritage would prefer their own beers with their serious meals than a French wine which doesn't pair as well. And can be equally snooty about it. Take the romance countries, and wine is more prevalent for both serious and casual meals.

                                                    I would think that those on CH would be less judgemental and simply find out for themselves what works and what doesn't, breaking the rules as all rules were mean't to be broken.

                                                    In the UK and Germany, I'm far more likely to have a pint of the local brew with my meal, fine or pedestrian. I was mocked for ordering wine with meals in Heidelberg because the beer was so much better, but I was mistakenly under the impression that any wines had to pair better with any meals than the lowly beer. That was in 1994. I've grown up a bit since then.

                                                    1. re: Caralien
                                                      Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 27, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                      Do you believe that today beer is as accepted as wine is for pairing by the general public?

                                                      1. re: Chinon00
                                                        Jim Dorsch RE: Chinon00 Jan 27, 2009 03:32 PM

                                                        There are some signs lately that after many years of effort (by, for example, Merchant du Vin and the Brooklyn Brewery), restaurants are starting to pay more attention to their beer lists. That's probably due to consumer pull, since craft beers and, until recently, imports have been growing quickly and steadily.

                                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                                          Chinon00 RE: Jim Dorsch Jan 27, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                          So do you draw a distinction between an interest in having beer with dinner versus actual pairing of beer with dinner?


                                                          1. re: Chinon00
                                                            Jim Dorsch RE: Chinon00 Jan 28, 2009 01:24 AM

                                                            I draw a distinction, but I tend not to practice the latter.

                                                            Here's an interesting story on the subject: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbc...

                                                        2. re: Chinon00
                                                          BeanBoy RE: Chinon00 Jan 28, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                          Why is it an issue what the general public thinks??

                                                          I thought the discussion was about how well beer matches with food?

                                                          I would agree Chi., that most people view wine as a better match for food, at higher class, even as superior to wine. But simply because public perception is pointed one way, doesn't make it so. Look at how many people voted for Bush in 2004 thinking he would be the best thing for our country. :P

                                                          1. re: BeanBoy
                                                            Chinon00 RE: BeanBoy Jan 28, 2009 11:44 AM

                                                            Yes I was basically looking for ideas to close the gap that exists in the dining public between wine and beer for pairing with food. Yours and others suggestions I think are excellent but mostly for those who are already interested in craft beer. But for it to reach the rest of the dining community I think we need to first get their heads around the idea of beer as an accompaniment to a meal. And I think that the best way is in broad terms like the aforementioned “dark beer with cheese”; they pair wonderfully and it’s easy to remember. Not that it should be limited to that it’s just a way to start getting diners to think of beer in that manner.
                                                            The idea that a relationship exists between beer and food must take hold first within the dining public before we get too specific or allow too much freedom with pairing choices. Otherwise I think that beer pairing will remain to the general dining public a cute gimmick or as a curiosity.


                                                        3. re: Caralien
                                                          Josh RE: Caralien Jan 28, 2009 11:00 AM

                                                          Not sure what you mean by "their own beers". Mexico, Japan, and India are more known for their watery, germanic lagers than anything else. There's nothing inherently Mexican about Corona or Tecate.

                                                          The idea that the best beverage to pair with a meal is by definition one from its country of origin is nothing but dogma. And German wine, which is possibly what was on the menu in Heidelberg, is some of the most universally food-friendly drinking on the planet.

                                                          Everything depends on what you're eating. A rich mole rojo from Mexico city would be matched more successfully with a porter than an insipid Mexican lager.

                                                          1. re: Josh
                                                            Caralien RE: Josh Jan 28, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                            A lot of the places in Heidelberg had local beers (Vetters being the best) which would have paired well with most of the German meals; the wines served were also not predominantly German, but French and Italian.

                                                            Watery beer is crap unless it's really hot outside and a light beer such as Corona or it's watery cousin Amstel might work. And these are the beers the general public likes and considers real beer. I'm not talking about those beers, but hey, if you and the general public want to believe that these countries only serve watery Germanic lagers which have been likened to pi**, as with their popular American counterparts like Bud and Coors, that's fine too. Those are not good food pairing beers unless you're dining on burritos, nachos, and wings.

                                                            1. re: Caralien
                                                              Josh RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 01:01 PM

                                                              I live about 20 minutes from Mexico, and the beers I see served down there and sold here in stores as "Mexican beer" are typically limited to the macro brews like Corona, Dos Equis, and Tecate. Negro Modelo is also available, but it's made with a substantial amount of corn.

                                                              In recent years, there are a few craft breweries whose products have made it to the US, like Cucapa and Casta. TJ Beer is another one, though they mainly produce Czech-style lagers.

                                                              If there are others that I'm not aware of, I'd love to know more.

                                                              1. re: Josh
                                                                Jim Dorsch RE: Josh Jan 29, 2009 01:08 PM

                                                                Do you ever see Noche Bueno? I used to enjoy that 20-25 years ago, but it hasn't been sold in this area for a long, long time, and IIRC it was dumbed down some time back (and also, I'm sure it was better in the context of what one could find in the eastern US two decades ago than it would be today).

                                                                1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                                                  Josh RE: Jim Dorsch Jan 29, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                                  No, I've heard of it, but haven't seen it.

                                                                2. re: Josh
                                                                  Caralien RE: Josh Jan 29, 2009 02:28 PM

                                                                  Personally, if I were in Mexico, I would not be drinking the Weyerbacher brews. They're too heavy to drink with meals or alone when it's really hot out. There's a reason there are lighter beers in hotter climates.

                                                                  I drink locally as much as possible. When I'm in St. Lucia, I'll drink Piton with my roti. Here in Princeton during winter, it's Weyerbacher or a zinfandel with roasts during winter.

                                                                  I noticed that you didn't mention Germany, Ireland, England, or Scotland--so there the beers are well paired with the food, but in places like Japan, India, and Mexico, the beers aren't?

                                                                  I'm sticking with my mantra--drink and eat locally, and decide for yourself what works and what doesn't. Ignore the rules if they don't suit you and consume whatever makes your dining pleasure better, whether the public agrees with you or not.

                                                                  1. re: Caralien
                                                                    Josh RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                                    The idea that the proximity of beer production to the food being consumed is an indicator of successful pairing is not supportable by evidence.

                                                                    What makes pairings work is harmonious flavors. Caramelized proteins pair well with caramelized grains. This is why grilled meats work well with brown ales. Carnitas would be great with a nice nut brown ale, for example.

                                                                    If you like your food spicier, then beers that are tart or acidic make for great pairings. I can't think of a better beer for spicy food, or hot weather, than Berliner weisse. If you served Berliner weisse in every Mexican restaurant and gave people samples with their meals, I'd be willing to bet they'd stop ordering Coronas.

                                                                    The difference between European and tropical countries is that in Europe the beer and food developed alongside one another for centuries. Look at Belgium, a country where there are dishes completely built around the use of beer as an ingredient, and expected accompaniment to the dish.

                                                                    Further, in places like Germany or the UK, the variety of beer styles produced is far broader and more varied than in countries like Japan or Mexico.

                                                                    England has barleywine, old ale, porter, stout, IPA, pale ale, nut brown ale, lager, and fruit beers. Germany has hefeweizens, doppelbocks, weizenbocks, pilsners, eisbocks, marzen, Oktoberfest, etc. Belgium has a ridiculous variety of beers they produce, all of which can pair with a lot of different foods very well.

                                                                    1. re: Josh
                                                                      Caralien RE: Josh Jan 29, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                      Seriously, that's like saying that American food--from everywhere--is too young to have been developed alongside food that paired well with it. The US is just over 200 years old, yet there are great microbreweries which complement the foods, influenced from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and everywhere in between. Even what is considered curry powder in the west was based on a description of a spice blend used in European food. Beer in a lot of colonial countries is also new; primarily developed for the invading groups, but matched to what was available.

                                                                      I'm not a snob because I will enjoy what's available, wherever I am. Eating what is available, which is usually quite well paired to what is offered. I don't expect Belgian beers in Mexico or dunkels in Japan, but if different styles they're there--will try, and determine for myself. What is your issue with this?

                                                                      1. re: Caralien
                                                                        Josh RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 10:23 PM

                                                                        If you don't expect Belgian beers in Mexico, why do you accept German beers in Mexico?

                                                                        If you don't expect dunkels in Japan, why do you expect light lager in Japan?

                                                                        Japanese craft brewing is booming right now, with Japanese breweries now making Belgian beers. Hitachino Nest makes Belgian witbier, strong dark, and spiced holiday beer. They also make Weizenbock and IPA. There are other Japanese craft breweries making barleywines.

                                                                        Are these brewers snobs because they didn't want to settle for drinking boring, bland lagers?

                                                                        I don't have "an issue" with anything - this is just a subject I find interesting, and one I like to debate. Which is why all of us are here, isn't it?

                                                                        1. re: Josh
                                                                          Caralien RE: Josh Jan 30, 2009 04:20 AM

                                                                          I'm not in Mexico, Germany, Belgium, or Japan at the moment, and there are tons of local breweries to visit, so I'll try the beers better suited to my current climate (winter in Princeton).

                                                                          When I visit a place I drink the local food and drink offerings which pair well. I wouldn't call a brewer a snob, but that may be a term some use for themselves. Like foodie. Or sheep. And unlike some, I never said that Japan was known for its watery Germanic styled lagers, only to contradict myself a few days later.

                                                                          1. re: Caralien
                                                                            Josh RE: Caralien Jan 30, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                                            Japanese beer, with a couple of exceptions, has been known for being very light, and usually made with adjuncts like rice. The craft brewing happening in Japan now is a very recent development, but it's still not really on the radar. I have yet to see any of the Hitachino beers in a Japanese restaurant, though I have read about a couple of places in New York that are catching on.

                                                                    2. re: Caralien
                                                                      Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                      "There's a reason there are lighter beers in hotter climates."

                                                                      If your mantra is to drink and eat locally and your expectation in hotter climates is lighter beers doesn't that really limit your pairing options?

                                                                      1. re: Chinon00
                                                                        Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 29, 2009 04:54 PM

                                                                        I'm not expecting creamy and rich food from Alsace Lorraine, the birthplace of modern French cuisine, when I'm in the tropics, so you're correct.

                                                                        1. re: Caralien
                                                                          Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                          You mentioned Mexico earlier. Do you think that lighter beers would pair well with all of your dining choices if you were there?

                                                                          1. re: Chinon00
                                                                            Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 29, 2009 05:42 PM

                                                                            When blistering hot outside, most likely. Just as champagne and roses work well with hot weather, spicy food, fresh fruit, seafood, and greens. When in the few snowy areas or camping out in the desert with a darker roast (beef) at night, a darker and richer beer (stout/porter/dunkel/barleywine) would be rather refreshing. Roasted pig, better with medium to light ales, or the DFH 120 if it's tender and sweet with cracklings. During the holidays when there's a lot of rich food, it depends on what's served. Generally speaking, with spicy food, lighter tasting beers (and wines) pair better. Then again, there are some who consider Guiness a light beer (and I would agree if compared to some of the DFH and Weyerbachers)

                                                                            1. re: Caralien
                                                                              Josh RE: Caralien Jan 29, 2009 10:26 PM

                                                                              The weather doesn't magically make light lager a good accompaniment to mole negro.

                                                                              Also, Guinness *is* a light beer. It's very low in calories and light in body. Its color is dark, but by every other measurement it's light.

                                                                              1. re: Josh
                                                                                Caralien RE: Josh Jan 30, 2009 04:26 AM

                                                                                Compared to Corona, Guiness has fewer calories. So in that sense, consider it a light beer. As with the other darker craft beers I've mentioned.

                                                                                And mole negro when it's 90F in the shade isn't my idea of pleasant dining, but for some that's fine.

                                                                              2. re: Caralien
                                                                                Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 30, 2009 04:30 AM

                                                                                So keeping it local your Mexican stout, porter, dunkel, barleywine or medium to light ale selections would be?

                                                                                1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                  Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 30, 2009 05:17 AM

                                                                                  I like Dos Equis Amber on tap in the evening (boo! it's a popular brand! boo hiss!); the bottled stuff doesn't work as well for me (ditto with DFH's Pangea, which is rather flat in the bottle as opposed to the growler or pint). Husband prefers Negro Modelo & Pacifico. It's the best of we can get here to our tastes.

                                                                                  Over the past year we've been concentrating on local brewers (with a dalliance towards Scotch ales after visiting Chip Shop), so I'd have to check on my next visit to Mexico, possibly doing a brewery tour there as I have been doing stateside.

                                                                                  Finding better information on craft beers is relatively easy for US brewers, but getting Magic Hat and DFH beers in SF wasn't prior to my move from there in 2006. In 2001, the map by the VT board for breweries and cheesemakers was completely out of date (1/2 of the breweries had shuttered). Now most microbreweries and wineries in the US have websites with updated information, and we can pick things up en route or during special trips. Finding good information and distributors regarding Mexican craft beers remains difficult (I don't consider Dos Equis, Pacifico or Modelo craft beers, but many shops list them as such). I love Wikipedia, but wouldn't trust it for completely up to date information on the craft movement in Mexico:

                                                                                  1. re: Caralien
                                                                                    Chinon00 RE: Caralien Jan 30, 2009 08:41 AM

                                                                                    Well I think that specifically with regard to beer what we’ve demonstrated here is that while drinking and eating locally is great for the local economy and great for the environment the idea that it is also by definition great for pairing isn’t true in many instances.

                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                      Caralien RE: Chinon00 Jan 30, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                                      I like German beer with pizza. Point taken.

                                                                                    2. re: Caralien
                                                                                      Josh RE: Caralien Jan 30, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                                                      Cucapa makes some very good beers. The Obscura is quite nice.

                                                                                      I haven't ever seen Minerva, but it sounds intriguing. TJ Beer is just OK, IMO, though it's a lot better than the Mexican macros.

                                                        4. re: Chinon00
                                                          Bobfrmia RE: Chinon00 Jan 27, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                          I would say not. If they are, they aren't letting it be known nearly as much.
                                                          Look at the wine list, and the beer list in most restaurants. Either we aren't asking, or they are ignoring.
                                                          The last time I went out for Italian, I asked the waiter if they had any "Micro, or Craft beers". He said, Peroni.

                                                          1. re: Bobfrmia
                                                            Caralien RE: Bobfrmia Jan 27, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                            Who cares what the general public believes? Decide for yourself what's good and what isn't. In my current town, most of the places--high end included--are BYO.

                                                            I had a few snickers at my wedding for serving what they called "pink champagne"; it was actually a well respected and highly rated brut rose (most of the top champagnes are, but the American public thinks anything pink or blush is on par with white zinfandel). And no, I didn't say anything.

                                                            1. re: Bobfrmia
                                                              Josh RE: Bobfrmia Jan 28, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                              I've started to see a small change. The last few higher-end places I've eaten have had Chimay red on the menu. That's a great beer, and one I'll happily drink at any time.

                                                  2. Bat Guano RE: abu applesauce Jan 26, 2009 02:27 PM

                                                    There's not much that would go with that sucker. Perhaps a very sharp cheddar, or an even funkier cheese.

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