What to eat with a Belgian sour?
- funklight Mar 11, 2010 11:41 AM
I'm doing a beer tasting in the next couple of weeks, and a local brewery gave me a bottle of their new sour (new meaning it was just released this month) to use. After a taste of it, i couldn't think of a single thing to pair it with. It's the only incarnation of a sour that i've ever had, so i can't offer any specifics about the flavor aside from, of course, the sourness. I haven't laid out the courses yet, so anything from hors d'ouevre to dessert is fair game. Any input? TIA.
I don't know about mains (though duck sounds very nice, now that it's been mentioned).
Strong beers pair well with strong cheese. If it's sour, I wouldn't pair it with an outright funky/stinky cheese, though.
The last sour beer I had was very enjoyable with good dark chocolate.
I think sour ales are a natural to pair with well-aged, rich, creamy, slightly smelly cheese -- they share that "funky barnyard"-ness, in a good way, of course.
I'm a big fan of a ripened goat cheese called Humboldt Fog (it's an award-winner, made in California) with the funkier end of the beer spectrum. Sours go well with other cheeses too -- brie and camembert are nice matches because of the richness, I think camembert especially. Old Chatham makes a sheep's-milk camembert that's really rich and I've had it with a flemish sour before.
But yeah, anything gamey, funky, barnyardy, and rich is going to be a winner with a sour ale. If it were me, I'd do the two cheeses I mentioned above, plus fig jam or big medjool dates, and some neutral-flavored flatbread or cracker or bread.
Laura - you described one of the better pairings I had this weekend at the Brewers Plate in Philadelphia. Iron Hill (West Chester, PA) paired their Saison with Humboldt Fog. I also had some with MacKenzie's Brew House's award winning Saison. Both worked wonderfully. Now a Saison of course is a bit more spicey as opposed to sour but there is no reason why it shouldnt work. Someone mentioned stinky cheese. Wonder if an epoisse like cheese would work!
An aside, the Fegley Brew works was serving a brilliant sour .. gueze style beer.